Blue and Maker
Author: J.B. Cole

Chapter 4



      I awoke with a gasp. Immediately I realized what had happened. What a horrible feeling. The sudden panic that rushed through my body was frightening. I looked at my wristwatch; it read 8:15 AM. Late on my first actual day at work. How pathetic. I peeled out of my parking spot and headed towards the road that eventually lead to the interstate. The slight panic made it seem like I couldn't have been moving any slower without actually being still. So many thoughts ran through my head, mostly irrelevant thoughts but the stress appeared to be subsiding as they came. I must have been more exhausted than I thought I was. What more could I do though? I was already late; it was just a matter of getting there as fast as possible.

      As I pulled into the Howard & Greene parking lot at exactly nine o' clock a disappointment flowed through me. How could I let myself come to work an hour late on what I consider my first day? I seem to be asking myself a lot of questions lately, I don't know why. I opened the front door and at the reception desk was Dr. Morgan, a look of discontent stained his face. His tired yet fierce eyes and white, frayed hair seemed to pronounce this look.

      With a deep breath I said, "I am so, so sorry si-". He cut my apology short with a single raise of his hand to eye level. He didn't say a single word. The Doctor's assertiveness was something to be desired. I walked to my office with an anxious sweat, calm on my brow. I opened the door and pulled it half-closed. This job didn't require a lot of resources or company money so I could see why the Doctor wasn't as irate as I expected. Obviously, to him, it was more of the ethics of the employee that was the issue. I left my office to talk to Abel.

      I walked much faster than my usual pace. I wasn't going to let her down. When I pushed the door open, there she stood. Folded hands at her waist. Open eyes gazing up at me.

      "You're here," she said cheerfully.

      "Sure am," I replied, "What would you like to do today?"

      She gave a single shrug and looked side to side. She then walked over to the table she had sat at the day before and pulled out the chair I sat in. She pushed it a few feet forward in my direction. Abel looked up with another toothy smile. I accepted her invitation to sit next to her. She then walked to the other side of the table and sat down.

      "I knew you were gonna be late today, Warren."

      "Oh and how did you know that?" I asked with an interested tone.

      I hadn't looked at her when I gave my response. I looked up and saw that she was looking down with a strange look on her face. I figured she must have been having another one of her moments.

      She looked up, "I think Doctor Morgan is crying."

      "What?" I asked with surprise.

      "Doctor Morgan," she replied.

      "Abel, what do you mean you think he's crying," I asked. I wasn't sure if this was just a six year old being, well, a six year old or if she knew something I didn't. I watched her carefully. Her eyes flicked around the room then came to a sudden stop. After a few moments a single tear ran down her cheek.

      "Elizabeth, are you okay?" I was scared now. I left without hesitation. Whatever was going on with her, I was sure that Dr. Morgan knew what was happening. Obviously, the roots of this lie deeper than I knew. I knocked on Dr. Morgan's door once.

      "Not now," he spoke suddenly.

      "Sir, I need to speak with you."

      "Not now!" This time he shouted.

      Nothing was ever solved by giving up. I turned the knob and pushed the door open. At his desk was Dr. Morgan. He sat with his hand over his brow. A box of Kleenex was at his right, his glasses at left. His shoulders shook softly.

      "Sir..." I didn't know what to say.

      "My sister..." he spoke as if he just needed to talk, "she's gone. I just got the call. Cancer. Oh God..." he shook more heavily now.

      "It’s alright," I said pathetically. I hardly knew this man. I've given my condolences to a stranger only once before. I looked back down at him. In a sudden and sharp manner, the doctor clutched his left arm.

      "Ow, m-my arm," he said quietly. His grip tightened. Dr. Morgan's eyes began to widen. He shot out of chair and threw himself against the wall. I moved myself out of harm's way.

      "W-Warren. You need to get me to a hospital. I'm having a heart att-," his sentence was ended with a scream of his own. A fear filled my heart almost instantaneously. I put my arm around his shoulder and escorted him to my car. Dr. Morgan's grip was now on his chest. I unlocked both of our doors as fast as I could. The doctor still had the where-with-all to sit himself down in the seat. I started the engine and took off down the road. My thoughts and heart raced but I wasn't in a panic. While I may have not have lived in the town for very long; I did know where the hospital was.

      "It'll be alright Doctor Morgan, just breathe." I wasn't sure if that was the proper advice to give during a heart attack but I was doing what I could. The doctor started to mumble something. What, I could tell. It was difficult to determine whether he was going to pass out or die.

      "Listen, Doc, just- just start counting," I said this with a vague sense of guilt. My wife had always used that for me. Whenever something would happen that she knew bothered me to a point where it would escalate to the wrong point she would tell me to count. Just count. After years of this it was only until recently that I've realized why it works. To count is to take each moment as it is. These moments come and go with all problems, as they should. As each moment passes everything becomes easier.

      "Look at me! Just count!" I shouted. I don't know why I started to shout. Maybe I was in a panic after all. He turned to me and in only seconds I could hear a silent "one...two...three" under the doctor's breathe.

      I drove the car into the parking lot of the hospital after an extremely intense drive. I had to nearly carry the Doctor into the hospital.

      "This man is having a heart attack!" I shouted as I walked in the door. The receptionist immediately took care of things, as she should. In no time at all I knew the doctor was in safe hands. I thought back only moments before when I shouted in the hospital lobby. I had never yelled like that in a public place. It was refreshing and invigorating.

      I sat in a fairly uncomfortable chair for I don't know how long. The roots of impatience seated themselves in my chest. The wrinkled water cooler cup provided severely limited entertainment or distraction from my, predicament. My mind wasn't even on Dr. Morgan. Why is it that I don't know his first name? All I could even ponder on was Abel. Her behavior was so erratic only moments before Dr. Morgan's heart attack. I wracked my mind with questions but tantalized myself with less answers. I wondered if she knew something I didn't only hours ago. I could only dwell so long on whether or not this was a pure coincidence - nothing more, nothing less. Convincing myself of this was much more difficult than I imagined. For her to say something relative was one thing but crying was, well; unexplainable.

      Finally, after perhaps hours, a doctor came out of Morgan's room. This doctor was a "doctor", by all set depictions. His demeanor was one of false self righteousness. As he walked closer to me, he put out an open hand, as a greeting. I shook his hand.

      "Hello. Your, friend, Ed Morgan, he'll be okay. He's a lucky man, a heart attack isn't something a man of his age can live through easily," said the doctor, "he'll be in the hospital for a little while longer. Maybe days."

      "Alright, well thanks. I'm glad you...did your job." I didn't know what else to say, Ed wasn't a friend of mine. To me, he was a brittle, old man that was sprawling and helpless in the back seat of my car. Abel still burned a hole into my mind.

      I drove back to the orphanage with only thought, one person on my mind; Abel, just a small, worriless little girl. If a six year old had the mental capacity to explain what had happened, maybe I'd be able to sleep tonight. The drive was short; trying to untangle your thoughts takes time. The car's clock read 11:52 AM. My heart's pace increased as the front door came closer. I opened it and walked down the B Wing hallway. The activity room door was cracked slightly. I pushed it completely open to see Abel sitting in the same place that she was left at. Her eyes fixed on mine. She stood up and walked over to me. Her head was down. Her arms opened wide as she wrapped them around my waist.

      "Abel, we need to talk."

      "I know."



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