This serial story is presented in draft (unedited) format. Each new installment will replace
the one before. If you get behind, email me and I’ll hook you up with the missing chapters!
“Fight Water with Fire” – Part 10
“I’m not leaving yet,” MacKenzie told the nurse handling her release fifteen minutes later. She was dressed and sitting on the edge of the bed, willing a wave of dizziness to subside and waiting for Kevin to take her to Josh. “There’s someone I need to see first. His dad’s in surgery.”
The nurse sighed, leaning on the handles of the empty wheelchair she’d brought with her.
“It’s hospital policy, Ms. Jones. We have to escort you to the car in a wheelchair once you’ve been released.”
MacKenzie shook her head, immediately regretting the decision. “Can’t you just escort me to that waiting room and then leave? I don’t see why this is so hard. I just want to go to another part of the hospital.”
“I’m sorry, but the doctor wants you to go home, so we have to see you to your car. There’s no other option.”
“Ready to go?” Kevin stood in the doorway, one shoulder propped against the frame as he dangled his keys in the other hand. MacKenzie started to protest, but he gave his head a small shake and winked, so after a moment’s hesitation, she slowly gave a small nod.
“Sure, I guess.”
She got into the wheelchair and allowed the nurse to push her behind Kevin, all the way to the front doors of the hospital. Josh’s SUV was parked in one of the pick-up spots, and Kevin opened the door and helped her in, then slid behind the driver’s seat as the nurse finally left them.
“This isn’t your car,” she said, reaching for the door handle. “What’s going on? Where’s Josh?”
Kevin put a hand on her wrist. “I talked to Josh before I came out to get the car. Give him a few minutes. He’ll meet us here.”
She let go of the handle. “But his dad…”
“Is going to be fine. He’ll tell you the rest when he gets here. Just be patient, okay?”
He smiled and squeezed her shoulder. The small gesture made her want to cry as she relaxed back into the seat. They’d been friends for longer than she could remember, but she knew that sometimes she took him for granted.
“I really appreciate everything you’ve done for me today, Kev. Taking care of me, talking to the doctors, talking to Josh…it’s just so much, and I–”
“Hey,” he interrupted, taking her hand in his. “That’s what friends are for, right?” He chuckled as she swiped at a tear. “Besides, you could blame this all on me, you know. I’m the one who practically ordered you to go find Josh and tell him how you feel.”
She laughed. “That’s true…but I’m glad you did, even with everything that happened. And I’m going to tell him, just as soon as I can.”
A hand touched her shoulder through the open window, and that personal scent she found so irresistible wafted around her.
“Tell me what?”