This week's meme was a doozy for me. The prompt: "An art opening at a lavish downtown gallery. A car crashes through the plate glass window. The driver's door opens, and an eight-year-old girl steps out." I think I must have started this a thousand times before almost decided to just forget it and wait until next week. I didn't feel like I was thinking very coherently, and it may be due to the fact that I am on my 7-day rotation for work, and the phones have been rather hectic all week. It's hard to put together a decent thought when you have back to back to back calls. This idea hit me as I was driving home last night, and I wrote it when I came in this morning, and all it took was looking at the scene from a different perspective. And nothing saucy this time. Sorry. Maybe the next meme I do can be Skinamax suitable? ;)
“Mom? Mommy, are you okay?” She was lying on her chair, the brown one that Grandma had given her when Dad left. She didn’t look right, and it scared me. She barely looked at me when I shook her, and her skin felt weird, like she was sweating, but she wasn’t hot. She actually felt kind of cold. I covered her with a blanket, but she started shivering. I wanted to cry because I was so scared, but if I am crying, I couldn’t help her. I tried to remember what my teachers taught us when we were learning about how to help someone, but it was hard to think. Oh, that’s it! I have to call 9-1-1 and let them know I need help!
“Mommy, I’m going to call for help, okay? I’ll be right back.” She didn’t respond, but I could tell she was trying to look at me. At least her eyes moved towards me. She was drooling a little bit, like my friend Abby’s baby sister Maggie Mae. Abby says that Maggie Mae is drooling because she’s getting in new teeth. But I don’t think Mommy was getting in new teeth. I ran into the kitchen and picked up the telephone that is on the wall next to the back door, but when I listened, there was no sound. Now I was even more scared. The phone is supposed to work when you need help, but ours must have been broken. My heart was beating so fast in my chest I thought it was going to fall out. I have to get her to the hospital so the doctors can help her. I ran back into the living room.
“The phone is broken, so I can’t call for help. There has to be another way.” Then I saw her keys on the coffee table. Mom had told me before how everything worked in the car. She also told me that I had to have a special card that says I’m allowed to use the car that I’d get when I was old enough, but I think because it’s an emergency it’d be okay. I grabbed the keys and ran outside to unlock and open the doors, then went back inside. It was hard, but I got Mommy to her feet. I helped her outside and got her in the car. I even put her seat belt on her, just like she taught me.
Now it was my turn. I got behind the steering wheel and closed the door. It was bigger than I thought. But I put the key in and turned it, just like I saw Mom do, and it spooked me a little when the car started. Okay, brake on the left, which makes it stop, and the go on the right to make it move. The stick that makes it go forward or backward, she said put it in “D”. I couldn’t remember what the “D” stood for, but I put the orange arrow on it, and the car started to move forward. I stepped on the brake and it stopped. I think I can do this. Seeing Mom as sick as she was, I had to do it. I stepped on the go softly, and we rolled forward. Yeah, I can do this.
“Hang on, Mom,” I said, still trying not to cry. “I’m going to get you to get some help.” I started to drive really slow because it was hard to see over the wheel, but once I got onto the road by our house I was able to go a little faster. Every once in a while Mom would moan, or whisper something, but I couldn’t understand her very well. The radio was on, so I sang along with the songs I knew, hoping the music would make her feel better since it always made me happy when I was feeling sad.
It took a while, but I found my way to the city. The hospital had to be close by since we always saw the buildings when we were going to school on the school bus. But the streets were more confusing than I remembered. The buildings were too tall for me to see anything, and the traffic lights made me have to stop a lot. I was having a hard time stopping the tears, but I kept reminding myself that I had to stay strong for Mom, because I was all she had left.
I didn’t notice how fast I was going. I was crying and telling Mom to hold on, we’re almost to the hospital, when a dog walked out into the street. I screamed and turned the wheel, a little harder than maybe I should have. The tires squealed and the car lurched, and I almost threw up. The car bounced up onto the sidewalk and we were heading right towards a building. The front was all glass, like one of those fancy restaurants we saw on TV, and there were people inside dressed really nice. I tried to hit the brake to stop, but I didn’t hit it in time. With a crash, the car went through the window and into the building.
I don’t remember the car coming to a stop, or me getting out of the car. It was almost as if I had fallen asleep and was sleepwalking, but drove a car instead. When I opened my eyes I was inside the building filled with the nicely-dressed people who looked really surprised. There was broken glass all around on the floor, and it looked like some paintings as well. They were broken and some were ripped. I felt bad about that, because I know I did it. But I was so worried about Mommy.
“Please, someone help my mommy.” I cried. “She’s sick and I don’t know what’s wrong with her.” A lady stepped towards us and looked into the car.
“Oh my god, Nathan! Help me!” She pulled the door open and a man helped her pull Mommy out of the car. Another lady who looked old like Grandma was talking on a small telephone and another came up to me.
“C'mon let’s get you taken care of,” she said, her voice very soft. I couldn’t fight my tears anymore and I started sobbing. My vision blurred really bad and it was hard to see, but she took my hand and took me to sit on a chair nearby. I could see the lady and the man with Mommy, and soon the ambulance arrived with the police. She asked my name and how old I was, and I told her my name was Crystal Marie Humgardner and I was almost 8 years old. She told this to a policeman while I had some fruit punch that was given to me by someone, but I couldn’t see who it was. It was good, and it was cold. I was also given a cookie. I like cookies, especially chocolate chip. Those are my favourites.
The policeman came over to me and asked me questions, and I told him about how Mommy got sick, and the phone wasn’t working so I couldn’t call 9-1-1 like I was taught by Mrs Arntz in school, so I got in the car and drove it as best as I could as Mommy had explained to me. He was so nice, and gave me a tissue to wipe my eyes because I was crying again. The ambulance people had Mommy on a stretcher and were putting her in the back of the ambulance, and he said I could go with him and we’d go to the hospital. He said I was a very brave girl, and that he thinks Mommy will be alright. He even gave me another cookie.
As we were driving away, I looked back at the building. The policeman said it was an art gallery and the lady who helped Mom out of the car was the one whose paintings I had broken. “Was she mad? I didn’t mean to do it.” He shook his head and said she was just glad that my mom was getting help. That made me happy. So happy that I started to hum a song that I knew Mommy liked alot. That would make her better. I just knew it.