Timing Except



The trio left the restaurant and Michael helped Eva into Susan’s car. He kissed Susan and said, “Be safe. Keep an eye on her. Text me Dani’s parents’ number. I’ll call Daniel.” He pointed to Eva and said, “Keep an eye on her, I mean it. Love you.” He ran to his cruiser and left.

“Come on, chica. Let’s get over there and wait for them,” Susan insisted and started the car. Before leaving the curb she looked at Eva, who was staring straight ahead. She gently shook her friend and said, “Eva, you need to call Louis,” then pulled into traffic.

“What?” Eva asked. “Oh. Right, yeah.” She dug around in her bag and retrieved her phone, going through the motions. Once she had it, she hit Louis’ speed dial number and waited. It rang several times and went to voice-mail. She didn’t really think anything of it, he did say he had a dinner meeting. Dialing again, she put the phone on speaker. Suddenly the car was filled with a woman’s laughter.

“Hello?” the woman asked, still laughing. “Stop! I have a call!”

Susan’s eyes darted around, looking at everything in front of her. Looking at everything except Eva.

“Who is this?” Eva demanded.

“You called me, honey,” the woman stated, the laugh calmed to a light giggle.

“No…” Eva dragged out. “I called my husband’s phone!” she yelled and hung up. Screaming, she pounded her fists on the the dashboard.

Susan let her get it out of her system until they arrived at the hospital. Eva was still yelling when Susan grabbed her by the wrist and yelled in her face, “Snap out of it! The ambulance will be here any minute. Pull yourself together, and we will deal,” she pointed to the phone, “with that later.” She took a breath. “Now, let’s get you cleaned up or there will be a lot of questions,” she said and pulled tissues out of her bag to wipe Eva’s face.

Eva calmed herself and looked at Susan, her eyes red-rimmed and puffy from crying. When she spoke, her voice was hoarse and crackling. “I’m glad you were with me for that,” she managed through the sniffles. “He will burn in hell. Nobody fucks with me.”

Susan nodded and used the last tissue on Eva’s nose. “Blow.” Eva complied, and Susan brushed the hair from Eva’s face. “We’ll deal with it later, okay? Later,” she stressed, and Eva nodded. “Okay, good,” Susan praised. “Now, let’s go inside and see about our girl.”

They unbuckled their seat belts and climbed out of the car just as an ambulance arrived, with Michael’s cruiser following closely. Eva broke into a run and headed for the covered entrance marked EMERGENCY. Michael caught her just as she was about to open the doors of the ambulance.

“No. No! Eva!” Michael yelled, holding back a bouncing and screaming Eva. Susan caught up to them, and he handed Eva off to her. “Take her inside and have her treated for shock, alright? A Valium should do nicely for a couple hours,” he directed Susan. “They need to check Sadie and Dani out, and in this condition, she isn’t going to let that happen.” Susan nodded and moved towards the entrance of the hospital, almost carrying a sobbing Eva beside her.

As they passed through the doors of the ER, a nurse rushed over and helped Eva into a chair. “What’s wrong?” she asked.

Susan nodded her head back towards the entrance. “That ambulance has her daughter in it. Can we get a Valium or something for her, please?” She smoothed Eva’s hair back and covered her with her jacket. “My husband is the officer coming in with them. He suggested the Valium,” Susan explained when the nurse gave her a blank stare.

The nurse nodded. “I’ll be right back. Afterward, can you fill out everyone’s paperwork?” she asked. Susan tended to Eva and nodded. The nurse said, “Sit tight. I’ll be right back.”

Michael escorted the EMTs through the door as the pushed Sadie and Daniel on stretchers and down the hall. He stopped in front of Eva and Susan so Eva wouldn’t need to see the blood-stained clothes, or oxygen tubes and masks on their faces. Once they had passed through the doors, he sat with Eva and Susan.

“How is she,” he asked.

“Michael, part of this isn’t because of the accident. I’ll tell you about it later. For now, the nurse is getting her a Valium, and then I need to fill out paperwork,” Susan said. She looked around and asked why Daniel wasn’t there.

Michael held up his hand and said, “He’s on his way. Apparently, he had gone to talk to Vince. I don’t know. Should be here any minute.” As soon as he said that, Daniel came sprinting through the doors and rushed to Eva’s side.

He hugged her close and smoothed her hair. “Eva, baby, she’s gonna be fine.” He lifted her and set her in his lap, rocking her slowly. He looked between Susan and Michael and asked, “Has she been given anything? Have the doctors come out with news about Sadie?”

Susan and Michael shook their heads. “The nurse has gone for a Valium for her, and the girls have just been wheeled into exam rooms. I’m not even sure they’ve been seen by the attending, yet,” Susan said. “We haven’t been here very long, either.

The nurse arrived with a low-dose Valium and handed it and the cup of water to Susan. “I’ll be right back with forms for you to fill out.” She turned and walked away.

Daniel turned Eva in his lap a little bit and said, “Eva, Susan has a Tylenol for you. I know how you get headaches.” It was a lie, but he felt it was necessary. Susan held out her palm in front of Eva’s face and she flicked it into her mouth with her tongue, and took the sip of water Susan offered her. Daniel nodded and said to Michael, “That will help. Do we know what happened?”

Michael shook his head and said, “Not in front of her,” gesturing with his hand to Eva. “I’ll give you details once that ‘Tylenol’ takes affect.”

Daniel nodded, and sat quietly rocking Eva. Susan and Michael watched them with sadness for a moment before he took her hand and led her away. Once they were out of earshot, Michael prodded, “Okay, what the hell happened?”

Susan crossed her arms and said, “Louis happened.” When Michael didn’t respond, she continued. “We got in the car to come here and she called him to tell him about Sadie’s accident…only he didn’t answer the phone. Some laughing whore did.” Michael groaned and shifted on his feet. “Oh, I know. Then she had a breakdown on the way here.” She paused and hugged Michael. “I’ve never seen her like this, and that includes when she and Daniel split up.”

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