THE WRONG SIDE OF THE TRACK

 
 

By Carol Sandford

 
 

Chapter 05

 
 

"But...why can’t I see him? I only want to see if he’s okay...Please, just for a minute."

The nurse felt sorry for the pretty girl that had tried her utmost to get in to see the handsome patient beyond the double doors. But she had been given strict orders not to allow her entrance, so she continued to bar her way with the decisive shake of her head.

It was strange. Barely two hours ago, this woman had struggled through the town’s only emergency department doors, seemingly dragging a barely conscious man that was almost twice her size. They clearly knew one another, in fact she originally thought they were sweethearts, purely because of the obvious chemistry that sparked between them. The tender touches to his face, the way they looked into each others eyes. Yes, they seemed to be lovers.

But as soon as the tall man had got into the emergency room and the staff had started assessing his injuries, he had requested that the woman that had brought him in be kept away from him.

And so, here she was, doing her best to restrain the tiny tornado from dodging around her.

"I’m sorry miss, Mr. Riker has had a nasty accident and he needs his rest, he is strictly no visitors, certainly for the rest of tonight...Why don’t you come back tomorrow. Maybe when he’s had some sleep and his medication has begun to work ,he’ll consider a visitor for a few minutes, okay?"

Dee stared past the woman’s shoulder into the tiny frosted glass window frame that let her see everything, but nothing. Every shadowy movement was a blur blocking her line of sight to the bed, but the bed was a blur too.

Why was he doing this to her, why didn’t her want to see her? Didn’t he know how much she was hurting inside? Dee sighed, but it was a sigh of frustration. A sigh of bitterness. Towards him, and the nurses that continued to bar her way.

Bar her way. The thought hurt her heart, bringing to the surface the tears that had been forced back since Dee had first seen his crumpled form in that flying machine. She was physically exhausted and mentally drained, and all she wanted to do was cry, but she wanted to cry with his strong arms around her, and his shoulder to lean against. She wanted his lips to kiss her tears away. All Dee wanted to do was to be with him...just for a little while, but he was denying her.

Denying her.

Denying her. Born from somewhere deep within her, dragged up along with her fatigue, misery and sheer desperation, those two words brought a spark of anger to her soul and before she could stop the flow of bitter words spilling from her lips, she found herself shouting at the solid doors.

"I helped you...Without me you would have died!, I saved your life, you big oaf and you don’t even have the decency to talk to me, not even for a minute...Damn you!"

Pulling free of the worried nurses hands who had reached out when she realised what was about to happen, Dee ran away from her nightmare, sobbing as her heart broke in two.

*****

"Are you alright sir?"

The nurse stopped her hand moving, the bandage she was holding became suspended midair as she looked down at her patient. His one good arm lay across his eyes and had done so since she had began wrapping the bandage around his rib cage. He had managed to break two of his ribs and his arm, and it was his arm that she now worked on as she listened to the tragedy unfolding on the other side of the door.

The nurse had been watching his lower face for any signs of distress, and other than the odd grimace of pain, he had remained unusually quiet. But he was listening, and with each word that the girl he had arrived with spoke, he become more and more withdrawn. And then she had begun shouting.

She watched his chest rise and fall as he struggled to hold himself in check. But along with the pain in his body, there was clearly a deeper pain in his heart that he had to let go. It came in huge, almost silent gasps and her twelve years of experience told her that this man needed some time alone. With barely a rustle of her stiff uniform, the nurse quietly left him to release the huge dam that had built since his whole world had fallen apart, in more ways than one it seemed. With one final pitying glance from the doorway, she left the big, baby blue eyed giant to cry.

**********

Will felt her anger. He had felt her anger from the very moment that he had refused her entry into the trauma room. But it was more than that, He didn’t know how, or why he could almost...feel her. It wrapped around him like a huge, comforting blanket. And it felt good. Too good. The connection between them was strong, so strong that he could almost reach out, touch and soak up her healing powers. But it was the last thing he wanted to do, even he did desperately ache for her.

Of everything he had done in his life; trying to fly, trying to fulfil his dream, mountain climbing, racing the rapids on some of the wildest rivers in Alaska, everything, Will knew that letting Dee Annalee Troi get close to him would be the most dangerous thing that he could ever do.

Once the initial shock of who his rescuer was, time had crept along in slow motion, but in reality, it was barely an hour. And in that hour he had been dragged by her, hugged by her, tenderly stroked by her, and Lord, he had been shouted at by her when he had all but given up, when he had refused to move another inch. When the pain had made his stomach churn so much that he needed to take a few deep breaths before humiliating himself before her eyes. But she was not having any of it. She pushed and pushed, and yelled. She barely paused when the entire measly contents of his tender stomach hit the back of the drivers seat as she physically threw him inside.

Will had never met a power house like her, she was amazing. He had lost count of how many times she had screamed and sobbed in frustration. Not at him, but her lack of brute energy to help him. Lord knows how she had got him in her car, but she did it.

The journey to the hospital had been long, slow and bumpy and not just from the roads. The way she crunched her way through every gear change rapidly told him that she was a novice. It also told him how much she had risked her neck to come to his aid and he silently thanked anybody who wanted to listen that she hadn’t hit anyone, or anything.

Blissfully, Will had drifted in and out of consciousness, unable to cope with the waves of pain that tore through his battered body. He was aware that he had busted a couple of ribs, and probably his arm too, which put him an awkward spot. He couldn’t simply walk away, he was going to need care. Will had to ditch his pride and let his uncle run his life for a short while, just until he could get away from this town. Just until he could get away from her.

*****

The room was bathed in a soft glow when Will woke up a while later. Distant sounds of the hospital echoed through its pristine corridors. The clatter of a trolley and the feint, pitiful wail of an infant somewhere passed over him as he blankly stared at the lamp overhead, his thoughts stepping back in time as he lost himself in her last caress.

God, he had wanted so much to pull her head down to his, to taste her lips, to feel that connection, just for a second. That’s all, just for one precious second. And she had wanted it as much as he. Will didn’t need to hear any words, it was there, in her eyes, and the way her lips had hovered above his. So close. So, so close.

The badly timed spasm that had ripped through his torso right at that precious, ethereal moment rapidly brought them both back to the present, back to the emergency situation. Will didn’t know whether to be sorry or grateful, but whatever he felt, it hurt like hell.

It still hurt like hell.

A movement as the door creaked open, bringing with it a shaft of light that initially brought a moment of terror as all he could see was a shadow, until he heard the tell tale swish of the starchy uniform. Barely a second later, Will was looking up into a pair of smiling eyes that perused him with a certain degree of professional concern as she checked over his obvious physical signs. But there was also a touch of genuine, personal care that shone through that invisible shell that nurses used as a survival suit.

"Hello, how do feel?"

Will pondered the question momentarily before answering her with surprise, "Beat."

The nurse studied her watch as she checked his pulse. It was then that Will had noticed that his arm was fully bandaged. He must have really been out for the count.

She read his mind, "You were quite heavily sedated. Some were pain killing medication, and some were to relax you. You were a little...overaught."

Will felt his body heat with embarrassment as his eyes flickered everywhere but at the curious gaze of the woman standing over him. He felt that he needed to apologize, but she had already second guessed his thoughts and she held her finger up to silence him.

"Hey, its okay, we understand. You’ve had a nasty shock and you were in a lot of pain, you needed the release. It helps, believe me, I know it helps."

But Will knew that the fitting excuse wasn’t the true reason for his breakdown, and he knew that she knew that too. She compounded it as she continued."She’s still here you know."

Somehow Will knew that she was. He still felt the pull, her presence, and her worry. "I know."

The red-headed nurse studied him intently as her adept fingers checked his dressings. "Want some advice?"

Will knew what she was going to say. She was going to tell him to talk to her. She was going to tell him that things couldn’t be resolved by running away or by ignoring one another. Will wondered if she was going to tell him to kiss and make up. He found himself smiling grimly,

"Would you be surprised if I told you that we have never spoken to each other...never kissed. Never made love..."

Her initial look of shock was quickly masked as she pondered his words. Her response moments later was simple. "So."

Will blinked in surprise before repeating her odd choice of word. "So?"

The nurse moved around to the other side of the bed and began preparations to take his blood pressure. Slipping the cuff up his one good arm, she pulled it tight, making Will wince with the pressure. She began pumping until Will felt his arm begin to go numb. He watched her intently, waiting for an explanation, but she ignored him until she had finished concentrating on the gauge before her.

Releasing the pressure, she didn’t speak until she snapped the cuff undone. "I have seen a lot of people pass through these doors in the twelve years that I’ve been here, and I don’t think I have ever seen such an obvious example of blatant love and sexuality radiate from two people like it did from you two. Now, I don’t know the circumstances of course, but I do know that somehow, you need to walk away from this relationship with some personal things resolved, otherwise you are going to walk this Earth for the rest of your lives with some mighty big regrets that will just eat you alive."

Will understood instantly. With each word that she uttered it became more and more apparent that they ’had’ to talk. ’Had’ to give themselves that one moment of sweet torture. That one moment to say goodbye...properly.

The nurse watched him nod thoughtfully, inwardly sighing with relief. After she had left him last night, she had gone straight to see the equally distraught girl that had fled to the bench outside. But the best she had managed was getting her back inside and regretfully having to leave her with a cup of coffee cradled in her cold hands while she carried on with her duties. But hopefully, within an hour, these two desperate souls could resolve their plight and go on with their lives.

*********

 
     
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