The Writers Voice
A Second Chance
ZoŽ's eyes narrowed as she peered at the stack of papers Alice, the head nurse, had dropped in front of her a few moments ago. Alice smiled apologetically.
"Sorry, ZoŽ," she said. "But you have to do the paperwork."
ZoŽ groaned as she obligingly picked up a pen.
"Why? I became a nurse so that I wouldn't be stuck behind a desk and where am I? Stuck behind a desk!" Alice chuckled and squeezed ZoŽ's shoulder.
"Shut your mouth and do your work. If you speed up, you'll finish faster."
"Such wisdom" ZoŽ said, drawing the stack of paper closer to her.
"That's why I am head nurse," grinned Alice.
ZoŽ sighed and went to work.
"Lyle! You scared me!"
Lyle eyed the sharp knife, chuckling. "I am to marry a dangerous woman," he
"You look very serious" Zelda said. "Is something wrong?"
"I have some bad news," he admitted.
"What is it?"
"We have someone on our land killing the animals. We will set out in less than
an hour to find him."
"Please be careful," she told him.
"Of course I will."
"I am here, Augusta!"
"Zelda! Lyle has been hurt!"
Zelda paled as her feet sped up. She followed Augusta to the clearing where her mother, Morag, was trying to help Lyle.
"How is he?" Augusta whispered, asking the question that Zelda, throat clenched, couldn't bear to ask.
Morag looked into her daughter's eyes.
"He won't live. Even you can't fix all the damage that has been done to him."Zelda's knees buckled. She knelt beside Lyle and cradled his head in her lap.
"Lyle, can you hear me?" she whispered brokenly. Lyle opened his eyes and smiled.
"I am dying," he said simply. Zelda's throat clogged up. She nodded. Lyle closed his eyes. "I can't save you," Zelda whispered. Lyle reached for her hand.
"I'll always love you," he told her.
"I'll always love you, too," she told him.
"Take care of yourself," he said. "You have to live."
"How can I?" she sobbed. Lyle's eyes filled with tears.
"Promise me you will."
"Do it for me," he whispered. Zelda bit her lip as the tears kept falling.
"I'll do it. For you. I will live." Quickly losing his remaining energy, Lyle reached up and drew her close. He pressed a gentle kiss on her lips.
"Next time, you'll be able to save me," he
Then he was gone.
"Get the defibrillator!"
"Where is it?"
"I don't know!"
"What do you mean, you don't know? We are an ER, for heavens' sake!"
"Someone took it and didn't bring it back."
"Well find it!"
ZoŽ knew every second unnecessarily fighting about the missing machine diminished the man's chances of surviving. She climbed on the stretcher and awkwardly started to administer CPR. One minute. Then two.
"Where is that defibrillator?"
Three minutes.... ZoŽ lost track of time. Her muscles started to ache, but she
ignored the pulling, pushing herself. She just knew she had to save the man on
the stretcher. Lance. Lance... Lannie.. Lyle.
"It's over, Zelda."
"I won't give up" she said through clenched teeth. " I can't let him die a second time. It's only been ten minutes." Dr Martin frowned.
"ZoŽ, it's been twenty minutes. And he is bleeding
"Good job, ZoŽ," she said, hugging her.
"A miracle. A bloody miracle."
"ZoŽ. We know each other from...."
"From before," she finished for him. They looked at each other for a few moments, on one hand understanding, yet totally confused on the other hand.
"I think..." he hesitated.
"What?" she urged.
Lance frowned. "We have been given a second chance."
"Would you like to go out for dinner once I'm out of here?"
ZoŽ smiled back. "I'd love to."
"Lyle has always kept his promises. He will give you another
chance to save him. Just wait for it".
Zelda started to cry softly. "I miss him already," she whispered. "How long will
I have to wait?"
"Where did you get those names?" Lance's mother, rocking Zelda, asked them.
"Nice names, but a tad bit odd, don't you think?" added ZoŽ's father, cooing to
"They just seemed... appropriate" answered Lance, bringing his wife's hand up and kissing it.
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