As always, I need to give credit where it is due. My editor is Papakilo14. Hal gives us a second edit and they are both awesome. My beta readers are Pixel the Cat, Olddave1951 and GeorgeAnderson. You make all the difference in the world. I owe you guys and I love you all. Without my team, I'd stumble around and make a mess of things. I supply the story; you give it the shine. A special shout out to Harddaysknight. You helped me when I was stuck. It's like having Babe Ruth come in and give you batting advice in the sixth inning. Love you, and thanks.
Jack watched his tee shot sail exactly down the middle of the fairway. He always hits the same shot. It isn't long; it's just straight down the middle of the fairway. The other two guys had already teed off and it was my turn. I got it set up and took a little practice swing. This was a par five, pretty long and pretty wide open. I would just take a rip at it and see what happened.
I'm a big guy and I power lift four days a week. My bench is better than it was in college. I can do reps with 225 pounds that make the steroid freaks at the gym jealous. I had a new driver, one of those graphite composite ones that I felt pretty good about. I got the sweet spot and Jack's jaw dropped.
"Jesus Christ, Eric, you hammered that. That's three hundred and fifty fucking yards if it's an inch. It's farther than that. You get up and down and you've got an eagle."
I've had two eagles in my life. I felt pretty good about this one. We started down the fairway and Jack hit his second shot. It still wasn't to my first one. I heard his phone buzzing in his bag. He's a little hard of hearing so I told him he had a text. He got his phone out and his face went white.
"Eric, I've got to go," he said.
"What's wrong?" I asked him.
"Something back at the office," he said. "Take me back, Eric. I'm sorry but I can't tell you about it yet. You can have the rest of the afternoon off after you take me back."
Jack is my boss. He also owns Whitman Enterprises. I've worked there since I graduated from college. They recruited me from the time I was a sophomore and I'm the number two guy there. It's a family business. We make pumps, all kinds of pumps. They're one of a kind, designed for specific applications. We have a foundry, a machine shop and we make them from the blueprint to the finished product. I'm the VP of production and I pretty much run the place. Jack's daughter, Allison, is my counterpart in sales. I knew there had been some noise about us being bought out by a Swiss company and I figured it was about that.
I took him back to the office and started home. I was sitting at a traffic light. The street downtown is one of those old cobblestone streets and there was an elderly lady crossing the street in front of me. I watched, horrified, as her toe caught on one of the cobblestones and she tripped. She tried to keep her balance but she was staggering forward now. She dropped her grocery bag, tripped again and she went down. I heard her cry out as her arms hit the street, trying to save herself. I slammed the shifter into park and jumped out, running around the truck and kneeling beside her. She was crying and I felt awful for her. Her hands were bleeding and her arm was clearly broken.
I gathered her up in my arms. "I'm so sorry," I told her. "I'm going to help you. It's going to be okay. I'll take you to the hospital. Are you hurt anywhere besides your hands and arm?"
"No," she sobbed, "but I think my arm is broken. I dropped my groceries and I'm afraid my eggs are broken, too. Well, my knees are bleeding too, honey. My arm hurts so bad!"
She was breaking my heart. I had tears in my own eyes. This sweet little lady didn't deserve this! "I'll get you some more eggs," I told her. "Let me help you get in the truck. I'll take you to the hospital."
That made her cry even more. "Thank you, but I can't go to the hospital." Her breath was coming in gasps. "I don't have any insurance. I can't afford to go to the hospital."
I felt like shit now. She was a tiny little black woman, probably seventy or so, and you could tell she had been a stunner. She was still very pretty and I felt really bad for her. I thought about my mother. She had passed away from a stroke two years ago. If she had fallen like this I would have wanted someone to take care of her.
"I'm taking you to the hospital," I told her. "I'll take care of it. My wife works there and we'll work something out. You look like someone's mother and I would want someone to help my mother. I'm taking you now. Let me help you up, I'll get your groceries and we'll go, okay?"
"It hurts really bad," she said. "Thank you, young man. I'll never forget this."
I got her up and into the front seat of the truck. It was higher than she could comfortably get into so I lifted her. I gathered up her groceries and put them in the back seat.
On the way to the hospital she told me her name was Samantha Groves and that she was a widow. It was only about a mile and I pulled up at the emergency room door. Cindy, my wife, was on shift, and I helped Samantha inside. I took her to the desk and Kirsten was working. I told her what was going on and that I would be taking care of any bills. She took Samantha right back to a bed and Rachael, the RN, cleaned up her hands and knees while we waited for the doctor.
They tried to shoo me out, but Samantha wasn't having it. She wanted me to stay and that was that. I asked her if she wanted to call someone. She said her phone was in her purse so I went back to the truck and got it. She needed her ID anyway, and when I got back, I gave it to Kirsten. She got her phone out and it was one of those cheap flip phones that you buy minutes for. She dialed and then started crying again.
"What's wrong, Samantha?" I asked.
"I'm out of minutes," she sobbed. "This is just a terrible day!"
"Here, use my phone," I handed her my Android. I had to show her how to use it and she talked to someone female on the other end.
"Cecilia, I fell and hurt myself," she said. "I'm at the hospital. No, a really nice white man is helping me. Please, Honey, would you? Okay, please don't worry."
I wondered where Cindy was. She worked the emergency room. She's a physician's Assistant and she should be handling this. I poked my head out and saw Rachael.
"Where the hell is Cindy?" I asked her. "This lady is hurting and she needs attended to."
Rachael flushed. "She went to lunch. I called her and she'll be here any minute."
"What do you mean, 'she went to lunch'? She just got here!" Cindy works three to eleven. Her lunch hour is at seven.
Rachael stammered around for a minute and finally she just left. What the hell was going on? I went back to Samantha and she was still crying. I sat down by her and hugged her.
"It's okay, Samantha," I told her. "Who did you call?"
"My granddaughter," she said. "She's going to college. She just got out of class and she'll be here after a bit. You can go then. I know you don't want to be here."
"Nonsense," I told her. "I'm off work. This isn't going to be such a bad day, Samantha. You made a new friend today, you're going to be fine, your granddaughter is on the way and you won't have to do a lick of work for a while because you'll have a cast on your arm."
She chuckled and hugged me back. She gave me a kiss on the cheek and I heard a voice behind us. It was low and husky and sounded like smoky jazz. "Who's your new lover, Grandma?"
I looked back and there was a vision framed in the hospital curtain. She was little, brown and as cute as a newborn kitten. She stepped around to the other side of the bed and kissed Samantha.
"I don't know his name," Samantha said. "I've been so flustered I forgot to ask. I think he's the Good Samaritan. He's been taking care of me. I don't know where he came from but he's a gift from heaven."
"My name is Eric Hollister," I told them. "You must be Cecilia. I was sitting in my car at the crosswalk and I saw Samantha fall. I couldn't do anything but bring her here where the doctor should have been here by now!" I raised my voice. I knew I was being passive/aggressive, but I was starting to get pissed off.
I poked my head out of the curtain and saw Rachael avoiding my eyes. "Go get Pierce," I told her. "If someone isn't here to take care of this lady in five minutes I'm going to raise hell at the next board meeting! Where the hell is Cindy?"
"Dr. Pierce went to lunch with her," she said.
"Well, that's just freaking great," I was disgusted. "Call Olivia."
"Your daughter is just an intern," Rachael said.
"Can she prescribe medicine and order a cast for this lady?" I asked.
"Yes, she can do that," Rachael admitted.
"Then page her," I told her.
I went back to sit in the chair by Samantha. "My daughter is an intern here," I told her. "She'll be here in a minute."
I thought about Cindy and that creep Pierce being out to lunch together. What the hell was going on? Cindy knew very well I wouldn't like that. I had made that perfectly plain on a couple of occasions.
.... There is more of this story ...