Copyright© 2016 by MountainLaurel
Fiction Sex Story: Chapter 2 - While each helps the other through their individual medical crisis, two middle aged co-workers discover each other.
Wishing was all well and good, but it didn’t help her find a solution. What she didn’t know was nature was about to take a cruel hand in all this and issue an unwanted answer to her dilemma. Waking up with a back pain one morning after a restless night’s sleep, she chalked it up to sleeping in an awkward position. There was a queasy feeling in her stomach which she assumed was an early bout of morning sickness; something she would have to get used to. Then she felt the first cramp, mild, followed quickly by a second, more severe. She knew instinctively what was happening before any more symptoms appeared, miscarriage; she was losing the baby.
Panic was now setting in. Rushing to her purse, she pulled out her cell phone, quickly calling 911. After what seemed to her to be an eternity, she heard a dispassionate voice.
“County emergency system, what is the nature of your emergency?”
“I need an ambulance,” she sobbed, “I think I’m having a miscarriage.”
“Your name and address please.” Ellen blurted out the information in an anxious voice. “And how far along is your pregnancy?”
“Eight weeks, what difference does it make?”
“Please be calm ma’am, what are your symptoms?”
“Cramps, bad ones, belly pains. Please is there someone coming?”
“An ambulance is being dispatched; do you have any medical condition we should know about?”
“Yes, God damn it, I’m pregnant and having a miscarriage.” Her voice was now hysterical.
“Calm down ma’am, we’re trying to help you. Are you on any medication, prescribed or otherwise?”
“No! No more damn silly questions. Please get somebody here.”
“Ma’am, an ambulance is on its way, I’m trying to help, but if you can’t calm yourself and start getting abusive, I’ll have to hang up. Now do you want that?”
“The ambulance has been dispatched?”
“That is correct, it should be there shortly. Now would you like me to stay on the line with you or are you all right on your own?”
Angry now, she pressed the hang up button. Instantly she regretted it; even the dispatcher’s indifferent voice was better than being left to wait alone. She hit the contacts list on her phone, scanned down the names, stopping at Palmer. She pressed dial and waited.
“Palmer, it’s me, Ellen. Thank God you’re there.” Her voice sounded panicky even to herself.
“Ellen what’s the matter? Are you all right?”
“No, I’m going to the hospital, I’m losing the baby.” She paused slightly. “Please don’t hang up, not until the ambulance gets here. I’m scared.”
“I’m not going anywhere. What hospital are you going to?”
“Central Medical, I guess. Oh, Johnny, I didn’t want this to happen, honest I didn’t. I didn’t want it to end this way.” She didn’t realize this was the first time in years she had called him by his given name.
“I know you didn’t, but don’t go there. Sit down on the floor, take a few deep breaths. Just try to take it easy. I’m not going to tell you to relax, but you’ve got to try to. Don’t fight it, it’ll be all right. Remember that, it’ll be all right.”
Hearing his voice helped, she began to get some control over herself. She went back to her purse and got her wallet containing her ID and insurance cards. Then moved carefully to the door, unlocked it, sat down on the floor near it.
“Palmer, are you still there? Keep talking, it helps, please.”
“Still here Ellie, I’m not leaving until the paramedics are there.”
“Thank you, oh God thank you. Tell them something at work. Say I had severe stomach pains or something? Just let them know. Sorry to be such a bother.”
“It’s no bother, honey, it’s what friends do. How are you doing now?”
“Better, it’s just that I...” She was interrupted by the knock on the door, followed by a voice.
“Miss Reilly? Ambulance service.”
“Come in, door’s unlocked.” Then to Palmer, “Johnny, they’re here, I have to hang up. Thank you, thank you so much.”
The mere presence of the paramedics had a relaxing effect on her. She felt her breathing slowing down and a sensation of fatigue overwhelmed her as the stress faded. Their easy demeanor and pleasant chit chat between questions was reassuring. When they placed her on the transport stretcher and wheeled her out into the hallway she was feeling better. Once outside, between the building and the ambulance, in the fresh air, she began to think that perhaps she’d been wrong; maybe it had been indigestion or the flu. Once loaded, on the trip to the hospital however, she began to hemorrhage. There was no doubt now, she’d been right, she lost the baby. The feeling of fatigue was replaced by helplessness. She’d never felt so frail and weak; she was going into shock.
The Emergency Room was a blur to her. Upon arrival they assured her the worst was over. The pregnancy had self-terminated, but there was no danger to her health. Nurses, technicians, interns came and went, cleaned her up, probed her, took vital signs, but all repeated the worst was over, don’t worry, everything would be all right. Ellen didn’t care she laid in the bed in the small cubical feeling small and lost. An intern came in and told her that her doctor had been notified and he wanted her to stay in the hospital for a day, possibly two for observation, a couple of tests, and possibly to talk to a counselor. Ellen merely nodded, too exhausted to respond. An admissions nurse slipped into her cubical.
“Ellen, your step brother is out in the waiting room, he’d like to come back to see you. Is that all right with you?”
“My step brother?” There was a confused tone to her voice.
“Yes, your step brother, John Palmer. He concerned about you, should I send him back?”
“Oh, John, yes, of course. I’m sorry I just didn’t...” Her voice trailed off. She didn’t know what to say.
Actually, she didn’t have to say anything. The nurse gave her a knowing smile and nodded her head. She was used to friends passing themselves off as relatives in order to see patients in the ER. She also believed a friend at a time like this was worth more to the patient than all their medical reassurances and had learned a long time ago to turn a blind eye to the situation.
The effects were immediate when she saw Palmer came into the cubical. For the first time that morning there was a trace of a smile on her face. However small and vague it might be, it was a smile none the less; she was glad to see a familiar face. She extended her hand out towards him. When he took it she pulled it close to her, clutching it with both hands in front of her throat.
“Thanks for coming, you really didn’t need to, but I’m glad you did, so glad.”
“I didn’t want to think of you here all alone, so I told them at work I was taking a couple of hours to check on you. They thought it was a good idea. Everyone’s concerned.” Then, after an awkward pause, “So, how’re doing, kid?”
“I’m OK, I guess. They tell me this is all routine, fairly common, nothing to worry about.”
“Well, that’s good to hear.”
“Yeah, the problem is it’s not routine to me. It scared the God damned hell out of me. I’m still a nervous wreck.”
“That’s understandable, I’m nervous just being here.”
The small smile slowly spread across her face as she began to relax. She squeezed his hand tightly for a second or two, then released it. She was calming down now. Just having a friend with her helped her bring it all into perspective. Other women have gone through this, it’s a part of life, granted one of the nastier parts, but fairly common. The feelings of grief and loss were still with her, but fear had left. Ellen didn’t know it at the time, but she’d taken the first step on the path to recovery.
“So, any idea how long you’re going to be here?”
“‘Till either tomorrow or the day after, I’m not sure. They want to run some tests, I guess. I think part of it is because I live alone, they don’t want to ship me out too fast. Right now I’m waiting for a room to become available.”
“Kind of makes sense, in an inconvenient way.”
“Perhaps, I don’t know. Hey, what did you tell them at work, anyway?”
“Just that you woke up with severe abdominal pain and called an ambulance.”
“Good, thanks. Any more questions, tell them it’s some sort of ovarian cyst. That’s what I’m going with, that’s what I’m telling my kids. The hospital has a patient confidentiality policy, so nobody can check. Hate to lie, but it’s probably for the best.”
“Yeah, besides, it’s really not anybody else’s business anyhow.”
“Thanks, Johnny. You don’t think my attitude, you know worrying about it and all could have caused this, do you?”
“God, Ellen, don’t even think it, don’t do that to yourself. It just happened, that’s all. You’re not old, but you not a kid anymore, these things happen in middle aged pregnancies. It’s just a bad break, bad luck, that’s all. Don’t be so hard on yourself.”
Her smile widened, but it was a sad smile none the less. She felt her lower lip tremble slightly as she grabbed his hand again. Squeezing it once more, then pulling it up to her lips and kissing the back of it.
“Johnny, I can’t tell you what a comfort you’ve been to me, today and all through this. I think I’d be lost without you.”
“Nonsense, you’d get along fine. You’re tougher than you realize.”
His free hand did something with her hair, she couldn’t tell if he was smoothing it out or brushing it off her forehead, but she liked it. She noticed he had a knack of saying and doing the right things at the right time to make her feel better. But now she was worried about monopolizing his time. She didn’t want to wear out her welcome.
“Like I said, I can’t tell you how glad I am that you came, but you should really go back to work, I’ll be all right now, but that damned hotel might just fall apart with both of us off the job. We can’t have that.”
“No, I guess not. You sure you’re all right?” She nodded her head. “OK, if you need anything, don’t hesitate, just call.”
“I will, thanks.”