For the last installment, please read Part 4 here.
I sat for a while after he left, staring at his card. Part of me was thinking that some people would do anything to drum up business – even approaching a stranger in the park, but, there was another part of me that couldn’t help but think of how sincere his smile was and how blue his eyes were.
Shaking my head, I stuffed the card in my purse. It wasn’t helpful to be thinking of a perfect stranger this way, no matter how kind he had seemed. I didn’t need anyone in my life right now to complicate things anymore than they already were. I had to focus on Nate right now and nothing else.
At the same instant I thought of Nate I heard an odd sounding plunk and then a loud, ear-piercing scream.
It took me a while to register what had happened – I saw Nate lying on the ground, his arm twisted strangely behind him. I didn’t remember running over to him, but suddenly I was kneeling next to him as he lay there screaming.
I could tell by the angle in which his arm lay that it was broken. I needed no medical training for that.
I had no idea where we were, other than in Perspect, and I had no idea what to do. I couldn’t even call 911 as I didn’t know the park’s name or even the address where it was located. Anxiety began to overcome me when suddenly I thought of Garry.
Nate was still lying on the ground and I was afraid to move him for fear of causing him more pain. Rifling through my purse, I found the business card I had just rammed in there and with shaking hands I pulled out my cell phone and dialed the number.
He answered after two rings, “Garry Rondell, here.”
“Hi, uh, you don’t know me. Well, um, you just met me, but I – I need your help,” my voice was breaking. I felt like I was on the verge of hysteria.
“Ok, hey, it’s ok. I’m glad you called. What’s going on? How can I help?” Garry’s voice was concerned but calm.
“My son, Nate, he just fell off the play structure. I’m pretty certain he broke his arm and I don’t know what to do. I’m so sorry to bother you but I have no idea where I am to call 911 and give them an address. I didn’t know what else to do or if they could locate me by my cell phone. Oh, I’m so sorry,” my voice gave way then and I sobbed quietly.
“It’s alright. It’s going to be ok. I’m going to hang up and call 911 for you and give them the address where you are. And I will be right there to help, ok?”
“Ok,” I whispered as I rubbed Nate’s back. His crying hadn’t let up. Garry didn’t respond and I was pretty sure he had already hung up to call.
“It’s ok, Nate. You’ll be ok.”
A few moments later I heard the sirens coming down the street and at the same moment, a silver SUV pulled up on the sidewalk. A tall man jumped out and came running over. I knew immediately it was Garry.
He knelt beside us. “Hey little buddy, we are going to get you fixed up in no time.”
I nodded the tears still streaming down my face. Suddenly the paramedics were around us, asking us to step back as they assessed the situation.
Confident that Nate had no other injuries other a likely broken arm, they carefully lifted him onto the stretcher. I held his good hand as they loaded him into the ambulance. Helping me inside as well, I thanked the attendants and then remembered Garry. He was standing off to the side, talking to the other ambulance attendant. I tried to get his attention before the doors closed but it was too late.
As I sat with Nate later, I couldn’t help but blame myself. This was my fault because I had left Ben and the safety of Nate’s life. If I hadn’t taken him and basically ran away from my problems, then Nate would be unharmed and would at this moment be laughing and playing with his friends at school. What kind of mother was I anyway?
I tried to focus on the doctor’s words as he casted Nate’s arm. He would have to have it re-x-rayed in the next four to six weeks to see if the bone was healing properly and if the cast could come off. The lucky thing for kids, I heard him say, is that they heal quickly.
I nodded, silently wishing that adults could heal that quickly too, especially from their own inflicted injuries.
I was not looking forward to calling Ben and telling him what had happened. Most likely he would have a cruiser here within minutes to pick us up and have us returned to the prison we called home. He would blame me, more than I blamed myself. This would not be pleasant.
After Nate had been casted up and the nurse had given him a lollipop and sticker, he was smiling as we left the ER. As we walked out of the hospital I finally remembered that my car was still at the park where the ambulance had picked us up. We would have to take a cab to get it. I cringed realizing that the remaining cash I had in my wallet would cover the cost of the cab, but I would have to get to an ATM machine soon.
We stood on the sidewalk as I looked around for a taxi. Suddenly, a silver SUV pulled up beside us and Garry Rondell jumped out of the vehicle.
“Hey, buddy,” he said, kneeling down to talk to Nate. “That’s a pretty fine looking cast you’ve got on there!”
“It’s blue,” Nate said between sucks on the red lollipop which now covered most of his mouth. The Tylenol had kicked in and while he was still sore, Nate was acting like himself again.
Garry laughed his deep laugh, “I see that! How about I give you and your mom a ride back to the park to get her car?”
I sighed with relief, “Thank you. That’s exactly what we need.”
Standing up, Garry smiled at me, holding my eyes with his. “We haven’t properly introduced ourselves. I’m Garry Rondell. I won’t give you another business card, I promise.”
I smiled softly and shook the hand which he offered, “I’m Isabella, Isabella Lloyd, and I have no business cards to give.”
His laughed resounded loudly, something I realized I enjoyed the sound of. Still smiling he said, “It’s nice to meet you, Isabella.”
“It’s nice to meet you too, Garry, and thank you, so much, for everything.”
“It’s my pleasure. Now let’s go get your car.”