Mike's Decision

“Beep beep beep!” The echo of Mike Johnson’s alarm plays over and over in his mind.
As Mike lies there, he opens his eyes slowly, staring sleepily up at his plain white ceiling. As he turns over slowly, he hits the snooze button, making the loud beeping end. As he plants his feet on the ground, he reaches over the bed and rubs his wife’s silky, long brown hair. She turns around and looks at him with sleepy eyes.

“It’s already 7:10?!” he asks her as he walks over to his dresser and grabs out clothes for his day.

She groans and pulls the blankets over her head, “You wake McKenna up, and I did yesterday!”

Mike and his wife, Julie have been married for almost 7 years. They are both 30 years old and still very much in love. Having McKenna before they were even married, their relationship had always been rocky, but McKenna really holds them together. McKenna is a happy, very talented young lady. She is in the fourth grade and has a lot of friends.

As Mike quietly walks into McKenna’s room, he feels for her light switch. But before he switches it on, he walks closer; her long brown hair fell perfectly onto her shoulders, her body and half face covered by her baby blue blankets. She was sleeping so peacefully, he felt bad waking her up. He slowly puts his hand on her back, rubbing it slowly.

“McKenna,” he says calmly. “Wake up.”

McKenna’s eyes roll open and she looks up at her father, smiling.

“Good morning!” he says to her as he walks and switches on her light.

“Morning, Dad,” she says, squinting as the light seeps into her eyes.

“Want me to make you something to eat, Squirt?”

“No thanks, well not right now anyways I’m just gunna get ready for school,” McKenna replies.

“Oh, okay,” Mike says, “well if you change your mind, make sure you let me know.”

Leaving the room, Mike looks back at his daughter; she slowly combs out her long brown hair and carefully applies her clear lip gloss. Mike stands in her doorway, thinking of how much she has grown up. She is so important to him; he would do anything for his little girl.

As Mike returns to his bedroom, he could hear the hissing of the shower where his wife was. He puts on his best black dress pants and a green striped shirt, tucks it in and adds a brown belt. He glances in the mirror, rubbing back his short auburn hair. As his wife walks out of the bathroom, dressed in a black business dress and applying fluffy white moose to her hair, he kisses her on the cheek.

“I love you,” he says to her.

“I love you too, baby,” she says unsure. “Good mood today?”

“I can’t tell my wife that I love her?” he asks as he walks out the door and down the steep stairs, adjusting his tie as he makes his way into the kitchen.

McKenna is already downstairs, sitting at the island in the kitchen staring at SpongeBob on the small TV screen, “Dad, I think I changed my mind about breakfast.”
“No problem sweetie, what would you like?” he asked.

“”Hm,” she hummed, resting her head on her hand, pondering her cravings. “Frosted flakes!” she said in a high tone.

As he scrambles in the kitchen, he glances at the clock. 7:45 already! McKenna’s bus had always come at 7:55, on normal days when it wasn’t running behind.

“We gotta go!” Julie said as she runs into the kitchen attempting to put on her other high heeled shoe.

Mike throws the remains of McKenna’s cereal into a zip lock bag and lifts her off the chair, throws her backpack on her back and out the door they go.
Normally, Mike brings McKenna to the bus stop every morning, and Julie picks her up from school. However, Mike plays cards with his buddies every other Tuesday and Thursday so, on those days, Julie does both jobs. Today was just a normal day, the family running late as usual.
“Goodbye, hunny, I’ll see you after school,” Julie says and she leans down and gives McKenna a kiss on the cheek.
As she stands back up, Julie pecks Mike with a kiss on his lips, “I’ll see you later.”
Heading to work, it was a normal day for Mike. As he walks down 23rd avenue, he hits the first Starbucks Coffee on the right. As he walks into the shop, the smell of freshly brewed coffee fills his nostrils and his senses tingle. He casual waits in the line, glancing down at his watch every few seconds. 8:05, Mike still had at least twenty five minutes to get to work.
“I guess their working on the 27th Street today,” Mike hears an older women say to her friend.
“Yep, going to be closed all day I’ve heard,” the other women replied, taking a sip of her hot drink.
Mikes head pounded with anxiety, this meant he was going to have to take a detour to work today, going all the way over the Main Street Bridge. He didn’t have time for this; he was already running late enough and now was going to have to take the long bridge, instead of just taking the road that goes right around it.
As he proceeded towards the cashier, he ordered his usual; vanilla latte. As he waits at the pickup window, tapping his foot on the tile, his number was called. After picking up his drink, he flees out the rotating doors and down the street. Water from the small storm the night before flipped up as Mike’s shoes left the concrete.
As he walks quickly down the sidewalk, his latte jolting back and forth in the cardboard cup, every other time splashing over the edge and dripping down his hand. He soon approaches the bridge, there is a swarm of people, probably taking it for the same reason Mike was. Car horns and people talking blared in his mind, all he was thinking about was getting to work on time. He started to walk faster, feeling the sweat beat upon his face. As he approached the middle of the bridge, he heard a long horn blare, metal crack and glass shatter.
“Call 911!” he heard a voice blare from the other side of the bridge.
Mike ran over to see what all the commotion was about, he leaned over the side of the bridge and saw a red small car slowly sinking into the river, smoke pouring out of the hood and glazing over the water’s surface. Without hesitation, Mike immediately jumped in after it, getting to work on time was suddenly the last worry on his mind.
As he plunged into the ice cold water, his body went numb and goose bumps formed at the surface of his skin. He took in a deep breath and swam to the car, the current of the sinking vehicle pulling him under. As he made his way to a broken window, he saw an older woman, frantically trying to unfasten her young daughter’s seatbelt, while still belted in herself. As the car continued to sink farther and farther to the bottom, Mike immediately grabbed the young girl, breaking her safety belt. The girl was unconscious; Mike noticed the crack she had in her forehead, blood pouring out. He scooped her noodle like body into his arms and swam quickly to the surface; hoping medical personnel would be there to help the little girl.
Reaching the surface, Mike took a big inhale and began to cough up water that he had inhaled during the accident. He held the little girl out of water and immediately following, a medical boat came to their side, taking the little girl and beginning mouth to mouth.
As Mike was pulled into the boat, a big blanket was thrown onto him, “I need to go back down, her mother…I was going to go back!” he said frantically.
“Sir, you did a good thing jumping in this water. The car is too far down now; you wouldn’t be able to go that deep. I’m sorry,” the paramedic said throwing the blanket over him again.
As Mike sits there, he watches the paramedics try to revive the young girl, using an AED to get her small heart pumping again. The fourth time the men tried, the little girl began to cough, water that had been collected in her lungs running out of her mouth. Immediately, the men covered her with big brown blankets and had her lay on the stretcher. Her purple shaded body shakes violently under the blankets, her eyes slowly opening and closing as if being irritated by the overhead lights of the ambulance.
“What’s going on? Where’s my mom?” she wailed.
Mike’s eyes became glazed with tears as the paramedics told the child to calm down and that everything would be okay. Did I make the right decision? He thought. As Mike sits there in a trans, thought of the accident float through his mind. When he saw the little girl and the mother in that car, he knew that the young girl had a better chance of surviving than the mother; she would have died so young, not been able to live a full life as her mother did. All Mike could think about during that time was his own daughter, and how he would do anything for her…
As the boat drove to the shore of the river, an ambulance was waiting to take the two to the nearest hospital. The ambulance ride was short, but long in Mike’s mind. Mike wanted so bad to comfort the crying little girl, to tell her everything would be okay. But instead, she lay, with an oxygen mask over her face, not knowing what was happening.
As they arrived at the hospital, the two separate. Mike tells the doctors that he is fine and that they shouldn’t be worrying about him. He is admitted into room 201 as doctors and nurses work on him, examining him for any serious injuries. He is then diagnosed with minor hypothermia and had some small cuts and bruises.
“Can I see the young girl I was in the accident with? Is that possible?” he asked in an irritated tone.
“I’m sorry sir, she’s in ICU now. We can’t give you any further information on her until she is doing a little better,” a female nurse replied as she took the blood pressure cuff off his arm.
When the room was finally quite, Mike laid in his bed, thinking of his day. Did he do the right thing? His head was heavy with thoughts and his temples pounded to the beat of his heart. His hands sweaty and shaky, he reached for the glass of water taking a small sip. As he laid his head back onto his pillow, visions of the accident ran through his mind over and over again. The shattering of the glass, people screaming at the sight of the car plunging into the river, and the young mother, sinking to the bottom of the river.
“Dad!” the horror visions were blurred by the sweet sound of his daughter’s voice.
Mike reaches over the edge of his bed and scoops up his little girl, “McKenna, it’s so good to see you here, I’m so happy you’re here.”
Seeing his young daughter brought even more memories back to Mike’s head. What will become of Mike after the accident, how will I go on with life knowing I didn’t do my best; I didn’t save the woman and should have. He thought as he stared into his daughters ocean blue eyes. Knowing that killed Mike inside…
“I love you Daddy,” his daughter’s small voice murmured, buried into Mike’s neck.
“I love you too, McKenna…”

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