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Father and Son
“Peter, Peter, Peter,” I mumbled as I robotically climbed into my green Prius. “Peter, Peter, Peter,” I mumbled as I stuck my keys into the ignition and twisted, hard. Too hard, and one of my key chains came off. I stared at the chain in my hand. It had big blue and green beads with the letters D, A, and D in between them. I sniffled as a hot tear rolled down my cheek and plopped on my palm. I put the key chain gently down on the seat next to me and pulled out of the driveway.
I drove along the highway in silence, my hands grasping the steering wheel like a life preserver. I’ve been grasping onto things since I got the call from the airport, saying Flight 209 to Connecticut crashed in New York. I clutched onto my coffee mug the whole call. And when I saw the coverage on the news, and how people where being shipped off to different hospitals, I held my crossword puzzle book for dear life.
Not Peter, It’s not Peter, Collin, I keep telling myself. But I can’t help but envision my little eight year boy under a sheet in a hospital. My former wife always told me I knew how to worry with the best of them.
Okay, just distract yourself, I thought as I turned on the radio.
“Coming to you live from Islip, Long Island, New York. A place from Georgia to Connecticut crashed down here nearly twelve hours earlier. We haven’t been alerted of any deaths, but many have been in-,” I flipped off the radio. Breathing heavily, I glared at the radio and screamed,
“I gunned the accelerator and sped down the highway, barely glancing at the sign that said SMITHTOWN-3 MILES.
I pulled into the parking lot of St. Catherine’s Hospital and swerved into the first spot I saw. I sprinted up to the hospital, pushing people out of my way as I scrambled to get into the building, to get to my son, if he was even still there.
“Sir, sir, slow down,” a doctor with light brown hair and a calm look in his brown eyes came over and put one hand on my chest. As if he could stop me.
“Son. My…son,” I struggled to catch my breath.
The doctor led me to a seat and sat down next to me in a plastic, blue, leather chair.
“Calm down, sir. What’s wrong?”
“My son. He’s here. I got the call. I came. I need, I need to see him. Now.” I spoke in fragments, thought process wasn’t even capable. I was this close to seeing Peter.
“Oh sir, okay. What’s his name?” The doctor asked and pulled out a wooden clipboard with a white sheet of paper on it.
“Peter, Peter Douse.”
“Douse, Douse,” the doctor muttered as he scrolled down the list with his eyes. “Yup, right here. Room two-thirty-one. But, I don’t think you should see him no-“
I was running up the steps before he even got to finish the sentence. I ran into the second floor and frantically searched the doors. I finally found Peter’s, on the other end of the wing. I threw open the door and it hit the wall with a resounding BANG!
A little boy with curly black hair and bright blue eyes looked up from a Superman comic.
“Dad,” He stated simply, his face cutting into a huge grin with dimples in each cheek.
I felt nothing but happiness and thankfulness as I looked into my son’s blue eyes full of life. Hot tears dripped down my cheeks as I reached out and touched his outstretched hand.