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911 What's Your Emergency?
I stood in the empty doorway, and watched as he slept. The cold hit me hard but I stood there watching. His perfect brown hair swept past his shadowed face and his dark eyes were closed in angered sleep. He was 17, same as I was. His muscular arms grabbed at his pillow and I could see his big hands clenching and unclenching. My long hair blew in the wind from his open window as I turned away from him.
An unwilling tear fell on the rough wooden floor as my bare feet trudged through his house to the front door. The door squeaked when I opened it and I froze. I waited for a minute to see if the sound had woken him up. Hearing nothing, I slowly started to creep out the partially open door.
“Callie?” I halted, half of my body cold from the frigid air outside. It was the middle of winter and a thick blanket of snow covered the otherwise boring landscape of his countryside home. I turned and I could make out his shadow from the dark room. He had big bags under his eyes and he slowly reached his arm up to rub his closed eyes. He opened them a sliver and looked at my face then down at my clothes. I was wearing a really long black t-shirt and short gray shorts. My hair was a tangled mess and my face looked probably as worn as his did. I could see his scar running across his left cheekbone. I hated to say it but I gave that to him.
“Callie, what are you doing here? And why are you about to go outside in that it’s freezing? You don’t even live near here.”
I glanced down at my bare feet and asked myself angrily why I wasn’t wear shoes, or at least socks.
“Well I thought I had overstayed my welcome, so I was just going to leave” He looked at me as if he thought I was making a joke that hadn’t turned out funny, which was what the majority of my jokes turned out to be like. I’m not really a comedic person.
“Aaron, I’m fine, I can get home like this.”
“Not if you want to walk four miles in the snow with no shoes, or pants for that matter. You’ll freeze. My parents aren’t coming back until tomorrow night. Just stay here until morning, alright?”
I glanced outside and saw little snowflakes falling and landing gently on the already-covered ground. I looked back at him and his face pleaded me to stay. I slowly closed the door and was relieved when the other side of my body started to warm up again.
Aaron smiled and turned away from me, walking back to his room. I quietly followed him. I stopped at his doorway and watched as he jumped sideways onto the bed and threw the covers over him.
“C’mon Callie” I picked my way though his cluttered living space and seated myself on the edge of the mattress with my back to Aaron. I peeked over my shoulder and I saw him smile and flash me his brilliant white teeth and I squeaked loudly as he swung his large arm around my waist and pulled me under the blankets next to him. We giggled and laughed loudly as I felt his arms creep around my ribs and his hands connect on the other side of me. His hands were extremely warm, which felt good on my cold skin.
After a while we laid there silently, my head on his bare chest and his head rested gently on the top of mine and his hands still held together around my waist. I could hear his heartbeat get slower and fainter, and fainter, and fainter. I sat up slowly and looked at him, my eyebrows furrowed in concern. I had listened to his heartbeat every night as he fell asleep and it had never been this quiet. Aaron’s eyes were closed and the dark purple shadows under his eyes looked menacing and scary. I could feel my own heartbeat quicken with urgency. I felt his neck for a pulse. Nothing. He felt cold. I jumped up, throwing his blue sheets across the room and onto his desk. I ran to his phone and dialed 911.
“911, what’s your emergency?” I gasped loudly and pressed the phone against my ear until my hands turned white with the strain I was putting on them. The operator was a woman, I could tell that from her voice and I had been secretly praying for a girl to answer.
“My name is Callie Streator, my boyfriend, Aaron Collin, I-I don’t know what happened but his heart stopped beating!”
“Maim, calm down please. Where are you and your boyfriend right now?”
“At his house, um… 1625 SE Caline Road! Please send help I don’t know what to do please help me!” The phone was clenched tight in my hands. I could feel my cheek getting warm from the phone being on my face. I cried and the tears fell onto the speaker which smeared it all over my chin and my chapped lips.
“Alright I’m sending an ambulance to your address. It’s going to be okay Callie” I closed my eyes and sank down the wall and plopped myself onto the rough floor and held the phone to my chest as tears slid down my cheeks and dropped to the ground beneath me.
My breath caught in my chest as I heard the distant sirens and I was worried for a second if I would be joining Aaron in that ambulance. Tears clouded my vision and fell into my mouth, choking me every few breaths I took.
I slowly turned my head towards Aaron’s room and my heart nearly skipped a beat when I saw a hand hanging off the edge of his bed. I put my hands on the floor and dragged myself across the floor into his room. I grabbed his cold fingers and held them against my face and let my tears slide onto his hand.
Through the screen door I could see blue and red lights flashing in the snow covered driveway, then everything faded together into blackness.
A flashlight shone bright yellow through my closed eyelids and I blinked rapidly as I tried to open them.
“Maim. Maim, are you okay?” The paramedic put down the small light and bent so that she was positioned directly over me.
“Yeah I’m okay” I mumbled under my breath. My throat hurt and my eyes were almost swollen shut. The paramedics had moved me out of Aaron’s room and onto the open space of his living room. I rubbed my hands across his parent’s cheap red rug and slid them under my back and slowly propped myself up so that I could observe the busy doctor’s hustling in and out of his room.
“What are they doing in there? Is Aaron okay?” A man dressed in a blue paramedic suit rushed out of Aaron’s room and halted as he heard me yell my second question. He looked at me and locked his dark eyes on mine. They reminded me of Aaron. He looked at his shoes as he knocked his toes together and looked back at me with a sorry expression and walked briskly out of the house.
I whipped my attention back to the woman doctor.
“Something happened.” It wasn’t a question; it was a statement, said with no emotion or expression what-so-ever. She lowered her eyes like the man overseeing Aaron did.
“Yes, something did happen. Your boyfriend had a stroke. Very rare in a person as young as he is but we believe he may have brain damage, we’ll have to wait and hope for the best.” I suddenly found it very hard to breathe. What if he doesn’t remember me? What if he’s doomed to live in a hospital bed his whole life? Horrible thoughts raced through my head.
“Maim, we’re going to get Aaron to the hospital now, would you like to come with him in the ambulance?”
I quickly nodded my head and gathered up all of my courage and raised myself from the cold floor.