Okay ladies and gents...welcome to the next installment of Fun and Games with K&K. I am up on deck. But first, today is my partner in crime's birthday so make sure you head over to her blog and leave her a birthday greeting or you can hunt her down on twitter here or on facebook here.
And as always, tell us what you think.
And as always, tell us what you think.
The first person Jack Monroe saw when he arrived on the surgical floor was Harper Simonson. Rushing forward, he stopped abruptly and demanded, “Harper! What happened? Where’s Gracie?”
Harper leaned into the tall, lanky boy standing next to her and said, “Mr. Monroe, I’m so sorry,” before bursting into tears.
Owen held out his hand, “Mr. Monroe, my name is Owen Lancaster, sir. I’m friends with your daughter.”
Shaking the young man’s hand, Jack asked, “Can you tell me what happened?” Looking toward the nurse’s station, he hoped to catch a doctor or someone who could fill him in. All that he got from the voice mail Mrs. Maguire left was that Grace was shot, which made absolutely no sense.
The tall man turned and faced Harper’s father. “Dill. Hello.”
Dill Simonson clasped Jack Monroe on the back and said, “Let’s take a walk.”
“I need to see my daughter first. “
“I know.” Harper’s dad replied. He was using his soothing voice, the one that if you knew him, signaled trouble. It was obvious Grace’s dad knew this too because at Dill’s words Jack Monroe folded over into himself. His shoulders hunched forward and his tan lost some of its color. Nodding, he latched onto Harper’s father like a lifeline.
“I don’t understand. What the hell happened?” was the last thing Owen heard as the two men moved away.
Owen wrapped his arms around Harper even as he whispered, “That’s what I’d like to know, too. What the hell happened?”
Harper went statue still. Pushing herself out of Owen’s arms, she looked at the sign over his shoulder to avoid facing him. Maybe if she didn’t look him in the eye, it would be easier. Grief Counseling and Grief Therapy Room 956. She really hoped it didn’t come to that, but made a mental note of the room number just in case. Her eyes swiveled to the opposite wall. Chapel: Open 24 hours. Now that was probably a good idea. Where was the exit or no smoking signs when you needed them?
“Harper?” Saved by her brother. Turning, green eyes smacked into green eyes. “We need to talk.”
Dipping her head, she pulled out of Owen’s arms and fell into step next to her sibling.
Truman wanted to scream at someone, anyone. If they didn’t get answers soon, he was going to… Okay, he had no idea what he was going to do, but sitting around the waiting room was driving him ape-shit crazy. Heading for the elevator, he put his frustration into pushing the down button. Repeatedly.
As the elevator dinged its arrival, the automatic doors to their right with Authorized Personnel Only in giant red letters swooshed open, and a doctor in scrubs with blood stains on the front came through. She was carrying a clip board and leafing through the paperwork as she headed for the nurses’ station. “Lisa,” she called to the nurse behind the counter, “I was paged that her father has arrived.”
The pretty blonde nurse gestured to Jack Monroe who was already moving in the surgeon’s direction, a concerned Dill Simonson right on his heels.
“Yes, yes, I’m Jack Monroe, Gracie’s dad.”
“Hello, I’m Dr. Stanton. I was on duty in the ER when your daughter was brought in and I accompanied her into surgery. I asked the nurses to page me when you arrived so I could give you an update.”
At the sound of the doctor’s voice, the occupants of the waiting room flooded into the hall. Mrs. Maguire stopped at Jack’s side while Grace’s cousin moved to his other one. Truman forgot about getting on the elevator and inched closer to hear what the doctor had to say.
“Your daughter was very lucky Mr. Monroe.”
“Not so lucky, doc. She was shot,” Truman said soberly.
Mortified, Mrs. Simonsons admonished, “Truman!”
The doctor gave Truman a tight smile before turning back to Mr. Monroe and continuing soberly, “Yes, well, what I mean to say is that it could have been much worse. Grace has a collapsed lung where the bullet penetrated, but thankfully, it missed her heart. Dr. Grayson is working to repair the damage, but she will be in surgery for a while longer. Right now, her vitals look good. I wish there was more to tell you at this time.”
“You’re saying she is going to be okay though, right?” Truman demanded.
“I’m saying that she is in the best possible hands right now. Dr. Grayson is very good, but we will know more once the surgery is done and Grace is moved to recovery.” Looking around the motley group assembled, she offered another smile and continued, “I don’t like to make promises, but it looks good.”
“How much longer will she be in surgery,” her father asked, emotion charging his voice.
“Mr. Monroe, it’s difficult to say. I promise someone will be out to update you periodically, and you will be advised once she is moved to recovery.”
Jack Monroe watched the lady doctor head back the way she came. Through doors that lead directly to his kid. How had this happened? Blindly, he moved toward them, stopping and looking through the twin windows hoping for a glimpse of his baby girl. What if she died? What if he never got to say all the things he wanted to say to her? What if he didn’t have time to fix things? He didn’t think he could go through this again.
Harper watched Grace’s dad pinch his nose over eyes squeezed tightly shut, and guilt reared its ugly head once again. He seemed so sad and alone and she wondered if Grace had been wrong. Maybe it wasn’t that her dad didn’t care. Maybe it was that he cared too much.
She wanted to go and offer some comfort but wasn’t sure she was the right one for the job. Before she could force her feet to move in his direction, her father materialized beside her and took her hand, “Honey, its time. We have to finish the interview and tell the police what happened.”
“Not now, dad. Can’t we at least wait until Grace is out of surgery?”
“I’m sorry kiddo, but no, we can’t wait.” Dill Simonson looked down into green eyes so like his own, even as his hands dropped to rest on her shoulders. At that moment, all he wanted to do was sit down in that hospital corridor and hug his baby girl, grateful she wasn’t the one being worked on in that operating room. Things could have been so different.
Blinking back the moisture, he looked up and watched his son pacing up and down the hallway. Truman looked worse than Harper. They both loved Grace, although Dill suspected Truman’s feelings were more complicated. Please let her by alright.
As much as he wanted to let Harper have her reprieve, he knew he couldn’t. It wouldn’t be fair to Grace. She had thrown herself in front of that madman this morning and taken a bullet intended for his daughter. He owed it to her and to her father to get to the bottom of what happened once and for all.