The peaks and spires of the familiar skyline could be recognized by just about anyone. Well over 150 years prior had General Sherman burned this town to the ground. The rebuilding over the years had led to something absolutely remarkable. Atlanta, Georgia was now considered by some to be the New York of the South. The CNN Tower, the Coca Cola Museum and MARTA were all must sees when making your way through all the high points of the city on your vacation time. Zoo Atlanta was definitely a must see when bringing your children to this historical place when you made your way here.
The blaring siren and the lights flashed as an ambulance made its way through the city with a patient in dire need of a miracle strapped to a gurney in the back. The paramedic tending to the child was a man with full shaggy hair and sea green hues. He had a look of determination etched in his handsome features. “Come on sweetheart. Stay with me.” He muttered doing everything he could to keep the little girl alive. He lifted his head to the driver, how much longer?”
“Two minutes.” The driver called back knowing the urgency of the moment. The paramedic tending to the girl focusing on her completely. The child with golden blonde hair with curled eyelashes over closed eyes, looked almost like one of those porcelain dolls hid sister used to put in the cabinet in her room. Tom Avery never worked so hard in all his life to save anyone like he did that little girl.
The ambulance finally arrived at the hospital. The driver got out of the squad first. The doors were thrown open while the driver and some firemen who had come along with them on the ride were helping to get the stretcher out of the back of the squad. Immediately they ran inside while pushing the stretcher. Tom continued staying with the girl keeping her alive as the emergency room personnel met them. Together they ran into a trauma bay.
Tom turned over the care of the child once they were surrounded by the nurses and doctors in the trauma room. He backed up heading toward the nurses station. There was a hand on his shoulder. It was the ambulance driver. “You did all you could, Tom. You saved her life.”
Tom watched as the doctors and nurses all poured into the trauma bay. It wasn’t easy to do his job, but it was something he had to do. He had always wanted to help people. He could have been a doctor but to him, he needed more. That’s when he started to take his paramedic classes. He’d even gotten his sister to help him study so he could excel at what he did. Ellie was younger than he was, but she’d been his best friend growing up in the suburbs of Atlanta. He told her things that no one else knew.
After a few more lingering moments, he reluctantly left with his friend because his shift was over. They walked out passing by several people. He paid no attention to one woman who was staring just a little too long. After he passed her on the way out, she pulled out her phone and sent a text.
Doppleganger found. No sign of Travelers anywhere. Waiting on what to do next.
After a long day, Tom always found the familiar sight of his small house a welcome change from the constant influx of people around him. A cleansing shower to soothe aching muscles led to him to wearing an old concert tee shirt and old worn out jeans. A towel around his shoulders and bare feet completed the comfort aspect of a night to himself and welcoming quiet. He reached into the refrigerator and pulled out a beer.
He unscrewed the lid and tossed it into the garbage can. Taking a nice long swig of his beer, he lowered the bottle when his cellphone sounded. He picked it up raising it to his ear. “Hello?”
On the other end was a nurse back at the hospital. “Hey Tom. Wanted you to know… That girl that you brought in, she didn’t make it.”
His stomach dropped to his feet. “Damn.” He mumbled. Every time one of his patients didn’t make it, it took out a little piece of his heart. Losing this little girl didn’t take out a piece of his heart, it took out his heart as a whole. He ended up sitting on his sofa setting his beer on a table. The nurse on the other end of the line heard the sound of items crashing. He turned off his cell and dropped it to the ground.
He looked over to where there was now a pile of rubble in the floor. It was some little ornamental piece that an ex-girlfriend had given him. Now it lay in shards in the floor. Folded hands were pressed against his lips. A child was dead. He tried so hard to save her when all his efforts were in vain. The sweet little doll was now an angel.
It just wasn’t fair. Tom buried his head in his hands letting sorrow consume him. He didn’t know the girl even existed yesterday, but today she had her life snuffed out like a candle. Silent sobs wracked his body. Tom Avery, a mere human man was helpless to keep one small child from losing her life. No, it wasn’t fair. None of it was fair. Miracles happened every day.
Today was not that day.
"Not all those who wander are lost." - Tolkien