“Male, late 20s, fell and hit his head on a glass table. GCS has been normal. He was unconscious when we arrived on scene but came round pretty quickly. Main concern is the laceration on the back of his head which will need stitching.” the Ambulance worker announced as they wheeled the trolley into the empty bay. Following the trolley were 2 police officers, a nurse and a very shaken Paul and Terese. Karl came rushing round the corner. He stopped to look at the patient before turning his attention to Paul and Terese.
“Is he with you” he asked them.
Neither reacted. Their focus fixated on the young man in the bed in front of them. Paul’s face was one of worry and anger, a look Karl often saw on his face when he was here with a loved one. Terese’s was more concerned.
“Paul” Karl addressed, once again, looking for an answer
Before Karl had a chance to question him a nurse came looking for him.
“Dr Kennedy” she called as he made his way into the room to examine the patient.
Terese looked at Paul “Don’t worry darling, he’ll be ok”
“He has to be. He does not get to make me the bad guy. Not this time”
Karl emerged from the room with both police officers in tow. They walked toward the waiting area where Paul and Terese had decided stay and wait on any news. As they approached, Paul got to his feet.
“So, what’s the verdict?”
“Is he an employ of yours?” Karl questioned
“He was” Paul answered
“Well, he’s suffered a nasty cut to his head and mild concussion but he is awake and talking, which is good”
“Right” Paul said as he began walking towards the room. Suddenly there was an arm raised against his chest.
“I’m sorry Mr Robinson but you can’t talk to him”
“He’s requested formal action against you for the assault”
Paul scoffed in disbelief
“Are you serious”
“Paul, leave it” Terese said calmly. Paul turned to look at her before turning back to the officer.
“You are aware why you were there in the first place aren’t you?”
“Yes, and we'll be looking into that but right now we need you to stay away from Mr Richards, do you understand?”
“Oh, I understand. I understand perfectly.” he answered nodding his head “It’s because of who I am isn’t it. Yeah, you recognize the name and decide that every time my wrongs are much more pressing than any other.” he carried on waving his arms in exaggeration above his head.
“Paul, lets take a walk mate.” Karl said placing his hand on his arm, trying to usher him away.
“No” he reacted as he shook him off “Our lives were turned to hell because of him and you don’t even care.” He said looking at the officer before looking around the ED “None of you do.”
“Calm down” the officer interrupted him
“Calm down. Calm down. Believe you me, you haven’t seen anything yet. “
“Paul” Terese said as she remained seated behind him “Don’t make it worse”
He turned to look at her.
“No Terese, they don’t get to just ignore this”
“Mr Robinson, believe me, that will never happen. But you need to trust us, give us time. Now I will need a statement from both of you. Are you willing to do that now?”
Paul didn’t answer but instead shut his eyes tightly, placed his fingers between them and took a couple of steps back. Karl and Terese looked at each other and then back at him. He opened his eyes, the room was spinning, he took another step back.
“Darling are you ok?”
“Yeah, I just feel a bit...” before he had a chance to finish his sentence, he lost his balance but managed to hold onto the seat as he fell.
“Paul” Terese panicked
“Quick get me a chair” Karl asked a Nurse
“I’m fine I just need some fresh...” he said as he attempted to stand up. Terse pulled him back down. He looked at her and smiled.
“It’s all going to be ok, you’ll see” he reassured her.
“Right come on” Karl said helping him into the chair before wheeling him into the empty room.
“If this is a stunt to avoid us please tell him we will be waiting” the officer said as Terese walked pass him
She stopped, looked at him, and shook her head in disbelief.
“Paul was right about you” she said before following Karl.
Paul laid on the bed as Terese sat next to him. Their fingers interlocked as their hands rested on the bed. Paul rolled his eyes as he watched Karl pace around the bed.
“Is this really necessary? I just felt a bit dizzy, probably all the rushing around”
“Still, I’d like to cover everything.”
“Let him do his job Paul” Terese said with a worried look on her face.
“Right. Well, I’m not too concerned.”
“Well, that’s good” Terese concluded
“All the symptoms point to lack of food and sleep.”
“Is that all?” Paul questioned rolling his eyes
“It’s pretty serious Paul. When was the last time you had a proper meal?”
“I had some toast for breakfast.”
“And last night?”
“Didn’t really fancy anything.”
“Right and what about sleep? Is it...? “Before Karl had the chance to finish Paul interrupted
“Actually, I’m a bit hungry now Karl.”
“Oh right, maybe Terese could get you a sandwich or something while I finish up here.”
“No!” Paul said in a panicked tone before seeing the look of surprise on both their faces “Well can’t you go. I’d much prefer Terese by my side.”
“Fine, but don’t do anything stupid while I’m gone”
“Spoil’s sport” Paul said with a smile on his face
As Karl left Paul looked at Terese and smiled. He raised his hand, leaned over and moved her hair from her face.
“There it is.” he said as she smiled at him
The room fell silent as they sat looking at each other. She shook her head.
“What have you done?” she said with a worried smile on her face
“Nothing I can’t fix” he answered as he lifted their hands to his lips and kissed hers. “Now that everything is alright “
Terese looked at him, her eyes filled up.
“I did try you know, everyday”
“Hey, hey. If we know one thing its neither of us are short of fight or determination. Our Love has always been faced with walls and we’ve broken them down, all of them, yeah. No one has a relationship like ours, and if anything got me through this week, no matter what anyone said, I knew I wasn’t fighting on my own.
“I love you so much Paul” she replied as she stood up, leaned over and gave him a kiss.
“Oh, I’ve missed hearing that” he replied as he placed his hand on her cheek.
As Karl retuned the room was quiet. At the other side of the bed Terese sat watching Paul sleep. In her own little world, she didn’t notice him standing there as she ran her finger through Pauls' hair. She lifted her head and had a little shock as she saw Karl standing there. He placed the sandwich on the table and smiled at Terese.
“Sorry, there was an emergency” Karl told her before looking at Paul “Out for the count”
“Yeah, he was exhausted”
“And you, you don’t look too fresh yourself”
“Just tired, it’s been a long day”
“I’m not surprised, and with jet lag. When did you land? This morning?
“Land?” Terese said with a confused look on her face
“Yeah, from the conference? In New York?”
“I wasn’t... Who told you that?” Terese questioned
“Paul. Let me tell you, your return will be welcomed by many. His moodiness has reached new heights this week.” He stopped and turned to look at Paul. “This is new though. Never seen this unwillingness to look after himself before. Maybe it’s a way to keep you from leaving again.” Karl said having a giggle at his own words.
“So, he fought all this on his own? Terese questioned
“Well, he came round to ours for dinner one night but no one could’ve done anything more. All he had to do was wait till you came home, right?” Karl asked not sure where the conversation was going. He saw that Terese had turned her attention back to Paul.
“Too proud for your own good.” She whispered as she looked at him.
“Terese, did something happen this week? Karl asked “Where have you really been?”