The hospital parking lot was jammed with cars. Diana didn’t waste precious time trying to find a spot. She slid into Warren’s reserved space, the car skidding on the icy pavement. She turned the motor off and sat there unmoving. She didn’t want to go in there—was afraid of what she’d find. Diana had never thought herself a coward, but the fear was eating her alive and she sat frozen. If she never walked through those doors, time would stand still and Warren would be all right.
“Mom? Mom, are you okay?” Her mother’s stillness frightened her and Lily felt the way she had, as a little girl when anything bad happened. She wanted to hide in the back of her closet and wait until the world was right again.
Diana turned and grasped her daughter’s hand. “Lily…” She couldn’t continue—couldn’t offer any comfort, unable to push away the terror.
Lily swallowed hard and straightened in her seat. She’d always been the flighty one, the one who could never deal with the bad stuff in life. But this was Daddy and her mom needed her. She reached deep down inside herself and grabbed hold of the strength that had always been there.
“Mom, we have to go in now. Daddy needs us. Mom! Come on, lets get out of the car.”
Diana moved on robotic limbs to her commands, exiting the car and entering the ER, her daughter’s arm draped firmly over her shoulders. Lily helped her mom into a chair and approached the desk. She knew the nurse on duty, had known her since childhood and wished it were anyone else sitting there.
“Judy, we need to see Dr. Thompson.”
Copyright Elizabeth Melton Parsons
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