February 8th, 2017
Simon had left work sick, not that he was sick. Not in the traditional sense. The urge to slip drugs in that setting was simply too much for him to handle right now. He was barely holding on, and Hadley…Hadley wasn’t holding on. He’d caught her going through their old store of painkillers two nights ago. Simon had tried to stop her, but she had threatened him with the dull metal scissors on the counter. He’d had to distance himself that night, sleeping on the couch. I’ll talk to her about it, get her help.
Simon went over what he’d say as he pulled into the large driveway. I hate what happened to Adam, but we’re still here, we’re still young, we can beat this, together. Parking, Simon opened the driver’s side door of his Audi, and got out. Closing the door behind him, Simon walked towards the side entrance. He pulled the key out his pocket, put it in the lock and twisted. Things are going to be all right, we’ve been to hell and back together. I just need to stop being so damned distant all the time. I’ve never been good at handling emotions. Hadley had recently theorized why Simon had made a good ER doctor. He remembered the sting he’d felt as she’d said, “It’s because you don’t care when the patients die, and you can just tell the family then go have a fucking cigarette.” She’s right, though. I need to be more available. I’m going to settle this. Walking into the kitchen, looking around, Simon yelled “Hadley, you up?” It’s nearly 7:30, don’t tell me she’s still in bed.
As Simon walked towards the stairs, he heard a muffled noise. What was that? Simon paused momentarily, listening. Not hearing another noise, he called out a second time “Hads! You okay?” while starting up the bannister. About halfway up the steps, he heard another noise, a scream. No…no. Simon rushed up the stairs, skipping a step with each stride. “Hadley! Where are you?” he rushed towards the master bedroom. The door was closed, he tried the handle. Locked? Oh shit. Voice cracking, Simon yelled “Hadley!” as he kicked the door. It didn’t break. On the second kick the doors frame concaved slightly.
He heard Hadley scream “Simon!”, she sounded in pain. What is she doing?
Panicking, as the door failed to cave after the third kick, Simon shouted “Hadley! I’m here, hold on honey, I’m here!” On the fourth kick, the lock broke and Simon rushed into the dark bedroom. Hadley was still screaming, but Simon couldn’t see, fumbling for the lights he called out, “Hadley I’m here, don’t worry, you’re okay!” Finding the lights, he realized Hadley was in the master bathroom. Simon barreled into the bathroom. The lights were dim, looking around his heart sank. Small pills were scattered about and there was blood all over the floor, and the Jacuzzi…the water was a dark, lifeless, red. No.
Simon rushed into the Jacuzzi as Hadley mouthed something, he couldn’t tell what. “What did you Hadley, what did you do. Lovely, what have you done.” He wrapped his arms around her, picking her up into her arms. He left the Jacuzzi and set Hadley down gently onto the cold bathroom floor. My god, her arms. No. It can’t be. Not like this. Panicked, Simon ran to the second bath, turning the shower on and stopping the drain. She’s too warm. I need to stop the blood-flow. Returning to Hadley, he picked her up gently, making sure her wounds faced up. Grunting, he carried her to the shower, setting her down carefully with her back against the glass, letting the cold-water wash over her. “Hadley! Wake up Hadley!” Simon cried in desperation as her eyes fluttered. She was still mouthing the same, inaudible words. “I can’t hear you, honey, stay with me, I need you Hadley, I need you to stay here… to stay with me.” He could feel her pulse, a wave of relief shot down his spine. It’s weak, I need to act quickly.
Turning, Simon got to his feet and walked to the sauna’s towel rack. He opened the sauna door, grabbed two towels and threw them inside before setting the heat to max and shutting the door. He grabbed the other two towels and ran to Hadley. Why is she smiling at me like that? Simon wrapped the first towel around her left arm, tying it off, and repeating the process on the right arm.
Hadley’s eyes had opened again. Quietly, she murmured “I love you.”
Stricken, Simon responded, “I love you too, Hadley, you’re going to be fine, stay with me.”
Eyes closing again, Hadley whispered “Let me…go.” Never. Hadley fell limp, blood soaking through the towels. How did she cut so far up the arm? Simon ran back to the sauna, grabbing one of the now-hot towels. Turning back to Hadley, he draped the hot towel around her famished midsection and turned the cold-water stream off. Too cold and she’ll go into shock even faster. Her pulse felt weaker than it had a few moments ago. She’s lost too much blood. Simon ran to the medical cabinet adjacent to the sink. He grabbed a high-volume syringe and a tourniquet. Quickly, he wrapped the tourniquet around his left arm, found a vein and drew blood as quickly as he could without blowing the vein. Damned anxiety is constricting my vasculature. Stay calm, Simon, or Hadley will die. After about thirty seconds, he’d managed to fill the syringe. Now comes the tricky part. Her arms are completely shot and I don’t have an IV.
Moving to Hadley, Simon paused, looking for a vein on her inner thighs. I’ll worry about infections later. Hands steady, Simon pushed the syringe into Hadley’s Femoral vein, pushing slowly but steadily before retracting the syringe and moving to Hadley’s greater saphenous. He switched back and forth until the blood in the syringe was gone. The injection sites aren’t bleeding, low pressure, not good. Simon checked her pulse, it was gone.
Tears streaming down his face, Simon ran back to the medical cabinet and found a small bottle of adrenaline. Come on, just another ER shift…Keep it together. Grabbing a new, lower volume syringe, he drew half the adrenaline, hands shaking. Rushing back to Hadley, Simon pulled her left tank top strap down over her arm. He palpated the area, feeling for a break in the ribcage. This has to work. It WILL. Finding the spot he was looking for, he carefully pushed the long needle into her chest, until he felt a break in the resistance. The heart. He injected the adrenaline, pulled the syringe out, and threw it aside. He maneuvered her cold, limp body so that she lay on her back, arms to the side. Getting on top of her, he started compressions. His arms and face had gone numb from the anxiety, making it difficult to keep going. Must…keep…going, I have to save her.
Crying, he shouted “Come back to me, Hads, come on baby, you’re okay, everything’s going to be fine!” After about a minute of compressions, he felt Hadley’s ribs break. Slowly, defeated, Simon slowed his compressions. Leaning back, he cried out in agony. I’ve failed.
Next Chapter: https://bluebeard-art.com/chapter-thirteen/