TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE
In the ambulance, they had checked out Ghost, and gave him a shot of antibiotic, and something for pain and fever, and he had gone to sleep. Steve was coming awake again, but had been medicated, too, so he was in no pain now, just groggy. They made fairly good time, traveling the thirty miles, and on arrival at the hospital, Steve was checked into a room. He was being hydrated, warmed, and stabilized, before getting his leg set. They'd also done an MRI on his head, and put in a couple of stitches, to close the wound. He was a little more alert now, and was able to speak to Ghost, who was staying with him in the room.
"They said you have a concussion, Steve, and they're gonna fix your leg," Ghost told him.
"My leg?" Steve asked.
"Yeah, didn't they tell ya...it's broke," Ghost said.
"They didn't say that to me. No wonder it hurts."
"You got some pain stuff, so it'll be ok, though."
Steve tried adjusting his position, but with the IV hooked up to his arm, it wasn't easy. Ghost helped him, by raising the head of the bed a bit, and smoothing the sheets.
"I don't really remember much," Steve said.
"You don't? Do you remember going outside to fix the tank? You fell on the porch, and hit your head. I dragged you back inside," Ghost explained.
"Oh, yeah...the tank. It was cold in the house..." Steve said, his eyes closing, as he faded off into sleep, again.
Ghost smoothed back Steve's hair. He didn't feel as hot, now. A nurse came to check on them, and brought a blanket and pillow, for Ghost. "You can stay in here...take a nap on the couch if you want to," she said. "The doctor is going to set his leg, probably in another hour, then he'll be back in here.
Ghost did stretch out on the small couch, falling asleep. When he woke up, they were bringing Steve back in, after his cast was put on.
"Steve?" Ghost said, as he looked at the cast. " They fixed your leg, you have a cast on it."
"Uh-huh..." Steve said, his eyes still closed.
"Did it hurt?"
"No, just felt funny."
"I wish you didn't get all hurt."
"Yeah, me too. Did anyone say when I can go home?"
"Somebody said tomorrow," Ghost told him.
"Oh, good...I don't like being in here. It reminds me of the last time...when I wrecked my T-Bird."
"Do you miss it?" Ghost asked.
"Yeah, that was the best car I ever had."
Just then, Kinsey and Terry came into the room. They were smiling, trying to look cheerful, but their eyes looked worried.
"Hey, Steve, you're awake. How's it going?" Terry asked.
"Hey, Terry...they fixed me up. Probably going home tomorrow."
"That's good news," Kinsey said. "One of us will come pick y'all up. The roads are all clear now, and most of the snow is melted off." He looked at Ghost. "How're you coming along? Throat feel better, yet?"
"I feel a little better, Kinsey, and I'm gonna stay here tonight."
They visited for awhile, then rose, to leave. "We're going to go check on your house...see if the heat is back on. If not, I'll call the propane company," Kinsey said.
"Thanks, Kinsey...Terry...guess I'll be ready to get outta here," Steve said.
"Later, Dudes," Terry said, as he left, flashing the peace sign.
It was getting on toward night. They'd watched some TV shows, and the nurses came in every so often. Ghost was leaned back on the bed, with Steve, and fell asleep there. The next time the nurse came in, she just smiled. She wasn't going to disturb them to make Ghost get over on the couch.
The next morning they were both brought a tray of food. Ghost poked around his tray, seeing what all was there. "Look, Steve...look at all of this."
"Yeah, hospital food," Steve said, making a face.
"What'cha mean, Steve...it looks good." He dug in.
"It's not supposed to taste good," Steve said.
"It tastes good to me," Ghost said.
"Ya know what, Ghost? I'm so hungry that it does taste pretty good," Steve said, after taking a bite.
Ghost nodded, and they both ate everything on their breakfast trays.
The doctor came in, then, to give a rundown of Steve's exam and treatment, and he brought crutches for Steve to use. "You ever use any of these, before?" he asked. "It takes a little practice...get up and try it."
Steve tried to swing himself around to get off the bed, but the cast was very awkward. The doctor, and a nurse, helped him stand, using the crutches.
"This is harder than it looks," Steve said. "I feel stupid having to use these."
"Well, feel stupid all you want, you're lucky you're alive, from what I heard," the doctor said.
Steve looked up, "Yeah, thanks to Ghost," he smiled.
"Well, you practice a bit, then we'll send you home," the doctor said, and he gave Steve a prescription to get filled.
Kinsey arrived just then, to take them home. "Hey, you two...y'all are looking a lot better today. Ready to get out of here?"
"Yeah, we're ready," Ghost said. "Steve practiced his crutches, and he has a cast on his leg, and he has to keep it on for a long time, right Steve?"
"Yeah, for six weeks...then I get checked out again."
Kinsey and Ghost helped Steve get ready to leave. "It's weird trying to walk with these things," Steve said.
"I tried them, too," Ghost said. "I thought it was fun."
"Fun...you call almost falling and breaking your own leg, fun?" Steve asked.
"Well, I didn't."
"Yeah, but the only thing funny about it, was how you looked," Steve laughed.
They left for Missing Mile. "I called about your heat," Kinsey said. "They were supposed to come out, and it should be fixed, by now. Y'all want to go home, or come stay with me for a few days?"
"I'm ready to go home," Steve said, from the back seat. "I want to get in my own bed."
"I'll take care of him real good, Kinsey," Ghost said.
"Y'all got any groceries out there," Kinsey asked.
"Not much, and since the power was out, maybe we need to get some new stuff," Ghost said.
"Just drop me off, why don't ya...I'll take a nap while y'all go get a few things," Steve said. "This medicine is making me sleepy."
They reached the house with no trouble, as the roads had opened up in the past two days. Kinsey and Ghost got Steve settled in his bed, and the house was warm, again.
"Steve, are you scared to be here by yourself? I can stay here..." Ghost said.
"I'm ok, Ghost...y'all go get a few things from the little store, to get us by...that'll be fine."
"Ok, I'll go see what we need," Ghost said, going into the kitchen.
"We won't be long, Steve," Kinsey said. "Sure you'll be ok?"
"Yeah, just need to rest...oh here's your big chance," Steve laughed.
"For what?" Kinsey asked.
"To go shopping with Ghost. It might take longer than you think," he grinned.
"Oh, yeah," Kinsey remembered. "Well, then, we'll try to be back soon."
"But, it's just a little store, Steve...shouldn't be a problem."
"You'll see," Steve laughed again, then lay back, closing his eyes. "I've got time for a long nap."
Next part coming soon!
Peace, Love, & Writing