| Sariah Golden stormed into the cafeteria, where she saw Josiah eating with Jaycee. She marched toward the table and took a deep breath so she could speak--instead of scream--the news she had to tell.
"Sariah!" Josiah sprang from his chair and rushed to her. "What's wrong?" By this time, Jaycee had joined the group, and she was looking around the nearly-deserted cafeteria. Josiah and Sariah followed her gaze to the other four occupants sitting in the corner. Though they wouldn't be able to hear, Jaycee led the way to her office.
"Hasn't that girl been through enough already?" Sariah cried as soon as Jaycee closed the door. Two confused faces met her outburst.
"What are you talking about? WE just finished shifts." Jaycee said.
"Who's briliant idea was it to take Autumn swimming today?" Sariah demanded, though she knew they wouldn't have a clue.
"Um, start from the beginning?" Josiah suggested. Sariah took a deep breath and began.
"As you know, Autumn has just been released, and apparently her friend from school--you know, Anna--took her to the beach. She somehow convinced Jason and Abbie to let her take Autumn. Abbie was sleeping since, as you know, she's working this shift, and Jason left to take a business call. Apparently, Anna and her boyfriend decided it would be a terrific idea to put her in the water--"
"In the water!" Josiah cried.
"Yeah, and even though Jason was gone for twenty minutes, it was enough for a catastrophe to ensue. I don't know all of what happened, but I just saw Marla--you know, her favorite technician--pushing Autumn to the OR!"
At the same time, Anna and Alan, her boyfriend, sat bleary-eyed in the cafeteria, simply staring at each other. Jaycee's colleague, another psychologist named Kendra, approached to document the whole story.
At 9:00 AM this morning, Abbie and Anna dressed Autumn for her first day out after she was discharged from the hospital. Since Jason doesn't have a wheelchair van, he and Abbie transfered Autumn into their car for the beach trip. Abbie decided not to go along since it was already 1:00, and she was slated to work the 7:00 PM to 5:00 AM shift. When they got to the beach today, they parked Autumn in the shade and put an umbrella over her wheelchair to give her some protection from the wind. Anna and Alan went swimming, and Jason sat beside Autumn, reading one of her favorite books to her. At about 4:00, Jason had to leave to take a phone call, so Anna and Alan splashed to shore, breathless and excited.
"You know what? It would be fun to take Autumn out in the water!" Alan suggested.
"I'm not sure..." Anna seemed less certain that this would be okay.
"Yeah, we can put a life vest on her, and with two of us holding her, it should be just fine." Anna was convinced, so after they put a vest on her, they carried her to the water. Alan traveled ahead of Anna, who was holding Autumn upright. Alan took a little detour without telling Autumn and Anna; he would only be gone for a minute or so, and what could happen in that time? It was Anna who was talking to Autumn about God's creation. She didn't know how much Autumn understood, but she did know how Autumn felt about God. She had previously enjoyed nature, especially the ocean environment. Anna thought Autumn was enjoying whatever she was able to take in, based on the smile on her face. But in an instant, that changed to a grimmace, shocked expression and ended with a blood-curdling scream! Alan was only ten feet to the left with his back toward the two young girls, but he was so intent on the sea creatures he was watching, that he didn't notice a thing until he heard the scream. They rushed toward the shore and met Jason, who was frantically swimming out to where he heard the commotion. He had heard enough shrieks of pain in the previous year to recognize Autumn's distress immediately. Since he was most experienced with handling Autumn's emergency situations, he was on the phone as soon as his feet emerged from the water. In his haste to look for the approaching ambulance, he tripped over Autumn's wheelchair, but didn't even notice his bloody nose, bruised jaw and the bump on his forehead until one of the paramedics asked what happened and if he was all right.
This was where Anna and Alan's story ended, since they were separated from Autumn and Jason at this point. They rushed to Alan's car and followed the ambulance to the hospital, where they had just finished recounting this story to Kenfra.
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