Atlantic Nights Chapter 2 - Leaving Home

Published on June 16, 2015

The ambulance backed up the driveway by the house — she knew it had because it drove out frontwards when they turned onto the road. Helen knew she would have felt it if the ambulance had turned around — she might have tried to say something then, just to tell them to be careful not cut over the rock edge along the garden, hidden under the snow.

The road into Carbonear was easy to remember. She’d driven that route so often with Tom that the sideway tug of every curve seemed familiar, even flat on her back with oxygen mask on. The road through Broad Cove, through Kingston — the sudden tight right and then the long left above the bog ponds before the Perry’s Cove turnoff. Good blueberries there. She tried to picture the road, each turn — she did that often now, running through things over and over, as if building familiar tracks would mean that things would stay laid down more clearly. She knew it didn’t always work.

Tom wasn’t in the ambulance.

Helen watched the supplies in their racks as they jiggled back and forth. She listened to the Bursey brothers talking, Kevin driving and Jim sitting next to the stretcher.

“Blood pressure’s stable,” Jim called. “Got her on 90 per cent oxygen.”

“Just make sure she stays stable.”

They’d been calling her Helen, and that was fine, she thought, even if she wasn’t exactly sure how she knew them. But it was Kevin in front and Jim next to her — she was sure of that. Kevin had knelt down next to her, where she must have slid down the wall after she’d phoned Sarah.

“Your house keys are in your purse, OK Helen? Your house keys are in your purse. Your purse is between your knees.” They told her that as they wheeled her out of the kitchen and she looked up at the ceiling, watching the ceiling tiles move in an absolutely unfamiliar way.

They had had the siren on at first, but they had turned it off.


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