He stood there frozen. Eyes wide as saucers as the headlights appeared out of the darkness. The bus hit him.
She found him lying in the street, mangled but alive. Several ribs were shattered and she could see where they jutted out of his skin. He was covered in fresh blood and unconsious. He must have passed out from the pain. His body was battered and in far worse condition than should have permitted him to live, but miraculously, he was breathing.
Jane rushed him to hospital, not even attempting first-aid. He was beyond that. It all happened so fast. The doctors took one look at the man and imediatly ushered him into the ICU. They wouldnt say much, but they did tell her that he looked to be in critical condition. She had been on her way to work but she felt now that she was bound to this man, this John Doe. She couldn't leave before knowing if he would be alright. She called in sick. Said that she had a stomach bug and couldn't come in today.
Jane was not a family member and they would not let her into ICU, so she waited outside. After about three nauseating hours, a doctor came out. He greeted her and introduced himself as Dr. Burke, the Hospital's phisician. He told her that the patient was stable but that it was to early to tell if he would make it. Then he asked the question she had been dreading. How did she know this man. She replied that she didn't. She had been driving out on Rue de Malheur at about five that morning, on her way to work which was on the other side of town. She was turning a corner when her headlights flared on a lump on the other side of the road. Sure that she had seen blood, she stopped her car and went over to look. She left out the part where she puked in the gutter (but the doctor could probably smell that). She knew that an ambulance would take to long, so she dragged the lifeless body into her car and sped to the hospital. She flagged down a couple of paramedics and together they managed to haul the man onto a stretcher and into the hospital. As she concluded, the doctor seemed to sense that she was anxious. He told her she had nothing to be worried about. That the damage to the body far exceeded the damage that even a big car could do. The man was hit by a bus or a big truck. After that, she relaxed, but was still anxious about this man she had saved. They told her his name was Henry Wright, and he lived a few streets down from where she had found him. That was all they could say from the contents of his wallet. His phone was smashed and there was money in his wallet. There was no sign of assault, so there was only one possibility. This was a hit and run. Probably some drunk truck driver who sobered up all to quickly. What Henry had been doing out at that time was a mistery.
Dr. Burke told Jane that her help was apreciated, but she should go home and get some rest from the shock. She gave him her contact number and asked that he call her if there were any developments. She left her car at the hopital, as the back seat was covered in blood, and took a taxi home. She would sort out her car after she cleaned up. The taxi pulled up outside her apartment and she got out. Thanking him, she gave the driver an extra two pounds above his fee. As she watched him leave, she realized that she had left her scarf in his cab. It was freezing but she would find another one inside.
Still shaking from the shock, or maybe it was just the unbearable cold, she fumbled with her keys but eventually managed to open the front door, quickly shutting out the winter chill behind her. She began to undress as she entered, leaving a trail of thick, wooly clothes, all the way from the hearth to the bathroom where she ran a bath and puked again. Wondering how it was possible that she had contained herself that whole time, she stepped into the bath. She couldnt stop thinking of Henry, more than half dead, in a hospital just a few blocks away. And he lived in the area. He could have been her neighbor for all she knew.
Once she felt suficiently relaxed, she climbed out of the bath and covered herself in a towel. He bedroom was considerably colder than the bath had been and she contemplated going back in, but she had things to do. She dressed in more wool and found another scarf. She found her purse and her keys, ignoring the rest of the clothes that were left strewn on the floor. She braced herself for the cold, and walked outside again. At the end of the road, she flagged down another taxi, asking the driver to take her to the maresburg hospital which was where she had left the man only a couple of hours ago. The driver obliged with a bill. She stepping out of the cab and into the biting city air, she noticed that her car was still where she left it, however with one addition. It had found a wheel clamp. Irritated with herself, Jane walked briskly to the doors of the hospital and pushed them open with her shoulder. Once inside, she located the reception desk and politely asks the nurse where she might find Dr. Burke. As if summoned, Burke suddenly appeared on the other side of the desk before the nurse could answer. He looked wary. "Ahh Miss Harrison. I was just about to call" he said as if it was a call he had been dreading. "Can we talk in my office?" Jane conceded, slightly bemused by his manner. She never was one for body language. She followed him to a small but tidy room with a clear glass door. He held the door open for her and offered to take her coat. She shrugged it off and waited for him to proffer a seat, which she took. She sat silently as the doctor sat down infront of her. "Jane" he said with a sigh, "Henry died afew minutes after you left. He fell into a coma from the pain but his body had started shutting down before you even arrived at the hospital. We were to late." Jane looked at him silently. Thoughts running through her mind too fast for her to process them. The doctor turned to a side table and poured a cup of coffee from a pot. "Here, drink this" he said. Without lifting her eyes, she accepted it. The cup shook in her hands. She brought the warm coffee to her lips and took a sip, allowing the bitter warmth to wash out her thoughts, soothing her.
She was in another taxi, on her way home. The doctor had assured that he would get her car back to her, and paid the taxi fee. The cab pulled up and she clambered out, half in a trance. She found her way inside and to her room. Without changing, Jane lay down on her bed. She fell asleep.