Rough road ahead!


Angus’ expression became somber. “I’m guessing this is bad?” 

“It could be.” I admitted.

“Gotcha.” Angus responded. Now he was all business. He waved us toward the camp car parked adjacent to the main building.

Not at all creepy

I opened the backdoor for Ted and he gingerly sat in the backseat. He eased himself over to the middle seat and tugged on the lap belt, loosening it so that it would not rub up against his abdomen. I put the garbage can down on the floor between his feet and I placed the backpacks in beside him. Ted pulled his hood up over his head and sat forward with his forearms resting on his thighs, his face above the garbage can. With his grey pallor and the hoodie he definitely took on a Darth Sidious look. It kinda freaked me out.

Angus very slowly and carefully drove down the main road of the camp. We watched as campers were emerging from their huts, all animated and happy and heading toward the dining hall. Campers and counselors curiously waved at us as we passed.

Angus stopped at the end of camp’s road as he looked for oncoming traffic. He put his arm on the back of my head rest as he turned to look at over his shoulder at Ted.

“Here we go Ted. You ready? This will be the worst of it.”

“Yes.” Ted responded meekly from the backseat. I grimace at Angus and gave him a nod. Angus gave me a determined nod back and let out a slow breath.

“OUCH!! Rough road ahead 

Angus gently pulled out onto the dirt road and we immediately bumped along the washboard surface. Angus and I were keenly aware of every hump, crevice and pothole along the way as he tried to steer around them. Thankfully there was minimal traffic as we wove our way along the unpaved road. 

I bit my lip as I sat on the edge of my seat and tried to help guide Angus to the flattest parts of the road. Ted softly cried out a couple of times when we hit a couple of unavoidable doozies.  It took us twenty minutes to get out to the highway — more than double what it would normally take. When Angus finally pulled up to the stop sign we both turned around to look at Ted in the back. His face was wet with tears. My heart ached for the kid.

“Hey Ted. We are moving onto the paved highway now buddy. It’s gonna be a lot smoother now.” I reassured him.

“OK. Thanks.” Ted responded softly as he rubbed the tears off with the sleeve of his sweatshirt.

Bear crossing!

The paved road was a total dream. Angus made up for lost time. He hurtled along the highway, heading towards the hospital as the sun began to fade. He only slowed once when a mother and baby black bear crossed the road ahead of us. Even Ted, who had looked up to see why we were slowing down, smiled as we watched them disappear into the thick forest.  

“Now you don’t see that everyday!” I softly laughed as Angus started to pick up speed again. Ahhh the joys of the wilderness!

It was a good twenty five more minutes of quiet driving before we pulled into the emergency entrance. Angus was super focused. We pulled into the round about and came to a gentle stop. 

“I will go park the car. You guys get in there.” Angus said.

I popped open my door and ran to open Ted’s door. He slowly pulled himself out of the backseat and stood up, his right hand coming up immediately to guard his abdomen. 

“Defense musculaire!” I heard a voice proclaim from behind me. I turned to look at the sliding glass doors of the emergency department. A tall, slim, athletic-looking gentleman in scrubs stood in the doorway with his arms crossed. He was looking intently at Ted. “That’s the classic look of a patient suffering from appendicitis, I’d say! But…let’s not jump to conclusions my friend. Come on in here!” 

“Dr. Holmes, I presume?” I asked as I reached out to shake his hand. He shook it solidly. I gave him Ted’s backpack and his health information slip. Dr. Holmes slung the backpack over his shoulder and then wrapped his other arm around Ted’s shoulders.

“Young man, are you allergic to anything?” He asked as they started to slowly walk past the packed emergency waiting room. 

“No sir. I am not.” Ted looked up at him with eyes full of hope. 

“You look like you could use a shot of narcotics, my friend.”

“I think I might like that, sir.” Ted responded in what sounded like an eager voice. 

“I will just chill here you guys!” I called after them as they walked away from me. Dr. Holmes gave me a little wave over his shoulder. 

I let out a deep slow breath. The relief I felt was….exquisite!


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