Pets Chapter 52 (Ellie): Hospital

This entry is part 52 of 48 in the series Pets

I was proud of Richard. He had not just saved a police officer, he had saved a father and a husband.

Sure, he would lose a leg, but what is that compared to a life?

After a few minutes, their daughter woke up and with a sweet soprano voice thanked Richard for saving her dad. She was visibly exhausted: neither of them probably slept that night.

We sat at the table and his wife, called Isabelle, explained that as a police wife, you know when your husband gets out for work, but not when or if he will come back. She also explained he would be on paid leave for a while so a prosthetic can be fitted: the amputation was much lower than the garrot.

She explained that the garrot had allowed the stop the blood flow out of the body, but the bullet also stopped the blood flow toward the foot, so the lack of blood circulation during the shootout and while they were trying to stabilize him meant they had to amputate part of the leg, but fortunately, below the knee so he had good prospects.

I was very happy to hear that: I knew the garrot was high in his thigh so I had imagined he would be amputated at that level.

“He’ll be able to more or less walk normally since he will still have full control over his knee”

“Will he be able to remain a police officer?”, Richard asked.

“Well, he would be on desk duty, which is fine by me. He might be able to become an officer with time but day to day patrols are over, thank God.”

I felt relieved for her! I was worried about Richard and he was just a security agent, I couldn’t imagine anything else.

Three police officers joined us and thanked Richard.

A sergeant eventually came and told Isabelle that the governor wanted to thank her personally and make an announcement.

I rolled my eyes. Isabelle just calmly said. “What does that asshole wants?”

The sergeant replied. “Apparently explain your husband will get a medal from the governor for his courage”

“Courage? He is the asshole who cut state support for city police! He’s the reason there aren’t enough police officers!”

Richard looked at me with awkward eyes.

My uncle then just barged in. “Mrs. Roberts? I am governor Lamburgers. I just wanted to tell you how sorry I am for your husband. I will give him all of the honors he is due.”

“What about him?”, she said, pointing at Richard.

“I don’t believe we have met”, said my uncle as he drew his hand to shake Richard’s hand.

But Richard didn’t have time to present himself.

“He is the security agent who saved my husband because there weren’t enough police officers to help him.”

“Ah, well, sorry to hear that, but you, young men, deserve a citation too!”

Then the governor took a look at me.

“Eleanor?”.

I nodded. “Hi uncle”, I said, with full of disdain in my voice. “this young man”, which was said in a sarcastic tone”, is Richard, my boyfriend”, which in turn, sounded insistent and proud.

“Nice to meet you, Richard. I have to run, but we’ll see each other really soon”, he said, just before leaving.

Isabelle quickly turned to me. “Oh my God, he is your uncle! I am so sorry for what I said”.

“Why”, I replied. “Everything you said is true. He is kind of an asshole too…”

“Still”

I mentally sighed. Being in an awful family isn’t easy…

“If it can make you feel better, I don’t plan on voting for him”

Isabelle seemed to accept it, but to be honest, any complicity or synchronicity that was there had just died out.

Richard and I left the cafeteria, but I proposed to him that we just stayed in the hospital, just to be there for the police officer. He agreed and we sat on chairs near his room.

We stayed silent for a little while.

“He has a daughter”, Richard eventually said.

“Yeah, and thanks to you, she will still have a father”

“Yeah”, he said, unsure of himself.

“Listen, everyone is right. You were a hero. You are a hero. I don’t remember where I got it, but I read a quote which explained that in moments of greatness, what you went thru last night, heroes aren’t born, they are revealed. You didn’t become a hero last night, you proved you were one.”

“I guess”, he said.

“Listen, when you came into my life, I was a mess, I was closed off, I was basically in trauma. You came in like a bulldozer and tore the drama down. I am slowly discovering who I can be, instead of just who I had to be. That’s heroic too”

“Maybe”

I wanted to tell more…

“And what about Amber? You took good care of her. Many men in your situation would have taken advantage of her but she always felt like you were there to protect her, to help her. You respected her limits”

“Well, I often pushed too far”

I put my arm on his arm.

“But that’s okay! We each of us, have to go out of our comfort zone. Face it, Richard, you are not just a good guy, you are a proven hero”

I am not sure why, but he began to cry. Was is remaining pressure from the previous night? Was is a surplus of emotions?

I laid my head on his shoulder and held his hands.

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