Her memory, not mine

I am trying to keep most of what I write on this blog light. But I was cop for awhile. Things will get a little dark. 

“Memories are bullets. Some whiz by and only spook you. Others tear you open and leave you in pieces.”- Richard Kadrey

I was sitting in my patrol car at intersection waiting for the light. The day was slow and hot and the light took it’s time. Everyone had their windows rolled up and their air conditioners blasting. I looked across at the car facing me in the opposite lane. At first I thought the woman was singing out loud to music and keeping rhythm with her hands. But then I saw the blood on her hands. A lot of blood. She wasn’t singing at all. She was screaming and hitting her hands on the steering wheel.

She needed emergency help but she wouldn’t run the light. I turned on my emergency lights and sirens and pulled into the middle of the intersection to block traffic. She looked at me for a second and then ran the red light and kept going. I knew she was trying to get to the hospital because it was only a couple of blocks away. We weren’t supposed to block traffic for anybody. The thing to do was to stop and call an ambulance, but we were too close for that stupid rule.

We reached a second traffic light and again she stopped at the red light. I pulled past her and stopped traffic and she went on. This time I saw blood on her face and hair. I had no idea whether she had been stabbed or shot. All I knew was that she was getting hysterical and looked like she might pass out. But we were so close I didn’t want to stop her. There were no more stop lights and the hospital was only 2 blocks away.

When she got to the hospital she missed the entrance. I thought maybe she was losing too much blood and did not know where she was anymore. Before I could decide what to do next she pulled into the back alleyway of an office building just past the hospital. My heart sank. That building had only one medical office. It was an obstetrician’s office. She jumped out of her car and started banging on the door crying. Blood was draining down her legs. As I reached her 2 nurses came out the back door and saw what was happening. She fell to her knees and I caught her. A nurse came out with the doctor and a wheel chair. The doctor said there was nothing he could do there and asked us to wheel her to the emergency room.

I picked her up and put her in the chair. The nurses started wheeling her to the hospital when she reached out and grabbed my hand and would not let go. I walked with them all the way to the hospital. She kept asking me if her baby was going to be okay. I told her she would be fine and she said okay and stopped crying. Nobody was in a hurry anymore. It took a while to pry my hand out of hers in the emergency room.

When I was done I went back to the car and noticed all the blood on my clothes. I went home to change. When I was washing my hands I saw that one of her nails (false tips) had been imbedded in the back of my hand. She was squeezing so hard that I had not felt any other pain. I cleaned up and got back to work.

I would see her once in a while around town and I always remember that day. About one year after it happened I was introduced to her at a basketball game. She shook my hand and introduced herself. She did not recognize me at all. That was better I guess. What could I have said? It was her memory after all. I thought to myself that her handshake was the softest handshake I had ever felt.

3 thoughts on “Her memory, not mine

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  1. Thanks Katherine. That’s a great compliment coming from you, and I appreciate you even taking the time to read my blog. I hope you have a great writing day. – Robert

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