I felt sick as I drove like a madman towards the hospital. George sounded so shaken on the phone I couldn't help but rush down the there to make sure everything was alright. I got honked at several times for driving too fast but I didn't care. I was a policewoman, I could do whatever I want.
My tyres squealed as I came speeding into the hospital car park, pulling into the first available space. As I stepped out of the car I saw that I had parked very badly but I didn't care enough to get back in the car and straighten up. The drivers on either side of my car would just have to deal with it.
I hurried in through the entrance to the hospital and ran straight to the reception desk, throwing myself at it so there was a thud as I made contact.
"I'm looking for David Mendrick," I said to the plump looking receptionist on the other side of the desk. "He was brought in earlier with a stab wound."
"Hang on a moment and I'll see what I can do for you? Are you a relative?"
"No, I'm a colleague."
"Then I don't think I can let you through. He's not well enough to receive many visitors at the moment."
"I've got to see him, let me through."
"I'm sorry dear but I don't think I can let you through."
"Alannah?" George called my name, approaching the desk. "It's alright, she's with me." He led me away from the desk and towards the lift.
"What's going on?" I asked as George pressed the button. "How's Mendrick doing? How are you holding up?"
"I'm fine, I think," he replied nervously. "A little shaken but that's all. Mendrick's being as stubborn as ever, demanding to be let out." He pressed the lift button again, when the doors didn't automatically open. "What is up with this?" He said, pressing the button again more violently in frustration. "Why does nothing around here work?"
"Calm down," I said, taking George's hand to stop him from hurting himself. "It's not a big deal. We can take the stairs." I steered him away from the lift and towards some seats in the corner of the reception area. "I don't think you're alright George," I said, sitting him down. "You need to tell me what's wrong."
"Nothing's wrong," he insisted. "I'm just on edge."
"George, you killed someone. You have to talk to someone about it. Talk to me."
"But I can't. I should be locked away somewhere for what I've done but no one has come to take me away. Why hasn't someone come for me?"
"You were acting to save someone else, what else could you have done in those circumstances?"
"I don't know," he said, his hands now shaking in mine. "I should have been able to do something other than kill him. You would have known what to do."
"But that's what I'm trained for. You're not. And don't think of it as killing someone, you saved Mendrick's life. That isn't something to be ashamed of. Now, can you take me to see Mendrick? I need to talk to him about the case."
George nodded and led me to the stairs. We climbed up the never ending staircase until George indicated that we had reached the right floor and we walked through the door and onto the ward. I was very aware that George's hand was still in mine but it felt nice so I didn't say anything.
"His bed is over here," George said, walking towards a room off the side of the ward. He led the way in and stopped in his tracks staring at the empty bed. "Where's he gone? He was here when I left."
I ran out of the room and grabbed the first nurse I could see.
"Excuse me, I'm looking for David Mendrick but he's not in his room."
"Then I can't tell you where he is. He had a visitor a few minutes ago but I haven't seen him since then."
"Who came to visit him?"
"I don't know. I saw him arrive but didn't get his name. I meant to find him but by then he was gone."
"Describe him to me. What did he look like?"
"Fairly average. He was wearing a nice suit, I remember that."
"Was he tall, short, black, white. Give me something."
"Like I said, he was a fairly average looking white man in a suit. But I'd like to see him because since he left the lift's been jammed or something. No one can fix it and it's blocking up the whole hospital."
Suddenly brain began to whirr and everything clicked into place. Without a second thought I ran towards the lift.
"Get these doors open," I shouted. "Get them open now!"