Audrey's forehead wrinkled with worry as she answered the call. She didn't recognize the number, and she couldn't imagine who could be calling her so late at night. A split second before the voice on the other end of the call began to speak, she realized that James hadn't texted her to tell her he was home. She immediately broke out into a cold sweat.
The voice told her many things, but she didn't hear much of what it said. The only information that she took away from the call was that James was in a helicopter unconscious with several broken bones and a punctured lung. He was being taken to the nearest hospital, but it was still a good thirty minutes away by helicopter. The man on the other end of the phone conversation assured her that James would be fine in a few weeks, but she didn't hear him over the sound of her heart pounding in her ears. She was normally the type of person to stay calm in a crisis, but when James' life was at stake, something snapped inside her head.
She ended the call on the little blue phone with both of their initials drawn on the front in permanent marker and surrounded by a heart. Feeling her whole body trembling, she clenched her fists in an effort to calm herself and immediately felt a sharp pain as her glittering green fingernails sliced rows of crescent moon shaped cuts in the palms of her hands.
She stood up and walked quickly to the door with tears streaming down her face. She grabbed the keys to the fastest car available, which happened to belong to her father, and she rushed outside. She didn't even realize what she was doing until she found herself at the front desk of the hospital asking a nurse about James Fischer. She found out that he had only been there for about ten minutes, which meant that she had made the drive that normally lasted for an hour take only forty minutes or so.
The nurse didn't want to tell her anything else, but Audrey was the closest thing to family that James had, and she finally convinced Mrs. Wren to tell her everything she knew. "James is in emergency surgery. It'll take a few hours depending on what all they find broken or torn, but he should be in room 3-27 by morning. I don't suppose you'll be going home to wait?" Audrey could only shake her head.
"Well, come with me then," Mrs. Wren continued, "You'll be needing some coffee stronger than you can get in the cafeteria if you're gonna make it through this night." She put a gentle hand on Audrey's shoulder, guided her to a room marked Staff Only, and fixed her a disgustingly strong coffee drink. When asked what it was, all she would say was that it was "a jolt." She then led Audrey back out into one of the more comfortable waiting rooms and left her there.
Audrey didn't stay there though. Her nerves mixed with what seemed like the purest form of caffeine in existence would not let her sit still. She paced several laps around the room, making herself a great annoyance to the Cuban gentleman who was finding it difficult to watch the news with her repeatedly walking in front of the TV. She would never become aware of the middle aged Cuban man who was anxiously waiting to hear that his wife had delivered his third child. Audrey was far too concerned with the images she kept seeing in her mind of James' crash to let other people exist in her world. She stumbled out of the room and started wandering blindly up and down the halls and staircases.