It was an ordinary morning. Just another sweltering summer's day in the city. The heat had unsettled everyone. All night long, the sound of sirens, some closer than others, had floated in through their tiny window on what passed for a breeze. They'd woken early, less than fully rested, and, by unspoken mutual consent, decided to get on with the day as best they could.
The first she knew of it, was the scream from the nursery. Kate had gone to check on Sandy, while, as was their ritual, she went to the kitchen to make coffee.
The sound of Kate's scream was so jarring, she'd nearly dropped the pot. The follow up cry was choked with tears. "Call 911, he's not breathing.”
It nearly stopped her heart.
But she didn't freeze. Not then, at least.
With a calm that astonished even herself, she'd picked up her cell phone, dialled the required number and walked to the big window in the study at the back of the apartment, where the signal was best.
“911. How can I…”
“I need an ambulance. It's my son.”
“OK, ma'am. I need your loca…”
“We’re at 4th and Washington. Apartment 6, on the 3rd floor.”
“And can you descr…”
“He’s not breathing. I’m not sure when he stopped. My partner’s just found him.”
“A unit is en route, ma’am. They’ll be there in about th…”
“I’ll wait by the door. Thank you.”
It was no one's fault. Just a random freak of nature. It happened all the time, but one always secretly hoped that it would be someone else to suffer, some other family.