George Kirkwell had not accompanied his wife in the back of the ambulance. He had quickly told her that he would follow in their car, but what he didn't say was he had something else to take care of first.
He went back into the house, entering his study moments later. A desk on the far side of the room was covered with stacks of papers. Some had fallen on the floor, which was going to make his search that much more difficult.
He sat in the chair on the opposite side of the desk and started going through the papers. He started slowly at first, but when he realized that he was taking too long, he increased his speed, tossing papers to the side of the desk into a "junk" pile .
After several minutes, he found what he was looking for the whole time. This one piece of paper is all that ties me to them, he thought. Time to get rid of it.
He reached into his pocket and pulled out a lighter. He took a deep breath, taking his time to make sure this was the right move. Once he burned it, there was no going back. There was no explaining. But, he had to do this for his wife, for his unborn child. They would understand. One day.
He flipped the lighter on, the flame coming to life. As it bounced in front of him, a shiver went down his spine. But, he had already convinced himself. He turned the flame to the corner of the paper, a singed edge appearing almost immediatelly.
Dr. Jeff Stravenski removed the stethescope ear buds from his ears and drapped the instrument around his neck, a motion he did hundreds of times a day.
"Upon initial examination, I didn't find anything physically wrong with you." Jeff gazed back and forth at the patient and his wife a couple of times. He continued, "Memory loss isn't always associated with physical symptoms. Something could show up on an MRI or catscan."
"That sounds like a good idea, Doctor," the wife replied. Jeff thought her name was Anna, but he had too many patients to be sure. He motioned for a nurse.
"Can you set up an MRI and a catscan for Mr. ... " He looked down at the medical record. "Mr. Charles Wolfe here."
"Sure, Doctor Stravenski," the nurse said, smiling at the couple. After the doctor left the area, the nurse spoke to them. "Right this way."