Soldier's Story: Chapter 4
I can’t move my muscles; all I can do is just stare at Alan as he is still trying to gasp for air. My hands begin to shake as images of my parents come to mind. I am breathing out loud trying to move my muscles. I then take one step towards Alan and then another and then another; I am at Alan’s side with my hands on top of his chest. “HELP ME” I scream to anyone who is in hearing distance. “Okay listen to me I love you…you don’t get to die on me” I say with tears coming down my face and breathing unevenly. Some soldier then rush beside us but none have a stretcher; “I can’t live with out you…if you die I die it’s that simple” I say to Alan while he is looking at me straight in the eye. “You’re the only family I have left and I am not losing you out here” I say while some one finally brings a stretcher and places it on Alan’s side. We then get Alan on the stretcher and run to the hospital; my breathing is still uneven and the whole base is in chaos.
As we enter the building I look around and see if any is available. I know for a fact that Dr. Collins is going home today for a couple of weeks. I look around trying to find someone to tell me which doctor is available; the helpless feeling returns once more. In the corner of my eye I see Dr. Collins; he is giving his last orders to a replacement doctor. Dr. Collins looks at me and I look at him with tears in my eyes; Dr. Collins then looks to the stretcher and notices that Alan has been shot. “Get Davis to OR 3 NOW” Dr. Collins says and runs ahead of us. We practically run to OR 3 and all of us place Alan on the table; all of the nurses are getting him ready for surgery. “L…Lis…Listen Adrian if I don’t make it I want you to know…” Alan begins to say “Don’t…Alan please don’t” I say cutting him off not wanting to think about the ‘what if’s ‘right now. “You’re going to make it…and ill be by your side when you wake up…okay” I say while my voice is somewhat breaking up.
Alan looks at me and forces a smile I then kiss his forehead “I love you Alan okay…and don’t die” I say. Alan starts to laugh and was about to say something but the anesthesia kicked in. I then look behind me and see that Dr. Collins is getting ready for surgery; I quickly run into the prep room and look at Dr. Collins for a while. “You can do this right sir?” I ask Dr. Collins while holding back my tears. “You know your wife is going to be pissed about you not showing up in time” I say to Dr. Collins as he is washing his hands. “She will understand” Dr. Collins says not looking at me in the eye. “Thank you sir” I say almost in a whisper; I then turn and take a few steps into the OR. “Where do you think your going?” Dr. Collins tells me as I stop dead in my tracks. I turn and look at Dr. Collins “Sir” I manage to say. “You can’t be in there…” Dr. Collins begins to say. “But sir” I was about to convince Dr. Collins to let me stay when he said “It’s not that it’s hospitals rules…for this screw the rules. But you can’t be in there…I can’t focus while you’re in there” I was about to say something when someone comes bursting through the door.
I look at Jennifer and she is looking at me with red eyes “Dr. Rodriguez you will escort Adrian to the waiting room” Dr. Collins says without turning to see who it is. Jennifer was about to say something when “You will keep him in the waiting room until I have finished with his brother…I don’t care how you keep him in the waiting room but you make sure he stays there. If Adrian so much steps into my OR or in this prep room I will have both your asses kick out of this base and sent home…are we clear?” Dr. Collins says with a serious tone. “Yes sir” Jennifer says almost in a whisper. “I will do my …you know I will” Dr. Collins says to me in my ear as he passes by me and stands on the door way into the OR. I take a deep breath and look into the OR at Alan one last time; I then look at Dr. Collins and he nods. I then feel a hand on mine and Jennifer is pulling me towards the door; the last thing I see before the wooden door closes is Dr. Collins taking a deep breath before entering the OR. Jennifer and I walk slowly to the waiting room; it’s a wide open space near the entrance of the hospital. The hospital is still in chaos but not as much when I first set in it today; people then start to notice us.
Normally on this day Jennifer and I would be fighting for the soldier that needed treatment the most; we would probably rock at it and maybe save that soldier’s life. Both Jennifer and I were Dr. Collins spitting image (medical wise) and our reputation was well known. But today when there were a few fatalities both of us are sitting in the waiting room crying. I then see a couple of nurses whispering to each other on the front desk; I see one nurse put her hand on top of her mouth. The nurse then looks at Jennifer and me with a sympathetic look; the news is spreading that Alan is in the OR right now. I then start to look around more and people are staring at us with confusion in their eyes; but I am sure they can put the pieces together. I don’t have many weaknesses, I mean come on I shot people and stabbed others. My only weakness involves four people and four people only Alan, Mark, Dr. Collins and Jennifer.
If any of them get hurt bad I will break and not function like my usual self; if any of them die I would break but the one person that will break me the most is Alan. I then snap back to as I see that Jennifer is on the verge of crying her eyes out. She was about to open the flood gates when I said “Don’t you dare cry” with a serious tone. Jennifer then stops and looks at me with her red eyes. “Look it took me a long time to accept and call my stepfather ‘dad” I begin to say while trying to hold my tears back. “And when I finally did a semi truck hit our car…..and I watch my dad die right in front of me” I say with a shaky voice “And even after the accident it took me an even longer time to accept Alan as my brother…” I say while a tear came down my face. “And now that I have he is in the OR with his chest wide open and I can’t help but think that the worst day of my life is replaying again…So no you don’t get to cry” I say with a shaky voice. “One of my friends died today…the first explosion that went off…” Jennifer says with a shaky voice. I then reach for her hand and we stay holding hands supporting each other; still it didn’t make a lot of sense why Jennifer was crying so much. I really don’t have time to dwell as to why Jennifer is crying a lot when my brother is in the OR fighting for his life.
As the minutes turned into an hour some soldiers came by and sat with us. They didn’t have to say anything because they looked at me and nodded. With that nod it told me that they were here for me and for Alan. It was a quarter past the hour and the whole waiting room area was full of soldiers; I sometimes forget how many soldiers the three of us helped. Some soldiers came in wheelchairs because they where still recovering; others came in their beds. Some soldiers that where near me started talking to me and comforting telling me that it’s going to be okay and that Alan is a brave soldier. All I could do was shake my head “Shut up” I tell the soldiers that are talking to me “Look I am trying to be strong here…not only for me but for my brother as well” I say not looking at the soldiers “And you guys comforting me isn’t helping so just please…shut up” I say while holding back my tears.
The soldiers knew I meant well and they got my message loud and clear; all of them just sat back and talked amongst themselves. With all of the mixed emotions I was going through one of them was getting stronger; I started to become angry. Angry at Mark for not been here at my side; almost all of the soldiers on base where here in the waiting room. The person that I need the most right now is Mark and he is nowhere to be found. I take a deep breath and close my eyes trying to think about something else; I don’t know how much longer I can wait.
My thoughts then turn to that day when my parents died; I was around ten when my mother remarried. I wasn’t that thrilled about the marriage because even though my biological father left us one day he was still my father. My stepfather was nice he tried to do everything with me; he would even sign my report card when I was failing a class; my mother would have been furious with me. “Try harder to get a better grade and if you need help ask me” my stepfather would say to me. Alan on the other hand was already a mid teenager and he wasn’t as thrilled with the new additions to his family.
Alan would mostly ignore me but we made small talk here and there because we would see each other almost all of the time. As the years went by slowly but surely all four of us stared to know each other and became some what of a family. The day I went in search of my biological father I was very nervous but exited at the same time. I just thought that having a relationship with him would be best but all that was shattered when my father didn’t want anything to do with me and practically slammed the door in my face. My stepfather found out about what my father did and went over to his house. There was yelling and at some point fist started flying; to my surprise my stepfather won the fight. I watched all of the events from the car; on the way home my stepfather and I remained silent. When we got home my mother was furious with my stepfather and she started yelling at him. In the midst of their argument I walked up to my stepfather and hugged him “Thanks dad” I said while walking away heading to my room. I didn’t hear them argue after that. The next day I announced to my parents that I wanted to change my last name to Davis.
My mother was in shock and my father was proud of me because I wanted to change my last name to his. On that same day we went to some building that would allow me to change my last name; it took most of the day but at the end of the day my last name was changed. Alan on the other hand didn’t come with us because he had football practice and he couldn’t miss it. When we were heading home both of my parents joked and laughed with me; but that all ended when a semi truck crashed into our car. The semi truck miss judged the space of the lanes and it hit the side of our car; the car flipped over a couple of times. The car was upside down when it finished moving; I was in the back middle seat. I didn’t move for a couple of seconds it’s like I was paralyzed or something; I then took a deep breath in and looked at the damage. I manage to unbuckle my seatbelt and fall onto the roof of the car.
Both of my parents were not moving; I called out to them but there was no response. I checked my mother first called her name a couple of times but no response; tears began to come down my face. I screamed for my mother to wake up but she didn’t; I even tried to unbuckle her seatbelt but it was no use. With teary eyes and my breath uneven I placed my finger under her nose; she wasn’t breathing. I came to the hard conclusion that my mother was dead; my father on the other hand took in a deep breath loudly and screamed in pain. I unbuckled him and dragged him outside; my leg was hurting pretty bad but it wasn’t broken. By now people started to slow down and some even called 911 multiple times; I placed my father on his back. I looked into his eyes and he was in pain; I looked down and saw something stuck in his chest.
I didn’t know what to do tears where still coming down my face; I try to calm my dad down but he was in so much pain. I then did something without thinking; I try to pull whatever was stuck to my father’s chest out. It moved a little but it was stuck in his chest my father screamed even more in pain “Dad stay with me” I scream to him. I really got scared when my father stopped screaming and started closing his eyes as if he was tired or something. “Dad please don’t leave me” I say with a shaky voice and tears coming down my face. “S…son” my father said to me before dying in front of me. I cried as loud as I could pleading for my father to come back to me. I gathered all of my strength and pulled my mother away from the car; I laid her down next to my father. I sat next to my parents for what seemed like hours; the sun was setting. When the help finally arrived I was so exhausted that I really didn’t care what they did to me. After that day Alan step up and took care of me; we lived with our grandparents but somehow it wasn’t the same. I kept my distance with everyone; then one day Alan joined the Marines and left.
Alan would sometimes send letters and we would talk on the phone but we didn’t see each other until I arrived in Iraq. My parents are the reason I went into the nursing program; I wanted to save lives and not feel that helpless feeling ever again. But now I am sitting here in the waiting room and that feeling of helplessness is with me again. Suddenly I needed to be alone and it seemed that everyone that was here with me was staring at me. I let go of Jennifer’s hand and ran out the front door crying; I left everyone behind puzzled but I didn’t care because Alan will surely die today.
“Get the prisoners to the holding cells now ASAP” I yell at my team. I feel proud of myself because I caught the bastards that tried to take over the base. I walk to one of the hangers and in second’s gulf down bottled water. Another fucking hot day in this paradise; it’s a real hell hole here it’s not that I am complaining but it’s still a hell hole. Only one thing makes this hell hole bearable and that’s Adrian; just been around him makes me go on. I poor water over my head just to cool it down and it feels good; I can see that everything is starting to calm down on the base. I can’t wait for tonight because tonight I am holding my guy in my arms and maybe that could lead into some good sex too.
I smile to myself knowing that Adrian would have had his good day today and that would lead into some hot sex. I come to accept that I am in love with a guy; I am not very good with words and I have never been. Adrian on the other hand gets me I don’t have to say much for him to understand what I am saying. Guess that’s the Marine training…to show bravery even when you are at your most vulnerable; and when I am with Adrian I am very vulnerable. I take my gear off and slowly walk to the garage where surely some humvees are messed up and I can fix them. I always had a fascination towards cars; even when I was in foster homes cars where the only things that help me get through the day. With all of my gear in hand I looked into the engine of a hummer that was in front of me; “There you are” George says to me as he is running towards me.
George is just another mechanic buddy that I talked to here. “It’s Adrian” George says; my heart stops, my eyes widen, and I drop everything I have in my hands on the floor. I didn’t have to say anything George could read the concern written all over my face. My immediate reaction was to run to the hospital; and so I did fear gripping and taking over me. I run into the entrance of the hospital and see that almost everyone on base is in the waiting room. I look around for a while until I see Jennifer who comes up to me “Where is he?” I ask her out of breath. “Calm down Mark Adrian’s fine…it’s Alan he is in surgery right now he got hit in the chest” Jennifer says to me with a shaky voice. I take a breath of relief and look around for Adrian “He isn’t here” Jennifer interrupts my search. “We don’t know where he is” Jennifer says while looking down.
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