The Trade, Chapter 2

Click here for Chapter 1.

Ruth awoke in the emergency room of the hospital down the street from the prison. “What am I doing here?” she thought to herself, but quickly remembered as her mind and body reconnected and she felt pain everywhere. Moaning, she lifted her hand to her face and caught the eye of an ER nurse who came immediately to her side.

“We’re gonna’ fix you up as soon as we can, honey,” she said. “They’re trying to locate some blood ‘cause you’re gonna’ need it when they take you in. You’re O negative.  Did you know that?”

Ruth closed her eyes and shook her head barely enough to notice. “Universal donor,” the nurse continued. “You can give blood to everybody, but only one type can give to you. And that’s another O negative. Apparently there aren’t a lot of you around here ‘cause we’re always short.”

The gravity of her situation began to sink in as Ruth recalled more vividly now the frightening spins and the swiftly approaching tree. She didn’t know yet about her multiple internal injuries and shattered pelvis, but from the look on the nurse’s face she concluded that she must be in pretty bad shape. What she did know as she carefully felt around her head and slim torso was that her long, brown hair was matted with what was probably blood and every place she could touch was scraped and raw.

The thought suddenly occurred to Ruth that a seriously injured and soon to be operated on individual typically has at least one family member at their bedside, whispering words of love and encouragement, and worrying about their survival. The only one she had wasn’t free to come, and a tear rolled out of each eye as she thought of her father and the incredible mess she had made. Oh, how she wished she could go back and do things over.

As she lay in the emergency room, frightened and alone, Ruth examined her life like she never had before. Memories of loss, anger, rebellion, misdeeds and fear played through her mind like scenes from a movie.