Loving Michelle by Carla Chapter 16

Republisher’s Note: Michelle goes to support Danny at the hospital.

Loving Michelle by Carla – Chapter 16

Michelle was very close to jumping out of the cab and waiting for another one but she had no idea knew when another one would become available. She knew that Ben had orchestrated her getting this one and she had no choice but to go along for the ride, literally.

Why did he seem to show up everywhere like a bad penny? It was getting very annoying and spooky the way he was always there when she turned around. What was going to happen next? Was Carmen going to pop out of the trunk like some evil jack in the box?

She kept her gaze averted out of the window and stared at the sights as they passed them. She had already seen the majestic beauty of this wonderful country when she was riding in from the airport but the beauty of it now lost all of its luster. She had only one thing on her mind and that was getting to Danny.

She knew how he must have been feeling. She could feel his pain calling to her from afar. Danny needed her. She would put her hurt feelings aside and be there for him the way that she hadn’t been when Will died.

She didn’t like the idea of another woman carrying Danny’s baby, but what was done, was done. No use fretting about it now. They would find a way to make this work. They had spent too much time apart and had overcome so much to give up now.

Michelle willed herself to keep her eyes focused on the outside of the cab. The hairs on the back of her neck were sticking up. She knew Ben was studying her reactions closely. Surely he knew of Amelia’s condition, yet he didn’t seem to be very worried about her. Was he so callous that he was not affected by the fact that Amelia and her baby might die? She had no trouble believing that he was.

Despite her attempts to do otherwise, she found her head turning around to steal a glance at this semi-monster in human’s clothing. He had such a nonchalant attitude about this tragedy that she questioned whether human blood coursed through his veins or was it ice water?

Michelle wasn’t sure she wanted to know and her unspoken question was answered when she saw him notice that she was watching him. He turned in her direction and gave her a grin that reminded her of Jack Nicholson in The Shining when he burst through a door brandishing an ax and proclaiming “Here’s Johnny!”

The hair on her arms joined the hair on the back of her neck and stood at attention as well. His evil grin had to be the most bone-chilling thing she had ever seen.

She suddenly wished that a plate of glass did not separate the driver from them. She wanted to jump the seat and sit up front with the driver who spoke no English. Even that was better than sitting next to Ben Warren.

She prayed that he would not attempt to speak but she knew her prayers were going to be ineffective in this situation. Ben Warren had a reputation for doing just the opposite of what was expected of him.

“So Michelle,” he said with a voice laden with underlying humor. He was enjoying this entirely too much for Miss Michelle’s liking, but it was just so darn fun to watch her squirm, “It looks like we are both going to check on poor, Amelia,” he said shaking his head in a tsk tsk nature.

Michelle willed herself not to take the bait. He was trying to push her buttons and she was not going to allow herself to be drawn into a snide exchange of barbs with him. He was much more seasoned in the art of sarcasm and dry wit and she had no desire to be reduced to his level.

Ben watched Michelle as she battled with herself not to resort to his level and respond to his spiteful comments. She wanted to retaliate so badly, he could tell, but she was a spunky one. She would not give him the satisfaction of knowing that he had pushed her to the point of joining in his battle of wits.

That was fine with him. He always loved a challenge. He would just going to have to try harder. He watched her squirming in her seat as if she were sitting on a pile of ants. He had to stifle the chuckle that was just aching to be released. Clearly he made her uncomfortable. Now why on earth would his presence make her nervous, he thought to himself with great amusement?

“Michelle,” he began “Do you think we should try and get along for Danny’s and Amelia’s sakes? I mean they are both going to need our support and frankly I am going to have a hard time lending my shoulder if you are always looking like you want to take a bite out of it,” he said in a voice so full of phony sentiment that it made Michelle clench her fists at her sides.

How much longer until they reached the hospital, Michelle wondered? Would they ever get there? Could there be any worse punishment than having to endure a cab ride with Ben Warren? The elevator ride earlier was hideous enough, why did God feel the need to punish her further by placing her within ten miles of this devil incarnate?

Thankfully, her question was answered when she saw the large white building with the red cross displayed on the top, signifying that it was a hospital, come into view. She hoped this was the right hospital. She didn’t know where an ambulance would take a critical patient. This was the closest hospital to the hotel but it wasn’t necessarily the best one to bring a critically injured person.

The cab came to a halt and Michelle pushed the door open and sped out of the cab leaving Ben with the privilege of paying the fare. That brought a brief smile to her lips but is short-lived when she saw Danny sitting in the waiting area with his head in his hands.

She waited for the automatic doors to open and then stepped into the emergency room waiting area. Danny didn’t lift his head up immediately and she wanted to talk to him before he got a chance to see that Ben was on his way in as soon as he settled the cab fare.

She stood before him and he must have sensed her presence because he immediately lifted his head up and met her eyes.

He wrapped his arms around her waist, which was eye level to him and buried his head into her midriff. She stroked his hair while he held her close. “Thank God you’re here,” he murmured into the hem of her cotton top.

“Danny,” she began. “Ben is here.”  He lifted his head once again to meet her stare.

“Why?” he croaked in a barely audible voice.

“He claims to be worried about Amelia, but I think he is just up to no good. I think he is going to try and make trouble,” she said.

Danny stood up and wiped his face with the back of his hand. The doctor had just been here with him in the waiting area and had given him the initial account of Amelia’s condition. There had been some internal injuries and she was being prepped for surgery as they spoke. She also had a broken leg and collarbone. Her x-ray also showed some broken ribs, which were going to be more painful than life threatening.

Danny had asked about the baby and the doctor said they were awaiting the test results to come back. The sonogram showed no embryo or even a sac so it didn’t appear that she was still carrying a child but that the results of the blood test would paint the entire picture.

Michelle took Danny’s hand and held it between her own. “How is she?” she asked knowing that the situation called for as little words as possible.

“They have her in surgery right now. She has some internal bleeding that they need to stop and some broken bones. All we can do is wait,” he said and sat down bringing Michelle with him.

“How are you?” she asked and he shrugged his shoulders. “I’ve been better,” he admitted and she nodded her head in acknowledgment.

“How’s the baby?” she said and Danny almost fell out of his chair.

“How do you know about that?” he asked.

“I heard you tell the man in the ambulance that she was pregnant. I came to see if you needed me to go with you and then I heard you tell him that,” she said.

Danny looked at Michelle and pleaded with her with his eyes to understand. He had not meant for any of this to happen. He had only wanted to love Michelle. That was all. That was his only wish in this life and it must have been too much because now so much had happened that there was very little chance of him ever realizing that dream again.

The only thing he could do at this moment was be completely honest with her. Maybe if she didn’t hate him too much after this, they could talk about what had happened between them. Maybe there was still a chance for them.

“They don’t know about the baby yet,” he said and he found them to be the hardest words he had ever said to Michelle except for when he had to plead for her to release Will after he had died in her arms.

Danny went about explaining all of Amelia’s injuries and everything that the doctor has told him just moments before Michelle arrived. He explained how the blood test results would tell for sure if the baby survived.

They sat together holding hands and waited for the doctor to appear both knowing it could be a while before they knew anything.

Ben chose that exact moment to come barreling in the door of the emergency room. Danny leaped out of his seat and met him at the entrance. “You aren’t welcome here, Warren,” Danny spouted.

“I am not going anywhere, Danny,” Ben sneered. “Amelia is going to need her friends here when she wakes up and I doubt that your concern for her is based on anything but guilt,” he said and Danny couldn’t argue with that. It was the truth.

“Okay, you can stay,” Danny replied. “But you stay the hell away from Michelle.”

“Danny, Danny, Danny,” Ben said. “Isn’t that just like you to be worried about Michelle’s feelings when the woman you were engaged to as recently as last night lies in this hospital fighting for her life.” Ben walked away leaving Danny speechless.

“Don’t listen to him, Danny,” Michelle said. “It wasn’t your fault.”

“Yes, it is,” Danny said. “It’s all my fault. Everything. She was running from me because I told her that I didn’t believe her when she told me she was pregnant. I was so worried about you and me that I demanded she take a pregnancy test right then and there. She got mad and ran into the street where she was hit. All because I couldn’t see past my own desires,” he said.

“No, Danny, that is not true!” Michelle cried. ” You couldn’t have known that she would have been hit by that taxi. That was an accident.”

“Don’t you see, Michelle?” Danny said. “Everything I touch gets ruined. First you and then Will and now Amelia. It was my fault that Amelia got hit just like it was my fault that Will died and I lost you,” he said amidst his tears.

“No,” Michelle cried. “No, Danny, that is not true!” she started to say when they both noticed a doctor come through the double doors that led to the trauma areas.

Danny walked over to the doctor and braced himself for what he had to say. The look on the doctor’s face was not reassuring.

“Well, doctor” he said. “What is it?”

“I am not sure how to tell you this, Mr. Santos,” he said and Danny could feel his gut clench.

‘Just say it please,” Danny said.

“Okay Mr. Santos. As you know, we have taken your wife to surgery,” he said totally oblivious to the swift turn of the head of Michelle who was now looking at Danny in shock.

“Her blood work is back,” he announced and Danny stood straight to face the truth. The truth in that he had caused another innocent baby to die.

“And,” Danny prodded.

“There is no baby,” the doctor replied and Danny hung his head in shame. Dear God in heaven, how could he possibly live with himself now?

He brought his head back up to face the doctor once more. “So, Amelia, she lost the baby then?” he said and the words sounded as if they were coming from someone else’s mouth.

“Mr. Santos, I don’t think you understand,” he said and Danny looked at him with a puzzled expression.

“What don’t I understand?” he asked.

The doctor breathed deeply and then pronounced, “Your wife didn’t lose the baby. There was never a baby at all. She was never pregnant.”

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