Chapter Fifteen

Natalie had been in the coma for two weeks now. Her condition had stabilized somewhat, but the doctors wanted to keep her out. “Reduces stress on her system,” they claimed.

Every day, Michael only left Natalie’s side to go home and shower, and he only did that when Patti came by to relieve him. He promised Natalie wouldn’t be alone, and damned if he wasn’t going to keep that promise. Patti came every day, always with a clutch of four roses, which she arranged around the room. As soon as one of the blooms began to fade, it disappeared. There was no place for death in this room.

One afternoon, while Michael was gone, Patti was reading the next chapter of a romance novel to Natalie. The doctors said she could probably still hear what was going on around her, and they encouraged Natalie’s visitors to talk to her, not just about or around her. Michael did the serious talking, about his work, or news, and Patti provided the fun. She sighed. This was so hard on Michael. She hated to see him so sad.

Closing the book she was reading, Patti leaned in close to Natalie. “You know, I am in love with your brother. I don’t think he realizes it yet. I’m not sure I want to tell him now, with everything else that’s going on. I want you to know because I want you to think about how I should tell him. You need to get stronger so the doctors can wake you up. Be strong,” kissed Natalie’s cheek, “my sister.”

When Michael returned, Patti went to the cafeteria to get them something to eat. They had gotten into the habit of eating in Natalie’s room while they talked about their respective days. While they were eating, they heard a buzzing sound coming from Michael’s jacket.

“What the hell,” Michael started to say, then realized what the sound was. “Oh my God!” In his haste to get to his jacket, he upended the tray of food he was working through. He pawed through his jacket until he pulled out a pager. Natalie’s transplant pager. With shaking legs, he ran to the elevator bank, where he could safely use his cell phone.

“Yes, hello?” he all but shouted into the phone when the person on the other side answered. “This is Michael Tomassini; you paged my sister, Natalie.”

“Michael, this is Dr. Stilson. We think we have a match for your sister. The blood types are the same, and the tissue match looks good. We’re working out the details now, but your sister has to get to Colorado right away.”

Michael was stunned. He was afraid to hope for this kind of news. He ran back toward Natalie’s room, heedless of the strict no cell phone policy. He burst into the room. “Natalie, Patti, they found a donor! We have to get to Colorado, now. I have the doctor on the – the doctor! Shit!” He turned his attention back to the phone. “Sorry, doc, what were you saying? You still there?”

Michael listened to the doctor for a few minutes, and his expression fell. “OK, I’ll make some calls on my end, you work it from your end.” He hung up, and turned to Patti.

“The donor organs are ready and waiting for Natalie in Colorado. The MedFlight helicopters are all engaged right now. The only choice we have is private transport or a commercial flight. You work the airlines, and I’ll call around to the private airstrips. We have just about 6 hours to get Natalie to Colorado, including the 3 hours it takes to fly there.”

Making several phone calls, the pair were getting frustrated. They couldn’t get any flights, even with compassion considerations, in anything less than 3 hours. “Dammit!” Michael shouted after the last call he made. “What are we going to do?”

Then, he remembered the note he got the night of the concert. There was a phone number to call in case of an emergency. Well, if this isn’t an emergency, I don’t know what is, he thought. Flipping through his phone contact list, he paused on the entry called “Miracle” he had entered months ago.

Looking at Patti, he said, “I sure hope your boss can work a miracle.” Then he pressed ‘send’.


Tara Leigh said...


What a little twist! Love it.

smrf said...

Jovi Jet indeed! hehehehe