David was sitting at a cozy table in a fancy sounding restaurant waiting for Isabella. They were celebrating both her full recovery and their sixth month of being so completely in love with each other. As well as the fact that tomorrow would see her returning to the job she loved as much as he loved his, being a paramedic is what she lived for. He was only a few tables from the doorway that led to the lobby and the exterior door, so he would see her as soon as she entered. But before Isabella ever even got to the restaurant, David felt a very faint sucking sensation in the air around him and then there was an explosion that threw him against the wall and knocked the air out of him.
He was hit with things hard and soft, sharp and dull, dry and wet. All he could do was curl up into a fetal position until it ended. Finally it was over. He began to push the debris off him, bits of wood and metal, shards of glass, silverware. He grabbed someones hand. It felt cold, but there might be a chance to revive them. He began to trace the hand back up the arm towards the body with the intention of performing CPR. He got a shock though when the arm stopped at the shoulder. It was night outside, so the only light now was the flickering flames that got through the thick black smoke. He felt kind of a dizzy pressure in his head, and it was kind of hard to think clearly. His eyes kept going blurry and he was surprised that the noise level was not a lot louder. He figured he must have a mild concussion. He reached up and stuck a finger in his ear with the intention of wiggling it around, but felt a sticky wetness, and he understood why he was having trouble hearing. He gave his body a quick once over and concluded no broken bones, so he was good to go to search for victims.
With that he made a mental picture of the restaurants layout in his head. He grabbed a napkin(Fancy restaurants have cloth napkins) and placed it over his mouth and nose, and began to crawl with his face near the floor. Using the layout in his head, he searched the place in a grid pattern. Every time he came upon a body, he would search the body for a pulse and any hint of breath. If there were none, he would continue searching. If there were any hint of life, he would work to pull the body back towards the lobby/entrance doors. If the person were breathing, he would place a napkin lightly over their faces and continue his search pattern, if they had a pulse but were not breathing, he used CPR to start them breathing, then he would continue searching.
It was getting harder for him to breathe and to think. He was in the grid closest to the kitchen, where the explosion occurred and he found himself disoriented and surrounded by flames. He was so dizzy now and the pressure in his head had become nearly unbearable. Because he was not getting enough clean oxygen, and because of his concussion, he found himself becoming unbearably tired. He could no longer resist, and once again, curling up in a fetal position, he gave in to the need for sleep.
Outside, Isabella called Captain Chamberlain on her cell phone and told him that the restaurant that she was meeting David at was on fire, caused by a huge explosion. He asks her if David was in there at the time. She says she believes so, because when the local firefighters got there and started to enter the doors, they came upon five survivors, lined up near the entrance, all with napkins on their faces. She has told the local captain she believes this is the work of David, who is a firefighter, and his men are now in there searching for him. The Captain thanks her and asks her to please keep him up to date. She knows how badly he would like to be there at that moment, but he is tied by his own duty to his men and his house. She promises she will and lets him go. A few minutes later she hears a great shout. She runs towards the noise and sees three men carrying another between them. She cannot help the overwhelming feelings that flood her, and she pushes her way through the crowd to Davids side.
He is unconscious. She grabs one of his hands and rubs it and calls his name over and over. The captain sees that this woman loves this man deeply and therefore needs to be handled gently. He reaches out and lays a hand on her shoulder. "Look at his ears, he may not be able to hear you. We need to get him to the hospital, Why don't you go along with him"? She nods, then thanks him. Once the Ambulance has him secure and in the vehicle, she decides to follow in her own car instead. She calls Captain Chamberlain and tells him that David is on his way to the hospital, that he is unconscious. He can hear the fear in her voice, and though he to is afraid, he knows that she needs strength and encouragement right now. So he tells her to remember that David is a strong man. That he has much to live for, and part of what he has to live for is her...a big part. She is silent for a bit as she struggles to get the lump out of her throat, finally when she is again able to speak, she thanks him, tells him she needs to go be with him. He tells her that is a good idea, good night, and drive safely.
Isabella waits in the waiting room, sometimes alone, sometimes not as his mates and the Captain come by to see how things are going. The Dr.s are working to clear out his lungs, as he took so much smoke in to them. She is again alone when they are done and she is told she can go in and see him. He is awake, but groggy, still kind of confused even. She asks him how he feels. He is ok, no pain, the drugs make sure of that. He didn't know he got burnt, didn't even know he broke a rib. He still has a little trouble hearing, but it will be ok. His cheerful facade suddenly breaks and his lower lip starts to tremble. He bites it to keep from crying. Isabella is concerned. She takes his hands and asks him what is wrong. I lost them, he says. I lost them all. I am such a failure. How can I call myself a Firefighter if I can't even save one life? Isabella is confused. She asks him what he is talking about. He tells her the fire that he was last in, he doesn't care if he ends up in a hospital, deaf or even dead...it would be worth it if, and only if, he had saved just one of those people. Isabella asks him what fire is he talking about. He gets frustrated with her and asks her how can she forget what fire, she was there. She says its ok, she remembers now. She tells him she needs to go for a few minutes and goes in search of his doctor.
She tells the doctor that he is confusing this experience with past fires and now is going into depression, saying he is not worthy of being a firefighter because he couldn't save even one life. The doctor says he is experiencing a type of amnesia and the confusion from his concussion isn't helping. He figures the best way to help him out of this is to have the Captain and men from the firehouse who pulled him from the restaurant come by to "see" him, retelling how they found the survivors and him. If that doesn't do it, maybe we can arrange for the survivors themselves to come and see him. So Isabella called Captain Chamberlain and told him what was happening and what the doctor said. He in turn contacted the said captain, who was more than happy to comply. He gathered the three men and went by to see David. David of course had no memory of them, as he was unconscious when they pulled him out of the restaurant.
He listened politely as they told him of how they found the survivors and then him. They treated him like some kind of superhero. It made him feel very uncomfortable, especially because he knew he didn't deserve it, he hadn't done what they claim he had done. When the men left, they were concerned, they knew they had not convinced David of anything. The captain called Captain Chamberlain and told him. He then contacted the survivors and explained the problem to them. Each survivor had the same reaction. We would not be alive today if not for this man, what do you need us to do, anything, we will do it. The captain asked if they would go and see David, and tell him how they were there at the restaurant that evening, and share the experience with him. He knew he was asking a hard thing from them, but he believed that if they would each of them do this, it would not only help restore Davids memory of that night, but only one who had experienced it would have such memories and would be able to relate them as they could, he would have no choice but to believe them and know that that night happened and that he, David, saved their lives.
They agreed it would be a hard thing to do, but it would be worth it, and so they would do it, and so it was arranged. The next day, beginning in the morning they arrived and waited their turns, even if it meant waiting all day, determined to help the man who had saved their lives. One by one they went in and related the evening in question, in minute detail, how they were terrified, and how they thought their life was over, until someone had come to their side and saved them. He had, in fact, been that someone. They would never, could never forget, as long as they lived, the face of the man who saved their life. They cried. They embraced him. He cried. And he remembered. He remembered waiting for Isabella. The sucking sensation. The explosion. The searching. The bodiless arm. Pulling people from the debris and flames towards the entrance. He remembered it all. He thanked them.
When they were gone and it was just he and Isabella, he released his pent up emotions, crying until no more tears came. Isabella understood and simply held him until the storm had passed. Finally, David looked up. "I love you Isa, I love you so much. Thank you." "I love you to Baby, but there is nothing to thank me for, I haven't done anything". "Yes, you have. You came into my life. You gave yourself to me. And you saved my life." Isabella thinks back, trying to remember when she saved his life, and can only remember when he saved hers. "I don't understand David. It was you who saved mine, when you got me out from that car. When have I ever saved your life, though I would in a heart beat if you needed me." "I know you would, and you did. You see, you saw I was lost, and you went for help. I would have died of heartbreak, I think, at least I felt like I was dying. So you saved me". All she could do was hug him tightly, she simply had no words to say in return.
When David got out of the hospital, he was once again presented with an award, but this time, he got a special surprise. The award was not handed to him by the survivors, they had asked the mayor to do that, they had their own medals they had gotten and they asked to be able to give him as soon as he got his award. So just as he was about to return to his seat, the mayor stopped him and told him he might want to wait a moment. And one by one in a line came up the survivors, and each hung a medal around his neck and either hugged and kissed him or shook his hand depending on their sex, and expressed their deep gratitude to him. By the time he returned to his seat he had tears in his eyes. He never expected an award ceremony to move him to tears. Those medals meant more to him then any award ever could. He looked at them again...on the front was the image of a firefighter and on the back were the words "my hero". then in small print down near the bottom of each one was inscribed the name of the survivor and the date of the explosion.
Link to final episode 8
David and Isabella help a woman bring her baby into the world on a busy intersection, then David decides not to waste anymore time and goes to buy a wedding ring for Isabella, but while doing so the store gets robbed and David gets shot attempting to
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