The Divine Always Compensates. Flash Fiction.
Elizabeth stopped what she was doing immediately, when she got the solemn news. Her mother had just taken ill with a heart attack and was in a critical condition in hospital. She grabbed her bag, picked up her cell phone, and made a mad dash for the exit of the building.
Heart pumping faster than ever, Elizabeth ran to the elevated ramp, got into her car, and drove faster than she’d ever done before! This was the woman who had fed her, clothed her, nursed her through many illnesses, not to mention her mother’s love, counselling, and sleepless sacrifice. They were very close, all three of them, and Elizabeth’s sister was already at the hospital when she phoned …when she conveyed the terrible news to her elder sister.
Alas! Elizabeth arrived at the hospital too late. By the time she made her way to the Coronary Care Unit, Level six, St. Mc Donald’s Hospital, her mother had died. Elizabeth arrived to the silence of doctors, nurses, anaesthetists, porters, her sister …all around her mother’s bedside. They had done their best, she was told, but mum had suffered a massive internal bleed – cardiac tamponade – they called it, and they could not help her. Elizabeth collapsed, vaguely seeing the hand of her sister, still holding her mother’s, before she hit the floor.
Then began a period of mourning, not eating, sleepless nights, exhaustion. Elizabeth took this really hard, especially so, as she had not been there to say goodbye. Her poor sister had to make all the funeral arrangements, talk to the funeral agency, relatives, florists, doctors, lawyers …until Elizabeth was well enough, nearly two weeks later, to attend her own mothers funeral.
Fast forward to two months later. Elizabeth has finally managed to go out into the open. She is in a shopping precinct, when she hears what sounds like a thud behind her. Elizabeth turns around, and an elderly looking woman, almost her mother’s age, perhaps, has collapsed to the floor of the supermarket. As her body turned blue and her jaws became rigid, Elizabeth sprang into action. God damn! She wasn’t going to let this one die.
Elizabeth had no knowledge of first aid. All she knew was what she had seen on TV. Shouting for help, she got down on her knees and started mouth to mouth breathing, and quick as a flash, a gentleman joined her to do the cardiac compressions. For twenty minutes they worked on this elderly lady.
Thirty compression to two breaths …thirty compressions to two breaths … until and ambulance crew turned up and took over. One crew member took the details from Elizabeth, but she was tired, in a daze and praying for the woman to survive.
Fast forward to three months later. Elizabeth is in a beautiful relationship, feeling much better about herself, when she receives a telephone call.
“Hello!” Are you Elizabeth?” said an unknown female voice.
Are you the woman who resuscitated my mother at the supermarket some three months ago?”
Elizabeth pauses …
“Not to worry, the voice continued. Our mom passed peacefully, but she recovered consciousness long enough for us to say goodbye. For this the family wishes to extend their deepest gratitude to you.”
Elizabeth expressed her thanks and empathy, and put the phone down. She had made a difference. Another family had managed to obtain what she solely missed. Now not only her eyes, but her very Soul was filled with tears of joy.
Six weeks later, at the age 45, she was married. Her partner, now husband, was the very man who had assisted her, on that fateful day at the supermarket.
-Manatita, 22nd February, 2016