Chapter Ten (Part Two)

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Chapter Ten (Part Two)

Hadley

Several hours later, I locked my front door, threw my duffle bag over my shoulder, and headed toward my car. Sirens wailed in the background. Another emergency, I thought to myself sadly. Shaking my head, I got in my car and started the engine.

Cutting through the backgrounds, I avoided the congested highway. The gently sloping mountains were shrouded in a thin mist as I made my way out of the city.

After taking a left, to avoid a busy intersection, I slowed down to take in the scene before me. Flames licked the sides of an old building as firefighters desperately tried to put out the fire. Firefighters rushed a handful of people out of the building as they coughed and made their way to the paramedics. The men were wearing one-piece uniforms that looked like something a mechanic would wear.

With wide eyes, I watched as another firefighter brought out a limp body slumped over his shoulder. He placed the body gently on a stretcher and shouted something I couldn't make out.

Blinking hard, I swallowed and watched as one of the EMTs motioned over a police officer. The police officer leaned in and frowned. He looked at the paramedic and nodded. My hands trembled as I watched the paramedic pull a white sheet over the body and then give the signal to have it loaded into the ambulance.

A loud honk startled me. Looking in my review mirror, I made eye contact with an angry bald man with a full beard. He held his hands in the air and shouted a slew of curse words.

Taking one last look at the scene, I took my foot off of the break and pressed on the gas pedal. Death is everywhere, I thought to myself, feeling my chest tighten.

I clicked on the phone button on my car, the voice prompt asked me to state the name of the person I wanted to call. "Nathalie Parker," I said. The phone rang twice before my boss picked up the phone. "Hey, Nathalie, I'm not feeling well. I'm not going to be able to make it in today or tomorrow." I paused, waiting for my boss to respond.

"I'm sorry to hear that, Hadley," she said. "Take all of the time you need."

"Thanks, Nathalie. I really appreciate it. I'll put in extra hours next week to make up for it, okay?"

"Sounds good," she said.

"Thanks again," I responded. Clicking another button on my steering wheel, I hung up and let out a sigh. My boss and practically everyone at work had treated me with kid gloves since my brother had passed away. I appreciated it, but hated it at the same time. Everyone was always asking if I was okay or if I needed anything. It just reminded me of Hudson. I bit my thumbnail. I guess I'd rather have people concerned about me then not.

After driving for twenty minutes, I turned up Bullhead Mountain. I followed the familiar paved road that wound around and around until I reached my parent's stone mailbox. Turning left, I followed the driveway until my parent's house came into view. Two stories, covered in the same stone as the mailbox, and surrounded by flowerbeds filled with bright beautiful flowers. Pink, yellow, and orange petals lined the walkway to the door.

Parking my car, I reached for my duffle bag and made my way toward the door. Before I could even knock the door swung open and my mother wrapped her arms around me in a tight embrace.

***

"You'll come for dinner on Sunday, right?" asked my mother.

"Of course," I responded.

"Are you sure you're ready to go back?" she asked with a concerned look on her face. "You'll find someone else to see? Too help you through this loss as well?"

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