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 Post subject: "To Breathe Again" - (Chapter 11)
PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2011 11:44 am 
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Location: On a good day, planet Earth in NE Alabama.
(Chapter Eleven)

Dispatch: “What’s your emergency?”

“There’s been an accident. A car has just crashed into a tree at high speed.”

Dispatch: “What is the location?”

“Beachwood Road…about seven miles north of the campgrounds.”

Dispatch: “Is anyone injured?”

“I don’t think so. The driver…the only person I saw, just fled on foot.”

Dispatch: “Can you describe the driver?”


Before she could begin, Dee Dee was interrupted by a cry from the wrecked car. “Hold on, I’ll be right back.” She dropped the phone and quickly moved from her car to the one across the road. Standing on the floorboard in the back and peering out of the window of the mangled black compact car, was a small boy.

“Mommy!” He cried.

Dee Dee gasped in surprise and opened the back door to lift the child out, taking note of the empty car seat. “Are you okay?” She gently ran her hand along his head and upper body. “Come on. I’ve got you.” She carried the toddler across the street as comfortably as she could on her hip.

Dispatch: “Dee Dee, are you there?”

Dee Dee, who had given her name when she placed the call, heard the woman’s voice before she lifted the phone to her ear. “I’m here.” She replied almost breathless. “There was a child in the car….male…approximately three years old. He has a bruise and a small bump on his forehead.”

Dispatch: “Okay. Someone will be there shortly.”

“Thank you.” After hanging up, Dee Dee turned her attention to the child. “Come on, let’s sit down.” She walked around the car and sat in the passenger seat. “Are you okay? Does anything hurt you?” She turned him to face her as she tried to make them both comfortable by sliding the seat back and adjusting him on her lap. The little boy remained silent, except for a light whimper. Dee Dee tried to coax him into answering her. “Won’t you tell me your name? Mine is Dee Dee. Will you tell me how old you are? Where do you live?”

“I want Mommy.” The little boy sniffled as his dark eyes filled with tears.

“The police will help us find your Mommy. Okay?”

“I want Mommy, now!” The child broke into tears. “I want my Mommy! I want my Daddy!”

“I know, sweetie. We’ll find them.” Dee Dee noticed the darkening of the bruise and bump on the child’s forehead. “Does your head hurt?” She was answered with a nod. “It’ll feel better, soon.” She stroked his cheeks with the back of her hand to wipe the tears from his naturally cocoa tanned cheeks, and then ran her fingers through his dark wavy hair. “I know I’m a stranger, but I used to be a police officer. I’ll help you, and my friend who is a police officer will help you, too.” The little boy must have felt he could trust her as he leaned forward and rest his head on her shoulder. “Do you want to tell me your name, now?” Dee Dee asked.


“Oh, I like that name.” Dee Dee replied with a smile. “What are your mommy and daddy’s names?”

“Mommy’s name is Talia….daddy’s name is Jaeden, too.”

“What’s your last name?”


“Good job.” Dee Dee praised the child. “How old are you?

”Three and a half.”

“You’re a smart little boy.” Dee Dee smiled. “Do you know where you live?”

“Uh-huh. Mommy and daddy told me. I live on Langley Street….one nine four. That’s the big numbers on my house.”

“You’re doing a great job. Do you know your phone number?”

Jaeden heaved a sigh and started to cry again. “I get mixed up. I get my numbers mixed up. I know don’t ‘em.”

Dee Dee stroked his little arm and his back. “That’s okay. You’ve told me a lot that can help us get you home. We can tell the police all of this and they’ll get in touch with your parents. Do you know the man in the car?”

“No! He’s mean!” Jaeden tensed in Dee Dee’s arms. “He’s gonna get me again! He hit my daddy and screamed at me! He’s gonna get me!”

“No, honey. I won’t let him. He’s long gone and he won’t be back.” Dee Dee felt it was best to hold off until he’s feeling safer, hopefully with his parents in attendance. “It’s okay. We won’t talk about him, now.” She wrapped her arms around him a little tighter and rests her cheek against the top of his head. After more than half an hour since the crash, the emergency vehicles were in earshot.

“Do you hear that? The police are coming.” Jaeden didn’t answer and kept his head against Dee Dee’s chest. “We’re all going to get you home.”

One state trooper’s car and a strawberry red fire truck parked just behind Dee Dee’s car; each servant exiting their vehicles in a hurry. While one firefighter ran across the street to the crashed car, the trooper and another firefighter ran over to Dee Dee’s.

“Ma’am, are you and your son alright?” The firefighter asked.

“Yes, I’m fine, but he has a bump on his head. He’s not my son, though. He was in the wrecked car. I found him there.”

“Okay. Come on, buddy. Let’s have a look at you.”

The officer stepped aside to allow the firefighter to take Jaeden.

“While he takes care of the child, I’d like to ask you some questions.” The officer said.

As the young man reached for the child, Jaeden wrapped his arms around Dee Dee’s neck.

“Come, on sweetie. The fireman wants to help you.” She tried to convince him. Before she could try again, an attendant from the newly arrived ambulance came over to assist. The young woman realized the reluctance from Jaeden and tried her own approach.

“Hi, little guy. My name is Ashley.” The woman said with a cheerful smile. “Come with me and you’ll see the inside of my ambulance and we can put a nice bandage on your head.”

“No! I want to stay with Dee Dee!” Tears welled in Jaeden’s eyes. “I don’t wanna go!”

Dee Dee’s heart ached as she knew she couldn’t leave his side. “It’s okay. I’ll stay with you, but we have to let them take a look at your head.” With Jaeden clinging to her like Velcro, she struggled to get out of the low bucket-seat.

“Let me take him.” Ashley reached for the child who began screaming, but she didn’t let it faze her. When Dee Dee was out of the car, Ashley noticed her protruding belly. “He’s too heavy for you to carry. I’ll take him over.”

Jaeden began shrieking with fear as Ashley carried him away from the one person he could trust at the moment. “Dee Dee!” His little arms stretched over Ashley’s shoulder in an effort to reach his new friend. “Dee Dee!”

“I’m coming, sweetheart.” Dee Dee quickly grabbed her purse from the seat. “I’m right behind you.”

Once they reached the ambulance, another attendant helped Dee Dee up to sit on a gurney inside, and then Ashley handed Jaeden to her.

“Come here.” Dee Dee reached for the child. “I’ve got you, now. Shh-shh. It’s okay.”

After Ashley checked Jaeden’s pupils and told Dee Dee that obviously had only a minor bump on the head, but would be taken to the hospital for further inspection. She placed a Fred Flintstone bandage on his head and complimented him for doing so well. “By the look of that car, it’s a wonder he wasn’t seriously injured.”

“I know.” Dee Dee replied and ran her hand up and down the toddler’s back. “He’s a tough one.” She smiled.

“Will you be riding with him to the hospital?”

“How can I not?” Dee Dee asked in surprise of the question. It was obvious that Jaeden couldn’t be without her. “I’ll stay with him until his parents come for him.”

Ashley nodded and exited the ambulance to speak with another attendant and a police officer who’d just pulled up to the scene.

The trooper, who’d looked on patiently, also complimented the child on his bravery. He began to question Dee Dee for any information she might have on the escaped driver. She described him as best she could, and let him know that Jaeden shouldn’t be questioned until his parents were with him. He told Dee Dee that Jaeden could very well be the young boy who was reported as kidnapped during a car theft.

“Thank you, Mrs. Turnan. We really appreciate you taking the time to investigate. There’s no telling how long little Jaeden would have been in that car if you hadn’t found him and made the call.”

“I’m glad I was here.” Dee Dee sighed and held Jaeden a little closer. As the trooper walked to his car to check for any information on the driver, Dee Dee recognized the unmarked police car which skidded to a stop at the edge of the road.

“Dee Dee?!” Rick Hunter jumped from his car and raced over to her. “Dee Dee, are you alright?”

=== == ===


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