Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Darren and the Dad

This is chapter five in the continuing story of Darren Roberts. If you are new to the story, click here for chapter one.

Chapter Five

Darren looked at Mark, Mark looked at him and they both ran to the capsized car, now rotating gently on its roof. The driver seemed to have the wherewithal to open his window and remove his seatbelt, and they helped him from the vehicle; He didn't seem to be injured.

“Fuck me Jesus!” he said. “Hell of a ride”. His English was strongly accented. “Excuse pliz... one of you is...” He consulted a piece of paper he pulled from his pocket. “Darren Roberts?” He took his time with the 'R' sounds, giving them an otherworldly intonation.

Darren braced himself and took a step forwards. “I'm Darren Roberts.”

The older man stepped forwards too, put his arms around him and kissed him on both cheeks, regardless of Darren's somewhat paranoid reaction. “I am Pyotr Frackowski and you have saved my daughter Dorota. Nurse tell me you here. You call me Pete, if pliz you.”

Darren took a step back to get out of kissing range and extended a firm and manly handshake. “Nice to meet you, Pete”. He tried to make his grip as heterosexual as possible before releasing it as soon as decorum would allow. “How is your daughter? They won't tell me.”

“Ah, such a system,” said Pete. “Not even man who saved her life can be told that she is alive. You did a good thing, Darren. You saved my little girl. She is so precious to me.”

He looked at his car and sighed. “Things like my car do not matter when my baby's life at stake. At least doctor say no permanent damage to head. That good. You saved her. You hero like Superman.”

Darren looked at his feet and mumbled a few words of thanks. He was not so craven as to feel good about his charade. He left Mark talking to Pete and made his way to the hospital, narrowly avoiding being run down by an ambulance that sped to the site of the car crash.

It felt good to be walking back to the hospital. He'd just had half of Mark's joint, he'd heard the best news he could imagine and the cool April air set his mind tingling with possibilities. He had to find this Dorota and talk to her, persuade her that he wasn't involved in her accident. He needed a story. Maybe the wrench was dropped by someone else on the scaffolding: as the foreman said, he didn't look like he worked there. But it would only take the police interviewing a single rubbernecker who saw him there and his alibi was blown. Maybe he could say that he was just walking down the street with a wrench in his hand, he was idly catching it and he missed on one occasion and it hit her. But they could probably do tests to work out it was a six pound wrench falling twenty foot that caused the injury. He'd have to wing it. The seat of his pants would have more frequent flyer points than Richard Branson after tonight.

He entered the hospital through the large, slowly revolving transparent door that always made him feel like a hamster. And as he waited for his chance to enter, he saw a woman on the other side waiting to exit. He looked at her again, out of the corner of his eye. He'd seen her somewhere. He paused. He'd seen her here, through the closing ward door. He'd seen her lying in a spreading pool of blood on an Old Town street. This was Dorota!

He cursed the revolving door as he got out, then missed his chance to get back on again and had to wait a full rotation before he could follow her.

“Dorota!” he shouted after her when he navigated himself free.

“I'm not her!” came the reply, as the misnamed patient staggered off.

“It's me, Darren!” he called. “I was the one who found you”

She turned and looked at him. “You do look lovely,” she said. “I was right about that at least.” She turned away, and looked like she was going to cry. She stumbled, missed her step, and slumped, landing with her knees bent in front of her and her head on them. “I've got myself into some trouble,” she said.

“Yeah, I know what you mean,” said Darren, sitting down beside her and putting his arm around her. “I know exactly what you mean. Now, you know who I am, and I know who you're not. What I don't know is who you are.”

“I'm Claire,” said Claire. “Did you know you've got blood all over your hoodie?”

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