Sara blinked away the blinding sun. The last thing she remembered was climbing the tree to retrieve Mindy’s kite. She and Mindy, who was 10, were spending the afternoon in the park flying the kites. When Mindy’s kite went off course and landed in the tree, it stuck. Against her own better judgment, she had climbed to the branch that would not give up the kite. She stretched and stretched and stretched . . .
When Sara’s awareness began to return, she could hear the murmur of voices gathering around her and the distant wail of a siren.
She swallowed hard and gripped Mindy’s hand tighter. Sara was responsible for her. How could she ensure Mindy’s safety when she was in this condition herself? It was a mistake to climb the tree to retrieve the kite. Not only did she set a bad example for Mindy, but she ended up getting hurt. Her evil fate for doing something so uncharacteristically dumb.
The first to arrive were a group of firefighters. Through the blinding sun, she watched as a tall, handsome man wearing a turnout coat and warm smile knelt beside her. As he leaned over her, his almond-colored eyes looking intently into hers, she felt a sudden rush of attraction run through her. It temporarily displaced the physical pain that plagued her entire body.
The man touched her shoulder lightly and said, “Hi, my name is Flynn. I understand you took a fall. My colleague, Jill, and I are trained as paramedics. Jill will be taking some vitals while I check you over for broken bones. Is that okay?”
Sara managed a weak, “yes” as he looked toward Mindy. “Young lady, did you see what happened?”
The next few moments remained a blur, as people buzzed around her like giant bees attending to their queen. She became lost in the activity, going in and out of consciousness. The next thing she knew she was being wheeled into the back of an ambulance.
Her first thought was of Mindy. “Flynn, Flynn,” she cried.
Flynn flew to her side. “I’m here,” he said.
“It’s Mindy,” Sara could feel her eyes welling up. “She is my responsibility. I have to get her home to her parents.”
“Don’t worry about it, Sara,” he smiled, “I have it covered.”
Sara relaxed as they shoved the gurney into the open doors of the ambulance. Mindy must have told him her name. Their short interaction was enough for her to create a trusting rapport with the firefighter. He would see to it Mindy got home safely. She was sure of it.
Later, in her hospital bed, Mindy could not keep her mind off the handsome firefighter. The pain killers the doctors had given her were working their magic and her thoughts had time to wander. The staff had told her that she had no serious injuries, but that they wanted to keep her overnight to make sure.
She looked toward the door when she heard someone enter. Expecting a nurse, instead she saw three people enter the room. Mindy, Jill and Flynn, who was carrying a bouquet of spring flowers. Mindy skipped over to her side, “I brought friends,” she said. “We brought you something to brighten your room.”
“How are you feeling?” Jill said as Flynn arranged the flowers on her bedside table.
“Sore,” Sara said, smiling at their presence. “Thank you so much for the flowers.”
“It was Flynn’s idea,” Jill said, as Sara’s cheeks took on a rose color.
Flynn looked at her and smiled, “I thought you might like these.”
Jill looked toward Mindy. “How about some hot chocolate?” she said to Mindy. “I think we can get some in the cafeteria,” she said as she gave Flynn a stealthy smile.
She took Mindy by the hand and they left the room.
“So,” Flynn said pulling a chair up to the side of her bed. “You like kite-flying and falling out of trees. What else should I know about you?”
Sara took a cautious breath. Maybe the fall wasn’t such an evil fate after all.
Copyright 2023, Monica Nelson