When I run up to the reception desk in the
emergency room; the thought that this hospital is too familiar for my liking,
runs through my head. Way too familiar. "I'm looking for Gabriel
The nurse behind the desk looks up and checks in the computer. "I'm afraid that I don't have a Gabriel Moreno registered here, sir."
I shake my head. "You have to. Emma said that they were coming here." She has to be kidding me. What if Gabe is seriously injured? Suddenly, I hear someone calling me name behind me. When I whirl around, Emma is standing there with Gabe. I let my breath escape; a breath I didn't realize I was holding. Thank you Lord. Gabe looks a little shell shocked, but I can't see any major injuries. "What happened?" I ask Emma as I pick him up the floor for inspection.
Emma shakes her head. "It's nothing major. I don't know what they told you, but they were just playing tag with each other, and he fell right on his chin. It needed two stitches. He'll be just fine." Emma looks at me. "Keep breathing, Harm."
Yeah, keep breathing Hammer. I lift Gabe's chin. It's covered with a band-aid with Tweety on it. It looks just fine to me. "Okay." I attempt a smile at Emma. "I'm sorry. Just, when I got that phone call that there'd been a little accident… I freaked out."
"Of course you did. I wouldn't have expected something else." We start to walk towards the exit. Then it hits me that I'm walking here, and our nanny is, and Gabe is…
"Where are Noa and Shireen?"
Emma looks up. "Grace drove us down here. She's looking after Noa and Reen."
Gabe doesn't want to let go of me. I hug him close. God, I'm so glad that everything is okay. "You okay, buddy?" I ask him. He nods. "You sure?" A single tear slips down his cheek and I hug him again. We stand there for quite a while before I let go. This whole thing scared the hell out of him, of course. And Sarah wasn't with him, and neither was I… Talking about Sarah, I better call her. After one last hug, I strap Gabe in his seat and call Sarah as soon as we arrive home. Emma waves goodbye to me. Noa and Reen have been picked up and are in the living room. Gabe is sitting in my lap, his head resting against my chest. He's a little too quiet; even for Gabe. The phone rings twice before someone picks it up. "Joint Legal Services San Diego, Petty Officer Denver. May I help you?"
"Petty Officer, this is Lt. Commander Rabb. I'm looking for Major Mackenzie?" I softly stroke over Gabe's head to calm him down. It's not the first time the Petty Officer answers the phone, but usually I call Sarah's cell phone at night. Since it's three hours earlier in San Diego, she won't be going home for another few hours. "Harm?" When she finally comes on the phone, her voice sounds frantic. "Is everything okay? Please tell me everything is okay with Gabe…"
I frown. "How do you know that something happened to Gabe?" I ask. "I didn't…"
She doesn't let me finish. "I called HQ's earlier because I needed your opinion on a case, but you weren't there and Mandy told me that you had been called to the hospital. Is everything okay?"
"Yeah, he's fine, considering. Fell on the playground, cut his chin and needed two stitches. He's pretty shaken up but he'll be fine."
Sarah breathes in and out and doesn't respond for a little while. "You realize that this is it, right? You realize that this is the final straw? That the decision has been made and that there is no turning back anymore?"
I nod and swallow hard. "You're going to hand in your papers when you get back." It's not a question, it's a statement. "Don't tell me not to, Harm. Please don't."
"No," I say, "I'm not going to tell you not to. I wouldn't dare." I press my lips together. "You're probably right. It's best. And if you're sure that the person staying at home should be you, then that's what we're going to do."
"Thank you," she whispers. "That really means a lot to me, Harm."
The thing is; that she's completely right. She's missed out on so much more than just Gabe's little accident. "You're right." Two words, but I guess that there is nothing else I can say to make it clearer to her that I have her back. That I completely support her decision.
"Is Gabe there?"
While Gabe and Sarah talk on the phone I stare out of the window. Sarah is right. It's probably better if she stays at home with the kids. I don't know why, but it just is. She's going to hand in her papers when she returns. We end our conversation on the phone as we always do. "I love you."
And I send a little prayer up to heaven, asking God if she may return home soon. Please let her return soon.