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Fire, Love and Life

By Renee Crawfeild All Rights Reserved ©

Drama / Romance


Terrorist Attack Hits U.S.

Bombs were placed strategically around the New York City JFK airport, in several planes, shops, offices and bathrooms. Only two went off and the rest were disabled. Lots of people were killed and many have been injured. An official death toll has not yet been released. Injured people have been rushed to the hospitals. If you are searching for a loved one or family relative please check the lists that will be posted here as soon as possible. Please do not try to contact them by cell phone as all cell phones in the area have been shut off as a precaution. Please check back later for a more recent update on the latest tragedy.

Lying on a hospital bed in New York City two weeks after an airport bombing is girl around twenty two years of age. Prickly flesh with splotches and bumps and rough spots cover her skin, that appears so much darker compared to the white sheets on the bed.

“Nancy, hit the lights would you darling?” We need to check her vitals and check her bandages.” “Okay, sure thing.” A voice floats out. The lights come on and the brightness that invades almost blinds her. She lets out a small gasp of pain and squeezes her eyes shut.

“Oh my god! Page the doctor! She is awake! Quick!”

She tries to squint to make out who said that. Slowly her eyes begin to adjust and soon she can open her eyes fully. Standing in front of her is an older, kinder looking woman.

“I’m nurse Nancy and have been looking after you for a little awhile. It is great to see you awake. I’m sure you’re very confused, but before that is there any unbearable pain? Do you feel like you are going to pass out and can breathe okay?”

The girl laying in the hospital bed looks up and tries to answer, “I-I can breathe but the burning. What is that?” Her voice scratches and is harsh and rough.
“Oh, sweety. Hush up. It would appear that your vocal cords have not completely healed yet. The burning sensation is your burns, third degree burns covered almost forty percent of your body when you were brought in. Minor burns pretty much covered the rest. You have had a few skin grafts done but most of your burns still remain. It has been a few hours since we last changed your bandages and put new ointment which is why it is so bad.”

The girl looks at her blankly, the words she is hearing don’t seem to make sense. Burns? Healing? Forty percent?

“Do you know who you are?” Nancy asks the girl hoping for yes.

“Uh, Yeah, Rashida Nagi” The girl whispers, her voice clawing it’s way out of her throat. “I’m a student, but I live here in New York, but what happened, what’s going on?” A man, clearly a doctor walked into the room. His warm, seeming kind eyes surveyed the scene.

“You are awake!” He asks excitedly turning to Nancy he asks “Does she remember?” Nancy nods her head and he does a little jig, smiling he says,

“Finally some good news! How are you feeling, Nancy was just applying the burn anointment right? But besides that, are you hungry, thirsty, anything?”

“I, um, if I could have something to drink?” Rashida answers hesitantly.

“Of course dear, right away!” Nancy says and then scurries out.

After Nancy leaves the doctor starts to speak again.

“Hi. I am Dr. Martin and have been attending to your case since you came here. Do you want to hear what happened or your injuries first?”

“What happened?” The girl says as quickly as possible in her scratchy voice.

“Two bombs went off in the JFK international airport, two weeks ago. One bomb went off in a plane before it took off and one went off in the main office of the airport. You were found near the office with no form of identification on you. Around sixty or so people were killed and there were many people injured. You are one of the last injured persons to regain consciousness. Things have been pretty serious, security around the world was amped up for a few days. All airports around the globe were shut down for a day. All U.S. airports were shut for three days. You are currently in the New York Downtown hospital. They do, however have the bombers in custody.”

“How serious are my injuries?” She asked a little nervously.

“Third degree burns cover around forty percent of your body, you have had some skin grafts done, so the skin is probably feeling sensitive or painful. There were also lots of bits of glass and debris embedded into your skin. Hopefully the morphine in your system from the IV should be helping.”

Nancy came back with the water in a white styrofoam cup. She had two.

“Do you want ice or no ice? I wasn’t sure so I brought both.”

“Ice, please.” Nancy handed her the cup and she slurped it down hoping it would soothe her aching throat. Rashida’s thoughts wandered, not truly comprehending that she had been injured in a bombing or that she was burned. The jagged puzzle pieces couldn’t fit together in her mind, the jabbed at each other and bumped into each other never fitting together. She glanced down, she was wearing a blue and white hospital gown. Bandages covered her arms, legs and torso. She looked like something out of a horror movie. No. She was not going to feel sorry for herself. She would be fine. She would heal recover and get back to her life. People died everyday, people had been killed in this bombing. She was alive, and she was going to be thankful for what she had, somewhere others had it worse.

“Aunt France, When is Mommy and Daddy coming back? Mommy usually takes me to my appointments.”

France sighed and looked down at her nephew. Landon was the son of her brother Dallas and his wife Alice. Alice had just passed away in the bombings at the airport. Dallas was still on tour with the U.S. Marines and wouldn’t be back for another couple of weeks. He also has no idea about Alice yet. At the time of the bombing Landon had been staying with France while Alice was going to the airport to pick up a friend that needed a ride. She had been by the office that had exploded and was believed to have been killed when some of the rubble crashed. So until Dallas gets back Landon was in France’s custody and he needed to be taken to the hospital multiple times a week. Landon is five years old and was diagnosed with lymphoma a few months ago. He is undergoing chemotherapy and other treatment for it. Landon has stage one so everyone was really hopeful that he will be okay and pull through.

Dallas is going to be a wreck when he gets back. His wife is dead and his only son has cancer. That poor man has already gone through so much. He is coming on home from hell only to find that hell is empty and that all the demons are here. France thought to herself.

“Come on, Aunt France! I want to see if the girl is awake!” France glanced down at the strange little boy. He was such a little ray of sunshine. He can always brighten up someone else’s day. After the bombings there was a girl that no one knew who she was. She was burned horribly and had no one to look after her. Landon passed her room one day and overheard one of the nurses talking about it. Ever since he has stopped at her room hoping she would wake up so that he could be her friend. It was the cutest thing ever. France looked at her phone, they really didn’t have time but Landon would be devastated if he didn’t get to stop. The wound their way through the maze of hallways until they came to her room. A nurse was paused outside of the door.

“Oh, Landon! Guess what?” The chipper woman asked him.

“What? What? Did she wake up?”

“ Yes! She woke up last night!”

“Yay! Is she awake right now? Does she know who she is?”

The nurse shook her head. “She isn’t awake, but she does remember who she is.” Landon nodded his head. She continued on, “If you come back after your appointment, she might be awake then okay?” Landon jumped up and down and nodded excitedly.

“Okay!” He exclaimed and pulled me along to his appointment. The bounce in his step and constant smile on the way warmed France’s heart and for a second made her forget the real reason they were at the hospital.

“Rashida, come on dear. Wake up!” Nancy tried to wake up Rashida without disturbing any of her wounds and bandages. “There is someone here to see you!”

Rashida’s eyes drifted open to find nurse Nancy, the nurse from last night leaning over her. In the doorway was an adorable little boy around the age of four or five. Next to him stood a tall woman with beautiful long dark hair. She clutched the boys hand as he jumped up and down with what seemed to be excitement.

“Who are they?” Rashida asked confused and disoriented, rubbing the sleep out of her eyes.

“Landon here has been checking on you ever since he heard that you were injured and didn’t have anyone to come visit.” Nancy smiled at the little boy who must be Landon. Landon bounded over to the side of her bed.

“You are very pretty” He said. “You are look more like my mommy and Aunt France now. Before you looked more like me.” He says very sure of himself.

Rashida glances around confused at the boy’s reference. What did he mean “looked more like me?”

Nancy introduces the other woman as France. Well, that must be “Aunt France” but then where is his mother?

“Do you want to be my friend? We can play games and have fun together!” Landon asked Rashida his eyes lighting up.

“Sure! I will be your friend! I would love to play games with you.” Rashida answered.

“Yay! Aunt France? Can I play now?” France looked guiltily between the two and had to shake her head.Damn it Landon! Don’t use the puppy eyes on me! She thought to herself.

“No buddy, I’m sorry. You can play with Rashida another day okay? But we have to get you home to take a nap and rest like we normally do after appointments remember?”

“But, but! Rashida just woke up! Couldn’t we stay just for a little?” Landon begged pushing his lips out into a pout.

“No, Landon. I’m sorry but we have to go now. Okay?”

“Okay.” Landon said dejectedly.

“We will come back and I promise you can play with her then okay?”

“Okay.” He said a little less disappointed this time. They left the room and then once again Rashida remained alone. What was wrong with that boy? And why was he coming here? Surely such a little boy couldn’t be sick? No. Please no. 

“That was Landon and France.” Nancy starts to explain as she changes the bandages.

“Landon is five years old and has stage one lymphoma. It’s a type of cancer common in young children. He has been checking on you pretty much since you came in. He couldn’t wait for you to wake up.”

“Why is he staying with his aunt? Rashida asked hesitantly not wanting to hear more bad news.

“His mom was killed in the bombing, and his father is overseas somewhere with marines. They haven’t told him that his son was diagnosed so when he comes home in couple of weeks he will find out that his wife is dead and that his son has cancer.”

“He doesn’t even know his own son has cancer?” Rashida asked horrified.

“Unfortunately not, Landon was diagnosed a few months ago and Dallas was on tour. His wife didn’t want him to rush home and wanted him to finish the tour and be done. So he is in for one hell of homecoming.”

“That’s terrible. That’s awful. That’s, I can’t even fully describe it! I couldn’t even think of anything worse!”

“You are such a sweetheart. You are confined to bed with horrible burns and yet you don’t pity yourself, you feel bad someone else. You are an angel.”

“I’m not, really. But could you imagine coming home expecting to have your wife and son happy and healthy waiting for you only to find that your wife has perished and that your son has cancer. That’s just absolute tragedy. It honestly would be hard for me to function.” Rashida finished dejectedly.

Rashida flinched as Nancy continued to change her bandages.

“Does anything hurt? Do you want any pain medication?”

“Actually yes, I just feel sore and my leg is bothering me do you think you could give me something?”

“Of course dear.” Nancy said and then turned to the IV machine.
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