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Marina could remember that fateful day as though it were yesterday. Tried as she had, Marina couldn't forget a single detail of that day. The memories were etched into her brain as though she'd been born with them.
* * *
Michael swore that the page was probably just going to be a routine check-up on a patient that had come out of surgery a few days earlier. He swore that he'd be back in two hours or less. Marina was frustrated by the fact that they would be late for dinner with her parents, a dinner she had been planning for two months. As he planted a kiss on her cheek and rushed out the door, Marina had sighed in aggravation.
Marina remembered watching him go and thinking that she'd be glad when his internship year was over, that way he'd finally be a resident and he'd have a somewhat normal schedule instead of spending all hours of the day and night at that hospital.
Now, Marina would give anything to see him rush out of the door. She'd give up both arms and legs if it meant she could see him in those disgusting blue scrubs with that five o'clock shadow that meant he forgot to shave, and that coy smile he used to give when he was promising to make something up to her. She'd give anything to hear his voice again.
Marina remembered exactly what she was doing when she received the phone call that changed her life forever. She'd been in her closet trying to pick out an outfit that her mom wouldn't criticize. She had changed her outfit seven times before deciding it was perfect and moving on to pick out Michael's clothes. She knew he'd probably arrive home at the last possible second, and she didn't want to waste time debating with him on which shirt he should wear.
She had just set out his socks and shoes when her phone began playing Daylight by Matt and Kim. Marina had a special ringtone for the people that were the most important to her, and since Daylight was her regular ringtone for unknown callers, she decided to ignore it. The song ended and Marina decided she'd take a quick shower before Michael got home. She turned on the water and had just come out of the bathroom to grab a towel when her phone went off again.
Marina figured it must be the same person who called her the first time, so she decided to answer it on the off chance that it was someone she knew.
"Hello, I'm calling for Marina Delgado."
"This is she. Who is calling?"
"Mrs. Delgado, I'm Sgt. Spears with the Boston P.D. I'm sorry to tell you, there's been an accident..."
"What accident?! What happened? Is it my parents? "
"Your parents? No, Mrs. Delgado, this is about your husband, Michael. He's been in an accident--
"What accident?! Is he okay? Can I speak to him?"
"Mrs. Delgado, you need to come down to Boston Methodist right away. We can give you more information there."
"Just tell me, is Michael okay? Please, I need to know that he's okay..."
"Please just come down to Boston Methodist, Mrs. Delgado. We will give you more information there." Click.
Marina had a terrible feeling in the pit of her stomach. Her heart felt like it was going to beat right out of her chest as she gathered her purse and jacket. She couldn't believe they weren't answering her questions. She was going to give that Sgt. Spears a piece of her mind as soon as she got to the hospital.
Michael must be okay if they were calling her down to the hospital and not the city morgue. He had to be okay. He had to. Marina refused to believe anything else as she pulled out of her parallel parking space and raced down the street.
Boston Methodist was the hospital that Michael was interning at and Marina had been glad when the police officer said that's where he was because it was only ten minutes away from their apartment.
Marina made it to the hospital in record time. She rushed into the emergency room lobby and asked about Michael Delgado. As soon as she said his name, the nurse at the counter gave her the strangest look that seemed to be mix of shock and pity. Marina didn't have very long to analyze the nurse's facial expression, as a doctor had just come out of the double doors that led to emergency room patients, and was heading straight in her direction. As he was walking toward her, Marina noticed the large amount of blood that stained the doctor's abdomen and parts of his sleeves. She saw the amount of blood and the grave look on his face, and she thought her heart had actually stopped beating.
"I'm Doctor Bauer. Are you Marina Delgado?" He asked this as though he was hoping that "no" would be her answer.
"Yes, I am. Where's Michael?" Marina could feel the anxiety in her chest. She could feel the tears burning in her eyes, a knot building in her throat.
"Maybe we should sit down," Doctor Bauer said and gestured to a a row of chairs near where they were standing. Marina made no movement.
"Just...just tell me what happened. Where's Michael?"
"Mrs. Delgado, there was an accident. Your husband was hit by a car as he was riding his bike to the hospital today."
Marina felt as though all of the air had been sucked from the room. She didn't understand what the doctor was saying. They only lived ten minutes away from the hospital, fifteen when Michael was on his bike. Car accidents can't happen in fifteen minutes.
"By the time the ambulance got Michael to the hospital, he had already lost a lot of blood," the doctor began explaining. Marina stopped listening. She looked away from him and looked around at the waiting room she was standing in. The fabric on the chairs looked as though it was from 1985. Everything smelled like some kind of cleaning agent. There were posters on the wall that told health facts and had pictures on them of people looking cheerful. Marina felt as though the posters were out of place. This was an emergency room. It was not a place that people went to feel cheerful.
"Mrs. Delgado, Michael was loved by all of the staff here at the hospital. He will be missed greatly." As he said this, Doctor Bauer placed a hand on Marina's arm and gave it a squeeze. She thought she might scream.
"Are you telling me that...that my husband is...dead?" Suddenly, Marina's voice was a whisper.
"Yes, Marina. I'm so sorry to tell you that...Michael did not survive. He had too many serious injuries. Michael is dead."
Stay tuned for Part III, and don't forget to VOTE on my new haircut before time runs out!