1st Place Contest Winner – Haeley Gibbs

Haeley Gibbs

      Beep! Beep! Beep! I rushed to the room to find my patient, a labrador, panting loudly. I quickly gave him a shot. When he stopped panting, I headed back to the front office. “Sorry about that.” I said to my next patient. I grabbed my purse after checking her in for five thirty in a couple of weeks, then went out the door.

        As the car warmed up, I checked my phone. I had gotten 1 missed call from a doctor. I couldn’t check them while working because phones were prohibited. I reversed the car and headed towards the bull riding farm to pick Brayden up.

       When I got stuck in traffic, I started to panic. If I was late, he would be left all alone by himself. I honked my horn, hoping the heavens would part the cars so I could get through. Finally it was my turn to go, and I zoomed full speed when the light turned green.

       Suddenly, a state trooper turned his lights on. I slowed down. I was hoping he was going to pass by me, maybe after a criminal or other speeding car. He stopped behind me, and I slowly let out a breath.

        I looked out the window to see him standing there. “I am so sorry. My boyfriend is waiting on me.” I said, rolling down the window. He looked at me with a confused look. Finally, he spoke. “I know I ain’t supposed to do this,” he said, “but my country folks want me to do some good in the world.”

      I guess I looked shocked, because he gave me a sympathetic look. As he walked away, I looked at my phone. I decided to read the voicemail and was shocked by what I heard. This is the doctor. I need you to come to the Lovely Hope Hospital. I think your boyfriend has broken something. We are trying to figure it out now.

      I gasped. I quickly turned around and headed South. I found a parking spot, and waited for them to let me in. As I ran upstairs to his room, I heard another message. I didn’t bother to check it, for I was already at the door to room number four hundred fifty-two. I opened the door and was shocked by what I saw.

      As I stared at him, the doctor explained to me what had happened. “He was riding a bull, and flew off. He landed on the gate and broke his spine. He will be in this coma for about two weeks.” the doctor said.

       As the days and hours passed, I stayed. Until finally one day, while I was sleeping on the recliner beside his bed, I heard a slight movement. I woke up to find his arm shaking a little.

      “Brayden!” I cried. He turned to his side and looked at me. I didn’t know if he could still speak or not, but he seemed to speak with his eyes. It looked as though he were apologizing.“Don’t worry, you’ll get better…someday.” I said sadly.

        He hadn’t deserved to get hurt. What did he do to the world that needed revenge? After looking around, Brayden looked at me. He tried to speak but couldn’t. The doctor came in and was shocked that he was awake.

      Since he woke up, the doctor told me to leave. “Why?” I said. The doctor gave me a hesitant look. “Please just go. You have been here long enough.” he said. I walked out and slammed the door behind me. I went down to the vending machines on the bottom floor and bought me a snack.

      As I walked out the door, I heard a voice. “What’s wrong? You look like you’re stress eating.” I looked up. It was the state trooper I had seen on my way here. “Sorry, but I can’t answer that question.” I said, trying not to cry. I knew he knew the answer because I told him when he pulled me over.

      Once I got home, I ran to the bathroom. “Why!?” I screamed into the mirror. “Now he will never be able to fulfill his dream. He’ll never become a bull riding champion.” After having my tantrum, I took a nice hot shower then walked to my room. Buddy, our dalmatian, was sleeping on my bed. I petted him, and after a couple of minutes, I cried into his fur.

                                                                . . . . .

       That night, I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t stop thinking about Brayden. Even though he was in good hands, I felt like he was going to get into more trouble. I knew he missed the farm, even though it was dangerous. I still remembered when we met in middle school that he always wanted to do it. It was like a dream to him.

       He had said he wanted to start in 8th grade, and he did. I just hoped his spine would be mended. As the hours ticked by, I realized he never said he would stop. Maybe after all this chaos was over, he would join back. I hopped up and went to the kitchen with my phone.

       I opened the fridge and got me a glass of water. While I was playing Toon Blast, I got a call from the doctor again. “How many times are you going to call?” I asked, obviously annoyed. “Well, we are giving him some physical therapy right now. We were wondering where you live.” he said. “Why?” I asked.

        “Let’s just say, he’s coming home next Saturday.” he said. I gasped. After telling him my address, I started to clean the house. I didn’t want him to come home with a mad look. He always hated it when things were not in an orderly fashion.

         After thirty minutes of cleaning, I sat down for a break. Buddy came in happily carrying his squeaky duck. He jumped onto the couch with a drooly, but big, grin on his face. We played tug-o-war for a couple of minutes, then I had to go to work.

         After checking in the labrador room, I went to the front office. “Well, she should be here any minute.” said my co-worker, Stacey. Stacey knew I had an appointment.

        Once the day was almost over, I grew exhausted. I wanted to make as much money as possible so I could take Brayden on a vacation.As I took my next patient in for a check-up, I started to wonder what time he would come back.

       I wanted the house to be clean before he came. I had only finished the living room that day. As I was lost in my thoughts, the patient’s owner asked, “Um…is he here for a check-up or allergy shots?” I looked at my hand and realized I had a shot instead of my x-ray. I quickly apologized and tried to forget about it.

       As the clock ticked, I grew anxious. I really wanted him to just run in and give me a big hug. While in middle school, he said he would always be there for me. Here we were, twenty-two years old, being by each other’s side. Once my shift was over, I ran to the car.I drove through the night, only visible by the streetlights. I was going to go to the hospital whether the doctor wanted me or not. I couldn’t just leave him there without any comfort. I parked as close as I could and ran inside.

      After remembering the room number, which took me a couple minutes. I took a small breath. I was a little nervous about what he would look like. I didn’t know if they were doing surgery or not. I gathered my courage, and walked in. Once he saw me, he gave me a shocked look.

     “What are you doing here? I said he would be home next week.” the doctor said, growing angrier by the second. Brayden didn’t care, though. He slowly walked away from his lessons on speaking and hugged me tight. “I missed you so much.” he said. 

     “You can speak!” I squealed. We stood there for what seemed like forever. He finally let me go. “I want to come home. I really miss Buddy.” he said. I looked back at the doctor, hoping for an answer. He didn’t speak.

      “I know you want to, but you are going to have to wait a week.” I said. He frowned. “How about this.” I said. “When I come to pick you up, I will bring Buddy.” He tried to show me a smile. “Okay.” he finally said. I grabbed my purse and walked out the door. As soon as I got home, I cleaned the rest of the house.


       Finally, Saturday arrived. I grabbed Buddy a milk bone to chew in the car and drove off. Once we arrived, Brayden was standing in the parking lot with his fanciest clothes on. “What’s the special occasion?” I asked. “Oh, nothing.” he said with a teasing tone in his voice.

      “How about we stop at the park?” he asked. I gave him a confused look, but I started to go to the park anyway. We left Buddy to sleep under a shady park bench. Brayden took me to the fountain to watch the sunset. He finally broke the silence. “I’ve been meaning to tell you this for a long time.”

       He gave me a hesitant look. After letting out a sigh, he got off the edge of the fountain. “What are you doing?” I asked, getting wary. He got down on one knee and gave me his handsomest smile. “Will you marry me?” he asked.

          I gasped. Tears of joy ran down my cheeks as I spoke. “Yes!” I exclaimed. He grabbed my hands and kissed me as the sun shone its prettiest pink.

 The End