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Having persuaded Gabrielle that the best thing for her husband was to let the medical personnel tend to him Officer Davies relaxed his authoritative grip on her elbow. “Come on. I’ll take you to the admission’s desk.”

“Not yet,” she responded softly, “I just want to stay here until they have him in the building.”

Officer Davie’s checked his watch in response to her request. “Okay. Can I trust you to stay put while I move the cruiser? Not try to follow them in?”

“Yes,” she assured him. “I just don’t want him to… I want to be there with him if he doesn’t make it.”

“I understand. I do. Let me park, we’ll go in and then you’ll be more accessible to him if there’s any need for- if they need you in a hurry. This has got to be the safest place for him, MS Gibeon.”

“Why do you call me MS Gibeon?”

“What would you prefer I call you?”

“You call Duvan by his first name.”

“He asked me too. I try to make good Samaritans feel comfortable and that certainly seems to be the role he was playing.”

“Yes. I don’t know him well but he seems very giving. You can call me Gabrielle, it’s okay.”

“Alright. I’m gonna park, Gabrielle. Stay put and I’ll come right back.”

She had heard the stretcher dropped down off the truck and the ensuing melee that had followed. She knew now that her actions, her need to be by her husband’s side, had only increased his peril but she had been unable to contain herself. As she waited for Officer Davies to return she looked up for a moment and said a quiet prayer. “Please, Lord, keep him alive. Don’t take him from me. Not yet. I know soon but not tonight. Can we at least share the hope of returning eyesight before he goes? I just want that for him.

“Okay,” she concluded, looking down rather than up, “I want that for me, too.”

Gabrielle turned toward Officer Davies when she heard his approaching footsteps. “I stayed put,” she said with a half-smile.

“Yeah, I see that. I’ve been trained to observe things like that. Come on, we’ll go over to ER admissions. Do you use a cane or do you want to hold my elbow or anything?” Davies asked as they walked along.

“No, I’m okay. I have a cane but it’s at home and I figure you’ll tell me if there’s anything I need to know about like a curb or something.”

The ER entrance had the standard automatic sliding glass door followed by another one that sandwiched a twelve foot by ten foot vestibule. Once through Davies walked them to the desk. “Oh. I know this gal. She’ll do a good job of getting you checked in.

“Evening, Sue. This is Gabrielle Gibeon. She’s the wife of Adriel Gibeon who they just transported. Gabrielle, this is Sue. She’ll get you squared away.”

“Morning, Chuck. Gabrielle. Please have a seat. Do you feel like you can answer some basic questions? Address, insurance info, that sort of thing?”

Gabrielle sat down. “Probably,” she said. “What do you need to know?”