A distinct knock, knock, knocking intruded on the uneasy state of unconsciousness Gabrielle and Bill had fallen into as they’d sat in silent prayerful vigil waiting for news about Adriel. The knocking sound was emitted by her phone and the sound indicated the arrival of a text message. Along with the distinct triple knock she felt a vibration along her left hip from the device that sat in the front pocket of her jeans.
After the ordeals of the previous night the phone was insufficient to truly awaken her but succeeded in bringing her mind to semi-consciousness and she struggled to remember where she was and whom she was with. Realizing that she leaned heavily against a warm but likewise motionless body she momentarily panicked as she recalled the three men who had tried unsuccessfully to attack her late the night before.
Her initial panic was quickly subdued as the calm quiet of the hospital chapel brought her perception of threat down and she remembered her escape, her dealings with the police and the terrible nightmare of her husband being rushed to the hospital. She was still perplexed as to her surroundings and not certain of her companion or his intentions but her subconscious mind relaxed the fists she had been tightening at practically the same instant that she made them. It was Bill who first found his voice, one that was rough, deep and confused.
“Gabrielle? I think your phone went off,” he said, gently pushing her away and giving her momentary support until they both sat upright in the chapel pew. “Maybe a text about Adriel? Didn’t they say that if you weren’t in the waiting room they’d text you if there was any change?”
The only reply she was at first capable of uttering was a simple, “What?” that functioned more as a device for her to find her bearings than a coherent communication.
“Phone,” he repeated. “I think you got a text, probably his doctor. You’d better look.”
She felt his supportive arm slip away from her as he stretched his neck and shoulders and then brought the arm that was closest to her up to his face. “Six thirty seven. Maybe they have good news.”
Gabrielle nodded, pulled her phone out of her pocket and for just a moment leaned with her elbows on her knees, head resting in the two hands that held her phone between them. She inhaled and then listened as her phone’s app read the text aloud. “Please come to the emergency room if you are in the building, Dr. Cater has an update for you.” The message also included a phone number to call in case she was not close at hand.
“Yeah,” she said. “Some kind of news at least. Let’s hope it’s good.”
“Amen to that. We could use it,” he answered as they stood and shuffled out of the cramped space between the two pews and exited the chapel.
“Elevators this way,” he said gently touching her arm.
“Do you see a restroom?” she asked. “I’d better use one before we go down.”
“Yeah, I was thinking the same thing but figured I could wait. Figured you’d want to get there as soon as possible.”
She smiled for the first time that day and replied, “Some things can’t wait.”
“Yeah. There’s one right here. I’ll wait for you.”
“Shouldn’t be long,” she answered as she walked into the lavatory. With her back to him Bill never saw the fearful tears of emotion that were already flowing as she made her way into the bathroom. Real relief was a pipe dream but at least she could relieve the pressure on her bladder.