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Gabrielle abruptly sat back down in the chair next to her husband’s hospital bed.

“Mrs. Gibeon?” Dr. Cater asked, “Are you alright?”

Rae Ann was already by her side checking her pulse. “Gabrielle? Let me check your blood pressure. I’m sorry if this is all too much. We understand how difficult this is.

“One thirty five over ninety, Doctor.”

“How are you feeling, Mrs. Gibeon?” Dr. Cater asked. “Light headed?”

“No, I’m okay. It was just a bit too much for a minute. We’ve known this was coming but the reality’s just more than I expected.”

“I’m sure it would be for anyone. How do you feel?”

“I’m not sure how to answer that. I think it was the do not resuscitate part that got me going. I hadn’t thought that one through. Do I need to give you answer on that right now?”

“No, ma’am. If you feel up to it Rae Ann can take you to one of the counselors and then you can work through the details. Do you need a minute? Should we take a better look at you? Look straight ahead please,” he added as he shone a pen light in her eyes. “Can you see anything at all, Mrs. Gibeon?”

“I can see that bright light, but that’s about it.”

“Follow it for me with your eyes. Don’t move your head. Pupils seem normal. They both dilate with the light and you track pretty well for someone who can’t see. I’d really like to keep you here for observation. You’d be close to your husband.”

“Thank you, Doctor. For now let me go talk to your counselor and make some decisions about Adriel. Thank you for saving him and taking time with me.”

“Of course. Best of luck to you and him. We’ll be in touch soon.”

“If you’re sure you’re okay I can take you to a counselor,” Rae Ann said.

“That would be fine. You lead, I’ll follow,” she added with a half smile.

“This way please.”

Rae Ann led the way to the ER waiting room. When Gabrielle walked through the sliding door she heard Jenny’s voice and her load became microscopically lighter. “Gabrielle!” her friend called a bit too loudly. “Oh Lord. How are you holding up?”

Gabrielle stopped and turned in the direction of her friend’s greeting. “Jenny? You’re here already? I thought you said you’d be at least an hour.”

“Yeah, that was a little over an hour ago. How’s Adriel? You saw him?”

“Bad. The doctor was asking about whether to resuscitate him if he has another heart attack. This is Rae Ann, she was taking me to see one of their counselors. Rae Ann, this is Jenny Gallardo.”

“Hi. Do not resuscitate? That bad? Oh, I’m so sorry. Bill didn’t tell me that it’s touch and go. Will he, well, get better with time?”

“That’s why we were going to the counselor,” Rae Ann said. “To get details and an idea of what direction to take. Did you want to go now, Gabrielle or do you need to talk to your friends first?”

“Could I make an appointment for just a little later? I could use a little break if that’s okay?”

“Of course. You don’t have to go now. I can jot down the number and extension and you can make an appointment to see a counselor when you’re feeling up to it. But soon, right? Preferably today?”

“Yes, that would be better. Thank you for your help. I’m not used to being helpless.”

“You’re hardly helpless. Anyone would be overwhelmed under the circumstances. Here’s the number. You should make the appointment this morning if you can.”

“I will. Do I have to see anyone before I go? Other than the counselor?”

“No, we have what we need. Good luck to you. I hope your husband knows how lucky he is.”

“Lucky, huh? Well thanks. I’ll make the appointment.

“Where is Bill?” Gabrielle asked.

“Went outside to stretch his legs. Said he’d be right back but to text him if I saw you.”

“Let’s give him a minute. We should probably talk alone for a minute.”

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