The Quiet Explosion

English: Emergency Department of Edinburgh Roy...

English: Emergency Department of Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, opened 2003. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

He is shaking. Russel has just realized this. Tears running down his cheek and he cannot stop his hands from trembling. Big Russ, the toughest guy anyone knows and he is sitting here in the bright lights of the emergency room crying like a baby. He got the call an hour ago and almost got into an accident speeding here,  his heart is ready to burst as conflicting emotions explode out of him.

“Your son has been in a car crash.” They told him and he felt all the blood drain from his face. Russ is a fireman and he knows what a wreck looks like and the images of his sons fragile flesh tangled with steel and fiberglass forced themselves into his mind. He was ready for the worst when he walked through those doors. The look in the doctors face was all he needed and suddenly the man everyone else leaned on could not stand up. Then his phone rang again.

“Dad, I’m sorry, I fell asleep on the train, I didn’t want to get into the car when we were all drunk. I think I left my wallet at the party.” Little Russ was OK. His best friend’s boy, a kid who looked a lot like Little Russ picked up the wallet for him. He did not have to bury his boy and he was so relieved he laughed and cried out loud in front of everyone. Then it hit him.

His boy was alive and Jimmy’s was not. He was so grateful it was not his own son and hated himself so much for being so happy when the worst thing that could ever happen to a father was happening to his friend. It was as if every emotion he could ever feel hit him all at once. He collapsed into a chair and openly wept. No one stopped him, no one even went near him. The nurses stood back and let him feel it, he needed to.

Now he sits there, shaking, and as Little Russ walks into the emergency room Big Russ charges him, smothering him in his love. His boy is embarrassed, he does not know what has happened yet, and over the kid’s shoulder he sees Jimmy walk in. Big Russ recognizes the pale expression and lets his boy go, ready to do the ugly deed for the doctors.


2 thoughts on “The Quiet Explosion

  1. Pingback: One Pineapple | The Silver Leaf Journal

  2. Pingback: Broken Dreams [SHORT STORY, WRITTEN IN MULTIPLE POVs] | Ramisa the Authoress

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