Thursday, October 12, 2017

Will Love Prevail - Chapter 17

Chapter 17

Mark spent a while just sitting next to the bed watching Chiara and thinking about how everything had been and how everything was going to be. He only left the room once to catheterize in the bathroom, draining his bladder and making sure everything was good in his boxer briefs.

It was in the late afternoon when Dr. Turner came back and when he saw Chiara sleeping, he asked Mark to come outside the room so they could talk.

“So, I talked to Swedish in Seattle and they’re going to take Chiara. I also talked to the police, they actually called me about this and said Chiara was okay to leave and they were going to contact the Seattle police. We can possibly get her transported tomorrow afternoon.”

Mark was relieved, “Good, I’m glad to hear that.”
Dr. Turner remarked, “I would have taken good care of her down here but I understand your plea Mark. She has been through a lot and I guess it would be better for everyone if she’d be in Seattle.”
“It makes things so much easier for me. I plan on being there with her every day.”
Dr. Turner nodded, “She’ll definitely need help with what lies ahead.”
“I’ll be there and help her as much as I can.”

Dr. Turner finished with the promise that he would come by in the morning to say Good Bye. Mark had now decided to stay overnight at the hospital. Even though Ranger was at home by himself, he knew the cat would be okay until the next day. He had given him plenty of dry food in the morning before he had left and there was enough water.

He wheeled back into the room, the sun was now setting behind the building and it was evening. In the room he found Chiara awake and sitting up some over her bed tray with food on it.

She looked up, “Mark, there you are? I was afraid you were gone.”
He pushed his rims and rolled around to the window side of the bed, smiling at her, “Why would I leave?”
Chiara shrugged her shoulders, “I don’t know, maybe change your mind.”
She reached her hand out to him and he took her hand in his, “I’m here and I have some good news.”
“Tomorrow they’re going to take you to Swedish in Seattle and I’m going to stay the night here with you.”
Chiara looked surprised but relieved, “But what about Ranger?”
“He’ll be all right for one night, he’s got plenty of food. Then tomorrow I’ll be here when they pick you up and then I’ll drive on home too.”
“I’m so glad about that.”
She pulled him closer and Mark leaned forward some when she softly said, “Thank you Mark.”
“It’s all right.”

She pushed the tray out of the way and stretching her face to him and with Mark stretching toward her from the seat of his wheelchair, they were able to kiss a small kiss.

Chiara then turned to the tray again, “They brought dinner for me. You should also eat something.”
“I guess I can go to the cafeteria and get something.”
“Yes, I want you to eat.”
He was slightly amused at her demand, “I guess I can find some food and I’ll bring it back in here.”
Chiara nodded, “Yes, go get something.”

She let go of his hand and Mark wheeled out of the room. He had to get his wallet out of his backpack which was still locked up with security. The security guard told him where the cafeteria was and with his wallet in between his thighs he rolled down the hallway and he headed for the elevators to make his way down to the second floor where apparently the cafeteria was located.

With dinner time it was busy in the cafeteria with staff and visitors.
Mark found a Pizza bar and decided to just get two slices of Pizza in a to go box. He also grabbed a can of Soda and a bag of chips. With the items on a tray balancing it on his thighs he carefully wheeled up to the register and paid. There he asked for a bag and the clerk handed him a plastic bag in exchange for the tray. With the items in the bag and on his lap, he made his way back to Chiara’s room.

She was eating already and apologized, “It was getting cold.”
Mark wheeled into the room, “Don’t worry about it.”
He arranged himself next to the bed again and placed the box with the Pizza slices on the windowsill.

Chiara had a Pasta dinner with salad, dessert and crackers, cheese and grapes. For her beverage she had a small Cranberry juice and a small water bottle. She had plenty to eat and Mark realized how hungry he had been as he took a bite from the Pizza. He had not eaten since the morning at his place. It was definitely time to eat.

They ate in silence for a few minutes until Chiara said, “I’m really glad you’re staying here.”
He finished his bite, “Me too.”
The room was dimly lit. Outside it was now dark and only the noises out in the hallway of nurses talking and doing their jobs were soft, affirming it was getting to be quiet time on the hospital unit.

Chiara’s nurse in to check on her, “How are you doing Chiara?”
“I’m doing okay.”
“How’s your pain right now?”
“I’m starting to feel it again.”
“From a 1 to 10, how bad?”
Chiara thought for a moment, “Maybe an 8.”
“Okay, so it’s seven thirty now and we have to wait about another thirty minutes until I can pull another pain med. Do you think you can make it?”

The nurse was typing into the computer.
Mark thought about his plan to stay and that he had not told anyone yet, “By the way, I was going to stay here with Chiara tonight. I hope that’s okay.”
Chiara’s nurse turned around looking at Mark, “It’s no problem. We just don’t have any extra roll away beds right now, they’re all taken.”
Mark didn’t see how a roll away bed would have fit into the small room anyways, “It’s all right. I’ll manage.”
The nurse nodded, “Okay, good. Maybe if a roll away becomes available later, I can bring it in.”
“I’ll be all right.”

The nurse left and Chiara and Mark finished eating. Eventually Chiara pushed her tray over to the side and Mark threw away his trash.

He then came around to the bed again, “Did you have enough to eat?”
“Yes, you?”
“Yeah, the Pizza was actually pretty good.”
Chiara leaned her head back on the pillow and Mark asked, “How are you feeling?”
“My legs are starting to hurt but I guess I have to wait for a few more moments to get some pain meds.”
“I’ll distract you.”

Chiara smiled at Mark and he said, “Just think, tomorrow you’ll go back to Seattle.”
“Yes, I’m glad they’re taking me up there. I’m scared of the surgery though.”
“Yeah, but I’m sure they know what they’re doing. Swedish is a good hospital. I’ve been there a few times.”
“Why have you been there?”
“Well, for UTI’s and a kidney infection once. I also use the VA hospital for my regular stuff.”
Chiara looked at him wearily, “Do you get sick a lot?”
Mark shrugged his shoulders, “Not unusually often for a para. I mean it’s just the UTI stuff can be a problem. I haven’t had one in about six months so knock on wood.”
Chiara softly knocked onto her bed tray table and smiled.

The nurse came back in with pain medication and Chiara was glad about that. Shortly after the nurse, a dietary worker came in and took the food tray away, clearing the bed table.

Soon Chiara could feel the pain medication work, numbing her pain senses and also making her tired.

She turned to Mark, “Do you think you can do me a favor?”
“Yeah, what do you need?”
“There’s a small bowl in the bathroom for brushing my teeth. I need some water and the tooth brush and tooth paste.”
Mark right away made his way to the bathroom and saw the items by the sink. He brought everything out to Chiara and then filled a plastic cup with water and also brought it out to her so she could rinse her mouth into the bowl after brushing.

He watched her and wished he would have a tooth brush.
When Chiara was done, he took everything back into the bathroom, “I wonder if I could get a toothbrush from somewhere.”
“I’m sure they have the stuff at the nurses’ station. Why don’t you go ask them?”
“Yeah, I’ll do that.”

He wheeled out and shortly after came back with a toothbrush still in a plastic wrapper.
Chiara had her eyes closed and only when she heard Mark wheel into the bathroom, she blinked at him.

She saw him lean over the sink and brush his teeth and when he came back out, she followed him with her eyes as he wheeled around to the side.

He looked at her, “Are you tired now?”
“Yes, the pain med is making me tired.”
“Just sleep then. I’ll be right here when you wake up.”
Chiara sounded worried, “Where will you sleep?”
Mark moved his wheelchair closer to the bed, “I’ll sleep right here in my chair.”
Chiara moved her hand over, “Mark, I’m so glad you’re here.”
He took her hand in his, assuring her, “Me too. I won’t go anywhere.”

Chiara sat up some and moved over toward Mark, stretching her face to him.
He moved over as far as he could and it was far enough for their lips to touch for another soft and gentle kiss.

When their lips unlatched, Chiara laid her head back down and Mark just held her hand and watched her, “Get some rest okay. Travel day tomorrow.”
She sounded weak, “Thanks Mark.”
“No problem, sleep now.”

He let his fingers run over the back of her hand and watched as she closed her eyes and fell into a calm state of breathing.

Once she was asleep, Mark wheeled out of the room and asked the security guard to let him have his cell phone. He wasn’t allowed to leave with the cellphone and had to stay close to the security guard. He texted his friends in a group text letting them know what was going on and that Chiara was coming to Seattle the next day.

His friends had been shocked at what had happened in Portland and that Mark had gone down there with the cops. They didn’t really understand his fixation with her but there was nothing they could say or do to change his mind. He was into her and he wanted to be with her. And it had been kind of their fault that Chiara had even come into his life in the first place.

Mark used the bathroom in the hallway and then handed his back pack to the security guard again. He wheeled into the room and parked his wheelchair next to the bed again. Chiara slept deeply and he watched her and he felt his own fatigue overcome him. He would have loved to lay on the bed with her, next to her and feel her close to him but instead he just sat there in his wheelchair and dozed off, his head hanging and as his nerves relaxed, he jerked and looked at Chiara again. He now pushed his wheelchair right up to the bed and leaning his upper body forward he actually was able to rest his head on the bed next to Chiara. It didn’t take long and sleep overcame him as he dozed off in the awkward position next to her.

Mark was startled when Megan, Chiara’s night nurse came in to check her vitals.
He sat up from his awkward position and the nurse whispered, “Hi, I’m just here to check Chiara’s vitals.”
He mumbled sleepily, “No problem.”

He stretched his neck some, hearing the vertebra pop and he felt how his back was stiff having fallen asleep in the odd position.

Megan turned on a dim, soft light by the door and walked over to Chiara, whispering, “Chiara, I’m just here to check your vitals.”
Mark glanced at the clock on the wall. It showed five thirty in the morning.
Chiara moaned softly in her bed as the nurse checked her blood pressure, heart rate and also the IV’s running through a line into Chiara’s elbow crease, “How’s your pain right now Chiara?”
Chiara blinked at Megan, “It hurts.”
“What level from 1 to 10, hon?”
“About 9.”
“I’ll get you something if you want.”
Chiara nodded, “Yes, please.”
Megan patted Chiara’s arm, “Okay dear, I’ll be right back with your pain med.”

She left out the room and Chiara turned her head toward Mark, who was sitting quietly next to the bed, “Mark?”
He pushed his wheelchair a bit closer, “Yeah.”
“You’re still here.”
Mark took her hand into his and answered softly, “Where would I go? Of course, I’m still here.”
She smiled weakly at him, looking sleepy and weary, “Thank you.”
“Nothing to thank me for. This is the only place I should be right now.”
She kept her tired eyes on him, “Did you sleep some?”
“Yeah, a little bit. I dozed off. Now my neck is stiff.”
“I’m sorry Mark. I wish they would have had a bed or something for you.”
“It’s all right.”

Megan came back with a pain tablet and after she scanned the tablet, Chiara’s wristband, and looked at the computer she gave it to Chiara with a small cup of water and watched as Chiara took the tablet.
“There you go, hon.”
“Thanks Megan.”
“Now try to get a little more sleep before dayshift comes in at seven, okay?”
Chiara nodded and Megan turned to Mark, “Are you okay Mark?”
“Yeah, I’m good.”
Megan smiled and walked to the door, “Do you want me to dim the light again?”

Chiara and Mark both nodded and Megan turned the light down some, leaving the room in a very low light but just enough where Chiara and Mark could still see each other.

Chiara leaned her head back and Mark still held her hand. He let his thumb rub over the back of her hand but he didn’t say anything.
Chiara watched his fingers run over her hand and she said, “I don’t know how everything is going to be.”
Mark looked up at her, “What do you mean?”
She sighed and replied softly, “Like when I go to Seattle and with not being able to walk and all for a long time.”
Mark stretched his back some as much as he was able to and sighed, then replied, “Well, don’t worry about all that yet.”
Chiara sounded desperate, “Mark, I don’t have a place and I don’t have any money. He made sure I had everything I needed. A roof over my head when he didn’t have me out on the street, food, clothes and sometimes fun when he seemed like a regular guy and I seemed like a regular girl.”
Mark looked at her with flickering eyes and replied somewhat tense, “I’ll make sure you have everything you need now.”
She took a breath, “I don’t want you to have to do all that. I really don’t want to burden you with everything.”

Mark kept his eyes lowered for a moment, then he looked up at her, “Chiara, listen up. I don’t want you to worry about any of that stuff. I’m here and I want to be there for you all the way if you let me. You’re not a burden to me, you’re a person I care about beyond just friendship and I’m here to stay. If you feel different about me though, then let me know. Other than that, I have a place and you can stay with me. I have an okay financial situation that keeps me surviving and another person added to that is not a big deal. I want you in my life and I want to be in your life. I want you to be with me and so it’s not a question for me to help you out.”
Chiara nodded with her lips pressed together, then said softly, “Mark, I come with a bad past and things I have done and I’m also worried that he or the people he knows will come after me or you.”

Mark knew she wasn’t all the way wrong with the last thing she said. He didn’t want to worry about those things though. And even if someone would try to come after Chiara or after him, he would just have to see.

He looked at her again, “I’m not worried about that stuff. The only place I want to be is with you and that’s all.”
He reached for her hand again and Chiara let him take it, “I’m sorry Mark. I can’t help I’m worried.”
“Don’t, okay!”
Chiara nodded wearily.

The sun came up around seven and it looked to be a nice but cold day. Mark had not slept anymore after they had been awakened by the nurse but Chiara had dozed off from the pain medication again. He had just been sitting next to her bed, watching her sleep, and thinking about everything.

He was ready for Chiara to get taken back to Seattle.
The morning was busy with getting her ready for the transport. Mark left the room for about an hour or so when the nurses’ assistants tended to Chiara, helping her wash up some, helping her with her bowel and bladder situation.

Dr. Turner wrote up the discharge orders and transfer notes for Chiara to go to Swedish Medical Center in Seattle and eventually told her Good Bye and wished her all the best.
Chiara was nervous and excited at the same time but her anxiety got the better of her and her heart rate sped up and she was given a medication to relax her.

Just as Mark wheeled back in, she was taking the medication and when he looked at her, he saw her eyes were glistening.
He rolled around to the side of the bed, “What’s going on?”
Chiara looked weary but tried to smile and the day shift nurse Amber explained, “Chiara is a little nervous about the transport and so we gave her some medication. The ambulance and the EMT’s are on their way to pick her up in about thirty minutes. She’s ready to go otherwise.”
Mark looked from Amber to Chiara, “It’s going to be okay.”

Amber said softly, “Since your boyfriend is here right now Chiara, are you okay with me leaving for a moment? I’ll come back in when the EMT’s arrive, okay.”
Chiara nodded at Amber with a weak smile, “Thanks.”
Amber walked out and Mark pushed closer to the bed, “You all right?”
Chiara shrugged her shoulders, “I don’t know. I feel nervous I guess.”
“You’re going to be okay. I’ll follow the ambulance in my car up to Seattle. I’ll stop at my apartment to check on Ranger and then come to the hospital.”
She nodded but didn’t say anything.

Chiara stayed quiet and Mark tried to keep her mind off the transport by talking about the breakfast in the cafeteria.

Soon thereafter Amber showed up with two male EMT’s who had a gurney with them but left it outside still. Chiara looked nervously at them and they introduced themselves to her and Mark.

Amber said, “So, we’ll get the gurney in here and get you from your bed onto the gurney, okay?”
Amber turned to Mark, “Do you mind waiting outside Mark? Since it is so tight in this room anyways.”
Mark put his hands to his rims and looked quickly at Chiara, then at Amber, “No problem.”
He wheeled out of the room and he saw the EMT’s push the gurney into the room. Another nurse came in to assist in the transfer.
He heard the commotion in the room and he heard them count to three and then say “lift”.

When they pushed the gurney out, Mark met Chiara’s eyes right away and he could see worry in them. She stretched her hand out to him and Mark quickly rolled up to the gurney and took her hand.

He nodded at her in assurance, “You’ll be okay. Don’t worry about anything.”
Some IV bags were attached to the gurney and he also saw the urine bag still hooked to the side of the gurney.

The EMT’s made sure Chiara was strapped onto the stretcher and Amber said her Good Bye’s, one of the EMT’s held the plastic bag with Chiara’s little belongings.
Mark still held her hand in his and one of the EMT’s said, “So, we’re ready to head on out. Are you ready Chiara?”
Chiara looked from the EMT to Mark and nodded, “I guess.”

It was somewhat awkward as Chiara was too high from the ground for Mark in his wheelchair. He wasn’t able to kiss her on the lips but only quickly kissed her hand and when he looked at her, he saw the tears in her eyes and he tried to assure her softly, “Hey, I’ll see you later at Swedish. You can do this.”
She nodded but she didn’t say anything. Instead she only looked at Mark and tears were in her eyes.
Mark felt that she wasn’t all right and he squeezed her hand, “You got this okay. I’ll be there for you when you get to the hospital or at least shortly after. I’ll drive fast enough to get home before you even get to Seattle.”
Her eyes were fixed on him, tears slowly running out of her eyes, “I don’t want you to drive fast. I want you to drive safe.”
“I will but I’ll see you soon, okay?”
She now only said softly, “Okay.”

Without saying anything else she let go off his hand and they rolled her away. She kept her teary eyes on Mark as he sat in his wheelchair in the middle of the hallway and looked after her, somewhat lost and odd and feeling a distant pain in his heart.

He checked out his back pack and belongings with the security guard and set it on his lap, then put his hands to his rims, looking back once more to make sure that he hadn’t forgotten anything and pushed his wheelchair down the hallway. He informed Amber at the nurses’ station that he was leaving, she said Good Bye and he made his way to the elevators. He needed to use the bathroom before he would get on the road to Seattle.

Right as he was at his car a text message from Patrick came in asking where he was and what the status was. Mark sent his friends a group message, letting them know that Chiara was on her way to Seattle in the ambulance and he was about to leave Portland as well.

Mark opened the door to his Challenger and first he threw the back pack into the back seat. He then angled his TiLite right next to the driver’s side. He scooted his butt forward on the wheelchair seat and when he felt he was positioned right he put his fist on the driver’s seat and with a push and pull on the steering wheel he pushed his body over onto the seat. He then took his wheelchair apart and stashed all the pieces on the seat next to him.

With his hands he adjusted his feet in the floor board and finally he felt he sat right and he turned the key in the ignition and started his car. He put his car in gear and operating his hand controls he pulled out of the parking lot and found his way toward the main roads and eventually the interstate going North to Seattle.

His thoughts were with Chiara and he hoped she was okay but it was out of his control now and there was nothing he could do for her. He would see her later that day at the hospital but first he had to go home to check on Ranger.

The drive to Seattle was uneventful and he was up to speeds of about eighty miles per hour, watching out for cops or state troopers trying to give out speeding tickets. He ended up passing the ambulance Chiara was in and he wished he could have let her know that he was right there but instead he just passed the ambulance in the knowledge that he was faster than them and he would be able to see Chiara probably as soon as she got to Swedish.

Traffic got heavy around Tacoma and into Seattle. He had to get off at his exit in Burien and pulled into the parking lot in front of his apartment at almost four that afternoon.

As he put the key into his apartment door, he heard Ranger meowing already. He had apparently eagerly been expecting his owner.
Mark greeted his cat lovingly and Ranger jumped up onto his lap and pushed his paws into his chest which hurt for a moment but then he pushed his nose onto Mark’s nose for a feline kiss.
“Hey man, yeah, I’m home. Sorry I had to leave you for a night.”
Mark threw his stuff onto the couch and right away filled Ranger’s food and water bowl.
Ranger didn’t wait around but got busy eating as soon as Mark had set the bowl down again.

He looked around in his apartment, made sure everything was in order and he pulled his phone out and sent his friends a message that he had made it home.

He wheeled into his bathroom and even though he could have used a shower he didn’t feel like getting into the shower yet. Chiara was most likely not at the hospital yet and so he would wait around some until he would go to the hospital.

He wheeled into his living room and eventually got onto his couch. He needed to stretch his body into the horizontal position. Having sat for over twelve hours had been strenuous enough. He always made sure he lifted himself up from his wheelchair for a few seconds throughout the day to avoid pressure sores and to keep the blood flowing somewhat.

Now he was tired and Ranger with a full belly was curled up next to him. He was petting him gently and while doing so he dozed off. Just in case he had set his alarm on his phone and kept his phone close by waiting for the EMT’s call that Chiara had made it to Swedish.

It was around six that evening when his phone played its ring tone and Mark was startled out of a deep sleep.
Ranger meowed and Mark answered his phone, “Hello?”
“Hi, is this Mark Ross?”
"Hi, I’m Gabe, one of the EMT’s who transported Chiara Pearson to Swedish Medical Center in Seattle.”
“Oh, yeah, Hi.”
“Well, we have transferred her into the care of the hospital staff now and she’s already in a room.”
Mark sat up some, “Oh good, did she make the trip okay?”
“Yeah, she did well and she even slept some.”
“So that’s it for us then. We finished all our paperwork and are heading back down to Portland now.”
“All right, thanks man. I appreciate it.”

They finished their phone conversation. Mark sat up on his couch, getting a more upright position and yawned. He had slept deeply and was still drowsy at the moment.

Ranger had jumped down from Mark’s lap and left him on the couch. Mark rubbed over his face.
He pulled his TiLite closer and pushed his legs off the couch. They plopped down and his feet lay scrambled in front of him. He had not even taken his sneakers off when he had come home.

Even though he was still tired he definitely wanted to see Chiara. He transferred into his wheelchair and pushed into the kitchen to get a drink of water from the refrigerator. Ranger was roaming around in the apartment.

Mark then freshened up in the bathroom and before he headed out, he emptied his bladder. 
He washed his hands, brushed his teeth, brushed through his hair and slipped a hoodie over his head, then put a baseball cap on. He left a light on in the living room for Ranger.

Outside on the parking lot he looked around for anything weird or any suspicious activity. His neighborhood wasn’t exactly the safest but so far, he had dodged anything bad happen to him. It was a cool evening and Christmas was only a little over a week away.

Mark got into his car and took off toward the hospital. He made it there in about twenty-five minutes. It was evening now. He found a disabled parking spot right by the main entrance and assembled his TiLite outside his car. He transferred into it and shut his car door, then headed to the main entrance.

He pushed his rims and rolled through the automatic doors into the lobby.
Once again Mark wheeled up to the receptionist who smiled at him friendly.
“Hi, how can I assist you?”
“I’m here to see my girlfriend. She was transported up here from Portland earlier. I don’t know which room she’s in.”
“Okay, I see. What’s her name?”

Mark told her Chiara’s full name and she typed into her computer, “Let me see.”
For a few moments the receptionist didn’t say anything and Mark waited somewhat impatiently. He was looking forward to see Chiara and he knew she was probably waiting for him.
The receptionist then looked up at him, “Could I see some ID please?”

Mark pulled out his driver’s license and the receptionist took it from him and looked at it and typed some more into the computer.
“If you could just wait over there for a moment.”
She pointed to a waiting area and Mark nodded obediently, “Yeah, sure.”

He wondered why it was such a hassle but he definitely wanted to make sure that not everyone could come see Chiara and so he was okay with the thorough check.
He nodded and pushed his rims and let his chair roll over to the seating area. He saw that the receptionist got on the phone.
He had his hands interlocked on his thighs and was leaning forward somewhat waiting for her to finish the call.

It took just a few moments when she waved him over again, “Mr. Ross?”
He let his wheelchair roll quickly over the smooth flooring back to the reception desk, “Yeah.”
The receptionist looked at him with a somewhat weary expression, “So, unfortunately I can’t let you up. Since she just got here and is under certain security precautions at the moment no one can visit with her yet. You can call here tomorrow and check on the status but as of right now I can’t let you up yet.”
Mark felt his hands tremble, “What do you mean? Why can’t I go up to see her? Did you look for the right patient? Chiara Pearson is who I want to see, she’s my…”

He stopped because all the sudden he didn’t even know what Chiara was to him.

The receptionist repeated calmly, “Please just call tomorrow and check the status. You may call the hospital security office. I can give you the number but I can’t let you go up. Ms. Pearson is under security at the moment and no one can visit with her.”
Mark felt his heart beat quicken along with the trembling of his hands, “That must be a mistake. Could I talk to her on the phone or something?”
“I can’t let you do that. I have to ask you to leave the hospital please.”

Mark shook his head and tried to explain further, “No way, we are…we’re together. I had her transported up here from Portland so she could be closer to me and her family, her home.”
The receptionist handed Mark his driver’s license, “I’m sorry but I can’t let you go up. I have to ask you to leave or have you escorted off the premises by security.”
Mark was completely stunned at this situation, “There must be a mistake. Can you check again?”
The receptionist seemed to get impatient, “Mr. Ross, I’m sorry. I checked three times, I’m looking at the status right here on the computer and that’s all I can tell you.”

Mark felt his disappointment change into anger that was trying to surface.
His voice was a bit louder now, “There’s no fucking way. I brought her up here and I‘m going to see her. I’m her boyfriend, she’s waiting for me, she’s scared and I had her transported up here. I paid for the fucking ambulance transport. She’s expecting me.”
“Please Mr. Ross, I’ve to call security if you don’t leave now. Please don’t make me do that.”
Mark was furious inside and he had to control himself to not burst out, “Call security then and make them take me up there so I can tell her what’s going on.”

Just as he finished the sentence two young security guards came around the corner and headed straight for Mark at the reception.
Mark stared at them, “All right, good, take me up to my girlfriend so I can talk to her.”
The one security guard replied, “Yeah, we can’t do that. We’re here to escort you out unless you want to leave at your own will.”
Mark now had a bitter laugh, “This is seriously fucked up. Why can’t I see my girlfriend? She’s expecting me. I need to talk to her, she’s probably waiting for me. I need to go up there. She’s scared and traumatized as it is, I need to go up there. What the hell is going on?”

His voice was loud now and one of the security guards gently touched his shoulder, “I’m sorry sir, you need to leave.”
Mark jerked his shoulder away from the guard’s touch, “Don’t fucking touch me, man. I won’t leave here until someone explains to me what’s going on.”

The security guard then explained, “Since she’s part of an ongoing police investigation, she came with police orders and they have to be adhered to. Until she’s clear to have visitors, no one can see her. You can check back tomorrow and call here to find out if anything changed but we can’t let you up right now.”

Mark could barely control himself, “This is fucking bullshit. Call Officer Collins from the Burien police department and ask him, he’ll tell you that it’s okay for me to go see her. I was with her in Portland at the hospital, why is it an issue here now?”
“She was under a different security order in Portland. She’s now under security order of the Seattle police.” 

Mark didn’t know what to do and he felt he wouldn’t get anywhere with this, “Who do I need to talk to about this?
“You can call the security office tomorrow and check on the status then. I can give you the number.”

People in the lobby were walking by and looking curiously at Mark and the security officers, wondering what the commotion was about.

The second security officer who was stronger and bigger stepped up now, “We’ll take you outside to your vehicle.”

Mark now put his hands to his rims, he felt his heart racing, his hands were sweating and trembling and he pushed his rims hard and rolled a short distance toward the main doors with the security guards hurrying after him.

“Leave me the fuck alone. I’m going all right.”

He yelled now but the security guards didn’t just let him go by himself but actually followed him out the main door and onto the parking lot. They had to take quick steps to keep up with Mark pushing his rims hard and swiftly rolling over the parking lot.

Mark kept mumbling to himself how wrong this was and that there must be a mistake. He felt his body charged with anger and frustration, ready to blow. He took quick, deep breaths to keep himself in check.

When he realized the guards were following him, he yelled at them, “You can go back to your fucking office. I’m out of here.”
They didn’t leave his trail but instead followed him all the way to his car, making sure he would get into it.
One of the guards tried to calm Mark with words, “Hey man, just call tomorrow and see what the status is. She just got here and they’re probably still figuring out the security and safety measures.”

Mark now jerked his wheelchair to face them as he was parked next to his car.
He said tense and angry, “Yeah, she came out of a sting operation where they busted a fucking prostitution ring. I’m the only person though she can trust right now. I’m the only one who’s there for her all the way through this fucking shit. I brought her up here from Portland. I paid for the fucking ambulance trip up here. I’m about a hundred percent sure that she wants to see me, she’s probably waiting for me right now. She’s scared and worried.”

The two guards stood there listening to Mark vent but there was nothing they could really do for him. They had to make sure he would leave the parking lot and they would also make sure the green Challenger would not come back anytime soon. One of them already wrote down the license plate number and the receptionist had made a copy of Mark’s license when he had first come in.

Mark unlocked his car and opened the door as the two guards stood by watching him curiously. He threw his back pack into the back seat.
With quick movements and obviously tense he angled his TiLite next to his driver’s seat.
One of the guards asked trying to smooth the situation, “Is there anything we can do?”
Mark didn’t look at them as he was in the middle of getting into his seat, “Leave me the fuck alone, that’s all.”
“You sure you’re okay to drive right now?”
Mark stopped in his transfer and with his head hanging he said tensely, “No, I’m not really okay right now but I need to get out of here apparently. If I don’t what are you going to do? Call the fucking cops on me?”

With that he propelled his body over into the driver’s seat and then took his wheelchair apart with tense movements and roughly tossed all of it in the passenger seat. He was full of anger and frustration and his upper body was charged with tension. At the moment he really didn’t know how he felt or what to think.

He slammed his door shut and let down his window, his eyes darting to the security guards, remarking angrily, “If you want to do anything for me, go to her and at least tell her I was here. I know she’s scared. She needs to know about this. She needs to know that I was here and you tell her I wasn’t allowed to see her.”
The smaller security guard nodded, “We’ll let her know you were here.”

Now Mark started his car with a roar, giving the guards the sign to get out of his way.
He pulled out of the parking spot quickly and drove out of the parking lot way too fast. The two guards looked after him and even though they were empathetic towards Mark, they had no real insight at what was going on with this situation and just had to do their job.

Mark knew he was going too fast but he somehow had to channel his anger and at the moment the only way was to drive fast. He ran two red lights and he made his way through the city and he cursed to himself, trying to make sense of the situation.

If he wouldn’t already have been in a wheelchair paralyzed, right about now would have probably been a time where he was taking risks by driving way too fast and putting himself and other drivers in danger on the road with the possibility of causing a serious accident. It would just be a matter of time when he would get pulled over.

He eventually pulled over into the parking lot of a shopping center and pulled out his phone and dialed Officer Collins number.

“Officer Collins, it’s Mark.”
“Hey Mark, what’s up? Are you still in Portland?”
Mark tried to sound less tense, “No, I’m in Seattle again. Chiara is also up here in Seattle at Swedish. I paid for them to bring her up here and I just came from the hospital. They’re not letting me see her. Can you tell me why that is?”
“What do you mean?”
“I mean that I went to Swedish hospital and I’m not allowed to see her because she’s under certain security precautions.”

Officer Collins explained, “Well, she’s under the Seattle police jurisdiction now and I’m not sure what the status is. I can make a phone call to maybe find out and call you.”
“Would you please do that like soon?”

Mark tried very hard to not sound harsh and rude but he had difficulties disguising his anger and frustration.
Officer Collins replied, “I’ll make some calls right now and I’ll call you right back.”

Mark finished up with Officer Collins and decided to just stay in the parking lot waiting for his call back.
He thought about the situation and hoped very much that Officer Collins would call him back with something good.

It was about twenty minutes later when Officer Collins called back, “So Mark, I got in touch with the authorities.”
“What’s the deal?”
“So Chiara is in Seattle jurisdiction right now and obviously they have an arrest warrant out for Trey. Chiara has been and is the closest person to Trey. I know that Portland police also has a warrant out for Trey, meaning everyone is looking for him. So they’re basically protecting Chiara and are also aiming to question her about Trey and the people he knows and the things he has done. He’s one of the main suspects in running a large prostitution ring. She’s being guarded at the hospital for her safety and also because of the investigation. They may be processing a warrant for her.”
“Processing a warrant for her?”
Officer Collins sounded nervous, “Yes, they may place her under arrest.”
Mark stopped breathing for a moment and didn’t know what to say.
He took a gasping breath, “Arrest?”
“Yes, Mark, I’m sorry.”

Mark swallowed and tried to think of his words, “What does that mean?”
“You probably won’t be able to see her or only with special permission.”
Mark didn’t know what to say anymore, he was lost for words really.
Officer Collins was worried on the other end, “Mark, are you there?”
Mark snapped out of the moment, “Yeah.”
“Are you all right? I’m very sorry.”
Mark felt his thoughts race and lose control, “I’m not all right. They can’t do that…I need to see her. She needs me. I need her. I can’t deal with this.”

Officer Collins explained, “I’ll try to make another phone call and explain the situation to them. I’ll try to help you out. Until I can get this done, I want you to go home right now and stay there and not do anything else.”
When Mark didn’t answer Officer Collins said, “Mark, did you hear me?”
Mark answered, “Yes, I heard you.”
“I really need you to do what I said. Do you understand?”
“Yes, I understand.”
“Okay, go home now and I’ll call you as soon as I know more.”

Mark felt like he was in a daze, he didn’t really register his surroundings and instead felt his vision was off. He felt his hands tremble and his heart race but he started his Challenger and took off. He sped through town and was lucky there was no police around because he would have gotten pulled over for speeding and endangering traffic.

He did make it home though and still in a daze he got his TiLite assembled and got in it, then slammed the door shut, locked his car and pushed his wheelchair up to his apartment.

He didn’t notice the dark colored older model Honda Accord with tinted windows across the parking lot and the two men in it watching him get out of his Challenger. 

“That’s him! Trey said it was a green Challenger and that the guy is in a wheelchair.”
“Yep, that’s him all right. That motherfucker’s got it coming for him.”
“Let’s give Trey a call.”

And the guy in the passenger seat pulled out a small pre-pay flip phone and dialed a number to the cell phone that Chiara had used to call Mark when she was locked up in the house in Portland.


  1. Oh no! I hope Mark will be fine. Thanks for posting!

  2. Oh no. So scary. Poor Mark

  3. Great episode. Now I am all nervous until I have time to read your next wonderful installment.