Friday, March 5, 2010

Chapter XX. Friends In Deed


C 2004 By Gracie Prior


Terry woke up as the phone rang. He looked at the clock. It was three-thirty P.M. He answered the phone next to him on the table. "Hello, Randolph's."

"Hey, this is Jimmy. You weren't at school. I was worried about you. Anything wrong? You sick?"

"No, my dad. They took him in an ambulance to the hospital last night. I can't talk long. Mom might call. She should have phoned by now."

"I'll come over and keep you company, O.K.?"

"That's great, Jimmy, I'd like that." He hung up the phone and went upstairs to the bathroom to wash his face. He had slept through till eleven A.M., gotten up, eaten something, and then called the hospital. There was no news, so he went back to bed. He hadn't called the school. He didn't care whether he was in trouble or not. He only cared about finding out about Dad. He called the hospital again. "Mercy Hospital? This is Terry Randolph. I'm calling about John Randolph. He came in an ambulance last night. He couldn't breathe. I'm calling to see how he's doing." Terry waited for the lady to find out. He waited and waited. Finally she came back on the phone. "Who's calling? How are you related?"

"This is his son, Terry. I have to know how he is."

"Of course you do, but the only information I can give you is that he's had a very bad night and there is no new information."

Terry tried to control his voice. He swallowed the stuff in his throat and managed to say, "Thank you." He was about to hang up when he remembered. "My number is 486-3255. Please call and ask for Terry if you know anything." He sat down on the bed and cried. He ran to the table for a tissue. He felt so alone. Then he heard Jimmy calling at the back door. He rose and opened it.

It was so good to see Jimmy. He had known him as far back as he could remember. They had always played together.

Jimmy came in and walked into the living room. He sat on a couch and crossed his legs. He didn't say anything at first. Then he said, "Do you know anything more?"

Terry sat beside Jimmy and cried right in front of his friend. Jimmy wouldn't care and he wouldn't tell. "They don't know anything."

Terry's sister, Kathy, came in the back and looked at Terry. "How's Dad?" she asked.

"I don't know. How did you get to school?"

"I walked of course. I had to go to school, didn't I?"

"Yeah, sure. You did the right thing. I'll tell you when I know anything. Go play or do homework or something. Phil should be home soon. Then we'll know."

The room grew quiet again. Jimmy asked, "Do you want something to eat? I think I can make you something?"

"No, no, I had something."

"While we're waiting, let's call Butch and Mary. They'll want to know, Terry. I know they will."

"You can if you want. I don't know what to do."

Jimmy dialed the Brewsters and talked to Mary's dad who happened to be home. "Terry and Kathy are here, but Terry hasn't heard anything." Jimmy looked at Terry. "Can Mr. Brewster come over? He wants to help and he will take you to the hospital."

"Let me have the phone. Hi Mr. Brewster, this is Terry. Yes, thank you. We all feel awful. I'd love to go to the hospital. Even if they won't let me in to see him, at least I'd be there. Come soon. Thanks."

Jimmy called Butch while Terry got cleaned up. "Butchie, I have really bad news. Terry's dad went in the hospital. No, don't come over. It's a long story. In fact, I'm leaving soon. I thought you would want to know. Pray? Yeah, I guess I could pray. Mr. Brewster is coming to help. He can pray for all of us."

The doorbell rang and Terry was ready to go. He invited Mr. Brewster in and said, "Can we go right away?" Mr. Brewster nodded. "Jimmy, thanks for coming. Oh, I forgot, I can't go yet. There's nobody to watch Kathy. I'll just have to wait. Sit down Mr.Brewster."

"May I?" Mr. Brewster said taking the phone. "Karen, can you and Mary watch and feed Kathy here while I take Terry to see his dad? That would be great. Hurry!"

While they were waiting, Mr. Brewster said. "Do you mind if I offer a prayer for your dad?"

Terry smiled. "We hoped maybe you would."

Mr. Brewster took hold of Jimmy and Terry's hands and said a simple prayer for healing. Then he smiled.

Karen Brewster knocked and walked in the house. "I'm here. You can go."

Terry and Mary's dad took off, Jimmy left, and Mary and Mrs. Brewster started to help Kathy. Just as Terry stepped onto the front porch, Butch called to him from the path by the back door. He sounded excited. "I want to help, too."

(Next time, something special for each Scribbler. See you then.)

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