The Girl Most Likely To … - Part 62
By Barbara Lynn Terry
Chapter 1 – Debra goes home.
At nine o’clock the next morning, Ms. Joan Wells, the superintendent of the Pine Meadows Home For Adolescent Girls, called all the staff of the main house together. This was an informal conference, so it was held in the dining room. The girls were all in school.
“Mrs. Sanger, this is your meeting. Tell us as best as you can, why the judge discharged Debra on such short notice.”
“Yes, thank you, Ms. Wells. This is going to be very lengthy, because I want to explain all the facts. This all started two and a half years ago. My ex-husband didn’t want Debra in the house. He claimed she never listened to him. He told the judge thay when he told Debra to do something, she would laways pick an atgument. Well, the argument was actually on my ex-husband’s part. When he would tell Debra to do something, he used profane language and threats.
“He would then hit Debra by slapping her so hard, she would fall to the floor. If I tried to intercede for Debra, he would yell at me and nake threats of bodily injury. It all came to a head when one night, he and Debra were having words. I should say that Debra was having words, while he was yelling so loud I thought that one of the neighbors were going to call the police. One of them did.
When the doorbell rang, Debra was was going to answer it. He
“He went to the door, flung it open and stared at the police. ‘Well what do you want?’ He asked. The one officer told him they were answering a family disturbance call. He had the berve to tell the police that there was no family disturbance, then he ordered them off of … his … property.
“The one officer looked at me and asked if I lived there. My ex-husband looked at me shaking his head. When I said yes I live there, my ex-husband flew in to a violent rage. As he lunged at me, both policemen had my ex-husband on the floor and handcuffed. He swore he would get me for the insult. The police arrested him when he used the back of his gabd abd struck one of the officers.
At the hearing before the children’s court judge, I was told that Debra was being removed from the home, because I either failed to, or wouldn’t protect Debra from her father’s abuse. What could I do against a brute like him? Well, I finally came to my senses and filed for divorce. Then I remembered that ebra’s birthday was coming up, and I promised mtself that I would be here for her. That’s about it.”
“Thank you, Mrs. Sanger,” Ms. Wells said.
“Please, everyone, just call me, Jean.”
“Alright, Jean, we’re informal here. This is Ms. Jean Sanger, and she is our new social services director. She has a degree in sociology from Berkley University in Berkley, California. I see it’s lunch time. Why don’t we all go to the truck stop and invite Eve Reinhardt to join us at Temples in Quake Forest.”
“That sounds good, Ms. Wells,” Jack Olsen added.
They all left the main house and took the Home’s suv. Sheriff Sergeant, Naomi Petersen was on patrol, or they would have called her to take them. Jack Olsen drove the suv to the truck stop. Eve Reinhardt was just walking out to her car.
“Hello, Jack. What brings you here besides the suv?”
“We’re going to Temples in Quake Forest for lunch. We have room for one more passenger. Would you like to join us?”
“I would love to, nut I have already made plans for lunch. Then I have to get back to work.”
“Alright, Eve, we just thought we would stop and offer anyway.”
“Alright, Jack, thank you, anyway.” Evie left for her luncheon engagement.
“Well, let’s go to Temples,” Jack Olsen remarked.
Chapter 2 – Lunch is interrupted.
On the way to Temples restaurant, Joan Wells call a cell call. The gist of the conversation was that one of the girls for sick, and was escorted by Naomi. Naomi was called when the teachers were informed Ms. Wells was going to Quake Forest for lunch. They didn’t even get out of Pine Meadows, when Joan Wells received her call.
In less than ten minutes, Jack Olsen pulled in to a parking spot by the main house. They all went inside. Naomi greeted them as they went in.
“Hi, I am dory to interrupt your lunch time, but Sharon Hardesty became ill during class. I was called yo help when the school didn’t get an answer at the house.”
“That’s all right, Naomi. Where is Sharon now?”
“She is upstairs in her room. Jan, I think you should go to her.”
“Yes, Naomi, right away. Be back down when I can.”
Jan went up to see Sharon. When Jan walked in her room, she saw Sjaron curled like in the fetal position.
“Sharon, do want to go to the hospital?”
“Oh, Jan, my insides feel like they are on fire. Yes, maybe I should go to the hospital.”
:All right, Sharon, I will go and call the ambulance.”
Jan went downstairs and said she needed to call an ambulance. Naomi said she would call on her radio. Naomi said it would be faster than the telephone.
“County 300 to dispatch.”
“Go county 300,” the dispatcher answered.
“Request 10-51 at the Home for transport to hospital.”
“Right away county 300.”
“County 300 by.”
Naomi went out to tell them what she suspected.
Jan took the paramedics up to Sharon’s room.
“It seems she has appendicitis. We’ll take her vitals in the ambulance,” David Winkler, one of the paramedics told Jan and his partner. They got Sharon to the ambulance, and wasted no time getting to the hospital.
When they got to the hospital, three nurses and a CNA got Sjaron in to a hospital gown. The doctor came in almost immediately and when he saw Sharon doubled over, he tentatively suspected appendicitis. He was right.
They took Sharon to the operating room, and the doctor performed an emergency appendectomy. After the surgery was completed, Sharon was taken to recovery. She was there for three hours until she woke up. The recovery room nurse came to her bedside.
“Hello Sharon, I’m June one of the nurses that was with you in surgery. You will be going to a room upstairs as soon as we can get a transporter to take you. The doctor took out your appendix which was very much inflamed. How old are you, Sharon?”
“I’m sixteen, June.”
“Well, Sharon, you rest now. The transporter may be a while. I will be watching you to make sure everything is all right.” She left Sharon to rest. Because the anesthetic hadn’t worn off completely. Sharon slipped in to sleep.
June kept a sharp vigil over the four patients in the recovery room, as did Janet McCormick, the other nurse working with June. Sharon was having a fitful sleep. She was mumbling incoherently and her face looked like she had just seen Daniel Webster’s ghost.
June paged the doctor, and waited for his call. There was something bothering Sharon, and June was very worried. These patients were more to her than just to watch over, they were people. Her concern was for all of them.
The phone on the recovery room desk rang. Jamet answered it. It was the doctor. Janet gave the phone to June. June explained what was going on with Sharon. The doctor told June to watch her very closely. If the fitful sleep continued, June was to give Sharon Hardesty a morphine drip through her IV. June said she understood, and hung up.
June was a trained registered nurse. She knew if she tried waking Sharon up, more harm could come to her than to Sharon. June prepared the morphine drip. She set the drip pump to the right dose. Now, June would see if this would calm Sharon down. June hoped it would.
Forty five minutes later, a transporter showed up to take Sharon to her room. June told the man that she would help him with the IV. They took Sharon to the seventh floor of the north tower. Her room number is M736. June explained to the nurse that went in to the room with them, just what was going on. The nurse, Germain Whitaker, said she would be right back. She went out by the desk and pahed the doctor. He responded immediately. Nurse Whitaker told the doctor that she thought there ought to be a nurse assigned to Sharon’s room, so that the patient could be watched twenty four hours a day. The doctor agreed, and Ms. Whitaker gave the phone to the charge nurse.
The doctor told the charge nurse that a registered nurse be in Sharon Hardesty’s room at all times. The charge nurse, Joan Stanford, said she understood. Ms. Stanford assigned Karen McCormick to Sharon’s room.
Karen’s job was to monitor the IV pump, and make sure that Sharon rested peacefully as much as possible. Karen also had to take Sharon’s vitals every thirty minutes. Sharon’s blood pressure cuff was set for every fifteen minutes.
Karen brought her book from the desk and sat down by Sharon’s bed. She opened her book to where she ledt off. Ut was at that time, Sharon started making noises in her sleep. Karen put her book down, and watched to make sure Sharon wasn’t having another nightmare.
After about ten minutes, Karen went back to reading her book. Every few minutes, Karen would look up from her book. It was then that a woman walked in to Sharon’s room.
“Hello, I’m Mary Hardesty, Sharon’s mother. I went to the Home and they said she was here. Why was she brought here?”
“She had a very badly inflamed appendix. The doctor did an emergency appendectomy. She was having a very fitful sleep, so the doctor ordered a morphine drip to keep her calm. By the way, I’m Karen, the nurse assigned to watch over Sharon on second shift. There will be a nurse in this room 24/7 until she leaves.”
“Well, I am glaf that you are looking after her. Is it all right if I sit next to the bed?”
“Yes, Mary, it would be all right. When she wakes up and sees you, maybe everything will be all right with her.”
Mary sat down on the other side of Sharon’s bed. Mary loved doing word searches, so she pulled out her word search book. As she was doing her word searches, she would look up now and then. She wanted to make sure Sharon was all right.
“Well, I certainly hope so, too,” Mary replied.
Maryfavorite mystery writer was Agatha Christie. As to her favorite Agatha Christie character, she didn’t have one. She liked them all.
Mary Hardesty brought a few Hercule Poirot and a few Miss Marple books. Mary was going to read to Sharon while she was in the hospital. Mary watched her daughter lying there resting. Mary opened one of the books, Murder On the Orient Express, a Hercule Poirot mystery.
As Mary read the story of how the Belgian detective became involved in a murder investigation, she would look up from her reading to check on Sharon. Seeing that Sharon was resting peacefully, Mary continued reading aloud to her daughter.
Sharon had been at the Pine Meadows Homes For Adolescent Girls for three and a half years, This was the first time that her mother had shown any interest in what happened to Sharon or what Sharon was doing.
Mary Hardesty kept reading, when Sharon started talking in her sleep.
“No daddy, no. Don’t Daddym you’re hurting my arm.”
Mary put the vook down, quickly, and went to nit beside Sharon on the bed.
“Shhh, sweetie, mommy’s here. Daddy can’t hurt you now. I am going to be right here with you. Daddy was a bad man, and he is being punished for his evilness. Mommy will protect you, sweetie. Now, you go to sleep, and I will read from Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot. “
As Mary stroked her daughter’s forehead, Sharon calmed down. Mary went and picked up the book, and sat nack down on the bed. She held the book with one hand, and stroked her daughter’s forehead with the other.
The question is, why did Mary Hardesty show up, now? I guess we will have to wait and see. Whatever the reason, Mary is at Sharon’s beside, making sure that Sharon is safe.
Janice Peyton, Renée, and Ms. Joan Wells came in the room. They saw Mary Hardesty sitting on the edge of Sharon’s bed, reading and stroking Sharon’s forehead. They heard Mary say in between her reading … “Mommy’s here, sweetie. I won’t let anything happen to my little girl.” Janice Peyton spoke first.
“Mrs. Hardesty” Janice inquired.
“I’m Janice, this is Renée and our superintendent, Ms. Joan Wells. Does Sharon know that you are here.”
“I don’t think so. When I heard that Sharon had surgery, I came as soon as I could. But I am going to be here unril she wakes up. ”
“I’m Renée Richards, Sharon is one of my sisters. They made me and a deputy sheriff sergeant, Naomi Petersen, honorary sisters of the Pine Meadows Home For Adolescentp Girls. I live a half of a mile from the Home.”
“Who told you that Sharon was having surgery?” Asked Janice Peyton.
Her name is Eve. I was passing through
here, and stopped to get a bite to eat. I over heard Eve tell another customer about the surgery. I went to the house at the Home, and they told me Sharon was here.”
“I will call Evie and tell her you made it here. Eve Reinhardt used to live at the Home as a resident. She is a sister of all the girls,” Ms. Joan Wells told Mary. “I will be right back.” Ms. Wells left to call Evie.
The girls sat dshown to listen to Mary read to Sharon. They were both fascinated and bewildered. They were fascinated by how Hercule Poirot investigated the mirder on the train known as the Orient Express. The girls were also bewildered as to why did Sharon’s mother show up now. The “I was just passing through” story seemed just a little bit on the stretching the truth side to Renée
“Mrs. Hardety, Sharon said she wanted to go home. She said she was born in Callaway. She said that was a nice city.”
“Sharon was born in Pine Grove, Wisconsin. I raised her here, because of the school system. See, I did a lot of looking around before I moved away from Pine Grove. When Sharon was sent to the Home, I was torn. I couldn’t believe ,u little girl could do such a thing.”
“What makes you think she did?” Renee Asled Mrs. Hardest
“Brcause she didn’t say anything in court. When the judge said she was coming here, I went home and was both shocked and in deep thought. I was passing through here on my way to Baltimore. Then I heard that this girl, Sharon was going to have surgery. They didn’t say what kind of surgery, so I asked directions to the home. When I got there they said she was here.”
“Are you going to be here when she wakes up?” Janice Payton asked Mary Hardesty.
“Yes, I am. You no idea, girls, about what goes through a person’s mind when something like this happens. From now on I will be in Sharon’s life.”
It was then that Eve Reinhardt came in to Sharon’s hospital room.
“Evie!” Janice Peyton exclaimed. Janice ran to Eve and gave her a big hug.
“Shhh sister, Janice. We don’t want to wake up Sharon with a startled look on her face.” Ece looked at Mary Hardesty. “You’re the lady that was at the diner.”
“Yes. I’m Mary Hardesty, Sharon’s mother. I over heard you telling somone at the café about a girl named Sharon fron the Home having sugery. I went to the Hone and I asked about Sharon. They told me she was here. So, I came right over.”
“Well, I’m Eve Reinhardt, I have worked at the diner since leaving the Home. I was Sharon’s shadow when she first came to the Home.But, my days are limited, now, at the diner. I have another job all lined up. I go there on Monday for my probationary training.”
“That’s good, Evie,” Said Janice Peyton. Where will you be working?”
“Right now, dear sister Janice, that is a surprise.”
“Oh come on, Evie, you can tell me, I swear, I won’t tell a soul,” Janice said with her fingers crossed behind her back. “Oh come on sis, you know me.”
“Oh yes, sister Janice, I know you, only too well,” Eve answered Janice. “I will not tell you what my next job is until I am actially hired.”
“Oh, all right,” Janice peyton stated, in mock indignation.
Sharon began to move. She opened her eyes and looked around. She saw Renée, Jaminece, Evie and a woman sitting on the of her bed, with her back to Sharon. Then Sharon got a spark of recognition.
Mrs. Hardesty turned to face her daughter.
“Yes, sweetie, I’m here. I am not Leaving until the doctor says you are out of danger. I am staying at the hotel in town, room 35. If I donhere’t answer my phone, that means I am on my way here.”
“But, why are you here?”
“I was on my way to Baltimore, when I stopped for lunch. In the café, I heard this lady,” She pointed to Eve. “Telling other customers about a girl named Sharon was needing surgery. I asked directions to the Home. They told me that you were here. So, I came right over.”
“I had the weirdest drseam. I dreamt that someone was stroking my hair and reading Murder On The Orient Express, like you used to do when I was home.” Sharon looked at her mother, bewildered. “It was a dream, right, mother?”
Mary Hardesty held up Agatha Christie’s Murder On The Orient Express.
“No, dear, it was not a dream. I was reading to you and stroking your hair to keep you calm. The nurses told me that you were talking in your sleep. When I came in this room, you were mumbling and had a frightened look on yor face. So, I sat on the side of your bed, and started stroking your hair. You became calm after a few minutes. Then I started reading Murder On The Orient Express. I remembered how you like Agatha Cchristie in novels.”
“Oh, I do. I like the way Hercule Poirot always catches the murderer. I like the way Miss Marple dolves the crime in such a humorous way. Agatha Christie was a good writer.”
“That she was, Sharon,” Naomi said, coming in to the room.
“Sister Naomi!” Sharon exclained, trying to sit up.
Naomi rushed to her to prevent Sharon from sitting up.
“Don’t try to sit up, sister Sharon. You could break open those stitches. Then you will be here longer. Just lay back and I will give you a hug while you are laying in the bed.”
“Alright sister Naomi,” Sharon replied to what Naomi told her. Naomi then spoke to everyone in the room.
“I do have to leave, because I am on patrol. I just stopped by to see how my sister Sharon was doing. Sharon, do not try to sit up until the doctor says it is okay. I will be back after my shift is over.” She gave everyone there a hug, and then left.
The nurse came in and said that there were three more visitors waiting to see the patient. All current visitors must leave. Eve Reinhardt, Janice Peyton and Renée Richards keft Sharon’s room. Debra Sanger, Joy Carver, and Sandra Erickson came in the room.
“Sister Sharon,” Sandra started speaking. “We all made you a get well card and we all signed it. Even the younger girls signed, well, those that could print or write. Rhose that couldn’t write, we put their names on ourselves.” Sandra turned to Ms. Wells. “Grandma, would you like to sign this card?”
“I certainly would. I want Sharon to get well, too, as quickly as she can.”
Sandra closed Sharon’s room door. Then, Debra, Sandra and Joy started singing. They started with Over The Rainbow sung by Judy Garland in the 1939 production of The Wizard Of Oz. They chose this song for two reasons. It was one of Sharon’s favorite songs and it wasn’t loud like the rock ‘n’ roll they played on the weekends.
During the song, Sharon fell asleep.
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