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Kelly Joe Gage was now born. After everything, John and Susie's lives were getting back to normal. That baby became John's focus. She was the one thing they needed. She had already made an impact in their lives, yet she was just a few weeks old.
Both John and Roy recovering quickly…John was getting better with each passing day. That little girl had become his focus. Somehow she had saved him. He didn't know how, but she had become his guardian angel. They both had a special bond that would never be broken.
Susie had gotten up. The air from outside was coming in. A different day than most in LA. John wasn't beside her. At first her mind went back to the accident, she almost panicked. She took a breath, and realized he was still alive.
She got dressed, and walked down the stairs. She watched John making breakfast. She stood for a moment. She actually smiled, thinking how fortunate was he was to be alive. A thought that she wasn't taking for granted anymore. John looked over at her watching him.
“Hi” He said glancing up.
She walked into the kitchen “Hi.”
She kissed him on the cheek. He glanced at her, knowing she was thinking about him, and the year they had been through. He finished the food and sat down. It became a normal routine. They had become a normal everyday American family.
“I saw you watching me,” He told her.
“You never know when you might see someone for the very last time. It was something I thought I would never see again. I guess I just wanted to take it in.” She told him.
“I sat thinking about that very thought the other day. Kelly saved my life and I'm not going to take that for granted.”
“You're gonna have a daddy's little girl. She'll break hearts, you'll see.” She told him.
A cry came from upstairs.
“I'll get her,” He said.
She watched as he ran up the stairs. She almost cried, thinking how they had become parents. A few minutes later he came down the stairs holding the little girl. He walked into the living room, and had a seat on the couch. He kept looking at the little girl. He truly had the family that he always wanted.
Someone knocked on the door. John got up and walked to the door.
John looked at Kelly. “Look who it is…Its Uncle Roy. Hi Roy,” He said to Roy.
“Hi precious… I think she gets bigger every time I see her,” He told him.
Susie walked into the living room.
“Hi Roy,” She told him.
“Can you come in for a few hours?” Roy asked her.
“Yeah, Sure I'll be by the station,” She told him.
He looked at Kelly. “You take care of your daddy, ok?” He told the little girl.
He looked at John and Susie and waved…“Bye.”
John walked over to the sofa and had a seat. Susie smiled at him. The little girl was now sleepy. John got up and tucked her into her bassinet. He stood for a moment looking her. He still couldn't believe he was a father.
She walked into the living room. She didn't let John see, but she almost starting crying when she saw their daughter. She was sleeping gracefully. The baby, the child they had waited for so long was finally born. Not knowing that her mother was getting ready to say goodbye.
“I hate to leave her. She's so cute.” She remarked.
“We'll be alright.” He said looking at her.
She looked at him.“If you have any trouble don't hesitate call the station or come by.”
She walked into the kitchen, and grabbed her keys. She wanted to the time to regroup, but something was telling her that she was in for more than a shift. She almost didn't pick up her keys. She knew that the station was depending on her. John would understand.
“I love you,” He said looking at her.
She wiped a tear from her face. “I love you too.” She said looking at him.
She walked out to her car. She took one last glance at the house. She noticed every detail. It was something she had never done. Why was she thinking it would be her last?
“God get me home,” She said wiping another tear.
Susie pulled into traffic. The station was on the other side of town. She looked around. It would be the perfect day to take Kelly to the park…‘If and only if she was coming home.’ What was making her have those thoughts? Was it the new mom in her, or something else?
She finally got to the station, and pulled into a parking space. Any day it would be a normal shift. Today was different. She said a little prayer, and got out. In her mind she knew that she was helping Los Angeles. That’s what she had to focus on.
Susie walked into the kitchen.“Can I have a cup?” She asked Roy.
“Hey welcome back.” He said looking back at her.
“I have to admit, it's a little strange coming back.” She commented.
“Well the place hasn't changed much,” He told her.
The alarm rang out. Susie and Roy ran to the squad. She opened the door and climbed inside. Roy wrote down the directions and jumped in. They pulled into traffic and headed for the scene. The engines were already there, and making their way into a fire.
Captain Stanley ran up to the squad.“Roy, Susie we have victims trapped on the second floor.” He told them.
That was the thing about being a fireman/paramedic, sometimes they were paramedics and sometimes fireman. Either way they were needed. They grabbed their gear and went into the fire. Susie took the downstairs rooms, while Roy took the upstairs. Each fireman called out for any one trapped.
“I haven't found anyone.” Roy said loudly to Susie.
“I don't think there's anyone in here.” She replied.
“Let's get out of here.” He told her.
They began to make their way out of the fire. Other firemen were making their way into the blaze. A hotspot burst into the room. Both Susie and Roy were thrown into the floor. Roy grabbed Susie, and tried to lead them both outside.
“Wait!” She yelled.
“Come on,” He said grabbing her arm.
“There's someone up there,” She said looking at the staircase.
She began trying to get up the stairs. She had to help whoever was in this fiery hell. Her instincts and training made her want to help anyone who was still in the house. Roy tried to grab her, but couldn't reach her. As she reached the last step, the staircase collapsed around her.
There she lay. The mask had fallen off her face. Her eyes were still open. The fireman who rushed in, helped Roy carry her outside. Roy began CPR as the equipment was given to him.
The guys on the engine walked away. They knew what Roy had to do. He had to give life to an unresponsive patient. In all the training Roy had, his heart wouldn't let him give up. He couldn't give up.
In a final moment Roy knew she was gone. She lay there breathless. A quiet moment came across the entire scene. Each one of their hearts sank. Their angel was gone, taken away from them in the blink of an eye.
“Rampart, victim is gone.” He told the hospital, almost crying.
“10-4, transport. Has next of kin been notified?” Dr. Brackett asked.
“Negative Rampart,” He said.
He put down the receiver and looked at Susie. He didn't have the heart to tell the doctor that Susie had become the one victim they couldn't save. In all his years of training this was the most difficult case he had been involved in. The engine crew walked over and started crying. At that moment he felt like the world had gone against him.
“I'll take her in. I don't want her to be alone.” He said.
He was now crying. The one man who never showed emotion was heartbroken. The ambulance attendants carried the stretcher over to where he was. He and Captain Stanley put Susie into the ambulance…Each one looking on, seeing her for the very last time.
“We'll follow you,” Captain Stanley told him.
It took all the energy the engine crew had to follow the ambulance back to Rampart. Roy sat on the bench wondering if Johnny had heard the news. He sat the entire ride looking down at the floor of the ambulance. The engine crew too couldn't face what had just happened. They faced danger day after day, but never thought it could happen to one of their own.
When they pulled into the ambulance entrance Roy took a breath, trying to face what was about to happen. The ambulance attendants helped him get Susie out. The engine crew gathered around as she was wheeled in. The hospital staff had no idea what had just occurred. Dr. Brackett and Dixie walked up to the crew. Both sense something was wrong.
“Is this the patient, Roy?” Dr. Brackett asked.
“Yeah,” Roy said trying to talk.
Dr. Brackett pulled down the sheet. What he saw almost made him start crying.
“What happened?” Dixie asked.
“She was trying to get a victim out of a house,” Roy said looking at the floor.
Dr. Brackett asked Dixie.“Take her to treatment room three. Was Johnny there?” He asked Roy.
“No,” He replied.
“Come to my office and I'll help you tell him,” He said calmly.
They walked by the engine crew, each one in tears. They still couldn't comprehend what had happened. She was truly a hero, not only at the station, but in John's life. She had saved his life, and became a mother. It was truly a tragedy.
Roy had a seat in front of Dr. Brackett's desk. Both men knew they would be needed when John arrived at the hospital. Only time would tell if all involved would move on. Roy started dialing John and Susie's number. The thought almost stopped him from dialing the rest of the number.
“Gage residence, John here.” John said answering the phone.
“Johnny, it's Roy.” He said trying to find the words.
“Hey, Roy what's going on?” John asked.
“Can you come by Rampart?” Roy asked the cheerful voice.
“Is everything ok?” John asked.
“Yeah, I just need to talk to you,” He said.
“Alright I'll be right there,” John replied.
Roy put the receiver back onto the holder. He hated to lie to John, but knew he had to tell him in person. Dr. Brackett looked at him, and a tear started. At that moment a flood of emotions hit the paramedic. All his life he had seen life and death in the balance. Why couldn't get her off his mind?
She wasn't another death. She was their friend, a fellow firefighter. She had risked her life trying to save someone else's. Not only was she brave, she had grown to be their mentor. Roy now had to find the words to tell his best friend he couldn't save his wife.
“Johnny's here,” Dixie said peeking into Dr. Brackett's office.
It took all that he had to look up at Dixie. She and he both knew they had to tell John. That was a part of the job he never got use, to telling a family their wife or sister was gone. This was the hardest thing that he ever had to do. He got up and started walking down the hallway to the nurse’s desk.
Dr. Brackett, Dr. Early, Dixie, and the engine crew gathered.
“Hey Kelly belly,” Chet said to the little girl.
John looked around the crowd.“What's going on?” He asked.
“We need to talk,” Roy told him.
“I'll take Kelly,” Dixie said.
Roy and John began to walk away. John must have known something was serious. Roy opened the door to the doctor's office. He motioned John to have a seat. He had to take a breath before he started crying.
“Johnny, I don't know how to tell you this but... Susie's gone.” Roy's face turned a pale white.
“The engine crew pulled her out of the fire. I tried and my heart tried to bring her back, but there was nothing we could do.” Roy was now crying.
John jumped up. “You little bastard you let my wife die!” He pinned Roy against the wall.
It was in that moment partial grief hit Johnny. He let go of Roy as he slid down the wall. His head fell and he fell. Both men began crying. Roy was there for Johnny, there wasn't anything he could do but cry. His mind began thinking of how it was his fault. How her death would be a part of him for the rest of his life.
It seemed like an hour before anyone came to the door. Both John and Roy were still sitting on the floor. John had found a picture of Susie, and was clinging to it tightly. He still couldn't wrap his brain around the idea she was gone. As the doctor walked in Johnny flipped the corner of the picture unaware that he had.
“Johnny I'm sorry. Is there anything I can do?” He said looking down at Johnny.
John got up and began walking to the nurse’s desk.
“Where's Susie?” He asked Dixie.
“Three.” She told him.
He walked over to the Chet who was sitting in the waiting room. He looked at the little girl in his arms. For brief moment she made him smile. Chet handed the little girl over to him. He began rocking her.
“Why don't we go and see mommy?” He asked the child.
Dr. Brackett interrupted him.“Johnny, I don't think...”
“Wouldn't you like to see mommy?” John asked her.
Captain Stanley and others walked out of the coffee room to the hallway. He walked past them talking to the child. They knew in their hearts it hadn't sank into John's heart. They looked on as he kept walking. He walked into the treatment room.
“Mommy's sleeping. She loves you very much.” John told Kelly.
As John sat looking at her, Kelly grabbed her finger. His mind wanted it to be a dream. She was just sleeping he told himself. She would wake up as soon as she realized she was safe. All he wanted was one little sign she was still there.
“Why did you have to leave me? You are my one love, You'll always be my one love.”
He started to cry looking at the little girl. Why would she leave Kelly? Had she met her destiny? He kissed Susie one last time, and started to walk to the door. He looked at the child, then at Susie.
“Goodbye my love.”
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