Season 1, Episode 28
Last time we met, Krystal Sullivan had asked to leave the hospital to be alone with her thoughts. She had left behind a dying man whom she knew would spend his final hours alone and frightened. The guilt consumed her but she tried to be strong by telling herself she did everything she could do that was within her power.
She and her yellow lab, Fantasia, drove out of town. The summer sun was starting to make it nice and warm. Krystal decided to put the top down on her convertible and try to get away from the sad situation at the hospital. She would distance herself, both figuratively and literally.
Soon she was ten miles out of town on a quiet country road. Things were peaceful out here and Krystal felt she had done the right thing. She could have stayed at the hospital and finished her shift, but she would have been going through the motions and the day would have seemed endless.
Under such circumstances, her superiors at the hospital encouraged employees to do exactly what she was doing. It was much better to have an employee come back mentally fresh than to bring down co-workers with a poor attitude.
Back at the hospital, things were going about as Krystal had imagined. Mr. Jenkins had been taken off much of the life-extending equipment that would keep him clinging to a vegetative existence. He was left to lie there until nature took its course. The lone heart monitor and an IV were all that remained.
Krystal drove lazily along on the empty country road. This was just the therapy she needed. Here she was, alone on a desolate road with her best companion, Fantasia. Fantasia didn’t quite understand, but somehow she knew she was making things better for Krystal just by being there.
Krystal was sorting things out in her mind. These quiet drives out in the country had been helpful to her many times in the past. It gave her clarity and she often made some of her most important decisions.
Suddenly, she made a decision that was impulsive, but at the same time made perfect sense to her. She had been traveling east and was about 30 or 40 miles out of Labrador Falls.
She made a sharp turn south at the next intersection and increased her speed on the lonely country road for about four miles until she reached the freeway on-ramp. She was determined to get back to town as quickly as she could.
She got on the west-bound entrance ramp and quickly accelerated. Her speed increased… 60…70…80 miles per hour. She didn’t care if she got pulled over. In her mind, this was an emergency and as such, her speed was justified.
Fortunately the freeway was mostly clear, both of traffic and the state police. She would be in Labrador Falls in record time.
Meanwhile, back at the Johnson home in Labrador Falls, the three dogs, Tillie, Rover and Rex were having a nervous discussion themselves. They knew that Rex’s owner, Old Man Jenkins was in the hospital and not doing well. They had overheard the Johnsons talking on the phone and to each other.
Rex spoke to Tillie, ”I just wish I would have stayed there with him at the scene of the accident. They might have let me go to the hospital with him. So foolish of me…!”
“Don’t be so hard on yourself Rex,” Tillie reassured him. “What you did was the right thing. Besides, they wouldn’t have let you ride in the ambulance. They probably would have taken you to the pound. You might be on death row right now!”
“Yeah, buddy,” said Rover, “you wouldn’t have made it over here where at least you’re close to home and you have us to play with. We can overhear what the owners are saying and can get an idea how he’s doing and what’s going on.”
“I guess you guys are right. But I still feel like there’s more I could have done. I hate sitting here doing nothing,” was all Rex could say.
The relative quiet was broken by the ringing of the front doorbell. The dogs were outside in the back yard but could still hear the chime of the doorbell. Naturally, Tillie and Rover began to bark, always protecting the house. Rex joined in for good measure.
Young Preston Johnson, who had come upstairs from his gaming marathon to make a sandwich, heard the doorbell and was first to answer. He didn’t recognize the face and thought it was probably someone who wanted to sell life insurance or some other useless product.
He decided he would listen for a minute or so and tell them he was not interested. Besides, his parents were not home and he had no money.
He was surprised by how the visitor was dressed however. Maybe it’s one of those weird cults he thought to himself…