Prequel #2 Those who keep silence hurt more...
June 3rd, 2013 (One week after Memorial Day)
“I have learned now that while those who speak about one’s miseries usually hurt, those who keep silence hurt more.” ― C.S. Lewis
Officer Max Clarke got the call over the radio that there may have been a break in his case that was just admitted to Vita Mercy General. Tara Woods who is the wife of Malcolm Woods, the scientist found dead in the woods last week, was just brought in due to a mysterious car accident. The car was found on the side of a deserted road with no other car around and nothing that it could have hit. She had gone missing yesterday and her family assumed it was because she needed a break after the funeral. But when her sister came by to check things out and found the Woods home ransacked she called the police.
Max arrived at the hospital and a nurse led him to the triage area where Mrs. Woods was being treated. As they got closer, Max could hear a major commotion up ahead. The nurse in front of him picked up her pace to almost a sprint. As they approached the room, the nurse pulled the drape partition back revealing what looked like a scene from a brutal WWE wrestling match. Blood was splattered all over the walls and floor. The IV poles and monitors were knocked over and the bed was totally disheveled. The patient appeared to be in a heap in the corner surrounded by nurses and attendants trying to hold her still. There was a doctor over on the side trying to prepare an injection, obviously to sedate her.
The nurse accompanying Max went to assist with prep for the injection and Max went toward the huddle. Just as he stepped forward, the crowd began to scuffle with the patient again..muffled cries of pain and chaos filled the air.
LET HER GO. Max’s command cut through the confusion like a warm knife on softened butter. Tentatively, the nurses backed away and the two attendants that were left holding her arms looked at Max as if to say “us too?”. Max simply glared and slowly they released her arms. The woman fell forward into the corner that she was facing. Her back was toward the people in the room and Max reached out and put his hands gently on each of her shoulders. She initially jerked away. Max simply said “No, I’ve got you”.
The woman’s body froze stiff in response to his statement and Max’s reached his hands out again placed them on her shoulder. This time she reacted, but did not resist. He didn’t move her. He held her steady from behind as they sat on the floor. He whispered in her ear and whatever he was saying, seemed to relax her slowly. Her body language was not as tense. After a few minutes she finally seemed contented, almost borderline normal.
Max has always had a knack for working with victims. His appearance would give the impression that he was gruff, or overly aggressive and in a sense he was when it was appropriate. But when it came to having empathy for someone that had been hurt, Max always knew what to do in each situation. His strength for bearing another persons’ struggle was just as natural to him as breathing. His father was the source of that strength. Maximillion P. Clarke Sr. was a proud man who raised Max to be a man of courage, who was concerned with the plight of others. He also taught him to be a giver of not just things…but a giver of time..a listening ear..a helping hand. After the death of his dad, Max’s sensitivity to hurting people seemed to intensify. More than likely it was because of his own pain; His mother was the source of that pain.
Her rejection of Max left him scarred emotionally and mentally. The scar his mom left on his heart was ripped open again after a bitter divorce from his ex-wife, Harley and a joint custody battle for their daughter Bailey. Kelly, who was a great friend through the divorce, is now Max’s toxic thorn. The friendship evolved to a relationship that continuously accommodates Kelly’s narcissism, lethargy and selfish behavior. They break up, make up, break up, make up and Max’s innate need to repay her for her initial kindness makes this rebound relationship difficult to define or end. The redundant turmoil adds to an already deep seated childhood pain and rejection he’s rarely admitted or discussed with anyone.…. and “those who keep silence hurt more.”
Dr. Brookside along with the staff there stood in silence, not sure what to do next. The nurse slowly walked up to Max and held up the needle and Max raised his finger as if he were asking for a minute. The other nurses had started to clean off the bed and wiped up blood and medication from the broken IV. Max and the patient just continued to sit on the floor.
As the rest of the staff continued the clean-up process and resetting of the area, One of the nurses came over to Max and softly said “Officer, the bed is ready for the patient again, would you give us some assistance in getting her situated.?”
Max stood up on his knees, but kept his body as a protective barrier between the patient and those in the room. He said softly, “Get me that rocking chair out of the corner and slide it here.”
Sir? The nurse replied. The bed is ready sir; we just need to hook her IV up and… Max interrupted her. Ma’am, go get the chair, please. Max continued to stroke the patient’s back who was still in the floor, assuring her that everything was ok and that he was would take care of her.
The attendants slid in the chair and placed it as close to Max as they could. He stood and then bent down to scoop the patient up in his arms. She looked like a tired, tattered and second hand rag doll. Her hair was sweated out and wet, her clothes looked as if they could have been very expensive, but covered in blood and dirt, it was hard to discern. She only had on one shoe which fell to the floor when Max swung her around to walk toward the chair. The nurse came over and Max stopped to look at her, trying to figure out her motives. The nurse simply went around him and held the rocking chair steady. Max nodded and sat down with the patient in his lap. He began to rock gently and she began to cry uncontrollably. Max motioned for the nurse to bend down toward his ear.
If it is alright with the doctor, please ask everyone to step out for a minute. I want to talk to her and I think she will feel more comfortable without everyone hanging on her every word. Max asked.
Sure, Officer. After the nurse spoke relayed the message, Dr. Brookside gave the staff the nod to wait outside. Max began surveying Tara’s face and noticed her labored breathing and the bleeding bruise over her rib cage. He knew she was in trouble and if he was going to get anything from her, he needed it to get it quick. She was probably going to need surgery immediately.
Mrs. Woods, I’m with the police, Detective Max Clarke. You were found in your car and we need to know what happened. What do you remember?
I’m not sure…the patient said looking unsettled and beginning to sound panicky again. I don’t know where I am and people were pulling on me and…
Relax Mrs. Woods…you are going to be ok. Just tell me what you remember. Do you remember getting into your car? Where were you going?
I don’t know…I mean I wasn’t going anywhere, Tara said between sobs…I was cooking…and I something fell in the other room..I went toward the door…and…someone was there… going through our things..and then they…Tara stopped mid-sentence. Her eyes grew wide and her breathing got rapid as if she remembered something that she could not speak of.
Tara grabbed at Max’s shirt with her weakened hands..in full panic…”please don’t leave me here by myself, you don’t understand”. Tara started getting upset again. Max could tell that she was disoriented and he needed to her to get stable so he could get an accurate account.
Its ok, you are not alone. Max kept rocking her. Now I need to let the doctors do their job so we can get you better. Just then, the Nurse stuck her head in and Max made a gesture with hand indicating that he wanted the injection.
Just relax and stretch out your arm ma’am this will help you rest, the nurse instructed Tara.
No!! Wait…!! Tara began to protest and tried to get up out of Max’s lap… I need to go….Malcolm said….. protect her… I can’t be here…when they…I know too….need to….Mrs. Woods began to drift off as the effects of the medication caused her to lose her train of thought.
Max gently placed her in the bed and stepped out. He thought to himself…”Protect her?” Who is she talking about?
How are Tara and Chloe connected?
Will Max always feel indebted to Kelly?
Follow @ChloeandMax1 with hashtag #ChloeandMax to get the latest and greatest on this whirlwind "couple" that took twitter by storm! Scroll back and read all of their tweets (tweeted by the "characters" themselves) to get insights on who they are and who they are becoming...and hold on to your seats...this promises to be THE summer romance thriller of the year!