I thought you were dead in a ditch!


dead in a ditch
dead in a ditch

It was a bright and sunny early Saturday morning.  It was dead quiet outside. The sun was doing it’s best to shine through the curtains of my dorm room when the phone rang and jolted both myself and my roommate awake.  Since the phone was on my side of the room I got out of bed and answered the phone.

“Hello?”  groggily my voice crackled answering the phone.  It was early on the Saturday, too early in my university mind.  8am on a Saturday was early for me then.  Also, I had not gotten to bed till 1 am on Friday the night before.  I was up talking with friends in a different part of the building.  Since it was Friday night, and I had no commitments for the next morning I didn’t really care about what time it was when I went to bed.  It was a happy cheery voice on the other end.  “May I speak with Aime Hutton?”

I think I recognized the voice.  “Speaking.”

“Hi Aime, this is Lisa from the Emergency First Response Team.  Jane is on her way to your dorm to pick you up.  We need some help for St. John Ambulance.  You are going to be one of our practice patients for our testing scenario’s today. Or as we like to call them dead bodies. Even though you may not be dead in the scenario.” Lisa laughed.

In my groggy state I was thinking to myself “How did she get my phone number?  Oh yes that’s right, when I applied and tried out for the Emergency First Response Team, I gave my phone number.”  This was also 1996, and cell phones were not really a common item that students had with them.  Some had pagers maybe. 

“Okay, I’m not dressed yet.  When will she be here?”

“In about 10 min.  Put clothes on that you can get dirty and go wait outside in the parking lot circle at your residence.”

“Okay I will.”

“Have you eaten yet?  No wait, you’ve just been woken up by me.  Of course, you’ve not.  We’ll get you breakfast too.”

“Thank you, that would be great.”  I hung up the phone, and made my bed.  Luckily, I had just a duvet so it was easy to throw it back on the bed proper.  It was pink and soft.  I threw on some jeans and a t-shirt.  Went to wash my face, come back to my room.  I looked out my window with a direct line to the parking circle and saw Jane in her big blue station wagon.  Rushing out the door grabbing my coat, keys, an wallet.  I changed my door sign to being off campus and locked my door and left. Being a ‘dead patient’ sounded fun, like doing this kind of stuff.

“Good morning Aime, thanks for coming to help us out with our scenario’s.  We really appreciate your help.”

The day was spent with friends and new friends helping with St. John Ambulance members who were testing for their exams. I actually wasn’t a ‘dead patient’. I was a patient that had an epileptic seizure, and was in a car.

“Thank you so much for asking me to help you guys out!  That was so much fun!  Let me know when you need help again.  I would love to be a ‘dead patient’ for you again!  Preferably a day or two in advance would be nice” Smiling and laughing as I hopped out of her blue station wagon.

Skipping and excited I went into the dorm.  Still feeling joyous and energized from volunteering I bounced down the hall towards my room.  Toby saw me and yelled out “Yeah!  Aime’s home!  Devon, you can stop worrying!  Aime’s home!”

Devon came shooting out of his room, glaring at me.  His eyes piercing blue, his hands on his hips.

I stopped dead in my tracks.  All the happy and excitement energy in me drained out my toes in milliseconds.  “Uh-Oh.  I’ve made him mad.”  I thought “I don’t like making Devon mad.”

I stammered out a “Hi.”

“Come here.” Devon demanded.

Like a puppy who had the guilting look on her face when she’s done something wrong, I walked slowly down to Devon’s room.  Devon was pointing with his stubby arm and his finger out into his room.

Once in his room Devon shut the door.  I sat nervously on his bed.  Devon paced back and forth.  Then with a worry and anger in his voice he said, “Where were you?”

Voice shaking, I responded “Off campus.”

With even more anger in his face Devon snapped back “I was worried sick, I thought you were dead in a ditch!  I called the hospitals looking for you!”

“Devon I went out early this morning off campus.  I did put my message sign to off campus at least.”  I was starting to get teary eyed.  I could feel my face and neck getting hot, and my breathing quickened.

“That’s not good enough!  I love you and I care about you.  Because I was out working at the hockey game, I didn’t see you go to bed the night before, or leave this morning.  I was thinking and fearing the worst.” 

“I’m sorry!!  I’m sorry I didn’t tell you.  I didn’t want to wake you.  I knew you had a game to ref for hockey and didn’t want to disturb you.  You must have been tired.”  Tears were welling up fast now.

“You should have.”  Devon was still standing pacing in his room, glaring at me with his piercing blue eyes.

“You’re not my Mum, I don’t need to report to you.”  I was becoming frustrated and scared at the same time.  I took a breath, doing my best to explain this to Derek.  Doing my best to stay calm.  However, I don’t think it was working though, my voice was shaky, and higher pitched.

“Boyfriends and girlfriends need to communicate to each other.  I love you.”  He came over and kissed me.

“I love you too, and I did communicate with you, and everyone else in the dorm I put my message board to being off campus.  I’m sorry.”

Devon kissed me again hard.  “I care about you.  I was so scared that you weren’t here.  I thought you wandered off campus and got hurt.  That’s why I called the hospitals, the security desk, the police stations in town.  To see if you were there.  We have to communicate.”

I gave in, “Okay, I’m sorry.  I’ll try and do better.”

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