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An Informal Christmas, Click to Buy
“Ah-hem.” The man still leaning against the wall cleared his throat.
A quick glance at the clock told Rylie she needed to be on her way. The first of the CT scans was scheduled to start in fifteen minutes. Scotty, an eight-year-old patient, had asked her to accompany him because his parents were at work, and he didn’t want to be alone.
“Walk with me, Mr. York.” She brushed past him hoping her voice hadn’t sounded as cold to his ears as it had to hers. It wasn’t his fault she’d been running nonstop since coming through the hospital doors hours prior — or that the day’s race was far from over.
A second later, the yell came from behind her. “Watch out!”
Rylie spun around in time to see a previously stacked column of boxes tumbling in her direction. Of course. The boxes with the marbles in them. Who had piled those blasted boxes so high? No one in touch with their sanity would be foolish enough to… Oh yeah. She’d done it. Because they’d needed the room.
A speedy jump saved her from most of the trauma, but the edge of one box landed on her left foot. Her yell filled their small office. Meanwhile, one of the other boxes broke open. Marbles began rolling across the floor. Rylie, her lost balance tossing her in that direction anyway, managed to throw herself in front of the door as she fell. At least the glass-orbs-of-doom wouldn’t wander out into the hallway and cause further catastrophe.
Whose brilliant idea was it to donate a hundred pounds of marbles to the Child Life department? Now she remembered. The international marble champion Rylie had convinced to visit the hospital and host a demonstration for the children one afternoon had been so moved by the experience that he’d donated thousands of choking hazards to them. The boxes had been stacked in the corner so long she’d almost forgotten about them. Until now.
“It’s awfully narrow in here. I brushed against a box. Sorry.” Mr. York held his hand out to help her up, but Rylie wasn’t sure she wanted to move. Some falls – and crushed toes – deserved to be babied for a bit. The image of poor Scotty, afraid of the CT machine, popped into her head, though, and she couldn’t ignore the outstretched hand.
The benevolent stranger and knocker-over-of-boxes started to speak again, but Rylie cut him off as she got to her feet. “I’m needed elsewhere. Walk with me, or it’ll have to wait.”
“Don’t worry about the mess here, folks. I have nothing better to do with my time.” Suzie’s indignant muttering followed them all the way to the elevator.