Accidents Can Happen | By: ken makepeace | | Category: Short Story - Children Bookmark and Share

Accidents Can Happen

Holly was on her way home when she saw an elderly lady fall to the ground.
   'You all right, love?' she said after going to see if she was OK.
   'Just get us up, will you?' the lady pleaded.
   Holly tried her best, but struggled, so she got out her phone and called for an ambulance, much against the lady's wishes. What else could she do? There was no one around to help. The street was deserted. And It was getting dark. Holly made the lady as comfortable as possible till the ambulance arrived.
   'You coming to the hospital as well?' the paramedic asked Holly after the elderly lady had been attended to.
   Holly hadn't a clue who this woman was, apart from helping her in the street, but she couldn't let her go on her own. She seemed confused as it was, so she climbed into the back of the ambulance.
   Holly waited for a long time in casualty. She thought she'd been forgotten about, until a nurse came and took her to the ward the lady had been admitted to.
   When Holly got to her bedside, she saw tears in her eyes.
   'What's wrong?' Holly asked in a sympathetic tone.
   'It's my Tommy. He's got no one to look after him.'
   'Who was Tommy? If it was her son, surely he could cope on his own. And surely someone would have contacted him to tell that his mum had been admitted to the hospital.
   'If I give you the key, could you go round and feed him? I've no one else. And I'm not saying anything to those busybodies at Social Services.'
   Who was she going round to feed?
   'Who's Tommy?' she asked.
   'He's my tabby cat.'
   Holly felt relieved.
   'No problem,' Holly said, taking the key out of the lady's hand. 'Is there anything you want me to pack for you while I'm there?'
   The lady gave Holly a list. She then left the hospital to make her way to the bus stop.
   When Holly arrived at the lady's house, she let herself in and made her way into the kitchen, then she heard meowing from a cat who had just entered through the cat flap. He hadn't a clue who Holly was, but it didn't stop him from rubbing around her ankles.
   'Come on, let's get you fed,' she said to him. 'that's if I can find where the food is kept.'
   After feeding the cat, Holly collected together the stuff the lady had asked for. She was amazed how clean the house was - it was immaculate. Everything neat and tidy. Holly thought about her bedroom. She wished that was neat and tidy. Maybe she should think about taking a leaf out of the old lady's book.
   Making her way out of the house, Holly started to think how lonely the lady must be. There were no family photos around the house. There was no one to feed the cat. Then she heard:
   'Excuse me!'
   Holly turned and saw a young woman standing by the gate of a house a few doors down.
   Holly went over.
   'Did you want something?' Holly asked in a polite manner.
   'Yes,' said the woman. How's Agnes?'
   'Who?' Holly asked.
   'Who's she, then?'
   'You've just come out of her house.'
   Holly realized who she meant, then told her what had happened.
   The woman said nothing, except to listen to what Holly was telling her.   Holly then made her way home. Later she was going to get her brother to run her to the hospital so as she could drop the lady's things off, and she could tell her how Tommy was getting on.
   After arriving at the hospital, her brother dropped her off by the entrance. He then went to find a parking space and said he'd pick her up in about half an hour's time.
   As Holly made her way through the corridors she kept thinking about the lady and how she was all alone. The only person who had asked how she was was a nosy neighbour. When Holly got to the ward, there was no sign of the lady.
   'Where's Agnes?' she asked a young nurse.
   'Gone home,' came the reply.
   'But there's no one to look after her.'
   'Her son came and fetched her this afternoon.'
   Holly could not believe this. Where did the son come from? Holly had the impression that she had no one. She then made her way out of the hospital and waited till her brother came and picked her up.
   Holly didn't sleep well that night. Her mind was on the poor lady. Was the nurse telling her the truth. Did she have a son? Or had she passed away and they were just saying what they had said so they wouldn't upset her? she didn't know what to think.
   Next morning Holly got out of bed with the intention of going to school, but she changed her mind. She was going to get to the bottom of this. She still had the key to the lady's house, and there was Tommy the cat. She wanted to make sure he was OK, and if she had to she was going to bring him home with her.
   Holly arrived at the house. She was making her way up the drive, when she heard:
   'Hey, Holly!.'
   She turned and saw the woman who had asked how Agnes was getting on the day before, but how did she know Holly's name?
   She went up to her.
   'How did you know my name?' she said to her.
   'There's not much I don't know,' the woman said smiling.
   Holly just stood there. She didn't know what to make of it all.
   'I think you'd better come with me, young lady,' the woman said to her.
   Holly followed her into the house, then she was led into the front room. She couldn't believe what she saw - the elderly lady sitting there with a cup of tea in her hand, with Tommy the cat stretched out in front of the fire.
   'I was told that you had gone to your son's.' Holly said with a look of astonishment.
   'I have,' Agnes replied with a grin.
   It turned out that the nosy woman was Agnes's daughter-in-law. Agnes had fallen out with her son a few years back, and she had refused to have anything to do with him or any of his family, even though they all lived in the same street. Her son only found out about his mum being in hospital because of Holly telling his wife. So he went to the hospital after phoning up to check to see how she was. He eventually managed to persuad her come and stay with at their house.
   Holly was so pleased Agnes wasn't on her own. She also thought that if it wasn't for the accident she wouldn't have made it up with her family. And now she was letting them look after her.

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