Another Page: 01.09.04

Last week: we saw the rape from the perspective of the victim. This time, the two timelines cross.

Thank you much for the increased feedback on the last section. I know a lot of you expected a jump right back into the victim’s head, but that isn’t where I had it going. To popular demand, I will be back there next week.

Harvey Scottstein sat at the desk inside the EMT station. There were six radios around him, all tuned to a different channel. He was trying to listen to all the conversations at once. When the door banged open, he didn’t turn around at first. The door banged open a lot recently. He was listening intently to Channel 2, where six EMTs were searching the crowd for the victim of a rape.

“Excuse me,” said a strained, small voice behind him.

Harvey was not ready for what he saw when he turned around.

John ran through the crowd, shoving past people and knocking them out of the way. He knew he’d never find the spot in the sea of people. He remembered the Police/EMT tent near the top of the crowd at the outskirts. He could only hope someone in the crowd was doing the right thing.

He ran, pushing bodies out of the way likely stepping on others. He didn’t know the way entirely, but he figured he’d see it eventually. He only had a rough idea where the EMT booth was, but he had to find it.

He just hoped he wasn’t too late.

He ignored the calls of “f*ck you” from the people he shoved aside, along with the less pleasant and more creative curses. He didn’t care. He thought maybe he could direct them to the right general area. They would have more resources people would get out of their way. They could do something.

After an eternity, of slipping and sliding through the stripped, muddy ground, he saw the booth. People were milling around outside random stragglers who tried to get away from the crowds for a bit. There was a makeshift fence around the outside keeping the crowds back more by suggestion than force. He broke into a run, creating small explosions of mud around his feet. He’d nearly forgotten it was raining in his mad dash. There were no other thoughts but getting to the booth.

He leaped the small fence without breaking stride. One of the men outside who had been watching him come in grabbed him and pulled him aside. “Hey buddy, what’s the problem?”

“Rape,” John breathed, trying to pull breath into his burning lungs quickly as he could. He wasn’t quite sure how long he’d been running. “Girl getting raped near the stage.”

“What’s that, guy?” The officer said. He was scrutinizing John, who was still pulling in his breath. He assumed the cop was trying to figure out what, if anything, John was on and if this was another in what was probably a long string of hoaxes and nonsense he’d been through that day.

John, with a few seconds to recover, had better control over his breathing. He tried to collect himself a bit more. He was sure he looked like every other bedraggled stoner at this event. “Out in front of the stage about a football field from the left side of the stage a girl is getting raped.”

The cop looked at him again, sizing him up.

“Look sir I’m not drunk stoned or f*cking with you. I saw it while crowd surfing. They moved me away before I could do anything. Don’t leave her out there.”

The cop looked at him, John could tell he was trying to decide what parts, if any, of his story was true. “Come on in, guy.” The cop said, opening the door to the inside of the tent.

###

Harvey had dispatched six of the eight roving partners in that area of the stage toward the location the kid had mentioned. He thought he was making it up to get attention it was a sick joke, but he hoped it was a joke.

It had to be a joke, right? People wouldn’t do that right out in public. Someone would stop it. People wouldn’t let something like that happen and just stand idly by.

Harvey was very sure of that until he turned around and saw the girl walk in.

She was wearing a powder blue North Carolina sweatshirt, ripped down the center she had a T-shirt on underneath that was mostly intact, but also soaked. Her hair was caked with mud. It had been tied back at one point, but barely still. Almost all of her hair had pulled out a tie and was matted to her face and head. She wore no pants, her legs were white and dead, save for a few harsh, red splotches that would quickly be turning into bruises. Similar red marks were across her forehead. She was breathing quickly and lightly.

Harvey didn’t know how long the two of them looked across the room at each other. She broke the silence first. “I need help. Something bad happened.”

Harvey grabbed the radio and broadcast over all stations. “Subject is here, return to normal activities, over.” He set the microphone back down and picked up his medical bag. “Young lady, are you ok?”

“I don’t think so,” she said, looking around the small room. She looked confused. “I need to talk to someone.”

He walked over to her, he touched her arm and she flinched. “I’m sorry, why don’t you come over here and sit down. I can examine you and see if something bad happened.”

She softened a little bit and allowed him to lead her across the room, into the small examination room they had set up. More or less two free-standing privacy curtains in the corner around a small cot. He sat her down on the bed, picking up her wrist to take her pulse. Her hand was limp and frigid. Her heart was beating very quickly almost unhealthily so. He put his stethoscope and reached to lift the front of her shit. She drew in breath rapidly and turned away from him. “No no no,” she whispered.

“Honey, I need to take this big wet sweatshirt off you so I can take your blood-pressure and you can warm up,” Harvey said in the most comforting voice he could muster. “Can you take it off for me?”

She shook her head rapidly. “No no no.”

He stood up, not wanting to push too much. She was in shock, that much was obvious, but he needed to examine her more. He walked out to the main part of the cabin and went to the radio. “Team 4 this is base, over.”

“Team 4.”

“Jan, I got a possible rape victim here who doesn’t want to let me examine her. I think you might have a better shot and you’re closest, over.”

“She found her way to you?”

“Affirmative, what’s your ETA, over.”

“About five minutes, I’m on my way.”

Harvey grabbed two bottles of water out of the cooler, a blanket out of the closet, and walked back into the examination room. “What’s your name, miss?”

She shivered but didn’t turn toward him. “Jennifer,” she said. “Jennifer.”

“OK, Jennifer, my name is Harvey. I’m going to wrap a blanket around you, all right?”

She nodded and he put the blanket on her shoulders. She seemed indifferent, and just let the blanket drape around herself. She had started to rock back and forth on the edge of the bed. “Thirsty.” She said.

“I have a bottle of water here for you. I’m going to come around and give it to you.” He walked slowly around the bed after opening the bottle. He extended the bottle to her. “Drink it slowly.”

She took it from him slowly, and drank from it.

“Can you tell me what happened to you, Jennifer?”

She continued to take quick sips from the water bottle, but she didn’t respond to him. This was a first for him he had no idea how to help her. He had treated shock victims before, but he’d never had to treat someone who wouldn’t allow him to touch them.

“Jennifer, can you lie down for me?”

She shook her head, apparently content to sit for now and sip from her water bottle. Harvey heard the door bang open and then slam shut. Jennifer jumped, dropping the water bottle on the floor. It spilled, pouring across the floor and pooling with the water dripping off her.

“Jan?” Harvey called. “Back here.”

Jan came around the side. “Harvey, head back out. Keep people out of here for a bit.”

“Will do,” he said, handing her the second bottle of water. “She dropped the first one when you came in. Shock. Pulse is about 110, she wouldn’t let me take her pressure or use the stethoscope. She also won’t let me take her out of the sweater. Bruising starting on her legs and head.

“OK,” said Jan, taking the water bottle. “Why don’t you grab me a couple more blankets.”

“You got it,” he said, stepping back into the main room. He went to the blanket cabinet and grabbed two and brought them to Jan. He went back into the main room to start directing traffic.

Jennifer was aware that the guy was talking to someone in the room, but she didn’t want to turn around to see who it was. She wasn’t interested. She just wanted to sit here and wait. It was dry in here and warm. Even in her soaked sweatshirt she felt better. She didn’t want to ruin it by talking to people or lying down. She didn’t want to disrupt the normalcy she was feeling.

Next week: Back into Jennifer’s head..