The Vow

By Enola Jones

She'd been eating. She'd been so happy, laughing and joking around.

Then she'd clutched her chest and fainted. Daddy hadn't said anything about it, but the boy's dark eyes grew huge as he saw her go down.

When Daddy noticed, they'd driven to a hospital where her lips had turned bluer and bluer. They lived a long way out and it was nearly an hour before they reached the hospital.

An hour later, the doctor -- a kind man in a long white coat -- came out and told Daddy and the boy, "We're sorry. It was a heart attack. There was nothing we could do." He sighed. "It just took too long to reach help. If there had been a doctor around, perhaps she would have survived. I'm sorry."

Daddy collapsed into a chair. For months after, he'd take refuge in a bottle.

For months after, till Daddy got himself straightened up, every time he'd put Daddy to bed, he'd repeat the vow he'd made to himself in the hospital waiting room.

Next time, there would be a doctor around. If anyone else died, it sure wouldn't be because of a lack of medical help.

Kelly Brackett would make certain of it.


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