Daisy casually greeted departing secretaries as she made her way down the company hallway to the utility closet. She located the vacuum cleaner and promptly began the tedious task of vacuuming each room.
Connor on the other hand, combined trash from various bins throughout the building and took it to the dumpster. When he returned, he made a quick sweep of the building. Satisfied that the place was empty and Daisy could be left alone, he locked all the doors and headed out to the back building, to continue his work.
Davis was just leaving the back building, when Connor entered. “Hey Dad, how’s it going?”
“I’m glad to be get’in home. Peg is come’in for dinner. Are you eating with us? Oh yea…. don’t forget to check on Daisy. You guys got your cell phones?” Davis tossed random questions and phrases over his shoulder as he left the building.
“I’m eat’in with Day. Yea, we have our phones.” Connor mumbled while digging through the closet for the best push broom. “Ah….here we go”
When Connor turned off the fans, the place became a weird kind of lonely quiet that he didn’t like. He worked quickly so he could return to ‘Daisy watching’ as soon as possible.
Around 5:30 Andy called to rave about Daisy’s racing stripes in the Shop-Smart parking lot. “Crap, Andy! It was her first time drive’in. If you tease her, I’m gonna kick your butt, man.” Connor tried to scold his buddy as fiercely as possible but it was hard to do. The tread marks did seem sort of funny, now that the driving lesson was over with. “Look….. I gotta get back to work. Not a word to her, ya hear me…..later man.”
By 6 o’clock Daisy was calling. “She probably wants to know why I haven’t come for water yet.” Connor assumed as he took the second call. “Yea, Babe? I’ll be inside in a minute.” he spoke quickly then stopped dead in his tracks. “What’d you say?”
“Connor…” Daisy whined in a hushed tone. “Someone broke the glass door in the lobby. I don’t know who it is. Can you come over here?”
“What room are you in?”
“I’m in the last room under George’s desk. But it won’t take long for them to find me. It’s a lousy hiding place, plus the vacuum cleaner is right in the middle of the room. They’ll know I’m here for sure.” She whispered.
“Do you know where the person is?”
“He broke the glass and came straight in the front door. But I don’t know if he turned to the right or the left after the reception desk. Hurry Connor, I’m scared.”
“Ok Babe, I’m coming. Hang up and call 911.” He advised as he high-tailed-it across the field to the back door of the office building.
He q-u-i-e-t-l-y tiptoed inside, unsure what to expect……
He heard distant slamming of drawers. “This guy can’t possibly know we’re here. He wouldn’t make so much noise, if he did.” Connor silently moved towards the sound and entered the room of the noisy drawer dumper.
There stood a masked man, tearing apart filing cabinets in a hazardous fashion. The masked stranger, angry with his lack of success, banged and kicked the cabinets, tossing unwanted contents everywhere.
Connor stood behind the man perfectly still, debating how to handle the situation.
The stranger turned towards the next set of cabinets. He caught a glimpse of Connor out of the corner of his eye. Without hesitation he charged him.
Connor had no more time to debate his actions. He lunged forward, meeting the stranger head on. He wrestled him to the ground and sat on him. Blood spurt from his nose when Connor drove his fist into the stranger’s masked face. Connor was going to rip the mask off to find out who he was sitting on but……
he recovered too quickly! A bloody nose was not enough to subdue the stranger. He pushing Connor off and rolling on top of him, he went for the throat. The stranger choked Connor with all his strength.
Connor’s hands stretched out across the floor, groping for something to hit the guy with. The only thing his hand found was a discarded pencil under a nearby desk. He stabbed the stranger in the side with it and broke it off in his side.
In pain, the stranger howled loudly. He fell back against a cabinet, pulling at the pencil piece in his side.
Connor was able to breathe again. He stumbled to his feet and kicked the stranger. With a loud crash the stranger banged against the cabinets again.
The loud fighting noise scared Daisy. She could hear it all the way down the hallway. She recalled God’s words, spoken to her earlier in the day, when they’d been running. She now understood why God had made a point to say, “Don’t be afraid” to her. So with those words in mind, she collected herself and tip toed out of her hiding spot, to see what was happening.
Daisy peeked around the corner of the door to see Connor and the stranger fighting wildly all over the room. She still had the 911 officer on the phone. She explained as best she could what she was seeing.
Suddenly, the stranger broke a display case on the wall. He grabbed the large metal sample cylinder, that was in the case and bashed Connor in the side with it.
A mighty crash occurred when Connor fell backwards and smashed against one of the computer tables. He and the computer crashed to the floor.
The stranger had his back to the door and didn’t know Daisy was standing there. But when Connor fell, she screamed and dropped the phone. The stranger turned in the direction of the scream and stared at her.
The stranger leapt at her, causing her to stumble backwards. He did not stop to fight with her though. Instead he jumped over her and bolted for the front door. In a flash he was gone!
Daisy was shaken from what she had just witnessed. She tried to calm down and think. “Where’s my phone? Where’s Connor?” She looked around the trashed room. All the furniture was overturned and broken. “Connor….” she whimpered softly.
Connor was on his side, under the computer table, moaning. Her phone was on the floor next to the door. She grabbed her phone and ran to his side. Kneeling down beside him, she touched his face carefully. “Connor… can you hear me? Are you ok? Connor… say something…. please……” she begged.
“I’m ok….. Did you call 911? Get the police down here, Babe.” he moaned hoarsely.
“Hello, Hello, Are you still there?” With shaky hands, she fumbled with the phone.
“Yes Daisy, I’m still here.” the 911 officer returned calmly. “What has happened?”
“Connor, he’s hurt. We need a doctor. And the stranger has run away!” She managed to choke out. She laid the phone down and put her hands on either side of Connor’s face, trying to be calm and gentle. “Where are you hurt? What can I do?”
He looked into her eyes, “Don’t be scared Day. I’m not hurt that bad. It’s just hard to breathe, is all. He hit me in the ribs with that cylinder. I think my ribs are busted.” He moaned.
Daisy pulled up his shirt, sure enough there was a huge, purple cylinder imprint across his ribs. Tears streamed down her face “Oh, yea….” She murmured softly.
“Daisy… if you could help me lay flat on my back…. I think breathing would be easier.”
“Ok I can do that.” Daisy carefully placed her hands under him and rolled him slowly onto his back. She then straightened out his legs and pulled him out from under the table by his ankles. “Is that better?”
“Yea, that’s better.” He attempted a weak smile. “Are you hurt anywhere?”
“No, he didn’t touch me.” New tears fell down Daisy’s cheeks as she bent over him and kissed him. “Thank you …. for being here.”
He tried to smile. “No problem Babe.”
“I love you.” She whispered then kissed him again.
He shut his eyes and focused on his breathing.
Sirens were now blaring outside in the parking lot. Daisy looked up as several uniformed officers came through the front door. “The police are here.”
Connor reached up to Daisy’s head and ran his fingers into her hair. Grabbing onto a large handful of her hair, he gently pulled her head down to his mouth and whispered in her ear. “Listen to me… they will want to take me…. in the ambulance. I want you to let them…. don’t fight with them Ok? You drive the Firebird… to the hospital. As soon as the Doctor patches me up…. I’m out of there Ok? And I want you…… to be ready with my get-away-car ok Babe? ……. Can you do that for me? ” Connor’s breathing was labored as he spoke. His eyes were pleading with her to follow what he’d said. He kept her face near his and whispered again. “I need you Daisy… to do that for me. I don’t want to stay…. in the hospital… one minute more than I need to. Help me… get out of there. But wait for me to say… let’s go…. ok?” He pulled her mouth closer to his and attempted a weak kiss. “Find me…., in the hospital and stay with me… ok?” he breathed.
In minutes, the room flooded with police and medics. George and Davis also appeared out of nowhere.
An officer knelt beside Daisy. “Excuse me Miss. Are you Daisy Greene?”
“We need your help in writing up what happened here.”
The medics gathered around Connor. Daisy grabbed Connor’s hand. He saw protective instincts rising in her eyes. He knew that would start her fighting. Connor reached up and touched her face. “Don’t fight Day… let them do their job…. I’m ok… really. Don’t forget my get-a-way-car. Can you do that for me….please?” He gently coaxed her to follow his instructions.
Fresh tears washed over her cheeks. Connor wiped them with a shaky hand. “Don’t cry Babe… bring my car to the hospital…. find me.”
She wanted to fight but Connor’s pleading eyes redirected her.“Kay” She turned back to the officer and gave her account of what happened as clearly as she was able.
The medics took Connor to the ambulance and he was gone.
Davis and George followed the ambulance to the hospital.
Daisy walked slowly to the Firebird. She had only driven it once. Now, she had to get all the way to the hospital, alone.
She prayed at the steering wheel. “Dear Lord, thank you for helping us. Please help me get to the hospital safely and find Connor. Let him heal up quick and be ok. Amen.” She drove slowly out of the Palmer parking lot, in the direction of the hospital.
It was not hard to find Connor at the hospital. She only had to give his name at the front desk. The nurse at the desk knew exactly where he was located. Daisy followed her instructions and found him easily.
In Connor’s room, Davis sat in a chair beside the bed, looking over paperwork. George stood at the window, looking out. When Daisy entered, both men crossed the tiny room and gave her hugs. “Daisy Ray, how in the world, did you get here?”
“I drove the Firebird.” She said quietly. “How’s Connor?” She went immediately to his bedside to look at him.
Connor’s chest was bandaged up nice and tight. He had an IV in his hand. He lay there sleeping peacefully in his blue jeans and bare feet.
“Where are his shoes?”
“They’re under the bed.” Davis pointed, giving her a strange look for her strange question.
But Daisy didn’t pay any attention to his baffled expression. She remained focused on Connor. She put the bed bar down and sat on the side of his bed. She brushed his hair back from his face examining each part of him, making her own assessment of his condition. “His knuckles are swollen, other than that he looks good.” She finally concluded.
“Yea, the Doc. took a look at those. They aren’t broken. A few days with ice, the swelling will go down.” Davis answered. “The Doctor said he should be able to go home soon, if he promises to stay put in bed, that is.” Davis looked Daisy over briefly. “How are you?”
“I’m fine, not a scratch on me. How many of Connor’s ribs are broken?” She looked back up at Davis.
“Three, but none of the pieces moved out of line so they should grow back together pretty quick as long as Connor stays still. Doc. Chimes said that Connor can stand up straight to walk or he can lie flat on a bed but anything else in between is gonna be very painful for him.”
“Hummm…., so he’s able to walk then.” Daisy said softly. “Is eating difficult for him.. or bathing?”
“He hasn’t eaten anything. But I don’t think that will be hard as long as he stays still. As far as bathing… well… I’m think’in…. all he is gonna be get’in is a wash cloth for a while.” Davis grinned. He could now see where Daisy was going with all the questions. “It looks like you’re hoping to be his private nurse when he gets home.” Davis chuckled at his son’s good fortune.
“Yeeee-Haaaaa” was George’s happy response to that. “Don’t that beat all!”
“Yea, it’ll be fun.” Her smile enlarged as the thought took root in her brain.
Davis’s eyes enlarged at the same rate as her smile did. He always felt a little nervous whenever he saw Daisy’s passion rising up. “O…k….then… let me just finish up this paper work.” He quickly moved back to his chair and resumed his work.
Just then Peggy came in, carrying three cups of coffee. “Well my goodness, it’s Daisy! How did you get down here?”
“I drove the Firebird.”
“WOW!” Peggy went to the window and gave George his coffee. Then she went to sit on the arm of Davis’s chair and handed him his. “Hope you like how I fix’em. I only know how to make coffee one way, that’s my way.” she gave a little chuckle then asked, “How’s Connor?”
“You’re way is fine, thanks Peg” Davis gave her a quick smile then returned to his papers.
“Looks like he’s got a private nurse” George grinned ear to ear and pointed at Daisy.
Daisy was inspecting Connor’s condition again and completely unconcerned with the conversation going on between George, Davis and Peggy. She gently climbed further onto Connor’s bed and lay down next to him. She put one arm across his belly right below his bandages and shut her eyes.
It had been a long day with way too much excitement for her taste. Exhaustion was now taking over and she could hardly keep her eyes open so she didn’t fight it anymore. She fell asleep next to Connor and nobody dared to disturb her.