Noel smiles into her mirror, pulling at her fitted emerald green mini dress, she turns in her mirror to check the back of her outfit.
Just as she touches up her red lipstick, her phone begins to play a Christmas melody aloud.
Smiling at the “Hubby” title that flashes across the phone, she picks it up to answer it.
“Hey baby,” she says her smile evident through her voice.
Kris smiles as he stands in the corridor of a fancy restaurant.
“Hey baby, are you on your way?”
“About to leave in a few minutes, just putting on the finishing touches.”
“Ah, all the bells and whistles for me?” he asks with a comic feel to his voice.
“All the bells and whistles,” she says with a laugh.
Kris looks around surveying that he’s out of ear shot before making his next comment.
“Please tell me your wearing that sexy red lingerie I bought you?”
Noel’s eyes go wide, as she gasps, Kris laughs.
“You better be alone right now,” she says her hands on her hips, as she rolls her sparkling brown eyes.
“Baby I think I can actually hear you blushing,” he says with a chuckle.
“Shut up,” she says laughing as she flips her perfectly curled brunette locks behind her.
“I’m sure you look perfect, just get your sexy ass over here quick. Everyone is asking me where my wife is and I’m kind of missing you.”
Noel laughs and smiles at the wedding picture of she and Kris on her vanity.
“I’m on my way.”
“Ok I’ll see you soon.”
“Bye, I love you.”
“I love you…bye babe.”
Kris smirks and heads back into the restaurant.
Noel rushes downstairs passing pictures of she and Kris throughout their relationship hung up on the walls of their cozy home.
She grabs her purse, coat and car keys and rushes out the door.
Kris is mingling at his holiday party, he checks his watch in between pleasant conversations with coworkers.
Time begins to pass and Kris begins to worry, he walks away to the side and dials his wife’s number.
It rings a few times and then goes to voice mail.
Kris’ brow furrows, “Hey baby, it’s me. It’s been a bit since you said you were leaving. I figured you’d be here by now. Give me a ring, let me know your ok. I love you.”
Kris steps outside to look around. The New York City streets glisten with Christmas lights.
Kris checks his phone again.
A co- worker Jack, steps outside, calling to him; “Hey Kris, what are you doing out here man?”
“I’m just waiting for Noel, she should have been here by now.”
“Did you call her?”
“Yea but it just rings and then goes straight to voicemail.”
“Well maybe she left her cell at home. I’m sure she’s on her way, you know the city, she probably just got stuck in traffic. Come on back in, it’s freezing.”
“No man, something feels wrong. I feel like something bad might have happened.”
“What? Are you crazy? What now that your married your gonna turn into a neurotic?”
“When it comes to Noel, I’m always a neurotic. She’s my everything. And she knows that. Which is why she always has her phone and she always picks up. And if she can’t pick up she texts.”
Kris looks at his phone again, he begins to pace, running his hands through his sandy brown hair, as he dials Noel again.
Kris huffs, and leaves yet another message. “Noel, baby, please call me. Where are you? I need to know that your ok. Call me.”
Kris hangs up his phone.
He looks at Jack, “I need to go look for her,” he says beginning to turn away, as his phone begins to ring, mirroring the same Christmas melody Noel had playing earlier when he called her.
“Oh thank god, that’s her,” he says with relief.
“See there ya go, no need to get all worried,” Jack says.
“Hey Noel, Baby, where are you?”
“Hello Mr. Thornwood?”
“Yes. Who’s calling, where’s my wife?” Kris’ face falls, as his heart freezes in his chest, it begins to tighten knowing his suspicions might be true. The voice on the other end was not the voice he was used to. The happy, smiley tone of his beautiful wife.
“Mr. Thornwood, my name is Dr. King, your wife was in a car accident, we are prepping her for surgery now, she’s at Mount Sinai Hospital.”
“Oh my god…What do you mean….What happened, what kind of surgery?”
“Mr. Thornwood, I don’t want to alarm you but your wife has to be tended to quickly. Once you get here, I will have an nurse fill you in.”
“Oh my god. I-I’m on my way,” he says his mind blurring, his sight hazy.
“What?” asks his co-worker.
“I have to go,” Kris says rushing toward the street to hail a cab.
“Kris, man, what is it?” Jack says following him.
“My wife, she was… in some kind of accident, she’s in the hospital.”
Kris begins to panic as cab after cab passes him by.
“I have to get to her.”
“Kris, Kris come on, let’s take my motorcycle, it’s around the back,” Jack says taking off quickly.
Kris nods and rushes off with his friend.
The hospital doors open, and Kris rushes in, blinded by the bright lights and chaos.
“Excuse me,” he says springing toward the nurses station.”Dr. King called me, my name is Kris Thornwood, my wife….(his eyes begin to fill up with tears) my wife… Noel Thornwood was in an accident. They said she’s in surgery. I need someone to tell me what’s happening.”
The nurse sympathetically looks up at him.
“Hi Mr. Thornwood, Dr. King told me to expect you. Your wife is in surgery now.”
“What happened? Is she okay?”
“She was in a car accident and suffered some head injuries and internal abdominal bleeding. There’s an officer waiting near by to explain the details of the accident to you.”
“Is she going to be ok?”
“The doctor’s are doing everything they can do to make sure that she’ll be able to make a full recovery.”
Kris begins to feel his chest tighten up again, the heaviness creeping in, panic setting in.
“Excuse me, sir, are you Mr. Thornwood?” a police officer asks walking over to him.
Kris looks up, “Yes, do you know what happened with my wife’s accident?”
“Your wife was involved in a head on collision, unfortunately there was some black ice that caused another car to spin out of control and drive into her. Although the roads are icy this time of a year, we are still investigating the driver who drove into your wife. There could be a possibility that the driver was under the influence.”
“So…your saying my wife’s accident wasn’t actually an accident?”
“As I said sir, we are still gathering evidence. There is no reason to believe anything foul was at play just yet. I assure you we will follow through and get to the bottom of this.”
“Oh my god…I can’t believe this.”
Dr. King emerges from the operating room with a look of exhaustion.
“Who is here for Noel Thornwood?”
Kris turns and rushes over-“I’m her husband Kris. How is he? Is she gonna be ok?”
“She’s in recovery now, the surgery went very well, and we will know more about her release once she fully wakes up. She’s been in and out for a while, but she is just coming down from all the aesthesia, so maybe give her a minute to adjust.”
“Can I see her?”
“Yes but if she does wake up, she’ll be groggy, so just make it brief.”
“Thank you.” Kris says rushing in.
Kris walks into the recovery room to see Noel laying in a hospital bed dressed in a typical hospital robe he knows she would hate, covered in bruises and bandages. Her color pale. Her smile, faded. Her engagement ring and wedding band gone.
Kris’ eyes well up all over again, as he walks slowly over to her bed side.
“Baby, my god, what happened to you? I’m so sorry.”
Kris reaches and takes her hand in his lacing his fingers through hers.
“Noel, baby, I’m here. I’m with you.”
Kris’ eyes widen as he feels Noel’s grip tighten around his hand.
“Noel, Noel I’m here, baby, I’m here.” he says stroking her cheek, his wedding band catching the light from the terrible fluorescent glare above.
Noel begins to stir, her eyes flutter open.
Kris sighs heavily.
“Hi. Hey beautiful. God, I’m so happy your ok. I love you so much,” he says leaning down and placing a sweet, yet firm kiss on her lips, his tears streaming down his face.
Noel seems uncomfortable, she stirs, her eyes darting around, trying to focus, trying to make sense of her surroundings.
“Baby, hey, I’m here, can you see me, what’s wrong? Are you in pain?”
Noel looks up into his eyes.
“Hey, what is it?” he says leaning in and cupping her face.
“Who…Who are you?” Noel asks, Kris’ face dropping along with his heart.
TO BE CONTINUED…
*I do not take credit for any images used in my edit.*