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Time Stood Still
Two days from now. It was supposed to be the happiest day of their lives.
The sights turn grislier as they make it into that part of the building where half of the ceiling has collapsed. The paramedics rush to save the injured, time running out on them. With each step, she can feel broken glass crunching under her feet, the dust rising from the rubble making it hard to breathe.
It's that and the uncertainty pressing against her chest, a fear that's threatening to choke her. No word yet. Lindsay tries a door that's falling out of its hinges and nearly knocking her down at the first touch. The room behind is a mess, broken windows, torn curtains and a computer blown. It's empty though.
It takes about ten more minutes of desperate search before she gets to hear the voice, the one that makes her weak with relief, her knees nearly giving way under her. She quickens her step, finally finding Cindy begging a paramedic. "She's going to make it, right? Please tell me she's going to make it."
"It's going to be okay," the man assures her softly though Lindsay doubts that it's true for the woman on the stretcher with that gaping wound in her side. She takes in the sight of her Cindy, alive thank God, alive - the front of her blouse stained with blood, just like her hands and Lindsay is right there with two steps.
"Are you hurt?"
Cindy stands rigidly, still staring after her colleague who is being carried away and out of the destroyed building.
"Cindy!" The urgency in Lindsay's voice finally breaks through the haze, and Cindy turns to her.
"I'm not. It's..." She raises her bloodied hands to her face, shaking her head. "I tried to stop the bleeding." Her voice breaks on the last word and she stumbles forward into Lindsay's embrace, holding on for dear life.
Lindsay knows that in a matter of moments, she will have to let her go, because Cindy will be taken to the hospital. She needs to wrap up the scene; there'll be other people needing her help.
Just for a moment, she indulges herself, both of them, willing time to stand still.
The tears rolling down her face are pure gratitude, because she's been spared the one nightmare she'd never wake up from again.
Right here on one of the worst crime scenes she has seen after a bomb destroying a big part of the Register's building, there is still hope. She kisses Cindy, both of them in tears, and if it's like a sappy scene from a movie, who cares. They are the lucky ones.
Two days from now, they were still going to celebrate their love, acknowledged by their friends and family, if not the California law.Yet. This was only the beginning.
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