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Collide: Part 3

When the elevator stops on the third floor, May Bell is guided out. She’s still frazzled by the strange world that surrounds her. As they are moving through the hallway, she hears a peculiar beeping noise, similar to the sound, she heard coming from the device earlier in the park. The nurse abruptly comes to a stop and May Bell follows suit. She turns to see her staring pensively for a moment or two at her device before she lifts her head and meets her eyes. “I’m sorry, but there’s an emergency that I have to attend to.” She stops and shifts her attention over to the Nurse’s station. “Kayla.” she says quickly but in a friendly tone. Nurse Kayla looks up from the device in front of her and does not quite meet her fellow nurse’s eyes, too focused on the device. “Will you take Miss Lee to Room 338? I just received a Code Gray in the ER.” Nurse Kayla finally looks up from the device at the other nurse with a warm smile. “No worries, Lizzie, I’ve got this.” she says, the two obviously close girlfriends. As Nurse Lizzie hastily sets off to her destination, May Bell watches her walk through the hallway expertly for a few moments. She wishes someone here in this hospital would listen to her instead of deeming her mentally ill and thereby dismissing her.

Derricks had enough with these people. He’s told them everything he knows, since waking back up in his own time, and they don’t believe a damn word of it. So, he’s fallen back on the only thing he knows how to do to get results or answers in his case. It’s the way his dad taught him and his brother, when they were kids, and he was robbing banks for a living. He’s holding a nurse close to his chest, tightly gripped, with a scalpel held against her neck. She’s shaking like a leaf, but he has to do this, make them understand where he’s coming from. “Now, all of you need to believe my story, and answer my question or this will end badly for her.” he says, in the nastiest way he can.

He stares at everyone, waiting for the security guards to attack him, but they just stand there like damn statues. He figures it’s because he has a scalpel against this nurse’s jugular and probably looks like an insane manic right about now. “We haven’t gotten anyone in the E.R. tonight, that has sustained the injuries we’d expect from being hit by a car. Are you sure when you hit your head in the accident, you didn’t imagine everything from the trauma?” asks one of the male nurses in the back. Derrick scoffs at that and holds the scalpel tighter, almost leaving a mark. “I didn’t imagine shit and I told you what would happen, if you didn’t give me the answer I want.” he says, really not wanting to hurt the trembling nurse, but not knowing what else to do to get the answers he wants.

 After a couple of beats, she hears Nurse Kayla call out to her. “This way, Miss Lee.” She turns her attention back to her and she leads her the rest of her way to her room. When she steps foot in the room, she notes that there is not much in way of furniture. There is a bed and nothing more. May Bell shifts to face the nurse in confusion. “I do not understand, is this a holding room of sorts?” The nurse gives her a nod. “In a way, yes. You will stay here during your 72-hour observation and then we’ll deem if you’re a danger to yourself.” she says in a systematic way, very reminiscent of the doctor earlier. The manner in which things are handled here in this hospital simply makes her cringe.

 He needs to know where the person is that he hit and see what the hell has been going on. “That’s enough of that.” yells a voice coming from somewhere in the crowd. Derrick looks up to see a doctor walking towards him, looking like she’s on a freaking mission and is ready to shut this shit down whatever it takes. Well, he has news for her. “And who the hell are you?” he asks, gripping the knife in his hand tighter against the nurse’s neck. She gives him a fake smile. “I’m the Director of this hospital and I demand that you let go of Nurse Leery immediately.” she says like she’s the ruler of everyone and everything, not just this damn hospital.

 Derrick stares at the doctor as if she has three eyes. “Alright, doctor, I’ll let your nurse go, if you tell me what I want to know.” The doctor nods. “Like I was telling your crack staff, I got into a car wreck earlier and hit someone. I was sent back to the 1940s and nearly got cut in half in the war. And before you say anything, I’m not crazy. I went back and now I’m looking for the person I hit to get some answers.” He says, looking the doctor right in the eye, letting her know he’s serious about this. Derrick watches the doctor looks at him like he’s still a nut job despite him having her nurse at knifepoint, but who can blame her.

May Bell stands there flabbergasted at Nurse Kayla’s words. “As I told the doctor earlier, I can assure you, that I do not need psychological treatment and I am not a danger to myself by any means. Now, if you would be so kind, as to let me leave.” she says, more forcefully than she intended. The nurse stares at her indifferently. “I’m sorry, Miss Lee. Rules are rules.” she says with finality and May Bell feels anger rush inside of her once again at the hospital personnel’s’ inability to understand that she is not clinically crazy, even if she cannot understand what is happening around her. She knows in her heart-of-hearts that her mind is quite sound.

The doctor sighs to herself before meeting his eyes. “I may have someone on the third floor of this hospital that fits your description, but I need you to release Nurse Leery before I take you.” He shakes his head. “How do I know the moment I hand her over, your security goons won’t jump on me?” he says, not trusting this lady one bit. The doctor lets out another frustrated sigh. “I’m their boss, they won’t do anything to you. Release her now.” she says with a glare. Who the hell does she think she is? Derrick’s pretty sure that the doctor is bluffing big time.

May Bell looks over at the nurse, still unmoved. “Like I just said, you’re going to stay here, until the 72-hour hold is up.” says Nurse Kayla sounding very exasperated over the whole conversation. She feels her heart drop at her words. The notion that they are planning to hold her against her will for 72-hours makes her feel more like a prisoner and less like a patient. May Bell let’s out a frustrated sigh, feeling the start of a migraine coming on. “I would like to speak to the doctor again or whoever is responsible for holding me here.” she says definitively. Nurse Kayla looks at her as if she has truly lost all sense of reality before wordlessly turning to leave the room, the hospital room door shutting soundly behind her. May Bell walks over to her bed and plops down, wondering if there will ever be an end to this nightmare.

After a few beats, his eyes meet her cold ones. “I’ve decided it’s too risky to let her go. Why don’t you bring the person down here and as soon as I see you aren’t lying to me, I’ll let Nurse Leery here go.” he says in a way to let her know that he’s in control. The doctor shakes her head. “I don’t think…” For dramatic effect, Derrick cuts the nurse’s neck a little bit, and feels the blood start to drip onto his hand. The doctor’s eyes widen in surprise, and he knows he’s got her where he wants her. “Fine, I’ll go get the patient myself. Don’t try anything while I’m gone.” she says, as she turns to walk away, through the crowd. “Wouldn’t dream of it.” he says with a smirk. He’s glad his old man actually taught him something useful for a change.

 May Bell stares at the bare wall in front of her blankly. What on Earth is she supposed to do now? The notion that they may institutionalize her terrifies her. She wishes she knew what’s going on and why everyone is acting so peculiar. Is it a dream? Is it a nightmare? The last thing she remembers was an intense pain flooding her whole body before she came to on the street. May Bell feels tears begin to sting her eyes, with the longing to go home. The door to her room suddenly opens and she is taken away from her thoughts for the time being. She sees the doctor from earlier stand in the doorway. “I need you to come with me down to the E.R. right now.” she commands but May Bell shakes her head defiantly. “I refuse to go with you, until you promise to let me leave here. I am not mad doctor.” she says, firmly sitting on the bed, making no attempt to move.

 He feels bad for the nurse he’s still holding against him. The small cut he made with the knife is bleeding steadily now onto her pretty little nurse’s outfit. “Hey, you, over there.” he says, with a nod in the direction of a male nurse standing not too far away. “Me?” asks the guy, pointing at himself like an idiot. “Yeah, you. Come over and patch up your coworker here.” he orders, sick and tired of having to spell everything out for these people, like a bunch of kids. Derrick watches the nurse start running around the E.D. like a madman, grabbing supplies before moving through the crowd towards them. The nurse doesn’t look at him, as he starts to clean the other nurse up a bit.

 The doctor sighs out in frustration. “I don’t have time for this Miss Lee. A woman’s life is hanging in the balance and you’re the only person that can help.” she says in a burst of desperation. May Bell stares at the doctor in utter confusion. “Why me?” she asks. She locks eyes with her, a determination in her eyes. “I don’t have time to explain, and you don’t want blood on your hands by not coming with me, do you?” she says, clearly already knowing what her answer will be. “No, I suppose I do not.” The doctor gives her a small smile that does not quite reach her eyes before guiding her quickly towards the E.R.

 The nurse takes a few minutes to finish the job. When he’s done, he looks like he’s scared shitless, still not man enough to even look him in the eye. “A+ work there, Mr. Nurse. Now I need you to take a couple steps back.” he demands forcefully. The nurse nods and then turns to blend in with the rest of the crowd. He notices the nurse he’s still holding is breathing heavier all the sudden. It almost sounds like the panic attacks his mom used to have when he was a kid. Great, what the hell is he supposed to do now?

 As they reach their destination, May Bell is appalled by what she sees. There are nurses and doctors standing in the middle of the Emergency Department, staring transfixed at a man holding a terrified woman at knifepoint. Her heart goes out to the woman, as the doctor leads her through the crowd, and comes to a stop, mere feet away from the man. May Bell immediately feels the criminal’s eyes fall upon her. Despite her best effort to look unaffected, she cannot help but meet his gaze. “This is May Bell Lee…maybe she’s the one you’ve been searching for?” she asks carefully, as if she’s placating both of their delusions. She notes that the man still has his eyes glued to her, as if she is some sort of ghost, and it sends shivers down her spine.

Derrick can’t believe what he’s seeing in front of him. “How the hell could this be possible?” he blurts out. Is he still stuck in his nightmare or is she real? Did he really meet her brother back in the 40s? He has no idea what the hell is going on but she’s definitely the best thing that came out of all this. He takes her auburn hair and bright blue eyes in; glad he can see her in color now. It’s a hell of a lot better than that black and white picture. He knows he looks like a damn idiot staring at her like this, but he can’t help it.

May Bell takes a moment to remember how to breathe, staring at this mysterious man claiming to have met her beloved brother Jerry in the past. If she is in fact dreaming this strange world, she must have become acquainted with this peculiar man at one point in her life. Maybe he was a friend of Jerry’s? “Are you the one I hit on that old country road?” he asks bluntly, and she feels her heart seize inside her chest.

He watches her eyes widen and feels a little bit of hope wash over him. “I…was on Winders Road, walking to a girlfriend’s house, when I suddenly heard the sound of an engine coming to life from behind. I had little time to react, before the vehicle collided with my body. After that occurred, the very next thing I recollect, was coming to in the park.” she says, her eyes the sincerest he’s ever seen in his life. He’s not used to honest people, so it blows his mind. He releases the nurse, now having the person he’s been looking for.

She steps closer to him feeling a sense of bravery come over her. She must find out the truth of things. “Did you know Jerry as a boy?” she asks, praying that he will provide her with an honest answer, even if he merely is a manifestation her mind has conjured up from an obscure past reference. “I thought I met Jer in a dream I had, but now I’m not so sure” he says, feeling like he suddenly knows nothing at all. “I don’t understand what you are going on about. How could you have become acquainted with my brother in a dream, when you haven’t met him in real life?“ she asks, attempting to keep her voice as steady as she can, despite the bizarre circumstances surrounding them.

Derrick doesn’t have an answer for her but wonders if they are both caught in this shitty situation together, whatever it is. “So, you just woke up here in this time?” he asks, hoping she gives him a straight answer because he doesn’t have time for anything else. Not when he’s pretty sure one or fifty of these fine people have already ratted him out to the police. He watches her eyes widen again before giving him an answer. “What do you mean by ‘this time’?” she asks, sounding completely confused. He gives her a frown. “Well, Little Lilly, it’s kinda looking like we somehow time traveled, when we collided on that road.” he says way too fast, thinking that it might soften the blow in what he’s just said. Like most things in his shitty life, he realizes he’s dead wrong, as he watches her take all the crazy in before she faints. Lucky for her, he’s there to catch her before she hits the ground, like a freaking knight in shining armor.

The next time May Bell Lee opens her eyes, she is accosted by a blaring sound piercing her ears, and she immediately feels panic wash over her. When her faculty finally returns to her, she focuses on the man that is holding her close. She feels a sense of utter terror, as she realizes that she’s been carried by the same man that had just claimed that they both were victims of time travel. She deems the man quite mad, as she begins to wriggle in his arms, attempting to escape. “Hey, whoa there, Little Lilly. I’m trying to get us out of here. The cops are after me because of that stunt I pulled. They are about to put the whole hospital on lockdown. You’ve got to trust me.” he says earnestly, and she takes a moment to consider what he’s just said. Despite how mad it may sound, if her brother in any circumstance, trusted this man enough with the story behind her beloved childhood nickname, then she needs to put her own trust in him as well. She meets his dazzling chocolate eyes and instantly feels like she’s helplessly drowning in them.

He rushes to the nearest emergency exit, heading up the stairs quickly. Derrick feels the adrenaline in his body running on overdrive, as he clears three flights of stairs before a guy in a bright blue suit, appears out of nowhere. He stops dead in his tracks and feels his arms go empty. Derrick looks down and sees that she’s gone. He feels anger wash over him. “Where the hell is she?” he asks, not giving a damn who this guy is. All he wants to know is what he’s done with her. The man gives him a smile. “The girl, May Bell, has safely been returned to her own time. You inadvertently saved her from her ghastly fate in that horrible barn fire when you collided with her on Winder’s Road. You see, once every 77 years, time seems to inexplicably converge on that same county road, and time travel ensues. That is why you were sent to the 40s and she was brought to this time.” he says, like it’s the most logical thing in the world. “So, let me get this straight. You’re telling me that I’m some hero who saved her from dying in her time, and now she’s in the past somewhere, alive and living her life?” he asks, trying to wrap his head around all this.

The man nods his head. “Yes, that’s precisely what I’m saying.” he says smoothly. Derrick is either losing his damn mind or this is all real. “So, what now?” he asks, wanting answers pronto. The sirens suddenly fade out and it’s just him and the guy looking at each other in silence. “Well, Mr. Harrison, since I am the human manifestation of fate, and the master of all time, I am offering you a choice. You see, since the beginning of time, I have overseen this area of the Earth, and known of its magical properties. On this one night every 77 years, I have no control over events that occur. I cannot steer events one way or another, hence why you collided as the two times crossed over.” he says, trying to explain the impossible but doing a crappy job at it so far. “So, what makes what happened to us any different than the millions of other times before?” he asks, not getting why this man is offering a choice.

He takes a couple steps towards him. “The answer to your question is quite simple. There has never been an instance of two people meeting on that road and then finding their way to each other in one of the two times that have converged. It seems you and Miss Lee are the exception to that rule. In universe lore, we refer to the phenomena as an anomaly.” he says, and Derrick feels like the wind has suddenly been knocked out of him. He’s never had anything “special” happen to him in his life and now, Fate Guy is telling him that he’s part of some anomaly with a beautiful girl. Maybe miracles can happen. “What are my choices?” he asks, wanting to know the two ways his life can go next. “You can remain in this time but I’m afraid you won’t remember any of this. You will find yourself once again behind the wheel, none the wiser.” he says, his voice sounding all doom and gloom.

Derrick waits a few seconds for the second option, but the man just stares at him. “What’s the other choice?” he asks, losing his patience with this guy. “The other alternative is sending you back to the 1940s to reunite with May Bell. You see, I observed the two of you closely through this whole ordeal and I could feel the attraction between you. Though brief, it was there, and I’m offering you a chance to be happy together. So, what will it be Mr. Harrison?” he asks, waiting for his answer expectantly. Derrick takes a second to mull the two choices over, but it doesn’t take as long as he thought it would. “I’ll go with option 2.” he says confidently, suddenly surer than he’s ever been about anything else in his entire life. The man gives him a wide smile. “Very well.” he says, before everything goes white around him.

           May Bell finds herself in a daze as her eyes open to the darkness. Instant fear grips her heart at the realization that she is certainly no longer in the hospital stairway but standing in the middle of town. Despite this realization, she looks around for the criminal, that had attempted to carry her to safety but doesn’t spot him. She begins aimlessly walking around, noting that the small town has reverted to its normal state. May Bell sighs, at the notion that everything that had happened to her had been nothing more than a mere dream. No strange world and no criminal. The latter makes her chest inexplicably ache, as she starts down the same country road, she had previously walked.

While she is well aware that it was all a dream her mind had conjured up, she still cannot piece together how she had ended up in the middle of the town, when she had been clearly on her way to Nancy’s party. It simply doesn’t make any logical sense. As she begins her long trek to the party, she prays that it is not too late and that the party is still in full swing.

It isn’t until orange light envelopes her on the road that she realizes something is terribly wrong. Her eyes glance up at the blazing fire in the distance. She can hear blood curdling screams, the crackling of a raging fire, and the sound of sirens approaching the scene from behind her. With nothing left for her to do but watch helplessly from a distance, she falls to her knees in anguish. She cannot comprehend how something so awful could happen in her little town and to the people she refers to as friends. She shudders at the thought of all of them burning to a crisp, writhing in pain, from the blazing inferno. The image she sees in her mind makes her feel ill.

 May Bell is not certain how long she is on her knees crying before she feels a warm hand settle on her left shoulder. She instantly freezes from the contact. “May Bell.” says a familiar voice she would remember until the end of her days. She gets to her feet slowly and turns around to see the criminal standing there, a genuine expression of concern on his handsome face in the dim light. She feels her heart accelerate in response to seeing him. “Are you real?” she asks, hoping beyond reason that he is real, and this is not another cruel dream.

 After a brief moment passes, he gently wraps his arms around her, and she finds herself nuzzling into his soft t-shirt and gripping onto the back of his black jacket. Silent moments pass between them, the screams and sirens now quieting, despite the fire still crackling in the distance. He slightly releases her from his grasp, but they remain interlocked with one another. He then gives her a dreamy smirk, as he reaches up, and softly pushes a piece of her hair away from her eyes. She smiles back thanking her lucky stars that he is somehow here with her. He looks at her with a gleam in his eyes and it takes her breath away. “I’m as real as it gets, just 77 years earlier than I should be.” he says and her mind suddenly drifts back to her dream, when he had claimed that they had both experienced time travel, after their encounter on the road. Her breath catches at the thought. “I…do not understand how we were temporarily granted the ability of time travel, but I am thankful for it. Just promise me you won’t disappear.” she says, gripping onto him tighter.

 Wordlessly he leans forward and captures her lips with his. The sensation makes her feel like she’s flying, as the two find themselves tangled up in each other for several minutes. It is quite heavenly and a magical moment that she will surely relive forever. When the two pull back in need of oxygen, they both rest their foreheads together. They stare at each other for a beat, only their breaths mingling between them. “You know my name, now what might yours be?” she asks, with a giddy smile, despite the horrible scene in the distance. He gives her a smirk. “I’m Derrick Harrison, but some people call me, Skip. At least, that’s what your brother called me when I met him.” he says with bravado, as he leans in, and sweeps her off her feet.

Fate looks upon the two lovers fondly and watches over them all the rest of their days. 

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