The recovery team was shocked at the state of the abandoned rig. The chaos the blood... the bodies. Betsy was aghast and sad, she knew some of these people. For protestors they were harmless - they didn't deserve this.
“Betsy!” a voiced echo through the hall, shaking her out of her thoughts.
“Yeah Bob?” she entered the room and her heart nearly stopped. Covered on a gurney was Eric. She could not mistake his size. They only met a few times but they always flirted when they crossed paths. Life always got in the way and they never were able to date or take it any further. Looks like those chances were over. “I'll take care of him,” she said sadly while putting on her gloves. Bob left, leaving her alone with the body. She uncovered him to look to signs of trauma. She was surprised when she was able to lift his arm easily, the others were cold and stiff. She looked closer, though he was pale - he was not the shade of gray death like the others. There was no blood pooling either. Could he? Dare he be? She pulled her gloves off and pressed deeply into his neck to feel for a pulse. Please Eric, if you live I’ll make time for you . Then she felt it, the faintest of beats! “Bob!” She screamed, “get the medic team. Now!”
Bob and several people rushed into the room soon after. They began to move Eric when they noticed a PICC line in the back of his neck, they followed the tube to a pump and large unit of a milky liquid. Betsy quickly closed the line, Bob started a saline IV and another brought in warming blankets. After several minutes, Eric’s color started coming back. Bob checked his pulse again, “It’s stronger.”
Betsy let out a breath she didn’t know she was holding, “Looks like I have to reevaluate my priorities a little.”
Bob patted her hand, “You did good kid, sit here with him. He should wake up within the hour.”
Betsy nodded and turned to Eric, “Did you hear my promise? I’ll make time for you. Will you make time for me?” She stopped doing active protests years ago and usually worked on recon and research. If Eric did the same... She pondered the outcome. This exploration of an abandoned rig was Eric’s first field assignment. Would if he left? Would if he quit? Would if he went back to Scotland? Betsy sighed, then I would have been the chances I had to before. She smiled at Eric, brushing his cheek. That is when he stirred and his eyelids fluttered.
“Bets, is that you?” The hoarse whisper was music to her ears.
Six months later
Life on Askøy was perfect. Eric and Betsy lived on the coast and operated a nearby hostel for activists that needed supplies and a place to stay. Eric still didn’t know why someone knocked him out and faked his death, but he didn’t overthink it. Whatever happened to him saved his life and for that he was grateful. Betsy was at the hostel preparing rooms for a group that was arriving tomorrow. Eric begged off with a headache. He hated lying to her, but who else was he supposed to prepare her favorite dessert for tonight and figure out a way to surprise her with the engagement ring he bought when they were in Bergen? Time to make Betsy a promise of his own.