Bobby closed his phone as he arrived at the hospital. Opting to use the valet, he pulled up to the curb and took the piece of paper handed to him before rushing inside. He had called Ted Allen on the way in and told him what had happened. Ted was as shocked as he was, but was also adamant that there was nothing Bobby could've done differently to avoid this. Deep down he knew Ted was right, but that didn't make him feel any better.
Bobby walked up to the front desk inside the door and asked for Sarah's room number. The nurse looked it up and he was on his way.
Once Bobby got off the elevator on the third floor he walked down the hall, scanning room numbers until he found room 315, right across from the nurse's station. He stopped outside, staring at the curtain that hid Sarah Danner from view within that small room.
"Are you family?" came a deep voice from behind him.
Bobby turned to see a man standing behind hm. The guy was around his height, pale skin, blue eyes that showed he had seen far more than anyone should ever have to.
"No. I'm an acquaintance of Sarah's." Bobby replied.
"Oh yes, Bobby Flay. She was on your show." The doctor smiled, though it didn't reach his eyes.
"Yes, she was." Bobby looked down as memories of that day filtered through his brain. "How is she?"
“Well, I can’t tell you much since you’re not family. However, she is stable. I wish I could tell you more, but I can’t. Her landlady was listed as her emergency contact and someone we can talk to. She is in with Sarah now if you’d like to speak with her.
“Now if you’ll excuse me, I have other patients.” The doctor turned and walked away.
Bobby turned back to the room and stood there staring at the curtain, before taking a deep breath and entering.
The room smelled sterile, and was cold, not just temperature-wise, but emotionally cold. Hospital equipment lined the wall behind the bed and needle bins were attached to the opposite wall. Everything was white. White bed, white sheets, white walls, white counters and cabinets….everything white. He couldn't tell if Sarah was white too or if the whiteness of the room made her look washed out.
An older lady was sitting beside the bed, just staring at Sarah. She looked like she hadn’t slept in days, with large bags under eyes and an overall weary look on her face. Bobby walked quietly over to the bed and cleared his throat. “Ma’am, I’m Bobby Flay, a friend of Sarah’s.” Was that true? He had only met her that one time, he could hardly call that a friendship. Regardless, he wanted to be a friend to Sarah, because he doubted she had many of those with a guy like that.
“Yes, Mr. Flay, Sarah talked about you all the time, even before she met you on the show.” The lady’s eyes lit up slightly, like she couldn’t quite believe he was there. “I’m Patty Montgomery, but everyone calls me Miss Patty.”
Bobby shook hands with her before turning his attention to Sarah. With his gaze solely focused on Sarah’s sleeping form, he asked “How is she?”
“She is in a coma, but the doctors don’t know why. Most of the damage was done to her stomach area and legs.” She trailed off, as if the thought of what he did to her made her feel sick. Who was he kidding? It made Bobby feel sick too.
“She has several broken ribs, but thankfully none of them punctured a lung; she has severe bruising to her stomach and back, so the doctors are keeping keeping an eye on her kidneys, but so far they appear to be mostly unharmed. It’s her leg they’re worried about…” She stopped, unable to continue as tears streamed down her face.
Bobby sniffed, his emotions trying to get the best of him too. He pinched the bridge of his nose before leaning down and taking Sarah’s hand in his own, squeezing it gently.
“He…he…took a baseball bat to her leg…” She stopped and covered her eyes as she sobbed.
“Oh my god…” Bobby sat down in a nearby chair, afraid that if he didn’t then he’d collapse on the floor. His stomach was protesting the lunch he ate on the way, threatening to empty it’s contents any second.
When Miss Patty regained some of her composure she continued. “The bone is shattered so badly that the doctors said it is going to take several surgeries to repair it all. But the muscle damage is done, as well as some nerve damage from the bone fragments. They said she’ll have constant pain for the rest of her life…and …they don’t know if she’ll ever walk again…”
Bobby sat there in shock. Hours. That is all it took for her life to change dramatically, with little doubt that she’d ever have a normal life again. He may not know her like her friends or Miss Patty did, but he knew this much. “She’ll walk again. I know she will.”
Miss Patty nodded, but didn’t say anything. Bobby watched as she simply held Sarah’s hand in her own, patting it ever so gently.
“Miss Patty, when is the last time you slept?”
“I don’t know. I just can’t leave her. You know, in case she wakes up. She can’t think she’s alone. She can never be alone.” Miss Patty dabbed her eyes with her tissue.
“Why don’t you go get some rest and I’ll stay with her for awhile? You can’t help her if you don’t help yourself.” Bobby grabbed Sarah’s hand for emphasis that he wasn’t going anywhere.
Much to Bobby’s surprise, he felt a slight squeeze of his hand. He whipped his gaze to Sarah’s face, her hand, then her face again. “Did she…?”
Miss Patty nodded. “Probably. The doctors say she is showing signs of waking up, but just…won’t. They don’t know why except that it’s psychological. She knows life will never be the same, so she doesn’t want to wake up.”
Bobby nodded and squeezed Sarah’s hand, hoping that she would respond, but she didn’t.
“Go get some rest. I’ll stay with her.”
“If you insist.” Miss Patty smiled as she stood, kissed Sarah on the forehead and whispered something in her ear that Bobby couldn’t make out. Then she patted Bobby on the shoulder and left.
Bobby stared at Sarah for a long before he spoke. “You know, you have a lot of friends wanting to help you. Wanting to be there for you, if you’ll let them. The first part of that is waking up.
“You have to wake up Sarah. You can’t let him win.” Bobby stopped and watched for signs that she understood him. There were none.
“I promise you, that if you wake up, and soon, I will help you through this. I will help you with your cooking.
“This is going to sound totally insane, but when we competed, I was amazed. I couldn’t believe someone so beautiful looked up to me-“ The heart monitor beeped, showing a rise in her heart rate.
Bobby smiled sadly before continuing. “Wake up, not for me or your friends, wake up for you. You deserve to be taken care of…let me help you, Sarah.” Bobby kissed her hand and leaned back in his chair again, watching her.