If he hadn’t made that vow then he could have had Molly in his life. For ever and always.
SURPRISINGLY, SEAN DISCOVERED that he did feel better after his talk with Molly. He wasn’t sure why when it had thrown up so many other issues but it felt as though some of the weight had been lifted off his shoulders. There was a definite spring to his step when he went into work two days later but, sadly, it didn’t last very long. One glimpse of Molly chatting to Adam Humphreys soon put paid to it. Even though he knew it was wrong, he hated to see her with another man.
Fortunately, the department was as busy as ever so he had no time to brood. There’d been a car crash on the bypass which resulted in several casualties being brought in at more or less the same time. Molly was doing triage that day and she quickly dispensed with the less seriously injured, leaving him to deal with the rest. However, it was only when the paramedics rushed the trolley into Resus that Sean discovered one of the casualties was Joyce Summers, the most senior Sister on the unit.
‘Let’s get her on the bed.’ Sean did the count as they quickly moved Joyce off the trolley. She was receiving oxygen as her Sats were worryingly low. She was unconscious and had been since the paramedics had arrived at the scene. She had suffered a serious head injury and Sean’s heart sank as he ordered a CT scan because he knew it would be touch and go whether she pulled through. Molly had followed the ambulance crew into Resus and she asked if she could accompany Joyce to Radiography.
‘Of course,’ Sean agreed immediately. He sighed as he watched her help the porters wheel the bed out of Resus. If Joyce didn’t make it then he knew that Molly would be terribly upset and he hated to think of her suffering that way.
He forced his mind back to the job as he set about dealing with the second casualty, a young man called Sam Prentice who, thankfully, wasn’t as seriously injured. He had several broken ribs which were causing him some problems breathing. Sean suspected—rightly so—that Sam had a haemothorax and set about sorting it out with the help of Steph Collins, their F1 student. It was the first time that Steph had performed the procedure so Sean guided her through it, showing her how to insert the needle through the tough intercostal muscles between the patient’s ribs while they drew off the blood that had collected in the pleural cavity and was compromising Sam’s breathing. By the time they had done that, Joyce was back so Sean left Steph to keep an eye on their patient while he went to check the results of the CT scan. It was immediately apparent that it wasn’t good news.
‘Heavy bleeding on the left side of the brain,’ Sean observed, pointing to the area in question. ‘The blow to the right side of her head must have carried enough force to knock the brain sideways and cause it to collide with her skull. She’s going to need immediate surgery.’
‘What are her chances?’ Molly asked and his heart ached when he heard the catch in her voice.
‘Not good, I’m afraid.’ He sighed. ‘The bleed is extensive and even if the surgeon manages to stop it then there’s probably going to be extensive brain damage.’
‘It’s so unfair. Joyce is due to retire this Christmas and she and her husband have a whole list of things they are planning to do, including her dream holiday, cruising around the Caribbean.’
‘You’re right. It isn’t fair,’ Sean said quietly. He dredged up a smile, wishing there was more he could say by way of comfort. However, he understood better than most how one’s plans could alter in mere seconds. ‘All we can do is hope that things aren’t as bad as they appear.’
Molly didn’t say anything. Sean suspected that she didn’t believe it any more than he did. He went to the phone and asked for one of the neurosurgical team to attend, aware that his efforts to reassure Molly had failed dismally. He sighed. There was very little else he could have said as it wouldn’t have been fair to raise her hopes but it didn’t stop him feeling bad about it.
He frowned as that thought sank into his consciousness. If only he had thought harder about being fair when they had been seeing one another then maybe he wouldn’t have ended up making such a hash of things. He had known for weeks that he should end their affair but he had kept putting it off because he hadn’t wanted to let her go. He had behaved with the utmost selfishness and he would always regret it.
Molly deserved someone better than him, someone without all his attendant baggage. Someone like Adam Humphreys, for instance—steady, reliable, ready and eager to make a commitment. Quite frankly, he should be glad that she had met someone like Humphreys but as he went back to his patient Sean knew that it wasn’t happiness he felt, not by a long chalk. Right or wrong, but he couldn’t bear the thought of Molly falling in love with the other man.