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Cover to Cover - Chapter two

Soon afterward the rain began to pick up a little. I turned on my wipers intermittently and thought absently if I should have asked for her phone number. I had a feeling I had missed an opportunity.

About 20 minutes later I saw smoke rising up ahead and the cars were beginning to slow down. I was in the fast lane and was hoping that I could get around the problem before the freeway became completely blocked. As I approached the source of the smoke I could see a car on the side of the road, upside down. There was fire coming from the engine area and I realized that it was a Honda, the same color as Alexandra’s. I didn’t think it was Alexandra, but I pulled over and got out to take a closer look. I soon realized that it was Alexandra and she was still in the car.

I rushed up and tried to open the door. People were yelling at me to get away before the gas tank explodes, but I barely heard them. The door would not open because the roof was crushed. The driver’s window was up but I looked through it and saw Alexandra lying upside down and apparently unconscious. I ran around to the other side of the car and kicked in the passenger window. I took off my coat and wrapped it around my hand and arm and used it to clear away the broken glass. I then crawled halfway into the car and tried to pull Alexandra toward me. She would not move because of the seat belt. I reached up and tried desperately to unhook it but I couldn’t get good leverage. I rolled over so that I was looking up and could reach the release button better and was able to remove the seat belt.

I pulled Alexandra toward me and was able to get her half way across the roof of the car. I began to inch my way backwards, gently pulling her along with me. The heat from the fire was growing and it was also very smoky. I began to cough and decided it was more important to get her out of there quickly than to be overly gentle. I began to squirm back and forth, moving backwards with greater speed and was finally able to clear Alexandra from the wreckage. I dragged her several feet from the car, then picked her up and began to run away from the car. Alexandra was moaning and beginning to regain consciousness.

All of the spectators had moved far away from the Honda but many now came and surrounded Alexandra and me. I could see a gash on her left temple where blood was oozing out. I laid her head on my coat and ran for my car to get my first aid kit. When I got back Alexandra was conscious and people were talking to her and asking if she was okay.

As I approached I heard someone say “Here he is, that’s the guy that pulled you from the car.”

I knelt beside her and began opening the first aid kit. I pulled out a small bottle of alcohol and some gauze bandages and began to clean her wound, then I placed a bandage on it and wrapped it tightly with a roll of gauze. Alexandra was watching me silently as I worked. When I was done I asked her how she felt and whether she could sit up. She nodded and I helped her to a sitting position. She immediately got dizzy and I laid her back down.

We could now hear the sound of sirens in the distance, and then suddenly an enormous explosion as the fire reached the Honda’s gas tank. I quickly leaned forward to shelter her body with mine. The shock wave knocked several people over who were standing nearby. I raised my body up and looked at Alexandra and she was looking at me. I saw that blood was soaking into the bandage and I pressed my hand on it. She winched but didn’t say anything.

“I’m sorry,” I said, “but I need to stop the bleeding.”

She just nodded and closed her eyes.

The CHP were the first to arrive and quickly began clearing people out of the area and getting traffic under control. Next was a paramedic truck from the fire station followed a bit later by a fire truck. Medical technicians found Alexandra and me and began asking her questions and redressing her wound. They asked me to move back but Alexandra took my hand and wouldn’t let go.

“I’m just going to step back a little and get out of their way,” he said, “you’re in good hands.”

The fire truck started putting out the fire while traffic began moving on the freeway. The paramedics brought a gurney and placed Alexandra on it. I asked if I could follow the paramedics to the hospital so I would not have to leave my car there, and they agreed. We drove on the shoulder of the road until we got past the last CHP and then began moving fast, sirens blaring.

I parked my car and went into the emergency room, asking where I could find the woman who had just been brought in. I was directed to take a seat and someone would come and find me. I waited impatiently for about an hour, and then saw her come rolling down the hallway in a wheel chair being pushed by a nurse.

“They said I’m going to be ok,” she said, “just a few stitches to keep my brain from falling out.” She smiled and I smiled back.

“I’m relieved,” I said. “Are you able to leave now?”

“She has some paperwork to fill out,” said the nurse, “it will only be a few minutes. If you’ll wait here we’ll take care of it and be right back.”

I sat back down and began thinking about what was going to happen with her car. I asked the clerk if she knew anything about it and was told that the CHP uses a wrecking yard outside of town and that’s where the vehicle would likely end up.

Alexandra was released from the hospital and I helped her out to my car. I had gotten the name of the wrecking yard and called. The Honda was not there yet but I was told that there wasn’t much left of it according to the tow truck driver. I asked Alexandra what she wanted to do and offered to give her a ride home. She accepted my offer and thanked me for saving her life. I just nodded and asked her what insurance company she was with. It turned out she was with the same company I was. After we were on the road I used the Bluetooth in my Volvo to call my agent. After some discussion they were able to pull up her file and get her information. They would pass it along to her agent.

“So what happened back there? How did the accident happen?”

“A deer ran across the road right in front of me,” she said. “I tried to swerve around it but the road was slippery and I lost control. This has really not been my day.”

When we had gotten into the Volvo I had lowered the seat back for Alexandra. Now that she felt that everything was being taken care of she was able to relax. The painkillers had made her drowsy and she drifted off to sleep. I had entered her address into my GPS and knew where to take her.

I pulled up in front of her apartment and parked. Alexandra was awake and told me that if her roommate was not home she would not be able to get into her apartment. I left her in the car and went to the door. Fortunately her roommate Karin was there and I quickly explained what had happened. I went back to the car and asked Alexandra if she could walk ok. She got out of the car and stood up and immediately became dizzy. I picked her up and carried her up the walk and through the front door. I suggested I put her on her bed but she said she would be ok on the sofa. I sat her down and stood there looking at her. She looked back at me and said, “God, I must look like hell.”

“You do,” I said, and laughed.

“Well, I know you are in a bind without a car or a phone, but I can’t do much more for you at this point and I need to go.”

I leaned over and took her hand in mine.

“Take care of yourself Alexandra, you’re going to be ok”.

“The least you can do is to call me Alex. I don’t know how I can repay you for what you have done, you’ve really been incredible.
“You just get yourself back into modeling form and I’ll be satisfied,” he said. “Goodbye, Alex.”

After I left Karin began to grill Alex about me.

“My God Alex,” she said, “how on earth did you meet that hunk of a male?”

“You really think he’s a hunk? I didn’t notice.” Alex laughed which made her head hurt.

“In case you didn’t notice,” said Karin, “when he picked you up and carried you into the room it was like he was carrying a baby. He’s obviously very strong.”

“Karin, when I first saw him I was so scared. I was stranded on the road and I didn’t know what kind of pervert was going to stop. As he was walking up to me I noticed that he was good looking but that just made me more scared. The real freaks always look normal. The one thing I was glad of was that I had been standing in the pouring rain and was a mess and I’m sure that’s why so many men drove right on past me.

“But not Nick,” said Karin.

Alex smiled, leaned back on the sofa and stared at the ceiling.

“No,” she said, “not Nick.

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