~ ~ ~
In time the boy grew.
Actually, the boy grew to be a rebellious little devil in his teenage years. He was everyone’s pain in the bumblebee and people either loved him or hated him. Some people - actually, come to think about it - most people in the neighbourhood, crossed the road to avoid him.
He was always drinking, getting into trouble, and staying out late at night. Just being a nuisance in the neighbourhood. He had a bad name, come to think of it. Scrumping apples moved into stealing milk bottle from neighbour’s doorsteps and then using his catapult to knock out greenhouse windows.
Yeah, that’s right, only his mother loved him. His father couldn’t stand the sight of him and had disappeared from the face of the earth years ago. Who could blame him?
I mean, according to his mother, he was the salt of the earth and could do no wrong. Well, when he was being good she meant. But then she would say he was just like his father when it suited her. He was a nobody that son of hers. Just a nobody on route to nowhere. Always the noisy one in the street. Always the one who the police would bring home when he was a kid because they’d caught him smashing something up. Psychologically disturbed they said he was. An idiot in the making.
Poor at school, never did his homework, always late, and always lounging about the street like a lost alley cat.
Not worth anything that one. Wrong side of the street born and bred - going nowhere, they said.
‘What was his name again?’
‘Who, the kid in the corner house at the end of the street or the ginger-haired skinny one at number fourteen?’
‘Don’t you mean the one with his knees through his jeans?’
‘What was his name again?’
‘Name? It was... I can’t remember what his name was actually. Does it really matter what they called him?’
Did anyone care to remember his name. Scrawny kid from the other side of the street who was everyone’s pain in the arse.
‘Isn’t he the one who pinched your car and drove it into the lamp post at the end of the street?’
‘Or was he the one who painted the garage door pink when he should have painted it blue?’
‘Trouble! Yeah, trouble was his middle name. It followed him round. What the hell was his name?’
No-one could remember his name. Perhaps they didn’t have the time!
He moved on with the march of time.
The boy grew to a man...
He looked at his watch. Another second ticked by and grew into a minute.
‘Is that him?’
‘Nah! He’s too big this guy, even in that suit. Why?’
‘Chap at the end of the road said it was the scrawny horrible yob that used to smash the windows and paint the garages pink years ago.’
‘Nah! They’re wrong. That ain’t the kid. This is a man who knows what he’s doing’.
‘Well, let’s hope so.’
He looked at his watch as he clambered into the crashed car and found the driver fighting for his life. Time was running out and the helicopter was circling overhead waiting to land on the roadside.
All he had to do was keep the driver alive.
The rescue service had lasered out an entrance into the crashed wreck, covered it in foam in case of petrol escape that might lead to explosion, and closed the road to other vehicles. Now it was up to him.
Ignoring the blood, he felt for a pulse.
It was there, thin and feeble but there was a pulse.
And then there was no pulse that he could find.
He raced his fingers across the man’s wrist and then felt for his carotid artery but there was nothing there. The driver had no pulse. He was dead.
He managed to cradle his head and shoulders in his arms and ignore the blood seeping away into the body if the car. Then he thumped the car driver in the chest as hard as he could. Then he pulled his chin down, opened his airway, and blew into the man’s mouth.
The helicopter landed and a paramedic ran from the craft with an oxygen mask and cylinder. The doctor continued with his mouth to mouth respiration in the deep wrecked innards of the crashed car.
There was a deluge of spittle form the man’s mouth when his heart kick-started again and he began to breath. The doctor stopped hitting him in the chest and allowed the paramedic to apply the mask and switch on the cylinder.
Then he took a pad and applied it vigorously to the shoulder from which he was bleeding.
First rescue rule, he recalled. Is he breathing, is he bleeding? Must tend to the breathing first. He remembered the first rule of rescue and sorted the man’s breathing first.
Bloodstained, tired, covered in spittle and crap from the car and the car driver, he emerged from the wreck in the knowledge that the car driver would probably live - thanks to him - time would tell.
He walked towards his car and stopped opposite the corner house, blood dripping from his hand.
‘Is that him?’ Someone asked.
‘Nah! The man’s a doctor, a surgeon. Not the kid you’re thinking of.’
The doctor turned and walked towards the gathering on the corner and asked, ‘Is this Alexander Road?’
‘Yep!’ came a reply.
‘Thought it was, I used to live here a long time ago. Funny, I never expected to come back here.’
The doctor walked away.
A voice said, ‘Thought that was him, told you it was him.’
‘Yeah,’ a reply. ‘I knew it was him all along. You know, he wasn’t that bad a kid as I remember.’
‘No, I think we... Didn’t you say he lived at number fourteen. Now that kid was trouble but this one here... Yeah, I remember him now. Nice kid as I remember!’
‘Looked like him all along. Funny thing time!’
‘Oh yeah, he hasn’t changed that much at all.’