Chapter 1 : Saving Grace.
Grace was walking home from another heavy day of lectures. She was in her first year of medical school and managed to get into Sheffield University on a scholarship. This was vital for her, as being an orphan meant she did not have a family to fall back on. As long as she was careful with her loan, she could survive. Unfortunately, that meant walking home from the university to her cheap student house every day.
Grace would not mind so much if it were not for the fact that she had to carry so many books on her back. Grace was of average height at five feet eight, with mouse-brown hair that fell just below her shoulders. She often, like today, had it tied up in a practical bun. Her eyes, which she considered her only beauty, were sea green.
Grace shifted her backpack on her shoulders again. "Not long now," she thought as she turned down an alleyway that cut between two houses. It was a shortcut that Grace often used. When she turned the corner, she gasped. There was a young man on the ground with two men kicking and punching him.
"You filthy cunt, give us the money you owe us!" One of the attackers said before spitting on the victim's head.
"I told you I don’t have your f*****g fifty quid!" shouted the victim.
"Well, you know what that means; Mike cut off his ear!" said the attacker who spat on the victim.
Mike smiled and took out a knife from his waistband.
"You know, I love this part the best, Andy," Mike said as he grabbed the black hair of the man on the floor and pulled his head up.
"Wait, don’t!" Grace shouted before thinking.
"I suggest you mind your own f*****g business!" Andy hissed.
"Look, I will pay the money! Fifty quid right? " Grace said, looking through her bag for her purse.
She took out the sixty pounds for a couple of weeks' worth of food shopping. It would mean she would have to live on Cuppa soup and noodles for a couple of weeks. But she could not stand by and let somebody get hurt. She quickly counted out the money and handed it to Andy. "See? The money is there, so there is no need to hurt him today! " Grace said in a calm voice.
"Why would you pay for this c**k scum’s debt?" Andy demanded.
"I...I am training to be a doctor. I don’t want to see people hurt. That's all, "Grace explained.
Andy laughed. "Well, today is your lucky day, Kurt. I won't be taking an ear today. A little advice, though; never borrow more than you can afford to pay back. Come on Mike, let’s go and see the boss. " Mike looked disappointed as he released Kurt’s hair. However, he did as he was told and walked down the alley with Andy. Grace rushed over to Kurt.
" Are you OK?" She asked in an urgent tone. Kurt tried to get up and moaned in pain.
"I can ...hardly breathe!" he gasped.
Grace quickly checked his pulse, which was racing. She also did not like the colour of his skin, which had a blue tinge to it. Kurt’s breath was also becoming laboured.
"I think you have a punctured lung, most likely from a broken rib!" Grace said as she rummaged through her bag for a phone. She called the emergency number and asked for an ambulance. The operator said one would be there in 20 minutes.
"He has a large pneumothorax, he does not have 20 mins!" Grace shouted down the phone.
"Sorry, there is a football match on which is causing gridlock across the city. We will be there as soon as we can! " The operator informed her.
Grace cursed and said, "Ok, I going to have to move you onto your back, ok?"
Grace rolled Kurt onto his back and moaned in pain.
"Sorry! " Grace murmured.
She rummaged in her bag and got out a small bottle of hand sanitiser and her pencil case. She unzipped her bag's front pocket and took out a small penknife. Her friend had brought it just in case she needed some protection.
"You walk home alone at night, it does not hurt to have something in case!" her friend has said.
Grace was not sure she could stab someone like that, but ironically, the knife was going to save someone’s life. Grace quickly dismantled a biro and disinfected it with a hand sanitiser. She also disinfected the knife. Grace lifted Kurt’s t-shirt and located the broken ribs. Kurt’s sink was now blue due to a lack of oxygen. " Listen to me, Kurt. You have a collapsed lung. I have to get rid of the air between your ribs and your lungs so you can breathe properly. You need to stay as still as possible, OK? " Grace said as she cut in between his ribs. Kurt screamed, but it was interrupted by coughing. "The worst part is over, Kurt," she said soothingly.
Grace grabbed the biro tube and inserted it into the cut. With one final push, the tube went through. Bubbles started to form at the end of the biro tube, a sign that the air was being released. Kurt’s breathing started to ease as his lungs could start working again. Ten minutes later, the ambulance turned up, and Grace explained what had happened in great detail.
"You saved his life. Are you coming with him to the hospital? " The Paramedic asked.
"I'm just going to make sure he's okay!"Grace said.
Little did Grace know that she had just changed her life forever.
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