Reflection

"Sally!" Joe cried, watching in despair as the top floor of the Chinese warehouse tumbled to the ground, burying the BA crews inside. An ear- splitting roar, and then silence. Not a sound could be heard, until DO Griggs started dishing out orders to Bluewatch. Joe could do nothing but stand, and stare.

He watched the Shadbrook crews start to clear the rubble. The blue light from the appliances reflecting off their jackets. Joe tried to radio Sally over the radio from the appliance. "BA control to Fire-fighter Fields," Joe sobbed into the radio. "Sal, I don't know if you can hear me, but I just wanna say I love you, Sal. I always will do. You know that. I'll never forget you..." Joe broke off, tears streaming down his face.

He knew it had been a mistake, he knew the building was unsafe. He'd pleaded with the Gov., and Griggs not to let the BA crews back into the factory. Griggs wasn't to be influenced, however, and the crews were sent back in. So the factory collapsed, and Joe could only hope that Sally, his fiancee, had survived.

After two long, frustrating hours, Steve Prentiss, Shadbrook's SO, ran over to where the ambulances stood. "Female, mid-twenties," Prentiss informed the paramedics on standby. "Thanks," the paramedics laid the body onto a trolley. Joe peered over, to see Sally lying there, motionless. He ran over to her, held her cold, limp hand as paramedics tended to Sally's injuries. "She's gonna live, isn't she?" Joe asked the paramedics, panicking slightly. He knew the answer. "We'll do our best," a female paramedic tried to reassure a hysterical Joe.

Sally was loaded into an ambulance, and Joe followed her. "Pupils dilated and unresponsive," a paramedic said, lifting Sally's eyelids and shining a bright torch in her eye. Joe looked on, feeling helpless. "Try talking to her. She may still be able to hear you," the female paramedic said to Joe, not taking her eyes off the monitor Sally was wired up to. Joe, feeling foolish at first, spoke to Sally. "Sally, please, come on Sal, don't die on me. Please, Sal. Come on, Sally. Remember, we were going to get married. You said yes, remember Sally? Think of the wedding, the reception. We don't have to go to Greece for our honeymoon, we can go where you want to, Sal. France, Germany, Spain, wherever. Come on, Sal, please. We're going to grow old together, who knows, maybe even kids, grandkids. Come on, Sally, you made me the happiest bloke alive a few hours ago, when you agreed to marry me. Don't leave me like this, Sally," Joe ended up sobbing over Sally's body.

The ambulances arrived at the hospital. The doors were opened, and Sally was whisked into casualty. Joe followed, desperate to know what was happening. He heard a steady, continuous note sounding from one of the many machines Sally was now connected to. "Crash team" a male doctor yelled, almost running to where Sally lay. A band of doctors and nurses, one pushing a trolley, appeared. Joe was escorted to bright orange room, which he supposed was to make people feel relaxed, and cheerful. "What's happened? She'll be all right, won't she?" Joe was panicking. "We'll do our best," the tall, male nurse reassured him. From all of the times Joe had heard that phrase, at shouts, he knew it was almost certainly bad news.

Two painstaking hours followed, with no news of Sally. Then, a doctor entered the room. "What's happened?" Joe leapt to his feet. The doctor took a deep breath. "I'm sorry. Sally had a brain haemorrhage. It was too serious." He delivered the grave news to Joe. Joe said nothing as tears fell continuously from his face. "You can see her, if you wish," the doctor said, trying to be comforting. Joe slowly walked over to the doctor, who led him to Sally's bedside. Joe just wept.

After half an hour, Joe slowly got up, knowing he would have to make his way back to his flat. On the way back, he passed H. Samuels jewellers shop. Stopping to look at the rings that Sally could have had, had she survived, Joe had a sudden idea. He entered the jewellers shop, and purchased a diamond ring, just like the one Sally had always wanted. He almost ran back to the hospital, and after begging with the doctors, he was guided to Sally's bed once more. There, he knelt down beside her, and took her hand. Tears forming in his eyes, Joe took Sally's cold, slender hand and pushed the ring onto her finger. He held it close to his chest for a minute, tears flooding down his face. "I love you," he whispered, before letting the hand drop, and standing up. He left the hospital, and slowly made the journey home once more.

As Joe crossed the bridge over the river, he stopped to look at his reflection in the water. At first, he didn't believe what he was seeing. In the water, he saw not his own reflection, but that of Sally's, smiling at him, dreamily. Joe shook his head, convincing himself it was a trick of the light. But he looked again, and there was no doubt about it, Sally's reflection could be seen clearly in the water. The next thing that happened really took Joe by surprise. The 'reflection' spoke. "Joe..." it spoke in a whispery, dreamy sort of voice. "Joe..." it spoke again. Joe looked around the busy crowds, to see if anybody could else could hear the voice. They seemed unresponsive, either deaf to the sound of the voice, or choosing to turn a blind eye to it. Joe looked down again, to see the 'reflection' rising up from the water. It stood, upright, short black hair blowing wildly everywhere, before speaking once more. "Joe..." the voice sent a warm shiver through Joe's body. "I'll be waiting..."