"'34-year-old Jeanette Brown was bit by a large breed dog on Hammond Road yesterday when she went to feed the stray'." Arianna re-read off the paper. She looked around for the dog catcher. She had called up the Animal Shelter before she left the clinic. They should be there any minute now. And sure enough, a van pulled that said on the side; NYC Dog Catcher.
After a few minutes, the dog was found and placed into a cage in the vehicle. Arianna sighed with relief as she spotted Jeanette Brown coming up the sidewalk. Glancing down at the Paper, Arianna was happy to see that the article was gone. As she started her walk back to Westbury, she flipped through the pages of the Paper. She stopped when she saw the picture of Clint Cassidy next to his obituary. It worried her. She didn't know when, how, or where Clint would die. She couldn't stop it! She wondered if this was sort of how it was like to have a, so-called, "normal" life.
A few minutes later, she got back to Westbury. She was relieved to see that Clint was busy with a patient. She then went to go find her father. She found him in his room, flipping through the pages of an uninteresting magazine featuring various celebrities.
"I'm back, daddy." Arianna asked, stepping into the room and dropping the Paper on his bed.
"Did you stop the attack?" Gary asked, trading the magazine for the Paper.
She nodded, "Yeah. Jeanette brown isn't going to be bit by a dog… not today anyway."
"Great." He said.
"What else do we have for today?" Arianna asked.
"Some kid rides his bike into a glass door, a hit-and-run, an unidentified man who falls from a building, a kidnapping, and a robbery at a thrift store; not to mention Dr. Cassidy," Gary read off his list, then looked up at her, "It's a busy day, Arianna. Are you sure you can do this?"
Arianna took a deep breath. Could she do this? She knew then what her answer would be. "It looks like I have to," She said at last, and then looked her father in the eye, "I can do this, daddy. I have to."
Gary smiled. He should have known she would say that. Of course, she wouldn't give up. He knew she meant what she said and would do anything she had to, to keep her word.
Arianna studied the kid on the bicycle. He looked to be about 14-years-old. She shook her head in dismay. How could he not see that glass door? Sticking the Paper in her pocket, she went and stood in front of the door. He had to see her, didn't he? She was right. He spotted her standing there and turned to the left. Christopher Lopez wouldn't be riding through a glass door that day.
The rest of the day went by pretty smoothly with only a few bumps along the way. All the saves were made successfully, one way or another. But Arianna and Gary continued to worry. If they didn't do something, Clint Cassidy would die that day. They didn't even know when! Both were very discouraged by the time Clint announced that it was time to leave the clinic.
Gary was especially worried. From the moment Arianna and Clint would walk out that door, there was nothing he could do; no way for him to help his daughter. All was up to Arianna now. She would have to face this herself and Gary hated the very idea of it. He knew she was scared, though she tried her best to hide it. He felt failure; like there was nothing he could possibly do anymore. He felt as if Clint might as well already be dead.
When it was time to go, Arianna gingerly hugged her father. She didn't let go right away. She was frightened, even though she didn't want to admit it. What was he going to do? Wasn't she in way over her head already? She felt like a total failure. After all Clint had done for her, for her father, she was going to have to let him die. He was going to die and there was nothing she could possibly do to stop it. She didn't even have enough information. Finally, taking a deep, shuddering breath, she pulled away from her father and bravely looked him in the eye. "I love you, daddy." She whispered.
"I love you, too, Arianna," He replied, kissing her on the cheek, "Be careful, okay? I don't know what's going to happen, but it can't be good."
Arianna nodded, "I know. I'll be careful, daddy. B-but what c-can I do? I mean, Clint's going to die! I don't know when or why; will I even be able to stop it?"
"You'll try," Gary told her, "And I know you'll do your absolute best. That's what counts. Just remember, if anything happens, I'm right here, okay? It may not seem like it, but things will be alright. Have faith, Arianna. That's what Marissa would tell you, isn't it?"
Arianna nodded silently, glancing at the Paper Gary held in his hands.
"Alright then," Gary said. He placed the Paper carefully into his daughter's hands, "I love you, Arianna. Just remember; 'have faith', alright? Things will work out."
Arianna took one more look at her father's encouraging eyes, took a deep breath, and walked out the door. She had all the courage she could possibly muster. If her father said things would work out, she believed him. Things would work out.
"Ready to go?" Clint asked Arianna, as she slipped into her coat.
Arianna looked him in the eyes and nodded, "I'm ready."
Arianna looked around herself in wonder. This was amazing! She never would have imagined that New York City was so beautiful at night!
It was later that night, around eight-thirty. Clint had told Arianna after dinner that there was something he wanted to show her. And he had brought her up to the roof. And he had been right. It was beautiful!
"Ya know," Clint said, taking a look around, "When I come up here, it reminds me of back home in Montana."
Arianna looked surprised, "Here? But this is a big, busy city, Clint. How can this remind you of home?"
"I don't look at the buildings, Arianna," Clint explained, "I look around… at the sky. It's big and wide open. It reminds me of Montana."
Arianna nodded, "It makes me think of my mother. I've seen pictures of her. She was so beautiful," Arianna added softly, "Just like this sky at night."
Clint looked around. He knew just what she meant. It was beautiful. He started to lean against the railing surrounding the edge of the tall apartment building. Just then, there was a big CRACK! The next thing Arianna new, Clint was hanging from the edge of the building.
She screamed and that's when she remembered the one save in the Paper that had not yet happened; "Unidentified Man Fatally Falls from Apartment Building".
"Clint, hold on!" She shouted.
Clint didn't say anything. He just looked very desperate. Arianna peered over the edge and her stomach turned at what she saw. Clint's cowboy hat had fallen off his head and was now lying on the pavement below. She could only imagine what Clint would look like if he fell… and he would if she didn't do something. It wasn't a pretty picture.
Frantically, she searched around for something for him to grab onto. Finally, she spotted it. Clint's lariat rope was lying coiled on the ground. He had shown her how to use it a few nights ago. Suddenly, she knew what she had to do.
She quickly grabbed the rope and tied it around a large pipe sticking up through the roof. Tying the other end in a slip-knot, she tossed it to Clint. He managed to slip it over his head and underneath his arms. Arianna pulled on the rope and it tightened around the man's chest. Then she began pulling, but without success. He was too heavy. She gasped for breath as she took a break. "C-Clint," She gasped, "I, I can't do i-it!"
Clint took quick action and began to pull himself up with the rope. Arianna grabbed the rope again and began pulling; hard. She felt the rope burning her hand d, but she wouldn't let go. She couldn't! And after a few minutes; Clint pulling himself up and Arianna tugging on the rope, Clint managed to crawl back onto the roof.
Shakily, the doctor stood back up and stepped away from the edge of the roof. Arianna quickly wrapped her arms around him and he embraced her in a tight hug. He looked down over the edge of the roof and quickly looked back up. That could have turned out really bad.
One Week Later…
Arianna looked up at her father as he zipped up his leather jacket and pulled on his black gloves. She smiled. The two were getting ready to head home and it felt wonderful. Arianna had called Marissa and filled her in on everything that had happened. The woman had sounded relieved when Arianna told her they were coming home.
"Ready to go, Arianna?" Gary asked.
"Well, let's go say our good-byes then." He said. They left the room and found Clint at the front desk, talking with Tippy. He stopped when he saw them approach.
"I, I want to th-thank you for taking care of Arianna," Gary started, "And for taking care of me. I couldn't have made it without you."
Clint nodded, "I'm just glad I could help, Gary. Ya know; your daughter's really special. If I'm lucky, I might just have one like her someday."
Arianna blushed and Gary smiled. "Yeah, well, thanks." He shook the doctor's hand.
Arianna then stepped forward. "Thanks, Clint," She said, "We couldn't have made it through this without you." She gave him a hug.
He smiled and hugged her back. "You're welcome, Arianna. Hey, you email me, okay? Let me know how things are goin', alright?"
"Yeah," She stepped away and grinned, "I will. Good bye, Clint."
"Good bye, Clint," Gary said, picking up he and Arianna's bags, "And thanks again."
"Good bye," Clint replied, watching them walk out the Westbury doors, "And have a safe trip home."
Once in the taxi, on the way to the airport where the two would catch h a flight to Chicago, Gary pulled out the Paper. As he began to read, he was shocked.
"Arianna," He said quietly, "We can't go home just yet."
"What? Why not, daddy?" Arianna asked, puzzled.
"This is why not." He showed her the article in the Paper and the girl's mouth dropped open in surprise. The article read; Over 500 Missing after San Francisco Explosion – Thousands Feared Dead.
"Looks like we're not taking the next flight to Chicago, honey," Gary announced, "We're going to California."
Arianna sighed and leaned back in her seat. Here we go again.
Later that same night, Clint sat at his laptop, writing a letter;
A lot has been going on these past few weeks. I met a man and his daughter who had a more faith than a whole church congregation. You could tell they believed in every life and they proved it many times.
I faced a near death experience myself. I nearly fell from my apartment roof. But, it was only as I was hanging from the edge of that building that I really came to realize how none of us really know when we are to die. It has really changed my outlook on life.
Tell Dottie hello for me. Tell everyone I miss them; you too. Who knows, maybe I'll come back for a visit sometime soon. It's been an awful long time since I've been back home.
All Disclaimers Apply
Written by Victory-Starr