Mandy looked out the window of the school building.

It was a beautiful afternoon, her last class before summer vacation.

James poked her from his seat next to hers.

"Pay attention"

Mandy rolled her eyes.

The whole class was lethargic, just waiting for that last few minutes.

Tick

Tick

Tick

BRING!!!

The bell rang, and it was almost like an explosion.

The whole class was cheering, already imagining the things they would do.

Mandy and James managed to wrestle their way outside and to their bikes.

Soon, they were riding home, enjoying the perfect sunny weather.

"Feels good to be out!" James called.

"Yep!" Mandy yelled back.

They got to the clinic, and helped out fro a little while. Then, Mandy's mom told them to skedaddle, business was a bit slow, so they were free to play.

Mandy and james walked outside on the sidewalk, enjoying the sun.

"We shoulde go to the beach this week" Mandy said, closing her eyes.

"We should" James replied.

They walked around town for a little while, then headed back to the clinic.

When they got there, Blackie was waiting, his nose pressed up to the glass window.

James groaned.

"I forgot about Blackie's appointment, good thing Leann was there"

Leann was the family babysitter, sometimes petsitter too.

They walked in, hearing the familiar bell tinkling of the door.

"Hello James" The receptionist, Jean said.

"Leann had to go home for an emergency, I told her you would be back soon, so Blackie's been hanging out here"

James nodded.

"I'll take him home"

He put on the leash, and opened the door.

"Care to walk with me Mandy?"

She hopped off her perch on the counter and nodded.

They had been walking only a few blocks when it happened.

A large yellow stray cat jumped out of a rosebush, startling Blackie.

He barked, then took off so fast that James dropped to leash.

"Blackie!" He ran after the black dog.

Mandy was the faster runner, having down track at school, and soon she overtook James.

"Blackie!" She screamed desperately.

He was heading...

Right.

For.

The busiest intersection in town.

"Blackie stop!" She screamed again.

Blackie darted across the street, then froze.

A car was speeding across the intersection, obviously going way too fast.

"Stop!" Mandy yelled.

Then, without further thought, Mandy leaped, pushing Blackie out of the way.

James heard the squeal of tires, then caught up to them.

He saw Blackie being held by a helpful pedestrian.

Mandy.

Oh god.

She was laying in front of the car.

Dead still.

James felt his breath short out.

He ran to the intersection, where the people were milling.

"Mandy" He said.

He couldn't see anything wrong with her.....

Then he noticed it.

On the back of her neck, there was a red mark, no doubt leading to a head injury.

Already, the blood was pooling.

Quickly, he ripped off his T-shirt and put in under her head to stop the bleeding.

He could hear the ambulance sirens getting closer.

Then, the EMT's were there, taking Mandy and putting her on the stretcher.

They asked if he was hurt, but he declined.

They also checked the driver, and found him unconcious from the whiplash.

They loaded him up in the other ambulance that was coming.

James found his opportunity and gently tugged at a female EMt's shirt.

"Exscuse me ma'am, but can I please ride with her?"

The lady looked at him kindly.

"Yes you may, just stay to the side please"

James sat in the available chair, and watched.

It seemed like hours before they reached the hospital, but they finally did, rushing Mandy into the emergency room, then into a ICU bed.

It was all a blur for James. He felt cold, and shocked.

This couldn't happen to Mandy...

She was kind, caring, and loving.

What had she done to deserve this?

Then, James felt a nurse shaking his shoulder, and saying something frantically to the doctor.

Something about...Shock?

Well, Duh. His best friend was dying, of course he was in shock.

He felt someone put a blanket around him, but all he could think about was Mandy's cold, pale face.

Then, he was asleep.

----

James woke up a while later to see Mr. hope across from him.

"Hi" he said, not sure what else he could say.

"Hello James, the nurses say that you've been very attached to Mandy"

James nodded, his brain still not functioning properly.

"What happened?" Mandy's father asked.

"We were chasing Blackie, and a dude was speeding and Mandy pushed Blackie out of the way"

Dr. Adam nodded.

"That's what I thought. They found the guy was driving under intoxication, so they've locked him up, and given us the compensation"

James nodded again.

"How long have I been out of it?"

"About five hours, give or take a little"

James nodded. It was all he could do.

"Don't worry James, she'll be better soon"

And then he left, leaving a distraught James.

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