Disclaimer: The characters from Emergency do not belong to me.I’m just having a little fun writing about them.


An Early Evening


By:Vanessa Sgroi


“Doc, meet Helen Hastings, dancer extraordinaire,” Johnny Gage announced as he accompanied the ambulance stretcher into Treatment Two. He grinned down at this patient.


“Helen, this is Dr. Joe Early. One of the best docs in town. He’ll fix you right up.”


Helen gazed up at the paramedic. Clutching his hand, she gave it a quick squeeze.“Thank you, Johnny dear.You take care of yourself.”


“Now, Helen, don’t you worry about me. You just take care of yourself.” Johnny patted her hand, winked at the silver-haired doctor, and implored, “Take good care of this young lady, Doc.” He bid the two goodbye and left the room.


“He’s a charmer, that one,” Helen murmured.


“Given the number of nurses he’s dated, I’d say you’re right,” Early answered, “Now, Mrs. Hastings . . .”


“Just call me Helen, dear.”


“All right . . . Helen. How did you hurt your knee?”


“Oh, you are going to think I’m so silly.” She patted her gray-blonde curls and shifted slightly on the table.


The doctor smiled softly at the attractive lady in front of him. “I wouldn’t dream of thinking you were silly.”


“I belong to a ballroom dance club—the Star Shine Club. We hold a dance night every Saturday night.”


Joe quirked an eyebrow and said, “But today is Tuesday.”


“Yes, I know. This is the silly part. There’s one dance I just can’t master. The Rumba. I . . . I was practicing—alone—and . . . and I slipped and twisted my knee.”


“Ahh, the Rumba. I understand completely, Helen. You know, I can cut quite a rug myself. It took me quite awhile to learn that one too. Well, let’s have a look here." The door to the treatment room opened, admitting Dixie McCall as Early began to examine Helen’s knee.


Dix smiled and warmly greeted the patient.


Helen smiled back before flinching a little when the doctor moved her knee.


“Joe, what do you need?”


“I’d like to get an x-ray of this knee. And another set of vitals.”


The head nurse nodded and moved to the wall phone to call Radiology.


Joe finished palpating Helen’s knee. “I think we’re dealing with a sprain. I’ll get x-rays to be sure.But I’d say after two weeks or so of rest, you’ll be dancing the night away.”


“That’s wonderful! I was afraid you’d tell me I had to give it up.”


“Never. Now, the paramedics were a little concerned about your elevated blood pressure.”


“Yes, yes. Dr. Wade put me on some medication about two weeks ago.I had thought I was doing better. I’m supposed to see him again in another couple of weeks.”


The doctor nodded. “You be sure to keep that appointment. He may just have to adjust your dosage a little.”


“I certainly will. Thank you.”


Joe moved aside to make notes in the patient chart while Dixie obtained a new set of vitals. When she read them off, he was pleased to hear the blood pressure reading had dropped a little. Anxiety may have played a roll in its previous spike.


The x-ray technician entered the room with a loud rattle of equipment.


“Helen, I’m going to let the technician get those films. Once we take a quick look,I’ll wrap it, and you should be on your way. Dixie will get you some crutches.”


“All right. My daughter should be here soon to drive me home. Say—Dr. Early—if you enjoy ballroom dancing so much, you should come down to the club. We always welcome new people. And maybe I’ll learn a new trick or two.”


Early’s eyes twinkled.“I may take you up on that. I just may . . .” He whistled a happy tune on his way out of the treatment room.

* * *


Two and a half weeks later . . .


Helen sat at a quiet corner table. It was good to be back at the Star Shine tonight. The music would begin soon, and she was energetic and ready to dance. After smoothing away a few wrinkles in her new strawberry-colored dress, she gazed around the room and waved greetings to various friends as they entered. She felt a hand on her shoulder. Thinking it must be the waiter returning with her drink, Helen turned her head. Her face lit with happiness.


“Why, Dr. Early, you came! What a wonderful surprise!”


“May I?” Joe queried as he gestured toward an empty chair.


“By all means, please do. Would you like a drink Dr. Early?”


“Call me Joe. And, yes, I would love a drink.”


When the waiter came with her Manhattan, she introduced Joe and ordered his drink.


“Your knee is feeling better?”


“So much better, yes. There’s no longer even a twinge. You must promise you’ll help me with the Rumba tonight. I so want to show up Betsy Anderson.”


The silver-haired man smiled at her. “I promise.”


The band started playing, and couples began to wander to the dance floor.


“Shall we?” Joe Early stood and offered his arm to the lady.


“In between laughing and talking, they danced many of the dances together including the Rumba. As the last dance—a waltz—was finishing, Helen looked at her handsome companion.“You are a beautiful dancer. Simply beautiful. In a few weeks, they’re having a dance contest here. Would you consider entering it with me?”


“I will on one condition.”




“I’m playing a little jazz set over at The Blue Cup this Thursday night. I’d like you to come.”


“You play jazz? How grand! I would love to come . . .”


* * The End * *


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