Ouch! I was catapulted toward the wind screen and unceremoniously tossed back. It was only a small bump but I clutched the package on my knee tightly. I wasn’t the driver thank goodness, but he – the doctor, was completely to blame. The angry victim leaped from his badly bruised car, now facing the opposite direction to where he was planning on going, and slammed both fists down hard on the bonnet. Ouch! I screeched again. It must have been the aftershock. I nursed the package closer to my chest.
The doctor, a short and slightly built man was more accustomed to respect than purple faced outrage. He made a wise decision to stay seated.
Meanwhile, secure in the knowledge that it was he and not me who was the target of the roaring beast’s wrath, my scattered faculties converged back onto my charge.
A siren wailed in the distance, growing ever louder. Bystanders, bemused to witness a real live road-rage scene gathered.
“This jerk’s p*$$~*!” I think the word implied inebriated; however he was incorrect. The doctor was tea-total. “Either that or he’s on a high!” The injured party ranted on. “And what’s his bird guarding in that box?” He pointed an accusing finger at my unusual cargo, just as two traffic officers calmly approached the mêlée and firmly persuaded the madman to chill. He obliged, hollering ‘’SMACKHEADS!” as he was escorted to the waiting patrol car.
Blood alcohol tests proved negative. The doctor switched on the engine: “You in some kind of hurry sir? Asked the baby faced officer.
“Sort of.” He replied, glancing at his wristwatch. “In fact yes, we’re in a tearing hurry. We need to be at the hospital.”
Baby face shot a probing glance at my box asking “What’s inside there ma-am?” I looked at my colleague. He looked out of the window!
“Erm … nothing harmful.” I offered tentatively. “A little bit whacky for most maybe, but …” The doctor rolled his eyes heavenward. I dithered like Diz Dripping, fumbling for words to negate my gaffe.
“For goodness sake, we’re just making a delivery that’s all.” Cut in the doctor sharply.
“TO THE HOSPITAL!” The young officer’s eyes gleamed in anticipation of his accolade as he politely requested that the doctor remain calm. A rush of adrenaline charged my system. My cheeks were burning up.
“You seem a little apprehensive ma-am.” He observed. I truthfully explained that I was shaken by the accident and the threat of annihilation that followed. Lifting the box from my jigging knees I held it aloft and added “but I swear it’s nothing to do with this.” I sensed bad vibes emanating from the doctor - something on the lines of ‘Stop digging the hole – Just jump in!’
Baby face was smug, like the cat that got the cream: “Ok. Think we’d better take a look inside. Do you?”
“Are you sure?” Warned the doctor.
“Are you squeamish?” I squeaked. “It’s not everyone’s cup of tea.”
“Hand it over please.” A brusque, surly officer had joined us and thrust his expectant hand into the car. I parted with my precious load and waited … And waited some more. For several minutes we waited!
They both stared hard at the contents: “What are these mate?” Asked the brawny one.
“No idea Guv.” Replied baby face despondently, realising it didn’t resemble a hoard of illegal substance.
“Bull’s Eyes?” He looked to me for enlightenment. “Where did you get these from?”
“The mortuary.” Replied the doctor dryly.
“Are you trying to be funny pal?”
“Nope. Now if you’d replace the lid before the contents dry out, I’ll try get them delivered on schedule.”
Baby face was bewildered: “Why the mortuary?” Deep sigh from the doctor.
“It’s where the donor rests.” He was on a short fuse.
“YES! THE REST OF THE GUY WHO’S EYES YOU’RE GAZING INTO!”
There was a pregnant pause, accompanied by a lingering atmosphere of aspiring disbelief, until the young officer’s pallor changed from pinkish to near death grey; whilst his big, burlesque buddy buckled at the knees and slumped to litter the gutter.
But the recipient eventually got his corneal graft, and thankfully he’ll never know how very nearly he didn’t!
*Fiction based on a factual experience.
*Eye retrieval is a procedure undertaken by an ophthalmic trained doctor/nurse and entails surgical removal of both eyes of the recently deceased donor. This gift may restore function in the visually impaired.
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