Complete the short story/flash fiction, that has the following opening:
The constant beeping of the machines was no more than white noise to Stephanie sitting by her Aunt’s bed, holding tight to the skeletal hand of her only living relative. Aunt Sylvia lay still with wires and tubes protruding from everywhere on her body. The myocardial infarction – heart attack – had been sudden and bad. One moment she was talking to a customer and the next minute she was collapsed on the floor. The only good thing about the whole situation was that she had been talking to Dr. Benson, heart surgeon, as it happened. He saved her life and for that Stephanie would be forever in his debt.
There were no more tears left. None. She had cried for the past two days and while there was a cathartic response it didn’t help her aunt. Nothing was going to help her aunt except for the doctors and nurses that surrounded her. The University Hospital had the best staff, the best equipment, the best minds and they would save her aunt. They had to. She couldn’t live without her.
She slowly stood, her knees and joints cracking and making themselves felt for the abuse that she had put them through. The chair hadn’t been comfortable and other than going to the washroom she really hadn’t left the chair since she got there, much to the chagrin of the nurses. She let go of her aunt’s hand and rose onto her tiptoes, stretching as high as she could and then fell back down to earth.
Down to earth? She needed to be grounded, she needed to be there for her aunt, and she knew what she needed to do. Someone needed to run the shop, all the shops, and while she may not know everything that Sylvia knew about the craft business she was confident that she could keep things alive until Sylvia was better. She hoped.
“Goodbye Aunt Sylvia,” she whispered, brushing a light kiss across her forehead. “I’ll be back later, I need to check in on the shop and see how things are going. I’ll come back and let you know what’s going on.”
She stepped back, gave her aunt one last glance before leaving the room and headed for the hospital parkade for a quick trip home to eat and change. Only then she would decide where to go from there. She didn’t hear the heart monitor stop. She didn’t see the intensive care staff members rush into her aunt’s room to resuscitate her. She didn’t see their faces fall when after fifteen minutes they stopped.
She didn’t see.
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