He felt a small thrill as he climbed the ladder to clean out the gutters. They were his gutters. On his first house. He couldn’t wait to surprise her with clean gutters when she came home. As he reached the roof, he heard a crack, and suddenly felt himself flying through the air. The gutters were the last thought that flew through his head before everything went black.
Rachel pulled into the driveway, singing loudly with the radio. She loved that song. It fit today perfectly. She had finally unpacked the last box and she was home. She hopped out of the car and walked around the back to open her trunk when she saw something shiny out of the corner of her eye. She turned and saw the ladder laying haphazardly in the yard near the corner of the house. She took a few steps to get a better look when she saw him lying on the ground.
"Seth!" she yelled, sprinting toward him. She dropped to her knees and quickly looked him over before touching him. He appeared to be sleeping. She gently touched his face and brought her cheek close to his face to see if he was breathing.
"Seth? Seth, honey, wake up," Rachel commanded desperately. She stroked his face with her fingers and squeezed his hand. When he didn't move she ran back to the car to get her cell phone. She quickly dialed 911 as she raced back to him.
The next 30 minutes were lived outside her body. She felt like she was watching TV as the paramedics came and took over. The paramedic seemed pleased with Seth's vitals, but he still hadn't woken up. She felt stupid when they asked her what happened, and all she could say was she didn't know. She had thought Seth was going to watch the football game while she shopped, but clearly he had decided to do housework or something.
The paramedics recommended that she call someone to take her to the hospital, then left in a flurry of sirens and flashing lights. Rachel sat on the dirty ground and called the only other person she knew in this town: her boss.
"Donna? This is Rachel Bronson. Um, I'm so sorry to bother you on the weekend, but I need help."