After dinner, while the kids retreated to their rooms, Taylor’s wife Polly voiced her concern. “I can’t handle three kids, my job, and the house. We need to hire a nanny, darling,” she said.
Taylor wasn’t on board with the idea. “A nanny? They’re so expensive, and it’s not worth it,” he replied as he got up from the dining table and made his way to the living room couch.
“Pleeease, Taylor. I have meetings in the afternoon, and even though the kids are older now, they still need attention. I can’t do it alone anymore,” Polly pleaded.
Taylor didn’t find the idea appealing and didn’t believe that his wife couldn’t handle everything. However, he kept his thoughts to himself. “No, it’s too expensive,” he said firmly.
“But we have tons of money,” Polly argued, desperate to convince him.
“Just because we have money doesn’t mean we should spend it on unnecessary things. My mother raised me on her own for as long as she could, and then I took care of myself because my father didn’t care. And look at me! I grew up to be a millionaire. They don’t need a nanny. Just tell them to behave after school,” Taylor replied, unyielding in his decision.
Polly left him alone with a sigh. Their children ranged in age from five to nine, so she felt they could manage on their own while she worked. Taylor believed that kids should be raised solely by their parents and scoffed at the idea of hiring a nanny. “That’s how I succeeded in the world,” he thought to himself, feeling content with his decision to refuse Polly’s request for help.
Polly worked as a writer from home, which was a less complicated job than his own. He had to go to the office, deal with paperwork, meet clients, prepare proposals, and do all the other tasks associated with his work.
A few days later, Polly fainted in the living room, and their eldest child, Mark, called Taylor at the office. “Should I call 911?” the boy asked.
Taylor responded, “No! Absolutely not. Call Mara. Her number is next to the home phone. I’ll be there soon,” before rushing home.
Mara, a kind nurse who worked nights and happened to be their neighbor, came to Polly’s aid. Although Taylor was hesitant to trust her, he knew she was better than any doctor. By the time he arrived, Mara was checking on Polly, and the children were gathered around their mother, concerned.
“So, how is she?” Taylor asked.
“Let’s discuss this in the kitchen,” Mara replied, pulling him away. “I think Polly needs to see a doctor. Fainting is not normal for a young woman.”
“We’re hardly young. She’s 35, and I’m 38,” Taylor said, shaking his head.
“That’s young, Taylor. She could have anemia. She needs blood work and a check-up,” Mara insisted.
“Nope. No. Absolutely not,” Taylor refused, crossing his arms.
“Look, I know you distrust doctors for some reason, but she needs one, or it could happen again. Your kids are scared. Please, listen,” Mara continued, staring at him intensely.
“We’ll get the blood work, but no doctors. My mother died because an incompetent idiot didn’t find her cancer. He misdiagnosed her, so I grew up with my abusive father only because she didn’t get treatment in time,” Taylor revealed, to Mara’s surprise. “We had home births because of that, Mara. And our kids are thriving.”
Mara sighed. “Alright. Get the blood tests, and I’ll have a friend check them for suggestions. But you need to get over your fear at some point.”
As Mara suspected, Polly had a bit of anemia, but after some medication, she seemed to improve. After the incident, Polly brought up the idea of getting a nanny, but Taylor still refused.
“No, you’re better. It’s a waste. Money should be saved for only important things. Who knows what could happen? I’m the CEO of an oil company, but what if I have to become a minimum worker later?” Taylor justified.
Polly didn’t bring it up again.
As Taylor rushed out of the house one morning, he shouted, “I’m running late for a meeting! Don’t bother calling me today because I won’t answer!” He had a crucial meeting with a significant client and wanted to arrive on time. However, things didn’t go as planned because there was a massive traffic jam on his usual route to the office. The minutes seemed to drag on forever.
He banged the steering wheel and shook his head impatiently, hoping for something to happen. But the traffic was at a complete standstill. Then he heard the sound of sirens from behind. Taylor checked his rearview mirror and saw cars moving to the side to make way for an ambulance.
“No way! They can’t get out of this traffic jam by pretending to have patients!” Taylor said, shaking his head and refusing to move his vehicle. Despite the ambulance’s incessant honking, he pretended nothing was happening.
The driver on the adjacent lane rolled down his window and said, “Hey, man! Move for the ambulance!” But Taylor ignored him.
After a while, the ambulance driver, who was an elderly man, arrived at Taylor’s location. “Sir, please move! I have a child in the back who needs immediate medical attention!” he exclaimed.
Taylor didn’t budge. “No, you’re lying. But even if you’re not, taking him to the doctor won’t do any good. I’m not moving,” he replied firmly.
The driver was taken aback. “Are you serious, man?”
Taylor remained unapologetic. “Yeah. I won’t move!”
The driver couldn’t believe what he was hearing. “This is illegal!”
Taylor simply shrugged. “Sue me. Or call the cops.” He didn’t even bother to look at the man. Instead, he focused his attention on the road ahead, waiting for the traffic to clear.
The driver was furious. “I hope no one you care about is ever in this boy’s situation,” he spat on the ground in disgust before getting back into the ambulance. He deftly navigated his way through a sidewalk while other drivers gave way.
After sitting in traffic for another 15 minutes, Taylor finally arrived at the office building just in time for his client’s presentation. As he listened to the client speak, he noticed a call from Polly lighting up his phone screen. Despite knowing he had instructed her not to call, she continued to ring him repeatedly until a message appeared: “Mark is in the hospital! Call me ASAP!”
“Hospital?” he murmured to himself, his focus now shifted from the meeting.
“Mr. Brown?” one of his executives interjected.
“Roger, take over this meeting. My son is in the hospital. I need to leave,” Taylor announced, rushing out of the conference room.
As he left, he felt his entire body trembling. Polly knew how much he disliked hospitals, so it had to be a serious issue for her to bring Mark there. Taylor quickly called her, learned the name of the hospital, and sped there with no traffic delays this time.
He parked his car hastily and hurried through the emergency doors, requesting assistance from the nurses. Eventually, he found Polly standing outside the operating room, with their other children, Jason and Mona, clinging to her legs in terror.
Distraught, Taylor inquired about Mark’s whereabouts. “What happened? Where is Mark?” he asked.
Polly, sobbing, explained that Mark was currently in surgery, with a bleeding head injury. “He’s in surgery right now. Taylor, darling. It was bad. His head was bleeding,” she said, causing the younger children to cry as well.
Despite his own anxiety, Taylor attempted to calm his family. “It’s okay, it’s okay. Everything will be alright. Mark is in good hands,” he repeated to himself.
After a few hours, the surgeon emerged, and they all waited anxiously for news. “The surgery went well. Your son is recovering in the ICU. We won’t know more about his situation until he wakes up, but the margins look good,” the physician informed them. “We’re moving him now. But we’ll let you know when you can see him.”
Overcome with emotion, Polly knelt down and told her children that their older brother had made it. Meanwhile, Taylor approached the doctor for further information. “Be straight with me, Doc. Is Mark really alright?” he asked in a hushed tone.
The physician assured him that Mark was indeed doing well, but only because he had arrived in time. “Yes, he is, sir,” the doctor nodded. “But it’s only because he got here in time. We heard about the crazy traffic jam earlier, and if they had taken longer, we might be having a different conversation.”
Taylor was taken aback by the mention of a traffic jam. He thought to himself, “A traffic jam?” in surprise, as the doctor patted his shoulder and walked back into the restricted area.
Turning to his wife, who had regained some composure, Taylor asked, “Polly, were you caught in the traffic jam this morning?”
Polly recounted her experience with worry, explaining that the traffic had not moved for a while. “Oh yeah. I was so worried. It was not moving at all for some time. The driver even got out and, apparently, fought with someone who refused to move their car. Who does that?” she exclaimed, appalled by the lack of consideration for emergency situations. “But the driver got in, rode the ambulance through a sidewalk or something – I was scared for a second – but he got us here as quickly as he could. What a champ.”
Unaware of Taylor’s reaction, Polly suggested that they go get some snacks for the kids from the vending machine while they waited to see their son. “Kids, let’s go get some snacks from the vending machine. We’ll have to wait some more to see your brother,” she said, looking back at Taylor.
Feeling overwhelmed, Taylor asked his family to go ahead without him. “Go. I’ll stay here just in case,” he said.
As Polly and the kids left, Taylor sank into one of the chairs and stared at the wall.
He was tormented by the realization that he had delayed the ambulance, potentially putting his son’s life in danger. The only reason Mark was alive was because the ambulance driver had found a way to maneuver through the traffic. Taylor felt like he was still in hell.
Tears streamed down Taylor’s face uncontrollably. His chest tightened, making it difficult to breathe as he placed his head in his hands and wept. The weight of the realization that he was to blame for his son’s condition was crushing. He regretted refusing a nanny, not moving for the ambulance, and ignoring his wife’s calls.
As Polly returned and hugged him, she whispered his name, trying to console him. “Taylor, Kids, come hug your Daddy,” she said, beckoning their children to come over and embrace him.
The youngest children hugged him tightly as he struggled to stifle his sobs, but it was a difficult task.
In a small, comforting voice, their youngest daughter assured him, “Mark will wake up soon, Daddy,” and finally, Taylor began to calm down. Although the guilt would never fully dissipate, he eventually managed to stop crying uncontrollably.
The family visited Mark an hour later, and to their relief, the boy had woken up. The doctors checked his motor skills, and he even spoke a few words before drifting off to sleep again. The surgeon confirmed that he was out of danger and informed the family that they would move him from the ICU to a regular room soon.
Once Mark was settled in a normal room and surrounded by his loved ones, Taylor went to talk to one of the nurses. He asked to see the person who drove the ambulance that brought Mark to the hospital.
“His name is James, and you’ll probably find him outside where the ambulances are parked when they’re not dispatched,” the nurse informed him, and Taylor left the room to look for James.
When he found him, the old man recognized Taylor despite the chaos of that morning.
“Wait a minute. Aren’t you the guy who wouldn’t move his car?” James accused, pointing his finger at Taylor. But Taylor approached him anyway and hugged him, causing James to resist until Taylor spoke.
“I’m sorry. Thank you. Thank you for doing your best. It was my son. You were bringing my son here, and I… I was such an idiot. I’m so sorry. I could’ve lost everything,” Taylor apologized, and the old man relented, patting Taylor’s back.
“How is the boy?” Taylor asked, his eyes welling up with tears.
“He’s doing well, sir. He woke up and spoke a little before falling asleep again. The doctors say he will make a full recovery,” James replied, smiling kindly at Taylor.
“I’m so grateful. You saved my son’s life,” Taylor said, his voice breaking.
“It’s all part of the job, sir. I’m just glad I could help,” James said humbly.
Taylor hesitated for a moment before speaking again. “Can I ask you something? Why are you still working as an ambulance driver?”
“I need the money, sir. My wife needs surgery for her hip, and retiring is not an option for us right now,” James explained.
Taylor thought for a moment before making an offer. “How about you become my driver? I work for a company that provides personal transportation, and I can offer you more than triple your current salary.”
James looked at Taylor in surprise. “Are you serious?”
“Yes, I am. You’ve proven that you’re an excellent driver, and I could really use someone reliable like you on my team,” Taylor said earnestly.
After thinking it over for a while, James agreed to Taylor’s offer. He worked for two more weeks at the hospital before starting his new job as Taylor’s driver. Taylor soon realized how convenient it was to have a reliable driver and wondered why he hadn’t thought of it before.
After Mark was released from the hospital, James stepped in to assist him and Polly. He ran errands, did grocery shopping, looked after the children whenever possible, and drove Taylor around. With time, the elderly man had accumulated enough funds to finance his wife Helena’s surgery.
Taylor granted James as much paid leave as he needed and made hospital visits. Once James’ spouse recuperated, Taylor proposed another idea.
“James, would Helena be interested in working as our nanny? How do you feel about that?” Taylor inquired from the backseat. James glanced at him briefly before nodding.
“She would love that. She adores kids. We never had any of our own. It wasn’t in God’s plans, but she’d love it. Would you really hire her, sir?” James inquired, grateful.
“Oh, yes. My wife requires assistance,” Taylor stated and gazed out the car window with a grin.
He realized after Mark’s incident that there was no point in having money if it wasn’t used to benefit your family. You had to savor the fruits of your labor and make your loved ones content. Furthermore, his contempt for physicians had entirely dissipated.
He still harbored resentment toward the one who had failed to diagnose his mother correctly, but the negligence of one person should not reflect on the whole profession. Everyone, including the ambulance driver, had worked hard to save Mark, and they had done a fantastic job.
Taylor became a hospital benefactor, providing grants to help underprivileged children receive surgical procedures. Meanwhile, James and Helena continued to work for Taylor’s family, and the children adored them. Polly was flourishing at work and no longer fainting.
Whenever an ambulance passed by, Taylor was always the first to pull over. He would never make that mistake again.