Break Free chapter 8

Posted on 6:41 PM | By Biki Honko | In

Dr. Bettia Noel and Bob walked into Soah's room, Sam was still there, sitting on a stool next to her head, singing softly to her, stroking and patting any where he thought it wouldn't hurt her.  Soah had drifted off to sleep about 15 minutes ago, and Sam was both pleased that the doctors and came back to take care of her, and upset, because he felt sleep would be good for Soah.  He motioned that she was sleeping, hoping that the doctors would be quiet and she could continue to sleep.

Dr. Noel nodded her head at Sam, and walked over to Soah.  Carefully she lifted the sheet from her back, shock splashed across Bettia's face.  Bettia had been a doctor for 35 years, and the years were starting to show on her beautiful face. Her closely cut hair, showed off her the lovely shape of her head, sparkling brown eyes, and a coffee with cream complexion.  Pulling a pair of glasses from her pocket, she leaned down to examine Soah.  Finishing up, she carefully covered Soah back up, nodded and smiled at Sam, and motioned for Bob to follow her into the hallway.

They were silent as they walked to an office. Closing the door, Bettia said, "Bob that girl is a mess!  Should I look over her front, or is it only her back, butt, thighs and arm I need to be concerned about?  It was good that a relative is there for her, she must be in great pain and scared."

"Relative?  Oh, you mean Sam.  No, he is one of the E.M.T.'s who brought her in, she became attached to him, and didn't want him to leave.  He kept her calm, and made it easier to work on her.  I didn't want to give her any pain meds until consulting with you.  Does she need to have those burns surgically abraded?  Her front has small infections only at the wound sites, it hasn't spread into the surrounding tissues, as it has on her back."

"Yes, we need to call up stairs and see when the next available surgery suite is open, the sooner the better.  Who will sign the consent forms?  I assume it was her parents who did this, right?  Has child protection be contacted yet?  This could be considered an emergency, we could just go ahead with the procedure."

"They are supposedly on their way.  We really need to wait as long as possible for the police to arrive.  I want this well documented!  Those poor excuses for parents are going to jail for a very long time, if I have anything to do with it."

Bob's pager tweeted again.  He pulled it out, and smiled, "Hey the party is starting, everyone has shown up at once, let's go!"

Waiting in the hall were two uniformed police men, and a nervous looking woman.  After quick introductions were made, Sgt. Milner and Coats, and Kim Daine, started to step into Soah's room. "Just a minute, please everyone.  Soah is very fragile mentally, keep your volume low, and try to keep as calm as possible.  There is a E.M.T. in the room with her, Sam Jenkins, that she bonded to, and he is keeping her soothed.  He will not be leaving.  Work around him. But, if you raise your voice or move to quickly, not only will you scare her, but if she flinches away from you, it will cause her immense pain.  What you are about to see is not a pretty sight.  She does have extensive bruising and cuts on her front, but her back is such a mess we would rather not have to roll her over to have it photographed.  She will be having surgical abrasion done as soon as possible, when she is out, you can get the rest of the pictures you need.  Does everyone understand, and are willing to cooperate to help this poor girl?"  Bob realized that his voice was louder than usual, but he was not taking any chances of Soah being bullied by either group.

Sgt. Milner looked at his partner, received a nod, and spoke, "Yes, we can work around the access you provide.  While we are waiting to take the rest of the photographs, we can interview the witness we were told are waiting for us."

"Is this all of the contact information that was gathered on her?"  Kim was worried about what she was going to see.  This was her first case on her own, and wanted desperately to not let this child down.

Bettia opened the door and they all quietly filed in.  Soah was still sleeping, Sam was relieved to see that the police had finally arrived.  Hopefully her hideous parents would be inside a jail cell by the end of the day.  Looking at both of the doctors he received the nod that he could stay.  He let out a breath he did not even know he was holding. Bob and Bettia carefully lifted the sheet to expose Soah's back.  Kim gasped in shock, her color drained from her face, and she back pedaled away from the table, stumbling into a chair.

Speaking quietly to each other, the sergeants quickly started to work.  After getting every angle they could, they then began checking the digital pictures, for clarity, and focus.  This would be their only chance to take  pictures before any real work had been done on her injuries.  Satisfied with  the quality of the photos, they quickly packed up.

Speaking quietly to both of the doctors Cooper Milner asked, "Is there any chance that we could talk to her today?  Or should we wait?  Honestly, if she will tell us that her parents did this, it will help us to arrest them possibly today."

Sam spoke up, "Just one of you speak to her, sit down, and don't move around much.  Use a very calm and quiet tone of voice, and try to smile at her.  I think we need to get her to talk as soon as possible.  I am afraid she is going to clam up later on. And no, I don't have any authority to answer you.  However, while I was sitting here and watched over her, trying to comfort her, she became my daughter."  He looked at Kim, and asked, "Is there any way my wife and I could get custody of this child?"

"There is already a family wanting custody of her.  You and your wife can put in your application along with the other family, and we will choose who we think will be the right parents for her."  Kim was delighted that she wouldn't be going into foster care.  One of these two families should pass the screening process, and she would have a family that cared for her.

"Well Doc?  Will you give your ok for one of us to talk to her?"  Cooper agreed with Sam that she needed to start talking about what happened and soon.

"Keep it short, don't push her.  Whatever she tells you is good enough for today.  I would hope she will tell you enough for you to arrest her parents today.  But, if not, it will have to be enough until she is ready and able to talk.  I think Sam has the right idea on how to approach her.  We will stop the interview if we feel that this is harmful for her.  Just one of you will talk to her, not both.  This is going to be hard enough for her, without having to deal with two people questioning her."

After a quick conference between the two sergeants, they decided that Cooper would ask the questions and Lyle would take notes, and record their conversation.  Cooper pushed over a stool close to the bed, and got comfortable, trying to remind himself to keep his voice down and keep his movement to a minimum.

Seeing Cooper and Lyle were ready, Sam leaned further down to Soah's ear and said,  "Soah baby, ya need to wake up now honey.  There is someone who needs to talk to you."  Sam stopped stroking her hair, and was gently patting her cheek.  "Baby girl, wake up now."   Soah slowly opened her eyes, and looked up at Sam.  Sam grinned at her, "That's my girl!  There is a nice man who wants to talk to you.  Now, don't you worry, I will be right here with you."

 "Hello Soah, my name is Sgt. Cooper Milner.  I need to talk with you, ask you a few questions.  Can you do that for me today?"   Soah looked at Cooper for a while, he had a wide ruddy face, covered in freckles, and topped with a shock of almost orange hair.  His blue eyes looked kind, and his smile seemed real.  Sam leaned down into Soah's view, and nodded his head, letting her know,  that Cooper was safe for her to talk to.

"...yes..."  Soah's voice was raspy and she was speaking just barely above a whisper.

"Can you tell me your full name and address, please?"

"Soah Mae Helms. 4882 Maple Street.  I am 15."

"Good, I need your birthday also."

"January 10, 1994."

"I need you to tell me about your burns.  Who did this to you, and what did they use?"  Cooper knew that she had been burned with an iron, but if she told him that with several witnesses it would help lock up the case.  Give her parents less wiggle room.

Tears burst from her eyes, and streamed down her face.  Sam starting stroking her hair, he leaned over and speaking softly into her ear said,  "Baby girl, if you don't want to be hurt again, you need to talk to the nice police man.  He is trying to help you.  Come on sweetie, and talk to him."  Sam leaned into her vision and smiled gently.

"My...mom...she bur....burned....me.......with the.......iron."   Sam kissed her forehead, and kept on stroking her hair, trying to calm her down.  He wanted her to tell Cooper as much as she possibly could.

" Can you tell me who whipped you?  When did that happen?"  Cooper was finding it hard to control his emotions.  How could anyone do this to their own child?

"...they.. they both did it.   It started the day I went to the skate park."

"Started?  What does that mean, started?  Can you tell me what day you went to the skate park?"

"...umm, well, I didn't get home in time from going to the skate park, so I couldn't get all of my chores done before they got home.  She caught me still ironing.......and....and...."  Soah was crying to hard to talk.  She took a large shuddering breath, and words just came tumbling from her lips.  "She beat me.  And when I couldn't stop crying my dad, came in and beat me.  They kept doing it over and over.  This has been going on forever!"  Soah started screaming, "No more! Don't ask me any more!!"

Dr. Pressler came quickly over to Soah, and injected a sedative into her I.V.  Sam was stroking her head, kissing her cheek, but she could not be comforted.  The sedative quickly took effect and she slid into a drugged sleep.  Sam sat holding her hand, tears running down his face, completely unnoticed by him.  Silence enveloped the room, everyone was shell shocked by Soah's words.  Into the quiet, the phone shrilled, startling  everyone causing them to jump.  A nervous laugh circled the room, as Bob answered the phone, "Yes, good, we will bring her right up. Suite 8? Yes."

"I take it that is my call to get busy and try to heal this child?"  Bettia pulled the rail up and began unlocking the bed when the orderlies came into the room.  One of them handed Bettia a clipboard for her to check over and sign. She pulled a pen from her lab coat, and scribbled her name on it.  "Let's get this child to surgery, guys.  Bob, do you want to observe?"

"Yes, let me introduce the officers to the folks in the waiting room, and I will be right up, please don't wait for me to arrive for you to begin.  Officers, Ms. Daine, will you please follow me?"

"Ms. Daine, could I come with you I want to talk more in depth  about having Soah live with us.  Of course maybe I should talk to the wife first huh?"

"I would love for you to put your application in for custody of Soah, she has really bonded quickly with you, and we prefer if the child has an emotional attachment to their custodial parents.  Please call your wife, and meet me in the conference area."  Kim smiled at Sam, she was impressed at how tender he had treated her, he obviously had become attached to Soah.  Shaking hands with Sam, she followed Dr. Pressler and the officers out of the room.

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