Faith whipped into the drive. She jumped from her pickup, strode to the side door, and knocked. No answer. She pulled out her cell and tried again. It rang and rang, then went straight to the voicemail. This time, she hung up without leaving a message.
She yanked the screen door, and it flew open, unlatched. The door knob turned, and she shoved the door open and yelled, “Matt, are you there?”
No response. She briskly marched through the house and called his name. She checked each room. In Matt’s office, the swivel chair faced the door. Blood spotted it. Faith’s heart lurched. Oh, God, please don’t let me be too late. She spotted blood droplets on the carpet and followed them back through the kitchen and to the garage. Matt’s truck ran. Dear God, what will I find when I open this door? Please let me be in time. Why didn’t Matt use his pistol?
Faith jerked the garage door, but it wouldn’t budge. She ran to the kitchen and hit the automatic door opener. The door slowly opened. She raced inside the garage, and the gas fumes nearly knocked her out. She coughed and held her nose with one hand. Her eyes burned, but she yanked open the driver’s truck door. Matt tumbled out.
She let go of her nose and turned off the truck. Faith slid her arms under Matt’s and locked her hands in front of his chest. She hefted. He didn’t budge. She had to get him out of there. Now. No time to waste. She hauled in a breath, grunted, and heaved. He lifted, and she pulled him toward the door. One foot. Two feet. Three more.
“Matt, we’re out of the garage.” Please, Lord, help me. She couldn’t drop him now. The outside air hit her face and tears of relief filled her eyes. She tenderly laid him on the grass by the side of the cement drive and yanked her cell from its holster. She dialed 911.
Assured the ambulance was on its way, Faith closed her phone and felt for his heartbeat. She rubbed her knuckles against his breast bone and stroked his face. So still. She touched his neck and held her breath. No response. She tilted his head and lifted his chin, then put her ear to his mouth and listened. Nothing. She looked for chest movement. Nothing. She listened for air blowing through his mouth or nose, or on her cheek. Nothing. He wasn’t going to die if she had anything to do with it.
She ran her tongue over her lip and tasted perspiration. Why did sweat always taste salty, and why would she even think to question that at a time like this? She took a quick, shallow breath and whispered, “Come on, Matt. Breathe! BREATHE!”
It’d been a long time since she’d trained for CPR. Would she remember what to do? A bluish pallor stole over Matt’s complexion, and his body became a dead weight. She had no time to lose.
Faith pinched his nose and made a seal over his mouth with her own. She breathed big enough to make his chest rise, let his chest fall, and repeated the rescue breath again. She listened for an intake of breath, an exhale, but the only sound was the pounding of her own heart in her ears.
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