PART ONE: SUMMER 1989
Chapter Five: Alan Garcia
In the room, something stirred.
Faint and hesitant to begin with, fingers reached out in search of
reassurance, in search of something or someone to help them. Lips
parted to speak, but words were not coherent and eyes fluttered open
without registering more than an initial blur of colour.
And still there was silence.
It had been a bare twenty four hours now since she had been taken off
the rasping, regulating ventilator and had been permitted the right to
breathe on her own. Every breath was a painful victory and, determined,
she continued to drag air into her beaten lungs.
Now, slowly, piece by piece, brief flashes of vision and memory were
beginning to return to her in shards. Quietly she lay there, trying to
piece all together. A swerving car, a mistaken turning, a crunching,
swirl of images then a shock of pain and darkness.
What did it all mean?
A voice came from the doorway, startling each one of her senses in turn
and she turned a pair of confused, indignant green eyes on him. She
tried to speak, but the pain was too great for her to do anything but
croak and the words in her befuddled brain would not form how she
wanted them to.
Her visitor smiled.
"Lost for words?" he observed lightly, an amused expression on his face
as he approached the bed, lifting the clipboard from the end and
skimming it's contents over. "I understand that that's something of a
novelty for you, Miss Gabor."
Now it was coming back to her, now she knew who she was! Phyllis Gabor,
daughter of a billionaire, Pizzazz of the Misfits, vibrant, independant
and defiant. She tried to raise herself, but her body refused to comply
frustration overwhelmed her. What had happened to her? Why could she
do even the simplest thing?
"Now, now, you mustn't." The stranger reproached her. "You're too
delicate yet to begin to think about getting up."
He sat down beside her bed, interpreting the mutinous look in her eyes
and smiling gently at her.
"I know, it sucks and I'm sorry, but it's still true." he said softly.
"You've had a nasty accident, Miss Gabor, and you're in hospital. You
crashed your car, and we've had to operate to save your lung and your
life. You've been sleeping and doing well for the past six days, but we
that, since you were making such good progress, we'd take you off the
sedatory drugs and assess your mental strength and health. Well, are
you following all that? Do you remember the accident?"
Pizzazz sent him a look of pure hate, and he laughed.
"Oh, I'm sorry." He said sheepishly. "I'm just the bringer of bad
tidings, but I know you must be annoyed. You're doing well, though, I
promise. I'm pleased with you." he paused, then, "Oh, by the way, I'm
Alan Garcia. I'm your doctor and surgeon, and we'll be seeing something
of each other till you're discharged, so I suppose you'd better know my
The derision in his patient's eyes told the doctor that she was fully
aware of what was going on around her, if a little bewildered still
from the anaesthetic and continued sedation. He smiled.
"Good. I'm glad to see you can hate me, it means we're on the right
road." he told her amiably. "In my experience the worst patients are
usually the ones who make the speediest recovery."
He went to leave, then in the doorway he paused.
"Oh...by the way. Your friend that was in the car with you - Miss
Burns? She's fine. Just in case you were wondering."
Then he was gone, leaving the invalid to piece together her memory as
much as she could..
Yes, she remembered the accident, at least, she remembered parts of it.
And she hadn't remembered that Jetta had been with her, but now she
realised that the English girl had indeed been there, and was glad of
the doctor's reassurances. Yes, she was annoyed that she had been hurt
and Jetta had
apparently gotten off scot free, but at least her companion was alive
infuriating as Jetta had become, Pizzazz had no mind to be facing a
She closed her eyes, trying to shift her heavy body into a more
comfortable position without sending bolts of pain through her aching
was bright enough to realise that the doctor had glossed her injuries
that they had been serious, yet she did not feel afraid. She was angry,
but not afraid. Death was not an option in her mind, she was far more
with how to teach the offhand doctor some respect.
The door swung open again, and Pizzazz opened her eyes at the noise,
directing her glance towards the figure as if preparing to glare once
at any hapless medical staff. However, the visitor was her father, and
the expression on his face she knew he was worried.
Somehow, this touched her and she managed a smile. He was there to see
her, and evidently the bonds they had begun to reforge were still
holding strong, because he did not look like he had slept much over the
last week of her illness. He came to the bed, returning her smile with
a slight one of his own and taking her hand in his gently.
"Hello Phyllis." He murmured. "I cant stay long, doctor says you're not
ready for long visits yet, but I wanted to see you anyway." He reached
up to brush wisps of hair from her eyes, and sighed. "I'm glad to see
you awake. You don't know how I've worried that my girl was going to be
taken from me for good."
Pizzazz wet her lips, then, mindful of the pain in her chest she opened
her mouth to speak.
"I ain't dying." She whispered. "Daddy I don't like it here...the
"Dr Garcia is the best specialist in the city, darling." Harvey told
her gently. "When you came in, well, your chances were only so-so but
done a miraculous job and you're doing so well. I've made sure that
know you're to be given every possible help and treatment to get you
as fast and as painfree as possible, so don't fret. I'll make sure they
look after you."
Pizzazz frowned. How could she explain to her father, when it hurt her
so much to speak much as it was? She didn't even know what it was about
Dr Garcia she hadn't liked, only that his manner had offended her. He
not recognised her importance, perhaps that was it. She was a
another insignificant being. She was a star and she was rich. She
his respect, not his teasing.
"Are you in pain, sweetheart?" Harvey eyed her anxiously.
"Some." Pizzazz admitted.
"Well, then I'll get someone on it right away." Harvey told her. "And
listen, you shouldn't be speaking at the moment, not when you're so
weak still. You rest, and I'll go and see about painkillers. Everything
fine...you just get some rest and I'll see you tomorrow when you're
Before she could protest he was gone on his errand, clearly determined
to stop his daughter's suffering but not realising that, given the
choice, she would rather take his company over another shot of
morphine. She was not to know how Harvey had harangued the staff till
they had let him see
her, and in the end they had only given way on the condition that it
be 'just a peep'
A nurse soon entered to administer pain relieving drugs, and, already
groggy she allowed the sleepy feeling to encompass her once more.
when she woke up she'd feel better, and more able to take charge of the
As she drifted off to sleep, she was not aware of eyes on her once
"Well, I'm very encouraged." Dr Garcia murmured to the nurse. "She's
clearly with it and ready to fight."
"I think she might be a troublesome patient, Dr G." The nurse cast him
a cheeky smile. "Phyllis Gabor? Talk about a big fish!"
"Yes, and between her and her father I have no doubt we'll get no
peace." Alan grinned. "I'm glad of it, too. Lively patients are much