Her heart was pounding in her ears as she ran, the drumming echoing the sounds of her feet hitting the ground. Some people stared at her as she passed, her long hair flowing out behind. Others would yell for her to slow down as she darted across the road, narrowly avoiding the cars and missing the irony that anyone could have hit and killed her.

Still she ran, ignoring the stitch and the cries from people asking what was wrong.

She could not stop.

Above all, she had to find him; she could not let her mother down.


Meanwhile, just one street away from her destination, a street she had not yet reached, a man was walking slowly along, enjoying the warm breeze blowing in from the sea and the refreshing day.

He was unaware of the events inside his body until a strange pain seized his chest.

The street around him was busy with people going to work in the early hours. Even as he fell to the floor, people ignored him. His clothes were too tatty, his beard unshaved, and no one had the time to help.

So he lay there in pain, eyes shut tightly, hoping, praying that someone would stop.

No one did.

He paid no attention to the crashing of feet, knowing that whoever was running would most likely just rush past him, leaving him there on the ground. The slap slap on concrete passed him, but he heard it stop nearby, turning and coming back.

"Are you OK mister?"

He opened his eyes to see a young girl; 12 or 13, pale face flushed with the running, speaking quickly and looking like she was in a hurry. She gazed around her, as if hoping someone would stop and take care of this man.

"I...I think I've had a heart attack." He gasped out against the pain, unable to move his body, only able to move his eyes. "Do you...a mobile...ambulance..."

"I don't have a mobile sir." Her voice rose in pitch, still gazing around and he felt sorry for the poor girl; she was panicking, he could tell.

"I do." He gasped. "Right...right pocket...there's a good girl..."

She dialled the number quickly, and a few times the woman on the other end had to tell her to calm down, slow down, she couldn't understand what she was saying when she spoke so quickly. Finally the call was made, and the girl slid the phone back into the pocket.

"You'll be OK now. The ambulance is on its way." She stood up, began to run again.

He nodded, closing his eyes and waiting for the paramedics.

Suddenly she was back, holding his hand. "Don't close your eyes." She muttered. "Please don't. It's scary."

His eyes opened and he smiled up at her. "Thank you."

"I couldn't just leave you here." He could tell her smile was forced. "I mean...what if something happened to you when I went? I need to stay."

His smile grew; despite the fact that he knew she was reassuring herself as much as him.

"What school..." He couldn't finish the question, but she knew what he was asking and she answered him.

"My favourite class is drama." She told him, second guessing the next question and thinking that he'd maybe need to focus on something. "Drama, followed by English. Hey! We always have to write something about our weekend in English. I'll have something exciting to tell."

She continued talking for the next 15 minutes, until they heard the high pitched ambulance siren. The vehicle pulled up alongside them, and the paramedics leapt out, one of them calling the girl by her name.

"Amber?" She bent down beside the man. "What are you doing here? Where's your father?"

"I was on my way to get him." She replied, rubbing her cheek. "But this man...he needed my help."

"What's your name?" The paramedic turned to the man.

"Charles Lake." He reached up and squeezed Amber's hand. "Thank you Amber."

"That's OK Mr Lake."

"Amber, go get your father. Your mother's at the hospital."

"OK." She stood up, as Mr Lake gazed at her. Amber blushed. "My mother's about to give birth."

"And she wants her daughter and husband there." The paramedic continued, as they lifted Mr Lake on the stretcher.

"I'll come visit you Mr Lake."

He nodded slowly, raising a hand in a farewell gesture, unable to stop himself smiling as the girl turned and continued to run.