He just wasn’t sure if Evelyn reciprocated those feelings.
She was holding back. She was hiding something. And until she opened up he wasn’t sure she’d let him in. And he had to protect Mo from getting hurt.
He got himself and Mo up and dressed and then drove to drop Mo at Edna’s. As he walked back towards the front of the clinic he saw a person crossing the road. Before he could figure out who it was the person collapsed in a heap.
“Oh, my God!”
Derek ran over and saw it was Jocelyn Washington. She was unconscious.
“Hold on, Jocelyn!” He assessed her ABCs and saw there was a laceration to her head that was bleeding.
Tim ran out of the clinic, having been watching from the window. “What happened?”
“Jocelyn fainted. We need a backboard. Help Evelyn bring one out.”
Tim nodded and ran off. Evelyn came outside within a few minutes, carrying a backboard with Tim.
“Great,” Derek said.
“I saw the whole thing happen.” Evelyn looked down at Jocelyn and paused. “She just collapsed.”
“She’s okay. I don’t think she hit her head too hard. Now, why she fainted is another matter.”
“This street is where my father died,” she muttered as she helped Derek assess Jocelyn and then together they lifted her onto the backboard and carried her into the clinic.
“This is not your father, Evelyn. Jocelyn was not hit by a car.”
Evelyn nodded and they carried Jocelyn into an exam room.
Jocelyn was coming to, groaning in pain.
“Jocelyn—it’s Dr. Taylor. You fainted in the street and hit your head pretty bad.”
Jocelyn didn’t respond and Derek checked her pupils. They were reactive.
“She probably has a concussion,” Evelyn said.
Tim came in and Evelyn stepped back, because Tim had more training in emergency medicine than she did.
“Abdomen is soft.”
Jocelyn came around. “What happened?”
“You fainted in the street.”
“Oh, my God.” She tried to sit up.
“Don’t move, Jocelyn. You hit your head hard and probably have a concussion. Lie still. We’re going to get you taken care of.”
Jocelyn nodded. She was in shock.
“Evelyn?” Jocelyn whispered.
Evelyn nodded, but Jocelyn still appeared stunned.
“Evelyn!” Jocelyn shouted as she stared at her with a dazed expression.
“Yes?” Evelyn said.
“I loved your father.”
“I know,” she said.
“He loved you more. That night he was distracted because you were upset about us. He wanted to get back to you and he didn’t pay attention crossing the road. The ring he bought me—I had to sell it because I was alone and pregnant after he died. You were more important to him. It was your fault. All of it.”
“Hey, now,” Derek said to Jocelyn. “You need to stop talking.”
Evelyn’s cheeks were flushed with embarrassment as she left the exam room.
Jocelyn settled down and drifted off. Definitely a concussion.
“You got this, Tim?” Derek asked. “I’m going to call Jocelyn’s family and let them know where she is.”
Tim nodded. “Yep. I got this.”
Derek left the room and found Evelyn in the storeroom, pacing.
“Hey, what she said…she has a concussion.”
“I know, but it’s got a lot of truth to it,” Evelyn said. “I didn’t know he’d asked her to marry him. But I knew he wanted to, and I was upset that night he left. I’ve blamed myself for so long for his death. I didn’t realize she blamed me as well.”
Evelyn shrugged. “Well, it’s not going to bring my father back.”
She sighed. “I called Juneau General and they’re going to send a replacement OB/GYN out here to finish off my rotation.”
Derek was stunned. “What?”
“I have to go,” Evelyn said quickly. “I can’t stay here.”
“You can finish out your rotation.”
“No, I can’t. I have to get out of here. I can’t live in the past. I have to move on. I have to forget about this place. I’ve done too much damage.”
“What’re you talking about?”
Evelyn sighed. “I told you that Martha Washington is my half sister. Because of me not wanting my dad to marry Jocelyn he was killed that night. It was always bad enough that I ruined two lives—but three? I have to leave before I hurt them further.”
“What?” Derek was in shock, blocking her escape from the storeroom. “You’re leaving?”
“I can’t stay.”
“Why? What about your family here?”