Return of An Old Friend

By Rebecca

Sydney Hansen awoke to find herself in the hospital in a chair. She sat up and looked around. Then Lyndia appeared beside her.
"Mom, What's going on?" Syd asked. "What am I doing here?"
"You needed to be here honey," Lyndia said. "It's Kari she's not doing so well."
"What's wrong?" Syd asked wanting to know more about Kari.
"You'll see," Lyndia said and then disappeared.
"Mother," Syd screamed.

Syd awoke with a start. What did Mom mean? Was Kari in trouble? Then Syd heard a knock at the door.
"Come in," Syd called sitting up in bed.
Joanie opened the door and walked in. "Syd, Kari's on the phone."
"Thanks," Syd said putting on her robe and going into the kitchen. Syd picked up the phone. "Kari, hi what's up?"
"Syd, I'm so glad you're home. I'm coming back to Providence," Kari said. "I need to get away for awhile. Don't worry my treatment is going fine, I just need some time to relax."
"Great! When are you going to be here?" Syd asked walking into the living room.
"I'm on the plane right now," Kari said. "I hope you don't mind if I stay at your house?"
"No, of course not you're my best friend Kari," Syd said. "But I'm kind of using the guest house, but we have an extra bedroom."
"Great, I'll be there in about an hour, don't worry I"ve hired a limo to come pick me up at the airport. I'll just meet you at the clinic," Kari said.
"Great, bye," Syd said and hung up. Syd went back into the living room and hung up the phone on it's stand.
"What did Kari want?" Joanie asked as she fed Hannah.
"She's coming back to Providence," Syd said sitting down at the bar.

"Shouldn't you be doing cart wheels around the kitchen, your best friend is coming back home for no reason," Joanie said. She noticed the pained look on Syd's face. "What's wrong?"
"I jsut don't want her to know about what happened, with me in a coma," Syd said.
"Syd she's your best friend, you have to tell her," Joanie pleaded.
"Yeah, you're right," Syd said. "I"m going to go get dressed and head for the clinic. I'll see you tonight."
"Bye," Joanie called as Syd walked out the door.

When Syd got to the clinic an hour later she found Izzy at the front desk. "Morning."
"Hey," Izzy said following Syd back to the office.
"Guess what Kari King is coming back to Providence. Promise you won't tell anyone," Syd warned as she put up her coat on the coat rack and put on her lab coat.
"I promise," Izzy said. "When is her flight due in?"
"About now, she's going to meet me here," Syd said. "How many appointments are schelduled for this morning?"
"Three," Ixzy said. "When are you going to spend time with Kari?"
"Maybe this afternoon, if you don't need me?" Syd said as Izzy handed her a chart.
"Thirteen year old boy in three complaining of headaches, and cramps in his knees."
"Thanks,' Syd said and headed to tend to her first patient.

At the Barkary Joanie was filling jars with food when she saw Burt walk through the door. "Hi." Joanie closed the lid on the jar and kissed him lightly on the lips. "What are you doing here?"
"I thought I'd come by and see if you wanted to go to lunch with me? Kari King is in town and I thought we could meet her together?" Burt said.
"Actually I already know her, my sister Syd is best friends with her. They were best friends from fourth grade all the way through high school," Joanie said watching the reaction on Burt's face.
"Wow, that's awesome," Burt said. "Well, then maybe we can get a bite to eat tonight and go catch a movie?"
"Sure, see you tonight," Joanie said. "Don't you have to work tonight?"
"Nope," Burt said. "See ya."

Back at the clinic Syd was finishing examining a three year old with a cold when Izzy called her over to the phone.
"Dr. Hansen there's a phone call for you. It's the hospital," Ixzy said.
Syd excused herself from her patient and went to take the call. "Yes, this is Dr. Hansen." Syd listened closely. "Is she all right?" Syd craddled the phone in her ear. "I'll be there right away, thank you." Syd hung up the phone and put her head in her hands.
"Everything OK?" Ixzy asked.
"No, Kari King has been in a bad car accident. She was rushed to County Hospital a few minutes ago," Syd said going back to the office to retrieve her stuff. "Can you cover for me? I have to get down there."
"Sure, no problem, tell me how she is," Izzy called as Syd rushed out the door.

When Syd got to the hospital fifteen minutes later she rushed up to the nurses desk.
"Can I help you?" a nurse asked.
"I'm Dr. Sydney Hansen, I need information about Kari King?" Syd said.
"I"m sorry. but we aren't allowed to give out that kind of information unless you're a family member," the nurse said.
"No, you don't understand a doctor called me at the clinic a few minutes ago," Syd said trying not to lose her nerve.
"Let me check," the nurse said and started dialing on the phone. A few seconds later she put down the phone. "Doctor Hopper is expecting you, he's in ICU."
"Thank you," Syd said and raced toward the elevators. When Syd got to ICU she found Dr. Hopper in the hallway. "Dr. Hopper?"
"Dr. Hansen, I'm so glad you're here," Dr. Hopper said.
"How is she?" Syd asked.
"Let me just be honest with you, Kari has suffered a hematoma. It's decreased some since she was brought in but not much," Dr. Hopper said. He led Syd toward the CT room where Kari's CT results were being posted. "There's swelling around here, as you can see." Dr. Hopper pointed to all the areas of the brain affected.
"Can I see her?" Syd asked a few minutes later after Dr. Hopper had finished explaining the situation.
"Yes," Dr. Hopper said leading Syd toward Kari's room.
When Syd walked into the room where Kari lay she couldn't believe it. Her best friend was lying in a coma. Syd took Kari's hand. "I'm here Kari, everything is going to be all right." Syd sat down beside Kari's bed, tears streaming down her face.

Joanie was reading a book when the door to the Barkary opened. Joanie looked up to see her father. "Dad? What are you doing here?"
"Joanie I jsut received a call from the hospital, I don't know what has happened but some guy called and said we needed to get down there," JIm said.
"Oh, please don't let it be Syd," Joanie wailed.
"Joanie we can't assume the worst," Jim said.
Joanie grabbed her coat, closed the shop and twenty minutes later they were taking the elevator up to ICU. Joanie ran to the room number the nurse had given them. She went in and found no one there. Joanie saw someone lying on a bed with tubes all over them. "Dad?"
"Joanie," came Syd's voice from the far corner of the room.
"Syd what happened?" Joanie asked running over to her sister. "Is that Kari?"
"Yes, she was in a bad car accident on the way to get me from the clinic," Syd said trying not to break down in tears again. "I thought you'd might like to know."
"Syd thank goodness it wasn't you," Joanie said. She put an arm around Syd. "It's going to be OK, Kari is going to pull through this."
"I've never seen her like this," Syd said through her tears. "What if I lose my best friend?"
"Syd don't talk like that," Jim said bending down to hug Syd. "We're here sweetie, we're with you." Jim stood up again. "At least that time you were awake when I said that."
Syd stood up and went over to the bed. "Come on Kari, come back to us."

Over the next fourty eight hours Kari's conditon began to improve. Her eyes were starting to open a little and Syd thought she'd seen her hand move. Syd stayed by her side all the time, not wanting to let go of her hand. Jim, Joanie and Robbie tried to get Syd to go home and get some rest, but Syd was too stubburn. She wouldn't leave Kari.
"Syd is going to wear herself out," Joanie said two days later as Jim and she walked toward Kari's room. "She hasn't slept in days."
"I know, but she's stubburn, she won't leave Kari's side. Syd and Kari were like peanut butter and Jelly when they were little. In high school they did everything together," Jim said as they approached Kari's room. Jim pushed open the door and saw Syd by Kari's bed. "Syd?"
Syd looked up. "Hi." Syd let go of Kari's hand. "I know what you guys are going to say, I need sleep."
"Syd please," Jim pleaded. "At least go home for an hour."
"No, Dad," Syd snapped. Then they heard movement from Kari's bed.
"Syd?" Kari called weakly. "Syd?"
Syd rushed over to her friend's side. "Kari, I'm here, it's OK."
Kari opened her eyes and looked up at Syd. "What happened?"
"You were in a bad accident," Syd said taking Kari's hand in hers. "I'm so glad you're all right. I was so worried, and what are your fans going to think?"
Kari smiled and looked around. "How long have I been out of it?"
"Two days," Syd said. "I've been with you all this time." Syd pulled a chair beside Kari's bed. "You're going to be fine."

Dr. Hopper ran another CT and confermed that Kari had no brain damage. He said a miracle had taken place. Syd was happy that Kari was going to be OK. Ten days after Kari awoke from a coma she was released from the hospital.
"So, tell me, what have I missed?" Kari asked as she laid on the couch in the Hansen's living room.
"Well, you missed seeing me in a coma," Syd said.
"You wre in a coma?" Kari asked, surprised. "Are you OK?"
"Yeah, I'm fine," Syd said. "So, tell me about you. How are the treatments going?"
"Fine, listen Syd the reason I came back here is because I'm planning on moving back here."
"Really, oh Kari that's great," Syd said giving her friend a hug.

"Well, you certainally had a bumpy few days," Lyndia said appearing beside Syd on the bench outside in the back yard.
"Bumpy?" Syd asked.
"OK, tragic you like that better? I feel like I'm back in time, I'm saying the exact same thing I did when Lilly died."
"Are you going to tell me that things happen in threes?" Syd asked.
"No, but I am going to tell you this. Syd, just because Kari is moving back here doesn't mean that you're back in high school again."
"I know that," Syd said. "I'm jsut happy to have her in my life again."
"OK, have it your way," Lyndia said. "Just don't come crying to me when she steals your boyfriend."
"I don't have a boyfriend," Syd said.
"You will, and believe me Kari will want him. She hasn't changed Syd, and niether have you," Lyndia said and then disappeared.

Syd awoke with a start and smiled. It was good to have Kari back in her life again. At least she could be a kid again. Syd smiled and rolled over, thinking about what lay ahead.


2000 Rebecca

DISCLAIMER: Characters mentioned in this story that have appeared in the NBC series "Providence" are the property of National Broadcasting Company. No copyright infringement is intended.