“Click”. Sarab clicked a button on his watch and set the timer, 30 minutes. Today Sarab wanted to see how strong his love was, today he was going to test himself and see if the women he longed for so long, the women he loves more than himself, the women without whom his world is incomplete, without whom he’s incomplete, if he can find her in the next 30 minutes. Sarab knew that while all the hospitals doctors, nurses and receptionists were out there looking he couldn’t rely on anyone else, he would have to find his Meherji himself. Sarab ran outside the meeting room and pressed at the elevators button, seeing the elevator was still 2 floors above him, Sarab turned and made a run towards the staircase refusing to waste a single second. Skipping every other staircase step Sarab ran on his way down to the floor above the parking garage. Sarab didnt know if it was his high heartbeat, his stress or simply the running but suddenly his suit jacket felt very suffocating. Sarab had neglected himself for so long that his health started catching up to him, he felt winded after running for just a few minutes. His lack of healthy eating and sleep over the past month or so now showed their effects. “Not now Sarab” Sarab told himself as he removed his jacket and threw it aside, “now is not the time to feel tired or sick”. Continuing his run, Sarab opened the stair case door turned the corner and slammed open the dispatch room. This was the room where the hospitals and the ambulance service Sarab and Meher had started ran from. This is where the ambulance routes were given along with a precise monitoring system. Every patient or any emergency that needed an ambulance was called in here and the operators would dispatch an ambulance closest to their location. Sarab knew that typical hospital discharge tests did not take that long, if Fateh and Tejo were waiting outside his meeting room for around an hour and Meherji had been transferred to a clinic before they arrived then her tests must have been done and she should already be on her way back from the clinic, hence Sarab decided to focus on the ambulances. Rolling up his sleeves he walked over to the shocked operators, “I need your computer and your help NOW! he said loudly. The operators had never seen anyone storm in like that but they knew who Sarab was and the last thing they were going to do is argue with him. They moved aside and Sarab sat down, “I need a list of everyone who has been transferred from this hospital to one of our clinics this morning” he began slowly but seriously. The computer gathered a long list, 112 selected, Sarab glanced through and saw that it included transfers from early as 6 AM “Select transfers from the past three hours” he continued, the list got shorter, 26 selected. “Now select only the transfers who went for discharge tests”, the list grew shorter, 8 selected. “Now select only the females” the operator looked at Sarab confused, “I said select only the females” Sarab said again this time anger clearly building up in his eyes. The operator followed after a quick apology. The list got shorter, 3 selected. Sarab eyed the three remaining transfers on the computer and he quickly took over and clicked at the first, it was some female in her 60s, “no” Sarab thought, he quickly clicked on the second one and saw it was a young girl in her teens, “not this one either”, Sarab closed his eyes and quickly said a quick prayer to his god to help him and prayed for the last one on the computer to please be his Meherji. With shaking hands and a heartbeat that could beat Usain Bolt, Sarab clicked on the last transfer, it was a female in her late twenties. “Meherji” Sarab said quietly, it was barely a whisper but he said it so lovingly that it caused even the operators to look at Sarab, they didn’t know what was so special about the screen. They looked at the computer to see if it was anything different than what they normally see everyday but it was the same, the same plain white screen with small ant sized writing, there was a description of the patient and the procedure they were having and information about the pick up and drop off. They looked at each other and shrugged their shoulders equally confused at what was going on, unaware of what the owner had found on this screen. They continued to look at Sarab as he stared at the screen like it was made of gold or as if it had just told him the location of some precious treasure, they wondered if the man who stormed in with his death stare was the same man who now touched the computer screen and smiled from ear to ear. Sarab looked at the computer screen as if it had just leased him a new life, he touched Meher’s description and quickly got back to work. He saw that the ambulance had left the health clinic, and under the live route update saw that it was on the highway near the hospital, he also saw the red line highlighting the route, indicating that there was a traffic jam on the highway. Quickly jumping to his feet Sarab picked up the telephone near the computer and called his cellphone, picking up his cellphone he looked at the operator, this time he spoke a bit more softly “This is my wife that I have been looking for for several weeks, I am going to stay on the line while I go to her, you will keep me updated with every second of this ambulance’s movement, if it moves an inch, I want to know, if it stops, I want to know, if it turns, I want to know, hell if it moves a centimeter..” Sarab paused looking at the operators “you want to know” they finished together, the serious death stare was back in Sarab’s eyes and the last thing the operators wanted to do is argue with him, “good” Sarab finished as he turned on his heels and ran back up the staircase. The operators quickly got to work monitoring the ambulances movement, they tried calling the ambulance but due to maybe a high traffic network issue, the call did not go through.
Running up the stairs, Sarab glanced at his watch, he still had 23 minutes. He knew he had found his Meherji, but he would not stop till he saw her, his heart told him the computer was correct and that this had to be her, but Sarab would take no risks, he didnt want to slow down, he didnt want to stop his momentum. Even as Sahil came running beside him, Sarab didnt slow down, he cut everyone in front of him and ran outside the hospital. With Sahil following suite “Sir Meher ma’am was taken to..” “I know” Sarab cut him off, “her ambulance is on the highway in the traffic jam right now.” “Sir do you want me to get your car” asked Sahil slowly running out of breath? “No I don’t have time for that, to get to the highway in our car we’ll have to drive around and use the ramp, and how will we drive in the traffic” continued Sarab as he ran, almost tripping over a bottle on the road. “Careful sir” said Sahil, “I don’t have time to be careful Sahil, I need to get to the highway now” continued Sarab running out of breath himself. With sweat running down his forehead, his turban was also slightly wet, Sarab removed his suit vest and threw it in the air as he continued to run. His heart beat so fast he didnt think it could beat any faster, his lungs heaved so loudly Sarab didnt think they could hold any more air. Every breath Sarab took burned, he had saliva building up in his mouth which tasted like blood and every breath caused him to break into a cough. His feet ached and his calfs killed, the last and only other time Sarab ran like this was also for Meherji, when she was in the hospital and they needed a medicine from another hospital. History repeated itself and Sarab prayed that like last time he would see his Meherji again, safe and sound.