Betsy Carter
Chapter 4

Copyright© 2022 by Lazlo Zalezac

With her business finished in Vancouver, Betsy stepped out of the jet looking fresh and alert. She was happy to be back in Hawaii. She was hungry and needed a little exercise. She somersaulted off the top step to the ground below. It wasn’t that great of a height, but it was enough to boost her energy level up another notch.

Stacy followed behind her, looking a little worse for wear. It was obvious that she was tired. She had that rumpled look that came from sitting in a plane for too long. It might have been a luxury private jet, but it was still a long flight from Vancouver to Honolulu.

Poor Charlie staggered out of the jet, looking like death warmed over. She was limping, had bags under her eyes, and her hair looked like she had stuck her finger in an electric socket. She was going to stay overnight, so that she could get her prosthetic foot examined in the morning. Her stump was red and sore. She knew that she had overextended herself these past two weeks.

Betsy spotted Sally over by the limousine. Overjoyed at having her friend there to meet her, she ran over and hugged her. Her greeting was so intense that she nearly knocked Sally off of her feet. In fact, Sally would have landed on the floor if Betsy hadn’t held her up with a hug.

Eyes glistening with tears, Betsy said, “I’m so surprised to see you here! I’m overjoyed that you came to meet my plane.”

“I didn’t really have a choice. I’ve been standing here since you left. I didn’t have a ride home,” Sally said trying to remain straight-faced.

Betsy knew better than that. She had talked to Sally nearly everyday since the rescue. It was a nice break from the other activities going on at the time.

She grinned at her friend’s attempt to make light of her presence there.

“If you’ve been standing here for that long, I’ll bet you’re hungry.”

“I am. I made reservations at the steakhouse,” Sally replied.


Looking forward to a nice meal at her favorite steakhouse, Betsy turned to tell the other two women to hurry up. That is when she saw Charlie struggling to get down the stairs. It was obvious that the young woman was in serious pain. Concerned, Betsy ran over to her.

“What’s the matter?”

“There’s something wrong with my prosthetic,” Charlie answered.

She bit her lip trying to put a little of her weight on her prosthetic. The pain was tremendous. She couldn’t hide it from Betsy.

“How long has it been hurting?” Betsy asked.

“Just a couple days,” Charlie answered, regretting it almost immediately upon seeing how Betsy’s face turned red.

Angry, Betsy roughly picked Charlie up. She threw the woman over her shoulder in a fireman’s carry.

Betsy stomped over to the waiting limousine while muttering, “She’s a Marine. She’s tough. She’s not going to tell me that she’s in pain.”

“Put me down! I can walk there,” Charlie shouted.

Betsy smacked her on the rear.

She said, “Now you complain!”

“Let me down!”

“Big tough girl. Can’t stand to be carried. Instead, she’d rather cripple herself than take a few minutes to get a problem checked out when it first manifests itself,” Betsy said giving her another smack on the bottom.


Stacy had tried hard not to laugh while Betsy manhandled Charlie. She completely lost it when Charlie screamed ‘ouch.’ She laughed even harder when Charlie tried to give her an angry glare.

Betsy scolded, “You are never going to do this again. At the first sign of pain, you will tell me, and we’ll get you to a specialist. Do you understand me?”

“I can manage,” Charlie growled.

Betsy smacked her on the bottom again and repeated, “Do you understand me?”


“Good. Now get in the limo,” Betsy said putting Charlie down at the open door of the limousine.

Charlie climbed into the limo and sat down, sulking. She was not amazed at how easily Betsy had picked her up and carried her off. She remembered how Betsy ran thirty-five miles carrying a pregnant woman on her back. Still, it had been unexpected. She rubbed her butt, amazed at how hard Betsy had hit her. That Betsy would put some real force behind those swats, was a surprise.

Betsy turned to the driver and said, “We need to get her to the hospital at the Navy base.”

“We’ll go straight there.”

“Good,” Betsy said.

While Betsy was chatting with the driver, Sally leaned into the limo and asked, “Are you okay?”

“I’m fine,” Charlie said.

“You don’t look so good,” Sally said.

She had seen Charlie trying to get down the stairs. Based on the way she had been moving, it was obvious that she had been in considerable pain. She didn’t know Charlie all that well, but she did like the young woman.

“I’ll be fine,” Charlie said.

Ignoring Sally’s conversation with Charlie, Betsy shouted, “Stacy! Get over here!”

Stacy arrived a moment later. The three women entered the limousine. Betsy and Sally sat in the forward seat that faced the rear of the car with Stacy and Charlie seated in the rear seat across from them. The driver closed the door once everyone was settled in their seats.

Smirking, Stacy said, “I told you so.”

“Shut up,” Charlie growled.

“I told you that you should have said something about it in Vancouver,” Stacy said.

Charlie was about to reply when she noticed that there was a little blood around her ankle. She glanced up at Betsy and knew that she’d blow her top if it was discovered that she was bleeding. It was time to put a little space between her and Betsy.

“You’re not going to the hospital with me,” Charlie declared.

“Yes, I am.”

“No, you’re not.”

“I insist.”

“I refuse your insistence,” Charlie said knowing that it didn’t make sense, but at least got the idea across.

“I reject your refusal.”

Knowing that Betsy could be exceptionally stubborn, Charlie tried a different tactic.

She said, “You’re hungry.”


Charlie said, “You should go eat. There’s no need for everyone to sit around the hospital’s waiting room with me, while I’m waiting to be seen by a doctor.”

“You need someone there with you,” Betsy said flatly.

“Stacy can go to the hospital with me.”


Much to Charlie’s relief, Stacy said, “That’s a good idea.”

“I don’t know.”

Charlie said, “The steakhouse is on the way to the hospital. The driver can drop you off.”

“It’s just that I should...”

“No. You don’t have to do that,” Charlie said.

Stacy said, “She’s a Marine. She’s used to the hurry up and wait. You’re good at the hurry up part, but not the waiting part.”

“That’s a fact,” Charlie said, earning a chuckle from everyone except Betsy.

Undeterred by the legitimate observation, Betsy said. “It’s just that I’m worried about you.”

“I appreciate your concern, but you don’t have to sit there. I’ll call you right after seeing the doctor,” Charlie said.

“I’d feel guilty about you waiting alone in the hospital, while I’m enjoying a meal.”

“She won’t be alone. I’ll be there with her.”

“I don’t know,” Betsy said with a frown.

Charlie shouted out, “Driver. We need to stop by the Big Steak Steakhouse on the way to the hospital.”

“Yes, Ma’am.”

“Okay, I give up,” Betsy said.

With the traffic being surprisingly light for that time of day, the trip to the steak house did not take long. At the steak house, Sally got out of the limousine and waited while Betsy tried one last time to convince Charlie to let her go to the hospital. Giving up, Betsy got out of the limousine. The two young women stood and watched it pull away. Sally could tell that Betsy was upset.

“You know ... your luggage is still at the airport. I’d bet you could order a limousine to come get you, eat while the limousine is on its way here, pick up the luggage at the airport, and still get to the hospital before she sees a doctor.”

Having heard stories about how long patients had to wait before being seen by a doctor, Betsy was sure that Sally was right. She smiled at how Charlie would react to her showing up at the hospital with a couple of meals to go.

“I’ll bet you’re right.”

The pair of women went into the restaurant. At the hostess station, Betsy told the manager that they were in a hurry. She asked him to call for a limousine, and that it was to wait for them until they finished their meal. She then ordered a single forty-eight ounce porterhouse steak while Sally ordered the petite Filet Mignon. This was before they were even seated.

Once they were seated, Sally said, “You’re a lot calmer, now.”

“I know. It’s actually taken me a little time to get used to it,” Betsy said.

“In what way?”

Betsy struggled a little to come up with a proper analogy.

Finally she said, “I guess it is a little like quitting smoking. You can get through withdrawal pretty quickly, but smoking is a habit. The habit part is a whole lot more difficult to give up than the chemical dependency. Moving around was, in part, a habit. Just like a smoker craves a cigarette when things get tense, I crave moving.”

“I never thought about it that way,” Sally said.

She had heard of runners getting addicted to ‘runner’s high.’ She could imagine that the same kind of phenomena might be at work for Betsy. However, she never really thought of exercise as a habit, or at least a habit that had to be broken. She wondered if a better analogy might be eating. Fat people couldn’t give up eating, but they had to control it.

Betsy said, “My appetite isn’t as big, either. I went out for breakfast the other day and ordered two breakfasts. I then had to change it down to one.”

“Only one breakfast? I’m impressed,” Sally said.

She knew that it would be a ridiculous statement if anyone else was saying something like that about anyone else. It only made sense when discussing Betsy. There were a lot of things one might say, that made sense only if discussing Betsy.

Betsy said, “I’m sure other things will change a little. I just don’t know what changes will come.”

Half joking and half serious, Sally said, “At least you’ll be able to sit through a class.”

“I never thought of that,” Betsy said with the kind of smile one gets upon discovering an unexpected present under the Christmas tree.

She really hadn’t thought about what her ability to sit still really meant. She could move around without bouncing. It then dawned on her. She hadn’t considered how she could pass less noticed by others, since she wouldn’t be drawing attention to herself.

Getting excited, Betsy said, “I can walk down the hall without scaring half of the people in the school.”

“That’s right,” Sally said knowing that was one of the things that bothered Betsy in the past.

“I could even learn to drive,” Betsy said getting even more excited.

Her imagination was filling in a lot of other things she could do now that she wasn’t driven to move so much. Most of it was the little things that others did without thought. She could sit and watch a sunset.

“Yes, you could.”

“I could even find a man!” Betsy shouted exuberantly. She noticed that all the people at the tables around them were turning to stare at her. She sank down in her chair and muttered, “Not so loud, dummy.”

“We’re going to have to work on your exuberance a little,” Sally said with a grin.

“I agree.”

Their food arrived and they started eating. It was a nice relaxed meal in which they chatted while eating at a leisurely pace. Betsy still had a tendency to wolf down her food, but she was getting better at maintaining a more human pace. Still she managed to relate most of the events of the crash, and eat twice the food Sally did.

Sally listened to the story unwind, entranced by all that had happened. It was an amazing story. She knew that no one could have done everything that Betsy had done. The people on the plane were fortunate that the young woman had been on board.

They were about three quarters of the way through their meal, when the manager stopped by their table. He quietly informed Betsy that her car would arrive in about ten minutes. Betsy thanked him, ordered two meals for takeout, and returned to eating.

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