Part 2, The Accident About a month after Chandler and Monica’s two-year anniversary Chandler woke up and his eyes fell on the alarm clock. 7:45. They were going to be late and possibly miss their bus. They’d started to take the bus to work every morning, since they were going in the same direction and it was cheaper than taking a cab. Chandler first thought it was a bad dream, or something. Why wouldn’t the clock be set to ring? Why would Monica have forgotten that? Then he remembered what they’d been up to the night before, and realized she might very well have forgotten to set it. HIS mind had sure not been on the clock.
“Oh darn it all to heck!” he groaned and rolled over on his side, waking Monica up.
“What?” she asked, her voice very sleepy.
“Guess which couple forgot to set the alarm clock last night?” Chandler said as he climbed out of bed.
Monica and Chandler exited their bedroom with twenty minutes to go before the next bus would depart. They’d already missed the one they usually took. Phoebe was sitting by the breakfast table, eating cereal.
“So far it’s been a lucky day” Chandler sarcastically remarked. “Only one vulture to feed this morning.” He poured himself a glass of orange juice. Monica hurried to take a shower.
“Hi Chandler, good morning Monica” Phoebe greeted them, eating another spoonful of cereal. “Oh, can I have a Squeezeit?”
“What? Do we even have any of those?” Chandler asked, his mind elsewhere. He was trying to find his keys. He had his work keys in a special key chain. If he didn’t find them he would have to go to Doug and borrow his keys, just to get into the office. And Doug had a habit of slapping Chandler on the butt, something that Chandler didn’t like at all.
“Phoebe, have you seen my keys?” he asked, searching under the morning paper Phoebe was reading.
“Yeah, a few days ago. And they weren’t under my paper.”
“Funny, I believe that’s MY paper.”
Chandler made an annoyed face and went into the bathroom to search. He couldn’t find them there either, not even in the pocket of the pants he’d worn the day before. He muttered to himself, but took the time to write Monica a message on the mirror, saying that he loved her, before he went on to search in the bedroom.
Ten minutes later Chandler was still searching for the keys. Monica managed to get him to eat some toast while he was looking, and sat down to have some cereal herself.
“Where can I have put them?” Chandler mumbled, getting more and more frustrated.
“You can’t ever keep track of your things” Phoebe remarked. “Sometimes I wonder how you manage to find anything at all.”
“Oh please!” Chandler exclaimed, and spent the nearest couple of minutes arguing with Phoebe until Monica told him they had to got pronto.
They had gotten as far as the stairs when Phoebe yelled at them to come back. She’d found the keys.
“They were in a coffee cup” she explained, with some confusion. She tossed Chandler the keys and he hurried for the stairs. Taking the role as the thankfulness, Monica gave Phoebe a quick ‘thank you’ smile and sent her a light;
“Thank you, Phoebe!”, as she followed her stubborn boyfriend down the stairs.
Once they’d gotten out on the streets Chandler checked his watch and saw that they had a few minutes to spare, they could walk instead of run.
“After all, she DID find you the keys…” Monica said, as if explaining why she had thanked Phoebe before she left.
“Yeah, well you’re the best friend she’s got” Chandler replied, as if she’d said something completely different. Monica shook her head and smiled. She knew what he meant and he knew what she meant.
“You’re the best boyfriend I’ve ever had, you know” she said. Chandler stopped in his tracks at that comment.
“Seriously?” was all he could say.
“Of course, honey!” Monica answered, looking confused over his doubt. She grabbed him under the arm and started walking again. “I’ve never been so in love before, and no one has ever treated me better.”
“Wow… I mean, you know you’re the best girlfriend I’ve ever had too, right?” Chandler replied.
“Yes honey, I know”
“So… I’m the best, really?”
“Yeah, you are” Monica said, and held back a chuckle. When it came to her confessing her love for him he was very hard to convince that she was being serious.
“Thanks, babe” Chandler said, and then frowned. “But I don’t feel worthy of it. These days I just feel so… Well, like I’m mean and unfair to you all the time. Take that anniversary thing, for example.”
“To me you’re worth everything” Monica softly said, and gave him a gentle kiss.
They walked silently for a minute or so, then Chandler spotted the bus. They stared to run, to make sure they’d catch it. A few people were getting on, so hopefully they’d have the time.
“Don’t worry, he’s gonna wait for us!” Monica said as she ran a step behind him.
“Yeah, if he sees us. I’m not so sure he will.”
They said nothing more as they hurried to catch the bus. The street was surprisingly quiet and calm, so maybe the bus driver would notice the running duo.
Chandler crossed the road at the same time as the last person got onboard the bus. And then he spun around when he heard one of the worst sounds he’d hear in all of his life.
Phoebe had gotten company from Joey right after Chandler and Monica left. They were enjoying a nice, calm breakfast when the door knocked. On the other side of the door, two men stood, three if you counted Chandler. Chandler tugged the nearest arm and pleaded them to stop knock.
“Don’t take Phoebe there, no, don’t knock, Phoebe’s there, she’s gonna know, she’s gonna come, don’t take her there!” he begged, tugging the arm even harder. “Please don’t, she’s going to loose it completely and I need her to comfort me now, I can’t comfort her, knock on Joey’s door instead!” The two men didn’t reply, because Phoebe opened the door at the same time Chandler quieted. She saw Chandler with the two men, but she didn’t see Monica.
“Miss?” one of the men said.
“Yeah?” Phoebe asked. Behind her Joey rose from his chair.
“Miss, there’s been an accident.”
“Monica?” Phoebe asked, already knowing.
“Why am I here?” Chandler asked all of a sudden. “Why did you take me away from her? Take me BACK there!”
“Something’s happened to Monica?” Joey said, appearing in the doorway.
“No, it’s okay! It’s okay!” Chandler said, stressed out. “Just let me be with her and we’ll both be okay. She wasn’t run over, only hit! That’s not the same thing.”
“I think you two ought to follow us…” the other man said to Phoebe and Joey.
The two men had seen the accident and quickly pulled Chandler away. Somehow he’d managed to tell them whom he was, whom Monica was and where they lived. And he’d mentioned Phoebe’s name, remembering that she’d been there during breakfast. The two men had taken him with them to go get her.
As they arrived back at the scene of the accident Phoebe and Joey couldn’t see Monica anywhere. They saw the bus, a few cars parked along the road. And they saw Pete Becker, Monica’s ex-boyfriend, sitting in a car looking completely catatonic.
“She’s over there” Chandler weakly said and pointed. A few yards away Phoebe and Joey now saw a group of paramedics gathering around somebody. They knew instantly whom it was. But why was Pete there?
“He drove the car that hit her.” Chandler said with the same weak voice, as if he knew what they were thinking. Then he got back to the rant he’d started outside the apartment. “But she was just hit and that’s not as bad, right?”
Phoebe didn’t answer. She jumped out of the still moving car and ran over to the paramedics that were flocked around Monica. No one stopped her, although Chandler desperately hoped they would. Joey remained in the car with Chandler until it had stopped. Then he followed him out and slowly walked closer to the scene with him.
“But she’s just hit and not run over, she’ll be fine” Chandler insisted.
“Shut up Chandler” Joey said angrily. He left his friend standing a few feet away from the car the two men owned, and went over to Pete’s car. Police men had arrived at the scene and were trying to get something out of Pete. Joey helped them out with what he could tell them, which was pretty much just Pete’s name, and a few things he’d found out about him while he was dating Monica.
Phoebe had gotten pretty close to Monica by now, the paramedics were too busy with what they were doing to notice the unauthorised woman who was circling around them. Phoebe could barely bare to look at her friend, she could barely tell it was Monica. She was bleeding from a hundred different places, it seemed, and her left leg was in an unnatural angle. She turned her head away, not wanting to see, and saw Chandler standing there alone. She wondered why no one was there with him, but at the same time she knew she wouldn’t go over to him herself. She was starting to panic more and more and had started to cry without even noticing it herself.
Chandler eyed her from his place about twenty yards away. He knew what would come next. He was surprised it hadn’t come sooner. Phoebe was going to start screaming and crying loudly. He knew that as soon as that happened he would want to cover his ears with his hands. He didn’t want to hear that.
Joey came over and put his arm around his shoulders. At about the same time Chandler caught a sight of Monica and just as Phoebe he barely recognized her. He was slowly beginning to panic, knowing that he would remember every single detail and every single minute of this awful day. For as long as he lived, he would see and hear this scene in his mind, over and over again. And then he could hear Phoebe start to scream.
“Make her stop” he begged, tugging someone’s arm again, this time Joey’s.
“Please, take her away from there, make her stop that screaming!”
He sank to the ground and covered his ears with his hands. He just couldn’t listen to Phoebe screaming, screaming away all of the hope Chandler had that Monica had woken up, or would do so soon. He knew she wasn’t conscious, but Phoebe’s screams just told him that she never would be again. ‘Stop it Monica, get up now and stop joking with us!’ he thought, rocking back and fourth on the cold asphalt. Joey kneeled beside him and pulled him close.
“She’s gonna wake up, tell me she’s gonna wake up, she HAS to wake up!” he chanted.
Joey quietly schoed him and pulled him back up on his feet.
Phoebe had calmed herself. At least a bit. She knew the paramedics were trying to do their job, trying to save Monica’s life, and Phoebe’s desperate cries would make it so much harder for them to concentrate.
She didn’t have much hope for her best friend right now. She’d lost so many people that she loved, and by now she thought she knew pretty well what a person who’d make it looked like. Monica didn’t look like that. And now she’d stopped breathing for herself. A man was giving her mouth to mouth, and soon they had CPR going.
Phoebe wanted to recoil, wanted to run from the scene and hope it was all a bad dream. But at the same time she wanted to stay close and don’t leave Monica’s side. What if her friend died during the next couple of minutes? For once she had the chance of being with a person she loved while that person was dying. She didn’t want to waste any of the precious last minutes she had.
“Wait a minute, why, why are they doing that?” Chandler asked, a bit calmer now. He pointed to the paramedics who were giving his girlfriend CPR.
“I’m sorry dude, I don’t know…” Joey said slowly.
“But she was just hit, I mean… She was hit, not run over, that’s not as dangerous!”
Joey didn’t say anything. He just stood there, felling left out. Phoebe was over there with Monica, screaming and panicking, even though she’d calmed herself allot by now. She looked composed. And Chandler was slowly falling apart, slowly loosing it, facing the worst nightmare of his life. But who was allowing Joey to be scared? He wanted to panic and scream too. After all, Monica was his friend too and he loved her just as much as Phoebe did. He walked away from Chandler, who was quietly singing “I believe that children are the future…” to himself, the same line over and over again. Joey didn’t know why he did that, he’d never heard Chandler sing before except for a few lines here or there. Joey walked up to Phoebe and nearly lost it when he saw Monica. He wished he’d stayed with Chandler, he didn’t want to see one of his best friends in this condition. But he didn’t go back. Instead he put his arms on Phoebe’s shoulders.
“Go take care of Chandler” he said.
Phoebe protested at first, but then gave up and walked over to Chandler.
Joey kneeled next to Monica, making sure he wouldn’t be in the way for any of the paramedics, who were still trying to bring her back to life at the scene. He heard someone say they’d gotten a pulse, but he didn’t registrar the information.
He slowly pulled away a test of dark brown hair from Monica’s chin, noticing how damaged her face was.
“You hang in there, girl, you hear?” he whispered.
At this point more police men arrived at the scene and decided to change it. Monica needed to get to a hospital, Pete did too, and the traffic was being held up. Chandler couldn’t for his life figure out how anybody could care about the traffic at a time like this. Phoebe and Chandler saw Joey getting in an ambulance next to Monica.
“Phoebe, what are they doing? How come they’re leaving us here, why are we left alone with strangers?” Chandler asked, this time tugging Phoebe’s arm. “Why can’t I go with Monica?”
Phoebe didn’t answer.