Zoey’s Heart by Brooklyn Sawyer

Zoey was torn between cleaning up the mess or checking on her dad. Suddenly, his screams became louder and more intense. That did it, the mess would have to wait. Zoey bolted out of the kitchen, careful not to step on the broken glass, and ran to the living room.
Her dad was sitting on the edge of the couch with his fists grinding into his eyes. She never saw anyone’s face as red as his before, and his shirt was soaked through with sweat. Lee’s scream pierced through Zoey’s heart and she felt completely helpless. When Paula reached for the phone to dial 9-1-1, Zoey watched her dad fall backward on the couch. His scream ended abruptly, and his eyes rolled into the back of his head as his body began to convulse. Zoey had never been so terrified in her life as she was right then.
Paula switched to speakerphone and dropped down on her knees next to Lee. At that moment, everything went into slow motion for Zoey. Star Wars was still playing on the TV screen.
“Zoey!” Paula snapped her fingers trying to get her daughter’s attention. Zoey slowly turned her head and looked at her mom. “Open the door and watch for the ambulance.”
Her mom’s voice was muffled and sounded as if she was talking with her head under water. Zoey could do nothing but stare at her. When Lee stopped convulsing, Zoey’s eyes finally left her mom and slid over her dad’s face. His eyes were open, but they were vacant, and he wasn’t moving.
“No! No, no, no, no!” Paula screamed, searching for a pulse.
“Daddy… ” Zoey whispered.
Tears pooled in her eyes and spilled down her cheeks as she heard a siren wail in the distance. Her mom struggled to pull her dad off the couch and onto the floor.
“Zoey! Please, go to the door. We need the ambulance, Zoey!” Paula begged.
Barely hearing her mom, Zoey ran to the front door and threw it wide open. She could see the flashing lights as the ambulance pulled down her street and came to a stop in front of the house. She backed out of the way when two paramedics rushed through the front door and into the living room. Zoey followed behind the men.
Paula had managed to get Lee onto the floor and was attempting CPR when EMS entered the room. She scooted back and let the paramedics take over as soon they arrived.
One of the men took out a pair of odd looking scissors and cut Lee’s shirt down the front. The other checked for a pulse and immediately started chest compressions.
Zoey knew this was bad. When she looked down into her dad’s eyes, she knew he was gone, and she knew her life would never be the same again.

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