“Give the phone to Charles. I’d like to talk to him.”
Naomi knew that the only way her parents would be reassured was if they spoke to Charles. directly, so she turned to him and said, “Charles, my Dad wants to talk to you.”
Charles and Naomi were huddled so close together that Charles already overheard the entire phone conversation. He nodded. “Don’t worry.”
He understood Naomi’s concerns and knew just how to help her alleviate her parents‘ worries.
Naomi smiled and handed the phone to him.
Charles took it from her and put it up to his ear. “Hello, Mr. Goodwin.”
Naomi stared at him but could not hear what her father was saying to Charles. However, Charles remained calm and did not appear to be fazed at all. He nodded with every sentence. that Dean said and replied earnestly.
A few moments later, he said, “Okay. I’ll hand the phone back to Naomi.”
With that, he raised the phone to Naomi’s ear, and Dean’s voice reappeared. “Naomi?”
“We’re on our way. Rest well and don’t worry. Your mother and I will be there soon.” Dean sounded far calmer than when Naomi initially spoke to him, but he was still a little worried. Naomi tried to reassure him, “I’m fine, Dad. Don’t worry about it. Drive safely.
“I will, Naomi.”
With that, he hung up.
“I’m sorry that I failed to protect you,” Charles said sadly as he tucked the phone away. He knew just how worried Naomi’s parents would be after they learned this, and that Naomi would never want to put her parents through that.
Naomi contemplated this for a moment, then finally asked, “Charles, would you still save that girl this morning if it were not for me?”
Charles was puzzled by this question. He paused for a moment, then answered, “I would.”
Naomi smiled. “So what do you have to be sorry about?”
Naomi’s face was a little pale from her sickness, but her smile was just as charming as always. Charles‘ face lit up at this.
Dean and Donna arrived not long after. They both checked Naomi up and down frantically before finally heaving sighs of relief when they realized she was fine besides her burn. Donna remained in Naomi’s room to look after her whereas Dean and Charles stepped out of the
They walked a few feet away from the room, and Charles finally said, “I’m sorry, Mr. Goodwin. I failed to protect Naomi.”
Charles was still engulfed by guilt toward Naomi’s parents. If it were not for him, Naomi would not have come to Ditch County and would not have gotten hurt in the first place.
Dean waved his hand dismissively and said, “It’s fine, Charles. I know it’s not your fault. Please don’t blame yourself. You and Naomi were incredibly brave to have helped save that poor girl. Neither of you knew what would happen, so you don’t have to apologize to me for something you couldn’t have known.”
Naomi ventured into the fire to save the unconscious girl and would have gotten crushed under the rubble if Charles did not hear her cries and stepped in to help. If anything, Charles saved her life.
Charles smiled. Although he expected that Dean would say this, he was still grateful for Dean’s forgiveness.
Only generous and forgiving people would raise such a kind woman as Naomi.
“Don’t worry, Mr. Goodwin. I’ll be sure to hire the best doctors to look after Naomi. We’ll set off tomorrow morning to Horizon City. The hospital there is already expecting us.
Dean was grateful for this. He did not want Naomi to suffer any permanent complications from her burn, so he was glad that Charles took to initiative to help her find a doctor who could treat her. He nodded in appreciation and gently patted Charles‘ shoulder. “Thank you for everything, Charles.”
“My pleasure, Mr. Goodwin.”
The night finally cast its relentless shade over the small town.
All of a sudden, a black Mercedes–Benz pulled to a halt in front of the hospital.
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