Melt With Me - Melissa Brown

Chapter 1


It was already a crazy Saturday morning when we heard the crash. That unmistakable screech of rubber against concrete, a loud thump and the gasps that followed as dozens of women outside my shop covered their mouths in disbelief.

“Oh my God, there’s a man on the ground and he’s not getting up!” a woman cried from the tail end of the line, and I knew I had to act.

I turned to the first woman in line. “Go inside and tell them to call 911. Now!”

Adrenaline shot through my stomach as I ran to the cab stopped in the middle of the road.

The driver, flustered and throwing his arms into the air, climbed out of the driver’s seat, yelling defensively, “He came out of nowhere. What the fuck?”

Ignoring the driver, I rounded the front end of the car to find a cracked windshield and a man with silver hair lying unconscious on the street. He was tall with very long legs and was wearing a button-down Oxford shirt and khaki pants. He was slumped over on his side, and my heart sank.

I crouched down to check his pulse and was relieved when I felt that familiar thump from his wrist.

“He’s alive,” I said to the driver, who sighed as he looked up at the sky.

“Thank God,” he muttered under his breath while doing the sign of the cross.

“Sir, can you hear me?” I asked, but there was no response. No moaning or movement, no sign of life other than the pulse I’d felt. Quickly, I rolled him to his back and leaned down to check his airways.

“He’s not breathing,” I said to myself, willing my racing brain to calm down enough to remember how to perform CPR.

“Shit,” the driver muttered. “What the fuck do we do?”

Turning to glare at him, I made sure we made direct eye contact. “You need to calm down. I can’t help him if you’re freaking out.”

Instead of responding, the driver threw his hands into the air again and took several steps away, fading into the forming crowd in the middle of the street. Chaos ensued around me as I did my best to focus on the last CPR workshop I’d attended before opening my store.

ABC. No, Maren it’s CAB now. Damn it, why can’t I think?

My heartbeat throbbed in my ears as I started chest compressions on the seemingly lifeless body beneath my tensed hands. His face was impassive as I pressed again and again into his chest wall.

“C’mon, stay with me,” I whispered as I tilted his forehead back and opened his airway. With one hand pinching his nose, I breathed into his mouth once, twice, three times before turning my head, hoping to feel his breath on my cheek.


The siren’s scream pierced the humid September air as I started another round of chest compressions. A sliver of relief covered my panic-stricken mind as I heard the ambulance get closer to the cab. I knew the longer this man went without oxygen, the higher his chances were of brain damage or not surviving the crash at all.

“C’mon, c’mon,” I said, shifting back to give him mouth to mouth again. After three breaths, I felt a jerking beneath me. A muffled cough came from the man’s throat, and he turned his head slightly. A pained moan left his lips.

“He’s breathing!” I squealed, looking up to see three paramedics approaching.

“Thank you. Step aside, please” the first responder said with a nod. Shaking, I climbed to my feet and stepped back toward the car, heat from the running engine warmed the back of my knees. Pressing a hand to my chest, I watched as the paramedics placed an oxygen mask on the man and asked his name. But he couldn’t answer.

“Miss,” one of them turned to me, his face concerned yet calm. “Do you know his name?”

“No, I was just standing across the street when it happened.”

They searched the man’s pocket and found his wallet and ID. “Burton McTavish, is it?” The man nodded.

“Mr. McTavish, we’re taking you to the hospital now. Miss, would you like to ride with him?”


The paramedic nodded. “You saved his life.”

“Yes, of course. Just…um…give me two sec…um, I mean yes, I’m coming.” I grabbed my phone from my back pocket. Six texts from Lyra, my shop associate and best friend. I called her as I climbed into the back of the ambulance.

“Oh my god, what happened?” she asked, anxiety in her shaky voice. “Someone ran in screaming to call 911.”

“A man was hit