Run, Jane, Run

By: Angelinhel


Legal shcnickets no one reads: Daria and all characters therein belong to a large corporation that could crush me like a bug. Good thing that much like said bug, they’ll probably never notice me.


Summary: Why Jane loves to run.


Trent sped through the stop sign without even seeing it. He glanced backwards, not to see if there was a cop watching, but to see how his sister was doing in the back seat. Focusing back on the road, he tried to stay calm. He never would have guessed his first drive as a legally licensed driver would be to the emergency room. The fact that she’d stopped crying scared him more than her howls of pain. 

“How you doing, Janey?” He tried to sound calm and in control. 

There were a few sniffles. “It’s going all numb.” Her voice was thick from crying. 

Trent pressed the pedal down further, tearing through an intersection a second after his light had turned red. He didn’t hear the angry honks behind him. Numb? He wasn’t sure, but that didn’t sound good.  

Pulling into the emergency room entrance he drove straight up to the doors. He jumped out and tore open the backseat door. Trying to be as gentle as possible while hurrying, he maneuvered Jane out of the back seat and ran inside carrying her. He left the car there with the door hanging open. 

Jane started howling again, and he flinched since she was now only inches from his ears. “I’m sorry it hurts, Janey. We’re here.” 

The triage nurse looked up towards the source of the noise. Spotting a young man carrying an obviously injured girl she stood and caught the eye of a passing orderly. He hurried down the hall and grabbed a gurney. 

Trent almost collapsed with relief when he saw the nurse stand up. “My sister…she’s hurt.” 

The orderly came up with the gurney. “Put her here.” 

Trent tried to put her down but she wouldn’t let go of his neck. He managed to pry her loose but her howls of pain and fear intensified. “It’ll be okay Janey, they’ll help you.” 

As the orderly wheeled her quickly away, she tried to turn. “Don’t leave meeeee!!” 

“I’ll see you as soon as I can.” He called as they passed through a set of double doors. He walked to the triage desk, not noticing the envious stares of the people who’d been sitting in the waiting room, waiting for who knows how long.  

The nurse handed him a clipboard. “Fill these out.” 

He took it and stared at it blankly. “I don’t know…” 

“Fill out what you know. We’ll get to the rest in a minute.” A short blonde nurse walked in and handed her a file. She looked up and signaled to a middle-aged woman and her teenage son uncomfortably hunched in the aqua and pink waiting room chairs. They followed the nurse out and down the hallway. The phone rang. 

Seeing the nurse wasn’t going to be any more helpful at the moment, Trent walked slowly to the nearest chair. He filled out the name and address and did his best on the medical history and current conditions sections but had no idea what to do for insurance. He glanced down the hall they had taken Jane hoping they were doing whatever it was that needed to be done and that Jane would be all right. 

He looked through the forms again, trying not to see the accident again in his mind. He had been outside strumming on his acoustic guitar while Jane climbed all over the gazebo like a monkey. He was annoyed because she was chattering away, describing the yard to herself in an attempt to jump-start her muse, which, according to her, had been flagging lately. He was trying to work out some chords for the band he’d just joined and couldn’t concentrate with her yammering. He had just decided to go back to the basement when he heard a surprised yelp followed by a sickening crunch and then the most god-awful screaming he’d ever heard in his life.  

She’d slipped off the railing and fallen crookedly on the stairs. He fought a wave of nausea at the sight of her left leg bending at a sharp angle in a place that should never bend. He’d grabbed her and sped to the hospital. 

Now, sitting in the waiting area among ill-looking children, worried mothers and various anxious people, he realized he had no idea if they even had insurance or how to pay for any of this. His mother and father were off again, somewhere in Belize? Brazil? He couldn’t remember. Why weren’t they ever there when they needed them? 

He headed back to the triage desk and the nurse waved him to another station. He sat across from a stout woman with a terrible haircut and a no-nonsense expression. He handed her the clipboard uncertainly.  

She picked a pair of reading glasses off her ample bosom and scanned the forms. Looking up at him she frowned. “No insurance?” 

Trent swallowed. “I don’t…I don’t know. My parents probably have some, but they weren’t home…I just brought her here as fast as I could.” 

“All right. Can you call them? When will they be home?” 

He shrugged. “Next week sometime? They didn’t really say.” 

The nurse’s expression shifted. “They left you alone? You are under eighteen, correct?” 

Trent didn’t like where this was going. “My older brother is around, and my sister, Penny. I guess they’re in charge while mom and dad are gone.” 

“Where are they?” She sounded suspicious. 

“Um…Penny’s working at a diner on Main until eight. I don’t know where Wind is.” He said. Wind might have been home. It was his car Trent had taken. Then again Wind had started seeing that woman…Clarissa? Claudia? She had a nice car, Mustang, cherry red. The nurse halted his wandering thoughts. 

“You’ll have to get them to come in and sign some things in place of your parents, then. They are over eighteen, correct?” Her voice was stern. 

“Um…yeah. Penny’ll come I guess. I have to call her…” Trent just wanted to get away from the nurse. He hadn’t thought beyond getting his sister help. 

The nurse pointed behind him. “There’s a pay phone over there.” 

Grateful he had change in his pocket, Trent went to call the diner. After explaining what had happened and hearing a long string of expletives from Penny, he felt a bit better knowing she was on her way. He went to tell the nurse at the desk and then wait. 

A few hours, an angry exchange with the nurse, and an insurance arrangement later, he and Penny stood when a nurse came to take them to Jane. The doctor explained the compound fracture and how lucky Jane had been to get in so quickly. He handed Penny a prescription for painkillers and a sheet explaining what to expect in the next few weeks. Agreeing to make a follow-up appointment before they left the hospital, they turned to Jane as the doctor left. 

Trent looked at how small and fragile she looked in the bed. She blinked blearily up at them, still woozy from anesthetic and painkillers. “Wanna go home now.” 

“Tomorrow, Jane.” Penny said. “Just think how nice and quiet it’ll be here.” Not like at the house. I swear, as soon as I have enough money I am so out of here. I’m so sick of being the mom. 

“You’ll be okay Janey, I’ll come get you first thing.” Trent assured her. Penny looked at him in surprise, wondering if he knew pick-up was at 8 am. Somehow, she knew he’d manage it for Jane. 

And he did. He was even there early. They wheeled Jane out the front doors and she awkwardly hobbled to the car trying out her new crutches. Seeing she was in pretty good spirits Trent handed her a small package. 

“What’s this?” She asked, settling in the backseat. “Oooo! New markers! Thanks Trent! This cast is so….white.” 

Trent smiled as she immediately began doodling. 

He drove her to her follow-up appointments and made sure she followed the doctor’s instructions. He helped her figure out how to wrap plastic bags around the cast and run the shower so she didn’t get it wet. He wrote her songs when she was unhappy because she couldn’t play outside. 

Eight weeks later he took her to her first physical therapy appointment. She’d been so excited the day she’d gotten the cast off, then absolutely crushed because she’d fully expected to be able to just hop off the table and run home. He’d taken her out for pizza to cheer her up. Now they were at the rehab office and Jane sullenly hobbled to the door. 

Trent waited in the front room while Jane was in the back re-learning how to walk. When they were done, he took the sheets the therapist handed him and assured her he would make sure Jane did her exercises at home. 

He thought she was awfully quiet on the ride home. “You want to stop for ice cream?” 

“She said it might take two or three months! The whole summer will be gone by then!” Jane exclaimed. Trent didn’t know what to say. Jane looked out the window with a determined pout. “Well, I’ll show her.” 

Trent smiled as he pulled into the ice cream place. 


Six weeks later, they left her final appointment, Jane grinning like mad. Trent had used some of the money he’d scrounged up to buy her a new pair of running shoes as a congratulations. She pulled the double knot on her right shoe tighter. 

“You’re sure she said it was okay?” Trent asked as they pulled in the driveway. 

“Yes!” Jane said exasperatedly. “You talked to her.” 

“Just be careful, Janey.” He said as she shot out the door. 

He watched as she took off down the street at a full run and could see the joy in every step. 


Daria sat at the lane’s kitchen table, entranced by Trent’s story. She’d made a snippy comment when she’d arrived and found Jane still off on a run, instead of ready for bad movie night. “So that’s why she loves running so much.” 

Trent nodded. “I think that day, if she could have, she would have just kept running forever.” He shrugged. “Guess she got tired.” 

Daria smiled a little at him. She wouldn’t gripe about Jane’s running again. After all, she did it for the best reason there was: Because she could.