The crackling radio reported thunderstorms and torrential rains, but Anna just wanted to get to the airport and catch her flight home. A few raindrops had already started and the wipers whisked up and down automatically. She looked up at the sky through the windshield and it looked very ominous with roiling dark grey clouds, but she was determined. It wasn’t that far to go now, she reasoned, and that was when the heavens opened and the deluge began and she swore under her breath. Jake would have reprimanded her for using what he considered vile language. Anna always laughed at him and said that sometimes using the word ‘fuck’ really did make her feel better. He would scowl and disagree and ask her politely not to use that word. Jake had changed so much since they had first met and Anna felt concerned for her marriage. No matter what she did, he always found a reason to make her feel small or inadequate. He even spoke to her unkindly at the last month’s board meeting and Anna still cringed at the memory.
Anna quickly concentrated on the road ahead of her and couldn’t help but allow her mind to drift to the meetings she had just had with her client. She now felt satisfied that the merger deal she had been working on for over a year now would meet its conclusion with both sides being satisfied with the legalities in the contract and it brought a relieved smile to her lips.
Anna had worked hard for her position as a partner in the law firm where Jake was now a senior partner. She had been surprised when he had insisted that she fly out and see the client personally instead of having online conferences with him, but she had not argued. For reasons that Anna had no idea about, Jake had become distant and he spent so many more hours at the office since making senior partner. Anna had tried to be understanding and supportive, but she missed him and wondered if their dreams were still in sync with each other.
They had met at college and then joined the firm where they were both struggling attorneys with something to prove and together they had moved up and were now on the top floor with their own offices, paralegals, and secretaries. It had been what they had strived for, but somewhere along the way they had separated and lost sight of their joint dreams. Anna had tried on several occasions to talk about it, but it always ended up in a fiery argument with Jake storming out of their house. Not to be seen for a few days, leaving Anna to beat herself up about it. When he decided to return to their home he would treat her coldly and make her feel as though it had been her fault and her punishment had been him leaving and then ignoring her when he returned. It had got progressively worse and Jake ended up sleeping in the spare room and entertaining clients alone or with his paralegals or secretary who would run around after him taking notes and yielding to his every whim and fancy. Anna wondered what had happened to the Jake she had married or if he had always been a total shit but she had been too in love to even notice. Perhaps she had merely been in love with the whole idea of being in love. It frustrated her to no end.
She had been happily surprised by him a few days before she was to leave when he had suggested a vacation to Prague. He knew how much she loved art and culture and she had mentioned to him before they got married that Prague was one of the cities she had always wanted to visit. He had made it sound as though it had been his idea, “You studied Art History and Prague is rich in art and culture. I think you would love it.” She had let him believe it was so because she had not wanted to ruin the moment, but she knew that he remembered their talks because Jake never forgot a damned thing.
Anna had readily agreed thinking that he was taking their marriage more seriously and wanted to breach the gap that had formed between them and had cleared her schedule for an entire two weeks of what she hoped would be their second honeymoon.
The thunder and lightning brought her attention back to the now dangerously winding road in front of her and she pressed down on the brake slightly to slow down, but it was like pushing her foot on a brick. It was rock hard, but she kicked harder as the car began to pick up speed and Anna felt the electric tingling of the tentacles of panic begin to spread throughout her body. The downhill was steep and the winding road in front of her scared the hell out of her and she thought of pulling the safety brake, but she had no idea what to do once she did.
She tried anyway, but there was no reaction from pulling on the brake. There was no tension when she pulled and the light on the dashboard did not even come on when she checked. Usually when the emergency brake was engaged while driving an alarm sounded to remind you, but there was nothing. Anna shouted out loud and punched the steering wheel hard.
She pressed the button on the steering wheel to make a call and she called out, “Jake.” and heard the dialing tone and then ringing, but there was no answer and the call went to voice mail; ‘Hello this is Jake Benton. Leave a message at the tone.’ Anna had always thought his message was cold and impersonal, but she didn’t worry about that now when she shouted, “Jake! There’s something wrong with the car! There are no brakes and I can’t stop it. It’s going too fast and I am not familiar with these roads …” Anna couldn’t continue as the tone beeped to say that she had run out of time.
“Fuck!” she screamed and hit the steering wheel as she handled the next bend, but the back of the Mercedes Benz swung out and hit loose gravel and began to aquaplane wildly on the loose muddy surface. Anna held onto the steering wheel without overcorrecting and the back wheels got traction again on the asphalt. She managed to hold the vehicle on the road, but it was now way over the speed limit and picking up speed even more and Anna began to cry and feel incredibly afraid. It was so steep now winding downhill and then she remembered there were cliffs on either side. The entire road was fitted with crash barriers, but at the speed she was going, they didn’t give her much hope.
At the following nasty bend, Anna had no time to correct the vehicle and she hit the guard rail. Together, the car and driver became airborne and she felt weightless and heard airbags deploying from their compartments, the engine screaming loudly as her feet pressed down on both pedals and she heard the eerie sound of the wheels spinning in the air. As the car dropped she felt her stomach drop and then lurch into her chest as the tops of trees came into view beside her as she heard metal ripping and grinding and then the car jerked viciously and spun and then rolled as glass shattered and sprayed inwards and trees broke and bent the car. Her body got jerked from side to side by the impact and the airbags pressed against her but then suddenly began to deflate. The car plummeted downwards with earth-shattering speed. Anna felt herself go airborne again and the crunching and grinding of metal rang in her ears. She shut her eyes tightly as she felt herself jerked with great force as the door got ripped from the body of the car. She knew she was flying out of the car as she felt rain on her face and there was burning pain all over her body, but it wasn’t for long and then the world went black.
She tried to open her eyes when she heard voices shouting and then she felt intense heat. “I found a body!” a distant voice shouted and then another, “Get it away from the fire!” Anna felt hands grab her clothing by her shoulders, but she couldn’t open her eyes and her head felt fuzzy and she wondered where she was and if this was a dream and she would wake up soon when she heard the first voice yelling, “She’s still alive!”, but the world faded again and everything went black.
She felt her body being jarred and an incomprehensible and inexplicable pain raced into her brain and she heard a scream, a loud continuous scream. Her throat ached, but she couldn’t move and she could have sworn she heard a helicopter. “Take it easy with her, dammit! Take her up!” and Anna began to float again with gentle spinning, but the pain increased, if that was at all possible and her brain shut down again. It was too much and her body felt too badly hurt. Anna wanted to give up and go somewhere safe and calm where there was no pain and no tears.
Voices were calling out to one another and she heard the squeaking of wheels on a tiled floor and lots of running feet. “Move! Move! Move! She’s crashed three times now. Hurry up! Get that IV in and take her straight to surgery. Fuck! She’s coding again …” Anna’s world failed her one more time and she accepted the peace, quiet and painless oblivion with open arms and her soul felt totally at ease with what was to come.
Anna spent four hours in surgery and she was still not out of the woods. Everything that could go wrong went wrong, but the team of surgeons managed to do what they could. Her internal injuries were incredibly bad, but being put into a medically induced coma would give her body time to heal. Her many broken bones like both legs, both arms, ribs, collar bone, fingers, and one of her ankles, her jaw and clavicle would set and heal and she would have no real lasting problems with those. Their biggest concern was the question of whether she wanted to heal and live after being through such a terrible accident. Her spleen had been removed and the tear in her liver had been repaired and the internal bleeding stopped. Her kidneys would also heal as well as the tear in her stomach. Although it was the swelling of her brain that concerned the doctors and surgeons the most which was why she had to be monitored by numerous machines.
It would be a long road to recovery for the beautiful unknown blonde woman lying in an ICU ward by herself that the staff had simply taken a liking to. She had a beautiful face, albeit swollen, cut, and bruised. Mostly she had an energy about her that attracted people to her and the nurses were always checking on her and talking to her. They would tell her everything they were doing for her and ask her to heal because they all wanted to hear her voice.
Her car had yielded nothing as it had burned to a shell with everything inside going up in flames. The police would follow that up and check with car rental companies to try and identify their beautiful Jane Doe.
Three months later the doctors decided to reduce the drugs administered to keep her in the induced coma and slowly they brought her back with care and ease. She got moved to a special medical facility that had been set up to help victims who had been through something similar and had no medical reason to be comatose. They believed she would recover and needed to be in a facility that would benefit and assist her because losing months even years of a coma victim’s life did crazy things to their minds.
Jane Doe lay in her bed under the care of sensitive and sympathetic staff for another three months before she opened her eyes.
Jenny stood keeping a close eye on her patient as she watched Jane’s eyes flicker and then open drowsily and blink a few times and was completely taken aback by the color of her eyes without having a light shone in them. They were not just blue or green, but an unusual mix between aquamarine and jade. Never had she seen such a shade, but she was not surprised. This young woman had fought like hell to live and she had received nothing but the utmost respect from the staff who had worked with and lovingly cared for her.