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SAMANTHA PRINCE HAD an eight o’clock appointment with Dr. Kemi the next morning. She was the second lead physician handling Alan’s case.

“I don’t understand, Doctor,” she said, looking deeply disconcerted. “What exactly is the prognosis with my son; why is he still in coma?”

They had both just finished checking on Alan together and were now walking slowly down the quiet corridor towards the stairwell. The doctor also appeared concerned, but without necessarily looking ruffled.

“It’s quite a puzzle, I must say,” Dr. Kemi agreed quietly, looking at her. “My informed opinion is that we need to give him more time, wait a little more for him to come around. The body’s metabolism tends to vary from person to person, so people respond differently to all types of medical situations,” she noted thoughtfully. “So far, his heart rate would appear normal; his vitals are reading perfectly, so there’s no cause for worry, Mrs. Prince.”

Samantha sighed uneasily, making an effort to believe the doctor’s submission. “Are you certain, Doctor?”

She paused, smiled reassuringly. “Of course, Mrs. Prince,” she replied. “Your son would definitely come around, but in his own time. Remember, he’s been through a lot. Regaining life in such an extraordinary way, after being pronounced dead, is a testament that he’s a fighter. We must have some faith that he’s going to pull through this episode soon.”

Samantha nodded slightly. “Alright,” she sighed. But she still looked gravely worried.

Dr. Kemi stood back and looked at her. “Take it easy on yourself, Mrs. Prince,” she told her kindly. “You don’t look like you’re getting much sleep.”

Samantha shook he head. “No, I’m not.”

“Would you like any medication, something to help you sleep better?”

Samantha grinned uneasily, nodding. “Sure, I’d like that. Thank you, Doctor.”

The doctor smiled thinly, staring at her as though there was something else she had to say. But then she changed her mind, and the two continued down the corridor quietly.

Driving back home in the slow, busy traffic of Tempest Town with the beaming red sign at every major turn and intersection, Samantha Prince looked pretty depressed, her thoughts unsettled in spite of the encouraging words she got from the doctor. She couldn’t shake off the notion that something might be wrong with Alan which the doctors weren’t paying attention to at the moment.

By her expectation, and even from the account of the doctors, she thought that he should have regained full consciousness by now. Yet he continued to be in a sleep state. His heartbeat was rapid, pulse normal, temperature steady. But for some inexplicable reasons, he just wasn’t coming around, and that really spooked her.

What if something went awfully wrong overnight? His heartbeat might suddenly spiral out of control, his lungs might collapse; he might go into seizure, asphyxiate and expire before he could be saved. Anything could happen. Maybe the doctors just didn’t want to tell her just yet, she contemplated nervously. They didn’t want to panic her.

The more she let these distressing thoughts sip into her head, the more anxious and troubled she became behind the steering, and didn’t notice the light had turned green until the driver behind her blasted his horn impatiently, startling her. Then she relapsed into her thinking mood as soon as she shifted the car into gear and began moving again.

The doctor had assured her that Alan’s brainwave was consistent, and she had no reason to suspect otherwise. But regardless, in cases like these, there were certainly no guarantees.

Samantha had seen cases where a patient on recovery would suddenly relapse into a critical state of total organ failure. Then again, what if Alan had suffered a severe brain damage when he drowned and would forever remain in a coma until they would be compelled to show him mercy by pulling the plugs?

The tears had run all the way down to her cheeks before she realized she was actually crying. Samantha was so afraid she didn’t know what to do next about anything; how to handle the dire situation, if indeed it was going to be alright like they kept telling her.

But they weren’t sure about what they were saying, were they? No one could be certain that everything was going to fall into place.

Now the tears flowed freely.

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