"Loving can heal." (1)
Now I think I understand why people say in the films, don’t go into the light! The last time I felt my body was that one rainy night in the Upper East Side. All I saw was bright, blinding light, but it didn’t hurt my eyes as it should have. In fact, it was warm and inviting. Lying in that peaceful glow, I was ready to go.
But as I felt the warmth radiating throughout my whole being, I heard a voice; distant, faint, and so familiar. Someone was calling my name, over and over again. The raindrops hitting the asphalt were so loud, my ears started ringing. I felt my body lifted by someone strong, and once again, familiar. His scent was intoxicating my senses, and I couldn’t point out where I had smelt it before. The next thing I knew, as I felt my body drifting in a soft pile of clouds, my consciousness faded to black instead of white.
My mind wandered as I heard voices talking about something hard for me to understand because slurred conversations linger in the air. I tried to listen to their discussion, but my senses were drowning by an annoying beeping sound, so their voices were disoriented. Morning rays of light have brightened up the darkness while my eyes are still closed. Slowly, I flutter my lids and feel limp as if I have been sleeping for days. My body feels so weak, and the nerve endings on my head are pounding as if someone is trying to crack my skull open.
The smell is overpowering with chlorine, and I have that weird craving for something sweet again. I try to focus my vision and search for my glasses. When I put them on, everything is white and unfamiliar. I scan the room, and I see a heart monitor on my left, then there are clear tubes sticking in on my right arm and the other on the back of my left hand. There’s a telly by the right corner of the room, the windows with blinds, the bed I’m on is uncomfortable but acceptable, and I’m wearing a hospital gown. I try to sit up, but I am too frail, so I slump back. I notice my left leg is in a cast while my arms are bruised and scraped. When I touch the back of my head, where I feel the splitting pain, some parts of my hair are gone. When I reach my scalp and feel the rough patch of stubble, I squirm as my fingertips touch something cold and metallic sticking in my head.
I pull my hand away and shudder.
Suddenly, a wave of sorrow washes my entire consciousness as I whisper to myself that I am back to this miserable life. As tears roll down my cheeks, I feel like something is missing. The pit in my stomach is unreachable, deep, and I couldn’t feel a thing, which is never good. It feels like when I finish reading a great book. I feel emptiness, and that’s just the worst feeling ever. I can’t control my horrible sobs.
Perhaps, the swelling ache I feel is terrible because I will never see Nate ever again, and before I woke up and came back to this timeline, I kept hearing voices, reading out the words I had written in my journals, and now I feel embarrassed. I look around and see my notebooks on the white bedside table. I wonder what happened the night I was feeling rejected and mournful. It was the moment I thought I couldn’t keep up with the world… That I couldn’t keep up with life.
And whatever it is I was communicating within my journal, that soul saved me from me all this time. That’s why it took me to the past. The reason is for me to have the will to live again. It was a miracle I am still alive. I can’t help but smile while my façade cracks, and these tears streaming down my face. I laugh because I think I look crazy, crying and smiling at the same time.
I wipe my tears away and press a button that calls a nurse.
As I wait, I open my pink journal and see the very last page. “Mariana, don’t forget about me” was written in the same handwriting as the soul. With the heavy casted leg, I get up from the hospital bed, but unexpectedly, I have to sit back down for a while to let the head rush pass by.
The nurse suddenly comes in and checks my vitals. “Miss Greene, please don’t get out of the bed yet,” she says, helping me lay down, and then she gives me a glass of water. “I have notified your family, and they will be here soon.”
After I drink slowly, I ask, “Excuse me,” wow, I sound so hoarse. “How long have I been out?”
“For a couple of days, Miss Greene,” she says, writing something on her clipboard. “You were admitted on November 16, 8:30 PM by a young man.”
She checks my eyes, my arms and legs for signs of trauma and healing. When the torch flashes my vision, I stay still, even if it reminds me of the blinding lights that rainy night. After checking my vitals, she writes on her board again. As she helps me sit up and pour medicine in a cotton ball, the nurse informs me I had eight stitches on my head. She dabs lightly, cleaning the stitched wound, and I feel the sting of it. She also explains my head hit the curb when I got hit by the car. They checked me on the CT scan, and they found nothing. So I will be okay. She helps me lay down again.
Trying not to protest, I let her make me feel comfortable. “Er, do you know who this person who brought me in was?”
“Before you ask more questions, Miss Greene, I need you to lie down and rest.”
My mind wanders again as I try to sleep because she didn’t answer my question. From the trip to the past, I have to give my thanks to the soul. I can slap myself back to what is real. I can smack myself and live my life the way it has to be. I can’t take it if my parents would blame themselves if I die. I won’t let it happen.
Looking back at that night, I didn’t know I would be so depressed, and I couldn’t even talk about it to anyone. Not even with my best friends, not even with my brother and sister. I can see now why I couldn’t bring it up to my parents because I know how much it would hurt dad. He had been through a lot this year with Nana passing. And the day I saw my dad cry in front of us for the very first time after the funeral in London, it was the time I knew I had to be brave. But sometimes negativity swallows me whole. Dad trembled as if his knees were about to give in, and we were there to support him. I can’t let that happen again.
The nurse is already gone when my eyes open once more. I sigh as I listen to the beeping of my heart on the monitor. I notice most of the films I see or the books I read start with great things, merry and hopeful. The main characters of those stories are loved and adorned by their great family members, friends, and girlfriend or boyfriend. They live in a pleasant house and have their dream jobs, full of potential and full of life, and then everything else falls all of a sudden. Until it makes them think, why? Why now? Things like that.
When I was growing up, I had all that as well. But I was not sure why I was unhappy. But I pretended I was, and everyone believed it. I believed it. Looking back at how ungrateful I was, I want to slap my younger self for not appreciating the things I have in front of me. I have a great loving family, a supportive, small group of friends, and I have talents. What more could I ask? I had no idea. Maybe it’s the reason why I am here in the first place because I was not content.