A week later...
My clothes aren’t right and I don’t know this room. It looks like a hospital, a nice one. There are flowers, clean sheets, and soft music playing. As I go to leave the bed an alarm sounds and in comes a nurse.
“Angeline, there you are. Remember me? Nurse Nicola?”
I shake my head. She isn’t the least bit familiar. Her smile falters a little.
“You need the washroom? Come now.”
I shake my arm. “Get off. I don’t know you. Don’t touch me. I’m leaving. My name’s, Josephine and not Angeline.”
She isn’t surprised. Quite the contrary. She wears an expression that says she’s heard all this before and a level of confidence that suggests she knows what to do and say next. I couldn’t recall many words or any memories.
" What happened to me? ” I asked the nurse. I rose unsteadily to my feet, it was against the doctor’s orders to be moving right now but I needed the washroom and I’d have to have both legs broken before I’d ask for assistance with that. I tried to recall what had lead to this, how was I here and in this state. My last memory was of giggling in the taxi with Tia. Nothing was making any sense and now I felt sick. Where was Tia? why wasn’t she here to explain it all. I don’t even remember who hurt me?
It was chaos in my head. How did I get there? What to do? Where to go? I only heard a voice in my head....“Don’t act all tough, punk!.” Sadly, I didn’t understand. My memory was blurred, the past a fading dream. I did not know anything and sat there all alone, with no hope, nothing but sadness and confusion to live with.
My eyesight blurred, but not because tears were welling up. Everything became fuzzy, then I saw nothing at all. My consciousness was floating through an empty space filled with a thick static. Throughout the inky space, my heartbeats pounded loudly, echoing in my ears, alongside fading pleas for help.
Feeling in my body drained away until finally, all was black.
I awake to the steady patter of rain upon my window, droplets yet to scatter the nascent rays of the rising sun. The sound brings a calmness to mind, a soothing melody, a natural lullaby. With eyes at rest, I feel my center, live happily within myself for these blessed moments of solitude. I drift on calm seas, aimless as a child on summer vacation, paddling, at ease with the fluidity of time.
" Did you sleep well? ”
These legs keep asking me to rest, to find somewhere warm and cozy, to simply enjoy the weather and stay right there. This body needs to feel another body, to cuddle, to feel safe, to feel the warmth. Everything about me, from the muscular aches to the emotional pull toward lethargy, this fatigue, overwhelms - yet this is a world that has no empathy for such matters.
" I haven’t seen you in forever. Have you been visiting your fellow angels in heaven? ”
" Stop with that bullshit! lol ”
" I’m honestly being serious here!! What’s wrong with me and how long have I stayed at this hospital with some dumb nurse who notices me as, Angeline!! ”
" Angeline...hahaha...I’m sorry, but hahaha...”
" On a serious note, I’m gonna punch you! ”
" Alright alright, it’s been 9 days....happy now? ”
" Happy about what? ugh!!.... ”
Tia held my hand, ” I was really worried....”
" Were you here visiting me every day? ”
" Not really! But I’m pretty sure the nurse took good care of Ms. Angeline!....Bahahahahahaha...”
" We don’t really have anything to talk about, so get away from me! ”
" Take your medicines from time to time. When I noticed your right arm, there were purple welts and I thought that will only deepen over the coming week. Thankfully, you look better now. ”
I sigh and reach for my long-sleeved top.
" Need help? ”
" No thanks! You may go home... ”
" Alright...Let’s go together ”
" What for? ”
" You’re getting discharged in an hour and I’m here to pick you up. ”
I can survive anything if I feel loved, even these pains that come to explode within, these silent hand grenades. And when you smile at me you are my morphine, finer than any doctor can prescribe.
" Fine. ”
I walk like my limbs don’t really belong to me and each step is a negotiation rather than an order. Everything hurts now. Every damn thing. Today my neck feels as though they have been flash-burned with acid from the inside - just sufficient to make them move like the living cells have been replaced by aging rubber bands, thick and twisted. The feel of a stake being hammered into my lower back, that strikes radiating pain in a way that shatters my brain - or at least that’s what it feels like. I lie so still, breathing shallow. Does Tia notice it? Well, no! She’s busy packing my clothes.
All anyone sees is my form on the ground, blue pajamas, and white shirt on the grey carpet.
" Wow, and I’m here thinking that she really cares! “, I whispered.
She called the nurse for some help and left the hospital. From beneath the dirt, a welcoming home emerged, a place to rest weary boots and rest in safety.
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