“Heather?” My sister’s green eyes are the first thing I see when I open my eyes.
“We’ve been so worried about you!” It would be just like my older sister to hover and worry. She’s only five years older than me, but she has always been the worry wart.
“I’m fine.” I rasp.
“Yes you are, thank heavens.” I see her eyes dampen with tears, but before she lets them fall, she turns her head and wipes them away. Clearing her throat, “Well, yes … so … when you’re up to leaving this place, Mom and I had a discussion about my house probably being better equipped for you.
“… but why your house?” I begin to ask when memories of Sean in a dark room with Sarah resurfaces.
“I mean if that’s what you want to do.” She backpedals.
This is the first time I’ve thought about why I’m in the hospital. I look at my sister while she waits for a response. Moving in with a family member is not exactly my idea of a cheery cup of tea. I haven’t lived with anyone besides Sean and our kids since, well … our wedding day. How could he do this to us? I feel like the room is closing in on me sucking all of the oxygen from the room. I don’t want to make this decision right now.
“Momma!” Lexie’s bright blue eyes fill my heart with joy. My only daughter pulls at all of my heartstrings. She is a site for sore eyes, and when she walks in, she brings oxygen back into the room.
“Baby, you look so beautiful.”
“Oh Momma, you always think that.”
“True, but you are.” I smile as she hugs me tightly. Maybe I am biased being her mother and all, but Lexie is truly a beautiful woman; long, thick, blonde hair that reaches her waist, and those eyes … blue as a pool of glacial water. Someone could get lost in those eyes. “Why are you dressed up so nice?” I don’t know why out of all of my thoughts that’s what I ask her, but for just a second I don’t want to think about being in an accident.
Lexie makes herself comfortable on my bed—cozying in. “I had to look pretty for my eighteenth birthday, of course.”
It takes a second for me to process what she just said, “Honey don’t be silly. Your birthday isn’t until May. Lexie’s beautiful smile melts away, and I see the quick exchange of glances between my sister and daughter. Her warm hand wraps around my right hand. I want to take hold of her so badly, but my body won’t respond. I try to hide my frustration while holding on to the fact that I’m grateful that I can feel the warmth of her hand and the light squeeze she gives me.
Her hand tightens, “Momma, it’s May 1st today.
“Impossible. I was just at that party … last night.” Lexie slowly shakes her head indicating no. “No Momma. The accident was a couple of months ago.”
It’s me shaking my head no now. No. No. No. Impossible. “I remember. It was yesterday. It was snowing, and then … the lights.” Everyone in the room is silent as I search their faces for an explanation.
“Momma,” Lexie’s voice is a soft whisper. “You were hurt pretty bad. You’ve been in a coma.” Her light whisper sounds more like she’s screaming at me through a megaphone. Everything is amplified by this shocking news.
“But why don’t I remember?”
“You probably really didn’t want to be awake while you’re body was healing, Mom.”
“Two months?” She nods yes. Something clicks in my brain, “Wait, how’s Lance?”
Heather steps closer and Lexie’s whole face falls. This can’t be good.
“Nikki,” it’s my sister’s turn to speak up. “When the car started spinning out of control, it drifted into another lane and a semi-truck struck you guys.” I remember seeing lights and the sound of metal crunching and bending loudly, but I hadn’t known where we had been struck. Lance’s side must’ve been the side that was impacted. What seems like for the second time in two days—in my mind—bile rises to the back of my throat. I don’t know if I can hear anymore.
“Honey, he was killed instantly.”
“I thought Lexie was shaking the bed, but I realize it’s me trembling uncontrollably in hysterics. Not Lance! Why him? Why not me? This isn’t his fault he shouldn’t be the one gone. “It’s my fault, all my fault.” My life has taken a pivotal turn. I can’t take any more news. Sean, accident, coma, and now finding out Lance is dead. I shiver even though my gown is sticking to my skin from sweat.
“Momma, it’s not your fault. It was an accident.” I know she’s trying to comfort me, but no amount of comforting words soften the two-sided dagger ripping in to my heart. Nothing will make this pain stop.
The nurse with the southern drawl walks in. “How bout’ we have a little somethin’ to rest up for a bit?” I can’t be sure if she had been eavesdropping in on our conversation, or that she had perfect timing. Either way, I know that she is trying to help relieve my pain, but I’m afraid no drug will be able to erase this kind of pain.