Free first chapter

Free first chapter: look under comments

Advertisements

One thought on “Free first chapter

  1. Cyndi Awakens

    Soft light filters in through an open window. Familiar sounds wake me, drifting through the screen: the cries of birds, and the low crash of waves upon the shore. I open my eyes. My thoughts drift to my boyfriend, Jax. They usually do, and more so since I am sleeping in so long this morning. I can’t quite make out the entire dream I just had, but I think I had the longest honeymoon in history in that dream. I smile and stretch out my arms with a yawn.
    I feel a painful tug on my arm and looking over, I see clear tubes embedded in my flesh, snaking up to an IV stand. I mumble to myself, “What the heck? Where am I?” I take a deep breath. I will just find out what is going on. Right! No problem with that, I should think.
    All around my peripheral vision is shiny gold dust floating around and settling down all around me. Don’t you think I must be a little too blissed out, to be seeing gold dust? I think, Maybe I am still dreaming–or would they give me a hallucinogenic kind of drug for some reason? What reason could there possibly be to make me see things like this, though?
    I was always the one at parties who had to talk people out of closets or from under the bed when they took drugs that distorted reality so much that they could not handle it. Seeing so many friends freak out to the extreme can keep you from taking that strong stuff too, wouldn’t you agree? I became wary of what was going on around me. I knew I would end up being the one in the closet, hiding from something demented.
    A tall and muscular girl comes in and, without even glancing up at me, begins to work my feet upward and downward ten times each. I watch her move from working on the feet to bending my knees. She’s doing physical therapy on me. I know this without a doubt. I look down at myself. I notice how skinny I am, and that there is not much muscle tissue to work with.
    “Oh! How long have I been here?” I try to ask with an almost inaudible whisper coming out of my mouth. My throat is so dry, and she doesn’t hear me. I never would have believed I would let myself get so out of shape as this. Has to be a good reason for me to look this bad.
    I look at the shape my limbs and body are in with disgust. It does feel good though, to have my joints moved. It’s hard to move my joints by myself, and it makes my joints and muscles feel much better. I allow her to continue her work, although it bothers me substantially that she still has not looked up at my face at all, and knowing she can’t hear my raspy whispers. It makes me believe I am still dreaming, or on cloud ten due to drugs.
    I try to think back to the last thing I remember. No matter how much I concentrate, I can’t recall why I am here. I start shaking when I concentrate on this. I know hospitals do therapy on people who are in bed or are in long-term comas. Logically, I must have been bedridden for a long time. I am confused. I wonder, Did I have surgery due to a car accident? Oh, I hate this. A car accident would make sense.
    I think it is unimaginable that she never looks up at me. Not even once. She acts like she does this very routinely, enough to look like an android that rolls in, does its program, and leaves. As my thoughts are racing around in my brain, I begin to ponder whether anyone knows I am in here. I think, If it was a car accident, maybe nobody knows yet. If it has been a long time, someone most likely will come here soon. I hope to see Jax before long. After the dream I just had, it would be wonderful. Surely he will come to see me in this place. “But don’t call me Shirley.” A movie line? Maybe. I laugh to myself again.
    I will so make her regret not looking up at me! Sure enough, when I roll my leg a little and moan, the P.T. lets out a little scream, her eyes widen, and she goes running off down the hallway in terror. She does not even bother to look up at me before she starts speeding out of the room. I watch her run off and wonder what she would have done if I had yelled, “HEY YOU! LOOK UP HERE!” She probably would’ve had a heart attack. My luck, with her muscular build, she would bring out some kung fu moves and I would have to stay in the hospital for injuries incurred that way. I also think the saying of “Hey you, look up here,” may have come from a movie that had a singing cactus in it. Peculiar, I know. Singing cactus? I can’t help but laugh to myself. I sound so weird. Am I high on something, or what?
    I notice a big red button that reads “Nurse,” so I think to myself, All righty then. I push the button, and an alarm goes off that jolts me to sit up, wide-eyed, and scared enough to jump to the ceiling or under the bed–that is, if one can fit under a hospital bed. I don’t know if I could jump to the ceiling, and I’m not Spidey with spider legs and webbing to raise and hold me there.
    I always read scary books and watched horror movies, so this panic type of setting catches my imagination and makes my heart race like it is bumping hard against my ribcage. Hmmm. Aliens come to mind at the mention of my ribcage. Is that from a movie too? Seriously? Am I really going to stick with thinking about movies? What’s up with the movie trivia?
    Where are all the people who come running when a loud alarm goes off? They should come, right? Instead, it is so silent besides hearing the alarm, I listen to each small droplet of solution drip down in the tubes. I start feeling like I’m in the Twilight Zone. Right before I start to cry out, I see a tall, lanky guy coming at turbo speed around the door, so his shoes slide on the floor to slow his turn down.
    I have to laugh when I get a good look at the guy coming en route to me. It is like he is more scared than I am, from the look on his face. He has long straight hair that is pulled severely back in a pony tail, and large glasses that make his big eyes seem even larger. He is trying to get in front of me so fast, he comes close to landing on his back. He has to do that balancing on one foot thing that contorts his back and side into a crescent shape. Awkward.
    He does have a white doctor’s coat on, but can I know for certain he is a doctor? Why am I so paranoid?
    His crooked smile says, “You’re finally awake! Finally!” Then he clears his throat and asks, “How are you? How do you feel? Do you need anything? Is this light too bright in here?” He talks so quickly, asking so many things at once.
    I decide I will answer one question at a time. Too bright? He’s kidding. The light is so soft that if my eyes were not already accustomed to it, I wouldn’t be able to see down to my toes. Trust me on this–I know how it feels not to be able to see your toes. I mean, when I was very young, I was legally blind. I had a successful eye surgery to help me see and I can still see extremely well, even in this low lighting. He reminds me, “Take only a few small sips of water,” knowing I would down the entire glass if he didn’t say something, and I would feel sick. My throat feels sooo much better, and my voice sounds stronger, plus he can understand me.
    “No, it’s not too bright in here,” I say to him quietly, still wondering if he is a doctor or not.
    My mind suddenly zips through the entire memory of having the eye surgery done. Wow! It was amazing to have it be so successful, especially after I saw the surgeon warning me he could guarantee only half the degree of better sight, which wouldn’t be much. A shape of cutting a pie with a scalpel comes to mind. A pie cut with a scalpel? Oh yeah, sure. This was how the surgeon explained the surgery to me. Yes, this flattened the cornea, so an image being looked upon would go to the correct place on my optic nerve to make the image sharp and clear. That was how it worked. Cool!
    He also had patients who allowed me to talk with them about their surgery. It was remarkable to talk to them, and to find out so much about what to expect. First thing, I asked all of them if they could see a hand and scalpel coming at their eye, and they all laughed so hard and said, “No, you only see shadows!” That was such a good and very comforting thing to hear. It would be like the worst horror movie ever, if I saw that during the surgery. Can you honestly visualize that happening to you while paying the surgeon to do it? Ugh! I am so glad I had talked with his other patients first so I could stay more still and unworried during the surgery.
    I was asked to lie on the surgery table. I felt secure with the cleanliness and sterile field I saw around me. I wasn’t shaking too much to keep me from getting on the table, with them only giving me a pill to keep me a little more relaxed. I was shocked to find out the surgery’s effect was immediate. As I lay there awake, the bright surgical light above me came into focus. I found out it was not just one large light, but there were several lights together to illuminate my eyes with enough light, but without any glare. Like being able to literally see leaves on trees instead of trying to see the trees precisely, one by one, not blurred together. Startling, isn’t it?
    The doctor was a great surgeon, and this turned out to be one of the best things I ever did for myself. After he took the eye bandage off, I saw 15/20. That’s even better than 20/20 vision! I jumped up and gave the doctor a huge hug. It was like a miracle come true to me. Awesome! I could see each individual leaf on the trees!
    Luckily, these memories that are coming quickly to mind are here and gone so fast that no one around knows I am not in the moment. I’m talking snapping your fingers rapid–or more surprisingly, swift as a blink of an eye. I believe this happens to me naturally, for some reason. Although it is so fast, I find no problem keeping up with the images flying so instantaneously in my brain. I understand them all completely, without thinking about it.
    I force my thoughts back to the doctor in front of me. He is still looking at me with such hope on his face, like I should know what to say. How can I know that? As he keeps staring at me, I finally get irritated and a little scared, and I say to him, “What! You are acting like I should know you and where I am. What’s up with that? Should I know you?” A mantra that keeps telling myself to remain calm comes to me. Over and over, I say this to myself. Aware I am in control of myself now, I politely ask where I am and if I can use the phone He gazes at me like he does not hear my request. What’s wrong with him?
    “You….” His voice scratches out, and then stops. He keeps staring at me like an alien is going to burst forth from my rib cage anytime now! Aliens again? What’s up with that? I start wondering what this guy would do if I yelled “HEY YOU!” at him? Another heart attack? Inquiring minds want to know, I think.
    “I’m freaking out!” I cry out. I tell him about the feelings I’ve had, and the way-out things I was seeing.
    “That’s normal, don’t worry. Give yourself some time. I should tell you that since you went into the coma due to the research procedure we used, we cannot put you in the category of a regular comatose patient. Everything will be different from people coming out of comas normally. We will call it comatose for lack of a better word to use. It is more like a little deeper level of sleep–in a near-coma, it would seem. Rules that govern comas may not apply to you. So, please don’t compare yourself to any comatose patients that you may have known about. That said, we are going to follow a couple of the same rules of helping with disorientation following comas, but they may not work in the same way or the same order that a doctor trained for treating comas would normally use.” He uses a totally professional voice now. I like this voice so much better.
    He clears his throat and lets this sink in. Then, the professional voice jumps out the window. He starts asking questions all at once, again. “You don’t remember me at all? Do you remember Sharon? Do you remember college? Remember me in the slightest?” Okay. We obviously must know each other, but I really cannot remember him. I don’t want to upset him any more; no telling what the guy will do. Maybe he is trying to stimulate my thoughts, I think. I can only hope he doesn’t make me go too far at a time. By the look on my face, he apparently decides this is too much right now, and quits asking nonstop questions.
    I look around and notice the extreme pristine look of the room, all except for the two very large square pictures that hang on the walls. Flowers, very colorful and vibrant. I immediately love the pictures, and remember how I love gardening, especially with flowers. He notices me taking in the flower scenes. I remember flower gardening. Yea for me!
    He says, “You would remember flowers, but not me. Maybe in time you will.”
    I moan, “What do you expect to hear me say? You obviously think I should say certain things to you, but I don’t know the words. This will drive me crazy!” I hold on to the mantra, and it helps me calm down. I don’t know where I learned this mantra, but it is my new best friend.
    Suddenly, I feel an extremely strange, prickling feeling coming all the way up my spine from my toes to my head. Whoa! It is enough to get my attention and to stop thinking about aliens, flowers, or anything else.
    He thinks for a moment and tries telling me more memories he knows I usually have to see if it helps stimulate me in a more relaxed manner, which would indeed help me remember more. This is a better way to handle me right now, I think. All those questions and the way he was staring at me were so creepy when I don’t know what is going on. I will want him gone if he starts interrogating me again.
    He begins talking in a normal way. “Your brother, Tommy, your mom, along with your best friend, Rose, and yourself, think a lot about movies and other popular one-liners. It happens between all of you much of the time. You all see so many movies and remember lines that stand out from them. I guess it has become too natural for you to say these lines out loud now. If any incident brings them to mind, you say something about it to each other. You don’t really realize when you do it. I suppose it is your type of humor, and sounds like it is a way of communicating between you so many times. You get many strange looks this way from some people who hear you, especially if the lines are from old movies or ones that most people don’t see. It doesn’t matter–it is hilarious to the four of you, and those who know you. You keep laughing about it, almost to the point of tears in your eyes, like it is the funniest thing to hear.”
    I think, Okay, I genuinely have a brother named Tommy and a mother. Why isn’t one of them here? And one-liners are entertaining, or can be, don’t you think? Many things I thought about when I woke up had a movie behind them. It must be true then. This doctor may know me after all. So I concentrate about Tommy, Mom, and Rose, with and without the one-liners.
    In my mind’s eye I see a good-natured guy who loves to laugh. We seem to be very close and I think, This is my big brother. I see an image of the two of us standing over two graves. I am only five years old. This guy, I do think his name is Tommy, holds my hand and says, “Now, I am and always will be your big brother. My older sister, Sharon, will become ‘Mom’ to you, also at this time.” His sister is my mom? No wonder I am so weird. I must come from a crazy family.
    They turn out to be great companions for me. Lifelong. They are my cousins and lost their parents years ago. Tommy and I call Sharon, “Mom” since our grandparents, now our guardians, always call her our “little mother” due to the way she takes care of us. Yes, we each lost our real parents, but our grandparents are the best parental figures that could ever be for anyone. This rings true to me, and I believe it is. More of their images come to mind, and I encourage them to help me be more aware of their presence. They keep us grounded as much as they can.
    Now, when I say, “Big brother,” I mean he is a good foot and a half taller than I am, though we are the same age! He is always the tallest one at school in his class. A good head taller, which makes him very easy to find; he stands out from anyone else our age. No wonder the big brother image is so strong. I focus on this a little more.
    When we were in school, he always took up for me at recess if anyone dared to bother me. Girls did not bother me since they thought he was cute, and did not want to make him mad. Mom, Tommy, and I used our imaginations a lot and made up traps for our bedrooms that would snare or frighten whoever had the audacity to come in uninvited.
    We go to the gym together almost daily when we are older, and sometimes with my best friend, Rose. I tell them, “I refuse to let us get fat and end up with those flabby wings under the arms. Yuck! I hate to see it on anyone, and could not imagine what it would feel like on myself. Don’t you think that it is freakish?” My body shudders at the very thought of this look even now, with the way my muscles look so out of tone. I can hardly wait to look normal.
    Tommy says, “Yeah, dude, you might fly away with those huge wings!” He laughs heartily.
    “Fool, and what are you going to do with that belly? Hold food and drinks?” We all laugh like we always do. I love this memory. It makes me see and know Tommy and Rose easier.
    Yeah, the four of us have great imaginations, which we all use to the maximum. Maybe too much, since it seems that some people do not get our brand of humor. I know! Right? It may be slightly different from most people’s humor. Not the norm. As Igor said, “Abbie Normal.” That is me. I think, Another movie. It is also a label I know well and hear often. I think it was used on Mom, too, when she was young. That cinched it–he knows me and my family. I wish I knew them more.
    Again, I try to focus all my attention back to the doctor standing in front of me. I say to him, “I am beginning to wonder if I do have something wrong with me. There are so many memories, like bombs dropping around me, with continual firing. It is not stopping, or even slowing down at all. Inside I am on fire, thinking of so many things at once, while trying to keep a facade of calm on the outside.” There is no response from the doctor.
    I decide to start over. “I’m Cynthia Anderson, are you the doctor in charge?” I’m so excited and think, Hey, I remember my name! This has to be a good thing. Cynthia, but called Cyndi, I think to myself. Good. It came easily to me, too. A good sign for my kind of problem, remembering anything! Time is my friend, I decide.
    He merely stares at me. “That is normal, give it time. With your type of eidetic or photographic memory, I imagine all these things bombarding you will be normal for you, until you are completely healed. Remember I’m Keith, your doctor and friend. Do you remember me at all? What is the last thing you do remember?” I hate the way he stares at me. I want to do something that will make him stop doing that. Tommy or Mom will stop him whenever I see them, I feel certain. Anyone I know well will stop him.
    I say, “I am sorry, but I don’t remember you. I do so want to talk to someone I know well, like Tommy or Mom, but first please tell me why I am in this bed! What happened to me? Was I in a car accident? The last thing I remember is dreaming vividly, right before I woke up to all this.” For me not to remember him in the least, with the photographic memory he certainly said I have, makes me very cautious of who he really is. I feel so nervous about him.
    His glance slowly goes towards the floor and stays there for a couple of minutes. Looking back at me, he says professionally, “You have been in a near-coma for eight weeks. You underwent a procedure that could make you sleep for maybe a couple of hours or so since your cancer had spread throughout your entire body but we did not think you would go almost comatose, and for such an extended time. Remember what I told you about how it should not be classified literally as a coma; just a deep level of sleep, where you dream. Most patients don’t even go to sleep at all. Although we hoped you would recover from the cancer, and you did, we had no idea that you would look so young. Most patients do look younger and completely healthy, but you look twenty-five years younger than you were eight weeks ago. Also, there was some cancer that had invaded your brain, which is the only reason I think you are not remembering me. This type of procedure usually cures brain trauma of all types, but there is always a first. Tests should tell us more.” All I can think right now is the dreaded capital “C”.
    “Others you know had this procedure. Your grandparents are now in great health and although they are in their eighties, they look and act like they are in their seventies. Same with Rose and Mr. Roberts, and maybe Tommy. Rose, your best friend, looks barely in her twenties, but maybe a little older than you do, which is normal for the two of you. Mr. Roberts looks in his late forties, and I’m not sure about Tommy. I haven’t seen him lately. They will all be here soon enough.” I want Mom. Right now! I am creeped out to the top of the creep scale.
    I tell myself, Calm down; most of this is good information for me to hear. Now I remember I have more family and friends. More important to me than anybody’s age at this point, which doesn’t make any sense to me right now, I think. I don’t want to forget these names, but really, the age thing is too weird. I mean, really? I look twenty-five years younger in eight weeks? Seriously, he has to know how loony that sounds. I laugh to myself about that. This guy is a doctor, for Mimi’s mimicking! We say superlatives like that sometimes, we pick it up from Tommy saying them so much. Mimi is my beautiful parrot I have had many years, and I remember her. I feel so good every time I remember even a small thing like that.
    Keith continues, not realizing how deranged he sounds. “The first four weeks of your near-coma, you constantly struggled and thrashed around the bed, but the last four weeks, you were serene and calm. We do not know the answer to this. Again, nobody else has done this with this kind of procedure. The only thing we have come up with for this is your dream Cyndi Awakens

    Soft light filters in through an open window. Familiar sounds wake me, drifting through the screen: the cries of birds, and the low crash of waves upon the shore. I open my eyes. My thoughts drift to my boyfriend, Jax. They usually do, and more so since I am sleeping in so long this morning. I can’t quite make out the entire dream I just had, but I think I had the longest honeymoon in history in that dream. I smile and stretch out my arms with a yawn.
    I feel a painful tug on my arm and looking over, I see clear tubes embedded in my flesh, snaking up to an IV stand. I mumble to myself, “What the heck? Where am I?” I take a deep breath. I will just find out what is going on. Right! No problem with that, I should think.
    All around my peripheral vision is shiny gold dust floating around and settling down all around me. Don’t you think I must be a little too blissed out, to be seeing gold dust? I think, Maybe I am still dreaming–or would they give me a hallucinogenic kind of drug for some reason? What reason could there possibly be to make me see things like this, though?
    I was always the one at parties who had to talk people out of closets or from under the bed when they took drugs that distorted reality so much that they could not handle it. Seeing so many friends freak out to the extreme can keep you from taking that strong stuff too, wouldn’t you agree? I became wary of what was going on around me. I knew I would end up being the one in the closet, hiding from something demented.
    A tall and muscular girl comes in and, without even glancing up at me, begins to work my feet upward and downward ten times each. I watch her move from working on the feet to bending my knees. She’s doing physical therapy on me. I know this without a doubt. I look down at myself. I notice how skinny I am, and that there is not much muscle tissue to work with.
    “Oh! How long have I been here?” I try to ask with an almost inaudible whisper coming out of my mouth. My throat is so dry, and she doesn’t hear me. I never would have believed I would let myself get so out of shape as this. Has to be a good reason for me to look this bad.
    I look at the shape my limbs and body are in with disgust. It does feel good though, to have my joints moved. It’s hard to move my joints by myself, and it makes my joints and muscles feel much better. I allow her to continue her work, although it bothers me substantially that she still has not looked up at my face at all, and knowing she can’t hear my raspy whispers. It makes me believe I am still dreaming, or on cloud ten due to drugs.
    I try to think back to the last thing I remember. No matter how much I concentrate, I can’t recall why I am here. I start shaking when I concentrate on this. I know hospitals do therapy on people who are in bed or are in long-term comas. Logically, I must have been bedridden for a long time. I am confused. I wonder, Did I have surgery due to a car accident? Oh, I hate this. A car accident would make sense.
    I think it is unimaginable that she never looks up at me. Not even once. She acts like she does this very routinely, enough to look like an android that rolls in, does its program, and leaves. As my thoughts are racing around in my brain, I begin to ponder whether anyone knows I am in here. I think, If it was a car accident, maybe nobody knows yet. If it has been a long time, someone most likely will come here soon. I hope to see Jax before long. After the dream I just had, it would be wonderful. Surely he will come to see me in this place. “But don’t call me Shirley.” A movie line? Maybe. I laugh to myself again.
    I will so make her regret not looking up at me! Sure enough, when I roll my leg a little and moan, the P.T. lets out a little scream, her eyes widen, and she goes running off down the hallway in terror. She does not even bother to look up at me before she starts speeding out of the room. I watch her run off and wonder what she would have done if I had yelled, “HEY YOU! LOOK UP HERE!” She probably would’ve had a heart attack. My luck, with her muscular build, she would bring out some kung fu moves and I would have to stay in the hospital for injuries incurred that way. I also think the saying of “Hey you, look up here,” may have come from a movie that had a singing cactus in it. Peculiar, I know. Singing cactus? I can’t help but laugh to myself. I sound so weird. Am I high on something, or what?
    I notice a big red button that reads “Nurse,” so I think to myself, All righty then. I push the button, and an alarm goes off that jolts me to sit up, wide-eyed, and scared enough to jump to the ceiling or under the bed–that is, if one can fit under a hospital bed. I don’t know if I could jump to the ceiling, and I’m not Spidey with spider legs and webbing to raise and hold me there.
    I always read scary books and watched horror movies, so this panic type of setting catches my imagination and makes my heart race like it is bumping hard against my ribcage. Hmmm. Aliens come to mind at the mention of my ribcage. Is that from a movie too? Seriously? Am I really going to stick with thinking about movies? What’s up with the movie trivia?
    Where are all the people who come running when a loud alarm goes off? They should come, right? Instead, it is so silent besides hearing the alarm, I listen to each small droplet of solution drip down in the tubes. I start feeling like I’m in the Twilight Zone. Right before I start to cry out, I see a tall, lanky guy coming at turbo speed around the door, so his shoes slide on the floor to slow his turn down.
    I have to laugh when I get a good look at the guy coming en route to me. It is like he is more scared than I am, from the look on his face. He has long straight hair that is pulled severely back in a pony tail, and large glasses that make his big eyes seem even larger. He is trying to get in front of me so fast, he comes close to landing on his back. He has to do that balancing on one foot thing that contorts his back and side into a crescent shape. Awkward.
    He does have a white doctor’s coat on, but can I know for certain he is a doctor? Why am I so paranoid?
    His crooked smile says, “You’re finally awake! Finally!” Then he clears his throat and asks, “How are you? How do you feel? Do you need anything? Is this light too bright in here?” He talks so quickly, asking so many things at once.
    I decide I will answer one question at a time. Too bright? He’s kidding. The light is so soft that if my eyes were not already accustomed to it, I wouldn’t be able to see down to my toes. Trust me on this–I know how it feels not to be able to see your toes. I mean, when I was very young, I was legally blind. I had a successful eye surgery to help me see and I can still see extremely well, even in this low lighting. He reminds me, “Take only a few small sips of water,” knowing I would down the entire glass if he didn’t say something, and I would feel sick. My throat feels sooo much better, and my voice sounds stronger, plus he can understand me.
    “No, it’s not too bright in here,” I say to him quietly, still wondering if he is a doctor or not.
    My mind suddenly zips through the entire memory of having the eye surgery done. Wow! It was amazing to have it be so successful, especially after I saw the surgeon warning me he could guarantee only half the degree of better sight, which wouldn’t be much. A shape of cutting a pie with a scalpel comes to mind. A pie cut with a scalpel? Oh yeah, sure. This was how the surgeon explained the surgery to me. Yes, this flattened the cornea, so an image being looked upon would go to the correct place on my optic nerve to make the image sharp and clear. That was how it worked. Cool!
    He also had patients who allowed me to talk with them about their surgery. It was remarkable to talk to them, and to find out so much about what to expect. First thing, I asked all of them if they could see a hand and scalpel coming at their eye, and they all laughed so hard and said, “No, you only see shadows!” That was such a good and very comforting thing to hear. It would be like the worst horror movie ever, if I saw that during the surgery. Can you honestly visualize that happening to you while paying the surgeon to do it? Ugh! I am so glad I had talked with his other patients first so I could stay more still and unworried during the surgery.
    I was asked to lie on the surgery table. I felt secure with the cleanliness and sterile field I saw around me. I wasn’t shaking too much to keep me from getting on the table, with them only giving me a pill to keep me a little more relaxed. I was shocked to find out the surgery’s effect was immediate. As I lay there awake, the bright surgical light above me came into focus. I found out it was not just one large light, but there were several lights together to illuminate my eyes with enough light, but without any glare. Like being able to literally see leaves on trees instead of trying to see the trees precisely, one by one, not blurred together. Startling, isn’t it?
    The doctor was a great surgeon, and this turned out to be one of the best things I ever did for myself. After he took the eye bandage off, I saw 15/20. That’s even better than 20/20 vision! I jumped up and gave the doctor a huge hug. It was like a miracle come true to me. Awesome! I could see each individual leaf on the trees!
    Luckily, these memories that are coming quickly to mind are here and gone so fast that no one around knows I am not in the moment. I’m talking snapping your fingers rapid–or more surprisingly, swift as a blink of an eye. I believe this happens to me naturally, for some reason. Although it is so fast, I find no problem keeping up with the images flying so instantaneously in my brain. I understand them all completely, without thinking about it.
    I force my thoughts back to the doctor in front of me. He is still looking at me with such hope on his face, like I should know what to say. How can I know that? As he keeps staring at me, I finally get irritated and a little scared, and I say to him, “What! You are acting like I should know you and where I am. What’s up with that? Should I know you?” A mantra that keeps telling myself to remain calm comes to me. Over and over, I say this to myself. Aware I am in control of myself now, I politely ask where I am and if I can use the phone He gazes at me like he does not hear my request. What’s wrong with him?
    “You….” His voice scratches out, and then stops. He keeps staring at me like an alien is going to burst forth from my rib cage anytime now! Aliens again? What’s up with that? I start wondering what this guy would do if I yelled “HEY YOU!” at him? Another heart attack? Inquiring minds want to know, I think.
    “I’m freaking out!” I cry out. I tell him about the feelings I’ve had, and the way-out things I was seeing.
    “That’s normal, don’t worry. Give yourself some time. I should tell you that since you went into the coma due to the research procedure we used, we cannot put you in the category of a regular comatose patient. Everything will be different from people coming out of comas normally. We will call it comatose for lack of a better word to use. It is more like a little deeper level of sleep–in a near-coma, it would seem. Rules that govern comas may not apply to you. So, please don’t compare yourself to any comatose patients that you may have known about. That said, we are going to follow a couple of the same rules of helping with disorientation following comas, but they may not work in the same way or the same order that a doctor trained for treating comas would normally use.” He uses a totally professional voice now. I like this voice so much better.
    He clears his throat and lets this sink in. Then, the professional voice jumps out the window. He starts asking questions all at once, again. “You don’t remember me at all? Do you remember Sharon? Do you remember college? Remember me in the slightest?” Okay. We obviously must know each other, but I really cannot remember him. I don’t want to upset him any more; no telling what the guy will do. Maybe he is trying to stimulate my thoughts, I think. I can only hope he doesn’t make me go too far at a time. By the look on my face, he apparently decides this is too much right now, and quits asking nonstop questions.
    I look around and notice the extreme pristine look of the room, all except for the two very large square pictures that hang on the walls. Flowers, very colorful and vibrant. I immediately love the pictures, and remember how I love gardening, especially with flowers. He notices me taking in the flower scenes. I remember flower gardening. Yea for me!
    He says, “You would remember flowers, but not me. Maybe in time you will.”
    I moan, “What do you expect to hear me say? You obviously think I should say certain things to you, but I don’t know the words. This will drive me crazy!” I hold on to the mantra, and it helps me calm down. I don’t know where I learned this mantra, but it is my new best friend.
    Suddenly, I feel an extremely strange, prickling feeling coming all the way up my spine from my toes to my head. Whoa! It is enough to get my attention and to stop thinking about aliens, flowers, or anything else.
    He thinks for a moment and tries telling me more memories he knows I usually have to see if it helps stimulate me in a more relaxed manner, which would indeed help me remember more. This is a better way to handle me right now, I think. All those questions and the way he was staring at me were so creepy when I don’t know what is going on. I will want him gone if he starts interrogating me again.
    He begins talking in a normal way. “Your brother, Tommy, your mom, along with your best friend, Rose, and yourself, think a lot about movies and other popular one-liners. It happens between all of you much of the time. You all see so many movies and remember lines that stand out from them. I guess it has become too natural for you to say these lines out loud now. If any incident brings them to mind, you say something about it to each other. You don’t really realize when you do it. I suppose it is your type of humor, and sounds like it is a way of communicating between you so many times. You get many strange looks this way from some people who hear you, especially if the lines are from old movies or ones that most people don’t see. It doesn’t matter–it is hilarious to the four of you, and those who know you. You keep laughing about it, almost to the point of tears in your eyes, like it is the funniest thing to hear.”
    I think, Okay, I genuinely have a brother named Tommy and a mother. Why isn’t one of them here? And one-liners are entertaining, or can be, don’t you think? Many things I thought about when I woke up had a movie behind them. It must be true then. This doctor may know me after all. So I concentrate about Tommy, Mom, and Rose, with and without the one-liners.
    In my mind’s eye I see a good-natured guy who loves to laugh. We seem to be very close and I think, This is my big brother. I see an image of the two of us standing over two graves. I am only five years old. This guy, I do think his name is Tommy, holds my hand and says, “Now, I am and always will be your big brother. My older sister, Sharon, will become ‘Mom’ to you, also at this time.” His sister is my mom? No wonder I am so weird. I must come from a crazy family.
    They turn out to be great companions for me. Lifelong. They are my cousins and lost their parents years ago. Tommy and I call Sharon, “Mom” since our grandparents, now our guardians, always call her our “little mother” due to the way she takes care of us. Yes, we each lost our real parents, but our grandparents are the best parental figures that could ever be for anyone. This rings true to me, and I believe it is. More of their images come to mind, and I encourage them to help me be more aware of their presence. They keep us grounded as much as they can.
    Now, when I say, “Big brother,” I mean he is a good foot and a half taller than I am, though we are the same age! He is always the tallest one at school in his class. A good head taller, which makes him very easy to find; he stands out from anyone else our age. No wonder the big brother image is so strong. I focus on this a little more.
    When we were in school, he always took up for me at recess if anyone dared to bother me. Girls did not bother me since they thought he was cute, and did not want to make him mad. Mom, Tommy, and I used our imaginations a lot and made up traps for our bedrooms that would snare or frighten whoever had the audacity to come in uninvited.
    We go to the gym together almost daily when we are older, and sometimes with my best friend, Rose. I tell them, “I refuse to let us get fat and end up with those flabby wings under the arms. Yuck! I hate to see it on anyone, and could not imagine what it would feel like on myself. Don’t you think that it is freakish?” My body shudders at the very thought of this look even now, with the way my muscles look so out of tone. I can hardly wait to look normal.
    Tommy says, “Yeah, dude, you might fly away with those huge wings!” He laughs heartily.
    “Fool, and what are you going to do with that belly? Hold food and drinks?” We all laugh like we always do. I love this memory. It makes me see and know Tommy and Rose easier.
    Yeah, the four of us have great imaginations, which we all use to the maximum. Maybe too much, since it seems that some people do not get our brand of humor. I know! Right? It may be slightly different from most people’s humor. Not the norm. As Igor said, “Abbie Normal.” That is me. I think, Another movie. It is also a label I know well and hear often. I think it was used on Mom, too, when she was young. That cinched it–he knows me and my family. I wish I knew them more.
    Again, I try to focus all my attention back to the doctor standing in front of me. I say to him, “I am beginning to wonder if I do have something wrong with me. There are so many memories, like bombs dropping around me, with continual firing. It is not stopping, or even slowing down at all. Inside I am on fire, thinking of so many things at once, while trying to keep a facade of calm on the outside.” There is no response from the doctor.
    I decide to start over. “I’m Cynthia Anderson, are you the doctor in charge?” I’m so excited and think, Hey, I remember my name! This has to be a good thing. Cynthia, but called Cyndi, I think to myself. Good. It came easily to me, too. A good sign for my kind of problem, remembering anything! Time is my friend, I decide.
    He merely stares at me. “That is normal, give it time. With your type of eidetic or photographic memory, I imagine all these things bombarding you will be normal for you, until you are completely healed. Remember I’m Keith, your doctor and friend. Do you remember me at all? What is the last thing you do remember?” I hate the way he stares at me. I want to do something that will make him stop doing that. Tommy or Mom will stop him whenever I see them, I feel certain. Anyone I know well will stop him.
    I say, “I am sorry, but I don’t remember you. I do so want to talk to someone I know well, like Tommy or Mom, but first please tell me why I am in this bed! What happened to me? Was I in a car accident? The last thing I remember is dreaming vividly, right before I woke up to all this.” For me not to remember him in the least, with the photographic memory he certainly said I have, makes me very cautious of who he really is. I feel so nervous about him.
    His glance slowly goes towards the floor and stays there for a couple of minutes. Looking back at me, he says professionally, “You have been in a near-coma for eight weeks. You underwent a procedure that could make you sleep for maybe a couple of hours or so since your cancer had spread throughout your entire body but we did not think you would go almost comatose, and for such an extended time. Remember what I told you about how it should not be classified literally as a coma; just a deep level of sleep, where you dream. Most patients don’t even go to sleep at all. Although we hoped you would recover from the cancer, and you did, we had no idea that you would look so young. Most patients do look younger and completely healthy, but you look twenty-five years younger than you were eight weeks ago. Also, there was some cancer that had invaded your brain, which is the only reason I think you are not remembering me. This type of procedure usually cures brain trauma of all types, but there is always a first. Tests should tell us more.” All I can think right now is the dreaded capital “C”.
    “Others you know had this procedure. Your grandparents are now in great health and although they are in their eighties, they look and act like they are in their seventies. Same with Rose and Mr. Roberts, and maybe Tommy. Rose, your best friend, looks barely in her twenties, but maybe a little older than you do, which is normal for the two of you. Mr. Roberts looks in his late forties, and I’m not sure about Tommy. I haven’t seen him lately. They will all be here soon enough.” I want Mom. Right now! I am creeped out to the top of the creep scale.
    I tell myself, Calm down; most of this is good information for me to hear. Now I remember I have more family and friends. More important to me than anybody’s age at this point, which doesn’t make any sense to me right now, I think. I don’t want to forget these names, but really, the age thing is too weird. I mean, really? I look twenty-five years younger in eight weeks? Seriously, he has to know how loony that sounds. I laugh to myself about that. This guy is a doctor, for Mimi’s mimicking! We say superlatives like that sometimes, we pick it up from Tommy saying them so much. Mimi is my beautiful parrot I have had many years, and I remember her. I feel so good every time I remember even a small thing like that.
    Keith continues, not realizing how deranged he sounds. “The first four weeks of your near-coma, you constantly struggled and thrashed around the bed, but the last four weeks, you were serene and calm. We do not know the answer to this. Again, nobody else has done this with this kind of procedure. The only thing we have come up with for this is your dream pattern. Do you remember having dreams? Your REM, rapid eye movement, or sleep pattern was very unusual and lasted way longer than normal. This is abnormal to see, but it hasn’t seemed to affect your mental ability. We need to do more tests. That’s all from what I can tell right now.” Did he say it hasn’t affected my mental status? He has got to tell me something real about that sometime.
    I remain silent and try to remember any dreams, but cannot remember anything at first. “Oh, I have the greatest dream where I get married to my boyfriend and have the longest and most romantic honeymoon ever. I mean e-ver. It went on for such a long time, and was so romantic! That’s all I can recall about dreams right now.” I’m hoping this information will appease the doctor for now. If he starts grilling me about this, I will never forgive him, and stay as far as humanely possible away from him.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s