I’m not in the mood to add to Lost and Found today, it’s been a long day at work. Instead, I’m reworking an old story from Live Journal that I started YEARS ago. The problem? I don’t have a working title yet… HELP!
I’m open to suggestions, based on what you read today. PLEASE include your idea in the comments after the post. Thanks in advance!
I’m writing this hoping that by piecing it all together, I can figure out what is going on, and why. My therapist (whom I shall refer to as “Doctor Gene”) seems to think this is a good idea… I realize I will probably be skipping around a lot, as different memories come to me. Funny that they say I have some form of amnesia, when I remember so much. I guess the best place to start would be with what happened right before this nightmare began.
We were driving down to Florida from New York. We had decided to stay a day or two in Atlanta, the city where we met. The kids were excited, because we were taking them to Six Flags, too. My older daughter was a roller coaster fanatic – she loved everything about roller coasters. She couldn’t wait to go on her first “upside-down” roller coaster. I wasn’t quite as thrilled, being prone to motion sickness.
It had made us a little sad to see how much Northern Atlanta had changed since our move to New York. I remembered Duluth having scattered areas where there were still pastures with a horse or two, though that was changing even before our relocation.
We had made a reservation for a hotel in Douglasville, Georgia, but had decided to drive around in Gwinnett County a little first. The kids were getting kind of antsy, because we had been driving all day. Truth be told, I was getting a little antsy myself. I was behind the wheel, because I had been getting carsick. The girls were fighting over our portable DVD player. It all happened so quickly – I don’t know why I didn’t notice that the light was red until we were almost to the intersection. I tried to slam on the brakes, but the pedal hit the floor without even slowing the car. Then there was that horrifying crunching sound of metal on metal, and blackness.
I don’t know how long there was only spinning darkness. Somewhere out of the darkness, I found myself in the dream about the shadow people. It was a dream that haunted my childhood on more than one occasion, and a dream that always left me feeling disoriented and frightened even after waking up. This time was no different – I woke up staring at a ceiling that was staring back at me. I tried to move my head to look around, and the room started to spin. I closed my eyes again, and tried to think.
It did occur to me at one point to wonder whether I was alive. I decided that the pain I was feeling all over my body would probably be a good indication that I had somehow survived the accident, although sometimes I still find myself wondering. I could feel the pinch of an I.V. needle in my left wrist. Every muscle in my body ached, but at least I wasn’t numb.
I wiggled my fingers and toes. I opened my eyes again, keeping them open long enough for the room to stop spinning this time. When everything was still, I slowly moved my head to the right side, and saw that I was in what appeared to be a hospital. I was in a bed that had metal bars, and could see a curtain. Again, I slowly moved my head, this time to the left. I saw a window with a chair in front of it, and a woman I did not recognize sitting in the chair.
Where was Jason? Was he okay? I tried to say something to the woman, who looked like she had fallen asleep, but my throat was so dry. Why was I so exhausted just from moving my head? I tried so hard to stay awake. I had to ask where Jason was, where the girls were, if they were okay. But I couldn’t seem to make myself talk. Before I could croak out even a word, I was sinking back into the darkness.
I’m not sure how long it was until I came around again, but it had grown darker. The chair was empty, and there was a nurse taking my blood pressure.
“Hey, there, honey,” she said with a slight southern accent. “You deciding to wake up now?”
“Where am I?” I asked.
“You’re in the Gwinnett Medical Center. They brought you here yesterday after an accident. There sure are going to be some happy people when they hear you’re awake.”
“Where is my husband? Is he okay? My daughters, are they alright?”
“I’ll have to get the doctor in here to talk to you, but your husband was here not too long ago. He just left a little while ago, said he was taking the kids to get something to eat. He sure looked like he could use some sleep, though.”
I felt a little better, but I sensed something was not quite right. Why did the doctor have to talk to me about my husband and children? Or was there something else? I tried to sit up, but my stomach hurt and I felt light headed. I looked down at my feet. My legs were still there, and didn’t appear to be in casts. I tried moving my feet. To my relief, I could rotate both feet.
“You really should take it easy,” the nurse said. “The doctor will be in here in a few minutes. In the mean time, you can turn on the television if’ you’d like. The controls are right there on the side of the bed.”
“Can I have have some water, please?” I asked. My throat still felt dry. The nurse brought me a cup of water.
“Someone will be by in a little while to bring your supper. You’re on clear liquids only for now,” she informed me.
After she left, I turned on the television and started flipping through channels, not particularly interested in anything, but finally flipping to Wheel of Fortune. About twenty minutes passed before a man dressed in scrubs entered the room, accompanied by the nurse.
“I’m Doctor Hadley,” he said. “The nurse told me you just woke up a few minutes ago. I understand you may have some questions.”
“I’m concerned about my family. And wondering when I’ll be able to get up out of this bed and get out of here. No offense.” I was not a big fan of hospitals.
“No offense taken. I was really hoping that your husband would be here when you came around, but we couldn’t find him just now. I do have some bad news. You are going to be just fine, but we lost the baby. I’m really sorry.”
“What baby?” I asked. Was he getting me confused with someone else? A flood of panic hit me. If they had the wrong person, then my family might NOT be okay.
He looked a little puzzled. “The child you were carrying didn’t make it. We had to do an emergency C-section last night. You’ve lost quite a bit of blood, which may be why you are feeling weak. It was just too soon for the baby. His lungs weren’t fully developed.”
“I wasn’t pregnant,” I said. “Maybe you are confusing me with someone else.”
“Mrs. DiAngelo, you were four months pregnant when you came in last night.”
“That isn’t my name, either,” I said, in a panic. “My last name isn’t DiAngelo. I’m Gillian Wilkins. You have the wrong patient. Where is Jason?” I felt as though all the air had left my lungs, like I would never breathe again. “Where is Jason?” I said again. I could hear the panic in my own voice.
“Mrs. DiAngelo, you’ve had a shock. You have also suffered from a concussion. Please calm down.”
“Stop calling me that. My name is Gillian Wilkins, and I want to see Jason RIGHT NOW.” I sat up, feeling as though my stomach were tearing apart. I would have climbed out of the bed, too, except that the nurse was already blocking my path.
“Calm down, honey, we’ll get your husband for you, but you have to stay calm. If you get up too quickly, you’re going to rip those stitches right out.”