Hendrik Sollich

Coma pt1


Right, left, right, left – the winds shield wipers spun rapidly pushing the unceizing stream of water out of sight. This rain shower had come out of nowhere tonight, apparently one of those spontanious summer rains which end as quickly as they begin.

There was no music from the radio – it had been turned to mute about 20 minutes ago; leaving behind the mere noise from the heavy raindrops punching on the cars rooftop. Outside of the car, besides the allmost opaque rain there was only complete darkness for the rainclouds covered up the moon and stars and here in the middle of the forest there were no streetlights whatsoever. Thus the visible world ended outside the cones drawn by the cars headlights.

Sleep had already overcome the person on the passenger seat, it was 2:34am. Just a short gaze over to the right – „How peacefully asleep...“ - while the own eyelids felt heavy. Now looking back to the street in front. Another car approaved them from the other direction. Its lights piercingly bright – the upper beam had not been dimmed in spite of the other car. After it had passed by the street and everything around had become even darker than before. Only miliseconds – while the driver was still blinded – a large animal jumped across the road right infront of the car. The time barely was enough to recognize it as a deer. Squeaking of the breaks briefly drowned by a load impacting sound. Shattering glass.

What had just happened?

Chapter One

Monday morning, Ashton Hospital.

Good morning Dr. Michels. Nice to have you back...“ one of the nurses said to the man walking across the hallway. His face didn't make the impression as if he would have noticed her. The jacked he wore was covered with mudstains. A long tear in his jeans revealed the left knee. On his forhead there was a big plaster appearently covering a wound. Half of his face and his neck were still red stained – probably from that very wound on his head.

He just walked straight towards the other end of the hallway, not regarding the other patients, nurses and doctors he passed by. „Good morning Michels!“ said the Doctor who was on duty this morning just briefly interupting the examination of an elderly woman. „Hey Daniel.“ Michels responded more mummbeling than actually speaking. Clearly his mind was occupied with the patient waiting for him in the room on the other side of that hallway. „Wait just a second. How are you doing you're self?“ The Doctor waved over a nurse to look after the woman and then walked after him. „Your head looks pretty bad.“ pointing out the plaster on Michels' forehead. But these last words remained uncommented as Michels stepped through the door of room 302.

The beeping of the ECG was slow but steady. Usually he overheard it when he was at work but today he was not on duty and his perspective on the patient he visited was also not that of a doctor but that of a worried spouse. For a moment he stood completely still. There in the only bed in this room lay a very fair looking young woman. Her eyes remained closed as he approached the bed and sat down at her side.

Jannet? Jannet, how are you darling?“ „She can't hear you Carson.“ Michels glanced at his colleague Daniel who had just entered the room, only seconds after Michels. „We were able to stabilise her. She had lost a lot of blood but we stopped the bleeding. She also suffered multiple fractures on her left leg and three of her rips are broken. She's in a coma since she came, there is no way of knowing when...“ „Thank you Daniel!“ Michels did not even want to know all the details. „Carson, please! Let me take a look at your head.“ Daniel looked over the plaster „This must have hurt like hell. That plaster barely seems to be enough for this. Please don't tell me you did this yourself?“ But Michels didn't respond. Instead he leaned forward and took the hand of his wife. His attention was not pointed at anything else besides her. Only the continuous „beep – beep – beep“ of the ECG pierced his head. He has been having a splitting headache ever since he woke up. He wispered almost inaudibly „What have I done?“

Yes, this needs to be sewed.“ Dr. Daniel Muriel spoke in a very prefessional manner. They now were in another room and Daniel examined his patient who did not seem to comprehend what has happened to him. „Do you know what happened? The medic said they found the both of you beside the car but it didn't look like you'd have been thrown out of the car.“ Michels turned his head towards the window. The sun stood higher, it was about 10am now.

I honestly don't know. First thing I remember is coming here. Everything that happened before that is... I don't know.“ Daniel reached for the box with the latex gloves and then called in one of the nurses from the hallway. „Lean back, it's ok. I'd also like to get an MRI of your head after I took care of this laceration...

Chapter Two

Later in the afternoon Carson Michels was cleared to leave the hospital and head home. His friend had checked him but except a few bruises and the sewn lacertaion on his forehead he was found to be fine. The MRI of his head had shown nothing that could explain the blackout he experienced. Carson took a cab back to the house he had bought about five months ago. He gave the cab driver a sizable tip because he didn't look at what he had taken out of his wallet. His eyes where focused on the mailbox by the curb. It was the first thing he noticed. Somebody has got to look for the mail. Carson went for it. When he opened the box an aweful squeaking emerged he never heard before. That was when it occured to him that he had never opened this box before. Usually his wife had picked up the mail. She was not here to do it now. The mailbox was empty.

Inside the house he layed down and tried to sleep for a while until he finally gave up on it. Something kept him awake. He still had this tremendous headache. It felt as if somebody was hitting him from inside on the backside of his forehead with a rubber club. But that was not the only thing that kept him from sleeping. All he was thinking of was the night before. The ride home. What has happened? Carson tried to remember but it was like reaching for coin in a well deeper than his arm was long. It seemed closer than it actually was. He knew it was there. The answer was there. What had happened was there. Carson was positive about it. It was just out of reach. Maybe some distraction could help. In the kitchen on the small cabinet by the refrigerator was the pile with the last weeks newspapers. At least that is where he put them each morning after he had read only the first few pages. By habit he put the paper right there with the intention to finish it after work but every evening when he got home he was either far to tired to read anything or found something else to do. Now there should be a decent amount of unread headlines to keep his mind away from the accident, away from his wife. To his surprise the stack of newspapers was gone. Nothing there to read. Of course, it was monday. Jannet tends to toss them out sunday afternoon when it becomes obvious that no one would pick up these papers if she didn't. It is monday afternoon. Where was todays newspaper? The paperboy throughs them right at the porch. There was no paper. Probably not the first time – who knows.

Carson went into the bathroom and opened the cabinet behind the mirror without looking at himself. There was nothing that made want to see the sewing on his forehead. He reached for a small white bottle of aspirin and took three pills. He swolloed them with the water tap and went back to the living room.

There was something bothering about this house but he didn't know what. Something was wrong in here. For the first time Carson was here by himself all alone. Most days he worked much longer than his wife had done so she has always already been at there when he got home. And then he was either too occupied with her or too tired to really look at things. Every piece of furniture and every single colour in the livingroom had been chosen by his Jannet. She really had a greater understanding of architecture and design. He just noticed – but everything in here reminded him of her. He turned around to look at the photographies on the fireplace. Pictures of her parents, his parents, her with her sister, him with his dog who died four years ago and in the middle a bigger photo of the happy couple. There was the mistake in the room. For a moment he had though the picture had been mirrored somehow. At least it was the wrong way around. Or was it not?

No. It was not. Everything was right the way it was. The headache was getting worse. Time for those pills to kick in. A sudden deep growl. Carsons stomach. He had not eaten in a day. Except for those aspirin. It is not good to take such a dose of aspirin on an empty stomach so Carson decided to get himself something to eat. The frige offered a welcoming filled sight. The kitchen was more Carsons part of the house than Jannets. Even though he had not much spare time he spend a decent amount of it every morning and evening in the Kitchen cooking for his wife and him. Jannet was not as good at cooking as he was. But the idea of cooking only for himself appeared absurd. A sandwich would do.

After finishing this sporadic meal Carson sat down in the livingroom chair and turned on the TV. But as soon as he heard the high frequency sound from the screen it gave him the impression of an iron nail being hammered into his skull. Why did this headache not cease? A press on the button and the TV shut off even before the imaged completely appeared. There is just nothing here to do.

A very familiar yet iritating noise penetrated the front door and cought Carsons attention. The mailbox somebody must have opened and closed it. Carson rose from his chair. The sudden movement caused his headache to spike beyond endurable. Yet there was nothing that held him inside so Carson stepped outside. There was no sign of the postal service whatsoever an not even one single car parked anywhere close. Inside the mailbox was not a letter but merely a piece of paper folded in the middle. It said „Meet me in the clinic...“ but no signature.



Todos los derechos pertenecen a su autor. Ha sido publicado en e-Stories.org a solicitud de Hendrik Sollich.
Publicado en e-Stories.org el 28.10.2006.


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