The Proposition, p.20Jessica Schlafer
What is that God awful sound!
I tried to open my eyes but the bright light hurt too much, so I closed them again. I could hear beeping and something blowing? Sucking? Whistling? I didn’t know what it was.
Where am I?
I could tell I was in a bed.
What bed am I in?
I finally recognized the smell. I was in a hospital. The sounds I heard must be machines. I moved my left arm and could feel things taped to it. I tried to move my right arm and it felt heavy. I moved first my left leg and then my right leg. Both moved, but my right leg felt very stiff and sore. I could feel that it was wrapped in something.
Thank God! I can move my legs.
Now to figure out what was wrong with my right arm. Slowly, I inched my arms together so my left hand could feel my right arm.
A cast! My arm is broken!
I wanted to cry. I licked my lips and realized my mouth felt like gravel and my lips were beyond chapped.
Oh my God! Where is Nick?
I shot my eyes open and squinted until I was used to the light. Luckily, the overhead lights were off and there was only a bedside table lamp turned on. I looked around the room and didn’t see anyone. I tried to sit up and suddenly felt incredibly dizzy, so dizzy that I threw up. Then I cried.
I was trying to slide off the bed when the door opened and Nick walked in.
“Holy shit, Abby,” he said, excitedly. “What are you doing?”
“I was going to look for you,” I sobbed. “And then I got sick.”
He rushed to the side of my bed and stopped short, “Is that vomit?”
“Yes,” I whined, hiccuping.
Nick reached the side of the bed and pressed the call button for the nurse. Then, he took several steps back. “I’m sorry, Abbs, I don’t do puke.”
Seconds later, the door opened and a nurse walked in. “Well, hello,” the middle aged woman said. “Why are you trying to get out of bed?”
“I wanted to find Nick.”
“Sweetie, you could’ve just pressed the call button.”
I sniffled in response.
“Let’s get you cleaned up,” she had nice eyes. “I’m going to go get someone else to help in here and some supplies. I’ll be back in less than five minutes. DO NOT get out of bed.”
“When she comes back, I’m going to step out and call Paul to tell him you woke up,” Nick said.
“How long have I been here?”
Nick ran his hands through his hair, “Um, five days.”
“FIVE DAYS,” I shouted.
Oh, my God, my head!
“Are you hurt?”
“I have a few cuts and scrapes, nothing serious,” he wouldn’t make eye contact.
“You’re okay then?” I noticed that he hadn’t shaved and looked like he hadn’t slept in days. His clothes were rumpled.
“Abby, I’m so sorry,” he said. “I should’ve seen it coming. I knew something wasn’t right.”
Just then, the nurse came back in with a female orderly. “Okay, sweetie. We’re going to have to change your bedding and your gown and we’ll have to clean you up. Do you want the young man to stay?”
“I have to go out to a make call,” Nick said, leaving right away.
“He’s been in here since he was released. Is he your boyfriend?” The nurse asked, I noticed her name tag said Erica Harrison.
“Something like that,” I said.
Over the next 20 minutes or so they changed my bedding, gave me a sponge bath, and put me in a new hospital gown. When they finished with that, the orderly took the soiled linens and left. Erica Harrison stayed and checked my vitals.
“Okay, do you know your name?”
“Abigail Moss. What’s wrong with me?”
“I’ll let the doctor tell you when she comes in,” she said, writing some things on my chart. “Everything looks good. I’m going to let the doctor know you’re awake. The remote for the tv is right there,” she pointed to the side table. “Just press the call button if you need anything.”
And I was alone again. I looked around the room and noticed the many flower arrangements that were in the room with me. There were stuffed animals and what appeared to be cookies made to look like flowers.
Just a few minutes passed before Nick came back in. The doctor came in just seconds after.
“Hello Abigail. My name is Doctor Rhodes. How are you feeling?”
“My head hurts and I’m dying of thirst.”
“I see. On a scale of one to ten, how badly does your head hurt?”
“Um, I want to say ten but I feel like you'd think I was exaggerating. I guess, an eight?”
Doctor Rhodes laughed. “If you want to say ten, I’d believe it. You did take a pretty hard hit to the head. How about your arm? Does that hurt?”
“Not really,” I said, looking at my arm. “Is it broken?”
“Just a slight break. You’ll have to wear the cast for a while, unfortunately. Your head is going to hurt for a while. You have four stitches from where it got cut. You may have dizzy spells for a few months. You were very lucky you weren’t hurt any more than you were.”
"And my leg?"
"It's pretty badly bruised, we thought it was broken, but fortunately it wasn't. You'll have to walk with a cane for a while."
“Was I the only one hurt?”
“Just you,” she said.
“When can I go home?”
“Well, let’s see how things go tonight. Now that you’re awake, we’re going to see how you handle any pain. We’ll see how things go tonight and we’ll talk first thing tomorrow.”
“What time is it?”
She glanced at her watch, “It’s four o'clock. You’ll have to be on a liquid diet for the rest of the night. I’ll have the nurse get you something for the pain and some broth to sip as soon as possible. Drink a lot of water, you’re also dehydrated.”
With that, the doctor was gone and I was alone with Nick again.
“There’s water in the pitcher. Do you want some?”
Nick poured some water from the pitcher and held the straw so I could drink. I finished the first cup of water quickly and felt a little better. The nurse came in with some pills for me to take and said someone would be in soon with some chicken broth for me.
“Nick, what’s wrong?”
“Abby, I can’t help but feel responsible for this.”
“Why? You didn’t hit that car, he hit us.” Then it dawned on me. “How is the other driver?”
“Nick, I deserve to know.”
“He got away.”
I had no response.
“We think we know who did it.” He looked at the floor, “I’m so sorry, Abby. We shouldn’t have brought you here.”
“But now I’m in too deep.”
“Am I still in danger?”
“I won’t let them hurt you,” Nick’s eyes were blazing.
“You can’t be with me all the time, Nick.”
“I will be, until you’re well enough to go back to Boston.”
The Proposition by Jessica Schlafer / Romance & Love have rating 2.5 out of 5 / Based on40 votes