True to Doctor Brandt’s word, Rainbow continued to sleep on and off over the next few days. She was able to stay awake more and more as the days passed, even though she didn’t seem to want to for sleep was her only escape from reality.
“I don’t understand why I can’t move much,” Rainbow half-moaned one day as she sat slumped in a wheelchair by the window.
“Your brain started shutting down and it cut off the oxygen supply and the blood flow throughout the rest of your body. That’s why you’re very weak right now,” Nadja explained.
“I know this. I just don’t get why I’m still weak. It’s been days now.”
“Some things are going to take time, but you’ll get better,” Nadja said, trying to sound cheery and optimistic as she studied the girl’s profile. Before trying to take her life, Rainbow may’ve been depressed but she was fit and healthy-looking. Now she seemed pale and frail.
“I have no insurance.”
“I know. The country takes care of those in need. Don’t worry. You may not always get what you want, but you will get what you need.”
“I don’t think so,” Rainbow said sadly. “I don’t think they can ever give me what I need.”
“I know you feel that way right now, but…”
“Did you talk to my sister?” Rainbow asked, cutting her off.
“Yes, I did. She loves you very much and wants you to get better.”
A snort from Rainbow. “What a fuck up of a sister she has, huh?”
“Oh, no, don’t say that.”
“But it’s true. I failed at life and I failed at death. What else can I fail at?”
“Not much when you really think about it,” Nadja said, again trying to cheer the girl with a light tone and a big smile. “I just think…”
“Why is it that only a small percentage can act on their plans?” Rainbow asked too softly for Nadja to make out.
“What’s that, hun?”
“Most of us will agree that life isn’t what we plan it to be. So what makes the very small percentage like you who gets what they want so privileged?”
“Well,” Nadja said, choosing her words carefully, “I guess we all have different lives and that sometimes things happen to us that are beyond our control. We all just have to try our best. You’re a lot smarter than most people, Rainbow, and I don’t just mean by being able to learn languages and things like that.”
Rainbow said nothing and just continued to stare blindly out the window, lifeless and devoid of emotion.
“You ended up saving me in return,” Nadja continued. “Remember that warning you gave me at the restaurant?” When she got no answer she went on. “The next day I almost got hit by a car that ran a stop sign. It’s a good thing I’m a careful driver and remembered what you said.”
Just when Nadja didn’t think Rainbow would say anything more she said, “At least your life was worth saving.”
Nadja tried to convince her that hers was worth saving as well, but she knew Rainbow didn’t believe her.
The days went on and Rainbow was eventually transferred to the psychiatric clinic despite the fact that she still couldn’t walk without assistance.
Her sister sent a card and had some money transferred to Nadja to give to her so she could buy herself additional hygiene items if she wanted to and other things to make her life a bit more comfortable at the clinic. Nadja sometimes brought her flowers or candy. She also brought her whatever possessions of hers that had been left in her motel room that was allowed at the clinic.
“I’ll hang onto your laptop until you get out of here,” Nadja told her.
Rainbow accepted what was given to her with a polite nod and sometimes she even showed a hint of a smile, but for the most part, she continued to be as distant as could be.
A nurse approached her one day as she laid in bed, pointed to her watch and said, “Arzt jetzt.”
Rainbow knew that meant that it was time to see the doctor.
She pushed herself up into a sitting position which took some serious effort, then the nurse guided her by the arm and down a corridor to an office in which they usually met.
“Hello, Rainbow,” Doctor Fleischer said when she was led into the room.
“Hi,” Rainbow muttered.
“I passed by Nadja on the way here who is now waiting in the reception area and we were wondering if she might be able to sit in on our meeting this time so we can all talk. If not, she said she’d stick around until we’re done and then visit with you afterward. I just thought it might be different if we included a friend in one of our meetings.” This was true, though the doctor actually had another motive for bringing in Nadja and that was to see if along with her guidance she could use Nadja as emotional stimuli. “Would it be ok?”
Rainbow nodded almost mechanically and then the doctor picked up a phone on the desk and spoke to someone in German.
“Hello there,” Nadja said with a smile as she entered the room a moment later. “Thanks for letting me in on one of your little gatherings.”
“You’re quite welcome,” Dr. Fleischer told her with a smile. “Have a seat.”
“How are you feeling today, sweetie?” Nadja asked her.
A flicker of annoyance crossed Rainbow’s features. “How do you think I feel?”
Nadja wasn’t sure how to respond. She glanced at the doctor who sort of winked at her.
“We know you’re getting stronger by the day even though it will be a while before you can walk and get around on your own, but how about up here,” the doctor said, tapping her head.
“Like I said, how do you think I feel?”
“We can speculate, but I think it will help everyone involved to hear it in your own words. It’s never good to hold in your feelings.”
“It’s just that I shouldn’t have to say what should be so obvious.” Rainbow then eyed Nadja with cold eyes. “You shouldn’t have saved me. All you’ve done is make things worse.”
“But you have so much to live for—”
“Like what?” Rainbow asked, unaware that the doctor had motioned for Nadja to remain silent because she wasn’t facing her. “What have I got to live for? I lost the only person in the world who ever mattered to me and who truly loved and accepted me as I was. And then I lost my home. So what the fuck have I got to live for?”
Nadja gazed intently at Rainbow.
“I took all those pills for a reason and it was because I wanted to die. Now thanks to you my misery goes on.”
Rainbow’s voice was growing louder by the minute and for the first time since she’d been hospitalized a bit of color was visible in her cheeks.
“But things really will get better—”
“Oh, bull fucking shit they will!” Rainbow screamed. “You don’t know me, you don’t know shit! If you’d have just left things alone and minded your own damn business I would be gone now.”
“Yeah,” Nadja said with a nod, “and a lot more people would be feeling the same loss and misery you’re feeling right now. Is that what you want?”
“Fuck what other people feel!”
“Don’t you care what your sister—”
“No, I don’t care!” Rainbow shouted. “If I thought she could help me or somehow make my life better, don’t you think I would still be in Connecticut? I appreciate her trying to help me now and all that, but there’s nothing she or anyone else can do to help me.”
“Rainbow,” the doctor said gently. “You didn’t expect to be rescued, but why Germany? You must’ve chosen it to be your final place for a reason.”
“I already told you why. I was doing a tour of Europe and stopping off to see cyber friends.”
“But why not Spain or Italy?”
“Because I had a crush on the bitch, that’s why!” Rainbow screamed. “Are you happy?”
Under different circumstances, Nadja just might be tempted to laugh at that one. Instead, she cleared her throat and said, “Well, I’m flattered you—”
“Oh, go fuck yourself. Just go fuck yourself, quit flattering yourself, and just go to hell! If I ever see you again after today I promise I’ll be the nightmare you can’t wake up from!”
Nadja locked stares with Rainbow whose face was now beet red. Tears of anguish began to spill forth from her eyes. Nadja attempted to reach out to her but she only pulled away.
The doctor stood still and quiet, wanting Rainbow to get it out.
And Rainbow did just that as she began to cry hard, burying her head in her hands. “None of it was supposed to happen. None of it. I wasn’t supposed to lose my Carlos,” Then she looked up at Nadja. “And we weren’t supposed to meet even if it was always a nice thought.”
“But we did,” Nadja said softly.
“Rainbow,” the doctor said as she rose from her chair and came around to the front of her desk. “Many people believe that things happen for a reason. And while what happened was a horrible thing, it could be to set the stage for something new and different that’s in store for you.”
“Oh, that’s fucking bullshit!” Rainbow cried, anger bubbling to the surface once again. “It happened because something up there hates my guts. That’s why it happened.”
“We may never know that, but Nadja really wants to help you.”
Rainbow rolled her eyes. “Oh, please! The idea of being rescued and brought back to life by someone good-looking so you can live happily ever after is pure fantasy.”
Nadja shifted forward in her chair in order to be in Rainbow’s line of vision. “We’ll never know what was meant to be if you don’t give things a chance.”
Last updated April 17, 2021