For a time I lay suspended between consciousness and blessed nothingness. My mind and body worked against each other. My body wanted to return to life, but my mind wanted to remain in that wonderfully numbing black abyss where I felt safe and there was no pain.
My pain extended beyond physical and into an emotional realm so deep once I learned that Michelle hadn’t survived the traffic accident we were in. I guess it wasn’t an accident in the sense of someone hitting us, pulling out in front of us, or us hitting someone else. Michelle’s pickup had somehow been tampered with by what everybody believed was someone she helped bring to justice. I don’t know cars well so I’m not sure how they did it. I guess they loosened something or something like that. Once whatever was loose finally let go, Michelle lost all control of the vehicle.
I was “lucky” in that I had only broken my legs in the head-on collision that fortunately didn’t kill or harm anyone else. I had a broken ankle and tibia in my right leg, and my other had a broken knee. I required several surgeries to put my legs back together. It was a damn shame that there was no surgery that could put my mind back together as well. Suicide was definitely in order. I just couldn’t accomplish that while I was in casts, and unable to walk unassisted long after that. Once free of the casts I was wheelchair-bound. Eventually I graduated to crutches. I was told that eventually I would be down to nothing, but that I would always walk with a limp.
I remembered bits and pieces of conversation while I was in the hospital and still pretty out of it, but given all the drugs I was on, I wasn’t sure that I trust most of those memories. Nonetheless, I was aware of people and voices before I was fully conscious. I overheard the nurses and doctors expressing their concerns to Angela about my being a possible suicide risk, so I guess I didn’t have to say anything for people to know what was on my mind. Either way, Angela promised to do all she could to “meet my needs.” I wasn’t sure what this meant. Was she going to look out for me for a while?
Sorry, Angela. You can’t help me. Not if you can’t bring my Michelle back.
I always knew that all good things eventually came to an end. I just didn’t realize it would be so soon. Should I have figured that my life was too good to be true?
Then I would hear snippets of medical chatter, some of the terms in which I did not understand. I heard someone also tell Angela that I had anterograde amnesia.
What the fuck is that? my mind automatically asked.
My question was answered in an explanation to Angela. My past memories would likely remain intact while I would have trouble forming new ones. Did this mean that if Angela introduced me to a friend of hers I would forget them the next day? Or would I keep forgetting who Angela was?
There were times I sensed Angela close to my bedside and that no one else was in the room. “You weren’t supposed to be in the damn truck,” she would mutter.
I could be wrong about this, given how messed up my memories of present times were supposed to be, but I could’ve sworn she did say this a few times.
“You weren’t supposed to be there. Oh, why were you in that truck, babe?”
Whatever. She was probably just referring to the fact that whoever rigged the truck was after Michelle and not me.
After what seemed like an eternity - I’m not sure how long exactly because I kept forgetting how long they said I had been there, of course - I was discharged from hospital. Angela was taking me to live with her until the opportunity presented itself for me to join my beloved Michelle. When the time was right, I would go.
Michelle’s sister Linda sold our condo, and I had a lot of money in the bank, not that any of it mattered. I would eventually leave it to Angela for doing what she could to help me out while I was still alive.
Angela carried my crutches as the nurse wheeled me down to the parking lot, the two of them discussing plans for me to have physical therapy as if I were now little more than a pet dog that couldn’t make its own decisions. I guess I would stay someplace during the daytime while Angela was at work. When Angela was out of town, she had friends and family I could stay with.
If it weren’t for losing Michelle, I would be beyond grateful to Angela for coming to the rescue like she did yet again, and anyone else that might help out in the future. Instead, all I could feel was heartbroken.
So heartbroken that it was only a matter of time before Angela learned that she couldn’t always save me.