Another piece of flash fiction inspired by reality, to try ease the knots of my mind – it’s been a hellish week …
Heart pounding, blood rushing in my ears, stomach churning, chill setting in. “What?” I frantically whisper. “Say that again?” I’m somewhat naïve, always expecting good news. It’s strange, seeing as I’m a worrier by nature, but I always feel I’ve been punched in the gut with something unpleasant. His phone call changed everything. “I’m fine, I’m OK, but the car …” That’s all that really sank in.
My head was spinning with nonsense thoughts as we sat in the hospital waiting room. He was OK, he had told me so himself on the phone just two hours ago before the endless wait and drive over to collect him, with a few jagged missed turns along the way. The eyes of others waiting to see their injured loved ones wavered on me for a second before moving on to the next poor spouse.
“You can see him now – one at a time,” the nurse interrupted my thoughts and my legs from jigging up and down on the floor as though being jerked around by a hidden puppet master. I shot up, almost knocking my dad out of his seat, and ran after her down the complicated hallway. She entered a code and led me into the secure ward – “Second ‘room’ on the left”, she said before spinning on her heels back to the frantic and unfortunate behind me. I forced myself to calm down. Deep breaths, eyes shut, clenched fists – and I was in. Light blue curtain pushed aside and harsh lighting made him look smaller, bigger, younger, older, paler, more fragile than before. He opened an eye at the noise and smiled slightly. Relief. He really was OK. We got off very easily, considering.
After an endless, admin-filled wait while my mind filled with waves of white noise crashing over each other and he was mine again. We’ll be fine. We are fine.
Car crash, tow truck, ambulance, wheelchair, x-rays, hospital stretcher, father-in-law’s car, hot bath, restless bed. Depression, regret, acceptance. Pain, confusion, insurance, police, back to the real world.
He’s going to be just fine. We were so lucky.