Why Can't You Hear Me

August 14, 2009
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I lay on the bed still. It's been three months and still this bed is my home. They stopped coming now: my friends. They don't know I can hear them still but I can. Even though the machine has to breathe for me, even though my pulse is weak, I can still hear them.

I heard when Jacob,my boyfriend, came to visit me when he got out of the hospital. All though I couldn't see his face, I heard his teary apologies to my parents. But I know they still blame him. He was the one driving, he hit the tree. He comes over to the side of the bed and carefully places his hand on my IV covered wrist. "I'm so sorry Tessa." He whispers. I wish I could say 'It's okay!' but I can't: my lips won't move. He leaves.

When Alliah and Shana come to visit me, I could hear. They brought flowers for me. Roses, they said: I couldn't smell them. My nose doesn't work. They talked to my parents for a while. About me, then about school. I hadn't missed much apparently, Biology class still boring as ever. They told my parents that they would try and come back later this week, after cheer practice, then they left.

My parents, ever faithful, stayed by my bed for the entire first week. My Mom even took off work, a rarity for her. I could hear them talking about me. All the things they remembered me doing. All the times I had gotten in trouble but they didn't care. The first time I rode my bike, my fifth birthday, taking me to pick up my drivers license. Then they talked about Jacob. And why he ran into the tree. Was he drunk? Were they drunk. I wished so badly I could open my eyes and scream to them 'NO! Jacob didn't do anything! There was a deer in the road! He swerved to miss it!' but I can't.

I can hear the doctors and nurses as they come in every day. Busily checking my pulse, readjusting the tubes that cover my body. Mixing concoctions of medicine they swear will wake me up. Telling my parents "Just a couple more days. Then she'll wake up." Their pens on their clipboards, writing down every statistic they can find about me then tearing off the page to add it to the ever growing file with my name on it.

After the first month, it gets silent. Now, the only noise is the doctors, coming in every couple hours to refill the IV bags. My parents don't come everyday anymore. My boyfriend is history, and my friends: I can only imagine the roses wilted on the bedside table. I can't see or smell them, remember?

Three months is a long time to wait. A long time to lay on a hard bed, unmoving. Too long for the doctors to wait. Too long for a bed to be occupied. It is a Saturday, I can tell because my parents are here. They only visit on Saturdays now. The doctor steps inside the room with his clipboard and addresses my parents.

"Mr. and Mrs. Hacknan, your daughter is still not showing any signs of recovery. It's been three months and we've tried every combination of medicine, every possible remedy, to no avail. Unfortunately, part of my job is to inform parents when we believe their son or daughter is at a point of no return."

'What! No return! Woah, dude! I'm right here!' I scream inside my head. He can't hear me.

"And unfortunately, we think that that time has come with Christene." He finishes.

"Are you sure?" My dad asks. His voice is shaky, but still strong.

"We believe that Christene has suffered such massive brain damage that she can no longer recover. Our very advanced medical staff has concluded that her brain just can't take the stress of functioning anymore, which is why none of our medication has worked."

"So, what are you saying Doctor?" My Mom inquires now. She knows exactly what he is saying, she just wants to hear it from him.

'Mom! Don't let them talk you into this! I'm here! I promise! I just can't wake up! No! Don't let him!' I try to push the words out but they just won't budge.

"We believe that it would be best to let Christene off the ventilator." He says in one breath.

I can hear my parents shift in their seats.

"Truthfully, we have kind of been expecting this." My Dad tells the Doctor. "We've already discussed what we wanted to do and if there is any way, could we take her off the ventilator and see if there is any hope? Any possibility to start her lungs up again?"

"Of course, if that's what you want then we will do everything in our power once we take her off to make her breathe again." Doctor reassures my parents.

"Okay, then, let's do it." My Dad says, still shaky.

'NO NO NO NO NO NO!!!!' I scream in my mind. 'DO NOT TAKE ME OFF! DON'T GIVE UP YET! PLEASE!'

The Doctor leaves the room and returns a couple minutes later with a team of specialists. I can hear my parents get up as the group walks in.

"Now, if you could just stand over there, we will take her off and try to revive her." A new Doctor's voice says.

I feel many hands on me in a moment as the Doctors take their positions along my bedside.

'Please don't!' I still scream to them. But they can't hear me. Nobodies listening anymore.

A doctor turns off the ventilator and I feel my lungs collapse. The tube is removed from my through and the doctors stand by.

'Please, please, please!' I scream. 'Put the ventilator back in! I'm here! Can't you hear me!?'

The Doctors rush around me now. Poking and prodding the needles in my arms. Injecting serums into my body, trying to make me breath by myself.

"Is it working?" My Mom asks.

The Doctors stand back now. I can feel the breath draining out of me. The medicine slowly making its way through my blood stream. The life is draining out of me.

'No...don't take it away!' I whisper. 'Why aren't you listening!?'

"Christine!" My Mom cries.

"Time of death?" The Doctor asks.

"3:36." A nurse replies.

'No...' I say again my mind becoming foggy. 'Why can't you hear me?'


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This article has 4 comments. Post your own now!

ultrabookworm said...
Sept. 8, 2009 at 3:57 pm
Whoa, I am really impressed with this one. You are really talented- keep writing!!
This is a very unique short story idea. Wish I'd thought of it!!
Sarah S. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Sept. 8, 2009 at 6:31 pm
thank you! :) i actually am mad at myself for posting this one. i posted this and then the next day revised it and made it 10 times better...oh well this one's good too :) thanks tho!
ultrabookworm replied...
Sept. 8, 2009 at 9:25 pm
:) Yeah, I know how that feels!! Grr, right? But yeah, this one is really good.
Sarah S. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Sept. 11, 2009 at 6:53 pm
thanks :) i appreciate it! check out some of my other work! i love feedback!
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