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Driven

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The scene of the crash was horrific to say the least, red carbon fiber car parts were strewn about mangled and smoldering. A single tire remained upright at lest 20 feet away from the main site of the wreckage. The red corvette, the pride of the owner, Dax, now lay stripped of all previous recognition, mangled and bloodied with its own oil and gasoline. The car looked like a crumpled can of coke, the windshield was no longer visible and all of the windows had been blown out, the car was empty except for the remain of beer cans and receipts from a bar earlier that night. It was about 2 a.m. and if it had not been for the late night worker who just happened to be taking a different route home than usual, Dax may have been trapped inside his car for days on end. The road the wreck had taken place on was about 20 miles in length and very seldom driven upon, it was completely unrecognizable from all the other back roads in this particular part of Panhandle Texas.

Dax had been pulled from the wreckage by the paramedic team and then life-lighted to the nearest emergency room about 30 miles away. If it had not been for their quick actions he would have never stood a chance, but even so, he was still in bad shape. He had been in a coma ever since he had been brought in and no one had seen his eyes open or any conscious movement since that night he got in his new 2007 corvette from the local bar in town. He had then proceeded down this lonesome road to nowhere near his house; no one knew where he had been headed. Many questioned if he even knew where he was going, but he certainly didn’t see it coming when a cow had been crossing the road and he swerved into the woods and struck a tree on an angle and flipped 7 times. Or at least that’s what the forensic team had said.

His mother and fiancé were staring through the thick glass at Dax lying lifelessly in the hospital bed with cuts all over his face and a huge gash in the top of his head that had been stapled shut. They had shaved most of his head to get to the wound and the appearance of Dax bald was enough to send them into tears realizing, this was extremely serious. They had just arrived 30 minutes ago and had not been allowed to enter the room yet in fear of shocking him deeper into a coma, or stressing him even to death. The doctors said the best thing for him right now was complete quiet and darkness; he needed as little stimulation as possible. His fiancé Lauren, tears streaming down her face notice Dax’s eyes twitching constantly behind the shut lids. She had mentioned it to the doctors and they did not have an explanation for it other than, he may be in extreme pain even though being in the coma, but Lauren liked to think of it as him fighting for his life.



Dax startled awake in an open field; grass about knee high in a complete clearing seeming endless with one huge oak tree about 50 meters off. He was extremely confused sitting up slowly and taking in the field and the tree. “Hello?” he called aloud, puzzling whether he had gone on another drunken binge and somehow ditched his car and walked into the middle of a neighbor’s field. He thought of his drunkard Dad who had died in a car crash while intoxicated when Dax was only ten. Dax knew deep down that this should have been a life lesson for him about drinking but when Dax had become 21, only a couple of months ago, he could not stop himself from going out with this buddies, leaving his beautiful fiancé Lauren behind and getting blown out of his mind. He had often awoke to settings he had not been accustomed to and being as that was he was not at all startled to be in an open field. Dax rose to his feet to survey for the nearest road and hopefully locate his car, he couldn’t of possibly walked that far in a drunken stupor as he most definitely was. All of a sudden he got flashes from the night before; he remembered getting in a fight with Lauren about going out all the time but just ignored her and went out anyway. “She’s probably worried sick” he thought and immediately felt remorse and shame for the way he was, “I just cant help it” he thought, “its all my Dad’s fault for being such a drunk.”

Dax started off towards the tree since he could not see a road, he thought getting to a higher vantage point would help him survey for his car and head on home to Lauren who he missed more than anything. A little ways after walking he started to see a figure directly in his path to the tree, “that’s weird” he thought, “why would anyone else be out here in the middle of this field with me?” he puzzled over the question but continued walking, as he got closer he recognized the figure and stopped dead in his tracks. As the figure continued getting closer, the more horror and shock was apparent in Dax’s expression.
His father finally got within touching distance of Dax and smiled at him, “Hello son.” Dax just stared at the man in front of him, refusing to believe it as his father, “you’re dead” Dax muttered in a state of fact manner with no emotion. “You’re right, but by some gift of God I am here now able to talk with you, and help you D.” Tears came to Dax’s eyes as he finally realized this truly was his father, he looked the same, smelt the same, and even called him the same pet name he remembered throughout his childhood, D. Dax embraced his father and they hugged passionately, Dax felt like a little boy again and his father was just happy to be with his son. “How have you been D?” Dax’s father asked.
“Pretty good Dad, I’m engaged to this outrageously beautiful, inside and out, woman named Lauren. I met her in college at UT and we fell in love and moved out here together, I wish you could meet her. She would love you.” Dax said through teary eyes.
His father smiled and said, “Oh I know who she is D, I’ve been watching out for you ever since I left, she’s a wonderful girl and you’re lucky to have her, so you better hold on to her if you ever make it out of here or you’re a fool.”
Dax stopped smiling and looked concerned, “what do you mean… make it out of here. Where am I? Where are you?”
Dax’s father smiled a little less and a glint of concern showed in his eye, “ well I’m not supposed to tell you that son, all that matters is that I’m here now and you can change and fight to be back with your fiancé, don’t you want that son?”
“Of course I want that” yelled Dax, “I would give anything to see her, now just tell me what is going on right now!”
“Son I know you are frustrated, but you just have to trust me, that’s not important. What is important is what I have to tell you, now just set down and listen and take everything to heart.”

Dax sat down next to his father and remembered a time they had visited a ranch the year before his father had passed away from the wreck. Him and his father had never been so close as they spent almost every waking moment together going hiking, fishing, horseback riding, and anything else young boys do with their fathers.
“Now son, you have to realize, what you have and I had, is a disease of the mind. The want of alcohol is an evil thing son, and destroyed my life and will destroy yours if you don’t seriously take into consideration your actions right here and now.” Dax became worried and opened his mouth to speak but his father interrupted. “Now just don’t say nothing right now son, just listen, and listen hard. Don’t make my mistake, I ruined your childhood life and you’re mother’s life every time I would take a sip from that bottle son. And I would do anything to get my life back and change all the wrong I did in the world by the drinking I did. That’s what you may get son, another chance. And you have to realize, there is no future in this lifestyle, Lauren deserves better, and you deserve better. Do you understand?”
Dax looked into his father’s eyes for a moment then smiled and hugged him. “Of course Dad, you’re the only one that has ever given me true advice in every aspect of my life, thank you for this Dad. And don’t think I’m taking this lightly, I’ll never touch a bottle again when I get back.”
Dax’s father tried to smile but his eyes showed a different story, “Hopefully you do get back son, and the drinking sickness only kills the one of us.” As he said this he started to walk off without another word and never turned back no matter how hard Dax yelled at him to stop or no matter how hard he ran after him, he could never catch up.
Dax cried as he saw his father walking off into the distance, he remember how it had felt the day he had died, the hurt, the hate, the loyalty broken, the responsibility of becoming a man. Dax had gone through it all but even so still loved his Dad and no longer blamed him for his “disease”.
Dax wiped the tear from his eyes and tried to grasp where he was. He decided to head on for the tree and try to see his car again, maybe his Dad was just an allusion of a hangover, although that had never happened to him before, but even being an allusion his Dad has offered sound advice that Dax would adhere too even if it was imaginary. He started walking towards the tree again and was about 30 meters off from it saw another figure walking towards him.
“Not again” groaned Dax now convinced he was only hallucinating. The figure got closer and again Dax became worried as he saw the appearance of the figure. “Mom?!” yelled Dax as he recognized her.
His mother smiled and stopped as Dax ran towards her. “Mom what in God’s name are you doing here? Don’t you have work today?”
His mother just smiled sadly with tears in her eyes, “No son, no work today… today I have something more important to take care of… you.”
“What do you mean take care of me, I’m fine Mom…. Well I’m clearly not since I just saw Dad, had a long talk with him too.”
His mother looked worried and immediately folded her hands and prayed, “Dear God, please shelter and protect my son, he is a good boy, always has been, and has much more to serve to your purpose if you only give him more time.”
“Gosh Mom I hate it when you pray about me out loud like I’m not even here” Dax said kiddingly as he smiled. “But really Mom, what are you doing all the way out here, or at least what is your illusion doing way out here?”
His mother took a deep breath trying to hold back tears that came gushing forth anyway. “ I’m here to possibly say goodbye son, hopefully though I will get to be there when you wake up too.”
“Hold on, what do you mean wake up? And what do you mean goodbye? Where am I going.” Dax stated bewildered.
“I can’t tell you all that right now son, you just have to figure it out for yourself, and hopefully the Good Lord decides that I can have you back, and Lauren can have you back too son. I’m just here to tell you to fight hard, and be strong for us, we need you D.”
His mother broke down into tears as Dax began to try to piece together what was happening. “Mom I have no idea what is going on but I promise I will always be there for you no matter what happens. And I love you to death.”
His mother smiled through the sobs, “ I love you to son, I have to go now, so just be good now you hear. Get your rest.”
As she began walking off Dax puzzled over her last statement, “get my rest? What in the world does that mean?”
Dax shrugged it off and finally arrived at the tree, it was a massive tree with a huge trunk and a canopy that provided vast amounts of shade all around it. Dax hadn’t realized how tired he had been until just now. He laid down at the bottom of the tree resting his head against the big scarred trunk. He soon felt his eyes become heavy as he drifted off into a light snooze.

Lauren entered the hospital room and covered her mouth as she got closer to Dax, it was almost unbearable to see him this way. She looked up and down his arms and face and neck that were strewn with cuts and deep gashes that had been stitched up from the wreck. There had almost been a bucketful of glass pulled out of his body and all the deep lacerations showed. The doctors had told her that Dax had not been doing so well, his vitals had been steadily dropping over the past hour and so they had allowed his mother and her in one at a time. His mother had just arrived back out in the hall when Lauren had finally worked up the courage to see Dax up close like this and not just emotionally break down.
She stood over him and instinctively grabbed his lifeless hand, she burst into tears as she felt the scratches all over his hands, that used to be so soft and loving, now were scarred with cuts and pain. She went to stroke his hair but then realized there was none left, only shaved hair and a giant gash in his head with at least 50 staples all along it. She started crying harder but then composed herself. The doctors had told her, either he was going to die very soon, or he was going to pull through and get better, these next 20 minutes were very crucial and that’s why they had allowed her to go in. To hopefully talk to Dax and maybe subconsciously he would pick it up and start doing better.
“Dax,” she almost whispered, “ it’s Lauren…”

Dax awoke under the tree and saw the most beautiful woman in the world standing over him, Lauren, his love. He startled and immediately tried to hug and kiss her but found himself to tired and for some odd reason, to weak to move.
Lauren began crying again as she leaned in and kissed Dax then stayed over his face as she began to talk.
“Dax, I don’t know if you can hear me, but I’m here right now. You’re in the hospital, you were in a terrible accident, you’re in a coma and are not doing so well.”
She choked the words out trying not to break down, she had to be strong for him to make it.
Dax lay there finally realizing what had happened, remember the cow, the crash and then waking up in the field. He realized he was almost dead and finally everything made sense. His father had visited him, he had heard his mother in the room talking and so imagined her responding to his questions. Now he was finally subconsciously awake and unable to move or speak only to look on as the love of his life prepared to either lose, or regain him.
“Dax I need you to be strong for me, I don’t know what I would do without you, I don’t think I could live Dax. I’ve been with you for so long I don’t know anything else other than to love and be loved by you. I couldn’t go day to day knowing you weren’t going to be there when I got home to kiss me and lay down to sleep with me. Dax you need to get better. I forgive you for the fight, I don’t care anymore I just need you here and now Dax. You need to pull through.”
Dax tried to move even the tiniest muscle to let her know that he had heard her, but he couldn’t. All of a sudden he felt a stabbing pain inside his head. He heard the beeping of the machine next to him as things became hazy. He could no longer see Lauren only feel her hand on his as he tried to squeeze it with all his might. But the pain was too strong.
“NO” Lauren cried as she leaned in to kiss Dax one more time as he began to slip away from her, “ You cant do this Dax you have to get better!” she yelled at him.
Dax’s vision began to narrow as he saw less and less of her face. Then there was nothing, just blackness.

It had been two months since Dax’s death. Lauren had moved into a new house of her own and Dax’s mother had moved in with her. They both helped each other throughthe worst of the times about a month ago, but every day was still a struggle. They kept a picture of Dax on the kitchen table and every day prayed for his soul, and prayed that he would watch over them. Lauren swore never to date another man, her heart still belonged to Dax she said. And one day they would both be able to share their love again.





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