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There is Always Hope
“How long do you think she’ll be in here?” I hear my mother ask.
“I don’t know honey, but Annie is a very strong girl, everything will be okay,” my dad responds.
“I just don’t want her to have to put everything off because of someone else’s stupid mistake,” she mumbled.
“If she needs to she can push back law school till next fall,” he says.
My parents conversing about me is the first thing I hear, but then the television, and the wind blowing through the open window distracted me and I couldn’t hear the end of their conversation. The comfort of everything I can hear makes me think that I am at home, safe and secure. ‘I must have fallen asleep on the couch,’ I think to myself as I slowly build up the strength and courage to open my eyes.
My eyelids flutter open then closed a few times as my eyes adjust to the bright white light in the room. I begin to stir as I leave my dream world behind and enter the real one. My slight movement must have caught the attention of my parents because they both make their way over to me. I lift my head which seems to weigh 100 pounds and glance up at them. They both stand there with what looks like forced smiles.
A continuous beeping draws my attention away from my parents and I gaze around the room in search of the noise, hoping to make it stop. Instead of finding the source, I notice that there is an old television, the type with dials suspended from the ceiling. There are pictures of rainbows, the alphabet and even a number line all hanging on the walls. The walls are painted a white, and I could hear shoes squeaking on the waxed tiles. ‘This is not home,’ I think, ‘Where am I?’
A sudden fear comes over me as I realize that something is wrong. A tug on my hand and a slight push on my shoulder force me back down onto a lumpy mattress, when I quickly try to sit up. I look down at my hand and see a needle sticking out of it that is attached to a bag hanging beside my bed. My stomach suddenly gets an uneasy feeling. I look over to my other shoulder and follow the hand back up to my mom’s face. Looking at my parents I notice how tired they both look, like they haven’t slept in days.
A puff of air comes out when I open my mouth to ask my parent’s what’s going on. I try again and again, but still, no noises come out. I look up to my parents searching their eyes for an answer. But my mother only puts her hand to her mouth, as if to stop her own sounds. My dad doesn’t say anything either; instead I can see his eyes filling with tears. He leans in closer to me “I’m going to go get the doctor, everything will be fine,” he whispers, before leaving the room.
A few minutes later my father walks into the room with another man trailing behind. I search the man’s blank face searching for something to trigger a memory as to what happened, but I come up empty.
“Hi Annie, welcome back. Do you remember who I am?” he asks me. I open my mouth to answer, but nothing occurs. I slowly shake my head from side to side. “Annie. I’m Doctor Wallace. I’m the one who did your surgery. Do you remember that?” he asks. Again I shake my head. He quickly jots down some notes in his manila folder.
“We should tell her what happened,” my dad states turning to the doctor. Dr. Wallace shakes his head in agreement and hands me a pen and paper.
“This is for you to write anything down that you want to say,” he tells me. I nod my head in agreement. “Annie, you were in a car accident and we then had to do emergency surgery.” Dr. Wallace tells me as he pulls up a chair beside my bed. ‘What happened?’ I write. “You were hit by a drunk driver. When you came in we found that you had a brain tumour. We did six hours of surgery to remove it,” he responded calmly. Hearing what has happened to me, releases a single tear that rolls down my cheek.
A complex machine beside me begins to beep and Dr. Wallace quickly gets up and checks it out. He writes a few more notes down and then examines my head.
“Annie can you try to say something?” he asks me. I open my mouth and try with everything I’ve got, but nothing comes. He swiftly writes down a few more notes before turning to my parents. Both my parents’ faces have gone white and I can see the fear in their eyes. “It appears that the tumour and surgery did more damage than we expected,” he whispers to them. I can tell he is hoping that I won’t be able to hear him say this. I lift up the pen and write. ‘Will I ever be able to talk again?’ Dr. Wallace just looks at me. My mother begins to sob, when he quietly says, “There’s always hope.” I begin to write ‘Hope’ over and over and over again on the paper.