Black Reality

November 24, 2011
When I hear the news, I drop to my knees and I can feel the breath being knocked out of my lungs. I don’t hear all the people asking if I’m okay, all I can hear is my deep ever-present breathing and my heart pounding louder and louder by the second. For a split second I think everything will be okay but my hopes are cut short when everything goes black. I don’t remember all the gruesome details of what happened when they rushed me to the ER but I figure it would only scare me more to know anyway.

“……Rachel, honey, are you awake?” I hear a familiar female voice, but as I try to recall her name, my brain goes foggy. Slowly, scared of what I’ll see, I open my eyes just enough to see that I am in a hospital room with “get well soon” balloons, teddy bears and cards scattered all around. I nod my head but even that sends a sharp pain up my neck to the back of my head. An Excruciating pain might I add.

The lady by my side, which I still cannot seem to put a name with, comes over and sits by my on the bed. Just the slightest movement sends a sharp pain throughout my whole body. Just as I open my mouth to scream in pain, the nurse to my right which I hadn’t noticed before injects something into my arm. Just the sight of the needle kept my moans at bay. Needles are not my friends.

I try to sit up a bit but my attempt is worthless. Every time I move, my body screams at me to stop. I’m not strong enough. Finally after minutes of trying to remember the women in my room, I see past the fog in my head and see “Mom”. I mentally slap myself for not even recognizing my own mother. How is that even possible? I want to ask a million different questions but my mother on the bed next to me pulls the covers up. She tells me to get some rest and that she will be here when I wake up. At first I try to resist, but as I think about it, I become suddenly very drowsy. Within seconds, I’m back inside the black.

I don’t know how long I was out for, but when I wake again everything seems pretty much the same. Everything except that I think the pain might actually be worse. I don’t even have to move to feel it now. I look around the room and see no one. I wonder where my mother is but I don’t blame her for leaving for a bit. Carefully, I push back my covers, because suddenly I feel exactly how hot it is in this room. That’s when I see it. I see the scars on my legs. My once perfectly normal legs now each have one giant scar going from mid-thy all the way down to my ankles. I take in a sharp breath, unable to comprehend what I see. At that moment, I want to yell scream and shout for someone to explain what happened. I don’t.

Seconds later a nurse walks in with her eyes glued to her clipboard, my clipboard I’m assuming. I clear my throat, the closest I’ve been to talking in a while, to get her attention. Her eyes fly up to me, shocked but glad that I am finally awake. “Rachel, I am your nurse Carla. I know you must have a lot of questions but I want your mother to be here for that okay?” I nod, unable to respond. “Do you feel pain anywhere at all?” She asks, but I think she already knows the answer. I motion to my entire body and she nods, not surprised. “Alright would you like to take some painkillers right now? It’s all up to you and what you can handle.” I consider this and nod, not knowing how long I can stand the abundant pain.

After Carla, I think that was her name, administers the painkillers I feel a slight decline in pain. It’s not much though. I’m told to just stay in bed and wait for my mother to return, who is apparently at our Sunday Church service. While I wait, I try to add things up in my own mind. I can barely remember anything from before the last time I blacked out. All I know is that I did not go to sleep with scars on my legs. I try to think back but it is still very foggy inside my brain. Deep in thought, I didn’t even see when my mother first entered the room. But once I notice her, I immediately know she has been crying. But why? I want to comfort her but I have a feeling there isn’t much I can do in my state. I’m about to actually speak, but the nurse walks in interrupting me. “Rachel are you tired? Do you think you want to talk about this now?” she asks. I nod quickly, forgetting that it’s painful.

“Okay, so I’m going to start from the beginning. About three weeks ago, on Tuesday November 18, you had a heart attack. The doctors believe that this was brought on by the devastating news that your brother was in a car accident. Only, he was perfectly fine. The reason that it triggered a heart attack in your body is because there is a………tumor on the left side of your brain. It has gone undetected for who knows how long. When you had the heart attack, the tumor did something not so normal inside your brain. It targeted your nerves and blood vessels, particularly in your legs.” Finally, I understand the scars on my legs.

“A team of professionals did their best to try to repair them but there was little they could do. I know this is a lot to take in right now, but Rachel, your legs will never work the same way again. You will be lucky to ever stand on them.” She pauses, because she hears my gasp. There is no way I can’t walk! There has to be some kind of mistake! But she continues, “Also, do you notice that some things are difficult to remember?” I nod, furious to what I am learning. “Well, that also has to do with the brain tumor. You will have difficulties talking and remembering things for the rest of your life, but it will gradually become easier with the right therapy.” I mouth stop to the nurse because I can’t bear to hear anymore. All I want to do is curl up in a ball and go back inside the black.

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This article has 5 comments. Post your own now!

shapeshifter56 said...
Dec. 23, 2011 at 6:01 pm
This is really good. It's kind of dark, and I agree that the ending was a bit of a shock.
TheGirlWhoDancesWithSnowflakes said...
Dec. 7, 2011 at 7:57 pm
First, you beginning scared me so much! It had me wondering what had her so worked up. I thought she had heard someone died or something! xD And two, love the emotion in this story! 5/5
Jappyalldayeveryday said...
Nov. 29, 2011 at 8:53 pm
This really scared me. I didn't expect the ending at all. I thought it was good. The only thing is that the use of past and present tense is mixed. I do that all the time too. It's easy to fix.
PaigeStreet This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Nov. 29, 2011 at 6:01 pm
You display thought very well here, almost as well as in Beginning of The End. However, your word choice appears lazy in some places. putting "gruesome" before "details" and "excruciating" before "pain" are examples of common word-pairings that you could replace with much more meaningful phrases and words. Other than that, good stuff!
LifesIllusion replied...
Nov. 29, 2011 at 8:03 pm
Thanks for the advice. I will definitly take a look at the word choice in some parts:) I love when people actually give me a way to improve my work! Thanks again.
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