Bullet Wound With No Escape

Torture; torture doesn’t come close to the pain I felt as we rushed to the hospital. The day was sunny, almost blissful; yet the feelings that enveloped my entire being were pain and fear. My stomach was so contorted. I wanted to double over and cry, but the power of love drove me on. The cliché of “Petal to the Metal” never seemed like such an idiotic thing to say. I wanted that damn petal pushed through the floorboard. No speed limit was fast enough, I’d run there like Fred Flintstone if I had to. Every second seemed like an hour, every second was keeping me away from him, giving us another chance to think about the horrible things happening to the man I love.

As I left the house that day I had a bad feeling. The feeling churned to and fro as I hugged and held onto him. It was the most compassionate hug I could muster up, but something was very wrong. I couldn’t let go; I’m not sure if it was my conscious, the Holy Ghost, or just someone looking out for the both of us, but never the less it was telling me to stop. Just turn around and stay home with him. Yet I didn’t, I was going to Trenton’s last T-Ball game and he’d been asking me all season to come watch him. As his baby-sitter I had an obligation, so I went. How could something so innocent turn into such a nightmare? As we sat there, Cody stopped texting me. That instant I knew something was wrong. Then beside me, Sheila’s phone rang. There’s no ‘hello, how are you’ or any greeting of the kind. All I hear is, “Cody has been shot. Where?!”

My heart sinks, it dwindles away into a space. Nothingness. There are no words to describe it. A rusty, old, butter knife used to tear my heat out wouldn’t even compare. Yet the feeling becomes worse, because I hadn’t seen him yet. My imagination is a sick horror show. My pain seemed inconsequential. All I could think of was the pain that this unbreakable, strong, and independent man was experiencing. Excruciating was all that came to mind.

I drive by the hospital all the time, yet the Medical Center, never seemed so frightening. Behind those closed doors was the man I dream about, and a depressing thought crossed my mind. What if all I can ever do is dream about him now? I cry. Sitting in that waiting room was like waiting to be taken into the gates of hell. The tension in that room was overwhelming; everywhere I looked someone was looking at me, sinking their eyes into the back of my skull while thinking to themselves 'it's all her fault'.

Finally, a nurse came out. Flight for life was needed but they said he kept asking for 'Lacy' and would let him see her before they flew him out. My heart was so deeply touched. He's bleeding from his neck, has a bullet in his head, and yet he wants to see me? Walking down that twenty foot hallway into the E.R. felt like a bad dream; one where I can see the end, but never quite reach it. For once I was hoping I'd wake up before I reached the end. That this whole thing was just a horrible dream. I didn't wake up; there he laid, looking up at me. It took all my might not to cry; inside I was a complete and utter mess. But composer was what I had to maintain, for Cody. Never in my life have I seen him scared; brave yes, understanding yes, strong yes, but scared—now I had. The image of the man I love lying in a hospital with his precious blood spilling out of him will haunt me forever. I've dreamt of it since the accident, and woken up in terror.

“I love you,” is all I can think of important enough to say as I'm asked to leave-- withdrawal, pain, separation; a flood of emotions ran over me the second I could no longer see him. Then he flew away. The hours I wasn't with him as he flew to the Denver hospital and lay in that hospital bed getting tested on and being poked with needles was excruciating pain. To this day I would've given anything in the world to have switched him places. I ask myself all the time why couldn't I have been the one wounded. He's so perfect he has so much going for him, why couldn't it have hit me and saved him not only the pain of the initial impact, but also the pain during healing; not playing sports, not lifting, not working. He'd go crazy; he's too busy to be so still.

Wednesday was the worst day of them all. At this point I hadn't seen him yet. He's in pain, in a strange place, with so many busy bodies around him that he doesn't know. How? How could I help him? He was in a room doing another test when we were informed he'd had a stroke and might not make it. Imaging my life without him wasn't bearable. I fell to my knees in agonized sobs in the parking lot of the hospital; cursing at the air around me, asking again 'why not me?'. He'd been put on the critical list and there was a small chance of hope. This amazing man was too strong, too bullheaded, and too stubborn to give into death. I kept telling myself that while waiting anxiously for my opportunity, if there was one, to see him again. I had to believe. It took every ounce of me to pull myself together the moment they said I was allowed to see him; I couldn't wait another second I absolutely had to see him.

Pulling back the curtains of his ICU room was like nothing I'd ever felt. I saw his chest moving, he was breathing. Then I realized it was moving because of a ventilator. There were machines everywhere I looked. Tubes were surrounding him, they went down his throat, attached to his arms and chest; it was painful to see him in a cocoon of medical tubes, but relieving to see him alive. Nurses and doctors come in to explain the situation. They talked of surgeries and the bullet and everything that is hard to hear but necessary to know about the one you love. Knowing there was nothing I could do for him, that his life was in some stranger's hands was so indescribable, I was worthless.

I wanted to hold him, to hug him, to kiss him and tell him I was never going anywhere; but he was sedated. So again, I waited, but this time I held his hand and never took my eyes off of him. Simply looking at him, being able to touch him, knowing he is alive, was a wonderful feeling. It makes you really realize the important things in life. It's not where you live, what you own, how popular you are—it's being able to know your loved one is alive, being able to touch him, to see him, to hear a steady pulse on the monitor. A life changing experience really pulls you down to reality. I thought he was untouchable, bulletproof. In one word, I would've described him as superman. Although he's not bulletproof, he's still my hero. A bullet punctured him, ripped through his beautiful skin and took him away from me, almost forever.

A week from the day he was flown in, he is released. They didn't undergo surgery to take the bullet out, they left it in, assuring us it would do more damage to take it out that to leave it in. To me it's a nightmare, how could it be in there, tormenting him forever? Yet he wants to get it out and wear it on a chain, thank god he's still got a sense humor. As we left, the doctors say it's a miracle he's alive, I agree, but I also say—it's just Cody; just my love being who I knew he always was. Even if he can't catch a bullet with his teeth, we all know he can catch one with his head. He's forever my—superman.





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This article has 3 comments. Post your own now!

wordnerd54 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Sept. 4, 2010 at 9:16 am
I am so sorry that you had to go through this; just imagining it while reading was making my heart ache.  You wrote that beautifully- good luck to you both.
 
LacyKae replied...
Sept. 15, 2011 at 3:09 pm
thank you very much, it was very difficult to write, and half way through the story him and i broke up, he is doing ok but he's become someone bipolar now, and as far as me, i'm doing fine. thank you very much for your thoughts
 
Sonata16 said...
Sept. 3, 2010 at 4:35 pm

This was very moving. You had a few grammatical errors, though. 

Keep up the good work!

 
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