The Title For a Story That is Somewhat Sad, With Some Happy Parts.

By , Knoxville, TN
I could see the awkward hospital walls. I could see the sadness in my own face, without even a glimpse. Moving on, I came to realize most people would concur that it is relatively difficult to look beautiful when your body is fashionably decorated by insane patches, tubes, wires, IV’s, and whatever else that a doctor would feel the desire to stick on this girl who was severely hallucinating. I also came to the understanding that one feels very odd, finding this girl beautiful. I stared around the University of Tennessee’s Emergency Room Five. The room was bustling with machinery, seemingly a sarcastic ode the the greats of America’s Technological Revolution. I found myself standing in the situation as an imposter, like I had lost myself and would soon be found in the next room being poked and prodded by villainous doctors. At that point I realized I wasn’t there to be a noticer; the girl who I cared most about was lying in the hospital bed to my left in the after-effects of an overdose on prescription sleeping pills, and she was in all essence on another planet. When I left this world of my mind, I became observant to this world around me. Noticing a question directed at me, I focused in on just one aspect of this hospital world. An ER doctor was asking me with all politeness,“What exactly happened ?”

The thoughts in my head began hobbling, nervous and not knowing where to begin. I felt like a shelf of my brain caught fire and lost every memory of what happened. So originally and quite eloquently I said,“ Umm...” This articulate reply came moments after we learned her condition was completely stabilized and the hospital was waiting to release her until the drugs cleared her system. So I presumed they would continue asking questions in order to figure out what to do with her next. “Hopefully not some wacky psych-ward,” I thought selfishly and out loud only in my mind.

“Where’s my rum?” she demanded, obviously not knowing she had been in a hospital for an hour. Then she turned to her mother, a woman defined by tears at the moment, and asked, “Can you drive home? I’m way too messed up to drive.” Inappropriate questions continued on and off for hours, but in the gaps between she would simply grab my hand and squeeze it as hard as one could expect a ninety-five pound girl would. It was in these solemn moments that the most pressing question would pop into my tired and desolate mind: “Could this girl have honestly wanted to die?” At this question my mind went back, and became inspired to solve a mystery out of a bad Sherlock Holmes memorial play. Therefore, I began to replay what exactly happened leading up to her immediate care in Emergency Room Number Five. Then it went to the start.

I began walking downstairs to my phone, ringing in the most obnoxious of tones. I answered promptly to her voice saying, “Could you come over ?” My reply was simply, “Well, I am doing math homework.” Her counter was quite simple also, “Just come over.” The call was dropped. I walked goofily, as I always do, and went out of the front door to go start my car; it was then I began the ten minute journey to her house. My mind was sort of confused because this girl, who I had not seen in a month, is a quite sporadic-minded person. I instantly began to worry for her well-being, but those moronic thoughts of dark nature were put to rest by my growing happiness as I came closer to seeing her. I had completely forgotten how happy she made me. “Hopefully she will make a cynical joke about my pajama shorts,” I thought to myself. I can still remember the grand ideas I started forming in my brain about a society who solely wore pajama shorts. Though as I approached her house and had pulled in her driveway, I noticed a beautiful girl who I missed dearly. I failed to notice that being called late on a school night and being coerced into going to see her, even though I really wanted to anyway, was never part of our relationship. All the same, I turned the car off and began a walk to a puzzling creature (she’s a girl, creature was a bad choice for a noun). This is right about the time she collapsed, right onto the concrete. I saw her hands being gently dragged to the ground by her limp body in a graceful, humorous, horrible tumble. By this time I had scooted to her side, lifted her head and said to her as her eyes blinked, “nice sweater, do you want me to take you inside?” She replied with a grin and said “Yes.” I took her inside and she stumbled the whole way, while uttering only complete nonsense. My mind had not yet began to speculate what was happening. My mind was simply focused on the task at hand. When I opened the front door I noticed her mother on the couch, and without a thought I asked the girl to go upstairs, she stumbled obediently. She wanted to show me something, but all of a sudden my mind was flooded and I thought out loud to her mother in reply of, “Hey, Ian.” I said, “I think she’s taken something, and a lot of it. Would you check her sleeping pills and go talk to her to figure things out?”

It seemed like fewer than ten seconds had passed when she came downstairs accompanied by her mother and sister. She was stumbling into this artificially illuminated living room of generic suburban furniture wearing my favorite sweater. She looked ironically beautiful, the kind of irony that should not be funny, but regardless was inappropriately hilarious (she tried to kill herself, I presumed, by overdosing on sleeping pills, she had no idea what planet she was on, and still looked like it took her an hour to get ready). After my exit from assessing the situation in brain world, I quickly became educated of the plan her sister was speaking about. The plan was simple, her sister would drive her mom and the girl to the hospital, because their mom was quite manic and hysterically crying. Along with my best friend’s sister driving them to UT Medical Center, I was told to drive down also. I was told to drive, so that her sister and I could leave later that night; this way her mom would have a car waiting whenever she was able to leave. Aside from the plan, I immediately picked up the girl, with her hands in mine. She was completely willing to go to the hospital. After I helped her into her mom’s car, I got into her sister’s car which I was to drive and followed the family of three to the interstate. I began pondering the thoughts pertaining to the idea of her taking those pills, most memorably wondering if she actually wanted to die or not. As thoughts upon this question ran wild and without any help to the situation, I realized something. She called me. She had to had to have known I would do that, she knew I would make sure she went to the hospital. That was the most optimistic thought I had ever conjured. The thing was, that the thought made sense.

This brings me to my escape into brain world on the interstate, which was simply revolving back to the situation. I couldn’t escape, I couldn’t have any ridiculous thoughts of grandeur to escape a reality of this magnitude. I had to completely submerge into the situation. Though it is incredibly hard to not try and force out the idea that a girl whom you love might die tonight, but I couldn’t force it out. As I came to greater awareness on the previous thought, the interstate in Knoxville seemed to fade and lose all of it’s color and it’s surroundings and even it’s citizens. Knoxville became only my car, the car of my former girlfriend and her family, and our only possible destination was to be the hospital. There were no dirty streets, no other cars, and no other exits. It seemed as if this path was cleared by a momentary local apocalypse, leaving only our two cars and the highways and hallways to UT Medical Center’s Emergency Room Five. Regardless of her psychological condition, at that point the world was spinning in a way to keep her alive.

Upon arrival to the hospital, her sister dropped her mother and my best friend off at the Emergency Entrance. I felt like I should abandon the car right where I stood and rush inside with her. But I didn’t do that. I parked the car in the hospital’s garage and waited for her sister, Lauren, to park next to me. After she parked in the garage we walked to the emergency entrance, while I told her her my opinion of the situation. Slowly, we walked through the electric glass doors and we were given the ability to see around one hundred faces, that were so distraught it seemed that there were no thoughts in any one of these peoples’ heads, with the exception of mine. We walked to the front desk and asked for passes to visit the girl, we were then told she was in procedure, so we decided to join our empty friends in the waiting room for half of an hour. What I understood from that front desk concierge’s voice was that she was saying, “Go sit with those sad faces, quit thinking, and become like them.” So it happened, for half of an hour I became a sad face, and a sad face only. My dreary eyes had noticed that we were all together in this ER, we were all human beings. When one human was allowed back to visit, we all secretly smiled with hopeful thoughts of nothing. I discovered genuine humanity secretly takes place in hospital waiting rooms. It had to take place somewhere, even in a world where we hate others during church services. The hospital waiting room became a sacred place, even with tackily painted walls, morphine scents (if morphine has a scent), and wretched squeaking tile floors.

Half of an hour had elapsed, and then Lauren and I were told we could go see her in room five. As I walked through the doors that opened electronically, I forgot to glare at the sad faces that were secretly smiling. I knew they were behind me though, it was then I completely exited a sacred room of humane humans. Then reality punched me right in armpit, I exited brain world and left the memories of the night behind.

As I fell, like a majestic eagle, into reality, I realized that my experiment of a thought process was all moderately unnecessary. This was because the doctor was addressing her mother with his first question, as he should have been. As I sat there holding her hand, about to leave the hospital, I realized many things. One thing in particular that I realized was that there was some obscure beauty in what happened. That was when Lauren decided we should go. In layman's terms, I was somewhat forced to say goodbye to my best friend while she was lying somewhat lucid in her hospital bed. She said that she didn’t want me to go, then she was on to her next rant about something that didn’t make sense.

I have no idea if she wanted to live or not when she took those pills. This is because this question is still fiercely avoided, shoved aside, or countered by another random conversation. Regardless of her thought process when she devoured those pills, I have learned to stay content with the fact that she is here now. In conclusion, I feel as if I should share the wishes for society my best friend has. These wishes are for a society that only abides by laws mandating people wear pajama shorts all the time, that lives by laws of humanity, and has ultimate allegiance to the Cracker Barrel establishment. As she lives happily today, it can only be reasonably thought that her ideas of society will soon be the ultimate outcome of this planet, planet Earth.





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