Chapter 2 - Reunion
I awoke in the hospital bed some time later. The news was playing on a muted, ceiling-high television; I checked the date.
Two days? I've been out for two days?
Glancing down, I saw her. As though she hadn't moved the entire time, Sarah was draped lazily over the side of the bed; as ever my soft, warm blanket.
In that moment, I was torn. Certain that what I had seen during my time in the "waiting room" was real, nothing in the world made me want to disturb her from her peaceful slumber. With that said, it appeared that for one reason or another, I had narrowly avoided death (for longer than 56 seconds, at least) in order to save her from what was to come. That's what they had told me. If they were to be believed, it meant that she had only 3 weeks to live.
I looked around, attempting to figure out where I was. Based on what little I could see of the outside world from my bed, I was pretty sure I’d been brought to Mercy Central Hospital, a thought which provided at least a small amount of comfort. Given the “deadline”, I couldn’t afford to waste any time out of town.
As I began to take in the dull, green walls of my hospital room, Sarah stirred.
"Hey, you." I whispered gently. I squeezed her hand as if to let her know that I was okay.
Her blue eyes opened slowly; I could tell from her clothes and hair alone that she hadn’t left me since I got here. I wondered if she’d managed to get any rest at all.
"Oh my God, Dylan! You’re awake!" She exclaimed, voice shaking as tears threatened to soak her cheeks.
Despite the accident, my body felt fine. If anything, I felt better than I had done in years.
"Looks that way... what happened? How did I...?" I replied, unable to finish the question.
"I don't know... nobody can figure it out. You were… dead…. for about a minute.” She choked that word out as though it were lodged in her throat.
“They were ready to call it until your heart started up again. By the time we arrived here they couldn’t find any signs of serious trauma. They went from being ready to announce you DOA at the scene to having no idea why you’ve been out for so long."
I could see more tears forming as her lip began to quiver. I never could bear to see that. She continued in hushed, painful tones, repeating herself as if to confirm that I was, in fact, alive.
"The paramedic told me that you shouldn't be here. Based on the severity of the accident, you should have been killed, but there’s hardly a scratch on you now. I don’t understand, Dylan. How… just how?"
It was a good question. I’ve never been a car-guy, but I knew enough about them to know that being hit by one going 80+ kilometres per hour tends to mess a person up, yet here I was. Essentially fine, save for some cuts and bruises. I tried to calm her down and wondered if they'd explain it away as some “medical miracle”.
They'd be at least half right.
"Sarah, I’m okay. I’m here. I don’t know how, but I am.”
I thought back to my time with them in the Waiting Room. The truth made no sense, and I couldn’t think of a convincing enough lie to tell her. As I laid in the hospital bed with her staring at me; blue-eyed and dishevelled, I was more certain than I had ever been. Whatever the next 21 days would bring, I wouldn't let her go. Whatever it took, whatever they asked of me, I’d save her.
"The police want to know how much you remember. They're hoping you can help identify the vehicle that hit you."
What I remember is likely to earn me a straitjacket. Best not to mention my visit to that place.
"I don't really remember anything. I was hit, the car peeled off and then I came to as you arrived. Between then and waking up here, that's about as much as I've got." I lied.
"Sarah, when was the last time you ate? You should go home and rest up for a bit. Shower, eat, sleep. I'll be here when you get back. Promise."
"I don't want to leave you." She pleaded.
"I'll be fine. Focus on you for a few hours. I need you fighting fit; you’re my girl.”
With that she blushed and kissed me on the cheek.
"I love you so much." She whispered.
"I love you too. Get some rest." I pulled her into me and held her there. I had to fight back tears before I worked up the nerve to let her go.
Sarah left me with a wave and I gestured back as if to usher her out playfully. When I was certain I was alone, I had only one question.
"We are here. Welcome back." They responded.
One more question.
"So… what now?"