Fading, Fazing, Deluding
14th May 2012
Emma smiles at me as we walk along the street. Lazy autumn leaves drift past our faces and Emma watches them. Emma is concerning me lately. So distracted. I look at Emma closely and see the faraway look in her eyes.
"You got a crush Emma?" I sing out as we pass under a tree with pink flowers. Emma blushes as these fall around her perfectly.
"Well..." she mutters. I beam at her, but her attention is not turned to me. Emma is looking to her opposite side and giggling madly.
"Emma-" I begin. Emma smiles shyly at me before stopping completely. I stop as well. The blowing wind seems eerie rather than peaceful. Emma holds her arm in mid air and up high, as if around some ones shoulder.
"Kylie, this is Joshua. You can call him Josh," Emma tells me. I stare at her as if this is a joke.
"Emma there's no one there," I tell her. Emma gives me a stare that anyone would flee from, but I stand my ground. Emma pulls her arm down and heads towards me. I back off, right into the street.
"He's there Kylie. Don't you see him?" Emma demands. I swallow a lump as I get into the Centre of the road. I hold up my hands to ward Emma off.
"There's no one there Emma," I tell her sincerely. Something in Emma's face snaps, her curls look mad and I feel genuinely scared.
"He's there Kylie. HE'S THERE! I'M NOT MAD! HE'S MY BOYFRIEND AND I LOVE HIM!"
Emma comes up to me. I hear a lorry beep its horn as it approaches. Emma pulls me out of the way as the lorry draws near.
"Take it back," she demands.
"Emma he's not there!" I sob. Emma grins at me wildly and throws me in front of the lorry just as it gets to us.
6th October 2011
Ward 18. Immobile Patients.
Ward 18. My most recent haunt. My daughters prison. Where she lies as she sleeps in her coma. Her doctor, Dr. James Hope, is the nicest man you can come across. I also like his name. At least hope can come from somewhere.
"Good morning Miss Payge, your daughter has been sleeping quite peacefully now," Dr Hope tells me. I smile at him, trying to mask the sadness that clouds my eyes. He does his best for both of us. I'm nearly as broken as my daughter. I stumble over to the bed and fall to my knees beside it. I grab Emma's hand and hold it in my own. Her hands are so cold. The hospital has a deep chill that I can't seem to shake.
"How are you today Miss Payge?" Dr. Hope asks me.
"You can call me Sophia, Dr. Hope," I tell him, trying to avoid the question. I don't think I can answer it until my daughter comes back. I can't feel a thing.
"I will when you call me James," he deals.
"I'm afraid not Dr. Hope," I say carefully.
"Sorry Miss Payge," he says with a smile. His eyes are so kind, brown and deep. His hair is light brown with streaks of grey hair cutting through it. He can't be that old, can he?
I look around the room, which is bursting with color from the flowers people have sent. Orange lilies, which are beginning to wilt. Red roses from a boy named Matt. He seems nice. And frequent visits from a boy called Nick. I don't know the boy particularly well, but Emma does. She told me he was actually called Michael but was always called Mike, then somewhere along the line it changed to Nick. How those to names are anything alike, I'll never know.
The smell of antiseptic crawls up my nose and stings and I cough. Thank God this is a private ward or nurses would attack me for the slightest misplaced breath.
I watch Emma as she breathes steadily in and out. She was still major headlines. I remember when Emma had first gone into her coma and I looked at a newspaper:
A 14 year old girl was mugged on the 26th of September at 8.03pm while walking through the park. The suspect severely beat the girl and it is being questioned whether he took advantage of her....
After that I couldn't read anymore. That was definitely not true. Not at all. It can't be....
Dr. Hope clears his throat and I turn to him.
"Are you ok Miss Payge?" he asks again. I feel knots in my stomach. Why does he keep asking? I'm fine! Look at me, fit as a fiddle. Not a mark on me, not anymore. Not since I stood up to my husband. Ex husband. But I still feel weak and battered when I think about him. The bruises are gone but the unnoticeable scars on my soul are there.
I sigh as if impatiently, "Yes Dr Hope," I tell him with a fake smile. He frowns at me but I turn away from him and sort out Emma's bleach blonde hair, which is just beginning to return to its original color. I run my hand down Emma's cheek. At least that monster never touched my baby, our child he doesn't deserve. He hasn't even visited. I've called him every foul name under the sun to Dr. Hope, who just patted my back reassuringly.
I smile at him and Dr. Hope smiles back. My God, if he wasn't here... I shouldn't feel for him, but I love him so much for the things he's doing for Emma. He's here around the clock, even when I'm not. The poor soul has been missing sleep and has constant, deep bags under his eyes. He smiles at Emma all the time, talks to her, tells her when someone has visited and brushes out her hair.
Why is he so good to her, to us? He's my savior from Heaven. I owe him so much. How can I repay him?
Suddenly Emma starts thrashing about again and Dr. Hope jumps to his feet and injects the deadly, clear liquid into the tube that brings fluids to Emma. Almost immediately she stops.
Dr. Hope can't explain the thrashing. He left Emma for three hours straight once, but still she didn't open her eyes so he gave her sedatives. I hate it and it happens more and more often.
Dr. Hope thinks Emma's mind still believes she is being assaulted.
I know she is fighting for her life.
I'm betting on Emma winning.