The Things He Shattered

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 10 (v.1)

Submitted: April 12, 2013

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Comments: 19

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Submitted: April 12, 2013

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10

There is now a young girl who comes by to see me every week day. She is a decade younger, and is doing this as community service. Her mother is a nurse, so that is the reason why she is volunteering at a hospital. Her name is Rachel, and she sits by my side and we watch TV together. Sometimes she brings ‘Connect 4' and we play. Once a week I get her to wash my head. I used to wash my hair every other day, but that is when I actually had hair. Now she does it for me once a week. I cannot get out of bed, so she lays a towel on my shoulders and pours water on my head. She is very careful. I am very grateful.

 

It is Friday, and we are preparing to wash what is left of my hair. Since she will not see me on the weekend, we decided to get this over with today. Another nurse comes by and tells Rachel she is needed somewhere and I say,

"Okay, I’ll see you later. Hope you'll have enough time left to wash my hair today." The nurse that has just come in looks very annoyed and says,

"You would have to ask her if she is even willing to do that first. Okay?" She speaks to me like I am a child with absolutely no manners.

I respond, "Yes, thank you for that." I try not to roll my eyes as Rachel cuts in,

"Yeah it’s fine. I’m the one who offered . I’m happy to do it."

"Oh." Is the response of the nurse, and thankfully she leaves the room.

Sheena chuckles.

 

Sometime after Rachael washes my hair, Eduardo stops by. He sits beside me and we watch TV. By now, they have given me a wheelchair. Just in case. I can in no way walk after all. My right foot still has the cast. They decided against putting a cast on my right leg. Instead 4 large metal screws were screwed into the bone, and they are attached to each other with metal rods. I ask Eduardo if he would be willing and able to wheel me outside for some fresh air. He looks a little uncomfortable and tells me he’ll do it if I really want him to. I really want him to.

I have to call a nurse to help me into the wheelchair. She comes in and then calls two more nurses for help. They have to basically lift me up, and place me into the wheelchair because, physically I am unable to do much for myself. I can only sit up and not slouch , and that’s about it. So the three nurses struggle, but successfully situate me in the wheelchair. They tell me to call when I returnand they will get me back into bed.

I am now in Eduardo’s hands. So he begins to wheel me, and we pass Sheena’s bed. Her face lights up when she seems me.

"Oh Karina! There you are. Finally we meet face to face." I feel self conscious. Just like my father said, she is a very lovely black woman. She has told me before that she’s 71, but she does not look it. She looks younger, and something about her is very comforting. I introduce Eduardo and she smiles. I tell her I know I look a lot worse considering the huge fall, plus for some reason all of my hair was cut off, so I don’t even have that. In response she puts her hand to her head and says, "They did that to me too! While I was unconscious. They just cut it all off for some reason."

"Why did they do that? Who does it benefit?"

"Not me!"

"Same here. I guess them, since they won’t have to bother keeping it clean."

"Ridiculous."

We finally meet in person, and I like her more.

Eduardo rolls me outside. It has now been six weeks since this has been done to me. The pain is still bad, but I have faith it will pass. It’s late September and it’s still warm. Fall has only just begun. Whoever is a gardener in Green Meadows does a very fine job. It’s very lovely to look at. It is nice to breathe the fresh air. It is also nice to have Eduardo by my side. I still haven’t looked in the mirror long enough to study my face. My mother had brought me a hand mirror, and it now lies on the desk by my bed, but I don’t want to look at it. In any case, Eduardo doesn’t seem to be uncomfortable. He’ll look at me and smile. He smiles while I slur and lisp. I can tell he likes being around me. This to me is comforting. After a while, he pushes me back to my room, and I give Sheena a smile and a wave. I’m tired, so Eduardo hugs me goodbye.

I decide to take a look in the mirror. I want to see what I’ve been putting people through when they look at me. I study my face. My nose seems to be shifted to the right. It is not straight as it once used to be. My jaw slants to the left. My left eyebrow has a huge scar running through it, forcing it to looked raised. It makes it look like I am permanently doubtful or just being sarcastic. My left eye is bigger them my right eye. Aside from these defects of my face, I don’t look as hideous as I thought I would. And I’m sleepy. And the nurse comes to give me my medication for the night. I now know which ones are sleeping pills, but I still don’t know what the other ones are, so I ask her. She points to the pills and explains each one.

"This over here is a multi vitamin. These are sleeping pills (I know this), and this one over here is to help you sleep and not have nightmares." I assume this is yet another sleeping pill. I take my medication and flip thought the TV channels. It will cost me $10 a day. I cannot afford this, but I feel that there is a likelihood I will lose my mind if I have nothing entertaining to watch. My mother has brought me books to read. One in English, and one in Russian. And a Bible. She knows that I like to read a lot. Unfortunately I find that when I read now, my head begins to spin after a minute. I can successfully get through 2 paragraphs, then words just seem to mash into each other. I have to put it down. I assume this must be because I bashed my head so hard. I sleep.

 

 

11

In the morning my father comes by, and I tell him I feel that I have gotten stupider. He tells me no, I seem to be about the same. Judging by the way the hospital staff treats me I assume I must have become a complete idiot.

I’ve been at Green Meadows for a few weeks now. My parents come by to see me as they usually do, but today as they are there, two men come by and request to speak to me. They are fromthe ‘special investigators unit.’ They ask my parents to wait in the hall. They need privacy. Sheena acts as if she is in a deep sleep. I feel a sense of relief. Finally they decided to talk to me. Finally I will see justice.

One man is old, and the other is a heavy young guy. To put it bluntly, he’s very overweight. The older man sits to my left, the other to my right. They tell me they have to speak to me because police officers were there the night this all happened to me. They want to clear everything up.

I am the victim and I am glad I have authority figures to finally tell my story to.

The big man begins by saying,

"Oh, your hair looks good." This is very nice. I’m happy that someone thinks that whatever remains of my hair looks good.

The old man begins to read a consent that I must agree to before they begin anything. Basically I have to agree to tell the absolute truth, and if it is found that I am lying, I will be punished to the full extent of the law. The way the old man delivers this to me feels very threatening, but I have nothing to hide. I am the victim, so I quickly agree.

To sum it up, they begin to ask me questions about how much money I spent that day. Things of that nature. Things that technically have absolutely nothing to do with the cop who tried to kill me. They tell me that I had alcohol found in my blood that night. I shrug and say yes, it was a Friday night and I am 25. Nothing about this was illegal. Prohibition has been over, for several years now. The young one keeps taking notes. The old one asks me how much I drank. I tell them I am not sure, maybe a couple glasses of wine in the early afternoon, a couple of beers in the evening. The response,

"Oh, so you don’t remember, huh?" I reply, "No I don’t remember those details. If I knew I would be questioned about this weeks later, I would have taken it into account. In response I get a "Hmm". Theyounger one continues to scribble. The old man begins to make me feel uncomfortable. I can’t put my finger on it, but there is something very unsettling about this situation. He speaks in a very quite voice . I have to really concentrate to hear him. It is like everything he is saying has to be kept a secret. It also looks like he should have retired about 30 years ago. This is probably a good thing. He must have a lot of experience.

"Well you see, the thing is, you have already attempted to commit suicide."

And there we have it. My incredibly stupid actions from years ago have come back to bite me in the ass.

"This was not a suicide attempt!"

This is ignored. I’m just making trouble now. The younger man on my right asks me what my address is. I feel confused.

"Should you not know this by now?"

His response, "Well we have it... it’s just that your file is so big." I feel uneasy and on top of that I feel the pain begin. This is the first time I have attempted to sit up in bed for this long. The old man proceeds to ask me what drugs I consume. I tell him that he should probably ask the Doctor who is responsible for me.

"No that’s not what I meant. I mean what drugs were you taking that night?"

"I don’t do drugs."

"Oh really? Well we were in your room, and we found some pills," he has a very satisfied look on his face, as if he just caught me in a lie.

"Well I know some of them are over the counter pills to settle stomach problems. The names of the pills should have been written right on the package. I may have had some over the counter sleepingaids because I have trouble falling asleep sometimes and still do. Again the names of the pills should have been on the package." You should look it up. Street drugs I’m guessing, don’t tend to come in these kinds of packages with their names written on them.

Both men now have very dissatisfied looks on their faces.

They then ask me if I had been speaking to Loupe about this. I tell them, "not really." I have a feeling that they now just want to blame it on Loupe, and conclude that she has been putting ideas into my head, and the both of us decided to concoct a story against an innocent police officer. I begin to feel emotionally distressed and now my body aches even more. The big one then goes to ask me how tall I am. "5,4"" More scribbles follow. He then says,

"So the balcony railing goes up to your waist. Do you think you may have leaned over the railing and leaned too far causing you to fall? After all you were really intoxicated."

"What?! No! That is absolutely impossible. The railing reaches my shoulder, not my waist. The man lifted me and threw me over the railing!" More displeased looks. More writing. I have now been sitting up to speak to these two man for over an hour. My back begins to hurt me badly, so I voice this. This is ignored and the younger one asks me what clothing I was wearing that night. I cannot for the life of me remember what I decided to wear that day. In response I get an, "Oh," followed by more chicken scratch.

I sort of went through hell, yet I feel shitty now for not remembering what color shirt I wore 6 weeks ago. The pain begins to creep up more, and I am becoming a little overwhelmed. I press the button to call a nurse. One responds and tells me that she will be right there. The old man, and the big man realize that I am having trouble, and tell me that they will return in a few days. I tell them that I would really appreciate that. They however do not seem to have any intent on leaving. My parents come back into my room, because it has now been over an hour that I have been questioned, and they want to see what is going on. The investigators are obviously displeased that my parents had been hanging around. My mother turns to my father and says,

"How do they keep questioning a person in her position for over an hour? That’s just cruel."

I find out later that they had been listening in the entire time. The old man leans in and says to me,

"Tell your mother to speak English." Basically she is now sitting right beside him. Apparently he cannot ask her himself. She might not understand English, and yet she is expected to speak English. One can speak English, yet no understand it? I wonder if this is possible. I sincerely doubt it, and I am now in pain and feel insulted. I really don’t like these two investigators. I can now tell they are not on my side. I know they are trying to clear the cops name completely. I am sure of this after they question me in a threatening manner for over an hour.

When I mention there were 4 police officers, I am told that I am wrong. There were only two. I begin to doubt myself. I had clearly remembered there being 4. But apparently that wasn’t the case. The nurse comes in to bring me my morphine. So I take it, and I wait for it to begin to take the pain away. The two investigators pack up their notepads and tell me that they will be "in touch."I do not feel better. I feel worse. Something feels very out of place. When they finally leave, my father rolls his eyes. I look at him for an explanation, and he says,

"These two men came to see you when you were in a coma. They closed your case right away. They must have been happy to wipe their hands clean of it because you were given no chance to continue living. Loupe raised all hell. She kept calling them, telling them she saw the police officer go after you and then stay out on the balcony for a while. Very unwillingly they reopened the case. You were not breathing on your own, and were a vegetable. So they knew you would be keeping your mouth shut, and hopefully just die soon."

Sheena begins to speak, "They interrogated her! It was horrible!" My father shakes his head.

"That’s sick. You’re the victim in pain so they interrogate you like a criminal. I hope what goes around comes around."

My mom says, "I thought Sheena was asleep. I guess she didn’t want them to know she was listening. Smart woman." My father continues to tell me about the investigators’ behavior. All this is news to me so I eagerly listen.

"The first time we saw them and met them was in the hospital. They told us right away what happened that night. The young one with the bad breath said, ‘The police were just pulling up to the apartment, when your daughter must have spotted the car and jumped right off the balcony.’ We were confused. They were implying that you had something to hide, and would have much rather killed yourself then have the police find whatever it was you were hiding. I knew then that that was complete bullshit. The next day we saw them, the story changed. The young one now told us that a police officer had simply knocked on the door, and announced that it was the police, when you panicked, ran straight to the balcony and jumped. Something really wasn’t adding up. That wasn’t it though. The next day the younger one had yet another story. He told us now that the cops were in the living room with you and Loupe, and had been questioning you two about illegal drugs. You panicked and ran straight to the balcony before anyone had the chance to stop you, and went ahead and jumped off. So I said to him what he didn’t expect, ‘the first time you told us this story you told us the police were not even in the apartment, then the next day they were at the front door, and now all of a sudden they were in the living room.’ In response the old man looked like he was going to kill his partner.

It was a short time later that they would realize they had given us information that they should not have. I had bought a tape recorder and would record them and listen to it later. The first day they had returned your purse to us, which was probably searched through. The big investigator casually pulled out one of your credit cards from his pocket and handed it over. He told us your purse was found on the balcony without giving it much thought. So when they told me you were in the living room, then ran from the police and jumped off the balcony, I asked, ‘if that was the case, why did she bring her purse with her?’ At first the old man’s eyes lit up and he said, ‘Ah! How did you know about her purse? Hmm?’ he acted as if he had caught me in something, so I pointed to the other one and explained what he told me. I explained that he told me the purse was on the balcony when he gave it back to me and your mother on the first day. That shut him up."

My mother continues, "He looked at the young man with so much distaste. He had no reply for us. He then asked the younger man to step outside with him. I imagine he gave him hell."

I tell my parents what the investigators had been asking me, and my father says,

"We heard most of it. It was ridiculous. The thing is I was on their website and read the rules investigators must follow. In situations such as these, they have to separate the participants and question them withing 24 hours. When I asked them what the police officers had to say, three days after this happened, the younger one told me that they had not had the opportunity to speak to all of them. In a three days’ time the participants could have simply come together and made things up, so that their stories matched up. After all they are always so proud to claim they are a ‘family.’ They were in no hurry to question the police, yet had no problem treating James and Loupe like common criminals and keeping them at the station at night for hours."

I tell my father how they were questioning me about what clothing I was wearing and how much money I spent that day, implying that since I did not remember those details I could not be trustworthy. My father says,

"It’s like if a raped victim was looking for justice, I could see these two men asking her, ‘well what brand of underwear was the accused rapist wearing? Oh... well you don’t remember that detail... well then...’"

I am left with the impression that the very ‘special’ investigators fabricated events that didn’t happen. They couldn’t even stick to one story. In their eyes I am that insignificant. I have no faith in them. I now know that they are more than capable of making up events, and would probably continue to do so to save the cop’s reputation. The way I see this, is now because of their ‘special’ help, a murderer walks the streets. And not just any murderer. A killer with the police force on his side. I know he will try to kill again. He will probably kill when he is on duty. In his bulletproof vest, up against a defenseless victim. But this time he may actually succeed and kill the victim, and not simply maim, like he did with me.

My father tells me, "While you were in a coma a hospital binder was organized for you. The binder had a large cover page that read ‘suicide attempt.’ You’re mother and I had to work hard to convince the hospital staff to remove that. Why was that even on there? Not only was it a lie but it is a horrible disservice to you. If anyone sees that, they will feel no sympathy for you. Basically all it tells people is that you did this to yourself. So what does it matter if you die? It’s what you were going for. We had to make complaints for a long time before a young man finally removed the cover page and threw it out."

My mother recalls a conversation she had with the older investigator,

"I asked what kind of analyzing they had done. Basically it was a crime scene where you had fallen. I asked them if they had examined the police officer’s hands. Maybe there was a physical struggle and your DNA got on him. Maybe your blood. We wanted an explanation as to how you managed to fall so far away from the apartment. The investigator in response chuckled a little and told me that I watch too many Hollywood movies."

 

 

 

12

Later, James comes to visit, and I tell him that the investigators came by to speak to me.

"They kept telling me there were 2 police officers. I don’t know why I keep remembering 4."

"You remember 4, because there were 4."

So the investigators fabricated that as well. I lose all faith in them. I know they will bring more damage than good. To me they have now become as guilty as the police officer.

I say to James,

"They kept mentioning that a beer bottle hit the lady on the leg?"

"What? I thought it was finally concluded that there was never a beer bottle. We never even had those to begin with."

"That’s what I thought."

"They had taken us all to the police station to question us. They wouldn’t let us see what happened to you. Loupe was so hysterical. She was handcuffed. They took her in a different car, so I didn’t see her. At the station they put us in separate rooms. Alone. I waited for a long time before someone came to speak to me. They started off by questioning me about your actions. If I knew why you decided to kill yourself. I told them that if you actually did, I never saw it coming. You were so happy that night. You were trying on Loupe’s dresses. She had invited you to her birthday party she would be throwing a in a few weeks. So you were trying on her dresses because you didn’t have your own. I told them this. They dropped the topic right away."

Unfortunately I have very little memory of this. I can only remember a little bit, and I had assumed it was all a dream.

James continues, "You were really happy. Eduardo sure got a kick out of seeing you model the dresses. He liked it a lot." That makes me smile.

"You tried on a pair of her heels and you had trouble with them."

"Yeah, I know. I don’t wear heels. Almost never." All of a sudden I remember a birthday party I went to almost a year ago now. How I tried to walk back to the hotel we were all staying at, but after wearing heels for a few hours they were beginning to hurt me, so I simply took them off and walked barefoot in Toronto, in January. People on the street kept stopping me to let me know that I was barefoot, because they thought I didn’t realize the obvious. I laugh. The memory makes me smile.

James continues, "The investigators did not bother to question me about you any more. They were more concerned about how much alcohol we were drinking, and what drugs we had been taking. You were not mentioned at all. At one point I looked at my watch and realized I had been there for 6 hours."

"That’s really shitty James, for them to keep you that long. I’m so sorry."

"I asked to call my mom, so that I could let her know where I was, since I live with her and she probably expected me to be home hours ago. The investigator was reluctant, but allowed me to call . So I called and told her what happened. She quickly showed up at the station. She was livid. She questioned why I was being held for so many hours, especially considering you may have passed away. I was devastated after all. She gave them hell for not letting me go home after what I had experienced. Plus I wasn’t giving them any good information to work with. I told them everything I knew. I could tell they were disappointed."

"Good."

Sheena always listens in, so we discuss this later. The curtains are drawn between us and we cannot see each other, but her voice is comforting. Always. It makes me feel strong. It reassures me and gives me hope that one day I will walk. That one day I will run.

 

?

 

13

It is now the beginning of October 2010. Sheena informs me that she will be leaving the day after tomorrow. I do not know what day it is, I don’t care, but I know that it is early October. Medical staff always ask me what day it is. Like I give a shit to keep track. I live in the same day, everyday. I feel saddened that she will be leaving. I tell her that I will miss her greatly and I want her to stay, but I know it will be good for her to leave this place. She tells me it will not be the last time I see her. She will make sure she finds me when I get out. This is comforting but I still feel down. I wonder who my new neighbor will be.

That day Sheen’s two sons come by to visit. The curtain is still drawn and I cannot see them. I hear them. One speaks, while the other makes strange sounds. He cannot seem to form proper words. Yet somehow Sheena and his brother seem to have no problem understanding him. They respond to him. I wait for them to pause, so I can cut in. I introduce myself. Sheena apologizes for not introducing me yet, and I tell her it’s fine. One of her sons draws the curtain back. I’m glad to meet them and we shake hands. The 4 of us talk for a while. It is explained to me why one of Sheena’s sons’ has difficulty speaking, but unfortunately I quickly forget. He says something, and his brother will repeat what he just said so that I'll be able to understand. Their names are James and Carlos. I also quickly forget which son is which. As we talk I find out that the son with a speech impediment is a writer. He does this for a living. Finding work was hard for him because of his inability to form understandable words. I tell them that for years I had wanted to be a writer. I would write two pages and then experience writers block. I never bothered to even pursue this in university because of all of the essays I had to write. Those things led to horrible writer’s block.

"Well, you have to tell your story. It’s time," says Sheena, and I promise her that I will try again. We talk some more and her sons take off. It feels good to have met them.

Sheena goes to the washroom, and then comes out looking upset. I can see her because the curtain has been drawn back. I ask her if everything is okay.

"Something is wrong Karina. I am in pain."

I don’t know what to say, so I tell her that I am sorry about that. She lies back down. She wants to speak to one of her sons but the phone on her side of the room is not working, so she asks to borrow mine. I was told before that it costs money to use the hospital phone, so I had been using my cell phone to make quick calls, since I get charged by the minute. I was told before that the hospital phone has a fixed rate. Once you make a phone call, you are automatically charged $5 for the whole day, no matter how short or long the call is. This is what a nurse had told me, and I believe her. But I give Sheena my phone to use because she wants to, and I like her. I’ll pay the $5. It will only be weeks later that I find out I was charged for the phone automatically. Everyday. My room has a telephone so I was charged. If I had known this I wouldn’t be using my cell phone. But at the moment Sheena uses my phone, I do not know this. I am ready to pay the $5. I feel useful.

I take my sleeping pills and watch TV. I get a text message. It is from someone who is not on my contact list, and I am not familiar with this phone number. It says,

"Hi Karina. I heard you were in the hospital. How are you?" I don’t know who this person is, but obviously he or she knows me. Then I remember a former close friend I had. Brian. I remember he was my closest friend and we used to do everything together before the summer rolled around. He replaced me at work after I left. At somepoint we decided to take a break from our friendship. I know we went our separate ways, but on good terms. I remember that I had deleted his phone number. So it must be Brian. It might be nice to have him back in my life. I respond back telling him that I am in pain and ask him how he is. We shoot the shit for a while over text, and then I fall asleep.

 

?


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