The Things He Shattered

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

Chapter 15 (v.1)

Submitted: April 12, 2013

Reads: 504

Comments: 15

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Submitted: April 12, 2013





I have speech therapy at 2pm on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. It will be a three hour wait from when my last therapy class ends, so I try to busy myself. My upper tooth is broken in half disallowing me to chew properly. I cannot seem to brake off the loose piece, and I resolve to tell the next nurse I see about this problem. I have also been given a list of up-coming appointments I have with Doctors in St. Frances’ Hospital. The times and dates are written down and some conflict with my rehabilitation schedule. I’m guessing the appointments are more important.

Time passes, and Elizabeth, the speech therapist comes into my room to get me. We head to her office on the second floor. She begins the lesson by showing me a photograph of a young woman, then another woman, and asks me to list the differences between the two. I do, and she scribbles away. She shows me more pictures, and we continue to do this for the hour until my time is up. I ask her to give me feedback, considering it looked like she was physically writing a novel. She gives me an answer I have a feeling she has given to many other patients,

"You did okay. You just need some more work."

My appointment with Elizabeth is my last appointment of the day. I roll myself into the living room to watch some TV. I start to recognize some faces. They are the usuals. The man rocking back and forth with what looks to be a third of his head missing. The old man talking to the wall, and the old lady who sits watching the TV. I park my chair close to her, simply because she is close to the TV and I do not like to strain my eyes. She turns to me and studies my face. I’m watching TV but in my peripheral vision I can see her looking at me. I’m guessing she’s in her 70's. I deal with this for a while, and finally feel that I’ve had enough, so I turn my head and look into her eyes. She lifts her eyebrows and says, "Lisa".

"No my name is Karina," I tell her and she looks confused.

"You’re my daughter’s child!"

"No, I’m not your granddaughter."

"Oh Susan! Did you forget me already?" I have no idea how to reply to this. At that moment something noisy is happening on the TV, so her attention shifts back to it and I am left alone. The man’s conversation with the wall is now turning into a heated argument. Nurses come running almost immediately and attempt to escort him out of the area. I now start to get a very unpleasant vibe from this place. I now take into consideration what my father said when he told me there was a coincidence in the fact that Billy initially told me I would have to wait several months to get into a rehab. I give my statement to the investigators, call them later to see what the status is, and soon after, a room here opens up all of a sudden. And not just any room. A room in what appears to be an insane asylum. I rewind this conversation in my head. I begin to realize that this is not the place I should be in. Unlike the patients around me, I know that I am still able to reason, and I never have conversations with inanimate objects. The only problem I find with my thinking skills, is that I tend to forget things quicker. My father’s words run through my head,

"If you ever find a lawyer and go to court, imagine what they’ll say against you: ‘Karina had severe brain damage, we had to place her in a nuthouse . We simply can’t rely on anything she says. It’s all made up!’"

This begins to eat away at me. I begin to wonder what the investigators are doing with my case. I know it’s been weeks since the last time I spoke to them. They seem to have simply disappeared. I decide to contact them again. I roll back to my room and find their business cards. I roll to another room that has a free telephone I can use. I don’t want to have to pay for my cell phone. I dial the phone number of the overweight investigator. I get Mark Pedarchuck’s answering machine. I leave a message. I call the old investigator, Jim Lane. I remember these things because I wrote down their physical characteristics on the back of their business cards, so I would not forget which one is which. I again get an answering machine. I leave a message.


Tonight that considerate woman is my nurse again. The one who treats me like a human being. She lets me take my medication when I want to take my medication, and does not group me in the crazy pile that some of the other patients seem to be in. I ask her what her name is, and she tells me it is Consuela. I tell her I think it’s a very pretty name and she gives me a smile. I mention to her that my tooth has really been bugging me because it is broken in half, and I can not chew properly. She reassures me that she will notify someone who can take care of this as soon as possible. I know she will. I have faith in her. She leaves my pills on the night table beside me and leaves the room wishing me a good night. She never asks me to open my mouth so she can do an inspection. She seems to respect me enough to not degrade me like the other nurse has done. And I like her more for this.




It is the next day, and first thing in the morning a young man comes into my room and tells me he will take me to the dentist. I feel optimistic that my tooth problem is about to be fixed.

A long time is dedicated to examining my mouth. Pictures and scans are taken. A woman dentist tells me that she’ll be in charge of my case. I tell her that I would really like the problem fixed, but unfortunately I have no money.

"Oh don’t worry. It’s gonna be really cheap. Only $127."

She may as well have told me it would ONLY be a million dollars. I absolutely can not afford this.

"Unfortunately when I told you I have no money, I mean that I absolutely have no money. I do not have a job, and I’m really very disabled to go out and find one anytime soon."

She looks at me sympathetically as she processes this.

"Okay. I can make you a deal. You have to promise not to tell anyone about this, but whatever you need to have done, I will make sure it’s done for free, and you are not charged." She doesn’t need to offer me this option twice. I quickly accept.

She finishes examining my teeth, and a young male dentist comes in with an assistant to take over. The male dentist informs me that they will pull out half of the loose tooth.

"Well it’s just broken in half. Can’t you just glue the two pieces together so that the tooth becomes whole again?"

"Well no. I have looked over the scans. The back part of the tooth is no longer attached to the root. It’s just held in place by your gum. So we’re going to remove it. We will freeze your upper jaw first though."

I try to process this. If it’s not attached to the root, but is simply held in place by my gum, I don’t understand why I have had no luck pulling it out. I’ve been attempting to do this for over a month now. I also wonder how painful separating a piece of tooth from my gum would be that my upper jaw requires to be ‘frozen.’ I don’t ask. I watch the dentist prepare the syringe. The assistant puts a large piece of foam into my mouth to prevent me from closing it. He also inserts a tube to suck out my spit since I can’t swallow.

The dentist tells me he will now give my gum a ‘shot.’ It will be uncomfortable. To say that what I experience next is ‘uncomfortable’ is yet another colossal understatement. The needle goes through my gum and an intense pain shoots through my entire body. My right hand shoots to my mouth, out of reflex. My hand grabs the dentist’s hand that’s holding the needle and forces it away from my mouth, with all of my strength. Things become a little blurry.

"You really shouldn’t have done that," the dentist says. He looks very disappointed.

"I can’t pull out your tooth unless I have injected all of the pain killer into your gum. I only got a third of it in. I’m going to have to attempt this again. Now if you want, we can tie your hands to this chair to prevent you from doing this again."

"What?! No! Please don’t do that to me."

"Okay. But you have to promise me you will not try to push my hand away again."

"I had no control over it. It was a reflex."

He looks doubtful, so I sit on my hands. He proceeds. I brace myself. This time it hurts a little less. I’m guessing that some of the pain killer that has managed to get in has begun to work. It still hurts, but it is now a bearable pain. He removes the needle.

"See. That wasn’t so bad. You were just nervous the first time we tried it."

Yeah. THAT was the reason.

He then takes what look like small pliers and goes straight for the broken tooth. I don’t feel anything and he asks me if I feel any pain. I slur and tell him I don’t. I can tell he’s pulling, but thankfully I do not feel anything anymore.

"Well... it looks like it’s actually attached to the root."

I could have told you that, you idiot.

He takes a deep breath and gives it another attempt. I can see he is putting all of his male strength into this, and the piece of tooth is finally pulled out. I ask to keep it. A white kind of clay is applied to the remainder of the tooth, and it dries quickly. They are finished with me, and I am returned to my room, with a piece of my tooth in my pocket.





The following days blend into each other. I do the exact same thing over and over. A couple of days pass, and one day my cell phone rings. It is a call from the younger investigator. He tells me that him and his partner could not come into contact with me sooner because they simply did not know where I went. I was no longer at the Green Meadows Hospital, so they couldn’t give me an update. It was good that I finally called. I am completely shocked by this news. He does detective work for a living. Tax payers give up money to pay him to do what? It becomes very obvious that he is unable to do very simple detective work, if he had trouble locating me.

It will be months later when I am returned home that my mother gives me a pack of store brand pills to prevent stomach upset. She tells me the young investigator gave them to her. They were found in my room. She asks me what they are. I tell her they are pills to prevent things like nausea.

"He pulled them out of his pocket and handed them to me one day when we were at the hospital. He had already been in your room. He had come into our apartment without any of our consent. He looked very pleased with himself as if he found narcotics that would indicate the reason why you tried to commit suicide at the first sight of a police vehicle."

"These are over the counter pills for stomach problems."

"Oh, also these." She will hand over my allergy pills and asks what they are. I’ll tell her they are over the counter allergy pills. I take them because in the spring I get allergies. I had kept all of these pills in my underwear drawer. The pills were still in the packages, with the names of the pills clearly written on them. But then again, if the ‘detective’ had trouble locating me after I was transferred into rehab from Green Meadows (even though he had my contact information, my parents’ contact information, and my friends’ contact information) it is not much of a surprise that he would have trouble figuring out what the medication was meant to be used for when the name of the medication was written on it. In this day and age he could have done a simple internet search to find out what it was. I thought these things were common knowledge. Especially for someone who does detective work for a living.

"Those pills were in my underwear drawer."

"Oh he probably dug through all of that and took some as souvenirs. Your father and I came home one day to find one of the investigators cards lying on the kitchen table. I went into my room and saw right away that my things had been searched through. Some drawers that I keep securely closed had obviously been opened. They were ajar. These horrible men dug through all of our things in an attempt to find anything they could incriminate us with. We are the victims, but we were treated like criminals. If you would have just stayed home that night."

I lived through my own murder, suffered greatly, and I will find out that while this was happening a stranger was digging through my underwear. It will make me feel sick to my stomach. I will feel extremely violated. Time will pass. Weeks will go by, but that feeling will not leave me. He had told my father he should be happy that I am alive. My father tells me that this was said to him in a threatening way when he began to question things. My father says later,

"I hope that if there is a God, he will let Mark experience this kind of happiness. That his relatives and future generations experience this kind of happiness. Nothing more, and nothing less."


I however do not know this yet. The pills have been mentioned to me before, but I have not processed the extent of the situation. I answer Pedarchuck’s phone call, and explain to him that I am now in rehabilitation. At this moment, I have not yet began to despise him. I still have great hope that he will successfully remove his thumb from his ass, and actually accomplish some ‘detective work.’ I ask him for the status of my case, and he tells me that there is sensitive information he can not tell me over the telephone. He and his partner Jim Lane will visit me tomorrow. I patiently pass the day waiting. All of my intuition tells me not to get my hopes up.






Another day arrives, and the investigators finally show up. I am in my room, in my bed. Mark starts of the visit by complimenting my hair. Yet again. He had said the exact same thing to me the very first time he saw me. This has stood out to me, because technically all of my hair had been completely removed except for my bangs. There really is, and was not a lot to compliment. I realize this is a line he uses to start conversation. This now annoys me and I reply,

"I sincerely doubt that, considering all of my hair was chopped off when I was still in a coma, otherwise I would have never allowed medical staff do something like this to me." I can see he does not know how to respond to this, and so he sitsdown on a chair beside my bed. The two of them begin to tell me about the status of my case. I am not at all surprised that my case has been closed. I ask why. I am told that they had spoken to Loupe’s brother who was there that night. The one who was recovering from surgery. He was apparently sitting right beside the balcony and saw me go out. No one else was outside with me.

"So how did I manage to fall?"

"We don’t know. You were the only one on the balcony."

I am told that they will consider re-opening my case, only if I find some solid evidence. It has to be ‘very’ solid.

It would be months later, I would tell Loupe’s brother Raul what happened, and ask him why he would tell investigators that. His reply,

"That is complete bullshit! I was no where near the balcony. The cops had me standing by the front door. Loupe could see to the balcony and saw the cop go out after you. I wasn’t paying attention." But this happens months later. At this very moment I know what the investigators have told me is a complete fabrication. I know this without even talking to Raul. I know I will live the rest of my life seeing these two investigators to be as guilty as the police officer who tried to kill me. They will be guilty in the future murders he commits. I know he will commit them. These three people are now my enemies. I think about my father who breaks his back at work, five days a week, and pays taxes. Taxes that will go to these three people, so that they can live a very comfortable lifestyle and work to mask up crimes done to humanity. I stop seeing these three individuals as human beings. I pray to God to let them experience my kind of ‘happiness’ which they have worked together to create. Nothing more, and nothing less. After all, the three of them are responsible for making all of this possible.





Later Helena returns back to our room, and I give her the update. She tells me to have faith. They will all, one day pay for this. I wish for this to happen above anything.

The first full week of rehabilitation ends. And it is the weekend. All I have done is lift weights and focused on my arms.

A new week starts. I am not close to any walking attempts. I screw around with resistance bands, and dumbbells. And that is all. In speech therapy, I am shown more pictures of people and am asked to come up with adjectives to describe their appearance. I remember a week ago my mother had seen my schedule and said,

"Oh it’s good they will offer you speech therapy. You still tend to slur your words and lisp, so that’s great that it will be taken care of." When I ask Elizabeth when we will begin to focus on my actual speech, she looks confused. She tells me that this is not what ‘speech therapy’ is about. She is here to help me think of words I may have difficulty coming up with. I strongly believe the class should then be renamed to ‘word therapy’ not ‘speech therapy’ because calling it that has proven to be misleading and nothing is done to improve the way I physically speak.

The weekend is spent in the same fashion as the one before. Most patients are gone. I imagine it must be nice to have that benefit. On the bright side I have this living room to myself. I’m bored, and decide to visit every floor. I now have no problem opening the door, holding the door, and wheeling myself out all at the same time. I visit every floor, and from what I gather the 4th floor, the floor I am kept on, is the only one that requires a security code to exit. I try to tell myself that I was simply put on the 4th floor because no other room was available in this rehabilitation. I tell myself this, but I do not believe this. I know with every fibre of my being, that I do not belong on the 4th floor.


Every other night, as I lie in bed, there is an announcement on, letting everyone know that a patient from the 4th floor has gone missing. A detailed description of the patient is given. I know that if I wasn’t so disabled and it wasn’t so cold outside, I would try to run away too.

But the 4th floor is the floor that I am kept on, with other patients who are obviously not well in the head. I have been grouped in with them.





Monday comes around, and I have an appointment in St. Frances’ Hospital later on in the evening. I go through all of my classes. More arm curls and describing people’s faces. No walking. The only class that I feel I am benefitting from is Gary’s. He gives me a sheet of math problems. They are easy. It’s only adding and subtracting. I am given three minutes to complete the sheet, and Gary times me. I do them all with time to spare. He marks everything and lets me know that I got three questions wrong, and the only reason is, I was adding when I should have been subtracting. That’s the only problem he sees, so he tells me I need to pay more attention but either than that, he’s impressed. I actually feel like I am somewhat benefitting from this activity.


The appointment at St. Frances’ hospital is at 8pm. I’m not entirely sure what it is concerning. I keep myself busy, or try to. It is 7:30pm and a lady comes into my room. She is a young Jamaican woman and a little on the heavy side. There is something about her that I take a liking to immediately.

"They sure booked you late," she says. "Come on, lets get you ready. I called a cab, so they should be here soon." I climb on to the wheelchair, and she wheels me out of my room and down the hall. We take the elevator to the ground floor. We wait in the lobby and look outside. It is dark. But the city looks alive. It’s all lit up.

I remember about a year and a half ago I came around this very area with my last boyfriend. We went to the CN tower for the first times in our lives. It was warm, and the flowers were bursting into bloom. We ate at a restaurant high up in the CN tower. We drank beer and enjoyed each other’s company. I wish I could forget this moment because it makes me want to die. I try not to cry in front of the nurse. I long to feel what I felt that day. That happiness. I have not felt this kind of happiness in months. I kind of feel it when friends come by, but it’s very slight. Mostly I find that I don’t really care too much about anything anymore. Most of the time I don’t feel happy and I don’t feel sad. I simply feel like a machine wheeling my butt around. Always broken, still in repair. Right now however, I feel miserable. I just want to take my sleeping pills and crash into bed. I remember Jeremy, and that moment where we sat high above the world enjoying a drink. How happy I was. And now... I try to find faith that one day I will have a moment like that again. That one day I will no longer be disable.

The taxi arrives and the nurse wheels me into it. It is wheel chair assessable. It is a very short journey to St. Frances’ hospital. When we arrive, the porter gives the driver what appears to be some sort of a certificate. On it she writes the total cost and a tip. The trip charge is covered by the hospital. It is very nice to have her with me. There is something comforting about her. I tend to look for this quality in people, especially now. I don’t even pay attention to where she rolls me. I have complete faith in her. We get to a waiting room, and she leaves me in the waiting area, and goes to the receptionist to announce my arrival. She then comes back and finds an empty chair and rolls me beside it so that we can sit together. She sees two magazines and grabs them. She shows them to me and asks which one I would like to look through. I pick the one that looks less interesting, because I like her and I want her to look through a more amusing one. We flip through our magazines and once in a while I hear her chuckle. This is quickly followed by her turning to me and pointing to what she has found to be funny, and that gets a quiet laugh out of me. We continue in this manner for over 40 minutes. We are then finally told that it is my turn and I need to change into a hospital gown. I’m going to have an MRI scan. I’m rolled into the changing room, and the porter asks me if I need assistance. I tell her that I can handle it okay. When I actually start to change out of my clothing do I realize I may have required her assistance after all. But I decide against calling her. I want to hold on to some independence. Whatever is left of it. And so I struggle. In my mind I curse the hospital staff for insisting on these hospital gowns. My right knee that was destroyed, and now has a large amount of metal in it refuses to bend properly, so I am not having a good time. I force it, and a sharp pain rips through my body, and I bite my tongue to prevent myself from yelling. I’ve actually managed to take my pants off before without too much trouble, but now I’m rushing because I know that people are waiting for me, and this results in clumsy fuck ups.

It takes a while, but I am finally ready, and I give a shout out to the porter. She quickly collects me and rolls me to the MRI room. The Doctor comes in and asks me to climb on to the bed. I look over at the bed and know that this will be a challenge. My porter senses this and quickly jumps in to help me out. I’m terrified of falling because I know the damage that would result in. I begin to climb on the bed, and she holds onto my waist and helps lift me a little off the ground until I manage to support my body weight with my hands and arms. She asks me if I’m okay and I thank her.

I’m told the MRI machine will make a lot of noise, so I am given ear plugs. I ask the Doctor’s assistant who brings me these, if there is anything else. I will not use earplugs. He tells me I should since I will be here for a while and the machine makes a very ‘bad’ noise. I tell him I have never used ear plugs. I feel extremely uncomfortable with the thought of using them, because I have an irrational fear they will get stuck right up in my ear, and I won’t be able to pull them out, so if I have to, I will suffer through listening to the machine noise. He tells me to ‘hold on’ and returns with a pair of large headphones. I’m grateful he’s done this, and I put them on. I don’t have a watch, or a clock I can see, but I know I am on this machine for a very, very long time. I’m tired, and I’m bored. Time passes, and they are finally finished with me. The porter comes into the room and helps me into my wheelchair. She wheels me back into the changing room, where she has already laid out my clothing on the cot . I find it a bit easier putting my clothing back on, but it is still hard mostly because of my right knee.

When I am ready, the porter wheels me into the hospital lobby, where she finds a free phone to use, so that she can call for a taxi to take us back to rehab. I don’t really pay attention, but I hear her say,

"What do you mean they are not running?! Hold on..." She turns to me and I look at her.

"It’s after 10pm and they no longer run cabs that are wheelchair accessible. Would you be able to use a regular cab, and use the back seat?" Now at this point, I have something attached to my wheelchair so that my right leg is constantly held up straight, and there is no need to bend it. This causes some difficulty when I wheel myself through the door locked by the security code in rehab. I cannot imagine sitting in the back of a taxi with my leg bent. Impossible. I picture hitting a bump in the road, and the kind of pain I would feel as a result. I get goosebumps on my arms. I tell her that it is absolutely not an option. Not only is it physically impossible, but the pain will become unbearable. She continues to talk on the phone for a while, and I do not catch everything. I realize that my only option would be to spend the night in this lobby. She finally hangs up, and comes to sit beside me.

"Okay. I got a wheelchair accessible cab. The only reason I was able to get one is because the driver is in the area and just finished his shift, but he said he will be willing to help us out, only because he is already in the area. If he wasn’t, I really don’t see what choice we would have had. I have no idea what idiot scheduled your appointment, especially considering this MRI technology is available in the building right beside your rehab. We wouldn’t even need a ride. Yet we had to go through all of this. This travel time. For nothing. I don’t know who schedules these things." She shakes her head in frustration.

The cab driver arrives quickly and my porter pushes my wheelchair into the taxi. The cab driver is Jamaican just like my porter, I find out on the way back. The two really hit it off. I am no longer able to understand what they are talking about, even though I know they are speaking English. It seems to be a different dialect. They both laugh, and I smile, and I feel like God must have felt like giving me a break today.

We arrive back in rehab and it’s almost 10:45pm. I’m wheeled to my room and Helena is there and smiles as she sees me. I tell her that I was extremely lucky that I was able to get a wheelchair accessible cab. She sympathizes and agrees that whoever scheduled my appointment this late did not take things into consideration. I call and ask a nurse to bring me my medication for the evening. It is the same nurse I had on my first day here. She gives me my medication and asks me to open my mouth to check if I have swallowed it. I feel insulted, and I feel like an infant, but I also feel drained, so I do not put up a fight. I’m just content I’m back in bed, and I didn’t have to struggle to sit in a regular cab. I’m also very thankful for the woman who served as my porter today. She is one of the very few people in this rehab who have treated me with any kind of dignity. From the very start, she in no way treated me like someone who is severely, mentally disabled, like most of the staff does. Even after some time has passed and they have gotten to know me better, I am still grouped in with the rest. I am grouped in with the man who argues with the wall, and the one who rocks back and forth, and the woman who is convinced I am a family member and calls me a different name every time I see her. I know that most will continue to treat me like a complete idiot until I’m finally allowed to go home. Helena and I talk until I fall asleep.





As always I wake up to the sound of the nurses talking and laughing loudly. I look at the clock on the wall, and see that it will be 6am in two minutes. On Tuesday’s I don’t have to see Elizabeth. I’m not sure what it is, but there is something about this young woman that just doesn’t sit right with me. I see Gary, and he has me do some math problems again. I have no problems with these, but I feel like I am benefitting. We have time to spare, and he asks me if I’m in the mood to go on the computer. I’m happy to, and he situates me in front of one. I flip through some websites. The ones I used to look at when I was still at home. I feel normal again. I feel like the person I once used to be, checking my e-mails. I wish I can hold on to this feeling. It lasts only a few minutes, but at least it’s something.


Later on Loupe comes to see me with her new boyfriend. I’m playing a card game with the other patients, so I quickly finish up. Loupe hugs me and wishes me a happy birthday. She’s a few days late, but I’m very happy that she has come to see me. It was a crummy birthday anyway. The highlight was when Travis and I wished each other a happy birthday. Only my parents came to see me that day. None of my friends did. I hope it’s simply because I am now in another city. That day my parents had wheeled me out to a coffee shop. It was November and Toronto was cold, and in my 26 years on this planet, this was the loneliest birthday I have ever experienced.

Loupe’s boyfriend doesn’t say much. Loupe asks me if I would like to go anywhere. I say I would. I can tell she asks me this not out of obligation, but because she actually wants to take me out somewhere. I feel excited. Her son comes with us. Loupe first takes me back to my room, so that I can get my jacket. She rummages through the closet, and picks out two sweaters and a jacket. She asks me what sweater I want to wear and if she can wear the other one. It’s getting late, so it’s getting colder.

Loupe and her boyfriend carry on a conversation, as I am pushed in my wheelchair. Muchacho scurries along beside me. Outside, we begin to cross the street. All of a sudden my intuition begins to scream at me. I’m not sure why, but I feel like someone is telepathically telling me to put on my seatbelt (there is one on the wheelchair). I have no idea what this is. I never cared to put on my seatbelt before. But my intuition is just screaming at me. So I buckle up. Just under 2 seconds from that moment, Loupe hits a crack in the road, and I start flying out of the chair, but the seatbelt holds me in place. The belt digs hard into my abdomen. We were traveling fast across the street. If I hadn’t buckled myself up, I know I would have been airborne and then my disabled body would have crashed into the ground. Loupe stops dead in her tracks, and throws her arms around me. She holds me tightly, as if she is trying to prevent me from leaving the chair. She keeps saying she is sorry. The light has changed to red, but no car bothers to move or even honk at us for blocking the road. They stay put and wait. Loupe is very upset. She knows that something incredibly awful would have occurred that she would regret. But it hasn’t, and I tell her that I’m okay. Nothing bad has happened. Her boyfriend tells her he’ll take over pushing the wheelchair. She lets him, and I can still see she’s shaken. I try to convince her again that I am okay. Her shock slowly begins to wear off.

I’m asked if I am hungry, and even though I have already eaten my dinner in rehab, I’m starving. We decide to go to a sandwich shop. I’m rolled into the store, and we pick where we will sit. We decide on a booth, and I get out of my chair and sit in the comfortable seat. All three go to the cash register. Loupe reads the menu out loud to me and asks me what I want. I tell her I don’t care as long as it’s not fish. Loupe tells me she does not want fish either, and settles on what she wants. She tells me her choice and asks if it’s okay. I tell her I really don’t care either way. I’m not really able to taste much anymore, I just remember I don’t like fish. Everyone gets their food and comes to sit beside me. Loupe gives me half of her sandwich and asks me what chips I want. I tell her jalapeno if she’s willing, and she tells me those are her favorite.

I feel somewhat happy. Well, the most happy I have felt in a while, because I do not tend to feel happy or sad anymore. My brain injury must have affected my feelings and emotions. I eat my sandwich and the majority of the chips. It is getting late, and I’m tired , and they want to catch a bus back home. She is the only friend who has come to visit me in Toronto. She now lives close by.

I am taken back to my room, and Loupe and I hug and kiss goodbye. I tell her boyfriend that it was very nice to meet him. He smiles back and the three of them leave.

I crawl into bed. It is after nine, and I call the nurse to ask for the sleeping pills.

"Oh I was looking for you. You weren’t in your room. I’ll be right there." I don’t tell her that I wasn’t even in the hospital. I only later find out that not telling her where I was had been a very good decision on my part.



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