The Things He Shattered

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

Chapter 20 (v.1)

Submitted: April 12, 2013

Reads: 313

Comments: 16

A A A | A A A

Submitted: April 12, 2013

A A A

A A A

Love, and Other Unfortunate

Afflictions

 

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"For you I was a flame

Love is a losing game

Five story fire as it came

Love is a losing game

One I wish I never played

Oh, what a mess we made

And now the final frame;

Love is a losing game"

-Amy Winehouse-

 

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Travis kissed me when we met,
Jumping from the chair he sat in;
Time, you thief, who love to get
Sweets into your list, put that in!
Say I'm weary, say I'm sad,
Say that health and wealth have missed me,
Say I'm growing old, but add,
That one day Travis kissed me.

 

Everything not written in italics was written by James Henry Leigh Hunt

 

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1

We make our way to our apartment unit. I feel a very overpowering bittersweet feeling as we go through the front door. It is my home, that I have been taken away from for months. I get up and walk into my room. I have my hands on the wall for support, just in case I get dizzy. But I don’t. I haven’t been experiencing dizziness for a few days now. I limp into my room. I notice right away that it is cleaner. I know I hadn’t left it like that. My mom told me that dad would clean it, and would often just lie on my bed when I was in a coma, trying to gather strength. A feeling of sadness hits me. The last time I was in this room, I was able bodied. I could walk with no limping. I could run. I’m happy to be back in my own room, but the good memories pain me considerably. I’m intent on going back to the way I was. I am on a waiting list for an outpatient rehabilitation center in my own city, and I have very high hopes that in time I will be back to the way I was.
My room is as clean as it can get. It’s not as cluttered. I always liked it cluttered, but now I see it’s better if it’s not, considering I already have a hard time getting around without walking into something. I find some comfort from all of the picture frames with photographs hanging on my wall. In the photographs I look happy, having no idea what my life will become one day. I tell myself that I will go back to the way I used to be. I believe this. I hold on to this.

I decide to take a bath for the first time in months. A real bath, not what they called a ‘bath’ in rehab. I intend to scrub all the hospital germs off of my body. I scrub everything until I turn pink. I wash what remains of my hair. Out of habit I squeeze a large amount of shampoo into my palm, only to realize this is a stupid waste. I only need about a fifth of this. I make a note to keep this in mind for the future. I wash up and get out of the bathtub. I decide to look into the washroom mirror. It is a three way mirror, so I use it to see the back of my head. It is not what I expected. Aside from my hair hardly being there, on the right side it is actually a little bit longer than the left. It looks ridiculous and obviously needs to be cut straight. I know if I ever dared to make any complaints about my hair, anyone from the medical staff would respond with, "hair grows back," usually followed with, "you have bigger things to worry about." This should never have been a thing to worry about. I'm sure I will not live long enough to see it grow back to the length it was before.


I lie in bed and study my room. My father has put my bass guitar away. Maybe one day I will play it. I text message Travis to let him know I’m home now. We haven’t really been in touch, and I hope maybe now that I’m home he’ll come by to visit me. I don’t remember what he looks like. I know that if I saw him on the street I wouldn’t recognize him. It doesn’t matter. I remember that he was good looking, but even that doesn’t matter. What matters is that I am still in love with him. I also know that I have been for many years. I know he lives about a five minute walk away, so when I fall asleep I will be comforted by the fact that he is not far away from me doing the same thing. We’re in the same city now.
I still have no recollection as to why I was so angry at him. In any case, whatever it was he did, he’s off the hook now. It really couldn’t have been all that important considering I don’t remember. Maybe this time around he’ll treat me well, since I was supposed to die. That would happen in a perfect world... but in a perfect world cops don’t throw innocent people off of balconies. I decide to bide my time and wait...

I look for my sleeping pills and only find one. I take it and watch TV in my room until I fall asleep. I fall asleep with a heavy heart.

 

"The sun still shines

But on my blind side"

-Mark O.-

 

2

I wake up at around 6am as usual because of the habit I have developed in rehab. I wake up feeling empty. I know my joy to finally be home should override my worries, but all I find myself doing is thinking about the surgeries I still need to have, and also the fact that I will need rehabilitation from them all over again. I know I am on the waiting list for outpatient rehabilitation and they should contact me in a couple of months, but my surgery appointment for my right knee will take place after I begin rehab. So I will be going to rehab, then have surgery which will undo most of my progress and cause me to start rehab all over again. This isn’t making logical sense to me. I guess my logic isn’t really operating well considering I had a lot of head trauma and was kept on the ‘crazy’ floor in rehab.
My father has gone to work, so it is just me and my mother. I tell her more about the rehabilitation center I was living in. How on the very last day the pregnant physiotherapist coached me through walking.
"That was the first walking you did in all the weeks you were kept there?"
"The first supervised walking, really. They had left a walker in my room one day, so I could use it to walk to the washroom. I would practice walking in my room as much as I could. I don’t know if they sensed this, but one day they took the walker away from me. So it wasn’t until the last day that I saw it again."
"So what exactly were you doing in rehab if they couldn’t even teach you to walk?"

"Summarizing short stories and doing simple math problems. Oh, and spotting the differences in two pictures that looked alike."
"Did you make any progress at all?"
"I feel like the only progress I made was when no one was watching and I practiced walking in my room."
"You could have just done all of this at home!" She shakes her head in disbelief.
"Yeah, I donno why they insisted on keeping me there for so long. No one there seemed to be mentally stable."
"Probably because you kept telling investigators a cop tried to kill you. Don’t you think it’s weird a space opened up in rehab overnight even though there was a huge waiting list? And not just any space. A space in the insane asylum. I know they will try to use it against you Karina. If you ever find a lawyer and try to seek justice they’ll say ‘well she’s obviously not mentally stable... look... we had to send her to the loony bin in rehab. She’s really not all there.’"
At this moment I do not want to believe this. I feel that there has to be justice. I know what happened. I remember exactly how it happened. I also know that he will do it again. I won’t be surprised if he has managed to kill somebody already. I have faith that I will see justice. I hold on to this.
I do feel happy to be in my room again. I feel happy that I can watch TV and not have anyone else want to watch something different then what’s on.

 

 

3


Loupe texts me. She wants to come by one of these days to see me. I ask my parents if this is okay and they say yes. I very rarely would have people over before, but now I cannot physically go visit her, so the rules are changed. For now. James also texts me and asks if he can come see me on the weekend. I ask my parents. They say it’s okay. I am happy about that, but feel very empty. I cannot wait to be back to the way I used to be.
All days blend into one day. I no longer bother to keep track of what day of the week it is. I know when it’s the weekend because my father stays home. Outside it is cold, and I do not go out. I still have that appointment slip from Dr. Hill. My surgery is in two days. I decide to call the phone number on the appointment slip to cancel this surgery. I call and Dr. Hill’s secretary picks up. I explain to her that I have a surgery booked, but am unable to find transportation, so I will have to postponeit to another time. She tells me that is fine. She will cancel it, and I can book another appointment some other time. I tell her I will call when I figure out how I will get there. I have absolutely no intention to. I know I do not have a bone infection. I hope this will be the first and last time I will have to speak to his secretary Tina, and I can just start putting everything behind me. It won’t be of course. But I do not know this right now. I am still hopeful now and again.
At night I tape up two of my toes on my right foot. The big toe and the one beside it. They can no longer touch, so I tape them together to hold them in place. I know in time they will be closer to each other. I sincerely doubt I will ever be able to pick up a quarter using them like they expected me to do in rehab, but at least if I am ever barefoot in front of anyone, they will not stare.

 

3 days go by, and I begin to see the stress my parents are still under. They often snap at each other. I begin to sense that whatever negative emotions they feel relate to me. My father tries to reassure me that I did nothing wrong. My mother talks about how if only I didn’t go out that night. But I just had to. I now see that it was selfish, and I am not the only one paying for my mistakes. If the cops wanted to arrest me, fine. I should have just let them do that. Anything would have been better than this. But no, I had too much trust. I went out on the balcony.

For now I do not feel that it is my fault that someone tried to murder me. For now. I know what she says is the truth, I just do not want to admit it and take on this massive blame. For now. She suggests that I pray, and I wonder what God is punishing me for. I wonder what I could have possibly done that was so horrid that I would deserve this kind of punishment. If I’m not the only one who is suffering for my mistakes, then why are my parents paying for them as well? For brining me into this world? In that case God seems to be a little vengeful. I hope not to piss him off any further. Technically I cannot physically go anywhere so I can’t get myself into any more trouble.


Outside it is cold and it gets dark early. Christmas has passed. Spare money simply did not exist anymore. No presents were under the Christmas tree. I had nothing to contribute either. I didn’t want anything materialistic anyway. I want to be able to run. Even just to speed walk. I would gladly settle for that. In time I’m sure I will. I practice every day. I walk down the hallway of my apartment. I walk up and down the stairs. I climb the stairs to the third floor, then back down to the second. It is difficult the first time I do this. I mostly rely on my arms.
As time passes, I seem to be improving. I no longer depend on my arms as much. My legs are finally getting good exercise.

 

 

4


New year’s eve comes and goes, and we ‘celebrate’ it somberly. I have run out of any sleeping pills so I have a hard time falling asleep and staying sleep. I sleep about 3 hours a night, 5 if I am really lucky. I also begin to remember my dreams. I didn’t remember dreaming before, so I am happy to have this back. About 20% of the time I dream about one thing. In my dream I am on the balcony. The officer is there. He is out of uniform, but I know it is him. He punches me in my left eye, and I wake up. My heart beats like mad. I catch my breath. After some time I begin to drift off again. My dream begins exactly where it left off. He pulls back his fist and lines up. Then the punch comes, and I wake up in a cold sweat. My heart beats fast. I tell myself this is not happening right now. It is something that had already happened. Right now it is not real. I’m wide awake, so I turn on my lamp and begin to read a book. About 2 hours into it I begin to feel like I can fall asleep again. I do. The dream again starts right where it left off. The young man grabs me and begins to lift me . Then... I literally feel myself falling. In my dream it is real and I feel it. My breath is taken away. The ground comes right at me. I hit the ground and realize it was my bed that I hit. I am in bed and my body hurts. I wince. My heart pounds and my back is soaked. I try to catch my breath. I keep telling myself that it is not happening right now. It already happened. It won’t happen again. Most likely. I doubt he’ll come after me. I try to calm myself. It is 5 am and I know I will not fall asleep again. I’ll settle for the 4 hours of sleep. I turn my light on and continue to read the novel. My heart takes a long time to slow down a little. I notice that when it speeds up like that it starts skipping and takes my breath away. I gasp a few times. On the one hand I am happy that I’m able to experience ‘dreams.’ On the other hand it pains me greatly to have to relive that moment when I wasn’t physically killed, but much of my life was murdered.


I begin to realize that the life I lived and loved was killed that day. I remember we studied the grieving process back in school. How the first step is denial. I went through that step. I realize now that I had been in denial for a long time, convinced that I would go right back to the way I was before. I now realize that I will not. My body will never work the same way again. The pain will not leave completely. It is very likely that I will always limp around. This is a hard blow. Tears run down my face. I know that in the end, even though a man was responsible for this, I am the one to blame. I could have just avoided it if I stayed home that day. If I just didn’t go out on the balcony. What have I done... The realization is agony. I hold my pillow and I cry into it. What have I done...

People have and will continue to say, "At least you’re still alive. Doctor’s saved your life!" This is something I do not know how to respond to. People cannot understand how I feel.
Imagine that one day someone you love dearly, passes away. Be it a friend, a significant other, or a family member. Imagine it is someone you love above anyone else. Now even though this person’s death was caused by someone else, technically you had your hand in it, as unintentional as it was. Lets say for example you were driving this person somewhere, and a reckless driver hits your car, and the person you loved, dies as a direct result. Yes, it was the other driver’s fault... but if you hadn’t been driving, this person would have never died. In the end it is technically your fault. You are completely torn apart. Your guilt eats away at you. This person’s family blames you for the accident. Now the last thing you may want to hear is someone say, "Well, at least YOU’RE still alive."
This is exactly how I feel. In the end I could have prevented it. I had my hand in it, as unintentional as it was. And I will pay for it for as long as God insists on keeping me alive. My parents will pay for this. The guilt at times is overwhelming. My parents want me to know how much damage this has caused them. They want me to understand how much suffering my actions led to. Maybe to prevent me from being this stupid in the future. I try to stay strong, and not react too much, so I come off as being simply insensitive. I however do not want them to see the toll it has taken on me. Every night I cry until I finally fall asleep. On a rare occasion when I sleep, sometimes I dream of this one moment. The fall. I imagine how much effort was taken to keep me alive, and fix my bones. For what? For this? So I can agonize about what my life could have been? And people will say, "Hey, you’re lucky to be alive."

What?! This?! This is lucky?! I have realized that what I think is ‘lucky,’ is different than what the great majority of the population seems to think.

I do not know if I can even look at it as Doctors ‘saving’ my life. Technically they didn’t exactly ‘save’ it. I will be dead one day no matter what. What they have done is prolong it. And at what cost? I paid an unimaginably high price, and I am left wondering if I will ever see the day when I will feel that the life I have now, was worth all of the emotional and physical turmoil I went through. Right now, it doesn’t even come close.

"Insanity it seems

Has got me by my soul to squeeze"

- Red Hot Chili Peppers -

 

5


The next day I find out from Loupe, that now she has been arrested. When I see her in person she tells me the whole story.

She went to a casual restaurant with her 7 year old son. She had a drink and went to the washroom. 1 beer. When she went back to her table a lady in the restaurant informed her that the police were contacted because it was thought that she simply abandoned her son. Loupe said that she had merely gone to the washroom and it should be very obvious that she did not ‘abandon’ anyone. She thought this was complete nonsense, and to this day I do not understand why she did what followed next. She ordered another beer. All in all she had an entire drink and a half, when a police officer showed up. She proceeded to tell him that whoever called him made a mistake. She did not abandon her son, so there really was no need for his concern. He saw that she had a drink in her hand, so he told her he felt there was a cause for concern because she was ‘severely’ intoxicated. This angered her, and I know that Loupe can really run her mouth when she is angry. She demanded to have a breathalyser test done to which the police officer replied there was no point. It would show that she was drinking if she had so much as one sip, which she obviously did. He asked her to step outside with him, as people were turning to stare. Loupe grabbed her things and he followed her out. As they were walking outside, away from the restaurant, the cop grabbed her, and with all of his strength threw her to the ground. Her face hit the ground, not as hard as my father’s did when the same thing was done to him. At that moment Muchacho became hysterical. The police officer handcuffed Loupe and took her to the police station. She was then accused of child neglect, and child abuse because her son was obviously upset. He was after all crying. He was crying so much he was unable to form words. So naturally this was blamed on Loupe. Her son was then taken away from her. He was sent to live with his grandmother, since Loupe was living with her boyfriend. Her son now lived in that apartment I was thrown from. Her visits to see him were to be supervised. Random drug and alcohol tests were administered.

This left us all questioning if this had any connection to me. After all she was the only one who physically saw the young cop follow me to the balcony and come back very calmly, sometime later, telling everyone that I had ‘jumped.’ If that was the case, he didn’t explain why he hadn’t bothered himself to stop me from jumping.

My father begins to dedicate himself to reading newspaper articles that concern the police. Police officers are always presented as being in ‘constant danger,’ dealing with ‘severely intoxicated’ individuals. One article stood out. Police tried to stop a drunk driver. An officer ran into the road and fired a shot at this man. The man unfortunately ran the police officer over. He was drunk after all. The driver died soon after, from the bullet wound, but because of his drunk driving he had killed a man of the law. My father tells me the story,

"So basically this poor man was shot, but was still expected to operate the vehicle correctly. He could not. He received a fatal gun shot so his driving was erratic and he ran over the man who shot him, who had positioned himself in front of the vehicle in order to shoot him. This of course was blamed on the driver. He had alcohol in his system. That somehow explains absolutely everything."


So my only real witness would not be seen as a credible one anymore. If I ever worked up the strength to file a lawsuit against the man who maimed me, I would have no case. It would be my word against his. They would say I suffered severe brain damage and didn’t know what I was talking about. My only witness was a drunk and had to have her child taken away. My upbringing was questionable, because after all it seems like my father frequents strangers’ apartments ‘severely’ intoxicated. So what can that say about me? I did have alcohol in my system that night. It does not matter that it was a Friday night and I had been of legal age for several years, and was doing absolutely nothing wrong. Prohibition was over. None of these things would matter. My killer would have a slew of good lawyers backing him up. The best lawyers tax payer money can afford. I would not have this. I cannot afford much. I would be put on the stand and torn into shreds. Not only will I be a cripple, but I would be a very broke cripple. The man who did this will walk free and receive apologies that he had to go through anything unpleasant.


I realized then that even if I lived a million years, I would never see justice. Not to mention that one lawyer after another completely refuses to take on the case. The only one who months ago agreed to take it on if I paid an arm and a leg, sends me a letter when I am finally allowed to return home. He says he is unable to help, leaving my father to question who this police officer really is. Who’s son is he? Why does he seem to have so much power?

My parents are referred by a friend to another lawyer. They travel to Toronto to speak to him and came home exhausted. We never hear from the lawyer again. The family friend manages to get into contact with him. All he tells her is that he would not be able to take on the case. I do not have the proof.

We keep trying to find lawyer. I call one, and he says he only takes on cases where the police accuse you, not where you accuse the police. He refers me to another lawyer. The other lawyer asks me to e-mail him a detailed time line of events that occurred that night. I do. I still remember them quite well. I send him several pages of what occurred in what order. He replies back with a simple two sentence e-mail;

"I will not be able to take on your case. I wish you the best of luck in the future." I had put so much effort into writing a 4 page time line only to receive a two line answer with no explanations? I understand now that lawyers will stay away from me like a wild fire. This is an incredibly serious accusation. The only thing that anyone can recommend is to try to reopen my case. Try to reopen what those two investigators worked so hard to finally close (on more than one occasion), and fabricated events that never occurred, but were recorded as solid evidence. I realize now that I have nothing. So when people hear a little about what has happened to me, and simply reply, "Well just get a lawyer," as if they have superior thinking skills, and I had never even once considered this as an option, I become very annoyed. I have lost track of how many lawyers I have contacted. No one in their right mind wants to take on my case. After all, it is my word against a police officer’s, so therefore my word is absolute shit. I have no case.

 

 

 

6


I have a collection of hospital bills now. I look through the Green Meadows one. I know I will be charged for using the television. I had anticipated that. I skim through the breakdown of the bill. The television cost me $120. Sounds about right. But why is the total almost $300? Most health care costs in Canada should be covered. I look through the breakdown more carefully. And there it is: $170 for a ‘room with a telephone’. I cannot believe what I am seeing. I was told that I would be charged for the telephone if I used it. I was told it was on a day to day basis. I used the telephone about 3 times, and I let Sheena use it about 5. On other days I would use my cell phone to avoid paying the $5.00 I was told I would have to pay for the days I actually ‘used’ it. This wasn’t so. I was charged every single day, if I used the thing or not. It was in no way my choice. I never requested a ‘room with a telephone,’ but I now have to pay for it. I call the phone number given on the bill to speak to someone. I am told there is nothing they can do. I have to pay the bill. I have no money coming in. My disability hasn’t even been processed. I am told if I do not pay the bill, this will harm my credit score. I tell them fine. I will not pay it. I have no money.

They should ask the police officer to pay up in this case. I’m surprised they did not charge for ‘a room with a bathroom.’ I had one of those too after all.

 

A dept collector contacts me saying I have failed to pay for my ambulance that brought me to the hospital. It has been months that I have neglected to do this. I explain that I had been in a coma for a while, and then kept in a hospital and rehabilitation center for months, so I had no chance to pay the $45 to cover the ambulance cost, and will not be able to for a while until I receive some disability payments. I am told to call a certain number when I am finally prepared to pay. I write it down.

So now I am a cripple in a shit load of school dept and sinking in hospital bills, with a low credit score. Life is just awesome.

 

 

7


It is the beginning of the second week of January 2011, when Tina, Dr. Hill’s secretary calls me. She sounds extremely concerned. She asks me if I was able to find transportation to the hospital yet. I tell her that no, I haven’t, and obviously not for 2 days considering the first day I will be there, I will only be ‘prepared’ for the surgery then have to make my way home, then attempt to find another way back to the hospital for the actual surgery. She tells me that she will put me on the ‘waiting list’ for a hospital room so I will not have to make the trip back and forth. I tell her that I am not interested in having the surgery to begin with. There is silence at first, and then she tells me to strongly reconsider it and call her back as soon as I decide to do the ‘right thing.’ My mother asks me who called and I tell her. I tell her that I am firm on not going through with a single surgery anymore. She tells me that she understands why I do not feel it necessary to receive surgery on my left ankle. But what about my right leg? I tell her absolutely not. I know nothing good will come out of the surgeries. Any of them. I know I will either not survive them, or survive them and end up a lot worse than I was before. The fact that I do not want my right leg touched makes her upset.

"So what do you want Kar? Your leg will be wobbling all over the place! It’s only going to get worse with age! You’ll be 50 years old and you won’t be able to keep it straight. Just imagine how ridiculous you’ll look and the trouble you’ll have trying to walk around!" I can tell she is upset with my decision but what she says chills me to the core. I feel terrified imagining that what she said will actually happen. Surprisingly not at the thought of not being able to walk properly, and my leg wobbling constantly with every step. No. I become terrified of the idea that I will live long enough to be 50. Maybe even longer than that. That’s at least another 24 years of living in this body! I put this thought out of my mind as quickly as I think it. I will get better and go right back to the way I was on the morning of August 13th. I am on the waiting list for a rehab after all. This is a different rehab, and they may actually do something to help. While I am waiting, I push myself physically. I also have a list of web sites with ‘brain games,’ that the rehab I stayed at supplied me with. I play these, and I walk up and down the stairs every day.

Very slowly, I begin to feel some pain in my left ankle. At first I ignore this. After all, I was told I would experience pain because of the damage it sustained. The Doctor who removed my cast was surprised I didn’t feel any pain when he moved my foot back and forth. He told me I now have severe arthritis there. I shrugged it off then. I didn’t feel pain. But I do now. Now that I am constantly pushing myself to walk up and down the stairs.

 

 

8

It has been a couple of days since Tina called. I still have all of her contact information, but have no intention to call back. This does not matter. She calls me. She wants to know if I have made a decision about the highly recommended surgery. I tell her I have made a decision. I already told her about my decision. I will not go through with the surgery. She tells me again to reconsider and she will call in a few days.
I now begin to notice that the pain is becoming worse. If at first it was a dull pain, that left my ankle sore, it is now a sharp pain with every step. I feel I am physically getting better, but the pain is getting worse.

Tina has waited 2 days, and now she calls me for the 3rd time. She is insisting again. She is getting frustrated,

"Karina, you have an infection! This is why you’re experiencing a fever." This confuses me. I have never once mentioned having a fever, mainly because I never had a fever.


In January 2011 it becomes part of my regular schedule to receive phone calls from Tina. She calls several times a week. She tells me that they have now found a room for me in the hospital, and a bed will be available, as soon as I decide to go through with the surgery. I’m beginning to run out of excuses. I give my parents an update and tell them the next time she’ll call, (because I know she will) I’ll just tell her that I can’t find a ride. I have known all of my life that my father has an incredible intuition, so I look to him to see if he has any opinions. He does,
"Karina, don’t tell her that you can’t find a ride. I can sense something is really wrong here. Dr. Hill is really pushing this. Believe me, if you tell him you can’t find transportation, he will drive you there himself. I know you do not have an infection Karina. I am not saying this because I wish you didn’t have an infection, I am telling you because I know, you do not have an infection. The fact that Dr. Hill is pushing this, to the point where it is becoming borderline harassment should tell you something. In the end, it will benefit him more than you." I know my father is right. Dr. Hill is going to get something out of this. I sincerely doubt he is this concerned about my foot. After all, I did ask him for a second test and he seemed to jump in a bit too quickly and tell me there was absolutely no need.

Online I spend a lot of time reading about bone infections. It doesn’t seem to be the kind of emergency that Dr. Hill has been presenting it to be. I decide to give it time. Maybe the pain will go away.

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