Open Eyes - Cade Bengert

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic

A boy is walking home, when he is jumped in a back alley and beaten severely, leaving him broken and in a coma. This story is written from the point of view of a young boy in a coma, fighting for his life.

Three days of darkness. Three days since the attack. Three days of unconsciousness.

I later discovered they found me face down in an alley, a pool of blood around me. It wasn’t the other guy’s. They loaded me into an ambulance and rushed me to ER. Emergency surgery was required. It all went successfully, but I still didn’t wake up. The doctors told my parents I might never wake up.

During the surgery, images of bones, muscles, and other body parts danced through my head. I couldn’t feel them putting me back together, but I could see it. I could see the bones being pushed back together. I could see the open scars closing up, like shoes, being pulled together by invisible laces. I could see my body holding on to everything it could by the tips of its fingers, trying to just stay alive.

I was trapped. I was trapped in my own mind. I kept replaying the events in my mind. Walking home from the movie, being late, deciding to cut through the alley as a shortcut, and of course, the mugger. It all kept playing over and over like the movie I had just seen with my girlfriend. Only difference was the good guy didn’t win in my movie. No superhero in tights jumped out to save the kid being attacked. No innocent bystander to call the cops to the kid’s defence. No, I had lost.

Each time the movie played, it was more graphic than the last time. One time, I just saw the lead pipe slam into my chest. The next, I could actually hear the ribs cracking under the pipe’s weight. Then you could actually see the ribs cracking in two through the thin layer of skin covering them. It was no less painful than when it happened. Being it in the head was the same. Falling to the ground, tasting the blood in my mouth, seeing my teeth on the pavement, it just got worse and worse. I was defenceless to the attacker’s wrath.

I don’t believe “unconscious” is necessarily the correct term for what I was in the hospital. I could still think. I didn’t know what was going on around me and I couldn’t move or communicate, but I could think. I knew I was unconscious. I was consciously unconscious, if there is such a thing.

Perhaps it was the concussion from the blow to the back of my head, but there were times when it almost felt when I was being shaken. An invisible outside force had taken hold of me, and was violently shaking me, trying to pull me away from the movie. Sometimes rain drops fell upon my face while I was walking home, but the ground didn’t show the wet spots of rain, and no puddles formed in the street.

The attack wasn’t all I thought about though. I thought about my family and friends. I saw their faces, crowded around me, just waiting for me to wake up. My mom was being comforted by my father, who looked in need of a hug too, and my girlfriend, with her running makeup and hair a mess, had my best friend’s arm wrapped around her. She obviously hadn’t slept since I had been admitted into hospital. It was that image that kept me fighting. It would have been easy to just die, give into the darkness and slip away, but I needed to see them. I needed them to know I was ok. I needed to open my eyes.

I was losing hope after a week. In my mind, everyone else was too. It had been too long, too many days of being unable to move. It had been too long of being unable to communicate. It had been too long of being unable to open my eyes. Perhaps I was dead. Maybe this was my afterlife. Was I had a bad person in life? Was this my punishment? Had I been sentenced by the immortal judge and jury to spend eternity watching how I had died? Would I never open my eyes again?

My thoughts changed as my hope left me. Gone was the movie of my death. It was replaced by a house. The house was a faded white, with black curtains in the front window. The paint was peeling, showing the harsh brown wood underneath. The windows were covered in dust, evidence of neglected cleaning. Through the dusty window you could see a child on the living room floor. He was playing with a toy truck. His father sat on the couch watching him in the fascination that can only happen from a father watching his son. A smile lay across his face. At that moment, a woman walked in, a bowl of popcorn in her hands. She sat down on the couch beside the man and gave her husband a kiss on the cheek, before resting her head on his shoulder. He wrapped his arm around her. As he smiled to himself, he gazed out the window. It was at that moment that I realized it. That man was my attacker.

It never occurred to me that I needed to seek revenge on the man who did this to me. I never wanted my vengeance on him. I’m sure he used to money he stole for good things. His family needed to be fed. His house needed to be paid for. I can’t really blame him. Desperate times call for desperate measures right? I’m sure he felt bad about what he did to me. What kind of person wouldn’t right?

On day four I was starting to slip away. Black was creeping in on the sides of my dreams. Details were less defined, images were blurry, and everything was slower. I knew I was dying. I fought the darkness. But every time I swung at its ugly face, it would hit me back twice as hard. Nothing I did was enough. I could hear voices. A female one, young and uniform, like she had practiced what she was saying many times before. A male, deep and hard, like he was angry but trying to repress it so no one could hear his rage. And in the background, sobbing, in different tones, perhaps from more than one person. I took hold of these voices like a life raft. I pushed with every ounce of energy I had left. Faded shades of grey shone through my dreams for a moment, and then disappeared. I pushed again. The grey stayed longer this time, and then vanished like before. The voices grew louder, closer even, like the people speaking were surrounding me, cheering me on. I knew this was it. I pushed one final time, desperate to break through to the other side, and in a blinding flash of light, I opened my eyes.

Submitted: October 12, 2010

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