Mid-Life Crisis

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
A man falls into a coma from a gunshot wound. His family and friends rally around him trying to get him to come back. He receives visits from people real and imagined and goes on a journey into the "unconscious". He comes back with knowledge that he should not have and something else that maybe he should.

Submitted: October 29, 2012

A A A | A A A

Submitted: October 29, 2012




Martin lay on an emergency room table, bleeding profusely from a bullet wound to his lower back and going in and out of consciousness. The loss of blood was depriving his brain of oxygen and he was slowly drifting off, he just wanted the doctors to turn off the lamp above his head, he couldn’t even see through the light it was so bright. But he could hear voices.

“He’s gone, he’s unconscious,” the nurse said.

“Get 10 cc’s of...,” a male voice said and that’s the last thing he heard before realizing that there was no lamp above his head. This is what everyone was always talking about, he thought. The light was warm and welcoming. He could see his own bloody body on the table and wondered what happened. He was not unconscious, his consciousness just left his body, there isn’t such thing as not conscious; only unconscious behavior.

He noticed the wind, blowing memories by his mind’s eye. There were old thoughts of his loved ones. There was nothing was new anymore, things either were or they were not. Time became a fluid in which all events were contained and it sat in a puddle before Martin. The spigot was turned off and Martin had the power to open it up again and was aware of it. He didn’t know how long he had been there but it seemed like he had always been. He let the river of time flow by him, again, as if it mattered anymore. Time was something for the “living”. But martin had never felt more alive. His life began to pass before his eyes quickly, in slow motion. And all the moments in his life where he showed mercy were stacked against all the moments in his life were he didn’t. All the time in which he suffered with the times when he felt joy. He didn’t feel judged, but recognized, for the good and the bad.

“Clear!” the doctor shouted and placed the paddles on Martin’s chest. They hit the button and Martin saw his limp body jump upward but he didn’t feel anything except peace.

He didn’t care if he lived or died. Most of his loved ones have already left the uncertainty of life. Although he did have a sister that he could see would need him. He could see his Mother lugging her typewriter home at night to earn more money, when it was just she and Martin. He could feel her pain from raising him alone, and the solitude. He could understand what he couldn’t while living. He could feel others’ feelings and some he didn’t appreciate. Like his stepfather’s when he first met his Mother. He didn’t like Martin very much. But although Martin could feel these feelings that he didn’t like very much, he had love in his heart for him, and everything else. He had the most complete and fulfilling sense of love he had ever had.

Then he felt himself swept away and brought into his over-indulgent 20’s. He beat himself like a dog that had just ruined the carpet, again. He saw himself obsessing over alcohol and sex, breaking the laws of the land and putting himself in harm’s way. He saw himself rub shoulders with death. He saw himself mistreating girlfriends not by cheating or beating but by lack of consideration. Then he was swept away again into his childhood, when he was a mere prisoner to his parents. He saw the abuse he endured by his stepfather and saw him having to endure the same abuse after he died. He got no gratification out of it; he only had love inside. He saw his Mother, lonely and loveless, until George, his stepfather came along. He felt himself slipping out of his body but wanted to hold on. He also knew, and was at peace with, having to move on from the Earthly bonds of the flesh. It was only flesh, after all.

He felt himself, his inner self, shot out into space and was looking back on his life and it was a swirling ball in front of his eyes surrounded by the darkness of space. It wasn’t the Earth he was seeing but his world and everything he’s ever known. He could feel that he had to make a choice. Does he want back in or not? He really did. And suddenly his pulse got stronger, the doctors and nurses had worked hard to stabilize him. He had blood coming into his body, but it wasn’t his blood and he knew it. The blood had a foreign feel to it. He could feel the essence of the woman it came from and she was still happily walking the Earth. He was back in his body but in a coma. The bullet had punctured his spinal chord and he was paralyzed from the waist down. In his coma he heard doctors telling the nurse that he would never walk again. He changed his mind. He didn’t want to be back anymore. He didn’t want to live life as a paraplegic.

His sister came and visited him in the hospital and was quite distraught.

Through a waterfall of tears, ”Marty come back to us, this is your sister Amy, I know we moved far away and we wanted to see you more but with work and all...Goddamn it! Don’t do this, we need you...I need you!” she was pounding on his arm with her fist. “We love you very much.” and then she started crying to the point of not being able to talk. She rested her forehead on his arm, while he lay motionless. Her tears were dripping on the floor beneath his bed and Martin could hear them hit like boulders from a 99th floor window.

Martin heard every word she said but was away in a slumber that swallowed him like a whale does plankton. He was a mere speck in a sea of nothingness. In a sinkhole with no bottom, he was freefalling and he’d never been so comfortable in life. Then he got a visit from someone he did not know,

“I know you don’t know us but we just want to say Thank you. We hope you can hear us. What you did was heroic. Alright guys let’s go.” the voice was male but he could smell the perfume of a woman in the room. He had no idea who he was and the perfume was one he was not familiar with. And then he could feel the sensation of a tube down his throat and it irritated him. At the time Martin was single. He was an athlete and some of his buddies that were on the track team as him came by.

“The doctor said that you can hear us, I don’t know how he knows this, he said that he’d never been in a coma. But anyway, we need you back, man. The team needs you because Josh can’t always win like you can, I mean, he does a good job trying.” Bobby said.

“Alright, it’s my turn to talk to him, c’mon Martin, we need you to compete in your event, and we have always needed your points to win the Meet.” Thomas said

“You guys are so insensitive,” it was Lilly, the female 100 meter hurdler who never won her event but tried her damnedest each time sometimes hitting every hurdle and falling on the last three, but she would always get up and try for the next one. “Martin, I know your Mother died and you don’t really have a Dad but,” and this part she whispered into his ear, “I have feelings for you and have never said anything because of these to lugs always being around us,” and then she stopped whispering, “ Come back Marty! I brought you some flowers.”

“I?” Bobby interjects.

“OK, WE brought you some flowers and they’re just beautiful.” Lilly corrects herself.

“Yeah, we all pitched in, Marty.” Thomas said. They had never called him Marty before. Only people that love him call him, Marty, but they didn’t know that.

“There’s also some flowers from,” Lilly fumbles with the little card attached to the bouquet, “The Dawson family. Whoever that is.”

“But are’s are bigger” Thomas said.

“And more colorful” Bobby added.

“We all love you and want you to come back and not just for the points at then Meet,” Lilly looks at Thomas and makes a face saying ‘you’re a jerk’. “We just want our friend back.” and she starts to sob, as Bobby puts his arm around her.

“Don’t cry it will scare him!” Thomas said.

“He can hear you ya’ know” Lilly says in between sobs.

“Shhh...he’ll be alright, you know Martin, he’s a pretty tough dude.” Bobby tries to comfort Lilly. Martin heard every word they said and never knew that Lilly had feelings for him. He wanted to wake up and hold her himself but something was blocking him from coming back. It was like a string was tied to his consciousness and attached to something in the darkness. He couldn’t break free. It was like he was swimming in an ocean of awareness and he was bobbing up and down, he could hear everything that was going on, then he was pulled down into an abyss and deep sleep. And a wave came just as Bobby tried to comfort Lilly and he was sucked under. Bobby, Thomas and Lilly left after Lilly broke down completely and was crying uncontrollably.

Martin was in suspended animation, he was not dead and was aware of that but he wasn’t really eager to come back and be a paraplegic, he figured that Lilly, Bobby and Thomas didn’t know that. The doctor came in briefly and checked his chart and left. He was the nurse’s responsibility, now; there was nothing that the doctors could do for him. Lost in slumber he was transferred out of the hospital to a nursing home. The nurses greeted him as if he were alive.

“Hello, Martin? Is it? You’ll be in room 27 and Tammy will be taking care of you, today, you are at Shady Acres nursing home.” and he was wheeled away to room 27 by the ambulance drivers, lifted off the gurney and plopped down on the bed.

“Hi Martin. I’m Tammy.” I’ll get you situated, “I know you’ve probably been ignored because you’re in a coma, but I know you can hear me. My uncle was in a coma for five months and he told me that he heard every word I said while he was asleep.” Tammy finished.

‘Finally!’ Martin thought, someone who actually knew what he was going through. He did hear every word she said and would have woken to thank her but this damn string was still hanging him up. Tammy smelled good and Martin didn’t usually like women’s perfume, it was too flowery. He liked the smell of woods like Sandalwood and Cedar; about the only flower that Martin liked was Jasmine.

Tammy made him comfortable and turned on the TV which was completely unnecessary, he would have rather heard some music but he knew that she was trying and felt an overwhelming sense of gratitude for all the hard work that the people around him have done. And for his sister, Amy, She has always been there for him. She was his stepsister and 9 years younger than he. But Martin changed her diapers and loved her like his blood. He remembers having to get her ready, in the morning, to go to the babysitter. Putting on her little shoes and little jacket. He was in Junior High and getting her dressed was a chore, then, now it’s one of his most cherished memories. He was proud of Amy; she was growing into a fine young lady.

Besides being on the High School Track team, Martin was an accomplished pianist. His teacher was David.

“The music studio hasn’t been the same without you. We need you to accompany singers auditioning for the talent show. Right now they’re relying on me and they need to audition with the person they’ll be playing with, you.” David was full of compliments for his prized student. But it wasn’t always like that.

“That’s arrogant of you to play Shostakovich’s “Lady Macbeth”. You’re good but you don’t have to flaunt it. You should be more conservative with your choice for the recital. You don’t need to blow everyone’s mind all the time!” David told Martin.

“How about Stravinsky?” Martin asked him.

“Better, but you should be trying to play a piece that you have a firm, I mean death grip, on.” David said.

“OK, chopsticks it is!” Martin liked being a smartass.

“Uggh!” David throws up his hands and walks away.

Martin played Schubert’s “Unfinished Symphony” for the recital and wowed the audience but horrified David.

“Show off!” David said to Martin as he left the stage. But really he was proud of him. He was just hard on him because if he is his prized student David was going to make sure he was the best that he could possibly be.

“We really need you back, and the nurses told me that they need the room.” to that Martin smiled and David saw it.

“He smiled! He smiled!” stepping out into the hallway, “He smiled!” David shouted down the hall, but the only thing he got was an old man trying to sleep yelling back,

“He probably just has gas! Can it, will ya’ some of us are trying to sleep.” but it was 11 in the morning.



He was on the shore of a stony beach; it was overcast with dark clouds on the horizon and there laid a large canoe. He was bare footed and walked on shiny rounded stones eroded by the sea. The wind was blowing his long hair across his face. He brushed it away and spoke aloud.

“Where are the oars for the boat?” Martin said. He knew he was speaking to the creator of worlds. Was he to take the boat into the sea and float away with the current or hold on to this rocky outcrop? This was his contemplation. The current could have him floating around in circles but he was alone and had no shelter or food. There was a cliff to his left that he could possibly climb. Or maybe he could make oars from some debris on the beach. He would be getting into a rudderless boat and trusting the current to take him somewhere. The beach was rocky and Martin made his way to the cliff. He was going to climb it to get a better view. He slowly and methodically made his way up the cliff making footholds with his hands. The cliff was mostly brown, loose dirt with some rocks poking out that he use to pull himself up. He could see there was green grass at the top. He grabbed a rock with his left hand and reached up and grabbed a fist full of green grass. He made it to the top; he pulled himself up with both arms and got a knee under him. He stood up and turned around to see the view.

As he turned he heard a voice and he was back in the hospital bed.

“Hi Marty.” it was his ex-girlfriend Cali, “I know it’s been a long time. You know that I still care about you. And my Mother is in love with you. If you can hear me, I miss you, every boyfriend I’ve had since you has not loved me the way you did. You ruined me.” Martin was only partially in the room. He could hear what Cali said and felt her heart and it was sore like it had been through a fight of her life. Suddenly he was back fully and tried to move his arm but couldn’t, a hemp rope was around his waist attached to the darkness. Cali was Martin’s girlfriend for two years and his first love. It was a tumultuous two years. She was valedictorian at school and gave a moving speech at graduation. Martin loved her because they were both so similar and that’s what lead to them breaking up. Martin broke it off because they were fighting too much and he knew it was time to move on. “I brought you some white roses for the purity of your heart. I love you Marty, come back to us.” She kissed him on the lips and Martin felt the warmth of her full lips and remembered when her kiss was his. He felt their love again.

Martin met Cali in Junior High School when both were going through the awkwardness of puberty. It wasn’t love at first sight. They were enemies until High School. But there they found each other post-puberty and found the other desirable and attractive. They dated throughout High School, until just before graduation they broke up. But they were still in school together, having arranged to go to the same college, which was just down the street from their high school; it was a state college, Cal State University Northridge. She could have gone anywhere; he had a scholarship in Track and Field to Northridge. She didn’t necessarily follow him, she wanted to stay close to home, but to everyone on the outside of their little binary star it looked like it. Nobody knew what was going on inside Cali’s head. Her parents didn’t necessarily want her to move away but did want her to reach as far out as her dreams were and not let love or anything else stand in their way. Cali was on Cali time. She was laid back; good grades were a snap for her. She didn’t strain herself by taking Advanced Placement courses like all the “too smart to socialize” crowd was. She just took the classes that were asked of her and aced every one. She could have gone the AP route and got some college credits but that’s a pain in the ass. Not only do you have to pass the AP class, you have to take an AP test I that subject and pass that to get college credit. When would she have time to sell marijuana? Everyone but the school police knew that Cali had the best pot. She was smart in business, she knew how to make money, even in high school. She took to Capitalism like a duck to water.

She told Martin that she had this world figured out, or at least America.

“The dollar is king”, she would tell Martin, “if you have it you live a happy life and if you don’t then you don’t. Well, how do you get the dollar?” She went on, “Sell people shit, drugs, clothes, houses, anything. It’s simple.”

“I think you are an entrepreneur”, Martin would tell her. But that’s when times were good. Then Cali started to complain about the tone of his voice calling him “passive aggressive”. He would tell her to stop smoking up her profits. This would piss off Cali and then all hell broke loose. Hell hath no fury like Cali’s. She would not hesitate to punch Martin, and in the face. This would make Martin laugh. Cali was 5’4” after all. Martin was 6’3”, nearly a foot taller and 80lbs. heavier. She might as well have been punching a bag of sand, but the face was only going to happen once, then Martin started catching her punches to the face.

“Stop, you’re going to leave a bruise.” Martin would say. And that poured gas on the fire. But Martin knew how to snuff out all the anger from inside Cali, it was as simple as grabbing her face and planting a kiss on those pouty lips. Then her tense body would go limp and collapse into Martin arms. His kisses made her swoon like a 13 year-old girl kissing her idol. And the feeling of her lips again nearly brought him back from a coma. Martin was shouting on the inside trying to get out, but the sea of nothingness in which he bobbed like a cork overtook him every time he took a breath to speak. When he realized what was going on he tried to break free but the rope was tied too tight.

“OK sweetie, remember, I love you. I’m going to go now.” Cali said and then opened the door that the nurses let her close for their visit, and departed. Cali would not dare say good-bye at a time like this. She rarely said that word in her everyday life. Martin shed a tear but nobody saw it. No movement in his face, only a tear down his cheek. One tear rolling over miniature hairs on his cheekbone down to his beard which was not thick but it was there. It continued to roll down the underside of his chin, down his neck and came to rest in the trough of his clavicle. It was a sign of life that Cali brought out. That love brought out. But it had been a long time.

Martin had not been in love since they broke up in school. He’d had girlfriends but never any he really cared for or that he’d move in with. He always broke it off and sometimes when things were good but Martin just realized that they were wasting each other’s time. She thinks he ruined her. He ruined both of them. He never had feelings like he had with her, he thought it was because she was the first but recently he decided that that was bullshit. It had been long enough for that to wear down. He just wasn’t open to, or didn’t know, what his heart wanted. And Cali had her eyes open. She wasn’t mindlessly walking through life. She was conscious.

Tammy worked five days a week and took care of Martin each one of those days for eight hours. He always knew it was her because she’d greet him like she would anyone.

“Hey Martin, how was your evening...not talking OK, two can play that game.” Tammy was a joker. “Don’t mind me, I’m just silly, and busy, you want something just yell...see there I go again.” she was working with more than just Martin. She had eight other patients to see. “I see you’ve been eating well,” Tammy takes a look at the bottle of tan liquid that suffices for food. “The doctor will be here today.” and she leaves the room. She would later come in and sponge-bathe Martin.

Martin sat in a boxcar rolling down the rails. He was alone and knew to put a piece of wood in the rail of the door to prevent it from closing because once it’s closed it’s not opening until someone from the outside opens it. He had a backpack that he knew he had packed but didn’t remember when he packed it. He had a block of cheese and a loaf of French bread, and a pocketknife. He was wearing warm clothes, the sun was going down into the ocean, and it would soon be dark. He saw he was on the coast but where? The boxcar was only open on one side. He was resting on a hay bale when he woke. He was wearing a pair of 10-hole oxblood Doc Martin boots that were hurting his feet because they appeared to be new. He had worn Doc Martin boots one time before that he could remember but his memory was foggy. And he knew he had to make a decision, stay on the boxcar or jump into the setting sun. He didn’t know where he was and although he had something to eat he longed for companionship, and the only way to that was the uncertainty of night.

The Dawson family asked where Martin went and the hospital told them where he was and they came to visit again.

“It’s Ben and Cyndi, we brought Abbey by to meet you, and we thought it was important.” Ben Dawson said. “Oh, it’s the Dawson family.” Cyndi elbows Ben in the ribs. “Stop it!” he said under his breath.

“We brought you more flowers, this time Abbey picked them out.” Cyndi said. “There’s sunflowers and tulips and I picked some red, white, and yellow roses, with baby’s breath of course.” Cyndi said.

“This place is nice, the nurses care about you a lot and we met your sister, Amy. She a very beautiful person, she shines from the inside.” Ben said.

“Yeah, we like her a lot and she played with Abbey for almost a whole hour.” Cyndi adds.

“We might be going to dinner with your sister next week.” Ben continues. “If she can get more time off work. She’s staying in a motel down the street. Her husband stayed home with her daughter.”

 Martin was taken out of the boxcar by the voice of Ben Dawson before he could make a decision of what to do. He was snapped out of his deep sleep so fast it shocked him. Who were these people? What did he do that was so heroic? His sister was actually staying down the street in a motel, what? Abbey was their little girl, he understood that much, but not much else. He started trying to undo the knot in the rope but it was no use, it was tied tight.

He was getting visits from people whom weren’t in his life anymore. He hadn’t been on a track team in 15 years. His friends from the team were part of his dream and he was starting to come around but not enough to be considered “conscious” again. He didn’t know what they were talking about. They had it all wrong. Martin was more conscious than he’s ever been. His consciousness was flying free of his body, he could be in the room with the people that are visiting him or wandering his past. The only thing he couldn’t do was look into the future. He didn’t know why, yet. He supposed it was because it hadn’t happened. He saw that every moment, every step we take in the “present” is our hammer coming down on a chisel, etching in stone our personal history. He could see that it is our bodies that have “destinies”, our consciousness’s are only the electricity which give our bodies “life”, that light them up like a light bulb. One cannot exist without the other. Although in the world we see bodies walking through life acting as if their bodies weren’t filled with a soul, an inner being of light. Those bodies are walking through the darkness and we pray for and show them love, in spite of their deficiencies.

Martin was breathing some sort of fluid. It was a comfortable orange liquid. He was swimming in the liquid that appeared to be air. He was above then below and anywhere he wanted to be. He could change locations just by thinking it. He thought this was so cool but he was not acting like it. It just was. The only thing that was unsure was Martin’s presence. Where was he? Many people wondered that very thing, including Martin when he was shocked out of a dream by an unfamiliar voice. Where was he, indeed?




The doctor opened his eyes and shined a light trying to see if his eyes will dilate. His pupils were fixed and dilated. Martin was taking it all in. On the Glasgow Coma Scale Martin rated a 5, which was considered persistent vegetative state. The doctor said that he had no awareness of his surroundings and Martin almost woke from his coma so he could slap the doctor on the back of the head to show him just how aware he was of his surroundings. The only thing that came closer to waking him was the feel of Cali’s lips after all these years. They were so full and her heart needed love and so did his.

Physical therapy was coming in every day to move his limbs as to prevent them from freezing. Amy was visiting practically everyday and not saying much. She’d just sit with him and fall asleep with her head lying on Martin’s arm. He uprooted his baby sister and still did not know what happened. One day when Amy had her head down on his arm, Martin got a visit that would answer some of his questions. It started with a knock on the open door.

“Are we disturbing you?” the detective asked.

“Oh, no, please.” Amy awoke suddenly and still had drool on her chin.

“We have some good news.” the detective said. “We’ve caught the assailant. We have him on camera and we got a full confession. He’ll be going away for a long time.” the detective concludes.

“That’s great.” Amy said with lack luster enthusiasm.

“So, how’s he doing?” the detective asked.

“Still non-responsive.” she said.

Martin was pulling at the rope with all his might and it wasn’t budging. He did notice that the rope wasn’t as thick as before. Maybe he was wearing it down. Now he knows that a criminal shot him. But why?

“The owner of the market wants to give him something for what he did.” the detective adds.

“Why don’t we wait until he wakes up.” Amy said.

“Don’t you mean ‘if’” the detective said.

“How dare you! No I don’t mean ‘if’, Marty will wake up and don’t you speak otherwise, thank you, you can go now.” Amy said with subdued aggravation. She was pissed but to tired to express herself fully. The nurses were letting her stay as long as she wanted because there were no visiting “hours”. And she had been there all night, just sitting and writing to her husband, and sleeping, and watching the TV. But she knew that Martin hated TV but loved music and she brought his Ipod, put it on shuffle and put the ear buds in his ears thinking maybe his favorite music would wake him.

Martin was back on the beach. The rocky out crop that he was on before and there lay that same canoe with no oars. This time he wanted to make a decision. He decided that he would go with the uncertainty of the ocean current, he would trust the forces of nature to take care of him. He dragged the heavy canoe carved out of what appeared to be one log, just like the natives used to do it ,down to the sea shore. This time he could see some light on the horizon, it was just a sliver but he could see it. So with all his might he dragged the rudderless vessel to the shore and the waves began washing up making the canoe bouyant. It began to float under his hands and he let it drift with the rushing water and he jumped in.  The canoe rushed back into the sea with the returning water. It hit the white water and pitched upward but it was nothing compared to hitting a wave right as it begins to break. That pushed Martin to the rear of the boat where he covered his head prepared to get soaked. But the canoe proved to be more sea worthy than he thought. There must have been a rip tide because the craft was sucked out into the open sea within the blink of an eye, it seemed to Martin.

Before he could think twice he was out where the porpoises were playing. Popping up with arched backs showing their dorsal fins. He felt like he could communicate with them. He was feeling alone and a bit scared and the porpoises stayed with him as the current picked him up and had him headed for the horizon, toward the light. With the certainty of the darkness behind him he was looking forward to seeing light again. The current was carrying him at a steady pace.

“Asshole cops!” Amy said and began chatting to Martin, “I’m sorry about that. Listen, when you wake the Dawson family wants to be called.” she begins to sob and put her head down on Martins arm and to her surprise his arm moved and he put his hand on her head and began to pet her.

“He’s back!” Amy yelled and all the nurses within earshot came running to the door. Martin opened his eyes for the first time in 72 days. It had been nearly two months since the shooting at the mini market. “Oh, Marty!” Amy said and laid on top of him just taking in his energy. He was back, he was really back and Amy could barely believe it. The Dawson family was called and they were there in a heartbeat.

“We’re so glad you’re back. This is our daughter Abbey.” She was a shy 5 year old who hid behind her Mother’s leg. “If it weren’t for you she might not be here right now. You took a bullet for our little girl. If you need anything just let us know. And my name is Ben and this is Cyndi.” she jabs him in the ribs, again.

“Sure, how about something to drink.” Martin said.

“Absolutely, nurse!” Ben calls out and a nurse is there in an instant. They never really left, they just stepped out of the room while the Dawson’s spoke to him.

“Yes, sir.” Tammy was right there and in tears. “He’s really back!”

“Why, yes, he is and he’s thirsty, is there any way we can get this filled?” Ben holds up a blue water pitcher that every room has.

“Yeah, and preferably with something cold and frothy, am I right, Ben?” Martin holds his hand up for a high five.

“Oh, we don’t drink, we’re Mormon.” Ben says.

“Oh...I’m sorry, only one nurse!” Martin still has his sense of humor.

“So, what actually happened?” Martin inquires to the Dawson’s.

“Well, you probably want to talk to the police about that.” Cyndi said. “We don’t know all the details.” she said while looking at her husband out of the side of her eyes.

“I can tell you that.” Amy said and the Dawson’s left like they were afraid their virtues were going to be smashed by Martin. He scared them. For being in a coma he was surprisingly spry and Amy had to tell him to relax

“Relax, that’s all I’ve been doing for the last week.” Martin said.

“It’s been two months, Marty” Amy informs him.

“Really, then nurse, bring two for me.” Martin jokes.

“So, what happened?” Marty asks.

“You were shot in the back in the mini mart down on Central when there was a robbery. You blocked Abbey from the robber when he started firing. A stray bullet his you, probably a ricochet, the cops said.” Amy finishes.

“Wow, what was I thinking.” Martin says waiting for a reaction from Amy.

“You saved a life, that’s what you were thinking!” there was his sister.

“OK, OK, I was just kidding.” Martin said.

“And one more thing, the bullet went through your spinal chord, you won’t be walking again.” Amy said sullenly.

“Yeah, yeah, I know, paraplegic, I could hear when I was in my coma.” Marin said.

“Wow, that’s amazing,” the nurse bringing in the water said. Both Amy and Martin look at her. “I mean, most of our coma patients don’t recall anything.” she continued, “The doctors are going to want to talk to you.”

“That’s OK, just make sure it’s the redhead, she’s cute.” Martin said, having no way of knowing that they had a redhead doctor on staff, except if he could see the doctors coming in to see him.

“Yeah, OK.” the stunned nurse leaves the room.

“Marty how do you know about the redhead doctor?” Amy asked“I saw her, I don’t know, I just do. It’s as simple as that.” Martin said wondering what the big deal was. Then physical therapy came in and began doing range-of-motion exercises with Martin’s arm’s. The therapist was a young blonde named Ashley. She could have been Amy’s sister. After she was done with his arms she turned down the covers on his bed to do his legs and said,

“What’s all this sand, and why is there a rope tied to your waist?” Ashley said. And Martin just turned his head to look at Amy giving her a look that said ‘Can you believe this?’. Amy looked at him like she had no idea what was going on and Martin said,

“I don’t know.”





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