~ The White Truth ~
“Katherine” breathed a deep voice into her ear. “Can you hear me? Can you open your eyes for me?”
She let out a little moan. She felt relaxation flow through her veins but it was pulling her deeper into a sleepy state making her ever more reluctant to wake up. Her world was dusky and pleasant; she didn’t feel ready to leave the comfort of the darkness.
The deep voice repeated “Can you open your eyes for me please?” The intensity of a light seared through her eyelids, piercing her darkened world into shades of red and orange, fascinating her. “I can open your eyes for you, but I would be happier if you did it.”
Katherine didn’t reply. She wasn’t ready to leave her place of tranquillity.
She felt cold hands open her eyes. She was blinded by whiteness so pure and bright. She waited for it fade or for her vision to return, but there was nothing but the brilliance of the light. She moaned again, struggling to pull away from it, but her body was uncooperative and she remained still.
“What do you remember?” asked the voice. “What was the last thing you remember?”
She wasn’t sure she could reply before the words left her lips, shocking herself slightly. “The car...” Her voice sounded faint and wobbly. She tried to continue but the sound of her voice choked her up.
“It’s okay. You’re alright. Go slowly.”
Katherine stared into the light, reeling through her memory. “We were in the car. It was July the 15th. It was a lovely day so Jon had decided to take me to the beach. We spent the day there lying on the beach, talking in the sun, chasing each other on the shore, splashing in the water…” She paused. “We were driving home...”
“Driving home and what happened next? Try to remember.”
“I’m trying.” She whimpered. “I’m trying…”
The voice she didn’t recognise didn’t reply. He was waiting for her to answer.
Why couldn’t she remember? What happened? She didn’t even know that she knew until she realised she was talking. “We were listening to the radio and Jon was singing along. I was laughing saying that if we ever lived together I’d have to invest in earplugs but he only sang louder.” She smiled at the memory. “My favourite song played on the radio. Jon sang the whole song. When it was over the guy on the radio announced that it was a requested song from someone called Jon to his wonderful girlfriend. Me. I smiled at him and told him that I loved him. I can’t remember a time I’ve ever been more content or happier. He turned to me and said that he loved me too.” She paused again.
There’s a silence. Katherine knew the mysterious man was still there because she could still feel his hands holding her eyes open. “Please, continue.” The deep voice urged.
“I remember he was staring at me and I told him to keep his eyes on the road. It was something we used to do. I’d tell him to keep his eyes on the road and he’d always reply ‘it’s hard keeping my eyes on the road when my beautiful woman is sitting next to me’. It got a bit of a joke between us. I sometimes sat in the backseat to tease him but he’d still glance into his mirror and smile at me with those big brown eyes. He was forever telling me that he could look at me all day if he had the chance. ”
“Were the roads busy when he was driving?”
She thought about it. Were the roads busy? She could hardly remember; she had spent most of the journey watching the sea from out of her window, or playing with the radio controls or watching Jon. She hadn’t really paid much attention to the road. “I don’t think so… It seemed pretty quiet. We were on a long stretch of road by the sea. I remember that. I remember saying how blue and pretty it was. I remember Jon making some comment about how the sea reminded him of my eyes and how they sparkle in the sun.”
“What else do you remember?”
“I told him to look back at the road. He glanced at the road in front of us and then looked back at me. He still had his sunglasses on from the beach. I took them off so I could look into his eyes. Wait, I remember something… I glanced forwards to check that there weren’t any cars in front of us and it was clear. There was traffic in the other lane but not in ours. Nothing could stop us, I guess.” She took a deep breath and slowly exhaled. “I looked back into his eyes and suddenly he wasn’t smiling anymore. So I asked him what was on his mind.”
“What did he say?” asked the deep voice.
“I remember it word for word just like it was yesterday...
"Do you remember when we first met? I said to you that you were the prettiest girl I had ever seen and if you left me it would be the end of life as I knew it?" Jon said as he glanced out of the window. It was all clear and then continued, "I meant every word of it. Katherine, I couldn’t imagine living a day without you. From the moment I met you, I never wanted to take my eyes off you. I could look at you forever." He checked again.
"Of course I remember" she breathed gently. "I know you could look at me forever, you tell me almost daily." Katherine laughed.
"I wish that your face was the last thing I see before I sleep and the first thing I see when I wake up. I want to wake up by your side every morning, of every day for the rest of my life. I love you, my darling." Jon replied as he fiddled with his trousers and looked at the road. Katherine looked at the road too. It was still clear in front of them; there weren’t any cars behind them either.
When Katherine looked back at him, he was already looking at her. He had one hand on the wheel. In his other hand he held a small box, opened to reveal the most amazing ring she had ever seen. Katherine was speechless.
He whispered, "Katherine, I want to share my life with you. If you left me now, it would be the end of life as I know it. You are my life support. You keep me going when I feel like all hope is lost. I love you. Will you marry me?"
It was the happiest moment of Katherine's life.
"Yes, of course I will!" she whispered just as they entered a tunnel.
"I didn’t even know it had been coming up.” Katherine said staring through the white light, reminiscing in her memory.
The stranger released Katherine’s eyelids. She pressed them tightly shut. The light vanished and she was back in darkness. She was back in the tunnel kissing Jon.Yet she continued talking. “I never wanted to stop kissing him. Jon’s my life. He’s my life support. I was so happy. He continued driving through the tunnel and I put on the ring feeling like the happiest woman alive.” Katherine attempted to feel for her ring but her body was still entirely unresponsive. “We were laughing along to the radio again. We left the tunnel but it was so damn bright. We couldn’t see anything, there was nothing but light…” Katherine froze, her lip trembling. In a tiny voice she continued “Jon panicked. We couldn’t see anything…. There was a loud car horn screaming at us and then… Oh god…”
Katherine’s eyes flew open, suddenly being released from her paralysis. The white light came flooding back in. She was coming out of the tunnel again. Jon’s face of horror. The car brakes screeching. The car horn. The red truck in front of them.
The white started to fade, revealing a tanned uniformed man standing over her; his dark eyes filled with concern and sadness. He held a small torch in his hand and wore a stethoscope around his neck. He was a doctor. She swallowed, her eyes darting around the room in panic.
He looked uncomfortable. “You were in a car accident. You had to be cut from the wreckage. You broke your neck and several bones. You were critical when you came here, but you’re stable now. We managed to save you.” Katherine’s eyes widened as she slowly processed the information. She couldn’t feel her ring. She couldn’t move her hands. She couldn’t feel her feet. Wait. The ring. Jon.
“Where’s Jon? What happened to him? Where is he?”
The doctor sat down gently on the bed beside her. “When the paramedics arrived at the scene, Jon’s car was crushed like a tin can. The truck driver wasn’t too badly injured but you and Jon were critical. The fire brigade arrived and cut you both from the car. Fortunately the air ambulance was available but it could only take one of you to the hospital and the other would have to go by ambulance. The helicopter would be quicker and the chances of survival would be a lot higher...” He took a deep breath. “The paramedics wanted to put Jon into the helicopter. He had lost a lot of blood through a head injury and was on ‘code red’. He told them to take you in the helicopter instead of him. The paramedics told him that whoever went in the ambulance would have a smaller chance of surviving, but that you would be more likely to survive than him in the ambulance. He had none of it. He said, ‘if she leaves me now, it would be the end of my life as I know it. I would never be able to live a day knowing I’ll never see her face again.’ So they settled on taking you in the helicopter. Before they left, he said he wanted to look at you one last time. Afterwards he shut his eyes and didn’t open them again.” The doctor pulled a piece of paper from his pocket. “Jon told one of the paramedics to write a note from him to you…”
The doctor looked uncertainly towards Katherine. “What does it say?” She choked.
“To my darling Katherine. I know I’ll never be able to say this to you again, but I want you to know how much I love you; always have and always will. At least now I can watch you forever. I made sure that yours was the last face I saw before I fell asleep for my final time. Don’t worry, when I wake up on the other side, I’ll make sure your face is the first thing I see. I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’ll always be with you. With all my love, I’m forever yours. Jon.”
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