I never played the ‘what if’ game. I never let my imagination run wild with what might have been. It would have been hurtful, wrong even. What was the point? My fate had been decided. The engineer’s findings told me so. I would have never seen that car coming in time to slam on the brakes or yell out a, “Holy shit!” I was a second too late and a second too early. There was nothing I could have done. Maybe this was already in the hands of God. Maybe I was destined for this crossroads. Or maybe life was just dealing me a shitty hand that week.
How was I going to do this? Could I do it? It was up to me. Nobody was going to do this for me, so ‘what if’ was a waste of time and a dangerous game to play.
This was my life now. What was I going to do with it?
“Heidi. You’ve been in a car accident.”
“Do you know where you are?”
“You’re in the hospital. Your leg is gone. They’re trying to save the other one, but it doesn’t look good.”
“You’ve been badly burnt.”
“Betty’s gone, Heidi.”
My name was a question with no answer. My messenger was Scott, my boyfriend, and he was forced to repeat this news until I understood, as if I could ever understand. I was told later that morphine made my memory hazy, that I had trouble retaining information. I believe I rejected my messenger’s words. They couldn’t belong to me.
The extent of my injuries came to me in pieces, in fog. I saw the wounds on my belly first. My skin was red, angry and gaping. I had smooth skin, a little tanned. It was June and I had been spending some time in the sun.
Why was I so stiff? I couldn’t move my right arm.
There was so much white – white rolled around my arms, white sheets draped over me, white walls.
I lifted my hand to my face. There was something hard and plastic coming out of my nose. I was on my back pinned to the bed by the machines surrounding me.
There was a dull ache at the back of my mind – a memory struggling to free itself.
The words flashed through my brain void of images. I didn’t remember how or why or when it happened. Only that I was here, in a hospital, and these words had been given to me, offered up as explanation. I let the words slip through me – one after the other – each word attempting to land, to fit as they grappled to find a home.
To be continued…
This is a start. If you’ve been reading my blog you’ll know what this is about. If not, you can read about me in the ‘about me’ section where I attempt to tell you what it is that I’m doing, although I’m not sure I have figured that out yet. I have to say that I’m clicking submit with some trepidation. Okay, I am freaking out that I’m going to put this out there! I haven’t written my story like this before. It has always been in the context of helping others. ‘This is what I’ve learned from a very difficult time in my life’ in speech form. This is new to me.
Here it goes.