Missy—as Missy is apparently who she resides in, although she wasn’t supposed to—tugs on the tube attached to her hand and winces. “Ouch!”
“We might be able to get rid of that thing,” the nurse says as she enters the room, “now that yer awake and can eat and drink.”
She adjusts the bed so that Missy’s sitting up, and she sticks a straw in her mouth. “Just suck, pull on the straw,” the nurse instructs, clearly bewildered by how much she has to tell this woman.
Missy’s eyes go wide as the liquid fills her mouth. Ohhhhhhhh! That’s nectar of the heavens!
The nurse puts some lumpy-looking food item on a rounded eating implement and feeds her.
Ohhhhhhhh! Manna of creation!
“Most of my patients are nowhere near as appreciative of orange juice and oatmeal as you are!”
“Ohhhhhhhh, it’s sooooooo good!” Ohhhhhhhhhh!
“Maybe everyone should have a coma so we can come back and be so grateful.” The nurse feeds her another spoonful of oatmeal, to another swoon. “Okay, perhaps not. Perhaps we should just wake up every day and be grateful and skip the coma.”
“I haven’t heard the woman next to me,” Missy says.
“She died last night.”
“Oh! She got her wish.”
“She wanted to go home, ‘now,’ she said.”
“Wow. Well, yes, she got her wish, then.”
That makes one of us. As no one has yet to answer her beseeches to the ceiling, she adds, Have you forgotten me down here? Just send me to the wrong place and then forget about me? Thanks!
“Can you stand up? There you go! And how about taking a few steps with me? Hey, that’s great!”
The physical therapist leads Missy away from her wheelchair, toward a walkway with two railings on either side. His skin is much darker than that of her family and most of the other hospital staff. She can’t take her eyes off his arm.
“Missy,” the older woman, who had identified herself to the young woman as her mother, says, “it’s not polite to stare.”
Missy touches his skin. “It’s so beautiful. It hides all the blue lines and stuff underneath.”
He laughs. “Yes, I suppose it does.”
She looks at her hand. “I like it a lot better than mine.”
Her mother rolls her eyes in a combination of embarrassment and relief that at least her daughter is breathing and moving and talking…even if the talking is nonsensical—and perhaps rude—at times.
“Missy,” the physical therapist says, “I’ve never seen anyone go from flat on her back to up and walking so quickly after an accident like you had, plus the coma. Yer a miracle!”
“So are you,” Missy responds.
He’s clearly puzzled at her words, but smiles. “Perhaps I am.”
So are all of you humans, really. You just seem to be the last beings in Creation to know it.
She considers this last thought of hers. At least I’m warming up to the place. And them. Maybe.
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