Beep. Beep. Beep.
The sound of the heart monitor chimes as my senses begin to come to. My eyes open slowly, adjusting to the bright hospital lights searing my retinas. As my pupils begin to dilate, dissipating the pain from the light. I'm met with a much sharper pain from both my left leg, and my left collar bone. I struggle to look down past my neck brace to see my leg in a cast, and parts of my torso wrapped while my arm is in a sling. Then I hear a female voice call out.
"He's awake, Nurse, please get someone." the female voice calls out of the room.
I attempt to sit up and take in my surroundings, but I am forced back onto the bed by a piercing pain in my abdomen. The female talks again, this time in a calming tone.
"It's okay" she says as she grabs my hand softly. "The doctor will be in any second." She gives me a reassuring smile.
I go to speak, having to clear my throat to get the words out. "Ahem, um...who... who are you?" I notice she is not a hospital employee. I wonder -does she know me?
Her face shifts from reassuring to a baffled confusion. She shakily says back. "It's me, Riely. We... we've been friends since middle school."
I stare at her intently, trying to remember any of the times we've had. But I don't. I don't remember a thing. My gaze flows around the room as I realize I don't remember anything at all. The doctor walks in as Riely stumbles backwards toward her chair. The Doctor was a middle-aged woman carrying a clipboard.
"Good evening, Mr.Peters. How are we feeling?" The doctor states as she walks in.
Staring down at the medical band around my wrist, I grow even more uneasy. I'm Mr.Peters? How could I forget that? Why can't I remember that? I simply reply "I don't know."
The doctor replies. "Well you did suffer from a broken femur, a broken clavicle, 3 broken ribs and a minor concussion." As she flips through the clip board. She continues.
"It is completely understandable to have to take some time to put everything back mentally." She flips all the pages back down on her clipboard.
I begin to explain. "I...I can't remember anything. How did this happen?" My voice is shaky. I'm trying to recollect...well, anything.
"Well" she replies,"Mr.Peters, you were in a car accident. Your car broke through a turn barrier on the hill side and you tumbled a decent hundred or so feet before coming to a stop."
"Was anyone else hurt!?" I interrupt, feeling a slight pain in my abdomen from raising my voice.
Riely looks up at me with content after I showed some enthusiasm.
The doctor replies. "No, no one else was hurt. In fact, there wasn't even a single witness. They weren't sure how long you had been there by the time someone called it in. But by the look of some of the blood on you when you got here, at least a few hours." She begins to examine some of the wounds that seem to be stabilized, then continues.
"What do you Remember?"
"I don't remember anything..." I say as I lie down completely, no longer straining my body. I try to look forward as I continue quietly.
"Not even who I am."
As the doctor flips some pages up and pulls out a pen to write, she ask; "Not even where you work? Where you live...anything?"
"Nothing" I hollowly reply.
Riely nearly burst out. "I know! I know where he lives and what he does!" She sounds determined, but I can tell she's holding back tears. The doctor then turns to look at her.
"Would we be able to release him to your care?" She turns back to face me.
"Because we have run all your information, and, not to push you out. But you have no health insurance. So we can prescribe pain medication, but unfortunately, we will need to discharge you tonight."
"No problem, I will get him home and check in on him regularly" Riely says assertively.
"Riely, you don't have to..." I try to refute, but Riely continues.
"Where do I need to get the prescription?" the doctor turns back to Riely writing now on a new piece of paper and hands it to her.
"Take this to the clerk on the first floor on your way out." Then goes to pull out a wheel chair and says to me. "I know it'll hurt a little but can you get into the chair?"
I lean up on my arm not in the sling and scooch myself to the edge of the bed. "I think crutches will do fine."
The doctor replies. "well they can give you those at the clerk's desk but you must leave the hospital in the chair sir."
As she reaches behind my neck to undo the neck brace. " however you should be good without this as long as you go easy on that left arm."
Riely moves closer to help me into the chair, and wheels me out of the room the as the doctor says.
"We will mail you the bill, take care of yourself Mr.Peters." As we go down the hallway to the elevator and Riely replies.
I zone out trying to remember anything as Riely picks up the prescription from the clerks. Then wheels me out side the doors as she says.
"I'll be right back, don't use these until I bring the car around." As she rest the crutches up against the chair. She heads off into the parking garage as I soak in the Sunset. The gradient of the deep blue fading to a orangish yellow over the horizon. Truly a beautiful sight, as the headlights pull in breaking up the serene sky. The navy blue sedan stops in front of me, Riely gets out and holds the crutches as she says.
"If you want to stay in the chair you can." She looks at me slightly worried but still reassuring.
I lean on my good arm up to my good leg, and gently place a crutch under my arm in the sling before grabbing the other. The pain from stretching out my arm in the sling is dense but not unbearable. Using my good arm and leg coupled with the crutches to reach the door, as Riely comes to open it, And chuckles saying.
"Memories or not still stubborn as ever I see." In a light hearted tone.
She closes the door and heads around to the driver seat beginning to drive away. The ride is quiet as I watch the scenery change from city like, to a more suburban residential area. I break the silence. "Riely I appreciate you, but I really would rather not be a burden." She refutes.
"Nonsense, you do everything alone the least I can do is help!" As she smiles back at me.
As I reply trying to make sense of it all "Then are you... are we, a... relationship?" Looking back down unsure of the question.
"What, me and you? We are a relationship as friends, but I'm already with someone romantically. You may not remember him right now but you two were friends as well." She explains. "He was at the hospital. But he had to get going, to go to work."
"Oh..." I say unsure how to reply to that.
"Don't worry when everything is back to normal, I'm sure those memories will come flooding in." As she pulls into some middle class apartment complex, and into a parking spot.
"Well here we are home sweet home." She gets out to open my door, while I'm grabbing the crutches.
We head to a stair well leading up four floors as I think [damn, Stairs] and as I have that thought. I remember complaining multiple times about the stairs. When I had groceries, or was drunk and had to make the trek. As I blurt out.
"I remember something. I remember hating these stairs!" Not containing my excitement very well. Riely tightens her grip to help me up the stairs as I almost stumble and excitedly replies.
"See look the memories are already starting to come back!" As we make it to the third floor.
She pulls out my keys to open the door revealing my small slightly messy living room, and kitchen. There are a few scattered dishes on the counters and tables, and a carpet that could definitely use some vacuuming. I crutch myself in onto the couch softly plopping down before replying.
"Thank you Riely, for everything." As she sets a bag with the pain medication on the table, and replies.
"No problem." She smiles, And continues. "Now they said take two of these when you get here. Then every eight hours, okay?"
"Okay." I lean forward slightly wincing from not relying on my good side enough, as I take the first dosage. Riely brings me around a glass of water as she says.
"It is getting late, I have to get going. But Tim and I will be back first thing in the morning." I wash down the pills and reply.
"Okay, see you then. And again thank you." She heads toward the door, after setting the keys on the coffee table.
"Enough with the thanks already. You'd do the same for me. But I am taking your spare key, just in case. See you tomorrow!" As she heads out of the door leaving me alone with nothing but thoughts.
[Do I have a phone?] I think as I sit in living room silently. [Must've been in the car I guess?] As I lean to grab the remote and turn on the TV, to escape thinking about possibilities too much. I flip through the guide for a bit, before realizing nothing catches my interest. Nothing overcomes the thoughts. [who am I?] I think as I grab the crutches to move into the bedroom. Slowly making my way across the small apartment and down a narrow hallway, before opening a door. The restroom? [Wrong room.] I think as I leave the door open and move further down the hallway to the slightly cracked open door.
I open the door revealing a dresser, a night stand, a desk with a laptop on it, and a bed. Atop the sloppily made bed near the center is a box wrapped, in brown paper. I move closer to the bed lowering myself to sit, before placing the crutches up against the night stand. [Did Riely leave this?] As I reach to grab the box and place it in my lap. I realize the pain is nearly numb, as I only feel the pressure of what would hurt. [She would've said something right?... Guess I wouldn't know either way.] I think as I begin to peel the brown paper from the box, revealing a shoe box. [ A shoe box?] I think confused, as I go to flip back the lid revealing it's contents.
Inside of the box there are items like a watch, a glass ball with the letters (H&E) laser etched into it, and a few pictures, pictures of Riely me and some other person. [Must be Tim] I think. Then I realize Riely looks younger, late teens or early twenties in these pictures. In one of the pictures there is also another girl I do not recognize. [Who is this, why didn't Riely mention them?] I think as I notice an envelope at the bottom. I pick up the Envelope which reads " To whom it may Concern." Confused I turn it around to open it revealing a letter which reads.
["To whomever finds this letter, if you're reading this then it likely means I've passed on."]
I pause realizing it is a farewell letter, but addressed to no one in particular? As I continue.
["I have suffered many failures before, but this will be the last. Elizabeth has left, likely because I lost my job and had no luck finding another. Now after months of not finding new work, along with the demoralizing attempts to win her heart back, and multiple other rejections romantically. I realize that if there is no purpose to your life, then why live it at all? Even my closest friends have become distant, my only friends. I can't reach out to them anymore because it's always the same issues when it comes to me, and I am tired of being a burden. I want all to know, that they were right. Removing me from your life was the correct choice, and now. I will do the same. Sorry I couldn't have been better. Sorry I couldn't have pushed further. But If their is anything salvageable from the wreck, feel free to make it useful somehow. I will drive off the road on the last turn near the top of Hill bound Street.
- Henry Peters"]
Tears hit the bottom of the page as I finish reading. I think. [Is this who I am? Is this who I was?] I stare at the page rereading it again, and again, and Again. As I realize
[I even failed at that. I failed at Suicide...]
I set the page down atop the ajar box, as I grab my crutches and move over to the laptop on the desk. I wipe the tears from my face as I start the laptop. There is no password... Lucky me. I search the Hill Bound St. Choosing a spot near the top. I use the laptop to order a ride through a ridesharing website. Maybe if I go back I can remember, maybe I can know what I should do.
I slowly make my way down the stairs as the ride approaches. I eventually climb in as the driver ask.
"Mr.Peters?" Turning to look back at me and I simply reply.
"Yes" as the car begins to drive off.
The ride is about 20 minutes as the driver plays calming jazz before we begin our ascension to the top of the steep hillside road. The now star filled night sky is accompanied by a gibbous moon. The stars against the void just seem so peaceful. I watch them Twinkle in and out as I think. [ I wonder if stars every wish they didn't exist?]
I notice a break in the guard rail barrier as I signal the driver.
"Right up here is good." gesturing to the broken railing. The driver replies.
"Are you sure? Do you need me to wait around for you?" As he looks at me through the rearview mirror.
"No thank you, have a good night." I reply as I go to climb out of the vehicle with my crutches.
The car makes a U-turn and begins its descent down the hillside, fading away around a bend. I step toward the opening in the railing as my anxiety begins to build. My palms grow sweaty and my good leg starts to shake a bit. I don't remember what I was thinking the last time I was here, but I remember this Anxiety, This overwhelming sense of anguish, and Despair. But. More than anything, I remember wanting it, to end. I look over the steep hillside at the chipped and broken trees, the skidded chunks of dirt missing. Paint stained up against the rocks, and the almost skipping indentions caused by the car. I think
[Should I be alive?... Should I want to be dead?... Do I want to be dead?]