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Open Your Eyes

The Story of Tessa: Chapter Two

By Amber GarrettPublished 3 years ago 17 min read
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Open Your Eyes
Photo by Tamera Hemenway on Unsplash

A sharp pain lanced through Tessa's head and brought her out of her memory. She cried out in pain just as the door to her room opened.

"Tess, what's wrong".

Tessa heard Jackson's voice and she quickly flung her blanket over her lap, concealing the phone and note. She brought her hand to her head and clutched it.

"Dim the lights please. My head is killing me."

Jackson did as she requested and walked over to her bed. He tried to hold her hand but she snatched it away. She wanted to throw him out and call security and bar him from the room but she remembered what Trent said and decided to bide her time until she could ran away from him. Back to Trent?

Jackson placed his hand on her back. He smiled at her but the smile didn't reach his eyes and his body was tense as though he was trying to hold himself back from something. Tessa knew she had to be really careful now.

The doctor walked through the door and Tessa let out a sigh of relief.

"Hello, Mrs. Callum. I'm Dr. Franklin. How are you feeling today?"

"I have a really bad headache".

"Are you feeling any other pain?"

"No."

"What were you doing before the headache began?"

Tessa chose her words carefully.

"I was trying to remember who I was".

"Yes, Dr. Callum did tell me that you are suffering from retrograde amnesia. It would be best to take it easy and give your mind time to rest", said Dr. Franklin, looking at tablet, typing away.

"Dr. Callum?"

"Yes, your husband."

The Doctor looked up from his tablet and walked toward her. He laid his tablet on her bed and examined her.

"Dr. Callum, how long have you two been married?"

"Four years but we've known each other since we were teenagers".

"And when she awoke, she didn't remember you at all, correct?"

"Correct. It was like she had a clean slate."

"It seems so."

The doctor finished his examination of her and picked up his tablet.

"Well Mrs. Callum the surgeries went well. We were able to stop your life threatening injuries from the crash but your spine still needs to heal. You will have to stay in the hospital for 6 more weeks then we'll evaluate you and see if we can discharge you. You will have to use a wheelchair for a while but with the physical therapy you will receive as part of your treatment, there's a good chance the paralysis will be temporary."

Dr. Franklin turned towards the door to leave.

"Wait, Dr. Franklin!"

The words flew out of her mouth with a sense of urgency before she could stop them.

Both Jackson and Dr. Franklin stared at her, expectantly.

"Yes, Mrs. Callum. Is there a problem?"

"I need to speak to you, privately, please".

"Of course. Dr. Callum, do you mind?"

Jackson looked down at her, suspiciously, then nodded and left.

"Doctor, was I pregnant? When I crashed?"

He looked down a his tablet then looked back at her.

"Your husband asked that I not tell you this because he didn't want to upset you but yes, you were".

"Were?"

Tessa felt on the verge of tears but Dr. Franklin interrupted her dark thoughts.

"She survived the crash as well. You were 8 months pregnant at the time of your crash so we were able to deliver her via C-section, healthy. You both were very lucky. Your husband said that you were considering giving her up for adoption since you were newly sober and stressful situations such as a baby could cause a relapse. She's down in the NICU right now. Our nurses have been taking great care of her."

"She? He said what? No, Dr. Franklin. I won't be giving up my child. In fact, I want her brought to my room, please. Also, I don't want any visitors right now. I just want time to bond with my child."

"I can arrange for her to be brought to your room and make sure you have adequate enough time to bond with her...alone."

"Thank you, Dr. Franklin. Please take my husband his clothes".

Dr. Franklin nodded and retrieved Jackson's clothes and left the room.

Tessa flipped the covers back over and grabbed the phone and hid it inside her pillowcase. She laid back and waited for her daughter.

Abruptly, her door flung open.

"You are having me barred from your room? Seriously? Why?"

Tessa darted up and narrowed her eyes.

"You tried to give away my daughter!"

"Oh you remember that, huh? You remember how you got that bastard in the first place? What you did to me? To our family?"

"Don't call her that! I didn't remember anything. The doctor told me. You really thought he would keep something that important away from me. You can't just give a baby away! I would have to sign papers, which I never would! She's mine!"

Jackson took a step towards her, fist clinched.

An orderly grabbed him before he could reach Tessa and dragged him towards the door.

"You won't be able to stay sober for long. I give it a month tops and you'll be begging for a judge to give her to someone else. You've already got it flowing through your veins. Look at you! Once a junkie whore, always a fucking junkie whore. You need me!"

The orderly got him out the door and closed it.

Tessa buried her face in her pillow and cried.

"Was he right? Will I go back to being a junkie and not know how to care for my child?

Tessa stayed there contemplating her past life that she no longer remembered.

"Mrs. Callum. Are you awake? I have your daughter here to see you."

Tessa snapped out of her worry and smiled. A small stout nurse pushed a tiny clear bed next to Tessa's bed. Tessa looked down at the little bundle of pink and all of her worries faded away.

"Thank you. Thank you and the others that took care of her while I was unable to."

The nurse smiled and nodded.

"She's a darling baby. Never fussed. She's perfect. Another nurse will come in for her feedings. You wouldn't be able to nurse her while you are on morphine so we'll take care of feeding until you no longer need it. Do you think you can take care of diapers or would you like for us to take care of that as well?"

"No, I can take care of that. Thank you. Can I hold her? Is she sleeping? I don't want to disturb her."

The nurse giggle.

Yes, you can hold her. Everything will be fine. You won't break her."

The nurse picked the baby up and placed her in Tessa's arms. The baby stirred a little but remained fast asleep. Tessa smiled at the baby then at the nurse, who smiled back and left.

Tessa stayed there watching her daughter sleep for what felt like hours. She remember the phone and reached inside her pillowcase. She dialed the only number in the contacts. Trent picked up on the first ring.

"Tessie, is everything ok?"

He sounded as though he had just woken up. She looked at the time on the phone and realized it was passed midnight. She felt bad but she had to tell him everything.

"She's beautiful."

It took Trent a moment to realize who she was talking about.

"You remembered her. She is beautiful. Just like her mother".

"Thanks for reminding me of the lilies. How long ago was that?"

"11 months ago. I will never forget that day. It was the last time we were at our apartment together.

"Did we ever talk about names for her...when we were together", said Tessa, wanting to change the subject back to her daughter.

"No, We had had so many losses before she finally came into our lives so we both decided not to name her until we were certain she would survive."

Tears formed in Tessa's eyes but she looked down at her child and knew her name.

"I think I wanted to name her Fiona but I don't know why".

Trent's breath caught.

"That was my mother's name. She died of cancer when I was a 5, but she taught me how to paint. I told you that the first night we met. I can't believe that you remembered and that you wanted to name her after my mom. Thank you, my love".

"Would you like to come see her tomorrow during visiting hours?"

Tessa heard shuffling.

"Won't Jackson be there?"

"No I had him barred from the room."

"Tessie, you shouldn't have done that. If he thinks you remember anything, he will try to kill you again. You have to be careful. We both do. We have a child now", said Trent, exasperated.

Tessa sighed and knew he was right but she still wanted him with her. She wanted to know about her life and also wanted to make sure her child was protected.

"Please come. If not to be with me, then for Fiona. I can't even walk. How am I supposed to protect our child by myself?"

"Ok Tessie", said Trent, defeated. I'll be there as soon as they allow it. It would be nice to see Fiona without there being a glass between us."

Tessa was giddy at the thought of Trent being there in only a few hours.

"Great! I'll let you get back to sleep and I'll...we'll see you soon."

"Good night, my love. Try to get some sleep."

Tessa hung up the phone and continued to watch Fiona. After a few minutes, she decided to let her daughter sleep in peace. She laid Fiona back in her bed and fell asleep stroking her hair.

"Mrs. Callum? It's Susan. I'll be your nurse today. How are you feeling?"

Tessa grumbled as the peppy voice from the door switched on the bright fluorescent above her head.

"I'm sorry but I have to check your vitals and also feed little Miss Fiona."

Tessa sat up and saw Fiona lying in her bed smiling up at her. She wished that she had a mobile or a toy to give her. Nurse Susan flitted around the room and checked her vitals, fed and bathe Fiona then flitted out of the room.

A moment later, there was a timid knock at the door.

"Yes?"

"Mrs. Callum, there's a man and a woman here to see you. I know you said that you didn't want any visitors but the man is saying you asked him to come and the woman says she's your mother".

Tessa contemplated her choice and said:

"Let them both in but she's only allowed for right now".

The door opened and Trent and a woman that looked to be in her early 40s walked into the room.

"What is he doing here?"

Trent didn't acknowledge the question. He walked over to Fiona, smiling and picked her up.

"Put her down! Why is that child here?"

Tessa narrowed her eyes.

"Why wouldn't she be here? She's my child. He's here because he's the father of my child and I want him here".

"Tessa Leigh Callum! How dare you take that tone with me. That hobo is not the baby's father. He's nothing but a broke sperm donor that took advantage of you when you were high."

Trent instantly stopped playing with Fiona and gave her to Tessa.

"I am the one that got Tessa clean. When your daughter was in the hospital after her second OD, who slept next to her on an uncomfortable cot every day for six months until she got clean. You didn't even visit her. Neither did her so called husband. Maybe you two were together in that big mansion. You two seemed very close lately."

Tessa's mom took a step towards him and slapped him then she turned her anger to Tessa.

"You're just going to sit there and let him talk to me like this? What you need to do is what Jackson told you to do and give that child up for adoption. You just got out of a coma and you are still a junkie and, from the looks of things, a slut".

"That's it! You need to leave now. How dare you speak to her that way. You could've lost a daughter. You do realize that, right? Or is that what you wanted? What Jackson wanted?"

Her mother began to speak but Tessa spoke up.

"Why are you like this? Why can't you just let me be happy with whatever life I want? Isn't that what a mom wants for her child."

"Happy? Nobody's happy broke and homeless, which is what you will be if you stay with this cretin. You don't remember what it was like before I married your stepfather. You and I living in a car. I had to do horrible things to make sure you had food to eat. You owe me this, you ungrateful little tramp. Now, you are going to kick this thing out, get rid of that child and call Jax and apologize for your behavior. It's bad enough you had to burden him with being a junkie. Like you had it so bad."

Tessa, in shock, picked up the call button and a peppy voice echoed through the room.

"Yes, Mrs. Callum? Everything ok in there?

"No. Could you have security escort my mother off the premises, please".

Tessa's mom marched towards her but Trent blocked her way.

"Right away, Mrs. Callum."

"Goodbye mom. Hope you get everything you've ever wanted."

Two men walked into the room and helped Tessa's mother out of the room. Tessa looked down into Fiona's blue eyes and regain the happy feeling that she had all night. Trent walked next to her and sat down on her bed. He wrapped his arm around her and kissed her temple.

"I love you. I always will and I will do anything for you and Fiona."

Tessa looked up into his eyes and smiled. She only wanted one thing.

"Let's leave. I don't want to be in the hospital anymore. I don't even want to be in this state right now".

Trent smiled back and sighed.

"Love, you can't walk. You need time to heal. Believe me, I want to take both you and Fiona out of here right now and bring you home but I have to get everything ready for both of you",.

Tessa's mother's words came to her mind.

"What did my mom mean by you being homeless?"

Trent's face changed to anger then sadness.

"They burned our apartment down. Well, Jackson did. After he shot me and took you, he came back and burned everything. Good thing I drove myself to the hospital or I would've died."

"I'm sorry you got shot because of me."

A tear rolled down her face. Trent placed his hand on her cheek and wiped it away with his thumb.

"My only regret is that I let him take you. I should've fought him more. You could've been hurt. She could've been hurt. I risked too much. We thought that our apartment was beyond his reach. We got sloppy. We can't do that anymore. We have to think of Fiona. As long as you're both here, you're safe. If we leave, there's no protection. I have things in place so that once you are healed, we, all three of us, will be safe."

Tessa looked at Fiona, who was watching them and sucking her fingers. Sh looks back at Trent

"Take her home. Please. She deserves to be out in the world. All she's seen are these walls and nurses. She belongs with her father and loved every day. Do you have a safe place to take her?"

Trent, still shocked by her request, nodded.

"Yes. I have a house in New Hope. Completely protected and her room is ready for her but I wanted it to be ready for both of you. She needs her mother with her. Please don't ask me to leave you here with no one to keep you safe and sane."

"Do you see that IV? I'm an addict and they have me on morphine and whatever else is in there. I need to get clean before I can be the mother she needs. I don't remember what I was like high but I know I wouldn't be a fit mother. That's what she needs. Besides, both of you can visit every day and when I'm healed physically and mentally then I'll join you."

"Tessie. You don't have to do that alone. I helped you before. We helped each other."

"You were an addict too?"

Trent reached in his pocket and pulled out a gold colored coin.

"2 years, just like you."

"How long have we been together? How did we meet?"

"That's my favorite story. Here, let my put Fiona down for her nap and we'll lie down and I'll tell you."

Tessa gave Fiona to Trent and he rocked her around the room then laid her down in her bed and kissed her forehead. He walked back over, kicked off his shoes, took off his coat, put them in the chair and curl up next to Tessa. She laid down on his arm and put her back against his chest. She felt his heart beat match hers instantly. She felt safe.

"So we met 3 years ago in Reinhart Rehabilitation Clinic. I had already been there twice before, thanks to my father, and had already found a nurse to sneak me coke and pills whenever I wanted. I knew you were special from the first time I saw you. Your husband dragged you in by the elbow and threw you on the floor. I ran over to help you up and rip him a new one but he punched me once I helped you up and turned around. Luckily, it didn't hurt because I was high but I got back up and immediately passed out. Unluckily, I had overdone it and OD'd. Right in front of you. I'm still embarrassed about that."

Tessa shook her head and turned around to face him.

"I can't remember that so you're fine."

Trent smirked and continued on.

"Well, after I woke up that night strapped down on a bed, I started contemplating breaking my hand again to get out of the straps when I saw you standing there at the door. You thanked me and told me that that was your husband and apologized for what he did. I couldn't take my eyes off of you. Your beautiful olive skin and curly frizzy hair that I just wanted to run my hands through. You reminded me of my mom. I told you that and about how she came over from Ireland with her mother when she was a girl to get away from her abusive dad. You called her brave and said that you wished you could escape. You were going to leave but you turned back around and freed me from the straps and left. I tried to find you the next day but it was like you disappeared. I thought you were a dream. Something my mind created to fuck with me."

Tessa slapped his chest and motioned towards Fiona. Trent mouthed 'sorry'.

"I didn't know at the time but your husband paid Director Laney to put you in a "special private" room after you came to see me. Apparently my nurse friend had a little bit of a crush on me and heard the conversation and called your husband. When I found out what happened, I blackmailed her into taking me to see you. You were sitting in a corner in a straitjacket, sweating, covered in puke and piss. You had been left there for three days. I couldn't believe that they just left you there like that. Crying, ignored and broken. I took the straitjacket off you, picked you up and carried you to the baths. and washed you. The nurses came in and beat me, per Jackson's wishes, and tried to drag me out of there but I saw one of them grab you by the hair and slap you and I saw red. I fought so hard to get to you and stop him but two of them grabbed me and held me back. I saw you lying naked on the floor but they wouldn't let me get to you. They beat me until I was out and when I woke up, I was back in my room with the door locked from the outside. I screamed all day and night and banged on the door and completely destroyed the room but they were trying to keep us away from each other. I didn't even know you but I was willing to fight the entire clinic just to get to you and make sure you were ok."

Fiona stirred and let out a little giggle and both Trent and Tessa looked at her to see if she was waking up. After a couple of minutes, Trent smiled at her and started again.

"After a week, they let me out and on supervised walks and that's when I saw you. You were in the "Meditation Gardens" in the straitjacket in a wheelchair staring off into the distance. I knew they had given you the cocktail. It's a mixture of Haldol, Ativan and Rohypnol. I was surprised you were even awake. I was going to check on you but your husband showed up and was yelling at you and trying to make you sign some papers. I figured it was either divorce papers or voluntary commitment paper but you probably didn't even know what he was saying. I didn't even know my own name when they gave that stuff to me."

Suddenly the door flew open and both Tessa and Trent bolted up. Tessa saw Jackson and two orderlies standing at the door. When they came fully inside, she could see one had a wheelchair.

"What's happening? Why are you here", asked Tessa, bewildered.

"Well, hello dear. I see we have company. He can hear the good news. You're coming home. I have your room all fixed up and I will be doing your physical therapy."

"No. I don't want to go with you! If I'm going anywhere, it's with Trent."

"That's not happening. You two put her in this chair, now!"

Trent tried to block the orderlies but they knocked him to the ground. Tessa tried to fight them but they both grabbed her and lifted her into the wheelchair. Tessa tried to kick them but her legs failed her. Tessa heard Fiona cry and saw Jackson holding her.

Jackson, please just let Trent have her. I'll go willingly, just let her go with her father", pleaded Tessa, on the brink of tears.

Jackson looked down at Fiona and then Trent, who was walking towards Jackson seething.

"Come get the child, Ray. Take her to the car. Terrance, grab this deadbeat."

One of the orderlies grabbed Trent as the other pick Fiona up out of Jackson's arms and hurried her out of the room. Jackson reached in his coat pocket and produced a syringe, filled with a light brown liquid. Trent's eyes widen and he began to struggle harder in the big orderlies arms.

"Don't do this Jackson! You don't even love her anymore! You aren't a murderer. If you inject me with that much heroin, I will die. Please don't take me away from my daughter and the only woman that I've ever loved."

Jackson sneered

"This isn't just heroin and by the time this has worked its way through your veins, you'll wish you were dead. This should keep you out of the way".

Jackson held Trent's head to the left side and jabbed the needle into Trent's neck. Terrance dropped Trent on the floor. Tessa screamed as Trent pulled the needle out of his neck and started seizing.

"Someone help! Get help, please!"

Nurses and doctors barge into the room and Tessa saw a rush of bodies in slow motion grab Trent from the floor and lifts him onto Tessa's bed. She motions to get up, trying to steady her wobbly legs. She propelled herself towards the bed and landed on it. She pulled herself up and she was looking into Trent eyes. Tears streamed down his face and he looked at her completely terrified. The doctors were ordering the nurses to get another IV started and for Narcan. Tessa was only slightly aware that she was being taken from the room. The door closed just as another heartbreaking seizure took over his body.

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About the Creator

Amber Garrett

Amber here! I hope I'll write something that interest you. Thanks for viewing my articles!

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