Humans logo

Open Your Eyes

The Story of Tessa: Chapter One

By Amber GarrettPublished 3 years ago Updated 3 years ago 9 min read

“Open your eyes”.

The voice beckons Tessa to come back but she kept running, running towards the darkness that ostensibly promised safety.


The shout of the voice propelled Tessa backwards, away from the darkness and back towards the light. As Tessa snapped back in to the light like a rubber band, her eyes snapped open. She saw a giant light over her head and immediately bolted upward.

“Where am I?”

Tessa looked around the room, confusion washing over her. The room was a dingy white with pictures of birds on the walls. She looked down at her clothes, trying to get a clue. She was wearing a white gown with specks of lavender in the fabric. On her arm, she saw a plastic wristband.

St. Johns Hospital

Patient: Tessa Callum

DOB: 01/01/1993

Age: 28

Why am I in the hospital?”

Tess looked at the chair in the far corner and saw clothes. She scrambled off the bed and fell to the floor. She tried to get up but there was a numbness that she had not felt when she was lying down. She tried to roll over but her legs wouldn’t allow her to do anything but lie face down. Tessa began to panic and she screamed so loud she was certain that people outside the facility would hear her. She stayed there screaming until a man came bursting through the door.

“Tessa, it’s ok. I’m here.”

Tessa was in tears by the time he picked her up from the floor and helped her onto the bed.

“Calm down, Tessa. It’s ok. Everything is ok. I can explain everything but you have to calm down.”

Tessa, struggling to catch her breath, looked up into his eyes and, almost immediately, her breathing regulated but her fear and uncertainty remained.

“Good. Very good, Tessa. Now do you know where you are”?

Tessa grabbed at the wristband on her arm and the man nodded.

“Ok, do you remember what happened?”

Tessa shook her head and the man continued.

“You were brought in by the paramedics. There was an accident. You were driving your motorcycle and you stopped at a stoplight. A semi-truck was behind you and the driver fell asleep at the wheel and slammed into the back of your bike. When you were brought in, you had multiple fractured lumbar vertebrae. The doctors tried to repair them but there were other more life threatening injuries. Your ribs, jawbone, collarbone, and sternum were broken. Your organs were failing one by one. They fixed the critical injuries and your spine but there are still a few lasting problems. I will let your doctor explain the rest to you. Are you understanding me?”

Tessa, still in shock, didn’t know how to answer that question. She didn’t feel any pain but, with the extent of her injuries, she should be in a lot of pain. She should be dead. He was holding her shoulders and staring into her eyes

“The morphine they are giving you are blocking a lot of the pain. I know you wouldn't want to jeopardize your sobriety but I know you and your sponsor would forgive this. When you are discharged, we will monitor your painkillers and wean you off of them when you are better".

Tessa gave him a strange look and he stepped back from her and smiled.

“You always show what you’re thinking on your face, Tess”.

“D-d-do you know me”, asked Tessa, finally gaining the ability to speak.

She touches her throat. Her mouth was like sandpaper and her throat felt like the desert. The man looked almost taken aback by what she said. He walked over to the sink and picked up a small green cup. He filled the cup and walked back over to her. He held the cup to her lips and she drank the water, relishing in the sudden relief as the soothing cold water ran down her throat.

“Thank you, Sir”.

The man walked back to the sink and placed the cup on the counter. Tessa studied him. He was tall with brown hair and he was wearing what looked like blue hospital scrubs.

Maybe he’s a nurse or some kind of hospital technician”, she thought.

“Tessa, do you remember anything from before the accident”, the man asked.

He wasn’t looking at her this time. He had his arms folded and he was still looking at the sink.

“No. I just remember dreaming and then waking up. Why?”

The man turned toward her, walked back to her and sat on the bed next to her.

“Tess, do you remember me”?

Tessa studied his face. He had high cheek bones and piercing green eyes that would stop anyone in their tracks. They were safe and warm but guarded. They seemed familiar to her but she still feared them. He looked as though he was on the brink of tears.

Tessa shook her head and his face fell. He grabbed Tessa by the hand and said:

“I’m your husband, Tessa. I’m Jackson. We’ve been married for 4 years. We were high school sweethearts for Christ’s sake. You have to remember me!”

Tessa moved her hand from his and tried to move further up the bed to no avail.

“You’re lying! I would remember if I’m married! Is this some kind of sick joke? You work for the hospital, don’t you?”

Jackson stood up and ran his fingers through his mid length hair. Frustration and sadness washed over his face and he collapsed into the nearby chair. His hands fell to his lap and he looked at her with tears streaming down his face.

“No, honey, I’m not lying. I’m wearing this because I’ve been staying here, right by your side for 3 month now. I haven’t been able to go back home. I’ve been waiting for you to wake up. Tess, you are my wife and I love you. Please remember that.”

“I’m sorry but I don’t remember you. I want to speak to the doctor, please. Can you go get him?”

Jackson stood up and walked to the door.

“I’ll call your mom and tell her you’re up.”

He walked out the door but Tessa thought she heard him say ‘I love you’. She sat there thinking about everything that transpired.

A moment later, the door opened and a man entered. He was taller than her "husband" with blonde hair, and blue eyes shielded by black thick square glasses. He wore a long gray overcoat that was covered with snow.

"Are you the doctor", she asked.

"No, my love. I'm Trent. I heard your husband telling a nurse that you were awake and I wanted to see if you were ok".

Tessa gave him a quizzical look.

Trent walked further into the room and closed the door behind him.

"Tessie, we don't have much time so listen closely. Trust no one. Someone tried to kill you".

Tessa began to hyperventilate. Trent rushed over to her.

"Tessie, calm down. I know this is a lot but listen to me. You are safe here but once you are discharged they will try again. Especially if they think you remember anything. So even if you start to regain your memories, only tell me. Here take this."

He reached inside his coat and retrieved a cell phone.

"Hide this inside your pillow case. Call me whenever you can. I have missed your voice. I love you so much and I wish I could have done more to protect you. I will not make the same mistake. I'm going to leave but do you have any questions. I know I threw a lot at you."

Tessa had multiple questions but one seemed more important to ask.

"Who tried to kill me?"

Trent placed a finger under her chin and lifted her head up and kissed her. She melted into his kiss. After a moment, he stopped the kiss and breathlessly whispered in her ear.

"Your husband and your mother".

With that he turned back to the door and left.

Tessa looked down at her lap and saw the phone. She didn't remember him leaving it. She picked it up and flipped it open. A piece of paper fell out of it. She picked it up and opened it.

"My dearest Tessie, I'm sorry that I let them do this to you. If I had been there, I could've kept you safe. I heard on the news the night of your accident that you were hit by a truck but something didn't sound right about it. Please call me where you get the chance. Remember that I love you. Remember us. Remember the lilies."

As she read the word lilies, a memory flooded her mind. She was standing in a shower. She could feel the warm water saturating her body. She heard a faint sound of a song that she couldn't place but it made her smile. She smelled a light citrus scent emanating from outside of the shower. She turned off the water and stepped out of the shower. Once the fog from the shower lifted she saw that the entire bathroom was bursting vases filled with beautiful pink lilies.

"What have you done to our bathroom", she asked, laughing.

Trent came to the door with a huge smile on his face and lend against it.

"You said that you wanted to live in the woods surrounded by a garden of lilies. Since we live in Philadelphia, I had to improvise."

Tessa took one of the lilies from vase and brought it to her nose and inhale the lovely scent of her favorite flower. Trent walked to her and wrapped his arms around her. She felt safe with him. She kissed him and as their kiss deepen he lifted her up and carried her to the bedroom. He laid her on the bed without breaking the kiss and began to undress. Their kiss was abruptly ended by the sound of the door being kicked in. It was Jackson. His eyes were crazed. Trent got up to stop him but Jackson reached behind his back and pulled out a revolver and pointed it at him. Trent stopped his pursuit and raised his hands in the air.

"What are you doing, man? You don't want to do this."

Tessa tried to slide off the bed without making any sudden movement. She saw Jackson eyes shift to her.

"Honey, please don't do this. Let's talk. Please. Put the gun down."

Jackson seemed like he was considering it until he realized she was naked.

"Honey? Really? I wasn't 'honey' when you wrote that note saying you were leaving me, was I? You thought I didn't know about this place? I've been following you for months. You said that you were going to your NA meetings. You lying bitch!"

"Don't call her that", shouted Trent.

Jackson looked back at Trent and smirked.

"You think you can take her from me? She'll get tried of your starving artist act pretty quick and who do you think she'll come back to again. How did you get her in the first place? Drugs? Figure out what the whore would do for a bottle of Oxy?"

Trent put down his hands down and took a step forward.

"Stop! Trent don't do it".

Tessa walked over to him and grabbed his arm. Trent gently pushed her behind him to shield her. Trent was seething with anger.

"Jax, I've been clean for over a year. You were the reason I started taking drugs. I was trying to die so I could get away from you. Trent saved my life."

Jackson stepped forward.

"I gave you everything you ever wanted. I tried to get you help. Spent thousands on rehabs and took care of you while you detoxed. Why would you do this to me?"

"Really? You want to act like you were the perfect husband. You cheated on me. I smelled your whores on you every night. I dealt with you verbally and physically abusing me for years. You raped me on my 16th birthday!"

Jackson quickly stepped forward and hit Trent on the side of the head with the revolver. Trent fell to the floor clutching his head. Jackson grabbed Tessa by the hair before she could react and dragged her to the door. Trent got up and ran towards Jackson. Jackson lifted his gun and fired. Tessa saw Trent collapse and she screamed.

"Shut up or I'll shoot you too."

Trent groaned and lifted his head.

"Please don't hurt her. She's pregnant".


About the Creator

Amber Garrett

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

Reader insights

Be the first to share your insights about this piece.

How does it work?

Add your insights


There are no comments for this story

Be the first to respond and start the conversation.

Sign in to comment

    Find us on social media

    Miscellaneous links

    • Explore
    • Contact
    • Privacy Policy
    • Terms of Use
    • Support

    © 2024 Creatd, Inc. All Rights Reserved.