This story is by Debra Campoli and was part of our 2017 Fall Writing Contest. You can find all the writing contest stories here.
“Oh my GOD! ….Help me….exhausted…so tired. I can’t stay above this water much longer,” whispered Susan.
Bright foamy water was swirling and sucking Susan in deeper like a giant trying to swallow her for his dinner.
“Why oh why did I agree to go water rafting with co-workers? The pain pulsating thru my body is winning. Ahhhh, that’s better….floating….I am floating…toward a beautiful light. Its brilliance is calling me into its loving orb. The blaring silence screaming in my ears sounds miraculous.”
“Susan? Susan, it’s okay. Try to relax. You are in Community Hospital where you have been unconscious for a few days. Dr. Klein will be here any second,” soothed Nurse Nicole.
Just then Dr. Klein rushed in to check me while explaining that I had been in a coma for 3 days. I broke the femur in my right leg and had a multitude of bruises and lacerations over my entire body. He tried to calm and reassure me but, this whole thing was beyond my comprehension.
“Dr., my Mom? Does she know what has happened?”
Dr. Klein gestured to the nurse while saying to me, “Susan, I have an emergency arriving right now. Nicole will explain what you need. Sorry! But I‘ll be back later.”
The walls were a pale mint color and the ceiling tiles I noticed, had a few water stains. But the smell of alcohol and some kind of disinfectant was horrible. I knew I was in a hospital, but just looking around was so disconcerting. I felt like throwing up I was so confused.
Before the nurse could give me any answers, in walked the most handsome magnificent man I had ever seen. He nodded to Nurse Nicole and said, “How’s the patient?”
Turning to me, he replied, “You have to be the luckiest girl in the world! I gave you CPR for a half hour before you could sustain a normal heartbeat. Oh sorry, my name is Jamey. I am one of the EMT crew from Blairtown, where you went rafting. I’ve been checking on you every day. So glad to see you are awake!”
Flustered and blushing I whispered, “Thank you. Thanks for saving my life. I am so embarrassed that you had to help me. Save me. I must have looked like a drowned rat. Actually I am sure I look even worse right now.”
With the sexiest smile, Jamey looked directly into my eyes and smoothly replied, “Actually, you were lovely. The whole time I looked at you I thought of the fairy tale, Sleeping Beauty. I haven’t been able to get you out of my mind since that day. I am so excited that you are awake.”
My body felt better and healed faster than I thought it would. Jamey visited me every day even in rehab where I needed to strengthen my leg. My Mother lived a few states away keeping in constant touch with the hospital and of course me. The plane fare was much too costly for her to come and see me. But, I didn’t mind since all of my thoughts were for Jamey.
Once I got home it was already fall. The leaves were turning beautiful autumn colors that only people who have experienced the seasons could really appreciate.
I was in Love. I think that the first day Jamey walked into my hospital room, I knew it. My stomach clenched and I got that feeling you get when you don’t expect it and somebody jumps out and scares you! I still have that scared stomach sensation whenever I think of him.
When we kissed, it felt like nothing I had ever felt before. I felt like I needed more. We both felt that wanting yet instead we took our intimacies slow. We reveled in our tasty kisses and caresses that promised so much more to come.
Jamey wanted us to take the next step in our Love but I wasn’t ready yet. Although I felt so comfortable with him from our very first meeting and I knew I was truly in love with him, I just had something holding me back a little.
We decided that we wanted our families to meet and that Thanksgiving would be perfect. I only had my mom who brought me up by herself because my father had died in Iraq. Jamey’s parents invited us to come to their home so that they could all meet each other.
I explained to my mother that we were paying for her airfare and that she would be so comfortable with Jamey’s Mom and Dad. When I first met Mr. Buckley, I felt immediate love from his warm embrace. Jamey was blessed with his Dad’s great smile and good looks. His mom was very nice but a little too pre-occupied with her charities.
Thanksgiving arrived and Jamey came to my house to meet my mom and take us back to his house. My Mom adored him! She felt the same warm connection as I did. We laughed while we had coffee and Jamey told some of his rescue stories to my mother’s enthrallment.
Jamey and I were so happy for the meeting and kept squeezing each other’s hand as he drove closer and closer to his house. I couldn’t wait for this memorable moment to happen so that we would all become one big happy family sharing grandchildren one day with the promising future we planned.
The doorbell rang and Jamey’s mom, Linda, answered the door while his dad was checking on the turkey in the kitchen.
My mom thanked Linda for inviting us. She said, “Thank you so much for being around to help my daughter through her terrifying ordeal. Your son is a gem.”
Before Linda could respond, my mother’s face bleached white. She stiffened up with a look of surprise that left her mouth actually open! Mr. Buckley came forward with his hand outstretched and politely said “hi.”
Linda gestured to her husband and said to my mom, “Lee, this is my husband ….James.”
At the exact same moment my mother blurted out, “JAMES” too!
Mr. Buckley and my mom recognized each other from years back when Mr. Buckley went to college in the same town where my mother used to live before she had moved out of state. We had a nice dinner but something felt strange to me. I could feel it and then she barely said a word during the entire ride back to my place.
Jamey walked us to the door and after my mom went into the house, he shook his head saying, “Susan that was weird. Sorry, but your mother was a little rude. What do you think?”
“You are right Jamey! I am so annoyed with the way she acted. I am glad I took the job transfer here. I don’t have to get any grief from anyone. I love you so much and that’s all that matters. She will be gone in a few days.”
Jamey and I kissed a hot memorable kiss that again sparked those feelings that told me to become one with him. I shared that thought with him and he winked and whispered huskily, “Soon my Love…really soon.”
I walked into my living room where my mother sat crying and patted her hand on the seat cushion next to her. I thought about the drama I was about to witness and reluctantly sat down.
Through sobs, my mom changed my whole life in a matter of minutes. She blurted out how she never told me the truth about my hero father dying in Iraq. I had been told that my mom and dad were engaged and he had to go into the service. Right after his deployment, she found she was pregnant. Then he was killed so she never told anyone. Her parents were angry and embarrassed and wanted her to move away from them.
I hugged her feeling so bad for the hurt and disappointment she had gone through. “Mom, please don’t cry. I understand how it is when you are in love. I am so sorry that my grandparents, YOUR PARENTS, made you leave like that. They were horrible to do that and to not understand!”
Then my mother continued talking while my world opened up and swallowed me.
“Your father never died in Iraq or anywhere. I wasn’t engaged to him. It was a one night stand where I was date raped and got pregnant from someone who was already engaged to marry in a few weeks. That man was James Buckley. Jamey is your brother.”
A month has gone by and I am packing to move back in with mom out of state. I am on a disability leave from work but not for long. Things always happen for the best. Eventually, I will find another job and I know that someday my true Soul mate will find me.