The world was dark like there was no daylight left. Not a pleasant darkness like when you walk around a shore in a warm summer night. This felt wrong, this felt dangerous and painful. It wasn't supposed to be dark. Something was ticking. A bomb? No, not a bomb, this was a different ticking. Very even. A machine. Somehow the sound was familiar. Like the smell. Not a nice smell. Not stinky more sterile. Could something smell sterile?
Slowly a little bit of light came into the darkness. Not much, not like a sunset more like a rainy morning with dark clouds and a lot of fog. Yes, it was very foggy. Or like when you open your eyes under water, unable to see clear. Only silhouettes of your surrounding. What was her surrounding? Home? Her bedroom? If so somebody decorated it new. Did she ask somebody to redecorate her home? She couldn't remember. She couldn't remember anything. Did she choose white as a dominate color?
More light. First silhouettes turned into something real. A table. Not hers. White sheets. She would never buy white sheets. She hated them. They reminded her of hospitals…like the smell. And the ticking. Was she in hospital? And if so why? What did happen? Were these legs hers? Why were they placed so strange? Up. And these white…were her legs broken? How did she manage to break her legs? She wasn't that clumsy. Two broken legs that was like…what did happen to her left arm? Was it broken too? Why were three of her four limbs broken? Did she have a car accident?
The attempt to move was stopped by…it wasn't pain. It was stopped by her body, not able to move. There were so many tubes around her. And needles. In her arms, legs, it looked like she was connected to the whole room. This couldn't be real. She felt like an alien. Like a rabbit in an experimental laboratory. Caught and unable to move. How could…?
A sudden flashback got her moan. She could remember something. The road. Working on the serial killer case. The sun vanished behind the hills, it was getting darker, cooler, they were close to call it a day. No more evidence, no traces, only a few ideas. Suddenly Sofia called out her name and…Sofia! The last thing Sara could remember how Sofia went down, trying to shield Sara from something and then the world turned dark.
Where was Sofia?
How was Sofia?
The head moving to the right she saw something next to her. Somebody? Somebody was in the bed next to her. At least Sara guessed the white thing she saw was a human. Or it was a mummy.
She tried to speak but a tube in her mouth made it impossible to get a word out. There was no emergency button to press, she was caught between all these tubes. Ignoring the pain she pulled out a few needles, the tube that was connected to her nose until only one was left. Now she felt better. Free.
Under enormous pain, shiny stars that stabbed her eyes like sharp razors she sat up, falling back immediately because she was unable to keep her balance. This didn't work, she needed her legs. With one arms and a very hand in a white bandage she pulled the right leg down.
Covered in sweat, tears all over her face because the pain was so big she managed to get the second leg down. Done. How was she supposed to walk? Both legs in a cast. Could you walk like this? Well, she'd find out.
Pulling off the last needle she tried to get up. Ending on her butt again twice she took the last energy she could find and got up, shaking, fighting for some balance. Stars, stripes, strange figures, colors, everything appeared in front of her eyes caused by the pain she felt. With a willpower she didn't know she had, she lifted her right leg, made a kind of a step, followed by the left one.
Could anybody turn off the noise? Was it only in her head or was it real? Like a siren. But who could know what was real? All these things didn't look real to her and she hoped she would wake up soon and laugh about her nightmare.
Falling the rest of the distance she found herself half on the other bed, half in front of it. Blinking her eyes a few times to get a clearer view she tried to see who was in the bed next to her. Could this be Sofia? It was impossible to tell, the face was covered with bandages just like the rest of the body. The hair. Was it blonde? Maybe. It was hard to tell, it was hard to tell anything for sure when the world was spinning this fast and the pain made it impossible to concentrate.
She heard a voice. Was she dreaming? Did somebody call her? Who? The voice didn't sound familiar. And it sounded like she did something wrong. Did she? Was the person in front of her talking to her? Was it Sofia and she sounded strange because of all the bandage?
Before there was an answer her world turned black again. The last thing she remember was more pain and then she lost conscious again.
She had no idea how long she lost conscious. A minute? An hour? A few? Fact was when she opened her eyes again and could see, she was back in her bed, all tubes and needles back where they were before and the ticking was back too. Somebody was serious about having her connected to all the machines around her. How serious she found out when she tried to move her arm and realized, she couldn't move it. She was chained to the bed!
What the fuck was going on?
Was she a prisoner? A hostage? Why was she chained to the bed? Just the right arm, the left was free. What can you do with a broken arm? It was useless. Her eyes saw a button. At least she was able to call somebody – if somebody cared that she called. Moving her hand as far as possible she reached the button and fell the inch back into the sheets, she had managed to move.
A few seconds later a nurse appeared, accomplished by a doctor.
"Miss Sidle how are you?"
"Why am…" Why was it so difficult to speak? Her mouth felt like sandpaper. She needed some water. "Water."
The nurse went to the table and got her a glass with a straw. After she put the straw into Sara' mouth the brunette sucked the cold water like she was parched. It felt good, cold, fresh, made her throat smooth.
"Thanks." Didn't they give her something to drink? "Why am I chained?"
"Because you left the bed three days ago."
Three days ago? The doctor had to mistake her for somebody else. She left the bed maybe earlier the day, not three days ago. And could he stop checking her out and look at her eyes when she talked to him? She hated to be treated like a patient.
"Yes. You pulled out all your infusions and tubes and left the bed. With two broken legs. In over thirty years of working in hospitals I've never seen a patient doing that before. What were you think you did?"
"You mean Miss Curtis?"
"Is she the one next to me?"
"You're alone in the room."
Sara turned her head. He was right, there was nobody. But she could swear there had been somebody before. Sofia? Anybody. She wasn't alone when she woke up…before. That was something she knew and was sure about.
"Where is Sofia?"
"In another room."
"Because when you left your bed and walked over to her, you fell on her and that was nothing that did her any good."
"How is she?"
"She…she was covered in bandages."
"Sorry to tell you Miss Sidle, you don't look much different. And you're lucky to be alive."
She had the two casts on her legs, one on the left arm and a bandage on the right arm. About the rest Sara had no clue. There wasn't a mirror and it was more important to her to find out where Sofia was than how she looked.
"What did happen?"
"Both of you got beaten up very bad."
"I can't remember."
"That doesn't surprise me."
"Wait…Sofia called my name and then she went down. Something hit her side…"
"A metal baseball bat."
"The serial killer."
"Yes. You're lucky to survive."
"Has somebody been here to collect evidence?" Sara was amazed that she thought like a CSI. She was beaten up and asked about evidence collection.
"Yes, three weeks ago."
"What? Three weeks?"
"Yes. You were in an artificial coma."
"What's about Sofia?"
"She waken up yet."
"Is she…will…can…will she be okay?"
"Nobody can say that yet. You should worry about yourself."
"Two broken legs, a broken arm, what else? You made me look like a voodoo doll."
"Shattered kneecap left, shattered pelvis, four broken rips, the rest bruised, sprained right wrist, sprained ankles, four broken fingers left, one right, all toes broken, cranial contusion, broken nose, shattered lower jaw to name the mayor things. Plus some internal bleeding. And you lost your baby."
"I'm sorry we couldn't do anything for it. The beating was to severe. You lost it."
Her baby. She had been pregnant. Oh god, she had forgotten. The day before…before she got beaten up she found out she was pregnant. She had been horrified first. A baby. She wasn't capable of taking care of a baby. She was a single with no idea how to raise a child, how to give a child what it needed, no idea of how a good childhood looked like.
How could she forget about her baby?
"I lost it?" She knew about her pregnancy less than twenty four hours and she felt like somebody ripped her heart out. Less than a day to change her mind from horrified to somehow happy. The moment she stroke softly over her belly. She remembered. Maybe she did look forward to become a mom. A chance. Not only for the baby but also for herself.
"But…but…this can't be."
Tears ran down Sara's face. She lost her baby. Why? That wasn't fair. She wanted a better life for it than she had as a child. And what did she do? She let it beaten to death before it was born. She was not only a bad mother, she was a bad person. How could she let somebody kill her unborn child?
"Can you put these off?" Sara moved her right hand.
"Will you leave your bed again?"
"No." Was this a lie? Maybe. And if she did and something happened to her, she didn't deserve better. She let somebody kill her child.
"You can't get up, you need to rest. And you need to be connected to the machines."
"What is with Sofia? Why isn't she awake?"
"She has mayor internal bleeding and we have to keep her in an artificial coma for a few more days."
"Will she be all right"
"We hope so."
Sara looked at the white something a yard away from her bed. This was Sofia. Somewhere under all these casts and bandages was Sofia. In a serious condition.
"Can you get my bed closer to hers?"
"I…I want…I would like to be closer to her…put my hand on hers so she knows somebody is there and she isn't alone."
"She is unconscious."
"You're in hospital, the nurses need to be able to reach both sides of each bed in case of an emergency."
"Maybe it helps her a bit. Please."
The doctor sight. "For a few minutes."
"Thanks." Sara had no idea why it was important for her to be closer to Sofia. Maybe it was because they both had been seriously beaten, maybe it was because she wanted the blonde to feel she wasn't alone or it was because she needed somebody around after she lost her baby. Sofia had been the last person who was with Sara when she was pregnant. She had been there when her baby was killed, she had tried to shield Sara from the baseball bat. She had tried to save the baby she didn't know of.