Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Write in the ROMANCE genre (04/19/07)
- TITLE: Unconscious Love
By Erin Brannan
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My eyes opened slowly and it took a few minutes for me to focus. I saw an older man holding a clipboard and a young, handsome man with him. They looked vaguely familiar.
"Well, I can't keep coming in here every day," the young man replied, agitated. "I have a job and...other things to think about." He glanced at me and a hint of surprise flashed across his eyes.
"Her eyes are open,” he whispered fearfully. "Can she hear me?"
"No," the older gentleman answered, frowning. "It's an involuntary act. As I told you before, her body will continue to show signs of consciousness, but her brain is dormant."
He continued, “I know how hard this must be for you. But you have your whole life ahead of you. Why don't you take some time to think about your role in her future? Her parents will no doubt place her under the best care money can buy. You shouldn't feel guilty if you decide to move on with your life. "
Turning his back to me slightly he whispered, "She won't miss you if you never come back."
A surge of pain filled my chest. I started to protest, but my mouth would not move. The young man nodded as they headed towards the door.
"Don't go!" I screamed in my head. "Don't leave me here!” My eyes were frantic and my heart pounded as I realized not only was I unable to speak, but I also couldn't move.
What had happened to me? Whatever it was, it couldn't be good. I couldn’t speak or move. I didn’t even recognize someone who was supposed to consider his future with me. I wanted to cry, but no tears would come. Imprisoned in my own body, my mind raced trying to conjure up something- anything that would give me a clue as to what had happened.
Just then a different young man entered my room smiling kindly.
“Hello Sarah,” he said cheerfully. So that was my name.
“How are you today?” he asked glancing at the clipboard on my bed. “Things are looking steady,” he said after a moment. He looked over his shoulder and sat on the edge of my bed. Taking my hand tenderly he looked me in the eye.
“Sarah,” he began, “I don’t know if you can hear me or not. You must be scared to death. I want you to know, I won’t let anything happen to you.” He was so sincere, so concerned. My heart slowed down. He looked up at one of the machines next to me, surprised.
“You can hear me,” he said. Patting my hand and smiled again. “You have such a beautiful face. I hope one day I can hear your voice.”
The older gentleman entered the room again and the young man stood quickly.
“Dr. Henderson,” he said solemnly. “I was just checking on Ms. Parker.”
The older man frowned again. “Well, Mr. Hanes, I suggest you continue on your rounds. It seems to me you are getting a little too attached to Ms. Parker. In fact, Dr. Graham mentioned you’ve been visiting her on your off time. This isn’t healthy Mr. Hanes.” He looked at the young man disapprovingly.
Mr. Hanes turned to me with longing in his eyes.
“Dr. Henderson, I apologize. I know my behavior is far from professional, but I feel a special need to watch over Sarah- I mean Ms. Parker. Hardly anyone visits her.”
“Maybe that’s because her family and friends have accepted her condition for what it is and decided to move on with their lives. I suggest you do the same.”
“Yes sir,” he mumbled as the doctor left. His eyes looked wet.
I wanted to hug him and thank him for his compassion towards me. Even my own family had given up on me. Why was this stranger watching over me?
As if he had read my mind, he turned to me and smiled sadly. “It may seem silly, but I love you, Sarah. That’s why I come here every day. Whatever happens to you I want you to know, I’ve fallen in love with you and I pray that one day you will be able to understand that.”
“I do understand it,” I thought. My heart swelled with joy and sorrow all at once.
“More than you will ever know.”
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