It felt like it was still part of the dream. But eventually all the buzz words caught up and began to lace into reality.
Walter Wallace...Citadel Inc...Officer Steve Coulter...a youth who is affectionately known by his fans as Hippy Flip was the only conscious survivor pulled from the wreckage and his first action was to go back and help the emergency teams search the room. He delivered an expletive-laden rant before being taken to hospital with severe injuries. He has not been available for comment since. The contents of the rant could not...
His mind ventured back into the void. The black space that existed between the Towers and the present. Was everyone OK? Was he OK? He forced himself to wake again but now the television was off and behind the curtains the dark night sky showed no sympathy. He felt a strong urge to get up for the bathroom but found little response from his body and before he knew it he was urinating. He could not fight it. An emptiness swept over him and he fell back to the ever expanding void.
But you probably can’t even hear me. Some of the doctors say my problems won’t go away if I keep telling them to all the patients. I wonder what a psychiatrist would say about this. Is talking to a coma patient the same as talking to yourself? Does this make me crazy?
“Actually I am a psychiatrist,” Stevie croaked.
He could barely see as his eyes adjusted to the light but the grey outline of the nurse jumped with fright. “Oh wow, you sure did scare me!” she laughed. “Umm, let me go get the doctor.”
Stevie stared up at the light at the top of the room, squinting as his eyes adjusted. His mouth was dry and his neck felt like a rusty hinge as he tried to move it.
A doctor came into the room. “Mr Coulter, my name is Dr Tank.”
Stevie’s heart leaped a few beats. “Wh- What?” he managed to mutter looking up at the tall figure in the white jacket.
“Dr Tanner.” The doctor replied, noticing Stevie’s increased heart rate on the monitor. “Don’t worry you are perfectly fine. You have been in a coma, Mr Coulter, and the good news is you’ve woken up.”
Stevie tried to look around, taking in whatever details he could but hospital rooms looked notoriously generic. “How long?”
“Three months just last Thursday – today is Sunday by the way, 11 in the morning.”
The doctor shone a bright light in Stevie’s eyes. He checked other less intrusive indicators as Stevie tried to piece together what had happened. He remembered the Towers, the agents, Walter and his machine. They were fresh in his mind like it happened yesterday but they felt intangible and improbable. It felt like yesterday’s dream. It would be forgotten by midday before he has a chance to retell it.
“Mr Coulter?” the doctor was at Stevie’s feet, looking up expectantly, “can you feel this, Mr Coulter?” He had a sharp pencil-like object and was pushing it into Stevie’s big toe. Stevie could not feel a thing. He tried the other foot and different parts of his leg but still no response. The doctor remained quiet a moment. “The damage to your lung is substantial, compounding on a recent injury but you should return to close to full capacity – no smoking though. As for your legs, we’ll have to get some scans done but it does appear like you have lost function.”
Stevie still felt like this was all a dream. “For good?”
“We can’t say just yet. You will be in a wheelchair for the immediate future if not indefinitely. We will wait for the scans and work out a plan from there.”
Stevie looked up at the ceiling with a comforting sense of helplessness. He imagined letting go, putting a gun to his head just as Mark had done. Who would care? What would be lost?
“It is advised that you perform some sort of activity immediately after waking from a coma. As you cannot walk we will have some food brought in and you can sit up and eat it. I do understand this is a lot to take in Mr Coulter. We can arrange visits with the hospital psychiatrist if you wish.”
“I am a psychiatrist.” Stevie said bluntly, still staring at the ceiling.
The doctor sighed. “I will have the nurse bring in the food and we can let your friends know when you are ready to have visitors.”
The doctor left after a moment of Stevie’s silence. Friends. Had Walter and Phil survived? He found it hard to muster any sympathy for them. It was reserved exclusively for himself. He wondered what he would do if he had the gun in his hands now. Would he have the balls? What could stop him?
Maybe some of that blue liquid from Walter’s machine.
The thought came from primal desire. It did not take a psychiatrist to diagnose such an impulse to a substance. He was still addicted to it after only two doses and three months to kick it.
Just one last high and then the gun.