The Accident

Chapter 1

“Ohmigod! Where the hell am I?” I thought, looking around. This place does so not look like my room. What’s going on? Who’s that guy standing at my bed?
“Who the heck are you?” I asked the strange figure -wait, something’s not right… He’s looking at me like I’m an alien; do I know him? He looks vaguely familiar, like someone I dreamt about last night. I think he was in my dream… what did I call him…? Ryan, that’s it! Oh, I do know him! Ryan, my boyfriend, or crush… still not too sure about that…
“Ryan? Is that you?” I sat up suddenly, “Why the hell can’t I hear myself? What’s happening?” I can see by the look on his face that he’s as shocked as I am. He reaches for something next to me- a pen and exam-pad- what’s that he’s writing? He hands the paper to me, ‘Sophe, can you hear yourself speak?’
“No! What’s going on?”
He sighs heavily and walks out of the room; leaving me alone with my thoughts. So many questions run through my mind, none of which I have the answer to. Ryan walks into the room, derailing my train of thought, with a doctor. ‘Dr. Chen,’ her nametag informs me. She clicks her Bic and scribbles for about a minute on a piece of paper, the entire time Ryan looks at me with tears in his eyes, I can’t meet his gaze, but I’m not sure why. Dr. Chen gives me the paper;
‘Sophie, firstly, I’ve contacted your parents, they’ll be here as soon as they can, secondly, I’m very sorry to tell you but, we think you may have slight hearing loss due to the accident. We’re not 100% sure as we weren’t able to run tests while you were unconscious-‘
“I was unconscious?!” A nod from both Dr Chen and Ryan confirmed my fears of having just woken up from a coma of some sort. I looked down and read the rest of the note,
‘- we decided to wait until you woke up before running any tests, so, when you’re feeling better we’ll have to take some blood samples and do a couple of hearing tests. For now, you’re just going to have to be as strong as possible.’
I looked from the note, to Dr Chen and then to Ryan; how could this be happening to me? I’ve been a good girl; good grades, school council, first team tennis… I don’t deserve this! I decide to ask the question that’s on my mind, “How did this happen?”
Dr Chen and Ryan exchange a glance before Dr Chen gives him the pen and paper. While he’s writing, she leans over to pat me on the arm- a pathetic but comforting gesture. She stands up to give Ryan and I a little time alone; maybe she thinks it’ll be too awkward, maybe she thinks I’ll start crying, maybe- Ryan taps me on the shoulder to bring me back to earth, I look into his eyes- those big, sad, blue eyes filled with regret and brimming with tears. He hands me the paper,
‘We were in my car, driving home from my rugby match; we were supposed to meet the team at Spur for a post-game celebration. Anyway, we stopped at a robot and this guy in a red bakkie smashes into us from behind and drives away. Thank goodness for the guy waiting at the other side of the road. According to the police, you flew through the windshield and damaged your Perisylvian Area (that’s the area of your brain that helps you hear), damaging your hearing.’
I try to look him in the eyes, but he avoids my gaze.
“So, what happened to you?” I ask, crumpling the paper in my hand. He looks down and starts to write, his tears silently running down his cheeks.
‘I had my seat-belt on… You had just unbuckled yours so you could put on my jacket… I’m so sorry Sophe…’ I look at him, his handsome features pained with grief, tears now pouring from his sad eyes. I sit up properly – a little too quickly – and reach over to put my arms around him; I’m in excruciating pain as I do so, but I get the impression that he feels guilty for what’s happened to me. He returns the hug, even though I’m sure that he knows I’m very sore. As we’re hugging one another my parents walk in; my mom’s got tears in her eyes and my father’s got his arm around her to comfort her. When they look up and notice Ryan and I with our arms around one another, my mother goes into a tizzy, waving her arms around like a crazed monkey and hitting Ryan over the head with her handbag.
“Mom! What’re you doing?” I yelled, at least, I think I yelled it. Mom said something that I, obviously, couldn’t hear. She was still waving her arms but the only thing different was that at the same time, dad was busy kicking Ryan out of my ward!
“Dad! Stop! What’re you doing?”
Ryan reached for my hand and took the paper that he gave me out of it. He grabbed a pen and wrote “Your parents blame me for what happened, I’m so sorry but I’ll ttyl. Stay strong….” And with those words on the page he left.