"Sir, you collapsed and were in a coma for some time. When you came out of it, well, you just weren't yourself." I inferred I had been acting delusional.
My throat was dry, so, "Excuse me nurse, but could I please have some water." As she turned to comply, she expertly kept the syringe out of sight. If I hadn't seen it earlier, I had, hadn't I, I would have sworn she didn't have one in her hands. The water she presented was clear, no dissolving pills in it. Of course, she got it from a pitcher and the damage could have already been done.
I slowly sipped the fluid at first and then greedily gulped down the rest. I looked around for a clock, but wasn't surprised when I didn't find one. "What time is it?" I asked when she caught me canvassing the room.
She looked carefully at her watch, dropped the ready smile totally, and intoned, "Its 10:31 sir." I could have sworn I had been awake for some time. I started to ask her to see her watch, but something in the way she studied me stopped the words in my throat. Fine, I resolved to mark off 120 seconds as I played for time.
As I looked at the now empty glass, the condensation coating it being the only remaining liquid, I realized I was stalling for another reason; I couldn't think of what to ask her. Was I supposed to show my ignorance of the past weeks? I could inquire as to how many weeks it had been, but did I ask that of her every time I woke? The feeling of deja vu returned, and almost, out of the corner of my left eye, not the right one, I felt I could see the pages of that script slowly flipping in the slight breeze coming from the closed window.
Fine, I had deviated once, perhaps my best course was to stay clear of the normal events, whatever those were. I decided to stop counting, as this fixation on time didn't feel like something I would normally be caught up in. Normal, that was what I had to strive for, normal. "My head doesn't hurt." There, something bland, true, and for some reason it felt like a new topic.
Again, she measured me with her eyes, coming to some conclusion, "No, it wouldn't. The doctors couldn't find any physical damage." I don't know how, but I then felt her slide back into the rut that marked our normal conversation, "You gave us quite a scare you know, we found you slumped over in your car at the BOQ."
So, that was what they thought happened. My last thoughts were of that lecture in the school cafeteria in Roswell. I recalled the drive down that dusty highway on the way back, but not much more. But, but I knew I never made it back to base, much less the BOQ.
I nodded, "Yes, the BOQ, I vaguely recall getting back there from some trip." Her eyes, green and sparkling, darted my way as I made that revelation. Again, I could see the concern flashing therein, concern and a bit of hope. I resolved to only speak aloud a story which contradicted what I wanted to say. The hand, the one which knew where the syringe was, looked happier whenever I did not utter lines from the script. My key to getting out of here, I suddenly realized I was in the psychiatric wing and not the intensive care unit, the key was to act normal and to forget whatever happened the night time froze at 10:31.
10:31, what time was it now? I wanted to ask, I was afraid of the answer, but even more importantly, I wanted out of the tender care of this nurse who would calmly shoot me up with sedatives as I thrashed about the bed, speaking in tongues.
The lights went out, no really they did; when they came back on, daylight streamed in from outside, through the open window. She was
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