I broke out in a cold sweat as I crossed the bridge and finally had to pull over to the side. Thank heaven it was late evening and traffic was light.
I went hot and cold as I flung myself out of the jeep and over to the side rail where I emptied the contents of my stomach.
I barely kept myself upright by hanging onto the rail as my knees went weak. The lights coming off the water went in and out of vision and the distant noise from other traffic seemed like it was coming from miles away.
What the fuck is wrong with me? I had the presence of mind to fumble around in my pocket for my phone and call my brother. He answered on the second ring.
“I think I’m in trouble.” He didn’t ask for anything more than my location. It was the last thing I said before the darkness came.
I woke up in the hospital disoriented, with my head splitting in two. I knew it was a hospital because of the fucked up lighting and the sounds of the machines that I was hooked up to.
I saw movement out of the corner of my eye and turned my head slowly in that direction. My family was there, mom, dad, and my brother Mike.
Mom rushed to my side taking my hand in hers. “Oh, baby you’re awake. You’re going to be fine.” Then why was she crying and why did my dad and my brother look like hell?
“What happened?” My voice sounded hoarse and my body felt as if I’d been put through a meat grinder. I tried sitting up but it took too much effort so I gave up.
“They’re not sure yet son, maybe something you ate or some sort of bug. They’re still running tests but they were able to get you stabilized for now.”
None of what she was saying made any sense but I’ll have to think about that some other time. Right now I had a more pressing need. I looked around the room but she wasn’t here.
I felt the disappointment and the loss was as raw as it had been that first day. It had all been a dream then. But it had seemed so real.
I’d smelt her felt her, so how is it that she’s not really here? My heart broke all over again. Where are you, baby? What happened to you?
Will I never see you again? The thought made me want to die. I thought for sure these feelings would ease with time, but they haven’t. I felt the loss of her now as keenly as I had in the beginning.
Mom’s voice intruded on my thoughts and pulled me back to the here and now. “I don’t want you to worry about a thing son. You’ll come home with us and I’ll have you back on your feet in no time.”
What? Was I that bad? I tried to rack my brain, to make sense of what was going on. What was I doing before I got sick?