“Y-you’re the other driver?” I can’t believe what I’m hearing. I thought something awful had happened to her. I thought…well, I thought I killed her. The person calling out had seemed very worried. They said she wasn’t coherent. They said she needed help. But if that’s true, how is she sitting here in my room?
“I am the other driver,” she repeats. Her tone is not sharp; it’s more matter-of-fact, but with a soft edge. “I was so concerned for you that I followed the ambulance to the hospital. Thankfully, they let me in.”
“Well,” the nurse informs me, “before the EMTs were able to get you into the ambulance, you had lost consciousness. They were able to revive you quickly, but then you ended up falling asleep. Despite efforts to rouse you so that we could gather information more easily, you were never awake enough to be of any help. I’m sure you don’t even remember talking to us.”
She’s right. I have no recollection of anything between the world going black and then waking up in the hospital just now.
“We’ve been monitoring you this whole time, and your vitals are normal, so you were allowed to continue your sleep. You looked so peaceful, I didn’t even want to wake you. When’s the last time you slept that well? It’s as though your body craved it.”
I try to think. When was the last time I slept so well? It’s been a while. Sleeping, for some reason, is not something that comes naturally to me unless I get drunk and pass out after a party. Even then, I wake up in the middle of the night and wander around for a while before my body acknowledges the need for more sleep.
Realizing I was not going to answer, the nurse continues. “Anyway, the cops were able to retrieve your purse from your car, and in it, they found your ID. They looked for your cell phone, but they couldn’t find it, and there was no one at your place to inform of your whereabouts.”
My phone. The cause of the accident. It must have fallen underneath one of the seats in the car.
“Rose was so sweet asking about you, and since we couldn’t locate anyone, I just decided to make the decision that she was your grandmother. At least you would have family when you woke up.”
Family? For one, this woman is not my family. My family, well, it really doesn’t matter. But how can I send her away? I don’t have the right to. Though I don’t understand why she’s acting so nice to me, I still hurt her. I examine the older woman, looking for marks, a sling, something that shows she had been in an accident. Nothing.
“But I thought you were hurt,” I say, addressing the woman. “They said you were. They were concerned.”
“Who said I was hurt?”
“I don’t know. Someone at the accident. I heard them. They said you needed help, that you weren’t coherent.”
Rose laughs softly. She walks over to me and holds my hand in hers. “Sweetie, you heard me. And I was talking about you.”
What? No, I remember. It was right before I was transported to –
The garden. The rose garden. The same scent that brought me to the garden – the one I realize now never existed – is the same scent I was smelling at this moment. Rose. Oh, how perfect. This woman smells like roses, and her name is Rose. What are the odds? So I didn’t kill her. What a relief. I let out a deep breath. I didn’t even realize I had been holding onto it. “So…you’re not dead?”
Laughter erupts from both sides of the bed at my question. Rose wipes a tear from her eye before speaking again. “No, sweetie, I’m not dead. The good Lord hasn’t seen fit to take me home just yet, but when it is my time, I’ll be ready.”
“We’re you not hurt at all?”
Rose lets out a sigh. “I’m okay. The doctor insisted that I get checked out, but he didn’t find anything out of the ordinary. I just have a few bruises, that’s all. I was lucky. You’re the one I’m worried about.”
“Oh, don’t worry too much about her,” the nurse interjects. “I have a feeling she’ll be just fine.” She turns to me and continues to speak. “You shouldn’t be in here too much longer. I’ve informed the doctor that you’re awake, and he’s already ordered some tests just to be safe, but I’m not worried about the results.” She tells us someone will be back shortly to take me to get these tests done and then makes her way out of the room, leaving me alone with Rose.
Rose smiles and leans over, placing her mouth close to my ear. “I didn’t mean physically. I have a feeling you will need some help on the inside.”
“Do you think something is wrong with me internally?” Now I’m worried. I know that, even with these tests, not everything shows up right away.
She sighs. “I’m talking about emotional healing. Spiritual healing.”
I don’t understand what she means, but I’m too distracted by other thoughts swirling around my head to give it my full attention.