Monday, March 10, 2008

Legshield Rider (3)

Bits and pieces of dreams came to memory as he stumbled out of the mental fog. The hospital bed reeled back and forth while his mind tried to hold onto something his eyes could focus on.

Oh god, not the TV. The box itself would have been fine had the machine been turned off. The flash of the commercials made his head ache. When the program came back on he knew his father was somewhere near. Alex Trebeck was answering another question someone had yet to ask. This was the type of show smart people really paid attention to.

There. He could latch onto the box but not the images inside it. Too blurry. He eased his head to look to his right and two shadows hovered against the blinding sun of mid afternoon. That glance hurt way too much. He recoiled, sun spots on the insides of his eyelids.

"He's awake!"

His father's relief and joy could barely be hushed. The boy was tough and withdrawn. You had to read him by small shifts in his movements. The ways he tilted his head.

A son who knew that at that very moment his father had an overly firm grasp on his mother's forearm and was shaking her out of joy. He could hear her weight shifting. Could hear her feet scuff the floor as she scolded Dad for being unintentionally rough. But it was alright. His father was the strength of a ten pound sledge. And his mother knew just how to swing such a hammer. The shared relief of Mom and Dad was enough to answer the important questions. No matter how this ultimately would turn out, he believed he was coming out of this fine. Just get through it. His parents' presence in the room virtually eminated those words. He cracked a smile and raised his eyebrows. Signs he knew they were there. It was all he could give at the moment.

For two more hours a mother and father sat in their son's hospital room. A quiet solace of knowing their son was still the same kid they knew more than a week before. Relieved and drained they went home in peace for the first time in eternity.