“A Moments Wrest”, Chapter 1: Beautiful Day
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1 Beautiful Day
Oren looked around, amazed. He marvelled at the beauty that surrounded him. It was everything all at once; the array of colours, the crispness of the air, the overwhelming connectedness with nature. He figured it had to be the most tranquil place he had ever been.
He was standing at the water’s edge of a gorgeous lake. It was perfectly calm, barely a ripple across the surface. And yet, tiny sparkles of light danced on top of the water as far as he could see. It somehow reflected more shades of blue than the cloudless sky overhead contained.
Crystal clear water lapped up over his bare feet. It felt cool and refreshing as it washed and retreated with each tiny wave. For so early in the morning, it surprised Oren how pleasant was the temperature of the water. The sun was just cresting over the treeline and could not have warmed the lake to any extent.
He felt a bit torn. Oren was quite content to stay right where he was, but was also curious about the shoreline up ahead.
However, he did not want to wander too far from where he left his sandals. This little jaunt was unplanned after all. It just happened, but now he was taken in by the scene in front of him. He looked back to where he had come. The sand was white and soft; as fine as flour. He noticed it was slightly warmer than the water. Because so, it was an incredible feeling to stand in.
The beach stretched back almost as far as he could see, until a tree line at the far end of the lake cut the horizon short. The white ribbon of sand started narrow there from a single point, but widened considerably as it reached to where he stood. That is quite a distance, he thought to himself. But he was not tired. His whole surroundings were strangely energizing.
He made the decision to keep walking a bit farther. But his sandals were nowhere to be seen, which was strange. It dawned on him he had no clue how long he had been out, or how far he had come. It’s barely morning!, he thought, I can’t have gone that far.
Against the white sand, his dark sandals should be easy to spot. He looked down at his feet again. By this time, they had sunk deeper in the sand as he stood. He looked back over the beach. It was incredibly white and smooth, wind swept and undisturbed. It reminded him of his grandparent’s farm after a fresh snowfall in the wintertime; the picture of absolute perfection. How lucky am I, he thought, to the be the first one out here this morning. No footprints to mess it up!
The smile that crossed his face faded when his last thought sunk in. He looked down at his feet, then quickly behind in the direction from where he had come. Not even one footprint.
Anywhere. Not even from him.
Sarah Barrat dropped the phone. She grabbed her purse and ran out the front door to her car. Her mind was swirling as she maneuvered the vehicle through the streets toward the centre of town. It was difficult to see with the tears welling up in her eyes. They filled as quickly as she blinked.
How could this happen?!
It was the longest 23 minutes of her life.
She parked her car hard against the curb and ran in through the main entrance. A police officer was waiting there for her, “Mrs. Barrat?”
“Yes”, she blurted.
“Come with me please.”
He led Sarah down the hallway toward the Emergency ward and through two sets of double doors. The hallways were lined with gurnies topped with people, some unconscious, some in clear pain. Worry gripped her tighter as she passed each one.
The officer led her to an open ER with the nurses station set in the middle. The outside of the large area was lined with many beds equipped with machines and monitors, separated by heavy blue curtains. There were doctors and nurses moving everywhere, all with focused and serious faces. The officer stopped in front of a curtained off section. He pulled the curtain aside and nodded to her. She looked at the opening, and then into his eyes. They were friendly, but offered no hint of what waited for her on the other side. His eyes then turned and looked in. She was meant to follow.
She moved forward, heart growing heavier with each step. It was beating hard now, and the tears were welling again. Pull it together, Sarah! Deep breaths. She stood before the curtain and peered in.
Sarah first saw the end of the hospital bed, and the contour of a man’s feet covered with a white linen. A heart monitor and several other machines blinked and beeped at her in rhythm. A nurse looked up and smiled slightly, moving aside to welcome her in. As she did, her eyes fell back down to the bed, and then moved up to the man’s chest and finally his face. Sarah whimpered as she recognized it. Even with the oxygen mask smothering it, this was a face she knew well. She looked back at the nurse with an unspoken question.
“He is stable, but he is in a coma.”, she offered. “We have to wait until the swelling in his brain goes down before we learn anything more.”
Coma. The word rang in Sarah’s ears as she looked back down at the man in the bed. She reached down and grabbed his hand and cradled it gently. She took a deep breath before she spoke with as much strength as she could gather.
“I love you,
And I’m here for you Oren.”
…continued with Chapter 2
Lake Photo Credit: BotheredByBees via Compfight cc Street Photo Credit: Matt Newfield via Compfight cc Original Cover Photo Credit unknown.