“A Moments Wrest”, Chapter 4: Shadows And Tall Trees
4 Shadows And Tall Trees
Sarah was awaken with a slight tugging on her arm.
“Mrs. Barrat, I’m sorry to wake you but there is someone here to see you.”
Sarah stirred as she struggled to open her eyes. See saw the fuzzy outline of a nurse standing over her. “What time is it?”
“It is almost half-past 8”, the nurse replied. “You slept a long time. Well, compared to the other nights that is.”
“I guess so”, Sarah added while doing the math in her head. She was pleased she managed to get about 6 hours.
“Who is here to see me?” She sat up and searched through her purse for her compact mirror.
She could not think who it would be. Oren’s parents now come straight in, and they weren’t expected for a while. Friends have not been allowed visitation in the ICU. It had been a lonely few days sitting with a husband who has no idea where he is, or what is happening. He was not capable of conversation or even the slightest body language. She could not remember the last time a string of days was this quiet.
It dawned on her how alone she was. The last she spent this much time in a hospital was when her mother Addie was dying from cancer. Except, it was far more emotional. Her mother was clearly in pain although she tried to hide it. In addition to this, Sarah’s body was full of hormones from her first pregnancy. Unfortunately, neither her nor her mom would ever get to see this baby due to an early miscarriage a month after the funeral.
Her dad took her mom’s struggle the hardest, and had completely checked out. He was there in person, but sat like a zombie in the room opposite her mother’s bed. Even with all of this, there were so many people around them. Family, friends, and neighbours hung with them through the whole ordeal.
But most of all, Sarah had Oren. He was a constant strength for her. Until that time, she never imagined she would ever need another person the way she relied on him. It was humbling, but the comfort was well worth the trade.
But this time, the room was empty except for the odd nurse coming in, as part of their rounds. The one person who she would turn to for strength could offer nothing. Where would it come from this time?
A sudden panic ran up her spine as she was putting on some lipstick. It almost jolted her arm, making one side of her mouth way larger. No. There is no way he would come here. Please, please, no! She quickly checked her phone for any new updates.
“Uhmm…”, Sarah managed. “I’m really not expecting anyone new today. Can you describe them? What do they look like?”
“They look like a police officer”, replied the nurse.
“You cannot stay here”, a voice said.
Oren bolted out of the sand and onto his feet. “Okay, who’s out there?!”, he demanded. “This isn’t funny”. He scanned the trees for the slightest movement. There was a long pause of silence. “I said…”
“Why are you here?”, the voice spoke again, ignoring his question.
The voice was definitely real. It must have been coming from the woods, but was as close as if someone was speaking right in his ear. But he was along on the beach, an had been all day.
Oren was now disorientated. Normally, he could blame the alarm clock for yanking him out of a deep sleep; or one too many glasses of wine the night before; or the double cheese on the pizza from supper as the reason for missing reality. But this was not like that. Ever since being here on the beach, it seemed there was very little difference between being wide awake and being unconscious. It felt almost like two shades of the same colour. He wasn’t groggy, at least not in the traditional sense, but it was hard to concentrate.
“What do you not know?”, the voice asked. “It is an easy question.”
But Oren had no answer. There was so much he did not know. How did he get there? Why was he alone? He not seen one other soul for hours. Hours? He turned around and looked back at the sun, which still had not moved. Perpetual morning. I’m so lucky.
He was struggling with what to think, let alone what to say. Oren felt he had to say something, so he did based on the only thing he knew for certain.
“It is so beautiful here”, he answered in a more steady tone. “It’s like no place I’d ever seen before”. There was a pause before the voice spoke again.
“You see what you want to see”. The voice responded with much more confidence than Oren had managed. So much so, it seemed impossible to argue with that last statement, whatever it meant.
Before Oren could think to ask, a few leaves rustled near the top of one of the trees at the edge of the beach. Oren fixed on it with disbelief. After a short scurry, a small bird emerged into the sky and disappeared behind the treetops.
…continued with Chapter 5