Thanks go out to my editors LadyCibelle and Techsan. Between their editing and their comments, they make my story a much better read. I don't give them near the praise and credit they deserve.
My old girlfriend loaned me a television series to watch. It was titled 'The Dead Zone'. A little background on the series: It's about a young teacher who has just gotten his longtime girlfriend pregnant. They are to be wed soon. He leaves her place to go rent a movie for them to watch. He is in a terrible auto accident and is in a coma for six years. He wakes up with no recollection of the last six years while in a coma. His fiancée got married a few years ago after finding out he would probably never recover. She married the sheriff and he adopted her son as his own. His old girlfriend wants to stay close friends with him and for him to meet her husband and of course the child he has never seen who is now six years old.
The man comes out of the coma not realizing what all has happened. He does now have special powers. When he touches someone or something he can see the past or the future of that person. For inanimate objects, he can only see the past. Of course this is a television series; real life is different.
The reason my old girlfriend loaned me this series to watch is because I just came out of a coma after four years. I also had a pregnant girlfriend before my auto accident. The big difference is, I have no special powers. I'm just a fellow who lost everything including his girlfriend, child, and the last four years of my life.
I'm Jeffery and I was a comatose patient for the last four years. I had everything going for me. I came from a good home with loving parents, a cheerleader girlfriend who had a body to beat hell. I was in my senior year at college, studying computer programming. I had a four year free ride due to my athletic ability.
Kelly, my girlfriend came to see me at college. I was to ride back with her during spring break. She had just gotten through telling me that she was three months pregnant and I would be a daddy about the time I graduated from college. We were going home and tell our parents that we would be getting married that summer. I packed up my stuff in Kelly's car and off we went. About an hour later I saw bright lights. They were from an oncoming truck.
I was lying on a bed and just barely opened my eyes. Where was I? What was I doing here? Where is Kelly? I glanced to my left and saw the back of a nurse standing there kind of humming a song. I reached out and touched her side. She screamed out, "Ahhhhh", turned around and looked at me. She put her hand to her mouth and then yelled out, "Doctor, Doctor Shellding, come quickly. He's awake! Jeff is awake."
A man came into the room whom I believed to be the doctor. He had on his white coat and a stethoscope around his neck. "My God, he is alive," he spoke.
"Doctor, where am I? What am I doing here? Where's Kelly? God, Doctor, what has happened to me?" I asked.
"Easy now, Jeff. All your questions will be answered in time. You were in a terrible auto accident and have been comatose for four years. We need to do a little bit of physical work and run some tests right now. Just take it easy for a little bit so we can get some good readings."
"Kelly? Where's Kelly, my girlfriend? She was driving when I saw bright lights."
"Again, Jeff, we will answer your questions. I know you must have a thousand of them. First we need to get your body regulated."
"What about Kelly? Is she alright?"
"Jeff, the accident happened four years ago. I would have to go check the records to see what all happened. I do believe that Kelly was alright. Rachel, do you remember her at all?" asked the doctor.
Rachel was the nurse that I had scared half to death. "She had some injuries but she survived the crash. She is alive and well," said the nurse.
"She was pregnant with our child. Did she have the baby?" I asked.
"Listen, Jeff, right now you have to worry about Jeff. You need to get back some of that energy. Right now you can hardly feed yourself or walk. You will have plenty of time to find the answers to your questions. We will call your parents and let them know you're awake. Rachel will help you clean up and feed you some soft food. I'll be back in to talk to you later. We will have many tests to run and you will be seeing our psychiatrist. It's a miracle that you are alive and awake. Now, please help us help you. I'm going to give you a sedative to help you relax." With that said the doctor gave me a shot and left the room.
Rachel smiled at me. She was a nice looking young girl, not the gorgeous type but more like the girl next door. Somewhat plain but a nice aura surrounded her.
"Jeff, I need to give you a sponge bath. Please don't get embarrassed, I've bathed you hundreds of times in the past few years. There is nothing I haven't seen," Rachel said as she grabbed her wet sponge and started with my face.
I have to tell you that, when you have no idea why you're lying there and a young woman is washing you, it is embarrassing. The doctor did give me a shot and I was fast asleep before Rachel was finished.
I don't know how much time had passed when I woke up. Rachel was there with a young man named Toby. Rachel explained he was a physical therapist and would be working with me to help get my muscles working again. Between the two of them they helped me sit up a little. They removed that piss bag and told me I could use a bed pan till I was able to make it to the bathroom. At least it felt better then having that tube up my penis.
My parents were out in the waiting room to see me and Rachel said she wanted me to look my best. I was beginning to like her. She was just nice and friendly.
My parents came into the room all emotional. They hugged and kissed me and were talking a mile a minute. I was still a little drowsy and had a little trouble keeping up with them. They were telling me how sorry they were and how they had to pull the plug. The doctors told them I wasn't going to make it.
I had no idea what they were talking about. In my mind I had just seen them last weekend. I had no memory of the last four years. They did look older though, I must admit. I was just glad to see them. I couldn't tell them I missed them because as I said, I had seen them last week in my mind. I thought how weird this was going to be. Everyone I know is four years older. My brother, sister, and even Kelly.
"Mom, I have no recollection of what happened. It is just like I woke up from an overnight sleep. Can you tell me what you know? I want to know about Kelly and the baby. Are they both okay? Am I a daddy?"
"Oh, Jeffery, I feel so sorry for you. I'll tell you what we were told by the Sheriff's department. Kelly's car collided with a semi truck. Both of you had your seatbelts on but the vehicle rolled over a number of times. You were transferred to the hospital with broken legs and multiple injuries. You were unconscious when you arrived at the hospital. You had head injuries and they didn't know if you would make it." Mom started to cry so my dad continued.
"Son, after a while your body healed but you were comatose so they sent you to this hospital. We had you on life support until about a month ago. The doctors talked with us and said you would probably be a comatose patient the rest of your life so we felt you wouldn't want to live like that the rest of your life, so we had them pull the support system. Of course we told them to leave the feeding tubes in. Now you're back with us. You'll need a lot of therapy but the doctors told us you will make it. Other than that, we'll take it a day at a time."
"Dad, what about Kelly and the baby?"
"We don't see much of Kelly anymore. She had internal injuries from the crash. She lost the baby but she recovered totally. She got married last year," replied dad.
I had tears in my eyes. It seemed like just yesterday that I was kissing and rubbing Kelly's breasts. I remember us being so happy that we were going to be parents. It felt like just yesterday that we made all these plans.
Mom spoke, "Jeff, everything will work out. It's just going to take time. We love you and are here for you, and life goes on."
My parents left and Toby came back into the room.
"Hey, Jeff, time to get started with the therapy. We are going to build your arms and then your legs. Good thing you played sports. You should recover much faster. We will start with simple exercises for your arms and then we'll work on your legs. I'm going to tell you right now that it's rough and going to hurt like hell. You haven't moved those legs for four years."
"Toby, can you tell me whatever you know about my situation. I'm trying to find out all I can. I have four years of learning to catch up on."
"Sure, I'll help you all I can. I started here about two years ago and the place hasn't changed much since then. Rachel has been with you since day one. Right now I want you to start lifting those arms and hold them out for five seconds and then put them down. Keep repeating that exercise till you have to force yourself to do it," Toby said.
While I was doing this exercise, Toby told me about himself. He played football around the same time I did but at a different school. He broke his leg and it ended, what he had hoped would be, a football career. He continued in school taking sports therapy and decided maybe he could someday do it for some type of professional or semi-pro team. I might mention that Toby was a black guy but that really isn't important. I had a lot of black friends since I played sports. The main thing about Toby was he was an all around nice guy.
My arms were beginning to hurt and I put my arms down. Toby told me I better keep doing the exercise unless I wanted Rachel to wash my privates forever. Hell, that sounded pretty good to me so we both laughed. Rachel came walking in and said, "I heard that, guys, and I do have to sponge you off when you two are finished playing," she smiled.
This was the way it went for a few days. Mom and Dad stopped by almost every day just to say hi. They never stayed very long. They just wanted me to know they cared. Toby had me out of the bed and sitting on a chair within a few days. After one of our session, Rachel came in to sponge me off.
I was sitting in the chair and she started her routine. Toby had left the room. I didn't want a guy watching a woman wipe me down. Rachel smiled while sponging me off. I began looking closer at her. She really was a pretty woman. Smooth complexion, nice boobs which I couldn't help staring at. She had nice looking legs also.
I was thinking about her and lying back in my chair. All of a sudden I heard Rachel say, "Oops" as I looked down and I had a slight erection. I was embarrassed as hell.
"I'm so sorry, Rachel. God, I didn't mean for that to happen. Has it happened to me before? You know, in the last four years?"
"It's alright, Jeff. It was kind of nice in a way. It was the first time it has ever happened with you. I've bathed other patients when they became erect but this was a first for you. Was it the touching or were you thinking of someone at the time?" she asked.
I couldn't tell her I was thinking about her, for Christ sake. She was my nurse, and a damn nice one.
"I don't really know, Rachel. I guess my arms are becoming strong enough, I will probably wash my own private parts after this," I replied.
After Rachel had finished, she walked over to a table and was cleaning up the mess. I watched her walk away and she had a nice pair of legs. Her skirt was just an inch or two above her knees. The doctor came in with an older nurse.
"How are we doing today, Jeff?" he asked.
"Pretty good. I can feed myself some, even though it's only mashed potatoes and Jell-O. My arm muscles seem to be returning but I can't walk yet. Toby told me we are going to start on that tomorrow."
"This is Nurse Mary. She's our senior nurse and we are going to move you to another floor where she will be your nurse," he said.
I looked over at Rachel's back; she was still facing the wall. "No offense, Mary, I believe you are a very fine nurse, but I want Rachel as my nurse. She is the only one who has been with me since I was admitted. Doc, is there any reason I can't stay on this floor and have Rachel as my nurse?"
"Why, no, you can stay on this floor for a while. It's just that once you become ambulatory, we usually move patients downstairs. I see no reason that you can't stay here. By the way, you are making great progress. We are all proud of you."
I looked over at Rachel and she turned her head to look at me. She had the biggest shit eating grin on her face. I smiled back before the Doc or Mary noticed.
After they left, Rachel came over and kissed me on the cheek and said, "Thank you."
I was really beginning to like her. She just seemed so nice with an innocence about her.
The next day Rachel came in and looked a little aggravated. She told me I had a visitor and she helped me sit up on the bed. She wasn't her gentle self today. I wondered what was wrong. I would ask her later. She left the room and my visitor came in. It was Kelly.
"Hi, Jeff. God, I couldn't believe it when they told me you had awakened. No one thought you would pull through. Life sure threw us a curve, didn't it?"
She sat on the side of my bed and reached over and kissed me on the lips. It was a passionate kiss. She felt so good, as I put one of my hands on her lap. She had tears in her eyes as we parted lips. She leaned forward and kissed me again. All my emotions were there. After all, my feelings for her had not changed since it felt like I was just with her only days ago. She looked and felt wonderful. She still had that cheerleader body.
She sat up and looked at me. "What all do you remember, Jeff? Do you remember us or the accident?"
"I remember it all like it was yesterday. Our kissing and making love. Me rubbing your little belly where our baby was. Us, telling each other that we would be together forever. Yes, Kelly, I remember it all. The last thing was the flash of light from the headlights of the truck that I guess we collided with. You see, Kelly, for you, that was four years ago. To me, it was a few days ago. There's a big difference here."
"Jeff, after I lost the baby and was released from the hospital I came to see you. It was horrible! You were all bandaged up, tubes everywhere and in a coma. The doctors said you probably wouldn't make it. I cried, over and over. The love of my life was gone and I had lost our child. I couldn't take seeing you like that. I only came back once or twice after that. Then I met someone, Jeff. I dated him and we were married last year. He's a good man, Jeff, but he's not you. I love him and we have a baby together. I don't know what to do."
She kissed me one more time and with tears in her eyes, she got up and left without either of us saying another word. I had no idea if she would ever return. She'd had four years to get past me but I'd only had a few days.
Shortly after she left, my man Toby came in and helped me into a wheelchair. We were going to go work on my legs. I asked him if he could play some good music because I really didn't care much for the so-called music he was playing. He laughed and put on some really mellow soft songs. I was listening to the songs, trying to remember where I heard them before.
Toby was a pretty strong guy. He held me up while I held on to these dual bars so I could try and walk. I wasn't doing very good. We would try a half dozen times and then I would rest a little bit before we would try again.
While we were resting I told him about Kelly coming to see me. He said that situation didn't sound very good. After all she was a married woman now with a child.
I then told him that Rachel must have had a bug up her ass this morning too. He started laughing at me.
"What's so funny?" I asked.
"You don't know? No one has ever told you?" he asked.
"Told me what? What is it I should know?" I asked Toby.
He laughed; "My God, Jeff, Rachel is in love with you. She has always been in love with you. In fact when they were going to pull the plug on you, she was the only one that said, 'No.' She insisted on the feeding tubes and your parents went along with her. Man, she saved your life. She even passed up a promotion to see that she stayed on your floor. Man, I thought you knew; I thought you were smarter than that."
We got back up and I kept trying to walk. I was getting better but it was going to take time. Toby put me back in the wheelchair and rolled me back to my room. I wanted to talk to Rachel but I kept getting company. My sister and brother both came to see me.
The next day Rachel was her old self again but I still didn't have time for a long conversation with her. I had to go talk to the psychiatrist and find out about my memory. After that it was back with Toby and therapy.
I was really tired when I got back to my room. My parents stopped by and by then it was evening and Rachel was gone for the night. I fell asleep and was dreaming. It was odd, I could hear voices but I never saw any faces. I began to hear a woman sing. What a beautiful voice she had. She sang 'I Don't Know Why'.
"I don't know why I love you like I do.
I don't know why, I just do.
I don't know why you thrill me like you do.
I don't know why, you just do."
After that song, the voice sang, 'I Can't Stop Loving You'.
"I can't stop loving you. I made up my mind.
To live in memory of the lonesome time.
I can't stop loving you. It's useless to say.
So, I'll just live my life in dreams of yesterday."
When I woke up, it seemed so real. It was like someone in my room singing to me, but I was all alone.
When Rachel came in the next day, I told her I would like to have a long talk with her. Our schedules were pretty hectic but we set up a time a couple of days away. I noticed while Rachel worked around me she was always smiling and always humming.
Most of my time was spent in therapy. Toby and I were becoming best of friends. One day his girlfriend came to see him. He told me she wanted to see the miracle man, which was me. She was one fine looking babe. Her name was Rhonda and she was black also. Why they call it black is beyond me. She was a beautiful shade of light chocolate. I asked her for a hug and when she gave me one, I told her, "I could get used to this."
Toby laughed and said, "You may be my best friend but you mess with Rhonda, you'll be my dead best friend." We all laughed.
I smiled and kissed her on the cheek. "Maybe if I ever get out of this wheelchair, we can double date together."
"I'd like that," said Rhonda.
I hugged her one more time and she left. I asked Toby to tell me about this so-called love that Rachel had for me.
"I'll tell you what I know. Rachel told me that, when you were kids in grade school, you were in the same class. You were even classmates in junior high. Once you both were in high school, you didn't have a lot of the same classes. I guess she had a long time crush on you. One time she told me that she remembered when you started dating. She had always wished you might have asked her out but you never did. You were involved in sports and then started dating this Kelly woman."
"I went to a pretty big high school. After all, we do live in Detroit. Rachel is a pretty woman; I don't know why I don't remember her."
Toby laughed. "Rachel told me that she was kind of chunky, wore braces and glasses. You were one of the few guys growing up that always talked to her and never made fun of her. I guess that's when she developed a crush on you. She said when you were brought in here she could hardly recognize you. She felt sick when she found out it was you."
"Damn, I remember her now. She was kind of chunky and was just going through those stages. My sister went through pretty much the same stage. I remember my mom telling me to always treat women equal. Don't say anything you might regret later. I tried to live that way. I also remember Rachel could sing. When our school choir sang, she was always the soloist. Her voice, there's something about her voice. I think I dreamed about her voice," I said.
"Okay, Bro, I believe you. Rachel does have a nice voice. She is always singing around here, but dreaming about her singing? When were these dreams?"
"Toby, I think she sang to me when I was in a coma. I have no way to verify it except some of the songs she sang, I never heard before because they came out after the accident. I'm going to ask her about it later."
"Wow, man, that's pretty deep. I don't know if anyone is going to believe it. I will tell you I believe you," said Toby. "You don't seem to be the type of person who would lie about something like that."
In the next couple of days, I received a lot of visitors. Mom and Dad stopped by for a little bit just about everyday. They tried to bring me up to date on most of the relatives. I was sorry to hear that a couple of aunts had passed away. My brother came by and told me he and his wife were expecting their first child. I guess I was going to be an uncle. My sister came in with her husband. He asked me what my plans were for the future. He owned a hardware store and said I could have a job if needed. He couldn't pay me a lot but it would be a start for me.
I thanked him. I knew he was just trying to help me out. I told him I was going to go to school and finish my degree in computer programming. I would then take some more refresher courses to help bring me up to date on all the computer changes. Besides, I wasn't walking yet and might be able to use a cane or walker pretty soon. A hardware store would be a little hard for me till I was able to walk better.
After my family left, a mad Rachel came in. "What is it, Rach? Do we have another problem?" I asked.
Behind her came in Kelly. I looked at Rachel and smiled. She thought I was smiling because Kelly was here but I was really smiling because of her jealousy.
"Hi, Kelly. What brings you here today?"
"I wanted to see you. I still have strong feelings for you and can't seem to let them go," she answered. She leaned over and kissed me before I could react.
"Kelly, you're a married woman with a child. I loved you, you know that. It's like we've only been apart for a couple of weeks. You belong to someone else now, not me. I can't go on pretending that everything is okay, because it's not. There is nothing I would like more than to make love to you again, but it's not going to happen as long as you are a married woman."
"Can't we be good friends? Maybe you can find a date and we can go out together. I want you in my life; I want to be in yours. Can't you understand that? I love you, I miss you, I wish we could have what we once had, but I know we can't," she replied.
"Kelly, I need to think and I can't do it while looking at you. Please leave so I can think about what you've said. I promise I will think about everything." With that said, Kelly kissed me again and handed me this TV series, 'The Dead Zone'.
"Please watch this. They were able to work it out," and then she left the room.
I looked up and there stood Rachel. She was just staring at me.
"Rachel, I need to talk to you right now. It's not about the personal talk I want to have with you. It's about what happened all the years I was in a coma. I need the honest truth and you are the only one I trust to tell it to me. Will you do that for me?"
"Jeff, I know what you want, I'm not a fool. You want to know what different people said while you were in a coma. I don't know if I can do it. Some of it wasn't very pretty. In case you don't know it, I have some feeling for you and the last thing I want to do is hurt you. Don't you understand?"
"I talked to Toby about you..."
"Oh, my God, he didn't tell you everything, did he, Jeff?"
"Calm down, Rachel. I don't know if he told me everything or not. We'll talk about it later. Right now I need to know what everyone said while I was out. Please help me," I asked.
"Oh, God, I'll try to tell you everything. Okay, your Mother and Father cried when they saw you. They visited almost everyday for about two months. Then it was every other day and than maybe once a week. You could hardly blame them. They would just stare at you lying there. It was hard on them, really hard. Your mom would try to read to you until she would start crying. After the first year they just came about once a month. They always cried when they left."
I was crying now myself, knowing what my parents went through.
"Your brother and sister came every day the first week. After that they came about once a month. Usually one of them would bring your mom."
"Rachel, how often did Kelly come? It's real important that I know the truth."
Rachel had tears in her eyes. "Kelly came about three weeks after the accident. She was in the hospital herself for over a week. She came in and saw you and sat down and cried. She told you that she had lost the baby and it looked like she was losing you. She said you would always have a place in her heart and then she got up and left."
"Did she ever come back again?" I asked Rachel.
"Yes, about a year later she came back to say goodbye to you. She said she found another love but still wanted to say goodbye. She kissed you lightly on the lips and left. She never returned till last week when you were awake."
"Thank you, Rachel. You are a real friend. I have a couple of personal questions for you. Do you know the song, 'You Don't Know Me'?"
"Yes, I love that song," she replied.
"How about, "I Can't Stop Loving You'? Do you know it?" I asked.
"Yes, another of my favorites," she replied.
"Okay, Rachel, this is extremely important. When did you last sing them?"
Rachel had tears coming down her cheek. "Please, Rachel, I need to know."
"I sang them to you almost everyday while you were in a coma," she cried.
I handed her a list of all the songs I remembered hearing. I asked her again about her singing to me. "Did you sing any of these around me while I was comatose?" I asked.
She glanced through the list I had written. "All of them," she replied. I sang them all to you," she smiled at me.
I asked to see the psychiatrist. I went in the next morning and told him about Rachel's voice. I mentioned to him everything that Rachel had told me. I remember my mom crying and Kelly saying goodbye, but most of all I remembered being sung to. I could never place the voice so I didn't think it was real.
The doctor told me it was a miracle if I heard anything. I told him I thought I dreamed it but it just sounded so soothing.
A couple of more weeks went by and everyday was somewhat the same. I was slowly falling for my nurse. I didn't know if it was because of what she did for me or if it was a genuine feeling I had toward her.
Before long, Toby had me walking on crutches. When Rachel saw me she smiled. Then I told her the good but bad news. I would be leaving the hospital. She didn't give me a chance to tell her anything else as she ran crying out of the room.
When she came back in, she told me she was sorry for the outburst. It wasn't professional of her and that she should have been glad that I was feeling good enough to leave the hospital.
"Rachel, I'll never forget you. I believe it was you and only you who saved my life. You took care of me and sang to me daily. You were the only one that thought I was going to make it. You fought to make sure I kept the feeding tubes. Why did you try so hard for me, Rachel?" I asked.
"Jeff, you know why. I'm not going to give you the ego trip and tell you why," she said.
"I'm leaving tomorrow. Will you come and see me or can I come and see you?" I asked.
She took out one of her nurses cards and wrote down her address and phone number on the back.
"One more thing, Rachel; will you kiss me, I mean really kiss me?"
After smiling at me, she did kiss me and it felt so good; soft with just the right amount of pressure. We both opened our mouths and breathed ever so lightly.
After we separated she looked at me and smiled. "I've wanted to do that since I was six years old," she said. "There's plenty more where that came from if you're interested."
She left the room and Toby came in. "Why was Rachel smiling? What did you say to her?" he asked.
I just smiled and told Toby I thought I was getting my life figured out. Then we went back to the therapy. Damn, the therapy was hard.
I rented a small wheelchair-accessible trailer. If I tried really hard, I could use a walker and I was able to use crutches.
My life was really busy. I tried to do my physical therapy every day. Three times a week I'd go to the hospital and do the really rough therapy with Toby. In the evening, I started taking refresher courses in computers. I know that one reason I tried to keep busy was so I didn't have to think about my female situation. I was trying to forget about Kelly which was almost impossible. I kept thinking about Rachel and was wondering if I cared for her for the right reasons.
My dad stopped by one day to see how I was doing. I decided to talk with him about my situation with the women. I was always able to talk to him.
"Dad, I have a problem. I keep thinking about Kelly and Rachel - you know, the nurse who took care of me. Everything is all mixed up in my head. Kelly wants to stay friends but I don't know if I can do that, Dad."
"Son, it's easier for Kelly than it is for you. In her mind, you have been away for over four years. She's probably remembering all the good times you had together and doesn't want it to end. For you it's a lot different. As far as your brain thinks, she was never gone."
"Dad, how do I deal with it? Even though I care deeply for her, she is married and has a child by another man."
"It's not going to be easy. You are going to have to make a decision whether you want to break up her marriage and family and try to start over. I don't think you want to do that. She made her decision when she chose to go on with her life while you were in a coma. I don't blame her, by any means. None of us believed you were going to make it except that nurse. For some reason she always said she had the belief that you would recover. She was right against all odds."
"Dad, that's my other problem. I think I love Rachel but I don't know if it's because she cared for me and stood by me, or if my feelings are genuine for her. Do you know what I mean dad?"
"Her feelings for you are from caring for you, that's a form of love in itself. Why don't you ask her out and see where it leads. Find out if your feelings for her are just because she took care of you. See how you two get along away from the nurse-patient relationship."
"Dad, I have another question. It's about money. Who's paying for all this medical stuff I've been having? Four years in a coma has to cost some big bucks. Surely you and mom don't have that kind of money and I know I certainly don't."
"After the accident, our insurance paid for the early medical bills. During that time, Kelly sued the trucker's insurance company. It was determined that the truck had gone left of center when it hit Kelly's car. Kelly ended up with a few hundred thousand dollars for the loss of the child and her auto expense. I don't know the exact amount."
"What about my expenses, Dad?"
"When the insurance company came to us about your suit, which we had in your name, we decided to have them pay all medical expenses that you incurred. Since you didn't look like you would survive, they agreed to it. We didn't want to receive money due to your death, but we did want your medical expenses taken care of. It has cost them a bundle of money since you lived and were in a coma. They came to us last year and said they would file a suit against us if we didn't pull the plug on your support systems. We couldn't afford the lawsuit so we agreed to pull it at four years. That's when Rachel argued to keep your feeding tubes in. We agreed with her and the insurance company let the food support stay."
"See what I mean, Dad. I owe her. I owe her big time."
"The insurance company will only pay for about another six months of therapy. So, I better leave so you can get back to the exercise."
"Thanks, Dad, thanks for being there for me. I love you."
"I love you too, Jeff," replied Dad.
As I mentioned earlier, I was going to school at night to finish my Bachelor of Science degree in computer programming. I was able to repair personal computers at my home to pick up enough money to survive. There was plenty of work to keep me busy. I made sure I only took jobs that I was sure I could repair. There sure had been a lot of changes in the programming in the last four plus years, but the basics were the same.
The following week, I went to physical therapy and talked with Toby. We finally got me on crutches. My legs worked but it was like a child learning to walk all over again. I had to keep building up those legs muscles. I asked Toby about Rachel and he said she kept asking about me. She was a little hurt that I hadn't seen her. I told him I was going over to see her today. So after therapy, I went over to the other building where Rachel was. It was a long walk so I used a wheelchair.
As I went to her floor, I saw her talking and smiling at a young doctor. He kept putting his hand on her arm and I found out that I didn't like it. They were both smiling at each other when she turned and saw me. I thought I heard her tell the doctor that she would see him later as she came quickly toward me. She was smiling as she bent over to give me a hug.
"God, I missed you. How are you? What are you up to? How come you haven't called me?" she said.
"Slow down, Rach. I missed you too. I'm going to school, doing physical therapy and trying to make a few bucks repairing computers in whatever time I have left over."
"I'm just so glad to see you," replied Rachel.
"Who were you talking with? Is he a doctor? He sure acted friendly toward you."
"He's just a good friend," she said. "Why, are you jealous that he was talking to me?" She smiled.
"No, I'm not jealous. It's your life and you can do what you want. Is he married?" I asked.
"No, he's single and, yes, I've been out with him. Now, let's talk about you and me. What made you come here today?" she asked.
"I wanted to know if you wanted to go out to dinner with a guy in a wheelchair. If we wait a week I might have the crutches mastered." I smiled.
"I want the guy in the wheelchair. I'm free Friday night. How does that work for you?"
"Friday's fine. I'm able to drive my dad's van. He loaned it to me for as long as I need it. I have therapy Friday so I'll meet you here after work and take you home if you like."
"No, this is my first date with you. It's special. I'll give you my address and you can come by around seven and pick me up." She laughed.
"Seven it is. I'm looking forward for us to finally having our little talk," I said.
She leaned over and kissed me lightly and said she had work to do and would see me Friday.
I was busy the rest of the week. On Wednesday after I got out of school, I was repairing a computer when there was a knock at my door. I yelled, "Come in," since I didn't want to have to grab the crutches and answer it. A police officer came in and asked if I was Jeff.
"Yes, I'm Jeff. What can I do for you, officer?" I asked.
"I'd like to talk to you. My name is Dave Rogers and I'm also Kelly's husband. I think we need to talk. Kelly's been a mess every since you came out of the coma. We have a son, Davy, and have been a happy family. Of course I love Kelly and my son. I'm willing to fight for them if necessary. I was hoping that we could talk man to man and save a lot of embarrassment."
"Dave, as you know, I've been in a coma for over four years. Everything to me seems like just yesterday. You should know that I love Kelly, but I'm going to do my best to go my separate way. Kelly stopped by and told me she loved you. I know she's mixed up right now but when she gives it more thought she will know this was the best thing for both of us. All I ask is that you stay by her side and love her. This situation is no one's fault. It just happened," I replied.
"You know, I was hoping you would have just died. It would have been the easiest way for me. Kelly wants us all to be friends. Right now I don't think I could do that. Maybe somewhere up the road, maybe, but not right now," said Dave.
"I'll try, Dave; I do think you're right about not being close right now. It would be hard on me too."
I went over and got the 'Dead Zone' tapes and told Dave to give them back to Kelly. I told him to tell Kelly that we are real people, not a fantasy. We had some good memories together and that I'll always remember the good times. Dave and I shook hands and he left.
He wasn't a bad sort. Kelly could have done a hell of a lot worse. I could tell after talking to him that he loved Kelly and his son. My coming out of a coma affected everyone. Here was this police officer doing his job and, 'Boom' now he has me to worry about. I wondered how I would have dealt with it if our roles were reversed.
After Dave left I actually sat down and felt a bit sad. I knew I did the right thing but it still hurt. As Mom said, "Life goes on" and now I would have to go on without Kelly. I decided to put my efforts into a relationship with Rachel; I really cared for her.
I went to physical therapy on Friday and told Toby about my talk with Dave. He pretty much agreed with me that I did the right thing. I then told him about my date with Rachel for that night. He wished me luck and told me what a great person Rachel was.
I drove by at seven on the button. I was starting to get out of the van when a beautiful Rachel came down the steps. I guess she figured it was a job to get out of the van and came to my rescue.
"You look beautiful," I said to her.
She smiled as we headed out to a nice place for dinner where we could have a good meal and quiet conversation. After we ordered, I asked her how it'd been since she didn't have me to sing to.
"Jeff, I miss you. Believe it or not, I used to look forward to coming in and telling you about my dates and how things went every day. It was like you were my best friend and I could tell you everything."
"Dates? You go on dates. I never thought of you as dating other people," I remarked.