"Your father has had an accident!" Mom said as she threw her coat on after hanging up the phone in the kitchen.
"What?" I shrieked as I jumped up from the sofa scattering all my homework across the floor.
I rushed to grab a jacket as Mom told me that we were heading to the hospital. The nurse that called didn't give us any information so we didn't know what to expect until we got there. I had to calm Mom down as she almost ran a stoplight which would have gotten us into a collision with the big Hummer that had some obnoxious driver with a small dick talking on a cell phone who was in far too much of a hurry to bother letting us go through the intersection.
Once at the hospital we found Daddy. He was in a room and was asleep. His head was bandaged. The nurse called the doctor who explained to us that he had been hit by a car which had caused him sever head trauma. Mom and I broke down in tears as the doctor said it was too soon to tell how Daddy would recover. He was stable, but in a coma right now.
I was Daddy's princess. Mom and he married young but it was sometime before they had me. That gave them a chance to grow up and mature. They were best friends when I came along and having me became a joy to them. There was no pressure or guilt or bad feelings between the two of them, they were always at ease and comfortable with each other.
Unlike most princess', Daddy never spoiled me. I was never able to wrap him around my finger like you read in all those stories. Putting did nothing to him. My temper tantrums were met with laughter. Daddy was strong in personality. He was a man. He was boss in our family, our rock. Mom and I looked up to him, and looked to him for out strength and stability. All decisions went through him. It wasn't like he was an ogre who lorded over us, he just was ... better than we were. He was smarter, more rational, stronger and more confidant than anyone else I knew. Mom and I were always trying to do things that we thought he would approve of. He never hit either one of us, but just his look of disappointment when we had done something wrong was enough to cause heartache. This was a man that Mom and I always wanted to please. This was a man that had everything and now, through teary eyes, I saw my Daddy, my ideal man, broken and battered, humbled and smaller, in that hospital bed and I cried with pain and I cried with fear.
What would happen to us if he dies? How will we go on? It would break Mom's heart. It would break mine! He was larger than life and his two most devoted fans stood vigil over his bed all night long hoping for a sign that things would be better. That we would awaken and this would all be just a bad memory to put behind.
The next day flowers and cards began to come into the room. They were from the neighbors, from work and from our friends. He was loved and respected by many.
Daddy stayed that way for a week. We had finally taken shifts to stay with him. I stayed during the day as I was able to withdraw from college and spend the time in his room watching him, while Mom had to go back to work.
One day while I was adjusting his pillow, his eyes fluttered open startling me which in turn startled him. "Nurse!" I shouted and the nurses ran into the room and before I knew it they had the doctor down examining him. I wasn't able to say a word to him. I ran outside and pulled out my cell phone to call Mom. I got voicemail so that meant that she must be in a meeting; that was the only time she didn't answer her phone. I quickly left a message and told her that Daddy was awake. Then I rushed back into the hospital to see him.
The doctor grabbed me before I could enter. "I want to see him!" I exclaimed.
"In a moment," he said. "I need to tell you about him first."
He took me to an area where we sat down.
"Ms. Gibson, your father has suffered some brain trauma as you know."
I nodded. He continued.
"It seems that he has suffered some amnesia. He doesn't know who he is and probably will not recognize you or your mother."
"What? I don't understand," I said.
"He is very disoriented right now and most cases like this the amnesia is temporary. It might go away in a few hours, a few days or even weeks. It might be wise to wait until your mother gets here before you go and see him."
"Why do you say that?" I asked.
The doctor sighed. "This can be hard on all of you including the victim. Right now his mind and memories are jumbled. It's important that the people that are the most important to him are introduced to him first. It is like baby birds. When they hatch the first thing they see gets imprinted in their memories. They inherently trust that person or thing the most."
"Your father's brain cannot cope with a lot of information right now. He is confused and scared. By introducing a line of people throughout different times would confuse him and might make things more difficult for him to sort his memories."
"I've left a message with Mom, who's at work. Once she gets that she will be here. I guess I can wait until then. Will he be okay?" I asked the doctor. My eyes started to tear again. Daddy wouldn't know me. He wouldn't know Mom.
"He has other injuries which will make him housebound for a while, but as far as his stability, he should be able to go home with you and your mother this evening after we do some more tests."
I thanked the doctor and was told to wait in the waiting room while they continued to run tests on him. I was anxious for Mom to get here. We both needed to see Daddy.
From all the excitement, I must have fallen asleep as when I woke up it was dark out. I wiped a line of drool from my chin, not the most glamorous of moves, but hey I was in a hospital, and I checked my cell phone for the time. It was eight-thirty in the evening. Where was Mom? There were no voicemails from her. I tried calling again, but it went to voicemail again. I was getting worried. She always returned my messages no more than two hours later.
When I checked in with the nurse, she said that Daddy was ready to be discharged. I was a little confused at first and then realized that they were going to let me take him home.
"I haven't seen him yet," I mumbled as I was a little worried about what the doctor had told me about imprinting.
This nurse was one of the night nurses and didn't seem to think that there was an issue with me seeing him. She seemed keen to get him out of the bed and free up the room. With some trepidation I walked into Daddy's room and went to see him.
Daddy looked up and our eyes met. It was so good to see him again. Before I could say anything he smiled.
"Well, to what do I owe this honor? Such a beautiful woman as you coming to see me! What's your name sweetheart?"
I stammered for a moment taken aback by his words.
"J ... Jessica..." I said.
"You don't happen to know my name now do you?" He asked.
"Your name is Frank," I said as I went over and hugged him. Tears were flowing down my eyes. He was in a wheelchair and seemed ready to leave.
"Frank ... I think I like it Jessica." He gave me a tentative kiss on my lips. It was a searching kiss, he was testing the boundaries of our relationship. It took me a moment to realize what he was doing, but by then I had returned his kiss back.
"You seem so familiar to me," he hugged me with his one good arm. He felt weak, fragile and my heart ached for this man who was a mere mortal now.
"I love you, I know that," he said.
"I love you too," I said automatically.
He smiled and we stayed in our embrace for a few more moments.
"I'm going to take you home now," I told him as I stood up and started wheeling him out of the room.
"Our home?" he asked me.
"Yes," I said. I started to realize that I had not told him that I was his daughter. It was kind of thrilling!
I signed him out and took him home. When we got there, there was still no sign or message from Mom. I was getting worried about that. I helped Daddy into the house and set him down on the couch. He needed to sit up for a while as he was sick of beds and laying down. I gave him his pain meds and he started to float off into semi consciousness. I watched him for a few minutes then went and checked the answering machine. There was a message waiting.
It was from the emergency room at the hospital I just came from. Mom had been involved in a car accident. How the hell can this be happening? Both my parents? I called the hospital and they filled me in on her condition. She had hurt her spine and they had immobilized her as a precaution. She was safe an in good condition but would be under observation for the next few days. That left me home with Daddy, taking care of him ... and playing house together. I smiled a little as I thought about the fact that Daddy still didn't know that I was his daughter. He had treated me like a girlfriend. I still remembered that kiss he gave me. It took me a few moments, but a small simple and later on I would call it a stupid plan hatched in my brain. I went to the living room where Daddy was now asleep and removed all pictures of Mom. I was thinking with my crotch, not my brain at that time.
I sat with Daddy and before I knew it I was asleep as well.
I awoke later to the feeling of his hand on my breast. I groaned as I realized what he was doing.
.... There is more of this story ...