I have always heard your life passes before your eyes just before you die.
I mean, I knew I must be dead but the only thing that had passed before my eyes as I died was the face of the only woman I had ever loved ... and I knew she was dead so that means I must be dead also.
I can tell you one thing for certain ... I never knew being dead could HURT so much.
Why does it hurt so much?
“I think he is coming out of it,” I heard a female voice say. “Mr. Wilson? Mr. Wilson? You are going to be okay.”
“Okay?” Is that what I heard, “Okay?” I would think if you are dead, it would either mean things are going to be wonderful (heaven), or things are going to be awful (hell), but not just “okay.”
And why would the angels ... or demons ... be calling me “Mr. Wilson?” Isn’t my name supposed to be written down in some book somewhere? Shouldn’t they know my first name?
I finally managed to open my eyes and, yes, it was like I had always heard.
A blinding light that made me wince. But I didn’t see a long, long tunnel, just a blinding light.
Then I realized the light was coming from a small flashlight and some son of a bitch was shining it in my eyes.
I think I groaned because my head felt like it was about to explode.
“Mr. Wilson, this is Dr. Jones and you are at St. Joseph’s Hospital with a pretty severe concussion,” I heard the female voice say.
No, most of the hospitals I’ve been to were fairly awful places, full of sick and dying patients.
If I were in heaven, someone could just say, “Heal!” and everything would be back to normal. Actually better than normal from what I had always heard.
And why would hell need a hospital? Aren’t you supposed to suffer for eternity in hell?
Then I thought about the second part of that comment. “Concussion?” If you are dead, how can you have a concussion?
I tried moving my arm. And think I gasped out loud from the pain.
“Don’t try to move, Mr. Wilson,” I heard the female voice (Dr. Jones? Funny name for an angel or a demon) say. “Nurse, can you inject (something, something which I didn’t understand) into his drip to help with the pain?
“Amazingly, you don’t appear to have any broken bones, but your entire body is just one huge bruise,” I heard her say. “That’s what happens when you are hit by a car.”
Slowly, the words were starting to make a little more sense and I knew I must be coming out of ... what? Being dead? I don’t think you can come out of being dead. Maybe I had been unconscious.
“By the way, the little girl you saved is going to be just fine,” the voice said. “She is also bruised some, but nothing like you are. I’ve seen different videos, taken by people with cell phones, and what you did was absolutely amazing. Risking your life to save a stranger.
“People are saying you are a hero ... and I agree with them.”
Then I began remembering.
I had been walking in downtown Savannah, near one of the many, many amazing parks in my favorite city, when I heard a scream.
Only a few feet in front of me was a young girl, just a toddler, standing in the middle of the road and a car was heading directly towards her.
The car had already slammed on its brakes but there was no way it could stop before mowing down that little girl. It was a narrow, one-way street where the only other way to proceed was to jump the curb where dozens of people would have been hit.
I was the closest person to her.
I jumped into the road, grabbed her by the shirt she was wearing and simply tossed her back towards the sidewalk just as the car slammed into me, flipping me over the hood, into the windshield and on over the top of the car, landing on the trunk and then ending up on the pavement.
I know it couldn’t have taken more than a couple of seconds, but as I was reliving the impact in my mind, it seemed to take, not just minutes, but hours and hours. I again FELT every single moment of it.
Luckily there wasn’t a car behind it.
I was lying flat on my back and hurting in places I didn’t even know I had places that could hurt when Jessie, the woman I had loved so many years before, ran over to me and asked if I was all right.
I remember thinking how odd it was she didn’t use my name, just asked, “Mister, are you all right?”
I remember looking up at her ... God, she was so beautiful. Somehow, even more beautiful now than she had been back then.
But ... but ... then I remembered reading in the local paper that “former Savannah resident Jessica Beck, now living in Houston, Tx.,” had died a year or two ago from cancer.
THAT was when I knew I was also dead ... and didn’t care since apparently now Jessie and I could be together.
My last conscious thought was reaching up with my hand and touching her face and smiling and softly saying, “Jessie?”
Dr. Jones brought me back to the present when she asked, “Before I go on, do you have any questions for me, Mr. Wilson?”
I asked the two obvious questions: “How long have I been here, and how long will I be here?”
“You’ve been here three days,” the doctor said. I interrupted her before she could say anything else.
“Three days?” I asked, “I’ve been here three days?”
“Yes, sir,” she answered. “Just after they brought you into the emergency room you started having convulsions. That is generally a sign of swelling of the brain so they actually induced a medical coma and drilled a small hole in your head to relieve the pressure.”
“Well, at least that is a pretty good sign I have a brain,” I replied. “Some people have expressed doubts about that in the past.”
The doctor didn’t say anything but she did smile before continuing.
“Swelling of the brain can also cause numerous other problems, including strokes, so we wanted to keep you in the coma until the swelling had subsided.”
“Stroke?” I answered, and now I think she could hear some concern, perhaps even fear in my voice.
“Am I ... I mean will I ... look, Doc, am I ... normal?” I managed to finally get the words out.
“As far as we can tell, there is apparently no neurological damage,” she said, “but we need to run some tests before we can say for sure. I know you just woke up and are in a lot of pain, but do you feel up to our doing some tests now?
“I mean, the sooner we know for certain, the sooner we can take steps to help any problems you might have.”
I told her that would be fine and for the next 30 or 40 minutes it was “raise your right arm, raise your left arm, move your fingers, move just your thumb,” etc., etc.
After moving and bending each arm and each individual finger, she shifted to my legs where I tried to do the same thing.
She also never stopped asking me questions, such as “what city are we in, who is the governor, who is the president,” etc., etc., and many many more et ceteras.
I never knew how hard it is just to move one toe, without moving the other toes. I mean try it sometime if you don’t believe me. It is fairly easy just to move your big toes, but try moving just your little toe alone.
Finally ... finally, Dr. Jones told me that all my responses were within acceptable norms. Not exactly a glowing statement but I still felt much better.
One of my biggest fears had always been having something happen leaving me paralyzed or unable to take care of myself.
“We still need to take a CAT scan and an MRI, but I am confident they will just confirm what I already know ... you will ... you ARE going to be fine,” she added. “We will need to consult with a neurological specialist to make certain, but I already know he will agree with my diagnosis.”
THAT did make me feel much better.
So much so, that I couldn’t resist asking the doctor if she was a general practitioner, or a specialist?
“General practitioner,” she answered, “Why?”
“Well, I’ve always heard that a general practitioner treats what they think you have,” I began, “while a specialist thinks you have what he treats.”
“On second thought,” the doctor replied, straight faced, “perhaps we really ought to do a full mental evaluation.” Then she smiled.
“By the way, Doc,” I added, “have you read a lot about King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, you know, Sir Gawain, Sir Lancelot, and Sir Galahad?”
“About as much as most people, I suppose,” she answered and could tell she was a little surprised by the question, “Why?”
“Did you know there were a lot of other, lesser known knights as well? For instance, the Knight who cut people open and sewed them shut ... Sir Jon. Get it, Sir Jon or surgeon?”
This time Dr. Jones rolled her eyes and picked up my chart and pretended to write: “Immediate consult with psychiatrist!”
“Now,” she added, “I think you need to get some sleep. That is still one of the BEST prescriptions for anything that ails you ... sleep.”
I saw the nurse start to inject something into the IV.
“Wait, Doc,” I said even though I was already feeling woozy. “You never did answer how long I would have to be here.”
“Probably another three or four days,” I think she answered, before I drifted into la-la land.
When I woke up again, I was alone in my room. And starving! I mean, REALLY starving.
I waited a few minutes but finally pressed the button on the little device lying beside my pillow. I remembered the nurse had told me, before I went to sleep, if I needed anything after I woke up to press the button and someone will be there.
It was probably less than a minute before the door to my hospital room opened and the same nurse came in, followed less than a minute later by the same doctor.
“Hey, Doc,” I said, “It was Dr. Jones, wasn’t it?”
She smiled and said that was another good sign I was not experiencing any serious issues since I remembered her name from yesterday.
“Yesterday? Yesterday?” I queried, “I’ve been out for another whole day?”
“Well, about 18 hours,” she answered. “It is really an encouraging sign you remember my name.”
“I once heard a joke about amnesia,” I told her, “but I can’t remember how it goes.”
The doctor turned to the nurse and told her, “We really need to have a full mental evaluation, perhaps even have a psychiatrist come in and talk to this patient!”
All three of us smiled.
“There was another rather obscure Knight of the Round Table most people haven’t heard of,” I said, “this Knight was always afraid to fight. His name was Sir Render.”
“Doctor, can we put him back into a coma?” asked the nurse.
I ignored her.
“When can I eat, Doc,” I asked, “I am STARVING!”
“What would you like to have?” she asked.
“Well, since you are asking, how about some fried chicken with mashed potatoes and gravy, along with green beans and biscuits from ‘The Lady and Sons’ restaurant,” I answered.
“Knowing Paula Deen like I do,” Dr. Jones said, “if I tell her the ‘Hero of Savannah’ asked for some of her food as soon as he regained consciousness, she would probably bring it over herself...”
“‘Hero of Savannah?’” I interrupted. “I’m not a hero.”
“That is where you are wrong,” the doc said, “What you did has brought this city together like nothing I have seen in the nearly 40 years I have been practicing medicine here.
“The fact that a white guy would risk his life, risk almost certain death, for a black child,” she shook her head and smiled, “like I said, everybody wants to meet you, talk to you and have their picture taken with you.
“The local news media calls about a dozen times a day, asking about you and if you are conscious, and nearly every local politician wants to have their picture taken with you.
“So you ARE a hero, Mr. Wilson,” she said, firmly, “and you better get used to it.”
“Please, call me Matt,” I said, “and does the ‘hero’ status mean I can have fried chicken with all the trimmings from ‘The Lady and Sons?’” I asked. I mean we ALL have our priorities, right?
“No!” Dr. Jones answered, “At least not yet. Let’s start with something a little easier to digest, like mashed potatoes, no gravy and no butter, followed by Jell-O.”
“You’re killing me, Smalls!” I told her, referring to one of the better known lines from the movie, “Sandlot.”
When the nurse left, apparently to get some food, Dr. Jones and I continued to talk about my medical prognosis, and kept telling me about how the citizens of her fair city were clamoring to meet me.
She pointed over at a whole table of flowers in my room.
“Those are just some of the flowers that have come in for you in the past few days. You have flowers from the Mayor of Savannah, separate flowers from the City Council, flowers from the County Commissioners, flowers from the local chapter of the NAACP, flowers from one of the churches, plus ... others.”
When she hesitated before saying “others” she also smiled rather strangely, but I didn’t think anything about it ... at least not until the next day.
I was somewhat amazed how quickly the nurse came back with my food. And had even managed to add some chocolate pudding to the plate.
“Did you know you have your very own personal fan club that has been waiting for four days to talk to you,” Dr. Jones asked at one point while I was trying to eat.
I wasn’t near as sore as I had been the day before, when I first woke up, but my arms still hurt and my hand trembled as I was trying to eat.
“What personal fan club?” I asked.
“Two young ladies,” she answered. “In fact they arrived at the hospital just minutes after the ambulance brought you here. It was their video, on a cell phone, that demonstrated exactly what happened and what you did.
“Both girls said you were one of their former teachers,” she continued. “Are you still a teacher?”
“No, I taught for a couple of years, then went into school administration for another year before going into business for myself,” I said.
“Well, both girls have been here every single day, waiting to see you,” she continued, “in fact, both are downstairs right now, asking when they can come up.
“I think one of the girls just wants to know when she can get her panties back,” she added, then both she and the nurse broke out laughing.
“Get her ... get her WHAT back?” I asked, incredulously.
“Tell me, Mr. Wilson, umm, Matt, do all young ladies usually drop their panties around you, just minutes after meeting you?” Dr. Jones asked and she and the nurse were laughing so hard I was afraid they could hurt themselves.
“I do think it is possible that ONE of us might need a full mental evaluation,” I somewhat indignantly told her, “but I don’t think that person is ME! What on earth are you talking about, Doc?”
I could also feel my face blushing.
“Apparently, after the accident, you were lying on the ground but everyone was huddled around the young girl,” she began. “These two young ladies ran over to you and you almost immediately lost consciousness. You were bleeding rather profusely from a gash on the side of your head.
“They started yelling for help for you, and asked if anyone had a towel or anything to try to stop the blood. Most people ignored them, but a couple said ‘no’ and then one of the ladies, who was wearing a rather long dress, reached up and pulled her panties off, wadded them up and pressed them against your head.
“Luckily she was wearing cotton panties. She kept them pressed against your head and it had nearly stopped bleeding when the EMTs arrived.
“The EMTs, not realizing what the cloth was on the side of your head, just put a larger bandage over that one and tied it in place. Also they were afraid to remove whatever it was, since it might have started the blood flowing again.
“It wasn’t until you arrived at the hospital, when the emergency room people started to remove the bandages, that anyone realized it was actually a pair of women’s panties. Rather skimpy panties, at that.
“You ... you were definitely the talk of a lot of people that night, Mr. Wilson, for more than one reason.
“A couple of younger nurses and one of our interns even said they wouldn’t mind giving you their panties after you recovered.”
I could feel my face turn even redder.
“So, let me ask you again, Mr. Wilson, do all young ladies drop their panties when they are around you?” the doctor asked.
I just glared at her for a minute.
“NO! Dr. Jones, they do NOT,” I answered with as much dignity as I could while feeling my face turn redder still.
“Are you sure you are not just making this up as one of your neurological tests, to see how a patient responds?” I asked.
“I assure you, Mr. Wilson, I am not making it up,” she answered, “although that might be an interesting experiment to try, to see if patients, after experiencing pretty serious head trauma can turn as red as you are right now.
“We could even name the medical procedure after you. I can see it now ... the Wilson/Panty, How Many Shades of Red Can His/Her Face Turn, Embarrassment Test.
“I do assure you, however, both girls are waiting downstairs to see you.”
Then she smiled even more, before adding, “I’m not sure if either, or both, are wearing panties or not.
“In fact, if either I, or Nurse Kincaid here, were about 30 or even 25 years younger ... we might be willing to give you our panties as well,” she mused.
Dr. Jones and Nurse Kincaid were both, I am guessing, in their late 50s or early 60s.
I realized it was about time for a change of topic so I again asked when I could leave.
“Oh, you must really be anxious to meet all these panty-dropping young women,” Dr. Jones remarked, with a smirk.
I just glared at her. I mean, what else could I do?
About that time there was a knock on the door and a young black couple was standing there.
“This is Mr. and Mrs. Kingsbury,” Dr. Jones said, “and they are the parents of the little girl you saved.”
They both came in, and Mrs. Kingsbury immediately started crying while trying to thank me for saving her daughter’s life.
“I swear, we just turned our back for a second – just one second – and somehow she darted out into the road,” the mother explained. “If it hadn’t been for you ... you saved our daughter’s life.” She then broke down completely and hugged my neck.
That actually hurt. A lot. I mean I was still sore as hell, but I tried not to let it show when she squeezed my neck.
Mr. Kingsbury shook my hand and he also had some tears in his eyes as well.
“How is ... what is your daughter’s name?” I asked, and was told Keisha.
They said Keisha had a few bruises, but had only spent one night at the hospital before being discharged.
“By the way,” Mrs. Kingsbury added, when the conversation had nearly played out, “I heard what happened in the emergency room.
“And just wanted you to know, I know several young ladies of color who have offered to give you their panties as well. But be warned, once you try black, you never go back!”
I could feel my face turn bright red, AGAIN, and everybody, the doctor, the nurse and Mr. and Mrs. Kingsbury, all broke into laughter.
“Does the whole city know ... know about the panties?” I asked.
They all nodded their heads yes.
All I could do was shake my head.
“I’m never going to live this down, am I?” I muttered, provoking another round of laughter.
Just before they left, Mrs. Kingsbury walked over to me and had a few other things to say as well.
“Are you familiar with St. Phillip’s AME Church?” she asked.
I told her I was originally from the North Georgia Mountains, around Helen, but the first time I came to Savannah, during Spring Break while in college, I fell in love with the city.
“So much so, I started applying for teaching jobs here during my senior year,” I explained. “Once I had been hired, I started reading everything I could find about the city. In fact, I probably know more about Savannah than most people who were born here and have lived here all their lives.
“I know St. Phillip’s is the oldest predominately black church in the state of Georgia, and know its history in regards to civil rights and its importance to the local black community. And not JUST to the black community, but to Savannah itself.
“So, yeah, I am very familiar with St. Phillips,” I ended.
“Mr. Wilson (she refused to call me Matt), I just want you to know my father is the senior pastor at St. Phillips,” Mrs. Kingsbury said. “That means that little girl you saved... (and here her voice broke as tears filled her eyes) ... that little girl is the youngest granddaughter of the senior pastor.
“Anything ... ANYTHING ... I personally, or the church itself can do for you ... all you have to do is ask and you can consider it done.
“Once you get out of the hospital I know it will take you a while to get back on your feet but if you need someone to drive you somewhere or anywhere, or you need someone to cook your meals or clean your house, call me and it will be done.
“Or... (and she smiled) if you just need the names and phone numbers of those young women of color I mentioned, give me a call.”
Before she left, she wrote down her phone number and the phone number of the church and gave it to me.
After the Kingsburys left Dr. Jones offered to go get my personal fan club and bring them up, if I felt like receiving visitors.
I have to admit I was intrigued. I had only taught school for two and a half years. The first year I helped teach first grade, then fifth grade my second year and my half year, before moving into an administrative position with the school board, I taught eighth grade.
I finally agreed to meet the two young ladies, but Dr. Jones HAD to add something else as well.
“I will leave it up to you to find out which one, if either one, is wearing panties,” she said, with another smirk.
About 10 minutes later I heard another knock on the door and as I looked to see who it was ... I could feel the blood drain completely from my face.
It wasn’t possible!
Jessie, the only woman I had ever loved and one who had died nearly two years before, was standing there ... even more beautiful than I remembered.
I think I managed to gasp out a strangled “JESSIE!” and apparently the shock was too much for my already weakened system because the next thing I remember was some time later as someone was tenderly wiping my face with a wet cloth and softly whispering my name.
Yes ... I passed out.
My BFF, Jennifer, and I were walking down Whitaker Street, on our way to Forsyth Park.
We had just passed the Mercer-Williams House (perhaps best known now for its connection to the book and movie, “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil”) and I was taking some video with my cell phone when I heard a scream and screeching tires.
I turned around and didn’t even think about the fact I still had my cell phone in my hand and it was still taking videos. I saw this guy jump in front of a car and grab a little girl (I would guess she was about three) and toss her back to the sidewalk before the car hit him.
I didn’t realize it until later, when I watched the video, but he had actually jumped a little into the air while tossing the girl away and so he rolled over the car, shattering the windshield and bouncing into the air, rolling over the top and hitting the trunk then crashing onto the pavement.
Jennifer and I both screamed, then started running over to the scene of the accident.
Almost everyone was gathering around the little girl but I grabbed Jennifer’s hand and we ran over to the poor guy who had been hit.
He was bleeding a lot from the head and I just knew he was about to die!
I started screaming for help but nobody was coming over and I asked him (his eyes were open but I don’t really think he saw me) “Mister, are you all right?”
Then the guy looked up at me and focused and his eyes opened as big as saucers, he reached up with one hand and lightly brushed my face and said, “Jessie?” and then apparently fell unconscious.
“What The Hell!” was my only thought at first. I mean Jessica was my Mom and had been dead for two years. Yes, people tell me I look exactly like her, but who the hell was this guy?
I again screamed for help and also asked if anyone had a towel or anything I could use for a bandage.
No one was paying any attention to us, so without even thinking I threw my phone at Jennifer, reached under my dress and pulled my panties off. I wadded them up and pressed them against the guy’s head.
I knew I had to keep the panties pressed against his head to try to stanch the flow of blood. In just a few minutes, my white panties were completely red with blood but I think I could tell the pressure was working as the worst of the bleeding had stopped.
And the entire time I was just looking at this guy, trying to figure out who the HELL he was, and how he knew my Mom.
Then I began remembering.
Only one person had ever called my Mom ‘Jessie’ instead of Jessica.
Slowly, it finally registered. I mean I hadn’t seen him in 10 years.
Yes, the hair was a little grayer but not TOO gray.
If anything I think he was in better shape now than he was back then. His arms were heavily muscled and when I put my hand on his chest I could also feel the muscles underneath his shirt.
Mr. Wilson??? Could it be?
My first grade teacher ... and although I didn’t know it at the time ... my Mom’s former lover?
One of the last conversations I had with my Mom before she died of cancer, was when she told me the biggest regret of her life was breaking it off with Matt Wilson.
I knew he was always over at our house but didn’t really realize exactly what that meant, back then.
He would often bring me a little gift or something, usually a horse since I was absolutely horse crazy and I always looked forward to his coming over.
And while sometimes my Mom would have men come over, only one had ever gotten down on the floor and played with me.
Only one had ever treated me like a person, and not someone’s kid they wished they could get rid of.
And since my bedtime was usually about eight pm, back then, I didn’t realize he often spent the night, then would get up before I woke up in the morning and leave.
Then one day Mom told me she had taken a new position with her company, running the Houston office, and we would be moving to Texas.
And that I could FINALLY have a REAL horse, not just a play horse of some kind.
As excited as I was with the thought of having a real horse, I still remember asking Mom if Mr. Wilson would still be coming over and playing with me. I mean, at age six, I really had no concept of how far Houston, Texas was from Savannah, Georgia.
I still remember how disappointed I was to learn Mr. Wilson would not be coming over and playing with me anymore.
As Mom was telling me this, explaining why she had broken up with Mr. Wilson, she added:
“Back then,” my Mom told me, “my biggest concern was financial security and that meant moving to Houston and accepting a big pay raise with the opportunity to earn substantial bonuses.
“Yes, I loved Matt, and knew he loved me,” she said, “but just could not see how a ... a school teacher ... would ever be able to provide the kind of lifestyle I was looking for back then.
“Breaking up with Matt was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. And now, looking back, I realize the biggest mistake I ever made. No, we wouldn’t be living in a house like we are now in the most exclusive area of Houston, but I now realize money isn’t everything.
“It has taken 10 years and cancer ... to make me realize love ... having someone in your life ... is a lot more important than a fancy house or expensive cars.
“Don’t ever make the same mistake I did, Rebecca,” she cautioned me. “When you find someone to love, or when they find you, a big bank account is nothing compared to a big heart.”
I didn’t even realize I was crying until Jennifer asked me what was wrong.
“You were in the first grade with me,” I told her. “Do you remember Mr. Wilson?”
“Not really,” she said, “Why?”
“This is our first grade teacher ... and my Mom’s former lover,” I said.
“Your Mom was in love with our teacher?” she asked, obviously shocked.
“They dated for nearly a year,” I explained, “then Mom broke up with him so she could get a promotion and moved to Houston. She said it was the biggest mistake she ever made.
“In fact, he could easily have been my step-dad.”
About then the ambulance finally arrived and the EMTs just placed a bandage over my pair of panties before taping it to his head.
“What hospital are you taking him to?” I asked and was told St. Joseph’s.
Jennifer and I grabbed a taxi and followed the ambulance and I ran into the emergency room and started telling one of the women there what had happened and showed them the video from my phone.
“His name is Matt Wilson,” I told them, “and he was actually my first grade teacher.”
She asked me to take a seat and about 30 minutes later a gentleman, who I later found out was one of the hospital administrators, came over and asked about the video and Matt Wilson.
I played the video and again explained Mr. Wilson had been our (mine and Jennifer’s) first grade teacher, but I hadn’t seen him since then. I also asked how soon we might be able to see him and was more than a little shocked to hear the answer.
“Since you aren’t family I am not supposed to even talk to you,” he said, “but I checked just before I came in here and they said he has swelling of the brain and he is now listed as in critical condition. Do you know if he has any family in the Savannah area?”
Unfortunately I had to tell him I didn’t have any idea about that.
He did ask if I could send him a copy of the video and I told him I would be happy to IF he would keep us posted on Mr. Wilson’s condition.
He mentioned again that, since we weren’t family, technically and even legally he was not supposed to, BUT he gave me his business card and told me he would tell us what he could.
Jennifer had to leave but my step-mom would be more than happy if I never came back so I stayed until visiting hours were over. I even tried to stay past that, but the hospital wouldn’t allow it.
The next day, in fact the next three days, I was at the hospital as soon as visiting hours began, and stayed until they ended, just hoping I could get a few minutes to see Matt.
I was also stunned to see my video, plus others, on television as the local channels began calling Matt Wilson a hero.
When I called Mr. Johnson, the hospital administrator I had sent a copy of the video, he apologized for releasing it without my authority, but made up for it by keeping me appraised (against hospital regulations) about Matt’s condition.
He also let me, against hospital regulations, visit Matt’s room and I spent an hour or so that day just holding his hand and praying for him while he remained in a coma.
I also ... also kissed him, very gently, every time I saw him and every time I left him.
Jennifer would also stop by each day and spend a few hours with me, and on the first day even brought the school yearbook from first grade. Yes, it was Matt. And yes, he was a lot more hunky now than back then.
By the end of my second day at the hospital, Mr. Johnson even introduced me to Dr. Jones, who was Matt’s primary physician at the hospital. Jennifer was also there so she got to meet both of us.
She also told us Matt was doing a lot better and the next day they planned to try to bring him out of his medically induced coma and see if there were any signs of permanent brain damage.
That was when I began crying for real. I mean I had already cried some, from being worried about Matt, but just assumed he would get better. To now realize he could have permanent brain damage was more than I could face.
This time Dr. Jones let me stay in Matt’s room for several hours. And I spent most of that time holding his hand and crying. At least until Dr. Jones walked in and saw me crying and jumped all over me.
“We know for a fact even unconscious patients can hear and be aware of what is going on around them,” she admonished me. “If you are going to be in this room, I expect you to stop crying and start telling Mr. Wilson he is going to be fine. Do you hear me, young lady?”
That was incredibly hard. At least at first, but then as I began talking and talking, it became easier. Somehow I just knew he was going to be all right.
The next day, I actually jumped up and shouted when Dr. Jones told me they had brought Matt out of the coma and it appeared there was NO, and I repeat NO permanent damage. He was really, really sore but that would eventually pass.
Dr. Jones also said they had administered something to put him back to sleep, but not a coma this time and allowed me to spend several more hours in his room, just watching him.
I ... I am not sure exactly when I realized I was actually in love with Matt.
Gosh, that sounds so stupid to say.
I was in love with someone who doesn’t even know who I am and making it even worse, he had been my Mom’s lover.
I think I must have leaned over and softly kissed him 30 or 40 times, each time telling him I was in love with him.
Dr. Jones said that even unconscious patients can hear and be aware of things around them and if that were true then I knew sleeping patients could also hear and be aware of things as well.
And I wanted Matt to know how much I loved him.
And let him know I wanted us to be ... to be lovers.
Oh, My God! Dr. Jones just came into the visitor’s lounge and told us Matt was awake and wanted to see us both!
I have NEVER been this nervous before.
Then, as soon as we walk in, before I can say anything, Matt looks at me, turns white as a ghost, whispers “Jessie,” then passes out.
I felt someone lightly caressing my face with a damp cloth and whispering, “Wake up, Matt, it’s me, Rebecca.”
Just as I opened my eyes, the cloth moved, then two hands lightly covered my eyes.
“Before I move my hands, Matt, I need to tell you this is Rebecca,” I heard a woman’s voice say. “I am Jessica’s daughter. Everyone always tells me I look exactly like my Mom, but I am not Jessica. Do you understand, Matt?”
“Rebecca?” I questioned, then remembered the pretty little girl I used to get down on the floor and play with while I was dating her Mom. “Becky?”
“Yes, Matt, you were the only one who ever called me ‘Becky,’” I heard her say. “Just like you were the only one who ever called Mom, ‘Jessie.’”
Becky then removed her hands from my eyes and I couldn’t help but gasp.
“You ... you look just like your Mom,” I said and I think I had a few tears ... perhaps more than a few tears ... in my eyes.
“But I’m not my Mom, Matt,” Becky, no, Rebecca said.
“But just like my Mom,” she continued, “I love you.”
THAT caused an involuntary exclamation of disbelief from me.
“Yeah, your Mom loved me so much when I asked her to marry me she turned me down cold because a ... a school teacher didn’t make enough money, then told me she was moving to Texas,” I replied, very bitterly.
“You ... you asked Mom to marry you?” Rebecca said, and you could hear the surprise in her voice.
“She said a school teacher ... a school teacher could never make enough money to support her and her daughter, then told me she had already accepted the position with her company in Houston,” I continued.
“She also told me how much she would be making in Texas and it was easily quadruple what I could expect to earn, even with my side business added into the mix.”
“Just before ... just before she died, Mom told me the biggest mistake she ever made was breaking up with you,” Rebecca said. “I had no idea you had actually proposed to her. She didn’t tell me that part.
“But I know Mom loved you. She said her priorities were all wrong back then, but I know she loved you.”
“And I never stopped loving her,” I admitted. “Even after ... gosh, how many years has it been?”
When Matt asked how many years it had been, I quickly jumped in with “12 or 13 years.” The one thing I didn’t want him to think about was how old, or maybe I should say, how young I am now.
Jennifer, who was just standing a few feet away quickly looked at me and I knew she was about to correct me but I just glared at her until she shrugged and didn’t say anything.
“Let me look at you,” I told Rebecca, so she stepped back a foot or two, then slowly turned around until she was facing me again.
How do I even begin to describe Becky, I mean Rebecca?
Even lying down I could tell she was tall, probably 5’9” or 5’10”. Very slim and slender, long brilliant red hair and piercing green eyes. Like her Mom, Rebecca didn’t have much up top, just a couple of small bulges (I remembered Jessica was always complaining about the size of her boobs, just an “A” cup), but also like her Mom, her legs seemed to go on forever.
And considering she was wearing incredibly short shorts, I got a wonderful display of those legs. The muscular definition in the legs was obvious.
“You are even more beautiful than your Mom,” I thought, then when she blushed I realized I had actually said that out loud.