Diaries Magazine

Ch 4 - i Was Never Alone, Anyway

Posted on the 22 February 2013 by Mavie
“But…you died. I remember Mum telling me…how…how is this possible? How are you here?” I stammered shying away from his now empty hands.“Everything is possible, Emaan.” “Excuse me? Are you awake Emaan? I have your results here,” a short man entered the bay brandishing a clipboard. “I’m afraid the reason why you fainted is due to a lack of oxygen, it appears that there is some pressure on your brain and we need to get you a scan before we can diagnose it definitely.” “What Doctor Matthew is trying to say, is that you need a CT scan.” Mum followed the doctor into the bay. “And you need to be transferred to a suitable ward.” Mum’s voice ended in a whisper as she squeezed her hands anxiously.“Oh. Okay,” I didn’t know what all the fuss was about, a scan was a simple painless procedure so why Mum was acting like I was about to undergo surgery was beyond me. “When can I go home?”“Not just yet, we have a few more tests to do.” Doctor Matthew checked the chart that was hooked to the end of the bed.“Well, you might as well go home, Zac. It looks like I’ll still be here tomorrow.” I smiled apologetically wishing he would leave so I could talk to Mum about the night Dad died in private. “Zac? Who’s Zac?” Mum hovered at my side plainly ignoring the man sitting beside me.“Oh, sorry. Mum, this is Zac. Zac, this is my mom.” I felt foolish for not introducing them earlier.Mum cast an incredulous look in Zac’s direction. “Zac?”But Zac ignored her and wandered over to the pale green wall.  “Who is this Zac?” The doctor swivelled between us, pushing his glasses further up his nose.“He’s my friend. Zac, aren’t you going to say hello?” I frowned, crossing my arms at his rude behavior. My body language failed to achieve the desired effect. Instead he smirked and lifted a foot to rest against the wall behind him. “I don’t think so.”“Why? Why are you being so rude?” My cheeks flamed with embarrassment. What had my Mum done to him?“Zac’s here?” The doctor’s eyebrows shot up causing Mum let release a nervous laugh.“Of course not, doctor. She’s just being silly. Aren’t you Em?” Mum energetically patted my arm.My brow creased in annoyance. “Why would I be joking? See for yourself, he’s right behind you.”Doctor Matthew peered over his shoulder and nodded in acknowledgment. Then he removed a small penlight from his top pocket and shone it into each of my eyes muttering softly to himself.“Em, stop this nonsense. There’s nobody over there.” Mum shot the doctor a nervous look.I shoved her hand away, “what is wrong with you? Can’t you see him? Zac say something!” I pleaded with Zac to step forward.He did, and stood towering over Mum. “Hello aunty. Remember me? It’s been a while hasn’t it.”I waited for Mum to reply but she was too busy looking into my face for any signs of humor. “Mum? Answer him.”“Em. There is no one there. Who shall I answer?”“Maybe Emaan needs some rest. We will come back later, right?” He led Mum out of the bay and over to the nurses’ station.“What’s wrong with them?” I turned to face Zac but my bay was empty. My chest constricted painfully at his sudden disappearance. Where could he have gone? I swivelled around dropping my legs to the floor, Zac must have gone behind my bed and slipped through the curtain on the other side. There was no other explanation, was there? I had to find out. Padding bare foot across the floor I peeked out through the curtain at the busy emergency area, nurses scuttled past and idle patients waited impatiently to be seen.I gripped the curtain tighter as Mum and the doctor came into focus, they were huddled together talking in low volumes. Then Mum sagged against the counter, her head shaking in disbelief and her lips moving in time to the words that carried across the hallway – “No, how could it be? Her hallucinations could be an indicator of something bigger?”The doctor nodded gravelly and Mum burst into tears. “What the…?” I closed the curtain and faced the empty bay. Zac was a hallucination? How was that possible?Then a memory so crystal clear flashed behind my eyes. The carnival. The Ghost Train and the empty seat where Zac had sat. Had I imagined all that? I returned to my bed and thought hard, I had to talk to Zac and get some answers. For the rest of the night I sat still using every cell in my body to summon him. But he never came. The next morning just before the sun came up I was woken by a colossal headache that almost blinded me. The lights overhead were still off but the dull glow from the corridor burned forcing me to sit up and seek help.I pressed the buzzer and waited for the reluctant nurse to appear, when she didn’t I ripped the sheets off my feverish body. The pain had magnified as if Thor himself was inside swinging away with his solid hammer, I had to get some painkillers myself. Stumbling over to the nurses’ station, I cracked open an eye to find it empty.“Argh!” I whimpered as another blow landed somewhere inside my temple. My body convulsed as the pain peaked, when the worst was over I shuffled down the hall in search of someone but the halls were empty, where did everyone go?“Em! Are you crazy? Get back to bed.” “Argh!” The scream ripped from my throat as Zac stepped into view.“Where are you going?”“My head! I need painkillers. God! Zac my head is pounding.”“Em, you need to rest. Someone will come along soon.” Zac reached out to support my buckling frame.“No, please. I need painkillers.” I attempted another step forward.“Okay, okay. Let’s find you some.” Zac wrapped an arm around my waist and I threw a limp arm around his steely shoulders. We hobbled down the corridor in search of someone who could help. “Oh my Lord! What on earth?” A nurse rounded a corner and dropped the blanket she was carrying.The look on her face was one of pure terror, she backed away until her body made contact with the wall.“Please help me. My head, I need painkillers.” I pleaded nearing her frozen form.She blinked as if breaking free from a trance, then pivoting she ran down the hall in the opposite direction. Not a moment later, two nurses hurried back with her and slowed to a standstill when they saw us approach. “Emaan? Listen to me. I want you to stop walking.” The first nurse said nervously.“Why? Please just get me some medicine.” I raised my free hand to the side of my head.“The doctor is coming. We’ve called him.” She spread her hands wide and took a cautious step forward.I stopped walking as Zac’s voice whispered in my ear. “What’s wrong with them? They’re acting like we have a weapon. Why are they so scared?” My frown deepened. Zac was right. The staff were acting strangely, why had they slowed their pace? Why were they approaching cautiously?“Zac, I need to lie down.” I said squeezing his shoulders tighter.There was a sharp intake of breath and then the nurses pounced. They pulled my arms free from Zac’s body and dragged us apart. “Stop! What are you doing? Zac! Stop them! Zac! Help!” I screamed fighting them off as one nurse raised my legs clean off the floor. They carried me into an adjacent room, leaving Zac staring after us. No! Don’t take me, please! I silently begged them as the pain in my head exploded with renewed force. I felt myself fall, failing to detach myself from the grip of the nurses who were now laying me on the bed. My arm was held tight and a sharp needle pierced the skin allowing a warm liquid to spread through my veins bringing the pain to a dull throb before being extinguished like a light bulb.My body relaxed and went limp, my eyelids fluttered and the nurses let me go. With the energy sapped I gave in to the sedative that had been pumped into me.“What happened?” Doctor Matthew’s voice speared the fog.“Oh doctor, it was awful. We found her walking down the corridor, her body was distorted as if leaning against someone for support. Except that there was no one there, she was alone. Her body had twisted itself into something unnatural…we couldn’t wait any longer so we gave her a sedative…”“Right, take some blood. Run the scans, where’s her file?” The conversation whipped around me, but I was helpless to protest. What were they talking about? Didn’t they see Zac? How could they not? Was it true that he was just a figment of my imagination? But he felt so real, he felt warm, he felt human.There was a warmth in the palm of my right hand, fingers squeezed around mine and Zac’s sweet low voice resounded in my ear, “I’m here for you, I will always be here for you.” Then it all went dark.

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