Thirsty? One sharp glance from Dr. Gustavson was all that was needed to scare the blond nurse into once again running out into the hall. This time he wasn't bombarded with questions, most the people who were stopped outside the window simply didn't want to miss what was going to happen next, if anything happened. He came back about a minute later carrying a small plastic cup of water along with a water bottle he picked up from a nearby stash.
Dr. Gustavson watched as Lilly drank the water – noticing odd facial expressions, the same kind of expressions a person gets when they drink something hotter than expected. A pair of specialist doctors barged into the room, they were both special-case doctors assigned to monitor Lilly for any changes, her waking up was a huge change.
"Pulse unchanged. Core temperature lowered to 65.7 once more. Seems like without the blankets the fever broke," the reporting nurse felt awkward calling it a fever; this girl was ice to his fingers every time he checked her pulse.
After quickly drinking the cup of room temperature water Lilly drank from the cooled water bottle until about half was gone, she then screwed the cap back on and let it roll off her lap. She glanced around her surroundings for the first time. Thoughts flooded through her head. She had questions. Where was she? What happened? Why was everyone staring at her? She slowly lifted her hand up the side of her head, touching it just above the ear. She felt a small scab that was covered in stitches. The doctor next to her gently put her hand on Lilly's hand as if to urge Lilly to move her hand away from the stitches.
Lilly didn't understand - did she miss? Did the bullet hit her? Then she realized, no, she didn't miss – she WAS dead, he said so. Her eyes enlarged, her breathing quickened and according to the blond nurse her pulse elevated to just under fifteen beats per minute. The doctors were clueless.
"Oh God, oh God, oh God! What have I done! I mustn't disobey! What were his orders? Oh God oh God!" she looked around frantically as if trying to find something. She ripped off the last blanket and looked wildly around, "Oh God, oh God have mercy on me, what have I done!?" Suddenly, she stopped. She smiled at one of the nurses, "Where is the bathroom?"
Dr. Gustavson took a quick look at the closed door in the corner of the room. The attached bathroom to the room had bad water damage from a storm a few months back. It was the only reason that the room was the only one available at the time Lilly was brought to the hospital. It was originally closed for construction. "Uh, down the hall, to the left, fourth door on the left," she directed Lilly to the nearest bathroom.
Lilly paused and ripped the IV out of her arm. The needle stayed in but the tube was removed, she didn't care, it didn't seem to bother her any. One quick glance around the room and all the eyes glaring at her to stay still went blank. She pushed her legs out from under the sheets and onto the floor. The floor was cool against her toes. Without resistance Lilly moved to the door. She swung the door open and quickly spun to the left. She ignored the small crowd outside the room, people rushed to get out of her way as she moved, barefoot, down the hall.
Four doors later she entered the bathroom. She didn't really have to go but needed a mirror. Once inside she looked at her head in the mirror, first the left side, then the right. Two perfect scars were just above both ears, scabbed. They had healed quickly. The sewn up scabs were bothering her – itchy. She scratched at one of the scabs, it tore slightly. Noticing the tear and the absence of pain, she continued to pull at it. It peeled off. She tugged at it until the rest of the scab slid off like an orange peel. Below was fresh skin. Fresh skin? She scratched at the scab on the other side; it ripped off just like the first one.
After flushing both the bloodied scabs down the toilet she left the bathroom. The doctors in the hall tried their best to act busy, but she could tell by their glances and short chit-chat they were all looking at her. One of the doctors holding a manila folder glanced up at her. What was he reading? She realized he was one of the men in the room with her earlier. Was it about her? He folded a sheet with writing on it over the edge of the folder and continued to read.
She noticed the large headline on the page followed by the time, Check up time: Eight thirty. According to the clock in the bathroom, that was less than five minutes ago. It must have been the page the female doctor had when she woke up. Lilly's eyes drifted down the page a bit, to a small printed statement about the case that was just above some handwriting, Understanding the concept of this case is difficult. After several blood sample tests we are unable to confirm what is causing the current conditions. Blood is currently stored in Lab1022 East side of the Pelvison Wing awaiting further tests, she paused, realizing what she was doing. She was reading size twelve font on a paper across the hall!
She went back into her room. The doctor who helped her when she woke up was inside, Dr. Gustavson, along with three older men, all whom had graying hair and clipboards. All seemed to be waiting for her to walk back into the room. Lilly was instructed to sit on the bed. "We are here to ask a few questions," said the one on the far left, "I'm Doctor Hemaz, and these are my colleagues Doctors Jermany and Saltz. You are the first reported case of your kind, so naturally we would like understand what exactly happened." Lilly nodded, they weren't the only ones confused about what happened.
"First off," Dr. Jermany started. He was the one in the middle of the two doctors and by far the tallest, and probably the youngest. He was recognized mostly by his lack of wrinkles and brown hair that looked as if it was unnaturally graying. Unlike the other two, who were both wearing reading glasses over their aged faces, he had no glasses, "How do you feel?"
"Normal," Lilly responded.
"Normal?" Jermany repeated while jotting something down on the clipboard in front of him, "Your current body temperature is 65.7, and your pulse is a mere six beats per minute yet you feel completely normal?" Dr. Hemaz, who appeared to be the shortest of the three, pushed up against his glasses and also wrote something down.
She looked around in disbelief. Was he joking? She felt her wrist. She wasn't even sure if she was doing it right. She couldn't feel anything at all, wait, no, she felt one beat, but only one. Lilly waited for about ten seconds before she felt another. Her body felt completely normal to her. She stood up next to the bed and grabbed the arm of Dr. Gustavson who was leaning against the close wall. The doctor's skin was warm to the touch, but not by much. But her body was cold? "Wow, I am beating really slow," she said, now worried. She didn't know why she felt normal.
"Your body doesn't feel sluggish at all? You haven't noticed any abnormal side effects to this newfound, cold blooded, feature you seemed to have taken on?" This time Dr. Hemaz asked the question. The short doctor spoke as if he had more authority than his colleagues and shifted just slightly in his stool, keeping his face covered with papers.
"Well…" Lilly started, "look!" she pointed at the missing scabs. For the first time the doctors noticed what was missing. The bullet hole was completely gone! Dr. Saltz stood up knocking over the stool he was sitting on.
As the stool crashed against the tile he rushed over to the bedside with a slight hobble, "May I?" he asked politely.
"Sure," Lilly answered. He carefully felt the fresh skin just above her ear. His fingers were rough against her soft fresh skin. The hole was completely gone. Was the trail through her head gone as well? Dr. Saltz moved back across the room and pulled his stool back up to sit on it once more, this time frantically scribbling on his notepad.
"Oh!" Lilly snapped up again, halting the next question before it could even start, "I can read."
"That's not a side effect, that should be normal unless you couldn't before," Dr. Hemaz blurted out without even glancing away from the report in front of him. "No, I can read that," she pointed at the words on a poster about the human body on the opposite wall of the room. The poster had large words, but she didn't look at them. She started rattling off what it said below in tiny words, the copyright. "Copyrighted under one or more of the following patents: 18,999,655, 19,032,200, 19,101,203, 19,107,709. Violation of copyright could conclude in over 250,000 dollars in federal fines."
They were dumbfounded. Did she memorize it before? No that would be impossible she had never been conscious in the room for more than a few minutes, definitely not enough time to memorize it.
Dr. Hemaz stood and moved across the large room to confirm what the copyright said. She was finally able to get first good look at him without papers in his face. He had very dark brown hair. A thin bit of hair near the roots was gray. His face was coated with black hairs as if it hadn't been shaved for a few days. He was indeed a short man, probably a head shorter than Lilly herself. Unlike black slacks that most doctors wore he sported gray slacks as if he gained the right to stand out from the other doctors. He approached the small font and pushed his face close to the poster. Lilly indeed read exactly what the copyright said.
"We need to do some tests, to find out how else a bullet to the head may have, affected, your skills," he thought he already had an explanation for all this. The gunshot was like shock treatment, it woke up the majority of the brain that was never active.
Lilly smiled to herself – those were oddly the exact words she was looking for because she too wanted to learn more about herself.