"Good news!' Kody announced cheerfully as he walked into my room the following afternoon. "You can eat now!"
"Ugh!" I moaned, and tried not to think about food. "I don't want to."
He frowned, "You know I can't give you any Tylenol until you eat."
I took a deep breath, "I can't eat; I feel like I'm going to throw up, and I get dizzy if I open my eyes."
"I'll get you something for the vertigo right away. Why didn't you say anything earlier?"
"I kept hoping it would go away." I swallowed, trying not to gag.
"I'm sorry." He replied, "I should have anticipated this since you're so severely concussed, but you were doing so well last night I thought maybe you would be okay." He picked up my wrist. "Where are your friends? I was sure I saw them come in at the start of visiting hours."
"I made them leave."
He stuck a thermometer in my ear, "That wasn't very nice."
"I'm sick; I want to be left alone." Vanessa had been very nice about it, and I wouldn't have minded her staying, but Garret wouldn't stop talking, and if I got sick I certainly didn't want him as a witness. The thermometer beeped and I whimpered at the sound.
"I don't like this," Kody said, "I'm going to try and find Dr. Fillmore." He turned on heel and walked out of my room. I kept my eyes closed until I heard him coming back, this time with the doctor in tow. Dr. Fillmore looked in my ears and under my eyelids. When he shone that horrible pen light in my eyes again, I started to cry.
"Does the light hurt your eyes?"
"M-hmm." As if that wasn't obvious.
He ordered a CT scan for me which was extremely unpleasant. Primarily because I had to be loaded into a wheelchair and pushed down the long, bright, noisy corridor, and Dr. Fillmore wouldn't give me anything to settle my stomach until it was over- a decision he probably regretted, because interns aren't too happy when you barf on the floor of their testing room. By the time I was finally returned to my room I was more than willing to allow Kody to give me some more morphine in addition to the Dramamine he'd promised. The results of my scan were normal, so I was spared from any further torture. That is until the next day when I had to start physical therapy for my shoulder. Thankfully I wasn't sick anymore, so I was able to move the rest of my body without overmuch difficulty.
Garrett came in while I was having lunch. "Well, I see that you're eating today, so I guess you're feeling better." He commented.
"Much, thank you."
He eyed my tray, "That looks-"
"Terrible; yes, it is. But I haven't eaten in two days so I'm trying not to notice."
He laughed, "Sounds like you're in a good mood too. Does that mean you aren't going to throw me out like you did yesterday?"
"I didn't throw you out;" I argued. "I asked you to leave because I wasn't feeling well."
"You're in the hospital, of course you don't feel good. Can I sit down?"
"In the chair." I didn't trust him not to plop down beside me on the bed again if I didn't specify.
He sat. "I guess that means I get to stay."
"I want to talk to you."
He grinned, "Ooh, sounds like fun."
"Garrett, I'm serious. I heard you say someone put a bomb in my car. What's going on?"
"Are you sure you're up to talking about that?" He asked with concern in his voice.
I rolled my eyes. "Don't worry; I'll keep my smelling salts handy."
"I'm not trying to by funny, Quinby;" he said irritably. "I don't want to do anything that might jeopardize your health."
"If getting blown up didn't do that, I very seriously doubt anything you have to say will."
He frowned, "Okay, but the minute you start feeling ill say so, and we'll change the subject."
"I'm sure I'll be fine."
"Okay, so from what the police told me, someone wired an explosive to the front tie rod of your car. When you turned the wheel, the wire tightened and the fuse snapped triggering the explosion."
"Sort of like pulling the pin on a grenade"
"Yeah. There were actually two separate explosives. The good news is that one of them- the one on your side- didn't detonate."
"The police aren't entirely certain; probably just a freak malfunction- a most serendipitous one. If they'd both gone off…"
"But they're sure it was deliberate?"
"Quinby, we're talking about two sticks of TNT. They didn't just waltz over and attach themselves."
"Yes, but was I the intended target? There were lots of cars at the garage, who's to say they didn't put it on the wrong one?"
"Quinby, there is no way anyone mistook your car for someone else's. Thankfully there's only one of those on this planet."
He had a point with that. "So how bad is it? The damage to my car I mean."
"The last I saw of it, it was in two pieces."
"Well, that's disappointing."
"Better it than you."
"I guess you've got a point with that." I reached for my glass. "Why do they always make you drink with a straw at hospitals? Are their cups really that dirty?"
Garrett was staring at me. "How can you do that?" he asked in exasperation.
I swallowed, "Do what?"
"We're talking about how close you came to dying a few days ago, and you're sitting there, calm as you please, getting distracted by a drinking straw! Doesn't it bother you that somebody tried to kill you, and almost succeeded?"
I shrugged, "Not really."
I took a deep breath and prayed before I answered. Garrett knew I was a Christian; I make no secret of that. But he always changed the subject when I tried to talk to him about it. Essentially he had just left the door wide open, and I wanted it to stay that way. "Because Jesus Christ saved my soul, I know that for me, things only get better when I die."
"That sounds suicidal."
"No, not at all." I giggled softly, "I believe only God has the right to make end of life decisions, but when He decides it's time for me to die, I'm ready to go."
"Now you make it sound like a vacation."
"But it doesn't ever end! I'll be with Him in Heaven forever!"
He looked away, "You know, I've met quite a lot of Christians in my time, but none of them have ever talked to me about that. I thought it was all about sin and good works."
"You know those two are polar opposites, right?"
"One guy told me that my sins would send me to Hell, and his good works would get him admitted to Heaven. That's what I meant by all about."
"He was wrong. I don't know what he was trying to tell you, but it's all about Jesus who came down to earth to die for all of our sins, so that by His merit we could be granted entrance to Heaven. It's not even really about going to Heaven either. I mean, yeah, that's a big part of it, actually the final result, but it's about Jesus forgiving your sins and making you legally right before the Father. It's about having a relationship with Him. Our works have nothing to do with it."
"That makes it a lot more palatable than his rendition. Although, if works don't play into the equation, why don't you come out for drinks with Vanessa and me on Friday night? I always thought it was because of your religion."
"Frankly, there is nothing about that experience that appeals to me. I like neither the smell nor taste of alcohol, and I sure wouldn't like waking up hung over Saturday morning."
"You make it sound very black and white."
"I guess it is to me. But you, know, we were talking about dying, and really, you and I work in high risk professions. The chances of dying unexpectedly at a young age are, well, higher than average."
"You know, what you're saying sounds good and all, but I'm really not interested in planning for my demise."
"Why not? It seems to happen to everybody. Shouldn't you be prepared?"
"You sound like an insurance salesman now."
"Eternity is a whole lot more important."
"Don't worry, Quinby; I'll take care of it when the time comes." He got up to leave
"Please, Garrett, don't wait till the last minute. You might not have time." I paused, "You know when talking about salvation, the Bible says, 'now is the time'."
"That's hard sell right there." He turned and wave to me over his shoulder. "Bye Quinby."