Samir was ecstatic when he heard the news, he congratulated the couple. He was even more happy to hear their decision to wait until college was over and they were both comfortably in a job before the wedding took place. He knew they were young, only 18. But he knew it was pure magic that allowed two young souls to find each other so early on in life. He was only saddened that Hazel could not join in on the happiness that night. Goodness knows she needed it.
The registered nurse of the ward knew of Hazel’s condition and knew dedication when she saw it. Most people do not come and visit all day long or even every day, but Samir did; from morning to night he was there. And so she pulled some strings and decided to let Samir stay there all the time. Whenever he wanted to go home, he could, visiting hours was no longer a restriction. He was overwhelmed with the kindness and spoke to Hazel in a low voice, stroking her long hair as he told her of the generosity given to them.
Hazel no longer spoke. She just slept, or stared out the window. That didn’t discourage Samir though. He knew that the girl he loved was still in there, trapped under the weight of sadness for all that she had lost in life. He just needed to show her that he was there… that she was no longer alone.
Behind Hazels blank looks none knew but she was living her life out before the accident. Every major happy moment of her life was being re-lived by her mind. When she graduated college, meeting Samir, having Colton, watching Colton grow up, opening her art galleries, being at Jenny and Dennis’s wedding, being at the birth of Garrett. It was all good memories she was remembering, nothing bad. During the months she had been in the hospital, that’s what her mind was doing, her state was induced by the happy memories. It seemed that her mind thought that since she was happy inside, why should she come out of that happy place and live in the sadness and sorrow that reality and the present held for her?
And so every moment that they thought Hazel was unresponsive, she was just in her head, safe and sound. She was not insane; instead her mind had rejected what it did not want to accept and to save her sanity, placed her in times that she was happy.
That Monday would mark exactly two months since Samir left Egypt to be by Hazel’s side. It was another typical evening. Hazel was asleep and he was singing softly near her bed one of the many songs he had taught her in Al Simhara. It was the song he taught her as they lounged on the grassy shores of the Nile eating dinner and drinking wine, dancing and laughing. He was lost in his thoughts of those happier days that he did not hear the rapid tiny beeping of the heart monitor as it sped up.
She forgot about that? Oh how could she forget about that night? That song that he taught her to sing, that she taught Colton!
“I can’t sing as lovely as you can!”
“Just try! I won’t laugh, I promise.”
“Well..what does it mean?”
She watched as he thought over the right English words to describe the beauty of the song.
“It’s a native song, about a god and a goddess.” He started out, “The god was very much in love with the goddess. She was his mark of beauty, and he gave his heart to her without asking for anything in return. One day the goddess was walking through this thick forest, it was hot and she was tired. She laid down for a nap and did not realize where she was napping was home to a large cobra. The cobra came home from its day of hunting and saw the beautiful goddess asleep. He was so mesmerized by her beauty that he wanted to make her his own love. Now back then cobras were believed to be men who did wrong things in their previous lives and returned to this life as a cobra, punishment for their sins. And the only way that they can be changed back into men is if they found a woman who could love them as they were. The cobra thought she was so beautiful that he didn’t think that she was not in love with him and bit her. The god who went looking for his goddess after she did not show up, found her dead; the cobra dead as well as she was not the woman who loved him and the consequences for that folly was death. The god was beyond the words sad, he could not live eternity without her. After 40 years of sadness and despair, a fortune reader who could see into the future told him she saw his goddess in another life, a human life on earth. The reader told him that he had to wait 100 days and nights before he could make himself known to her, or else she would never remember him and would not be able to see him. And so the god waited, and waited, until he could not wait no more. The impatience and eagerness of 40 years caught up to him and on the 77th day he went down to Earth. He gazed at her so lovingly, tears in his eyes as he fell to her feet. But alas she could not see him, feel his presence even. Nor did she ever remember the god that loved her so. He had banished himself from ever having her back, from touching her, from feeling the radiance of her smile…and so he spent his eternity watching over every one of her human reincarnations…to this day waiting for when his beloved goddess would return to him…”
“That is so sad Samir…does she ever return to being a goddess? Ever in the future?”
“Yes..it is. It was supposed to teach children the lesson of being patient. But I just found it too sad…but beautiful nevertheless. And no..some people think that he does..but I chose to believe that he doesn’t…”
It was as if that conversation, that particular memory had triggered all the bad ones to come. That was the day that she had met Samirs father and he had been so rude and cold to her. Seeing the face of the old bitter man, set another wave of memories to surface, the call, Samir being married, the loss of her mother, the abandonment. Her mind was desperate to cover it all, to bring back the sweet pleasant place that had kept her hidden all these months, but every time a good memory was brought up, something bad immediately replaced it. And then there was Jennys wedding, holding Garrett’s tiny form after he was born…and in came the images of the flight crash, the phone call to the airline…the knowledge that Jenny is dead ….JENNY IS DEAD!
Samir snapped from the sleepiness that was overtaking him as he felt Hazel move next to him. She was sweating and cringing, her hands were clawing at the white sheet that covered her, she looked like she was having a nightmare, the monitor was showing that her heart rate had increased to an abnormal high. Samir rushed out of the room, screaming for the nurse.
“Whats wrong?! Whats happening?!!” He screamed, scared and frantic.
There were two nurses in the room, trying to stabilize Hazel as the Doctor entered the room, she was going into psychological shock.
“Sir, we need you to wait outside please!” One of the RNs ushered him outside.
“But, whats going on? Whats wrong with her?”
The nurse was grabbing boxes of things from the front desk and hurrying back to Hazels room, she looked at him, “You should wait to speak to the Doctor.” And before he can persist, she had disappeared into the room. Samir quickly took advantage of the moment to call Colton at home.