The Second Chance When she came to, there was only the cold. She was on her side, against something hard, and it was draining the heat out of her, from the very marrow of her bones. She tried to raise her head, but had not yet come far enough into consciousness. She relaxed, and only then came to understand that she was lying on concrete. Thoughts flashed randomly, scattered and incomplete. She realized she could not remember her name, and that sudden insight sent her into panic. How did I get here? She fought to gain control over her fatigue and the fog in her mind.
She lifted a hand and found she could wiggle her fingers. She tried an eyelid only to let it slam shut again in response to the sharp, blinding light of an overhead fixture. She slowly turned her head on the unforgiving concrete, away from the light, and tried again. One eye opened, then the next, and as her eyes slowly focused she saw a shiny black pair of boots standing next to her. Her eyes drifted up from the boots to the man’s face and realized that it was a police officer shining a flashlight in her face. He calmly said, “Don’t worry ma’am. The ambulance is on its way. You’re gonna be just fine. ”
As she began to hear sirens growing closer and closer, her eyes began to close again as she slowly drifted back into unconsciousness. She awoke again to find herself in a hospital bed, still panicked and unsure of whom she was. She looked over to see a nurse staring back at her. When the nurse noticed that the patient’s eyes had opened and was conscious again, she scrambled out of the room yelling for a doctor. The frantic nurse returned seconds later with a tall, middle-aged man dressed in all white who introduced himself as Dr. Wilson. He began by asking the woman if she knew her name, to which she replied with a small shake of the head.
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He then asked her if she could remember anything that happened prior to the fall, to which he received the same response. “It is common for patients with head trauma like yours to have some memory loss, but your memory will usually return in time,” the doctor reassured her. “I will say though, from a fall like that, you are very lucky to be alive. ” In response to hearing this remark, the woman rolled her eyes and turned over to go back to sleep. After a week in the hospital, the woman still has no knowledge of who she is and no one has filed a missing persons report looking for a woman that matches her.
Since she has recovered from most of her injuries, the hospital decides to release her to a women’s shelter in hopes that they can help her further. But after a few days of being in the shelter and with no progress, the woman decides to go for a walk. She begins walking the streets with no intended direction or place in mind. But the more she walks the clearer things become. And she eventually realizes that she has walked this path before. She soon comes to an all too familiar overpass. As she stands there looking down at the highway below her, she smiles and says aloud, “This time wait on a semi-truck before you jump, Jenny. ”
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