Phyllis Chesler Interviews Carol Gould

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A Short Story
Last uploaded : Friday 4th Mar 2005 at 15:51
Contributed by : Shoshi Griver


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The music blared. Rain splattered the windscreen. The car skidded dangerously to the side of the road. Kate, who was driving, felt exhaustion wash over her. She had had a hard day at work, and all she wanted to do was get home and jump into the shower. The rain outside the car was steadily getting heavier, almost completely blocking out her vision of the road.

Kate did not have time to swerve aside. The lorry driver, who they say was drunk, did not even bother to hit the brakes. The impact was deadly. The lorry hit the small car, sending it flying several feet into the air.

The only comforting thing in Mike?s mind was that his wife, Kate, died instantly. It was almost five years from the crash. Mike sat rigidly in his armchair, Kate?s photo clutched in his left hand. It was his eldest daughter?s 18th birthday. She was upstairs now, getting ready for her party. Mike couldn?t help feeling a little nervous. He didn?t even have to ask her where they were going; he knew that they were going ?Pubbing?.

The doorbell rang, announcing his daughter?s friends? arrival. At the sound of the bell Amanda came tearing down the stairs. She gave him a quick peck on the cheek and then she was gone.

The time seemed to stand still. The clock that was perched on top of the mantelpiece seemed to have stopped. Eventually Mike slipped of into an uneasy sleep. When he awoke, his wristwatch read four in the morning. It was then he realized that someone was knocking on the front door. This can?t be right he thought to himself; who would come round at this time in the morning?
Timidly, he got up. The walk to the door felt like eternity. On the doorstep stood two police officers. They began talking, but Mike was not listening. The only thing he could take in from what they were saying was accident, crash and severely injured. He was crying, tear after tear trickling slowly down his face.

Outside it began to rain, the soft patter of the raindrops seemed to dominate his mind. One of the sergeants took his hand and led him gently to the police car.

She?s still alive, he told himself, she?s still alive, there?s still hope.

The white hospital walls gave Mike a sense of deja-vu. He could only hope that things would be different this time.

Slowly, Mike sat himself down on one of the battered chairs which stood at end of the corridor. The waiting room was empty apart from a young looking couple, who were siting opposite him. It was a long wait, or so it seemed. Every once in a while a kind looking nurse would venture out of the nurse?s office with a cup of water or coffee.

At around eight in the morning, a doctor came over to him. His pale face just visible from underneath his mask. The rain, that had splattered the waiting room windows only moments before seemed to have stopped. It felt to Mike that everything had stopped. The only thing his mind was conscious of was his own shallow breathing.

The doctor began talking. But Mike, fearing the worst, had tuned out. He was just unable to focus on the doctor?s words. But then something quite unexpected occurred. One single sentence escaped the doctor?s lips, which caused pure joy to spring up in Mike?s heart. ?She?s unconscious, but she?ll live. You can go in and see her now if you want?

Feeling both groggy and delighted Mike made his way towards the recovery room. There she lay, battered and bruised... but alive.

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