I open my eyes, but all I can see is darkness. I blink a couple times, but nothing changes. All I can see is nothing, and all I can hear is this constant, almost rhythmic *beep* *beep*
“Jessica, can you hear me?!”
“I can hear you! Where are you?!”
I look around, but I don’t see the source of the sound. But that voice…
“I’m here for you Jessica, no matter what. Just please… Please wake up.”
“Wake up? What do you mean wake up?? I’m here-!”
I pause, the name caught in my throat. I know that voice, almost as well as I know my own, so why can’t I remember their name? And why can’t I see them? They must be here, somewhere.
I feel a pressure on my hand, but still see nothing.
“If you’re there Jessica, squeeze my hand.”
I try to squeeze, but nothing happens.
“Come on Jessica, I know you can do it. You’ve always been a fighter. Just squeeze my hand. Just onc-“
Their sentence cut’s off with a choking sob and I try to scream to them;
“I’m right here! I love you, don’t leave me; please don’t leave me!”
I scream to them at the top of my lungs, but there’s no response. Only the darkness and the steady *beep* *beep* that echoes all around me.
A tear rolls down my cheek as I think of them… The voice. So close to me, and yet it’s as if I don’t know them. My heart skips a beat when they speak, but they never hear me… And I still can’t remember their name.
Days seemingly pass, but I have no way to track the time in this blackness, only the voice. It greets me regularly, and I’ve started to track the days with those happy greetings.
“Hey there babe, you look so beautiful today.”
“I didn’t say that to you enough did I, Jessica?”
As each of these days pass, the happiness fades, bit by bit.
Each time I hear the voice cry I feel my heart break more. I want to reach out to comfort them, to tell them that I’ve always been here, and that I’ll never leave them. But each time I try I come up empty… Only the blackness greets me when I speak.
The most frustrating times is when there’s no one there. When my only company is the darkness and the steady *beep* *beep*
The longer that this goes on, the more it feels familiar… Almost like I should know where I am; but just like the voice, the idea escapes me.
One day I feel the tight squeeze of my hand, so tight it’s almost painful.
My breath catches in my throat, I’ve missed them… It’s been days since I heard their voice.
Or has it been weeks? I just don’t know anymore… And without them there, I’m at a loss on how to track the time.
“Today would have been the day… Can you remember that?”
I struggle to remember, but I’m confused about what the voice is talking about.
“You even had your dress picked out and everything. I sit at home sometimes and imagine you, standing up there with me.”
“I miss you so much.”
“I’m ready Doctor…”
I opened my mouth to protest, to ask the voice whe-
The 4AM Breakthrough # 100 – The Coma
(Write from the point of view of a person in a coma. This is a permanent condition; the patient will not come out of the coma but still understands the outer world. The catch: voices of loved ones are familiar, even intimately familiar, but the comatose person cannot attach names to the voices. The coma patient has lost this capacity.)