The rain was pouring. The news had shaken me out of my wits. My Viola, my dearest viola was in the hospital. How could that be? I regretted instantly my foolhardy decision to go to this erroneous party. I was driving like a lunatic. I had to be there sooner than it’s too late.
The nurse at the hospital had called me, to say Viola D’cruz had met with an accident. She had found my business card in Viola’s purse. My thoughts were in turmoil, where was she going in this downpour? What had happened? Was it me and our last fight? No, I did not want to think of the worst. I was just few blocks away.
At the hospital I rushed to the reception. She mentioned 5th floor, ICU. I took the steps two at a time, forgetting completely about the elevator. Panting when I had reached the corridor, uncle D’cruz was sitting on the bench, he had his head in his hands. I slowly stood next to him dreading to know about her condition.
“Leslie!” he exclaimed, “my dear boy, Viola…”
Her name came out in whisper. At that moment my heart cringed, I kneeled down, tears stinging my eyes. I could not find my voice, I was thinking the worst.
“What happened, uncle?” my voice was hoarse.
“She called me late and said she was coming home. The hospital said that the taxi was crushed by a truck on the road. The taxi driver died instantly and our Viola has been injured badly.”
The doctor came out to meet them, “Who is from the family here of the patient?”
“We are.” I blurted wanting to know what it was actually the doctor had to say.
“Please do come in my office, I need to discuss the matter with you.” He said edgily.
Uncle looked helplessly at me, I assured him with my look. “I will come with you.”
I was shaking from inside did it show, I wondered. I sat tersely on the seat. “Well I am her fiancé, doctor please tell me how is she?” I thought I sounded desperate, so be it.
“She is suffering from diffuse axonal injury.” He said noting I looked blank he continued, “Which is one of the most common and devastating types of traumatic brain injury. In the accident, her head was rapidly accelerated or decelerated and that has caused this injury. The severity of it indicates loss of consciousness that is she is in coma right now.”
“What does that mean, doctor, will she be fine?” I asked eagerly.
“Well, I don’t know how long she will be in coma; we are trying our best with all medications. We have to monitor if the drugs are working or not. Please have patience, Mr. …?
“I am Leslie Fernandez” I said absently. I continued not satisfied with what was I supposed to do now, “Doctor, what will happen now, what can we do to make it better?”
“Mr. Fernandez I am sure u feel anxious, but we have to just wait for the medications to work. I have seen patients come through a coma, but the problem is that this is quiet severe. Those who do wake up, 90% of the times often remain significantly impaired. Let’s hope for the best and…”
“And Doctor??” I asked impatiently.
“Prayers might help, Mr. Fernandez.” He smiled benignly.
I left the room dazed, prayers. I hadn’t been to church for a long time. That was one of the complaints Viola had. I met uncle and told him what the doctor had to say.
“I am shaken from this son; I don’t want anything to happen to my dearest girl. Go see her, be with her, it might help. I have heard even when unconscious they can hear you. I will go down for a bit.” Saying that the old man left, gimping on the way.
I entered the room noiselessly. She was on the bed with all the tubes jutting everywhere. The monitor was beeping in rhythm incessantly. Her head was bandaged and her face had few injuries. She looked frail and life seemed to have fled from her body. I sat down on the stool afraid of touching her. It is so strange I was afraid of touching her, where as I often held her closely. With some courage, I held her hand in my hands.
“I am sorry baby, I really am. I don’t want to lose you. You are so precious even though I have said hateful things. Please forgive me, come back to me.” I cried softly knowing quiet well there is a chance she may not hear at all. I won’t have it; she would have to come back to me. She could not punish me like that. She was wonderfully soft hearted.
I left my anguish along with me. I could not see her so lifeless. Uncle was sitting out when I came out.
“Where are you going, son?” he asked.
“Uncle, I have to go now. But I will be back. Please call me if anything, anything happens.”
I could not go home. I wandered in the hospital; there was a room that had God of all religions. I sat down in a corner. Thoughts were swirling in my head. Her smile, her voice, her eyes, her soft touch, her kind words, her nagging, her jolliness, her silliness, her…
I looked at all the God’s. He is one right; I closed my eyes bent on my knees. I didn’t know what to say. I just did.
“I have loved her and I will always love her. I want her to know that. I want her to be with me forever, happy and smiling. Not like this, it can not end like this. Please don’t take her away from me, don’t you see? I need her.”
I sat down remembering the time before her accident.