The Accident That Wasn'tbySlirpuff©
Tuesday, 7:30 PM
"We've detected a crash. Is anyone hurt?" OnStar asked.
I heard the words, but they were nothing more than noise particles annoying my new peace.
"We've got assistance on the way."
Soon there were other voices—more like background noise—screaming orders.
I felt my body rise up. It was floating among the clouds on my way to heaven. A sharp pain tore through my left arm, then throughout my entire body. My peaceful unconsciousness was over.
"You're going to be all right!" I heard someone say as he shone a bright light into one eye then the other. "Tell them we're five minutes out. Have them notify x-ray and get an operating room ready."
I closed my eyes and went back to look for my creator.
I awoke to a bothersome beep. It wasn't loud, only constant. My brain pleaded with me to close my eyes again, but I was curious about my new surroundings. I had difficulty focusing. I knew something wasn't right.
Tubes and wires dangled from my arms. I fought to stay awake.
Think! I admonished myself. What is the last thing you can remember? I tried to dredge up the memories that still wanted to stay hidden. I remember being angry, looking at row after row of numbers on a computer screen, rifling though someone's desk looking for—then finding—my answer. Exhausted, I closed my eyes for just a split second.
When I opened them again it was light. My new world came into focus. People were standing close by, talking softly, they looked worried, maybe scared.
"He's awake," someone shouted excitedly. Four unfamiliar faces peered down at me.
"How are you feeling?" an older man in a white coat asked, lifting my eyelids, trying to blind me again with another bright light.
My body felt heavy. I said nothing.
"Mr. Moore, you were in an accident three days ago. You're in Mercy General. You're going to be okay. Your family is here." Two of the faces again came into view.
I stared at their inquisitive faces. I closed my eyes; the pain was back.
I opened my eyes to another face staring down at me. The woman looked to be in her early forties. Her long, burnt-red hair framed her pale, milky white face. What took me aback, though, were her eyes. They were bright, emerald green, piercing, almost demanding, but held no warmth. She touched my hand.
"Steve, honey, do you know who I am?" she whispered, throwing her long red curls to one side so I could get a better look at her face.
She moved in so close I could smell her breath. We locked eyes for what must have been a solid minute.
"No," I whispered.
With a sly grin she immediately looked away. For some reason I felt a shiver go up my spine.
I closed my eyes.
With his back to me I heard him say quietly, "Don't be alarmed, this isn't unusual. These symptoms are common in patients with this type of head trauma. Most recover their memory after a short period of time."
"But not all?" I heard a voice interject.
"In dealing with the brain, there are no certainties. However, in most cases there is a full recovery."
"How long before he's able to come home?" the red-haired woman asked the doctor.
"Mrs. Moore, your husband will need to be here for this week and maybe next. We want to closely monitor his condition in case his head trauma worsens. His arm, ribs, and ankle injuries are all minor compared to the severe head injury he sustained. You just need to be patient. This type of injury takes time to heal. The best thing for him right now is rest."
"Kids, I need to open up the office. I'll be back later. Don't tire your poor old dad out. He needs rest." With that she was gone.
I have kids?
Over the next few days doctors, nurses, and unknown well-wishers infringed on my waking hours. The lady with the red hair came often. Her look never softened and her eyes and body displayed no warmth. The only time she ever kissed me hello or goodbye was when others were present.
She always asked me the same question, "Do you know who I am?"
At this point I wasn't sure I wanted to remember.
The heart-pounding nightmares began the fourth night. I thought it was because of all the medication I was taking—it wasn't. I had started to remember.
Monday I woke early. My bed was soaked with sweat. My head hurt, but this time not from my injuries. My worst nightmares were now my reality.
The red-haired woman came every day to ask her question. I just stared, saying nothing.
Wednesday afternoon a detective arrived, he said it was to take my statement about the accident. I asked to see his copy of the accident report. He gave me a somber look and handed me the report.
"We gave your wife the contents of your vehicle last Friday. She says something is missing." He pulled two accounting ledgers from behind his back. "We found these yesterday wedged between the front seats." I glanced again at the police report. It filled in the gaps.
"You do know it wasn't an accident?"
"The brake lines were cut almost all the way through. You're lucky to be alive."
I fingered the ledgers. "Very soon some people won't think so."
"When exactly did you get your memory back?"
"Monday morning. Since then I've been hiding here where I knew I'd be safe as long as I kept up the amnesia act." We talked for the better part of an hour.
Thursday, my son and daughter walked in like they had every day since this ordeal began. I was happy to see them. I was about to say something to them when the red- haired woman blast through the door.
"Hello, Carla," I said with a deadpan face.
"Mom, isn't it great? Dad recognizes you," Debra said, gushing. "Dad, do you remember Randy and me?"
"Shut the hell up! The ledgers, where are they?" Carla screamed at me.
"In a safe place," I replied.
"The police picked up David this morning. I assume I'm next?"
I just nodded my head.
"You bastard! The only thing you ever cared about was that damn business of yours. I hated it almost as much as I hate you. If you had just died in the accident it would have all been over by now. We would have mourned your untimely death, sold the business, and finally gotten to enjoy the money you've kept from me for years."
I guess the twenty-five hundred dollars a month spending money wasn't enough for the conniving bitch.
Randy and Debra stared at their mother in disbelief.
Detective Roberts walked into the room, read Carla her Miranda rights, and escorted a still cursing, soon to be ex-wife, from my room.
"Mom and Uncle David?" Debra asked, in shock.
"I'm afraid so," I said, taking a deep breath preparing to start my new life.