A Twist of Fate
Green curtains? Where the fuck am I? What’s that horrendous stench?
“My leg! Oh God no…. Where is my leg?! Oh fuck, my leg!”
A harassed looking woman popped her head around the curtains “oh good, you’re awake,” she said.
‘’What the hell happened to me?’’ I frantically asked.
“You’ve been in a car accident,” she informed me.
“Holy shit, what day is it?”
“Friday, you were brought in 2 days ago, you were unconscious for a while, and your leg was so severely damaged we had to remove it below the knee, unfortunately”.
“Unfortunately?!?” I thought. My insides sharply sank at the thought of the daunting consequences I’d have to face.
I may never even walk again. I couldn’t believe it. I had responsibilities. I had to take care of my nephew Alex – the poor kid could have been in the same bed I was in because of that monster and so called ‘Dad’. Love that kid to the moon and back. He’s a little warrior. He’s probably wondering where I am as I was supposed to meet him on Wednesday evening. This can’t happen. It just can’t. “Let me just go check on another patient,” the nurse announced as she awakened me from my reflective and frozen state.
All I could think was “God, I really need a drink.” I needed to see my brother, I knew he may be able to sneak me in a drink. I looked around and just about managed to reach my mobile from the set of drawers to my right but naturally, it was dead. I plugged it in and sent a message to my brother, Andy, and told him everything I knew. Surprisingly, he responded and told me he could bring my whiskey flask from my flat later. I texted back to notify him the key was under the mat and to put vodka in the flask as the doctors would smell the strong odour of my whiskey a mile off.
Three hours later I awoke and glanced up to see a familiar face. Andy was dressed in the same long brown leather jacket he’d always worn along with a pair of ripped up, rugged and dark blue jeans.
“How you doing then James?” Andy routinely asked as he tossed his tobacco pouch onto the table.
I narrowed my eyes and snapped, “Oh, I’m just fine Andy, just missing my bloody leg!”
“I suppose you have looked better,” Andy humourlessly observed.
“So what are you waiting for – Got the flask?” I asked him, trying not to sound desperate as I rubbed the back of my head in an attempt to comfort myself.
“Yep,” Andy casually took the flask from his jacket pocket and handed it to me. I immediately opened the flask and took a big, satisfying swig.
As much as things couldn’t get any worse, at least this was actually going my way. I really thought this crazy, selfish brother of mine was going to somehow forget that I was stuck in a damned hospital bed missing a leg. In a moment of clarity I laid the whiskey flask on the bed.
“I was supposed to meet Alex on Wednesday evening. Do you have any idea if he knows why I didn’t show up or if he knows where I am?”
Andy sighed. “James, you know the situation, the family haven’t spoken to me in years,” with that Andy glanced at the clock and announced he had to leave.
As the door closed, I called out, in the best sarcastic tone I could manage, “thanks for your unwavering support!”
Once alone, I started to reminisce about all of the good times I had with Alex. When I had taken him out. I tried remembering what I was going to do when I was going to meet him on Wednesday but all I remembered was drinking in the pub with some mates.
The swigs of vodka must have started to take effect because the next thing I knew, a Doctor came in and told me that I had more visitors. Two dishevelled looking men in crumpled suits entered and introduced themselves as DI Smith and DI Brown and asked me to confirm my name and address.
I was confused as to why they wanted to know who I was but I responded anyway, no sooner than I did, DI Smith said to me, “James Thompson, you are under arrest for causing death by dangerous driving.”
“What on earth?!? When?!” Outraged, I swiftly sat up, completely forgetting about my leg.
“Wednesday evening, you hit a young boy by the name of Alex Gilbert, he just died on the operating table.”