Today millions will be getting together with families and friends to celebrate and give thanks for all that they have. However, many will have faced loss this year of someone they loved, and will find it difficult to reflect on the good things that they shared rather than the pain. It is hard to imagine that there can be a future without them. Janice Spina’s story is about loss but also about hope.
A Loss in Time by Janice Spina
She didn’t see him as he walked into the bakery. She didn’t notice the way he looked at her. She was oblivious of her surroundings, only absorbed in her thoughts. She concentrated on her coffee as the cream swirled around in her cup making circles as she mechanically stirred without really seeing it.
He moved closer to her table while he continued to observe her catatonic state. He only wished he could bring her out of it somehow. The accident had occurred over nine months ago and she had recovered physically but not emotionally. If only he had not called his brother for help…it would all be different now.
She drank down her last sip, picked up her unfinished muffin and deposited both in the trash before leaving the bakery shop. She never looked up as she passed by the observer. He reached out to take her hand but barely missed it. He shook his head and picked up his coffee and doughnut and followed her out the door.
Gretinasha or Greta, as most knew her, had begun to remember bits and pieces of her life after the accident. When she woke up in the ICU she was in extreme pain with her body broken and bandaged. She had cried out to the gray images that kept floating by her for help. One of these images bent over Greta taking her wrist in cool hands and running these same cool hands over Greta’s feverish forehead. Greta sighed exhausted and confused and tried to speak but nothing came out of her mouth. These unspoken words stayed in her head trapped as she was in her broken body.
Days, weeks, months went by and she grew stronger in body but still broken in thought. She could finally speak a few words but then would get confused and forget words and their meanings. Doctors, nurses and other medical staff passed by her room daily and stopped in to evaluate her progress and offered words of encouragement. But one day it was as if a dark cloud had finally lifted off of her mind. She called out his name…”Drew!”
There was a rush of staff into Greta’s room as bells and clicks could be heard of machines and other apparatus as they signaled their responses to her speech and renewed state of awareness. Greta was now fully alert and ready to move on but would she be able to handle what they would tell her?
“Where is he? What happened?” The questions flew out of her mouth now familiar with their sounds.
Doctor Gleason stepped closer and gently took her hand. “Welcome back, Greta! We’ve been waiting to talk to you for a long time.”
“Long time? How long have I been here? And…where is here?”
“Here is…New York. And…how long…six months.”
“What happened to me? Where is Drew?” Greta’s voice was shaky and rising.
“Greta, I am Dr. Gleason, the doctor on call when you came in. I have been treating you along with many other hospital staff. Some are here with me now to say ‘hello,’” Dr. Gleason took a breath before continuing, “Greta, you must take it easy now. One step at a time and you will be back to your former good health.”
“No, no, I want to know now! What happened to me and where is my fiancé, Drew Baylor?”
A gray-haired, distinguished man stepped forward and replaced Dr. Gleason at Greta’s side. He, too, took her pale hand in his as he began, “Hello, Greta, I am Dr. Roman. Let me try to explain. You were involved in a headon collision with another car. You suffered from two broken legs, a concussion, broken right collar bone and numerous contusions and abrasions. As for your fiancé, Drew, I’m sorry but he didn’t pull through. Since he was driving he received the full impact of the crash. The person who hit you was killed instantly. He was drunk at the wheel.”
“Noooooo, no, no! He can’t be dead! We were going to get married next June,” Greta screamed and tried to sit up and get out of bed but the myriad of machines were holding her back.
“Please Greta, lay back. You are not ready to get up yet. We need to bring you down for some tests and x-rays and then begin therapy on your legs. They are healed but not strong enough to hold you up.”
“I don’t care! I don’t want to live without Drew! Leave me alone!”
Dr. Gleason ushered everyone out of the room and left Dr. Roman with Greta. After all, Dr. Roman was her psychiatrist and Greta needed him now more than ever. After two more months of therapy both for her legs and her mind she was released.
Greta moved along the sidewalk as she headed back to her small apartment. Opening the door she nearly tripped over her cat, Pumpkin, named for his color and plumpness. Pumpkin followed Greta closely in hopes of getting a treat which she ate too many of already.
Greta went into her sparse and plain bedroom and lay down. She felt exhausted from the short walk to Drew’s favorite bakery. She went there every morning just to be close to the memory of Drew. In a matter of minutes she was fast asleep and dreaming.
They were on their way to Drew’s brother’s house to help him move into his new house. Greta laughed over a new joke Drew had just told her. He loved to hear her laugh and watch her green eyes sparkle with delight. Greta touched his face and Drew took his eyes off the road for just a second. Screeching tires, crunching metal and breaking glass was the cacophony that she now heard in her head. The next second everything went black. She felt herself floating and outside the car looking in at two broken bodies. She screamed and woke up in a cold sweat. She had remembered what happened.
Greta cried tears of relief at finally remembering that day and at the same time deep emotional and painful grief over her loss. If only she hadn’t distracted Drew from his driving. She would have to live with this forever.
There was a knock at her door and her cat meowed to get her attention. Moving through a cloud of sadness she approached the door and looked through the keyhole. She gasped as she saw Drew standing there. She pulled open the door and rushed into his arms. He hugged her back but then moved away as he came into the room.
“Greta, I know you think I am Drew but I’m not. I’m his brother, Darren. I went to visit you almost every day at the hospital but you don’t remember, do you?”
“No, I don’t…I’m sorry.”
“I thought it was time we met, we both have a lot to share about my brother. I miss him too. Can we talk?”
“Okay. I can’t believe how much you look like Drew. Are you identical twins?”
“Yes. Do you want some coffee? We can go to my favorite place.”
“Where is that?”
“Oh I think you already know…”
About Janice Spina
Janice Spina is an award-winning author with eleven children’s books, Louey the Lazy Elephant, Ricky the Rambunctious Raccoon, Jerry the Crabby Crayfish, Lamby the Lonely Lamb, Jesse the Precocious Polar Bear, Broose the Moose on the Loose, Davey & Derek Junior Detectives, Book 1 2 and 3, Sebastian Meets Marvin the Monkey, Colby the Courageous Cat, copy editor and writer of novels and poetry. Hunting Mariah is her first novel to be published under J.E. Spina. She published her second novel, a paranormal/mystery/romance, How Far Is Heaven, July 2016. Book 3 of Davey & Derek Junior Detectives was published in August 2016.
Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Janice-Spina/e/B00HNET4HG
Janice has received a Silver Medal from MOM’S Choice Awards for Lamby the Lonely Lamb and the Pinnacle Book Achievement Awards for Davey & Derek Junior Detectives Book 1, The Case of the Missing Cell Phone, and Book 2,The Case of the Mysterious Black Cat, and an Honorable Mention from Readers’ Favorite for Book 1, The Case of the Missing Cell Phone.
She is working on two more children’s books, book 4 of Davey & Derek Junior Detectives Series, editing a YA fantasy, finishing up a mystery/romance, and a historical novel, and wants to begin a mystery series for PT girls. All of these books, over the next few years, hopefully, will be published.
Her logo is Jemsbooks – books for all ages! Her motto is – Reading Gives You Wings to Fly! Come soar with Jemsbooks! Happy reading!
Janice’s hobbies besides writing are crocheting, exercising to keep in shape, loves going to the movies with her husband or out to lunch or dinner, reading, book reviewing, blogging and spending time with her five grandchildren who are her writing inspiration.
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Thank you for dropping in today and I hope that if you are celebrating Thanksgiving with family and friends that you have a wonderful day.