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30th November
posted by amber

Jonah No Longer Alone

I’m floating, not in water, not in air, but in a state that ought to frighten me, it’s so similar to the way I felt after my accident. I don’t remember the accident. The guys told me about it, the blue Camaro that barrelled around the corner and hit me, hurled me across the street and against a parked car. Andy said I looked like a rag doll without enough stuffing. They thought I was dead.

Meanwhile, I was floating in a timeless, painless place where the sounds of them screaming slowed down to whale music, spread across the sky like pastel soap bubbles. My own personal acid trip, years after the 60’s. I didn’t come down until I was wheeled out of the operating room. Reality sucked. The hospital smell. My mother crying. The pain in my head and arms, the alarming deadness in my lower body.

The floating this time is similar, but there’s a big difference. Like last time, there’s no glowing tunnel, no offer to choose to go toward the light or return to my life, but I feel that the choice is mine and there’s no doubt what I’ll choose. Just before the psychic lava lamp swallowed me, I heard something, I had a notion, I asked a question. In exactly the way dreams evaporate when you wake up too quickly, the sound and the notion and the question have faded. But I retain one image. The image of Jessie.

She is a promise. Life has sucked a lot since I’ve been in the wheelchair but she’s made me look forward to a future. I can see the future. I just can’t figure out where I am now, or why I’m in this floating, near-death state.

But now there’s a feeling. Gentle hands patting me softly. Now there’s a sound, pushing back the unreal peacefulness cocooning me. A voice, “Jonah, are you all right?” Suddenly I’m as alert as a dog who hears the word, “Walk.” It’s Jessie’s voice and I detect a sharp edge of panic. I need to reassure her that I have no intention of floating away from her.

The Story 365 project is a year-long marathon of short story writing, with a new story for every day of the year and posted on this website from May 1, 2011 – April 30, 2012. Stories must be a minimum of 200 words. Please help me by adding first line suggestions in the Comment section of any story.

To see all the Jessie and Jonah stories, click on the category tag at the bottom of this story.

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