Sep 1, 2010

The Shock

By Amber Raza

            She stood there, stock still, completely oblivious to the hullabaloo around her. She could not think, or perhaps, she just did not want to. It was better this way, she thought. Enjoy the oblivion while it lasted. She ignored the putrid smell of the hospital as she struggled to remain calm. Her insides were screaming out, she wanted to rip her hair out, to break things, to hurt someone!

With all the pandemonium going on inside her, it was surprising how she managed to retain it all, and not even let a hint of it reach the surface. She knew she had to get out of there before she actually lost it. As she made her way towards the exit, her walk was calm and controlled, betraying no trace of what she was actually feeling. The smell of the ‘fresh’ air of the polluted city hit her, and she lost no time in taking huge gulps of it.

The series of events that had sped by in the last few hours, which she had been trying so hard to control, crept up to the back of her head. The memory of the accident was so vividly etched into the back of her mind that it felt like someone was playing a movie reel in front of her. She saw herself, as she had been that morning, with her hair tied back in a tight bun, and pins carefully securing all loose strands in place. Her outfit matched with her shoes, and her shoes of course matched with her bag, just as she liked them to.

She remembered getting behind the wheel of her car, with her husband hurriedly getting in next to her, mug of coffee and newspaper in hand. She remembered smiling to herself and thinking how she would never be found ever doing anything in a hurry, since for her, perfect timing was a virtue. She saw herself laughing at a joke her husband had said, and how she had been momentarily distracted from the road when she had turned her face to look at him…

Just a moment. That’s all it takes. An entire country can be wiped out in just a moment. It only takes a moment to break a signal, and not notice the truck’s horns blaring. It only takes a moment to swerve out of the way and crash head on with another car. And it only takes a moment to black out, and wake up to see your loved one be carried out on a stretcher, with a white sheet draped over him, and a steady pool of red forming where his head was supposed to be.

She could not breathe. She needed to vent out the anger and grief that was slowly bubbling up inside her. She knew that she needed to do it soon, or else she felt like her head would explode. She knew that if she saw herself now, she would not be able to recognize herself. Her curls had come loose from their pins, and were cascading down her shoulders. Her face was grubby and smudged with dirt, and her clothes were ripped in places. But what surprised her the most, was how she had come out of the entire accident without a single scratch. In fact, there was no cut on her entire body.

Another thing that she recalled was how she had not managed to find her husband anywhere in the hospital. Well, that was not that surprising since she knew that he was probably zipped up comfortably in a body bag in the morgue.

She realized that the shock of seeing the body being rolled out on the stretcher had caused her to blindly follow the ambulance to the hospital, where she had wandered around aimlessly, unsure of where to go and who to ask for help.

She decided she needed to assess the situation at hand. She patted down her hair, brushed off some dirt from her clothes, and stood up straight. She opened the door to the hospital and entered it, looking around for someone she could talk to.

Just as she was about to ask the lady behind the reception desk where she could find her husband, she saw something that made her heart leap to her throat. There he stood, as beautiful as he ever was, talking solemnly to a doctor, who seemed to be trying to reassure him about something.

As she made her way ‘hurriedly’ (for the first time in her life) towards him, calling out to him, she managed to hear the last few words that came out of the doctor’s mouth.
“We tried everything we could to save her. But unfortunately, the injuries were too extensive. I’m so sorry about your loss.” Just as the doctor walked away, she caught a glimpse of the woman in the bed of the room he was blocking. Her shoes and bag were lying next to her, and of course, they all matched perfectly.


Shazaf said...

This story, as well as the last one entitled 'I write' were written by students in the space of one hour under exam conditions.
Kudos to you!
Asad: Very original idea.
Amber: Very tightly structured.
Would anyone care to share their 'less than perfect' writing under an anonymous entry?

beenish jawed said...

Wow I love the plot its actually very original and its so well written.

Asma Afzal said...

wow. did not see that coming :o

Fatema said...

Nice twist, I did not see that one coming although I had a couple of things imagined in my head :P

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