Posted in Natalie

Natalie: Part 6- Christmas Hope Installment Three

The ride to the hospital was long and tantalizing. The paramedics made the tough decision to transport me all the way to Pittsfield rather than the local North Adam’s hospital. On the one hour ride, they treated my burns the best they could without risking infection. Even in the noisy ambulance, I could hear other ambulance sirens. I kept repeating all I could remember of Psalms 22, hoping to find that indescribable peace again. But with the paramedics staring down it me, it didn’t quite have the same affect.

We finally reached Pittsfield along with all the other ambulances. The emergency room was packed with familiar faces. Most of them had been in the cafeteria with Darcy and I.

Darcy.

I saw him out of the corner of my eye. The paramedics and hospital nurses were rushing him down a long white hallway. His left leg was burnt black.

I took a deep, large, sharp breath. The nurses took notice of me and started to rush to help me.

I don’t know what the nurses did to me. I don’t remember going into surgery even though that’s what I’ve been told. I just remember feeling so helpless.

And like my heart was empty.

**

“Nat.”

“Darcy!” I shouted. I looked around the dark room I was in, but I couldn’t make out anything.

“Nat,” Darcy’s voice called again.

“Darcy?” I asked this time. I began the walk around the room.

“Ouch!” I shouted as I stubbed my feet on what appeared to be stairs.

That’s odd I thought as I stared at my feet. While my eyes where positioned there, I wiggled my toes.

That’s really odd I thought. Slowly, I began to question the reality of all of this. I stared up at the stairwell and started climbing. As I started to climb, my knees gave out and I landed at the bottom of the stairwell flat on my back. I tried to stand but my legs failed. I tried to get up until I could feel the lower part of my body no more.

I reached for a step with my hands, and step by step lifted my body up. By the time I reached the top, I was sweating and out of breath.

“Natalie!” Darcy shouted.

I looked up. Darcy was white as snow and bright as sunshine. We were on a weird type of cloud. Darcy and I were on separate ends of this cloud. I tried to stand, but I stayed sprawled out on the hard and fluffy cloud.

“Darcy!” I cried with joy. I slowly crawled across the cloud, eager to reach Darcy. When I was within inches of his feet, a golden gate slammed shut in my face.

Darcy’s glow became brighter and I suddenly felt the cloud beneath me give way. My back slammed against concrete and darkness surrounded me.

I cried tears of blood.

**

I woke up with a shout. Momma and Daddy jumped in their chairs.

“You’re awake,” Daddy said slowly.

“Where’s Darcy?” I blurted.

“Honey bear, just lie back down,” Daddy said.

“I must know if Darcy’s all right,” I persisted.

Momma and Daddy passed a look between each other.

“Natalie,” Momma started, “Darcy didn’t make it.”

“What do you mean ‘didn’t make it’?” I asked.

“Honey bear, The doctors tried everything they could,” Daddy said. “But they couldn’t save him.”

“You mean Darcy’s…dead?” I asked, praying it wasn’t true. It couldn’t be true.

Momma nodded and broke into tears.

No!” I screamed. “That can’t be true! Just…NO!”

“Natalie, dear, wake up,” An unfamiliar voice said. I blinked and all of a sudden a nurse was at my bedside. I attempted to get up, but my legs weren’t working.

“I can’t feel my legs,” I blurted.

“Amnesia?” My mother’s voice asked.

“Natalie, dear, you were paralyzed a year ago in an accident,” The nurse said. “Do you remember that?”

“Yes,” I said as the memory of Mr. Stewart hitting me with his truck flooded into my mind.

“It probably was just the shock of waking up from such a deep sleep,” The nurse said to my parents. “Call me if she has any more troubles. I’ll be back soon to administer some pain medication.”

I wanted to cry out that I needed that medicine now, but the nurse had hurried out of the room.

“Natalie,” Momma said walking to my bedside and grabbing my hand, “do you know who I am?”

It seemed like a stupid question, but I answered it anyway.

“You’re my mom.”

“And do you know who I am?” Daddy asked taking my other hand.

“You’re my dad.”

“That’s right,” Momma said giving me a sad smile. “How many siblings to you have?”

I counted them in my head: Jaci, Abby, Yule, Noel, Megan, Bella, Love, Avery, and Emmanuel.

“Nine,” I croaked. My voice was suddenly gone.

“Ten children. I feel old,” Daddy said trying to funny. Momma grinned.

Sobs suddenly overtook my body. A voice in the back of my head whispered, “Darcy’s dead.”

“Sweetheart,” Momma cried. She lowered the rail and got into the bed with me. She held me until I stopped crying.

“Darcy’s gone,” I said almost in a forced cry. No, that was all a dream.

“So you could hear us talking?” Momma said with more curiosity than sadness in her voice.

“So he really is…gone,” I forced.

“Yes,” Momma said. “But you’ll see him again…one day soon.”

“Soon?” I asked. I looked at myself. Was I dying?

“You’ll probably see him in a couple of days. It’s Matt you should be worried about.”

I was extremely confused but I still blurted out, “Matt’s dead too?!”

Dead?” Momma asked. A weird kind of laughing relief washed over her. “Darcy and Matt are not dead. They were flown to Boston for emergency treatment.”

“What’s…wrong with them?” I asked.

“I don’t know what happened to Matt. Only that he was in critical condition. One of Darcy’s leg needs to be amputated, but an infection has already spreed. The doctors decided to take Darcy along with Matt just to be safe. What made you think he was dead?”

“I was having a wacky dream within a dream–almost like a cruel April Fool’s joke from God. First I had a strange dream in which I couldn’t get to Darcy and second I had a dream where you and Daddy told me that Darcy was dead.”

Tears of joy splashed out of my ears, and soon I was sobbing a happy sob. It took several soothings from Momma to get me to stop.

“If only this whole disaster was a cruel April Fool’s prank,” Momma muttered in my ear.

“If only,” I echoed.

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