The nurse, Jenny, came back into Christine's room just after she woke up from her nap. She was a big woman, but young and sweet looking, like the type you would see running a large, welcoming orphanage.
"Hey, hunny, I was checking to see how your pain level is holding up and to look at your stitches. We also need to take that cathater out now that you have been awake for a while. We can do it now or wait until after lunch. Which would you prefer?"
"Um, I am not very hungry. I also do not really feel like getting up, though, can we just leave it in? My head hurts really bad." Christine looked as frail as she sounded. She was still laying on her right side with her arms and legs curled up, and looked much younger than her 23 years.
"No, way, young lady! You need to go ahead and start getting up so you can get back home with your family! Now, turn over to your back, please, so that I can check your vitals and we will go ahead and get that cathater out of there. No crutches for you! I will make sure that you get out of that bed soon. When lunch comes, you need to get something in that tummy, too! It is free food and it is pretty good, too. Your blood sugar is low so eating will help that headache of yours." Nurse Jenny continued to chatter on as Christine complied but did not smile or acknowledge the cheerful tone.
As lunch arrived, so did her mother. Christine did muster up a small smile, wanting to pretend that everything was fine. The truth was that she felt so lost and confused that she could not form any rational thoughts or make sense of what was going on outside her basic medical care and needs.
"I thought I would join you for lunch! Chad told me you were resting when he left, so I made some phone calls and things to pass the time. I also went down to the little coffee shop and bought you and blueberry muffin!"
"Thanks, Mom. You did not have to stay here, though. I would have been ok." This statement seemed to deflate her mother just a bit, so she tried to change tracks a little.
"I am glad that you are here, though. I guess I was getting a little lonely. The nurse is pretty pushy- I think you would like her a lot!" She smiled at her mother and pointed to the chair next to her bed.
"So what have the doctors been telling you so far?" Alice never bothered to go with small talk. Especially with Christine- it was a get to the point type of relationship that did not need any pretenses covering it. What she did not know, however, was how much this question hurt her daughter.
"Mom, they said that someone else got hurt when I crashed. I will be fine but I do not know about this other guy. The cops have to come and talk to me. It was my fault that someone else got hurt." Chirstine also did not mind sharing what was on her mind. She was frank with her mom, but she was also holding back from the full truth in her mind. That itself was too complicated to think about, much less speak.