Chapter 7

Chapter 7

“Close your eyes.” Nicholas’ voice was like a sweet, echoing lullaby to me. Something I could listen to every night as I went to sleep.

I Jerked up quickly, gasping for air as I looked around me. Panic filled me as I realized I was in a different room. Alone.

I frantically searched around me for Nicholas, but of course, he wasn’t here.

A dream? I thought sadly. I wanted so bad to deny it. But judging by where I was laying, in a completely strange room covered in nothing but white, with strange noises and beeps and whirs echoing through it, there was no possibility that it couldn’t have been a dream.

I wanted desperately to lay back down and go to sleep, hoping that maybe the dream would return, and I could finish it, or maybe it would restart, so I could watch it again. But I knew that now that I was awake, conscious that I was in a strange room, there was no way I could fall back to sleep.

I looked once more around me, examining the room I was in, closely. The walls which were tightly enclosing me into this small room were all white. The bed which I laid on was white, and the sheets which laid neatly over my sore legs were white. Even the hospital gown that I was wearing was white, with the exception of an abstract, pastel colored pattern pasted all over it.

Wait a second…hospital gown?

I was in a hospital! I realized. But what for? I wondered.

A low grunt erupted beside me. I froze in surprise and fright, then slowly turned my head to look to where the grunt had voiced just seconds ago.

I sighed in relief as I saw Colleen, sprawled out on a chair beside my bed, asleep. Her make-up streaked down her cheek from previous tears, and in her hand she clutched tightly to tissue.

I sat myself upright, examining myself and Colleen. What had happened? I wondered.

I looked at my hands. I had scabs where cuts had been. Small nicks and bruises continually running up my arms. An IV needle was jabbed uncomfortably into each of my wrists, the cord dangling freely from the syringe. Inside the cord flowed a clear liquid, whose source was a thick plastic bag, that hung beside my bed on a long metal pole, full of the liquid it was rushing into me. As I dropped my hands in my lap, a small but pulsing pain in my leg arose.

“Ah!” I exclaimed as the pain got worse with each passing second.

I threw the covers off my legs and examined a wound on my thigh, tightly wrapped by a white bandage. The bandage was a light pink color from the blood that was seeping underneath.

I lifted my arm to my head in an attempt to run my hand through my hair, but instead of hair, I felt a fabric bandage that was wrapped securely around my forehead. All these wounds and bandages and I had no idea what they were for.


I looked over at Colleen, who was slowly lifting her head up, gazing at me through heavy eyes. She wiped her face and looked at me, fresh tears forming in her eyes.

“Oh Juliet!” She said, running up and hugging me tightly. “I’m so glad your okay!”

“I’m fine.” I assured as she let go. “What happened?” I asked.

“Don’t you remember, honey?”

I looked at her, then shook my head.

“You got hit by an eighteen-wheeler truck. It knocked you off of a bridge.” She looked at me.

It was all starting to come back now. I could remember the silver bumper of the truck as it flew at me. I remembered holding onto the truck door for dear life as I dangled helplessly over the bridge. I remembered falling, and I remembered the icy cold water. And Nicholas, pulling me out and carrying me to safety.

“I remember now.” I said, looking away as it replayed in my head.

“It was terrible. The police said you almost died.”

“Where’s Nicholas?” I asked.

She looked at me, confusion swelling up all over her face. She arched her eyebrows and looked away thoughtfully, then back at me. “Who is Nicholas?” She asked.

“The guy who pulled me out of the water. The guy who rescued me.” I answered, hoping it would ring a bell. But Colleen continued to gaze at me like I was insane.
“Juliet, honey, you hit your head really hard, and I think you might have just imagined this Nicholas person.”

“No, I remember perfectly. Nicholas carried me out of the water. He was the one that took me to the ambulance. He was the one who saved me.” I was sure of it.

“But sweetie, the police said that you washed up on the bank. There was no Nicholas.”

I looked at her. Why didn’t she believe me? I think I would remember what happened to me, and who saved me. I didn’t wash up on any bank. That I was sure of.

“Listen, I know that your probably really confused about all of this. But everything is going to be fine. The doctor said you’re making a completely perfect recovery. You may get to go home very soon.”
“How long have I been in here?” I asked.

She looked at me. “Two days.”

I looked away in shock. I had been asleep for two days?

“And look here. Your friends have stopped by! They gave you a card. See?” She walked to the table and picked up a greeting card, handing it to me and sitting back down.

I grabbed it and examined it. On the front it had a neat floral design, with “To My Friend” on the front in bold blue letters. Inside it said “Get well soon!” with names signed neatly at the bottom from Amber, Marie, Boone, Kevin and Jake.

“I had visitors?” I asked, surprised.

“Oh yes. Many people have come by to see you. People I don’t even know. But they said they knew you from school.”

I looked back down at the card, more cheerfully. I was surprised I had visitors. I was surprised that people from school even heard about the accident.

“How are you feeling?” Colleen asked. “Do you need anything? Water? Food? Are you hungry?”

“I feel fine.” I replied.

“You sure? Because I can get you anything from the cafeteria down stairs. I can get you a bagel, a candy bar…you like fruit smoothies?”

“I’m fine, Colleen.” I said, laughing. She must have been really worried.

“Okay.” She said, smiling briskly.

She turned her head towards the wall and sighed. “Oh look at me, I’m a mess.” She walked towards a square mirror that hung on the white wall, whipping her face and fixing her hair.

“When do you think I can go home?” I asked, though I knew she probably had no clue, but I thought I would ask anyways. After all, she was a nurse.

She turned around and sighed. “Well, Doctor Moore said he would have to examine you whenever you woke up, but I’m sure you’ll be able to go home sometime tomorrow, hopefully.”

I sighed. Spending the night here was the last thing I wanted to do.

“Oh, by the way, did you see it outside? What am I thinking, of course you didn’t!” She walked over to the window and pulled back the curtains and lifted the blinds.

I couldn’t see much from the comfort of my uncomfortable bed, but what I did see didn’t look much different than the room I was in. Everything outside, from the parking lot below to the pine trees that shot up passed my window, was hiding under a fluffy blanket of snow. The kind of snow that looked like powdered sugar. The kind you wish you could roll around in all day.

I looked out, captivated by the scene outside. It was beautiful! So much snow, it looked like it was more than a foot.

“Wow!” I said, enchanted. “It snowed while I was asleep?”

“Yep. Six inches. The most we’ve ever had in October.”

I wished desperately that I wasn’t stuck in that stupid hospital bed. I wanted so badly to throw on a pair of snow boots and a heavy jacket and collapse in its pillow of ice.

“I’m going to call Doctor Moore, so he can take a look at you.” She said, walking towards the door. “I’ll be right back, okay?”

I nodded. She winked at me then left the room, disappearing down the hall. I turned my head back towards the window, just staring at the snow. I would have done anything to stand up and peer out the window, just to feel the cool, icy air on my clammy skin.

It wasn’t until I saw the snow that I realized how hot I was. I unwrapped myself from the blanket, freeing my legs, then pulled my hair off my neck, over my shoulder. As I did this, I was dying to pull out the annoying IV needles that suspended from my wrists uncomfortably. But as the doctor walked in, I resisted the impulse.

“Well good morning, Juliet.” He said smiling. His voice was deep and throaty. “How are you feeling?”

“Fine.” I replied.

“Good. Good.” He repeated. “Well, I’m Doctor Moore, I’m your doctor, and I’ll be examining you until you leave. You know, just to make sure your well enough to leave, and whether or not your recovering correctly. All that jazz.”

I nodded, watching him as he dug out a pen from his coat pocket and began scribbling on a clipboard he had carried in.

“Okay, what I need you to do is sit up for me, okay?” He requested, sticking a stethoscope into his ears.

I obeyed, sitting up slowly. He took the stethoscope and held it to my bare back, which wasn’t covered by the hospital gown.

“Okay, just breathe in and out.” He instructed. I breathed in, taking a big gulp of air and letting it out through my mouth, then repeating. He continued to move the stethoscope around my back.

“Okay, thank you.” He took the stethoscope out of his ears and scribbled away again at his clipboard.

He peered behind me at the machine that beeped and buzzed loudly, copying down the numbers that displayed on the monitor. He stared at his clipboard for a second, then lifted his head back up and looked at me.

“I’m just going to take the bandage off of your head, okay?”

He lifted his arms towards me, wrapping his fingers around the bandage and unraveling it from my head like a turban.

“Could you turn your head a little bit to the right, please? That’s perfect, thank you.” He examined the back of my head closely, pulling my hair away and then turning back to his clipboard.

“Well, Juliet, it looks like your making an absolutely perfect recovery.”

“Really?” I asked, happily.

“Yes.” he said, glaring at me. “In fact, I’ve never seen a patient heal so fast.”

Colleen look at him. “Is that a good thing?” She asked, concern darkening her voice.

“Oh, its not a problem at all. She’s very fortunate to be a quick healer. But its very, very surprising at how quick she actually does heal.”

I looked at him, confused.

“What exactly do you mean?” Colleen’s voice was nervous.

“Well, I mean she is almost completely healed. Her heart rate is completely normal, and the gash on the back of your head is completely closed up. In fact, its already scabbing, which is definitely very, very strange since it was sown up just yesterday.”

I winced as he spoke. They sowed my head up? I thought frantically. I hadn’t even realized there was even a gash on my head. But of course, I wasn’t surprised. There was no telling what else had happened to me.

“We had expected to see you back here in a few weeks or so to get the stitches removed, but it looks like we’ll be doing that today.”

I gulped. I didn’t like the way that sounded.

“When can she go home?” Colleen asked, taking the words straight out of my mouth.

“Well, I still want to keep her here over night, just to see how she does now that she’s conscious. Just as a precaution, to make sure that everything is really okay, and that she doesn’t show signs of a concussion or anything like that. But I doubt we’ll have any problems. She’ll probably get to go home first thing in the morning.”

“Oh, good.” Colleen sighed in relief. I, on the other hand, wasn’t as thrilled. I definitely did not want to spend the night in a hospital. But better one night than more.

“Alright, well, it was good meeting you, Juliet. I’m very thrilled at your recovery. I hope that it goes by swiftly and all this can be over and done with.” He said, smiling and shaking my hand politely. “I will be back early in the morning to examine you, and then hopefully you can go home, okay?”

I nodded hopefully. Going home sounded like a wonderful idea.

Doctor Moore walked out the door, his footsteps echoing as he descended down the hallway. Colleen looked at me and sighed.

“Do you want anything from the cafeteria?” She asked again.

“No thanks. I’m not hungry.” I assured, one last time.

She looked at me and sighed. “Okay. Well I’m going to go get myself some lunch, okay? I’ll be right back, I promise.”

“Sure.” I nodded, smiling at her as she walked to the door.

“Okay, be right back.”

Colleen sauntered out the door, leaving me alone in the room. The eerie silence that filled the room throbbed in my ears as I leaned my back against the limp pillow behind me. I stared at the ceiling, thinking about the dream I had had and wondering what it meant. It felt so real, like I was actually there. Like Nicholas was actually leaning over my bedside, whispering softly to me. I remembered that I could actually feel the heat of his body. I could actually feel the warmth of his fingers as he had stroked my cheek. All of it had felt so real.

It was the kind of dream that gave you a tingling feeling in your stomach when you thought about it. The kind of dream that you hate waking up from. The kind you wish would continue on, without stopping, or without waking up. The kind of dream that you wished desperately to be real.

I sighed, pulling the sheets back over my legs and pulling them up to my chin, even though perspiration beaded my forehead, and sweat gathered on the back of my neck.

“Happy dreams.” I muttered to myself.

“I’m not tired.” I objected, though my eyes were low and droopy.

He chuckled. “Juliet, you need your sleep for tomorrow. We have a big day ahead of us.”

“Why can’t I just stay awake, like you, and daddy do? Just this one time? Please?”

He looked at me, sympathy filling his face. “Your mommy and daddy would get very upset with me if I let you stay up all night long.” he said, smiling at me.

I smiled back. I couldn’t help it when I looked at him. I loved his smile.

“Would you like me to tell you a story to help get you to sleep?”

I lifted my head up in excitement. “Yes!” I said eagerly.

“Okay.” He laughed. “Once upon a time, there was a beautiful princess, named Juliet,” He winked at me, then continued, “Juliet had long, curly brown hair, and beautiful gray eyes.“

I smiled as he described me. He smiled back and pulled the blanket up to my chin as he continued.

“And one day, Juliet had to walk through the magic forest to deliver her mother’s very special cinnamon bread to her grandmother, who was very, very sick. The forest was so magical, the trees would dance when the birds would sing, and all the flowers whispered in each other’s ears as the wind blew through their petals. Juliet loved the forest so much, and when she saw a pretty pink flower, she just had to smell it! So, she bent down and began to smell it when all of the sudden a voice behind her said, ‘What are you doing in my forest, little girl?’. Juliet was very scared. She turned around and looked and it was a wolf!”

“Just like you!” I exclaimed, giggling.

He laughed. “That’s right.” He said smiling. “Well the wolf was so nice, he offered her a ride on his back for a piece of this special cinnamon bread. Juliet gave him a slice of the bread and they started walking through the forest. Juliet was riding on the wolf’s back--”

“Like a horse?”

“Just like a horseback ride. And then as soon as they began to walk through the forest, the wolf told her that he had a curse put on him by an evil witch, where he could never go to sleep, and he said ‘If only I could get my hands on a magic apple that grew on the only magical apple tree in the whole forest. Then I would be able to go to sleep.’ He couldn’t get to the apple tree, because it was guarded by an evil spell, and anyone who picked an apple from its branches would be cursed the same way the wolf curse. Only someone that dreamed of happy things could pick an apple from the tree.”

“Did Juliet have happy dreams?” I asked curiously.

“No one knows yet. So she told the wolf to take her to this tree, and she would see if she could pick an apple from the tree. ‘Oh, but your majesty, if it doesn’t work, then you will be cursed just like I am, and you will never ever be able to sleep again.’ but she didn’t care. She wanted the wolf to be able to sleep. So the wolf took her to this tree. It was very, very big, and it sparkled with magic. The apples that hung off of it were golden and they looked delicious. Juliet quickly ran up to the tree and reached for a nearby apple, and then--”

Nicholas stopped and looked at me, grinning mischievously.

“And then what?” I asked.

“I don’t know.” He said, still smiling.

“Why don’t you know?” I asked, sad that he wouldn’t finish the story.

“Because Juliet won’t go to sleep at night. So no one knows if she has happy dreams or not.”

I looked at him, frustrated. He continued to watch me, then he lifted a finger and tapped my nose playfully.
“If you go to sleep tonight, and have happy dreams, then we’ll know if Juliet in the story can save the wolf from the evil curse.”

“How do I have happy dreams?” I asked.

He leaned in closer to me, until his face was inches from mine. He smiled and said “Think of happy things. Happy memories and happy times you’ve had, all of your favorite things, and all the wonderful things in your life. Then, they’ll all replay in your dreams, only in magical ways, ways they could have happened if it was all just a story. And then when you think of the dream, it will make you happy. So happy you want to tell everyone. That’s how you have a happy dream.”



“Can I think of you for my happy dream?” I asked, looking up at him.

He smiled at me, only a different smile this time. An adoring smile. His eyes twinkled at me as they gleamed in the moonlight pouring in from my window.

“Only if I can think of you for mine.”


The End

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