Inspired by a house I saw once, this story just started forming itself in my head.
Bzzzzzztt. Bzzzzzzztt. My loud, annoying alarm clock drove me form my sleep. I pulled myself out of bed and staggered to the washroom. A cold shower cleared my brain. I could not remember why I had set my alarm so early, since it was the day after my very last 4th year exam. I should be celebrating by sleeping in, should I not? Probably I had just forgotten to change it. I wandered into the tiny kitchen in our apartment and pulled out the first edible thing from the cupboard, a bagel. It was likely a month old, but toasted and slathered with butter it would be fine. As I was finishing it up my friend Joe dragged himself wearily into the kitchen.
“Whatcha doin' setting your alarm so early? Woke us all up.” He mumbled.
“Ate the last bagel, too, didn't yah?” he accused me.
Suddenly the phone rang. Joe grabbed it, his expression slowly changing from annoyance to concern. “Here, Jack,” he said, “Its for you.”
I walked into the chilly white hospital room. My father's strong, energetic frame lay still and motionless on the white hospital sheets. I watched his breath come and go, and his eyelids fluttered a bit. “How is he?” I asked the nurse.
“He is doing alright. We gave him something to make him sleep. Its been a long night for him.”
“But how is he going to end up? How bad was the stroke?”
She looked at me sadly. “We really can't say for sure, but there is a pretty good chance that his left side will be paralysed for the rest of his life.”
I stared down at him., my dauntless father diminished to paralysed. He had always been a force to be reckoned with, but now he looked so weak and helpless, like a baby.
“Well, I guess I won't be needed here until he wakes up, is there any place where I can go for a while?” The nurse led me to a waiting room down the hallway, but she stopped at the nurse's station and gave me my fathers belongings that he had had with him when he came in.
“Maybe there are some other people you should contact?” She suggested. I sat down and worked numbly through my father's business cards and messily written phone numbers, looking for any that might have been important. The only one I found was for my father's secretary. I managed to get a hold of her on my first attempt.
“Hi Susan, its John. I'm phoning you from the hospital because my father came in last night after having a stroke. I just wanted to make sure you knew. . . . Um, would you be able to take over everything business related? . . . Yeah, that would be great. I'm glad its in good hands. . . . I'll be in touch. ”
I also phoned my brother. “Hi, Edward. Dad's in the hospital. He had a stoke yesterday, and he came in late last night. Do you think you can leave work long enough to come down? No? Ok. I'll tell him you know. Thanks.”