Six Days Later (03)

gu2DDYxJocelyn awoke surrounded by white light. It took a few blinks for her eyes to adjust. In the center of the surrounding whiteness was a dark figure. As it came into focus, she identified the figure as that of a man. Slowly, she began to make out his features.

His features were fair – blonde hair, blue eyes, and light-skinned. His face wore an expression of mixed concern and relief.

“Good morning beautiful,” he said with a warm smile.

“Good morning,” she said almost automatically.

His presence gave her a feeling of comfort and familiarity, though she couldn’t identify exactly why. She wasn’t even sure she knew this man.

“Did you rest well,” he asked her.

“I’m not sure,” she said warily.

Jocelyn had no recollection of falling asleep and had little idea of where she was. But as she took in her surroundings, she surmised that she was in a hospital. She was lying in a bed at a slight incline and could hear the steady beep of a pulse meter overhead. The room smelled entirely too sanitary to be someone’s home. And as she began to take notice of sensations with her skin, she realized that she was wearing a loose fitting gown with an open back.

“Where am I,” she asked seeking confirmation.

“We’re in the hospital,” he answered. “Saint Alexius Hospital, to be exact.”

“Oh,” she murmured. She wasn’t familiar with any hospital by that name. “Can you tell me why we’re here?”

“You were in a pretty bad wreck,” he replied. “Your head connected with the passenger-side window and shattered the glass. The doctors decided to put you in a drug-induced coma for a few days to allow the swelling to go down.”

Instinctively, Jocelyn put her hand to her head checking to ensure everything was intact.

“You’re fine,” he said reassuringly. “At least you appear to be fine – just as beautiful as ever.”

And he flashed that warm smile at her again. Almost simultaneously, she felt a wave of warmth and comfort wash over her. She instinctively felt safe with him even though she still wasn’t sure who he was.

“I’m not so sure about that,” Jocelyn replied after a moment.

“Why would you say that,” he asked.

“Well, I hate to admit this because you seem so familiar – but I’m not sure how we know each other.”

At this, he let out a laugh – and again, Jocelyn felt assured and comforted. It felt as if as long as he were by her side, everything would be alright.

“The anesthetist informed me that you may wake up a little hazy,” he said still smiling. “I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I’m just glad you’re finally awake.”

“How long was I out,” Jocelyn asked.

“Only for a few days,” he said nonchalantly.

“A few days,” Jocelyn said with exasperation. “No wonder I feel so hungry.”

“I thought you might feel that way and it just so happens that you woke up just after I ordered lunch.”

“What’s on the menu,” she asked.

“I’ve been ordering your favorite dish for you at every meal hoping the smell might connect with your subconscious and rouse you from your slumber.”

“Chicken alfredo,” she said with a rumble in her gut.

“Or the hospital’s version of it,” he said with a smirk. “Once we get you home, I’ll have to make it for you proper. For now, you’ll have to make do with their bland sauce and over-cooked noodles.”

“I’m so hungry I don’t care if it’s horse meat,” she said.

“Well at least your appetite is in good order,” he said. “Hopefully, your memory will soon follow.”

A pleasant odor wafted into the room and as Jocelyn turned her head towards the door, she jumped with a start.

“Oh,” she exclaimed. “I’m sorry I didn’t see you there.”

In the far right corner, just inside the doorway, there loomed a large man standing silently. She wasn’t sure how long he had been there. Or perhaps he had been there the whole time. Jocelyn couldn’t be sure.

The figure said nothing, but nodded towards the covered plate in his hand.

“Oh yes,” she said politely. “Some food would be lovely.”

“I told you that’s the first thing she would want to do upon waking,” the fair-skinned man said with a smile.

Still, the large man said nothing. He simply handed the plate to the first man and stepped silently out of the room.

“Who was that,” she asked.

“Do you want to ask questions? Or do you want to eat,” the fair-skinned man said.

“You’re right,” she said matter-of-factly. “I’m famished.”

Jocelyn began the motions to sit herself upright when she realized she had no strength – not in her arms, her legs, or her core muscles. Everything felt weak.

“Don’t try to sit up yourself,” he said. “Let the bed to the work.”

She looked down beside her and saw a remote control with more buttons than she knew what to do with.

“Which button does what,” she said quixotically.

“Here, I’ll show you.”

He tenderly reached down for the remote and when his hand brushed up against hers, something shot through her like lightning. She wasn’t sure what to call this sensation. But whatever it was, it was foreign to her. At the moment, however, she was too hungry to contemplate it for long.

Once she was sitting upright, she reached for the fork. But her hand felt far too heavy for her arm. Instead of deftly taking the utensil in-hand, her arm twitched uselessly at her side.

“They also told me your body would take awhile to wake up too,” he said. “Would it be too weird for me to feed you? If so, I can call the nurse back in to assist you.”

“No, that’s alright,” she said. “I would much rather have your help.”

One small forkful at a time, Jocelyn managed to eat nearly half the plate of pasta before deciding she had better stop. She noticed that it wasn’t the fullness of her stomach that led to that conclusion – but rather, the stiffness in her jaw. Even those muscles seemed to ache from disuse.

“That’s not bad for a first meal,” he said dabbing a napkin to her lips.

“Thank you,” she said looking into his eyes.

She noticed that his eyes were fixated on her mouth. His eyes met hers fleetingly and he attempted to explain himself.

“You’ve always had the most perfectly soft lips,” he said. And then he kissed her gently on the cheek.

Their eyes met as he pulled away from the kiss.

“I figure I had better wait to kiss them until you remember who I am,” he said flirtatiously.

“Yes. I suppose so,” she said uncertainly. Jocelyn already felt like she wanted to do far more than simply kiss this man if only her body wasn’t still so useless. Yet, she still didn’t even know his name.

“Please tell me you’re not my brother,” she said with a laugh.

“I’m glad to see your sense of humor is still in-tact,” he said joining in the laughter. “No, I’m not your brother, your cousin, your uncle, or any relation by blood.”

“Well that narrows it down,” she said. “A friend then?”

She hoped that he was much more than just a friend.

“To say the least,” he said with a smirk.

“A friend with benefits,” she said with a smile.

“Something like that,” he said. Then swiftly, his demeanor seemed to change. “But I don’t want to overwhelm you in your first waking moments.”

“So what happens now,” she asked.

“Now we wait.”

“Wait for what?”

“For the doctor to check in,” he replied. “Until then, let’s watch a little daytime television.”

“Ooh, what time is it,” she asked. “Can we put Passions on?”

“See, your memory is coming back already,” he exclaimed. “Let’s tune in and see what Timmy and Tabatha are up to today.”

He got up to change the channel and turn up the volume. Turning back toward her, she couldn’t help but stare into his sky-blue eyes. She could lose herself in those eyes.

She had hoped that he would sit next to her on the bed, but instead he sat down in a chair beside the bed. Still hopeful, she managed to twitch her hand a little closer towards him at the edge of her bed with her palm facing up. If he noticed her efforts, he didn’t let on. Together they waited and watched the show.

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