Time (12)

Time

The pain disappeared but the discomfort remained. The young man was lying on a bed, his thoughts running around in his head. An OR… Operation Room. Surgeons were operating on… me. But when? When did i ever get surgery? I didn’t look different. Not younger. Not older. He remembered the moment he zoned out: he wasn’t in contact with anybody. Only wind brushed his skin. So where did that come from? As he raised more questions, his eyes blinked slower and slower to finally closed themselves. The darkness obtruded, silence suppressed noises and whispers, and calm traveled through his body.

A rhythmic sound from afar woke his conscious. As the sound came closer and louder. Simo slitghly opened his eyes, enough for him to scan his surroundings. It was night time still. Blinds were shut but a weak light from outside helped him guess. He let his head fall on the left, saw an empty couch against a white wall, then turned to the right: a window gave to a hallway that few people used. The door was ajar. He looked closer to himself and spotted the origin of the sound. His head came back to its initial position and he felt himself slipping away. Darkness reigned again. All parasitic noises disappeared, except for the recurring bip that rang louder and louder each time. His body felt relaxed: it felt as if gravity had no effect and yet, the bed underneath was very present. A sudden brust of electricity struck him. His body jumped up and down and was pulled from left to right. He tried to open his eyes but in vain. Simo felt his limbs dashing against a barrier surrounding the bed. His body wasn’t responding anymore. The noise intensified. Its rhythm fastened. An eternity seemed to have passed when footsteps rushed into the room. A voice shouted orders, a liquid ran through his vein and hands held him down. Everyone became quiet for a second while the product took effect. Simo’s wild body settled down. The noise became steady. Immediatly, his chest was exposed to the atmosphere, then warm hands applied a regular pressure on him. Less than a minute later, something cold disbursed a wave of electricity to his heart, animating his body for a quick instant. The perpetual bip broke the silence in the room. ‘Charge at 300!…Clear!’. Another shock. Simo’s mind was fully awake. But his corpse wasn’t reacting. On the third attempt, something happened.

 

Simo’s ventricules felt the electricity: the provoked contraction led to another one. The stagnant blood flowed again, air filled his lungs and his brain showed activity. Simo heard his own breathing: it was fast. He opened his eyes then sat down and gazed around. The room was unfamiliar but he recognized it. He looked down to his right arm: no trace of a needle. Sound of waves slowed the pace of his heart, dispelling his disorientation. Once he gathered himself, Simo stood up and scanned the room. Walls and floor became one – Again – extending to infinity. A tone caught his attention. He looked to his right and saw the hospital room full of surgeons and nurses busy around the bed. He stared at the scene. At the corner of the room, he noticed someone in tears. When a knock on a door made him turn around: Megan. Simo was lost: ‘What’s… going on?’.

‘Yo!’ A known voice resonated. ‘Zeke…?’ The latter appeared in front of him, a smile on his face. ‘You must be confused by all of this.’ He paused as he pointed to the two scenes displaid around them. ‘What is this? Where am i? What’s happening to me? Why are you here?’ His voice was trembling. ‘Breathe. And listen.’ Ezekhiel paused again. ‘See this place… like a bridge. The bridge where dream and reality collide. A peacefully place to make your decision.’ Simo frowned. ‘Which reality do you want to live in?’ Incomprehension could be read on his face: ‘What do you mean which reality? There’s only one reality…right?’ – ‘Right.’ He smiled. ‘Which one is yours: the one where you’re in a hospital bed or the one where you’re at a beach house?’ Simo stayed in silent. ‘You need to choose.’ They made eye contact. ‘I don’t… I don’t understand…’ He took a moment to think. ‘How… Why are you here?’ Simo asked. That smile again.

– ‘I’m not really your friend, Ezekhiel. I am more, like, your support system. I’m here for you. To help you make the right decision.’

– ‘So, there is a wrong decision… What happens if i make the wrong choice?’

– ‘You don’t have much time. You can’t stay here too long, too often. Your body won’t handle it.’ Ezekhiel started to fade away along with the different pictures.

– ‘Wait. What? Then help me!’ Simo yelled. Right before he completely vanished, Simo heard:

– ‘All you need is to wake up!’

 

Simo opened his eyes. His heart was pounding fast. Drops of sweat wetted his forehead. He was out of breathe, his vision blurry. ‘Wake up! Simo!’ He turned to his left and saw Ezekhiel. In a blink of an eye, Megan approached his bed. She stared at him for a second, put the back of her hand on his forehead and did the same on hers. ‘You have a slight fever.’ she said. As she stepped away, she noticed fear in Simo’s look. ‘Are you ok?… Can you tell me where we are right now?’ The latter analyzed his location. He recognized the place but couldn’t put words to it. ‘Don’t worry. You’re in a safe place. Do you know who i am?’ He nodded: ‘Megan.’ She smiled, relieved. ‘Where’s Zeke?’ he asked. ‘He must be around, somewhere.’ Simo stood out of his bed and walked to the door. He grabbed the handle, jolted it before opening then disappearing behind it.

 

To be continued

Time (10)

Time

TRRRRRIIIIIT!

‘Zeke!’ The latter turned around and saw Thea’s face, sweaty. He glanced at his team gathering around the coach then ran to her. ‘What’s up?’ She was out of breathe. ‘You’re alright?’ He looked around. ‘Where is Simo? What’s going on?’ She took his hand and pulled him but a fence prevented him on moving forward. ‘Come on!’ she screamed. He gave her a look then proceeded to jump over it. They ran towards the restroom. ‘Euhm… where…?’ Ezekhiel noticed Megan banging at the door. The latter looked worried. ‘Simo? You hear me?’ Silence. ‘Hé! Simo! Open the door! Simo! Simo!! Simo!!!’ He heard a mumble but the silence reclamed its place. Suddenly, a big smile appeared on his lips. He stepped back then got ready. He whispered to himself: ‘This is the perfect time to fulfill my goal…’ He started to run. As he came closer to the door, his right shoulder moved forward and acted like a shield. His field of vision diminished to the door’s frame. A film of light appeared around it then grew bigger and bigger until Simo showed up. The latter looked up and felt a rush and stepped back. ‘Aaaaaaaaah! Don’t…!’ Ezekhiel froze. The four teenagers looked at each other for a minute before Megan broke the silence: ‘What were you doing?’ Simo put his eyes on hers. ‘No.2.’ Another silence. ‘You… did not!’ Thea tried to convinced herself. Ezekhiel put his nose in the room, inhale then made a face. ‘Yep. He did.’ The girls expressed their disgust and walked away. ‘Don’t you have a game to win?’ Ezekhiel had a sudden realization, as soon as he started to run, Simo said: ‘Hé, don’t you have a… Alright.’

Days later, they all met again at Toai’s famous zoo that hosted many wild animals from all over the world. Each species were brought by two as the owner, a multi-millionnaire animal lover, was inspired by Noah’s story. They walked by the underground world: Ezekhiel and Thea entered the dome, leaving Megan alone with Simo, who was afraid of legless creatures. Their next stop was up, up and away, amongst dream-makers living things. They fastened their pace under water and quickly paid a visit to the least seen animals, as maned-wolves, zebus, patagonian maras, tufted deers and others. Simo froze in front of the buffs‘ couple’s enclosure. He stared at them living their lives, eating as slow as they can then laying on the ground to fall asleep. A third buff appeared from behind their cabin. He walked to the fence, staring at his visitor, smelled the latter then licked his mouth. Simo gently raised his hand to his muzzle and pet him.

The second he touched the animal, a violent wind blew fences, cabin, plates and all visitors away to leave place to the hot savanna’s of Africa. The landscape was beautiful, enlightened  by a high sun. A tree nearby gave a nice cover, accompanied by a warm breeze now and then. The surroundings were empty of men. Until he made a complete rotation. There was a woman, standing thirty three feet away from him. Simo scanned her and didn’t recognized her face. She was stoic and immobile. Her lips were in motion but no sound arrived to his ears. He looked at her more carefully, tried to come closer but his legs refused to move. After narrowing his eyes, her name appeared like a revelation:

– ‘Sanaa…’

To be continued

Time (5)

Time

We have a pulse. Finally…. Yeah. Prepare him for an IR…

His conscious awakened. Disturbance of a closed space grew louder and louder, then a recurrent tone appeared. After a few seconds, his eardrums vibrated to a breathing. Slow and steady. Simo opened his eyes to a white wall. He turned his head to his left and saw a monitor drawing his heartbeat. A little bit further, Ezekhiel was deep into Morphee’s arms. Simo gazed around, trying to sit but from neck to toe: he felt numb. He’s first instinct was to check his right arm. Footsteps and ringtones went through the doorway, accompanied by low voices. Simo’s eyes travelled to the window to see his parents on the other side of the glass. Behind them, he could behold a man in a white blouse holding a folder. He focused on them and tried to catch a word. After tuning down every noises, he stretched his ears to listen carefully but they tuned down even more their murmurations as if they knew someone was spying on them. ‘Hey!’ Simo was suddenly pulled out of his thoughts, whispers faded away leaving place to the monitor and perturbations of the air. The voice came from his left: Ezekhiel woke up. ‘How do you feel?’ he asked. Simo tried to sit but his father walked in and put his hand on his son’s shoulder: ‘You need to rest.’ The doctor was close behind and started to check Simo’s vitals. ‘Everything seems to be ok. A brain scan was realized and revealed nothing abnormal. Can you tell us what happened before?’ Simo looked at his parents then Ezekhiel before staring at the doctor. ‘Nothing special: we were just chilling.’ Simo replied. The doctor remained silent for a second then continued: ‘We’re going to keep you in observation for the night ‘ Simo’s parents shared a look. ‘It’s just for precaution. Don’t worry.’ reassured the doctor before leaving the room. Simo’s parents left as well, few minutes after. Simo looked at his friend and his right hand back and forth. ‘Do you think…’ He let his sentence hang. ‘You said i disappeared for a moment. right? At that time, i was following Thea.’ Ezekhiel looked at Simo going deeper and deeper in his process of thoughts. ‘Maybe, you should stop. That was the trigger to your seizure. Just… sleep on it for now, alright?’ They shared a look and Simo agreed.

Ezekhiel didn’t hear from Simo for an entire week, until the week-end. It was on a saturday evening, at a birthday party, where Simo and Ezekhiel meet again. ‘What are you doing here?’ Ezekhiel asked. Simo looked at him with big eyes. ‘Is it ok with your…Condition?’ he whispered. The two friends shared a look. As soon as Simo opened his mouth to share his thoughts, a female voice interrupted them: ‘Hi! You are here!’ They both looked towards her. ‘It’s been forever! What are you doing now?’ Simo assumed she was talking to him since he stopped hanging out with his classmates the moment he dropped out of school: ‘I’ve been busy.’ She waited for the second part of his statement but an awkward silent settled. ‘Euhm, i’m, euh, let you two talk.’ Ezekhiel said; Simo watched him leave. ‘How you’ve been!’ Simo continued the conversation. ‘I’m good! Well, a bit stressed: exams are soon so i’m….’

As she kept on talking, Simo tuned her voice a bit down as a background noise in his mind. He gazed around. Some people were dancing, some people were playing around the pool. But most people were just sitting around and talked about everything and nothing at the same time, an empty glass in their hands. Others were just trying to keep their balance. ‘…and then a huge dragon came out, grabbed me by the shoulder and pulled me into the air to fly away from the mafia.’ Simo’s eyes crossed hers. She smiled. ‘You haven’t changed.’ she claimed. ‘It hasn’t been that long either.’ She shook her head and let go of a laugh: ‘Just two years.’ One of the Sunday dancers ran into her, making her all of her drink on Simo’s shirt. ‘Sam!!’ She yelled. The latter put his left hand on the troublemaker’s back who turned around and stared at them for a second: ‘Yo! Simo!! What’s you’re doing here? Hey! Megan!… What’s up?’ Then he walked away. Megan looked at him, confused about what just happened. ‘What was that?’ she whispered to herself, before turning to Simo: ‘Oh no! Your shirt! I’m so sorry!’ The latter smelled the wet area: ‘Coke? I thought you were drinking alcohol like everyone else.’ She shook her head. At the same time, far behind her, Simo noticed something odd: one of the guests had an empty bottle of vodka in one hand and a half-full bottle of HSE in the other. He stood still in the middle of the crowd, raised the empty bottle in the air before dropping it at the break of a song. Then he drank the rest of the rhum in an instant. When he raised his arm, Simo noticed some bruises underneath his t-shirt. The drunk teenager walked the best he could through the crowd of other drunk people. As he marched along the swimming pool, he froze on his reflection few times.

When suddenly, Sam pushed him violently. The drunk boy lost his balance and fell into the water. Sam didn’t notice he hit someone, once again, and kept on moving his body around off beat. As the music was loud, the party attenders raised their voices to be heard creating an excessive level of frequencies that covered the sound of someone falling. Simo stared at the scene: from where he was, he could see splashes of water. But after a minute or two, it stopped. Simo waited a moment, expecting to see the swimmer stand up and walk away. But nothing happened. Intrigued, and worried, Simo walked to the pool. As he got closer, he saw the teenager inanimate at the bottom of hole. A rush of adrenaline burst from his chest. He dived in, grabbed the teen by his right arm and swam as fast as he could to the surface. As soon as they made contact, Simo had flashbacks: a sunny day at the park with his mom, a dark afternoon in his bedroom, his father raising his fist, empty  bottles and cans of beers all around his living room, boring days in class and sleelpless nights. When he reached the surface, Ezekhiel helped him pull out the teen out of the water. Music was turned down. Discussions paused and people gathered around them. ‘Step back!’ Ezekhiel yelled. ‘Give him space to breathe.’ But the latter wasn’t. When Simo got out of the water himself, he kneeled next to the unconscious young man. He put his ear on the latter’s chest: no sound. Simo had to think fast: he put his hands together slightly below the chest and started to push at a regular rhythm. ‘Zeek, call 911.’ he said as he was counting. ‘Fifteen.’ He listened to his chest again: still nothing. He continued. ‘Thirty.’ Simo pinched the kid’s nose, pulled down the latter’s jaw and blew air in his lungs. After the forth time, Simo practiced CPR again. He listened, hoping to hear the siren of the ambulance. But it was quiet. All we could hear was his breathing. Seconds passed. ‘How long can a human brain stay without oxygen?’ Simo thought. His hands started to shake. He was out of breathe but kept on pushing on the diaphragm. The world stood still. Everyone held their breath. When, finally, he coughed. Simo was in disbelief. He immediately turned the kid’s head to the side to make him spit the water from his lungs. Everyone sighed of relief. Simo looked at Ezekhiel, a huge smile on his face. The latter mimicked him and pointed to his ear. Simo looked over the crowd and heard it: sirens.

To be continued.