Her mouth tastes like liquid lead, no matter how hard she tries it’s impossible to get rid of this awkward feeling that something’s off. It’s almost the end of the day. I’m off tomorrow she thinks. Closing her eyes she’s trying to get rid of this anxious weight on her chest, it only feels worse. The idea of having to drive home soon somehow seems like an impossible task.
Her co-worker gives her a quizzical look,
“Are you OK? you look like s**t” she mouthed with a quiet chuckle
“that exactly how I feel” she answered in a low tired voice.
“Like I’m on LSD, head tied to a floating balloon. Soooh weird”
The iron fist squeezing her chest is getting heavier. She’s doing her best to ignore it, to no avail. Her manager arrives, looking at her tries to get her to sit.
“I’ll lay down if it’s OK, I’m really not feeling good”.
It all goes very fast. Her jaw is completely paralyzed, she can’t talk any more.
She can hear everyone going back and forth, distant voices on the phone. A call to 911, it all seems so surreal. If only she could talk and let them know it’s going to be OK.
That fist in her chest is putting a tremendous amount of pressure, a complete stranger flashes light in her eyes, she blinks. He says “Can you hear me?”
She blinks furiously.
One blink for No
Two for Yes, he says with both kindness and authority
She blinks twice.
The room spins around and she closes her eyes.
The wheels under the gurney are catching every crack of the mall floor on the way to the ambulance. She’s feeling faint once more.
The voice in her head comes from a different place. Its calm tone contrast with the shrieking sound coming from outside. It takes her a moment to realize it’s the ambulance siren.
“She’s off the chart” “Left main, left main” screams a man’s voice close to her.
“It don’t get it, she’s no following the flow charts” answers a woman voice.
The quiet voice whispers:
“Well, if now’s the time I’m OK. I’ll miss the children, they’re too young to be motherless”
“I’m glad it’s not going to be being burned or drowned”
She just wanted the shrieking sound of the ambulance siren to stop. If the giant fist around her heart would just let out a bit, she’d be fine.
The white neon lights are needles in her eyes.
“Stay with me, lady” said the man’s in an angry voice.
She wondering why he’s so mad with her, she wants to apologize but just end up heaving bile on the side of the gurney.
Suddenly the sirens stops, the ambulance stops too. The neon lights on the ceiling are passing fast on top of her head. She’s so tired, if she could just sleep a bit…
(to be continued)