"The market is only down the block," I tell myself. In my thick blue sweatshirt, favorite pair of gray sweatpants, and white knit hat covering my long auburn hair, I begin to jog across the deserted, snow-covered space keeping me from a warm breakfast. The ground is slippery under my feet and a heavy snow begins to fall. My feet slide as I try to push myself forward. In the distance I hear the faint sound of a car, barreling through the blizzard that has now engulfed me. The wind is now becoming unbearably cold against my bare face. I cannot see my feet as I move blindly in the direction of the market, the lights of the car becoming brighter. The road seems endless as I try to make my way to the other side, and I figure that I must have started to venture in the wrong direction. The car approaches as I lose all sense of direction. The snow is now hiding everything within a foot from my body. I hear the car horn, but cannot tell from what direction it is coming. The lights are soon upon me, blinding me, and the intolerable sound of the car horn causes me to fall backwards. The blow from the towering truck forces my eyes closed as my face meets the asphalt and the pain vanishes.
My eyes open, my body shaking uncontrollably. I rip the covers from my body, checking for injuries. "Had I been dreaming?" I wonder. Fully awake now, I notice that my room is not the same. I search the empty house only to find that I am alone. My husband and children are nowhere to be found. Then, my mind suddenly comes back to reality. "Get a hold of yourself," I say aloud. "You moved the furniture in your room yesterday, the kids are at school, and Matt (your husband) is at work." Where should I be? I search my mind for the answer as the phone begins to ring, the tone reaching my ears swiftly. I was quick to answer, surprised that I still remembered how to use the phone. "Hello?" I mumbled.
A strong and confident voice replied, "Well where are you Mary, did you just decide not to come to work this morning?" Finally, everything clicked as if the light bulb suddenly went off above my head.
"I am so sorry, Ms. Smith, I will be there in ten minutes. I must have not heard my alarm go off." I explain. Ms. Smith was the receptionist at Canterbarry Hospital, where I work as a nurse under Dr. White. I am responsible for drawing blood and running a number of regular tests.
I hastily shower and change into comfortable clothes. Soon I'm in my petite Saturn Aura driving to the hospital. It seems to be a beautiful day that can only be imagined, but the thoughts of, what I have now classified as a dream, slowly begin to creep back into my mind. I turn on the radio in an attempt to soothe the terrifying thoughts. My car comes to a stop at a bright red stop sign as something catches my eye in my rearview mirror. The monstrous truck from my dream is now towering over my car creating a shadow, blocking the sun, and dimming the light inside. When it inches closer, I hit the gas, making random turns until the truck is out of sight. By now, I have turned off the radio and the car is silent. The hospital is now in view, but I am approaching the distant building slowly. My neck begins to sweat, as if there is someone breathing deeply behind me. The fine hair on my arms rise abruptly and sweat is soon rolling off my forehead. I look in the mirror to find no one and nothing in the backseat. When I enter the parking lot of Canterbarry Hospital, I jump from my car, grab my bags, and sprint to the safety of the brick building, or so I thought.
A bright light thrashes against my pale face as I enter the hospital waiting room. There is no one in the waiting room, and no one at the receptionist's desk. There is not one person in the entire hospital. "Hello, is anybody there?" I yell down the abandoned hallways. No answer. "What is going on?" I wonder. As I aimlessly wander the halls, I notice that all of the patient rooms are dark and vacant. I begin to panic, trembling, as I fall to the floor and start to cry. My voice echoes, bouncing off the walls and ringing through my head. The air becomes dry and rays of light streak through the air. The ground begins to shake and I can now see people, doctors, everyone. I manage to stand and reach out to grab the shoulder of Dr. White conveniently strolling by. My hand falls through him and drops back down to my side. "I cannot take this right now!" I scream as if everyone can hear me. The lights blacken one-by-one up to the point at which I am standing, forcing me to run. My feet pound against the ground, my arms moving vigorously at my hips. I am running at top speed, but the hallway is also extending at the same speed. Suddenly, the floor drops and I begin to fall into a dark emptiness. My heart is racing, pumping blood throughout my body, keeping me alive, but all of a sudden, it stops.
I hear voices all around me, wheels running across a hard, smooth surface, and the sound of crying. My eyelids flutter and I catch a glimpse of my mother holding my hand, tears streaming down her face with doctors surrounding her. "Twenty-nine year old female, severe injuries, most likely internal bleeding, going in and out of consciousness," a strong voice declares above me. I am still wearing my thick blue sweatshirt, favorite pair of gray sweatpants, and white knit hat. A sense of terror surges throughout my entire body. The man from the truck is sprinting along side the moving stretcher apologizing in shorts breaths as he stares at my crippled, lifeless, frame. "I'm so sorry. I didn't see you. I'm so terribly sorry." I hear him repeating in a meaningful tone. I look at the ceiling as it flies by before I close my eyes again and inhale my last painful breath.