Logan's StoryBy: Sarah Robinson
A Sand & Clay Prequel Novella
There was absolutely nothing that could have made him feel more helpless than sitting in the hospital waiting room next to his father, swinging his little legs that didn’t quite reach the floor and counting the tiles on the floor. Logan wanted to run home and grab his Superman cape that he kept hidden underneath his pillow. He wanted to fix everything like they did in the cartoons he was allowed to watch every Saturday morning before his parents woke up.
A tall man in scrubs walked into the room and pulled the surgical mask off his face, unveiling a grimace as he looked toward Logan and his father. Logan was startled at the sudden movement as his dad jumped up out of his seat and rushed over to the doctor, leaving Logan alone on the plastic chairs wondering what was going on.
“Mickey Clay?” The doctor asked looking first at Logan’s father, then past him to see Logan watching them intently with a look that begged the doctor for good news.
“Yes, that’s me. How is my wife? Is she okay?” His speech was hurried and hoarse, betraying his tough exterior with the depth of his emotional turmoil.
“Laura is doing fine, she came out of surgery pretty well and is still sedated. We are going to keep her under for a while longer to give her body and her brain time to heal. The trauma was severe.” The doctor explained to him.
“When can I see her? When will she wake up?”
“You can see her now if you want but I have to warn you that she is hooked up to a lot of tubes and wires, it might be frightening.” The doctor nodded toward Logan indicating that a five year old child might not be equipped for the sight. Mickey nodded then brushed it aside. They were proud Irish men. Irish men could handle tough, they could handle pain, and his son would learn to handle pain.
“When will she be awake?” Mickey asked again.
“Let’s see how she does overnight first and then maybe her vitals tomorrow will indicate that she is ready to be awoken.” The doctor told Mickey, as he looked back down at the papers in his hands as if to visually confirm what he was saying was accurate.
“Okay, I want to go see her.” Mickey said firmly, crossing his arms and daring the doctor to try to stop him. The doctor was no fool and knew that this giant, six and a half foot man with the broadest shoulders he had ever seen was not someone who could be told what to do.
“Of course, I will have one of the nurses take you to her immediately. Uh, Mr. Clay, there is one more thing I need to talk to you about.” The doctor cleared his throat and Mickey stared at him, his stomach up in his throat waiting to hear what else could go wrong.
“When your wife’s car hit the pole, the car stopped but her body kept going. Good news is that she was wearing her seatbelt, which is the only reason that she is alive. However, the bad news is that the seatbelt held her bottom half still and the jolt forward of her top half broke several vertebrae at the very bottom of her spine.” He avoided direct eye contact with Mickey, always hating to give news like this to patient’s families.
“What are you saying? Doc, are you saying Laura is paralyzed?” Mickey’s stomach let go and fell to the floor along with his jaw as his eyes widened and the image of his wife in a wheelchair flooded his brain. The woman he loved more than anything, who he took dancing every Friday night when they could find a babysitter, the woman who waltzed around the living room while she vacuumed just because, confined to a wheelchair just didn’t seem possible.
“Nothing is confirmed until she wakes up and we do some tests but you need to prepare yourself now that this is a real possibility. I am really very sorry that this happened, we did the best we could do but the car accident was so extreme. She is lucky to be alive.” He smiled at Mickey with one of those practiced doctor smiles where his eyes are frowning with pity but his mouth is in a tight upward turn in an attempt to comfort. It wasn’t working.
Mickey stood frozen as he watched the doctor walk away and contemplated everything that had just happened. Less than two hours ago, he had been talking to his wife on the phone as she told him she was getting in her car to come home from work. She was a nurse working the late shift so it was almost midnight but she always called Mickey anyway to let him know she was on her way. They did everything together and were always in constant communication. She was the love of his life. Laura Clay was the most beautiful woman he had ever met and now she might not ever walk into his arms again.