Never Saw It Coming
“When I think of fear, two truths come to the fore. First, that most fear is the fear of unknown. The second, ‘better the devil you know’. But what if that wasn’t true. What if our worst fear was the one right in front of us. What if we’d been in danger this whole time, and never knew until now”.
Michael pushed his pain relief pump again, surely this thing wasn’t working. Pulling himself up to a seated position he looked at the device he was connected to. The pain ripped up his side like a fire causing his whole body to stiffen. “Argghh”, he called out whilst he felt around on the bed for the call button, he’d get a nurse here to have a look at it.
He laid back on the pillow of his hospital bed, defeated. This was so foreign from his life, his career – all perfectly curated just the way he’d always wanted.
Not like now.
His life post the accident was all about waiting. Waiting for results, waiting for the specialist, waiting for his body to heal, to recover. He felt like his body was betraying him, the body he worked so hard and moulded into peak physical condition. Pushing himself further and faster than anyone else. It was why he’d spent more on his bike than he did his first car, and put in all those hours, chewing up the bitumen, clocking up hundreds of kilometres per week.
Sure, you could say he was obsessed, his wife Emily, had certainly made her feelings known about how much time he was spending on his bike, but the thrill of being the best was too alluring for him.
All that was over now, since that motorbike had come out of nowhere on one of his early morning rides and landed him in the ICU.
‘Argghh,’another wave of pain, this time rocking his ankle and knee, he hit the call button again several times – what was taking so long ?
Just then Mae came through the door smiling. Mae, his trusty assistant, faithfully coming in to see him every morning at 9am on the dot. He didn’t even need to check the time. In fact, Mae had been here more than even his own wife. It hadn’t gone unnoticed that Emily’s visits were becoming less and less frequent. At this point Michael realised he hadn’t seen or heard from her in two days.
“Morning Mr Salles” Mae greeted him with a big smile and genuine warmth, it was one of the reasons he’d hired her.
“Hi, Mae” he managed, but he was aware of his grimace, still feeling the heat of pain in his lower body. “Did you pass any nurses on the way, I’m sure this pain medication isn’t working?” he asked.
“No, Mr Salles I can go find one” she said dropping the mail on the bed and turning to the door. He smiled in return and nodded “Yeah, that would be great”.
Mae left the room and he decided to go through the paperwork she’d left just to take his mind off the pain. The usual stuff from work, but then bills and more personal mail – she must have remembered to check his own mailbox as well, ‘good on you Mae,’ he thought to himself. She must of beat Emily to the mail this morning as there was quite a bit for her, amongst the other letters.
He sorted through the pile, to discard what wasn’t for him, but one letter caught his eye. It was addressed to Emily but had the roads and traffic authority emblem on the corner. That was weird as both his and Emily’s cars were owned by the company and therefore any items came to him and were addressed accordingly.
Michael tore open the envelope.
It was a licence renewal, that made more sense.
But he had to re-read the licence classes listed for his wife.
On the top line, C class for cars.
The next line, R class.
Emily had gotten herself a motorbike licence.