So I realize that I'm not good at updating and that this is really short, but where I wanted to go with the next part didn't seem to fit right with this chapter. Plus, I wanted to end this one on a more happier note.
I paced back and forth in the hospital’s hallway trying to comprehend the entire situation. ‘This isn’t real; it’s just some crazy nightmare that I’m gonna wake up at any moment.’ I repeated this to myself multiple times, but as I stopped and looked in Hailey’s room to see two nurses examine her, I faced the truth.
“She doesn’t remember me,” I whispered.
“This could only be temporary though,” Dr. Johnson replied as he looked at me sympathetically. “Post-traumatic amnesia can just occur from the force of the hit that was taken to the head. She might wake up tomorrow and know exactly who you are.”
I stopped in my tracks and shook my head to keep myself maintained. “How long does someone take to recover from this?”
“It varies. Like I said, some people only need a few days to fully regain everything. Others, it takes longer…or their memory never comes back.”
I sighed heavily, probably for the millionth time, as I ran my hands over my face through my hair. “What do I do?”
Dr. Johnson put his hands on my shoulder, “You do what you do as a husband. You support her. Keep life as normal as possible. Getting her into her daily routine will only help her. Don’t shelter her or baby her. I know that sounds hard to do right now, but she’s not a child. It’s going to take some time for her to adjust to a life that she doesn’t remember, but it seems like you have a great group of family and friends to help you two out. Finally, you never give up on her. I’m not going to lie to you; this is going to be difficult. But now more than ever, she needs you whether she knows you or not.”
I nodded my head slightly, “Okay.”
“We’re going to do everything we can to get her back to normal. Once she’s released from the hospital, I want to see her in a week to see how she’s doing. Hopefully, she’ll be more comfortable around her environment, and who knows, maybe all of this will pass by quickly.”
I cringed as I turned to see Hailey’s mother and father rush down the hallway. I took another deep breath and regained composure. I was the only one who knew about Hailey’s condition, and now I had the job of breaking the news to everyone.
I accepted her mother’s embrace and held onto her tightly for a moment. I got really lucky to have great in-laws. Yeah, her dad still scared the shit out of me every once in a while with the “if you hurt my little girl” stare, but overall, we all got along really well. They actually will call to talk to me about how I am doing, and I always offer them tickets to the game whenever they want to come. I also make sure to hang out with Hailey’s little sister, Marissa. Despite our great relationship, I still can’t help but feel guilty about all of this. And then it hits me as Hailey’s mother begs me for an update on her daughter’s condition.
“Please tell me she’s all right. Tell me that it’s just a bruise and that she’s okay.”
As she held onto my arms, I looked up towards Hailey’s hospital room and the reality of the situation hit me like nothing I’ve ever felt before. I could feel myself losing it, and let go of her mother’s embrace, “I’m sorry; I can’t…I…”
I quickly turned and walked away from her parents and Dr. Johnson as I headed towards the end of the hallway leaving them in shock. I began to hear Dr. Johnson breaking the news to Hailey’s parents, and when I heard her mother’s sob, the tears began to fall. I busted through the double doors at the end of the hallway, slid myself down to the floor against the wall, and cried heavily.
As far as we knew, Hailey only remembered everything in her life right before she met me. She remembered who she was, her family, her high school friends, and the things she enjoyed. What she didn’t remember was having the job that she has now, that she actually moved out of her parent’s house, and the people that had been a part of her new life, including me. The look that she gave me was not for someone who you love with all of your heart; she looked at me as if I was a stranger. As if I never existed in her life. Which I guess I really don’t right now.
I kept my head lowered as I heard the swinging doors open. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw footsteps stop right next to me, and I automatically knew who it was as the figure sat down on my left.
We sat in silence for a while as he finally spoke up, “I’m speechless, kid. I really am.”
I stared at the staircase that was across from us and shook my head. “Why is this happening? She was fine this morning. She was healthy, she was joking, and…she knew who I was.”
Billy sighed, “There really is no good explanation for this other than the fact that God’s about to hand you an intense life lesson. I’m not exactly sure what it is yet besides the idea that you never take anything for granted. Even the simple things are overlooked until something horrific like this happens to the greatest people you’ll ever know.”
I sighed heavily as I finally turned my head towards him, “What can I do to get her back?”
“You get out of this stairwell and get back in that room. If you want her to know who you are, hiding in here isn’t going to do any good. She might not remember you at first, but if you keep being the man that she chose to spend the rest of her life with, she’ll understand why she made that decision. Do the things that attracted her to you. Make her smile, make her laugh. Be there for her.”
I looked back at the wall of the stairwell ahead of me. It was as if I was challenging the wall to fall under pressure like I threatened to. But as I realized that the wall was not going to collapse, I sure as hell wasn’t either. With determination rising in my veins, I stood up. Billy joined my movement with a firm pat on my shoulder. I breathed as I opened the double doors and headed down the hallway. Even though I never expected to go through something like this, I had to stick to the promise that I would get Hailey through any trial that came our way. I loved her too much to not do so.
Besides, this whole memory loss thing is just temporary, right?