Make it stop.
There’s a noise—a beeping—loud and incessant in its rhythm, driving me mad. My mouth is dry and my eyes are glued shut. I try to turn my head but it hurts.
Someone is hovering near me. The room grows dimmer as I feel them draw closer, speaking muffled words I can’t make out. A hand, bony and cold, moves with efficiency along my face, my arms, drawing my attention to wires.
Am I wired to something?
“Where am I?”
My voice is weak and raw. I can’t speak above my thirst. I try to move my hand to mimic drinking but my shoulder hurts.
There’s a commotion around me now. Someone’s shouting, footsteps are rushing away. Everything’s out of focus when I try to open my eyes; the lights are too bright and I shut them again. I can hear someone crying but can’t move my head.
“What’s happening?” I ask, scratchy as sandpaper. I’m regaining some sense of self, but with it comes a deep dread—one I can’t name and don’t want to look at. Suddenly, someone takes my hand.
It’s a hand I know! I force my eyes open and see my son. It’s him--he’s the one crying.
“There was an accident, Mom,” he interrupts me, tears streaming down his ashen face.
“What? When? Anyone hurt?” I cough, choking on my questions and my fear.
“He’s dead. The cop said the alcohol—” he begins but I interrupt him, furious.
“A drunk driver?! Oh, my God! He did this?!—”
“It wasn’t him, Mom!” Brian screams, mouth twisted with pain. He pauses as the tears pour forth and glares at me. Distance and rage are in his eyes when he finally whispers, "He didn't do it... you did."
(c) E. I. Q.