Ted's Thirty Day Awakening
This morning Alexa woke Ted with what he assumed was an . He had recently added some of his favorite shows to Alexa’s playlist—X Minus One, Boston Blackie, Speed Gibson of the International Secret Police, Father Knows Best, Our Miss Brooks. So he was not surprised to hear Eve Arden (the voice of Miss Brooks) say, “I know he will be alright. He just has to be.” One of the reasons Ted liked Our Miss Brooks so much was the fact that his mother and Eve Arden sounded so much alike. “It must be an episode of Our Miss Brooks,” Ted thought, “one I have not listened to before.”
Just as Ted was opening his eyes, he caught a whiff of something that reminded him of a hospital. That too clean smell mixed with stale air. Ted was confused. “Alexa is a sound machine it cannot produce smells (at least not yet).” Then, as he reached for his iPad, his movement was interrupted by a warm and loving hand and he heard Miss Brooks say, “it’s all right, we are right here.”
Ted jerked back his hand, opened his eyes and there sitting next to his bed, was his mom. She had tears running down her face and a look he had not seen since Deb passed.
“Mom, what are you doing here and how did you get into my house?” As the words room left his mouth Ted realized he was not at home in bed. He also realized that he had all sorts of instruments and tubes and needles attached to or penetrating his body.
“We’re so happy to have you back. It’s a miracle!”
“Back? Back from where?”
“It’s a long story for another time,” answered Ted’s mom. “For now let’s just say that for the past week we have been praying that you would come back to us. Praying for a miracle. And now, our prayers have been answered.”
“Week? How can that be? What day is it?”
“It’s the 30th, we’ve been here since the 24th. We got a call on the 23rd saying that you were in a coma and not looking good. The soonest we could get a commercial flight was the 26th. We weren’t about to wait two days so your dad chartered a private jet.”
“I’ve been in a coma since the 23rd?”
“Yep, maybe longer,” Ted’s dad said.
“But how is that possible? I don’t recall being sick or going to hospital”
“They believe that you fell ill a few days prior to the 23rd. It seems that your friends got concerned when you had not posted anything online since the 18th. And you stopped responding to text messages and emails. Your friends called the police asking for a welfare check. In fact, so many requests came in from all around the world that the police thought it was some sort of a hoax at first. I mean who has over 2,000 people from 34 countries call the police asking for a welfare check?” Ted’s mom gave him a motherly grin, the one that says, I love you more than you could ever imagine.
“Luckily,” Ted’s dad continued, “the mayor was one of the people requesting they check up on you.”
Mom took over and added, “They found you unconscious in your bed. Rumors quickly spread that you had attempted suicide. Which I could not bring myself to believe until I read what you had been posting online…thirty days of something—”
“Ted’s Thirty Day Awakening—”
“Anyway after reading that, I believed the rumors. Your dad and I had no idea how bad things were for you and how depressed you had become.”
“The story is a pinch of reality mixed with a shovel full of exaggerations, mom. All designed to remove the boring from the tale and add enough drama to keep people coming back for the next installment,” Ted replied, in an attempt to sugarcoat just how much of the tale was real.
“We didn’t know what to believe,” Ted’s dad said as he took Ted’s free hand.
“Thank God, the first thing the doctor told us was that it was not attempted suicide. That made us feel a little better. But even so, you were still in a coma,” Mom said as she caressed Ted’s cheek.
“You did have a lot of sleeping pills in the house, which is probably what started all the rumors,” Dad said and for a moment Ted was back home again, listening as his parent took turns telling him a story—or interrogating him when, as a teenager, he came home late and glassy-eyed.
“The doctor explained that with today’s sleeping pills, it’s near impossible to take enough to cause death,” Mom said.
“Unless you take something else with them,” Dad added with a hint of ‘you aren’t still doing drugs are you?’.
“So how did I end up at home in bed with a coma?” As Ted said those words his imagiative mind thought that would be a great line for a Pink Floyd song or a follow up to Alice Cooper’s From the Inside.
“Something to do with rats and something that gets into the brain…rat something, your father will know.”
Ted asked (now certain the scenario was more Alice Cooper than Pink Floyd).
“That’s it. That’s what they said.”
Ted could not believe what he was hearing. Last thing he recalled it was the 18th and he just had come back from the Marina. He had a slight headache and his neck was stiff, but he assumed that was from the fall he had taken earlier. He recalls taking a few aspirins, asking Alexa to play and then laying down to rest. After that, everything was a bit blurry but he was sure he had laid down on the couch, not in bed, so at sometime he had made his way form the couch to the bedroom. Regarless of what had occured, it was now the 30th and he was in hospital and his parents were there with him….