this is the continuation and final part of the short story “Comatose”
I watched more of these stories until they had begun to repeat themselves, and then I sighed and focused on myself again. I recognized the lack of color again, and the sound that existed but didn’t resonate, and my body that had stopped making sense to me. There was a black hole to my left pulling in all oceans of emotion inside it. Perhaps that was why I had quit feeling happiness and sadness and maybe that vacuum was the reason all sound and color was stripped out of its rightful place. The more the people had perpetuated in mayhem, the more the gravitational field pulled the life away. Maybe if I had stopped it from sucking, the people’s actions would have shifted for a change. But nothing had changed and I had sighed again that year.
I remember having tried closing my eyes to wake up from a dream I knew I wasn’t having but still being able to see everything. My shut eyelids were not powerful enough to pull me away from that truth and there was nothing else in my capability but to sigh – once again.
Then there was a single moment in time when everything had frozen. All the people and all the noise and even the air that ran in front of me had stood still all of a sudden — and there was a flash. There was a swift motion of color and then he stood. And he stood in front of me, known, recognized, and understood. My aged eyes had forgotten how to feel at the sight of color, and so when they were reencountered with it they had began to cry. Then my body began to cry. He had been the first real and alive being in my vicinity for centuries – and with that chance to return back home again standing in front of me, I was in paralyzed shock. But it was not shock that stemmed from confusion, because there was almost no time for confusion – it was only shock at the prospect of not returning with him as I had premeditated. When I yelled to him he glanced at me, and I had not been glanced at for centuries. When I smiled at him he laughed, and I had not seen or heard a laugh in centuries. And when I waved to him he walked over towards me, and no one had walked to me in centuries. Every part of my body had begun to tingle in enthralled exuberance and I could feel semblances of worry beginning to bubble at the same time in thought that this was all ‘too good to be true.’ But I was not alone for who knew how long and I think that that had been the climax of my life in the middle.
Everything predictable about my prison had occurred though – I had reached him and he had reached me and then his color had slowly begun to disappear. I had probably cried for another century but grew callous after a few more and then sighed again.
That was my last sigh before I remember hearing the beep, beep, beep.
It was almost as if I had woken up but the world outside of me still remained on the outside and I still remained incarcerated within. And so, when I try to think again of how this all started I still don’t remember. And when I try to assess where I am, ‘confused location’ is still what prints out of my mind. So I inhale and exhale and listen to the world outside of me.
The voices have come back now, the ones that talk about me.
“It’s been three years, we can’t keep doing this to her. To her family!” the first familiar voice says.
The sighing voice sighs as per usual and says, “I-I know, I just thought – I thought maybe she would come back” the voice sighs again, “but she won’t come back will she?”
“We have to be the ones to do it. It’ll be too hard for her family. We have to be the ones to pull her off the machines.”
“I know, I know – just give me a few minutes with her. Just a few final minutes while she still might be with me.” the second voice breaks again.
“Is today the—”
“Yeah.” The second voice nips at the first voice, then the first voice disappears.
I hear the second voice near me now, nearer than it had ever been, and speaking softer than it had ever spoken, “Hey baby,” he says, “it’s me. It’s me.”
It was Adam’s voice. I cannot understand how I know that now but I do. This is Adam’s voice and he is alive.
“I miss you.” He says so softly like he’s always spoken, “I miss you everyday.” He sighs. “I think me forcing everybody to keep you on these machines was some form of hope for me,” he hesitates then sighs again, “like maybe someday you’d come back. But you haven’t. You haven’t come back, have you? You won’t come back will you?” he struggles as I hear his soul crying, “Happy anniversary, baby. You always said you hated anniversaries,” he let out a laugh filled with tears, “but I knew you secretly loved me bringing you those red roses.” He sniffs then whispers, “I won’t stop bringing them to you. I just want you to know that. I won’t stop loving you, and when I see you again,” his voice sounds more relaxed now, “when I see you again I’ll annoy you with anniversaries for the remainder of our eternity.”
Then as unexplainable as it sounds, I feel a kiss on my forehead. I haven’t felt anything for centuries, but I feel that kiss and I feel it on my forehead.
And then there is a lot of noise and a lot of blurred talk and movement. But that form of chaos was not dead like it had been before – this noise was so alive and so vibrant, only I still couldn’t participate in it. It was nice though, listening to something alive for a change.
Now I hear a goodbye and I feel time come to a stop. Everything is dark again, but everything is dark forever.
I understand. Now I understand. The world outside me was never dead. It was me all along.