Isa woke to the rattling hum of an old air conditioner that needed some maintenance. His head throbbed and his eyes ached. He reached up in the darkness to touch his head and found it bandaged. He felt around the bed, registering that it wasn’t his, and it was small. Curiously, it had disengaged hand rails on the sides, and feeling around some more he felt sharp painful tugs on the skin of his hand. He had IV attached to him.
‘Excuse me? Anyone there?’ He asked in a panic. Last time he was driving his car through an intersection with his instinct telling him something had happened to someone there. Now, he was in a hospital for some unknown reason. ‘Hello?’ He called out again.
A low thump of rubber soled shoes scuffed the floor as someone approached him, and suddenly the water rushed around him again. Was he in the midst of a vision and been unaware?
It was a woman in her late thirties, dressed in nurses uniform and seated at one of the side walk tables in a cafe. She seemed worried, the creases on her forehead deep. She was reading something on her phone. She got up and left, unaware that she was heading into traffic. A series of loud honking stole Isa back into the room that was now lit. In front of him stood the woman, perhaps unaware that he’d just seen her death.
‘How are you feeling?’
‘Where am I?’
‘In a hospital,’ the nurse smiled. ‘You’re lucky to be alive!’
‘What happened?’ Isa felt the strangest discomfort as he tried to sit up. Every inch of him hurt.
‘What do you remember?’
‘I was driving home from work last night.’
The expression on the woman’s face was grim to say the least. ‘Last week.’
‘I beg your pardon?’
‘You had your accident last week.’
Isa was silent for a long moment, and then he asked the strangest question. ‘Did anyone die?’
‘The driver of the vehicle who ploughed into you died soon after at the scene.’
‘Yes…’ the nurse was looking at him with concern. ‘How did you know?’
‘Just a feeling,’ Isa muttered. ‘Do you mind if I ask you a question?’ The nurse shrugged. ‘What do you do after your work finishes for the day?’
‘Umm,’ unsure, the nurse kept eyeing Isa. ‘I’m meeting a girlfriend for coffee this afternoon. But normally, I go home.’
Isa directly stared into her eyes. ‘Go home. Tonight. Go home.’
‘Go home. Your friend won’t turn up.’
Nurse wrote his vitals on his chart and hung it back on the edge. ‘You just worry about you.’
That evening, as Isa had informed, the friend didn’t turn up, forcing his nurse to finish her coffee alone and leave. She got into her four wheel drive, parked on the metered street parking, and rumbled out of the spot in a rush. She had very little time to brake when a woman, distracted by her phone walked out in front. When the car stopped spinning around and the screams of traffic and pedestrians subsided, Isa’s words rung loud in her head. Why hadn’t she gone home? She should have gone home. Now, there was a woman barely holding onto life and the nurse could all but hope she could keep her alive till the ambulance got there.
Why hadn’t she listened?