Red Wine

It’s one those things that’s still fresh in my memory. Like it’s happening all over again. It’s one of those things I’ll never forget. Every time I close my eyes I relive that moment, every time I close my eyes it haunts me. I hear her giggle and watch as she spins around at the sound of her name being called, her hand brushes against mine and she is smiling she is still smiling as she loses her balance and this is the worst part, her expression changes as she registers what’s happening to her. I see shock and terror etched into her face and then acceptance just acceptance as she falls. She falls back so gracefully I try to reach out for her but it’s too late. All this seems to have taken minutes but it happens in the span of a few seconds. She loses her balance and falls.

The two sounds I remember hearing that day is the sweet music that was her laugh and the sickening thud her body makes as it crashes on the landing below. The image of her broken body is always there in my head. I rush down the stairs and stop myself from picking her up, I still remember each and every emotion going through me in that moment. I reach down to her neck to see if she is breathing I can feel a faint pulse a very faint one. And that is when the blood starts leaking from her head. A deep dark red almost purple, like someone has spilled red wine, a river of red wine. It trickles down slowly. Making a small pool around her head.

By this time someone has already called an ambulance. Other kids are crowding around us or running away. Teachers are clearing away those that are gathered there. No one even tries to move me. I can’t take my eyes off her. Suddenly her eyelids start fluttering and they open she see me and closes them. She starts saying something, I will my paralysed body closer, trying not to touch her. I bring my ear close to her mouth. I remember her words, the sound of her broken voice in my ear. “I love you.” It was so typical of her. She could never let anyone feel guilty. It was not within her. I knew why. It was one of the things that made me love her, her unreadiness to make anyone feel bad. People thought she was mean. I knew better. I was one of those few people who had really seen her.

Even as I thought of this two men in white uniforms rushed up the stairs. Someone pulled me away from her the men leaned over her, checking her pulse, staunching the blood flow. One of them’s head blocked my view of her body that is when I started screaming. I couldn’t stop. I couldn’t not see her. Every thing after that is a blur till I am in the waiting room in the hospital with a nurse whose trying to calm me down. I guess they took me along with her. Knew I wouldn’t stop screaming if they didn’t. She’s in the operating room and I can’t see her, I don’t know what’s happening to her. I look up and her father rushes in wild eyed and puffing for breath. His face is red. He looks at me and he understands. The nurse leaves my side and starts talking to him in a low voice. He comes and sits next to me. I force myself to look at him and ask ‘ Is she going to be okay?’ He whispers back in a shaky voice  “I don’t know.”

Her mom and brother are still not here. I look at him and I tell him what she said in those last moments. He doesn’t say anything, his face contorts in pain and he starts crying. I put my arm around him. And we just sit there. The tears streaming down our cheeks, unstopped. She was so perfect. She had made me seen love where I had never thought it would have even existed. She had somehow made the world a brighter place, a more beautiful place. There was something about people like her. They didn’t just make you fall in love with them but with everything they loved too. Yet not many had seen that side of her. To them she was that weird seemingly unfriendly person.

I don’t know how long we sit there but I see my parents come in. They try to talk to me but I can’t speak not any more. So they just sit down on one side of me. We wait. After what seems like hours a surgeon comes out. He looks tired. He is covered in blood, her blood. I remember the river of red wine. No one says anything. We all just look at him. Finally he speaks, ” We were able to stop the bleeding from her skull, she has quite a few broken bones. We won’t know how bad the damage to her brain is until she wakes up. She’s been shifted to the ICU.”

The question, the one we all want to ask but it goes unspoken, hangs in the air, ‘Will she ever wake up?’


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