Greg continued to sleep as his dreams took him to yet another unfamiliar place. Throughout his life, his dreams never made much sense, and this time would be no different. Greg now began to see images and faces coming in and out of focus, but as hard as he tried, they never seemed to acknowledge him. He tried calling out, but they just passed him like he was invisible.
Suddenly, the air around him began growing colder as his dreams began to blur and fade into the distance. Now, a penetrating light began pushing its way through and increasingly grew brighter and brighter. Greg wasn’t sure if this was the bright light many people talked about when describing an out of body or near death experience, but it definitely felt different than any dream he had ever had in the past. Am I dreaming or is this really the end for me? His thoughts were now scrambled as distant voices began growing increasing louder. He could also feel his eyes beginning to burn from the intense light that seemed to completely fill his surroundings. The light seemed to intensify a headache that he didn’t realize he even had. If I have a headache and my eyes burn, then I guess I’m not dead, he joked.
Greg continued to fight through the pain in hopes of gaining some sense of clarity and understanding of his environment. He seemed to be waking from a deep sleep but had no recollection of where he was or why he was there. His eyes slowly began to open to nothing more than a room full of blurred objects. Everything was out of focus and the pain was now throbbing through his head as he forced his eyes to open even wider. He tried to combat the pain and drowsiness but was too disoriented to formulate any truly cohesive thoughts.
Even though some images slowly started to appear more clearly, he couldn’t seem to fully open his eyes. He pushed himself harder, but just didn’t seem to have the strength. Why was this so difficult? He thought as his mind and body just didn’t seem to respond to his requests. Maybe I could rub my eyes to help wake myself. But as he tried, he realized the attempt was futile. He managed to move his fingers a little but could not raise his arm.
As an attempt to assess the situation further, he rolled his head slightly to the left and saw some sort of leather restraints securing his arm to the surface. He then attempted to move his leg, but got the same result. What’s going on? Where am I? Why am I tied down? Many more questions starting filtering into his head, yet no answers seemed to follow. He slowly rolled his head over to the right side of his body and peered into the distance as far as he could. He could barely make out the outline of a doorway and some tables. Immediately next to him he could identify a small computer device that appeared to be on some sort of rolling cart. He wasn’t sure what it was, but he could see some wires dangling over the side. His eyes followed the wires all the way from the device to his right arm.
Am I in a hospital? What happened to me? All Greg could remember was his name, some vague images from his childhood, and an outline of a woman whom he could not identify. Why was everything so cloudy? Why can’t I move? Was I in a car accident or something?
“Well, looks like someone is finally awake,” said an unfamiliar voice.
Greg responded to the sound with a minor head movement, but uttered no words.
“We were hoping you would come around soon. We still have a lot of work to do.”
Greg was beginning to recognize the voice, but was still unclear as to the situation he was in.
“Ring! Ring!” echoed a nearby cell phone.
“Hello?...yes Dr. Conrad…I understand…yes, everything is on schedule…I’m preparing everything as we speak…yes sir…understood…goodbye.”
Greg thought hard and realized. I know that voice. Wait a minute?…Dr. Conrad?…
Then all of a sudden, like an open floodgate, Greg’s memory returned to him. Chills ran down his spine as his body tensed with fear. He now remembered everything. How it all happened…all the events that led him to this very moment…to this very place.
I have to get up!
Overwhelmed with fear, he tried to channel all of his strength and get up, but could not break free from the restraints. Helpless now, he tried to scream, but could not muster enough to make an audible sound.
I have to get up…I have to do something…
Greg again reached deep inside himself and tried screaming at the top of his lungs, but barely managed to elicit a small sound.
“Well, aren’t we a feisty one tonight?” said the nurses now familiar voice.
Greg’s eyes opened wide with horror as he felt a needle being poked into his arm.
“Relax Mr. Sayer. This will all be over soon.”
“Oh my god…Olivia!” was his last thought as he once again drifted off into darkness.