Awareness came slowly to her. She was in a bed but it wasn’t hers, the sheets were hard and rubbed her bare arms raw. She could hear quiet voices beside her, talking in muted tones.
They stopped when she whispered thickly, “Where am I?”
“Lila, my name is Maggie. You’re at the Albury Base Hospital. How are you feeling?” Maggie gently held her hand, a comforting gesture.
“I’m fine but how did I get here?” She opened her eyes and looked round the hospital room. It was white and bland just like all hospital rooms. Why couldn’t she remember anything? “Why am I here? Am I hurt?”
Maggie sighed deeply and gripped her hand a little more firmly. “No sweetheart, you weren’t hurt but your daughter Cassandra was.” Her eyes were full of compassion as she looked at Lila.
Realisation came swiftly. Cassie was hurt! “Oh my god, you have to let me see her. Where is my baby?” She was screaming at the top of her lungs and struggling to get off the bed. Maggie threw herself on top of Lila and yelled for the other nurse to help her.
“Lila! You have to calm down, if you don’t we’ll have to sedate you again. You don’t want that do you?” Maggie’s words pierced her shell of distress and she slowly calmed down, her sobs turning into hiccups then fading to nothing. When she raised her head she simply said, “I want to see my daughter.” Maggie nodded and helped her up from the bed. She was unsteady but resolved. The nurse guided her down a hallway to the morgue, the unmarked doors swinging shut quietly behind them. Lila looked around and saw a large balding man standing near a sink. He smiled kindly and said hello.
“This is Dr Stephen James, Lila. She’s come to see her daughter, Cassandra.” Maggie said in a quiet voice to the man.
Dr James nodded and inclined his head to the left, pushing his glasses back up, he said. “We’ve been taking real good care of her Lila.” She followed the nod and saw and silver table set up in the middle of the room. She could see a body on it, covered by a thin white sheet, similar to the sheet that had covered Lila. It took every bit of will power and strength to walk over to the table and ease back the sheet. Her beautiful Cassie came into view, she saw her dark hair, her eyes, now closed and her perfectly formed mouth. She smiled through her
tears and said, “Hi baby.” Her sobs overwhelmed her as she pulled the sheet down further. The jagged gash in her neck was so much worse now that it had been cleaned. Before, even covered in blood, there was a chance she would make it. Now there was none. This was a room without hope.
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