Wenny has Wings - Chapter 1
I died too. Not when the truck first hit us, but right after in the hospital. I had a broken leg and a ruptured spleen, and I was bleeding inside and outside. I was pretty messed up by the truck, and while they were trying to fix me, my heart stopped for a whole ten minutes.
I sped through a tunnel when I died, then I flew around in the sky. I'd be flying up there with you still if Dr. Westfall hadn't put two paddles on my chest and shot electric energy into my heart.
Those paddles must have had a lot of power, because they sucked me back inside my body. Once my heart started pumping again, the doctors gave me an operation and filled me up with new blood so I would stay alive.
When I woke up, I found out you didn't come back like I did. I asked Mom if Dr. Westfall used those electric paddles on your heart, but she wouldn't give me an answer. She just started crying and had to leave the room.
So you're flying around up there in that good place, and I'm stuck down here at Children's Hospital with stitches in my side and with my leg all bandaged up because they had to put my shinbone back together.
Today is October 16. It's been ten days since I died and came back. That's why I wrote "Day 10" on the top of this letter. I want to keep track of how many days I've been alive again.
One bad thing happened while I was outside my body, but I don't want to talk about that, I want to talk about the happy part. I still have some good leftover feelings from the time I spent inside the light. It's like that good, bright light leaked into me while I was up there, and I brought some of it back. I'd be completely happy if you had come back too. We could talk about what it was like to zoom through the air and do double jumps in the sky.
I'm already starting to miss you. A big brother gets used to having a little sister around. If you were here, you'd press my control buttons so my hospital bed would go up and down. You'd want to take both cookies off my lunch tray. You'd steal my bedpan so I'd have to ask for help if I needed to pee.
I missed your memorial service on Sunday because I had to stay here in the hospital. Sometimes I start to think about you being dead and never coming back to live with us, and I have to put the pillow over my face so nobody will hear my crying.
All day long nurses keep coming into my room, saying, "Hi, Will. How's the leg?"
"Okay," I say, which is a total lie. Then they take my temperature and blood pressure and shoot medicine into my IV. In case you want to know, an IV's an upside-down water bottle on a pole. Medicine runs down a long tube and into a needle that's stuck in my left hand. The medicine goes into my blood and spreads around my whole body.
If you think I'm having trouble playing video games with a needle jammed in the back of my hand, you're wrong. Today I played Zorgon Tracker. I killed about a gazillion zorgons and made it to the eighth level, which is, like, impossible unless you're a total wiz-nerd.
DAY 11 (AGAIN)
I tried to tell Mom and Dad what happened when I died, but it didn't work out so good. As soon as I started talking about the truck hitting us and how I died, Mom sat down and covered her face. She had to use a bunch of tissues from my tissue box to wipe her eyes and blow her nose.
Dad didn't cry like Mom, but he didn't look at me either. He just grabbed my bed rail and stared out the window. With his dark hair and pale skin, he looked like one of those black-and-white pictures he takes.
I gave up talking to them. I'll try to tell them some other time. Right now I'm wiped out. I've signed up for the TV so I can play Zorgon Tracker again this afternoon. I'm going to win the gut zapper on the ninth level, then I'm going to fight my way to the tenth level before dinner, I've decided.
The truck driver sent us an "I'm so sorry" card. Mom and Dad showed it to me this afternoon. The cover has pink and yellow flowers on it (girl stuff). The card says his brakes went out all of a sudden while he was going down that steep hill. He was honking for us to get out of the way. He swerved and tried not to hit us, and he is so sorry. If there is anything he can do, he'll do it.
The card made Mom cry. She yanked a bunch of Kleenex from my box and made these little gulping sounds. Dad stood behind her with his hands on her shoulders. He squinted at my IV bag and clenched his jaw. I could see the muscles in his cheeks moving in and out like he was trying to crack a jawbreaker.
"I need to use the toilet," I said. Dad helped me into my wheelchair and pushed me to the bathroom. I didn't have to pee. I just had to get out of that room. I didn't want to see Dad's jaw muscles bulging out or hear Mom making those little gulping sounds anymore.
DAY 12 (LATE AT NIGHT)
You'd better be awake, because I had a bad dream. We were walking on a road in a dark forest. There was just one streetlamp. All of a sudden the trees kind of melted. A big green truck hit you and crushed you. It hit me and sent me flying across the road.
I woke up all sweaty. I crushed the card the truck driver sent me and threw it into the laundry hamper with all the puked-on sheets.
There's a new kid in my class this year and guess what?
He's here at the hospital for a bladder operation. He's a big, fat, red-headed
kid with freckles all over his face. His name is Gallagher Krumley. He's had
five bladder operations already and this will be his sixth.
The doctors wouldn't let Gallagher have any food today,
so he watched me eat instead. It was kinda like eating in front of our dog,
Bullwinkle. You know the way Bullwinkle thumps his big black tail and lets his
tongue hang out halfway to Spain whenever you eat potato chips or jelly beans in
front of him.
I remember that time a couple of years ago when you
gave Bullwinkle all your jelly beans. His jaw stuck together and Mom had to pry
his mouth open and brush his big pointy teeth with an old tooth brush. I
probably never told you but I gave you that toothbrush when you went to spend
the night at Jessica's house. I was thinking it would make you sick so you'd
have to come home and hang around with me, but you must've skipped brushing that
night or something.
Anyway it was hard to eat in front of Gallagher. I
could swear his eyes are the same color brown as Bullwinkle's. I kept waiting
for his tongue to hang out the side of his mouth.
From Chapter 8
I'm going home tomorrow. I've wanted to get out of here
ever since I came. But now that I'm leaving, I'm feeling kind of weird about it.
I'm glad I'm going to see my room. And I can't wait to
see Bullwinkle and Twinkie and Igor. It's Mom and Dad I'm not sure about. Every
time they come to visit me here they make me feel sad. Talking to them is like
talking to a couple of ghosts (no offense Wenny) but I mean you're easier to
talk to than they are these days.
Another thing. I don't know what it's going be like at
home without you there. There won't be anybody asking to play with my stuff.
There won't be anybody driving me crazy with weird made-up songs like, "How
many pajamas? How many pajamas? How many are in the garbage can?" The house
is gonna be pretty quiet without that.
I wish I could move to the tree house and stay there
forever. I'd lie on the floor next to Twinkie. She loves to lie in the sun up
there and purr to herself. But I'd have to figure out a way to haul Bullwinkle
up to the tree house too or it might get too lonely up there. Bullwinkle weighs
a gazillion pounds, so I'd have to get a big pulley and some real strong rope.
The tree house would be pretty nice if Twinkie and
Bullwinkle were up there with me. You know how Bullwinkle
slobbers all over you and makes you feel like an okay person no matter
how bad you smell or what you've done wrong.
Copyright © 2002 by Janet Lee Carey --From Wenny Has Wings, by Janet Lee Carey. © July 2002 , Atheneum used by permission.