Complete the short story/flash fiction, that has the following opening:
The lights go on in my bedroom. I can tell because the world beyond my eyelid is brighter and the light desperately tries to break through to show my eyes what they are missing.
But my eyes stay shut, just as they have for the past ten years. The doctors say that I am in a vegetative coma, at least, that is what they say when my parents are around. When my parents aren’t I hear another voice, a woman’s voice, talk about how she believes I have a case of “locked-in syndrome” where I can understand everything that is going on, but I can’t move. I can’t move my eyes, however, so the other doctors think that she is wrong, but she is persistent.
So persistent that she has been trying for the past three years to bring me around. She’s tried everything that she could think of, everything that the medical community at large could think of and a few things that I’m not sure that she realized what she was doing until she did them. But no luck. I was completely unresponsive. Externally. But inside, inside I was screaming, begging her to try one more time, one more experiment, anything that could work.
I’ve seen her, Catherine, as she has opened my eyes to look into them and I’ve looked into hers. Hazel eyes with a starburst pattern around the pupil. They’re beautiful eyes. I don’t see much else, just her eyes, but every time I see them they seem to be getting sadder and sadder as if she is giving up on me, giving up on herself. I want to scream at her, to tell her that she is right, that if she would keep going things would be alright.
But I can’t.
And then one day she comes into my room, her shoes making a distinctive squeaking sound that rises above the noise of the ventilator keeping me alive. She comes close to the bed and bends down, whispering in my ear, “I’m sorry, Winston, but I’m all out of ideas. I don’t think that I can continue.”
She moves to give me a kiss on my forehead and I can feel the tears falling onto my face. Cathartic tears. Life affirming tears. Tears of determination and tears of resignation. As she pulls back I open my eyes and truly look at her for the first time.
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