IT COULD BE WORSE

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Chapter 11


Othello's eyes slowly began to open. The intensity of the lights, prevented him from focusing. A physician, closely monitoring his condition, called for Dr. Osaka.

"Take it slow. You've had some slight damage to your left retina. It will take some time to adjust to the light," said the physician in a heavy German accent.

He struggled unsuccessfully to adjust, but it was too painful. He could not feel any of his extremities, but he could hear the man's voice and the many monitors in the room.

"Just relax, Mr. Greene. Dr. Osaka will be in any. . ."

"Mr. Greene, I cannot tell you how happy I am to see that you are still with us," interrupted Dr. Osaka as he entered the room.

"Doctor, his vitals are stable and his improvement is nothing short of miraculous," the physician said.

"Mr. Greene, can you open your eyes?" asked Osaka.

Othello made another attempt, but the lights were still too painful.

"That's ok. Just relax, Mr. Greene. I'll fix it . . . Ahmad!" he called out.

"Yes, Dr. Osaka," replied a computer-generated voice, coming from a speaker concealed somewhere in the room.

"Dim the lights by 30 percent," Osaka ordered.

"Yes, Dr. Osaka," the voice replied as the lights dimmed.

"Ok, Mr. Greene, try again," Osaka instructed.

Othello attempted to open his eyes again, this time with much greater ease, but still too painful.

"Ahmad. Dim the lights10 percent."

"Yes, Dr. Osaka." The lights lowered again.

Othello began to focus. The room was pure white and extremely large. High above were viewing windows and monitors. Multiple wires extended from his body. A bearded Japanese man with a huge smile was staring him in the face. "Mr. Greene, my name is Dr. Osaka and this is your attending physician, Dr. Van Gusen. I know that you probably have a thousand questions, and God willing, we will be able to answer them. But first we need you to get better. You are going to have a long road to recovery, and we will have plenty of time to chat."

Othello attempted to speak but was barely able to move his lips.

"Please, Mr. Greene. Don't try to speak. You are still heavily sedated, to help control the pain. We just brought you out of a coma, and God willing, we will be able to speak to you sometime tomorrow. But please trust that you are in good hands and God seems to be with you. May He guide you and place your affairs in order," said Osaka, pressing a series of buttons and Othello fell quickly back to sleep.

Twenty-eight hours later, Othello's eyes opened with relative ease. His heart was somewhat comforted by the beauty of his surroundings. The room was cozy, but not small. Many large colorful exotic plants were scattered about. The air was fresh and inviting. But all of that paled in comparison to the view of the beachfront and ocean from the immense window occupying the majority of one of the walls. He felt a little numb but relatively little pain. His bed felt like a large down pillow, and at the moment, he had no desire to leave it. He noticed the control panel on the left side of the bed's guardrail, and raised the head of the bed. His left hand was weak and covered with scars. And he realized for the first time with clarity that his right hand and legs were gone. "What the fuck?" he said to himself. "Why am I still alive? Where am I?" darted through his mind, as the gravity of the situation took hold.

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