Shadow:The Hoods MC

By: Heather West

Chapter One


The stench of disinfectant and body odor, the heavy feeling of death lingering in the air… there wasn't anything I remembered from before, but I hated hospitals now and I was willing to bet I always had. It didn't matter that I wasn't in a hospital at the moment. Inpatient physical therapy centers had the same smell, and I hated them just as much.

My nurse bustled in. "You're all clear to go." Plump, with a warm smile, Karen had been the closest person I had to a friend recently, really the only friend that I knew of.

"Thank you." I turned my back away from the window. The day was dreary and awful, and it would be dark soon. Leaving was necessary, but it also frightened me. Physically, I was ready, but emotionally? Not even close.

"You aren't worried, are you?" Karen asked kindly.

"No." One thing I had learned since I had woken up in the hospital was that it was better to keep my thoughts and feelings to myself. Better to fake a smile and try my best than express my fears and thoughts and spiral into depression.

"You're amazing." Karen patted my hand as she handed me the signed discharge papers. "Waking up from a three-month coma… getting through months of therapy…"

All by myself. In all that time, I hadn't remembered anything about the accident or my life before that, and not one person had come around looking for me. It was enough to make me sick to my stomach, but there wasn't anything to be done about it. If only I had had some ID on me, my cell phone, something… All I knew was what I had seen on the news reports. Many months ago, a car had hit me while I'd been walking on the side of the road. Why I didn't have my purse with me, I couldn't say.

Speaking of purses, my roommate’s sat limply on her nightstand. Because our therapy times had never been at the same time, my roommate and I were hardly ever in the room at the same time. She wasn't here now, and it was almost a relief I didn't have to say goodbye to her. Diana couldn't talk, couldn't move. She had suffered a stroke. Hardly anyone came to visit her. I felt terrible for feeling like I did, but she reminded me too much of myself when I had first woken up, trapped in my mind, so terrified and confused. It meant I should've been more compassionate to her, and I did try to talk to her some, but what could I really talk about? How therapy was going? I had made progress, while her condition remained unchanged, not moving forward. What if my hope for the future only increased her sorrow? There was no way to know.

Karen was smiling at me kindly, and I knew she was waiting for a response.

"Learning to talk and walk again was a breeze after all of that sleep," I joked, forcing a smile that had to look fake. I hadn't the strength to really try anymore. Hope for the future? Maybe a little bit. More like terrified.

"You inspire me." Karen shook her head, and her short blonde hair flew forward to cover her cheeks. She had several years on me, in her early thirties. The best the doctors and I could guess was that I was in my mid-twenties. Another unknown; my birthdate. "I don't know if I could have been as strong as you've been through all of this."

I plopped down in the chair next to the window. It wasn't comfortable, but there was a small part of me that wanted to delay going, now that the time to leave had come. "I'm nothing special," I protested.

"I think you're wrong. Not everyone would've survived what you did. Well, gather your clothes and meds and go on your way. You have your whole life ahead of you, Sky. I know you'll make the most of it." Karen hugged me, warm and welcoming, then left the room, leaving me once again all alone.

I remained sitting there for a long moment, gazing out the window again. When I had first woken, the doctors had asked for my name, but I couldn't even talk. My throat had been so dry, my entire body in pain, and I could hardly think, let alone vocalize anything more than a groan.

After therapy when more time had passed, they asked me for my name again. Of course, I still didn't remember. The first thing I saw when I looked around the room was the beautiful sky outside. I'd answered, "Sky," without even thinking about it, and now the name had grown on me.

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