A Risk He Had To Take
Everything had worked out perfectly for Sly Statemoore. He had a good job. He had a lovely and beautiful wife, Sheila. He had two adoring children, Willy and Becky. He had respect. He had money. He had his health. And he was about to risk it all.
"Give up now," Sly thought to himself as he perched on the edge of the tiled roof. “Just go home, kiss the kids goodnight, and slip into bed next to my lovely and beautiful wife, Sheila, and forget this madness, now and forever more, amen." But it was too late for that. He had worked too hard, too long, too much, too feverishly, too intently. He couldn’t turn back. And with the resolution of a man who knows what a man has to do, Sly plunged headlong over the edge of the precipice.
The next thing Sly knew he was staring at a pattern of dots and squares, tiles, ceiling tiles. His eyes moved down from the ceiling to see the white anti-septic walls around him, the television suspended from the ceiling, the tray on rollers next to his bed, the tube running out of his arm to a bottle of clear solution above his head. He tried to move his arm, but couldn’t. He tried to move his head. His legs. His fingers. He couldn't move, imprisoned in a full-body cast from his chin to his toes.
"Uh, our little patient appears to be awake at last," a cheery voice crooned. A young, but not entirely attractive nurse dressed in the traditional white attire leaned over the bedside railing to look Sly in the eye.
"I did it, didn't I?" Sly asked apprehensively.
"Now don't get yourself excited," the nurse said sternly. "You've been in a coma."
"How long have I been here?" he thought. "Has it been weeks? Months? Years? Where was his lovely and beautiful wife, Sheila? His children? What had happened? My God, am I a modern day Rip Van Winkle?"
"Where's my lovely and beautiful wife, Sheila?" he asked uncertainly.
"I'm here, Sly," a voice called from the other side of the room. Sly strained to see the source of the voice, but the cast prevented such a movement. Emerging from the shadows stepped his lovely and beautiful wife, Sheila.
"Sheila?" Sly asked anticipatorily.
"Yes, Sly," his lovely and beautiful wife replied."lt is I. And yes, Sly., you did it. You did it. You've ignored your occupational obligations. You've ignored your monetary needs. You've lost the respect of your colleagues and above all you've destroyed your own family. But you did it. " Sheila stormed out of the room, never to speak to him again.
Sly sat alone, immobile, in his cold, quiet hospital room. What had been his life, his health, his family, lay in ruins at his bandaged feet. But despite it. all, Sly smiled, because he knew. He had done it.