fiction

The Transformation Of Amy Lunaro: Chapter Sixteen. {fiction}

Amy woke up with a throbbing pain in her head that was far worse than any hangover she had ever experienced.

Light poured over her body, which lay flat, and she tried to open her eyes, but they struggled against it; they were too heavy, it felt like trying to lift iron gates with tiny thin strings.

She was greeted by an unfamiliar feminine voice, “Good morning,” the woman said.

She squinted harder into the light, and tried to sit up to see, but she could barely move her head, and her whole body felt immobilized, like when children bury each other in sand and just leave the head peeking out.

Barely, through the blinds of her eyelids she made out the form of a woman in white, whose silhouette looked just like an angel. And the last thing she could remember was… the horse. Galloping on the back of Jack’s horse Princess, as they tore through the forest and met the ocean.

Then she remembered… a fall, a flinging of her body at the edge of the cold sea. And she hadn’t remembered anything after that.

For a moment, she wondered if she was dead.

Had she missed her own death? 

Had that been her whole life? Divorced and dead at 33? But, she lamented, she hadn’t ever figured out what she wanted, and gone for it completely with her whole heart. She hadn’t written that book. She hadn’t ever really loved herself, or ever really found freedom and happiness. She hadn’t been proud of herself and given back to the world. She hadn’t made a difference.

She hadn’t found good, healing love that stayed. She hadn’t had a baby.

Amy began to cry for the life she hadn’t lived when the woman in white touched her hand, with what felt like warm breathing flesh, and she finally fluttered her eyes open to see.

Standing by her side was a blinking machine with tubes that pumped into her arm, and she was in a soft blue hospital gown and both of her legs, both of them, were wrapped in white plaster casts.

“Oh my God,” gasped Amy.

“Let me get the doctor, dear,” the nurse said, “just wait right here.”

Amy winced at that with a panicked smile. She was practically strung up like Sigourney Weaver after her skiing accident in Working Girl. Moving wasn’t on the menu.

The nurse shuffled back into the room in front of a man of about forty, or maybe even a little older, she couldn’t really tell. He looked so tired, and perhaps that added age to his appearance. Boyish, but tired. Like someone you wanted to both be comforted by and comfort at once. He had thick sandy brown hair and lightly tanned skin.

His kind blue eyes twinkled like the surface of a lake beneath handsome tortoiseshell glasses. A navy cashmere sweater peeked out from under his white coat, and he was scribbling on a clipboard he carried.

“Hello Amy,” he said. He had a nice voice too, warm and calm and low. “I’m Doctor Weaver.”

Somehow, when he talked she felt like she had swallowed a heavy sedative. Or maybe her system was just pumping with sedatives, she actually had no idea, she just felt heavy and underwater. She’d lost time, and she wasn’t sure how much.

 “Hi,” Amy croaked slowly; she tried to reach out her hand but her arm weighed a thousand tons.

“Sorry,” she said.

“No, no,”  he said, shooing her hand down, “Try to rest up. You had a really hard fall. And you’re on a lot of medication too, so you probably feel pretty woozy.”

“That explains it,” Amy said. “Um, do you know what happened to me?”

“You broke both of your legs in your accident. You’re going to be in those casts for a good two months.”

“Oh my God,” she said.

“It was pretty bad,” he nodded. “You had us pretty worried.”

“I’m sorry,” she said again.

He shook his head. “You haven’t done anything wrong,” he said.

That softened her. She felt so soft she felt drunk.

“Like, ever?” she asked hopefully.

He let out a surprised laugh.

“I can’t speak to that, but I’m going to say that’s true, that you’ve just been doing your best, just like the rest of us.”

Her chin wobbled. She looked down at her broken body in horror.

“Everything is going to be fine,” he said. That softened her even more, like words she didn’t know she had been forever waiting to hear.

The good news is,” he said, “this is something we can fix. Your only job is to heal. And I don’t get to tell everyone that.”

“How did I get here?”

“Jack Fletcher brought you in. He caught up with you right after you landed in the water, which is a good thing. It’s good he found you so fast.”

“Oh,” said Amy, her heart racing at his name. She tried to sit up, shaking as she pushed her hands into the soft white bed. “Is he… is he still here?”

“It seemed he had to go,” Dr. Weaver said, and Amy flopped back down onto the pillow like a fish. She barely concealed her disappointment, which the doctor seemed to register.

“But he said that was some  pretty reckless riding you were doing.” The doctor’s eyes grazed over the heartbeat monitor’s numbers and he took down more notes, “What,” he smiled softly, “were you trying to kill yourself?”

Amy was quiet, like she had to think about her answer. He stopped writing and put down his pen.

“I was kidding,” he said. “But, now I’m worried.”

“Well, I don’t think I was.” She looked up at him. He held her gaze, empathetically curious.

“But I… I just couldn’t be me one more day,” she told him, her voice starting to shake.

He placed his hand on her forearm and her skin grew warm under his touch, like all the blood rushed to the spot where his fingertips rested. She wanted him to keep it there as long as he possibly could, because it made her feel safe enough to let go of the thousands of reins she’d been holding on to.

She had been touched by men her whole life, but in ways that were sexual, or joking, or with force; it was never this, it was never this, this sort of masculine healing. An internal battle that had waged her whole life began to cease, as if her soul went into surrender.

A wet warm tear rolled down her face. She breathed in for the first time since she woke. She was exhausted.

“I hadn’t done anything brave, in so long,” she said. “Too long. I was tired of being told what to do and how to live, I knew if I could just get free and quiet enough, I could hear myself, what I really wanted. And I am dying to know what I really want and I am dying to do it.”

She realized he wasn’t a psychiatrist, but she couldn’t stop herself.  He nodded along with her words. She was feeling so deeply heard. He was such a patient listener.

So she kept going.

You know when you get so sick of yourself, and you’re just dying to change? I guess I was just… dying to live, do you know what I mean?” she asked him.

“That’s a lot of dying,” he said.

“That’s what it’s been feeling like. For a long time now. And I’m just, ready to live.”

When he didn’t say anything right away, she she felt that familiar pit in her stomach. She’d said too much. Once again, she had given too much of herself away, to someone who didn’t want it. To someone who didn’t ask for it. She even over-gave laid up, broken and immobile in a hospital bed.

She opened her mouth to apologize.

But then he said, “I know exactly what you mean.”

“Are you just saying that because you’re my doctor and you have to?”

He laughed again. His kind eyes smiled down at her. “No, I understand you. I get you,” he said.

“I love being gotten,” Amy said.

“It’s rare,” he acknowledged.

Then he scanned her eyes, like he was recognizing something of him in her. She kept his gaze. She was high as a kite, so she didn’t know how long they looked at each other — it could have been only two seconds, or it could have been two minutes.

Amy wasn’t sure what the standard amount of time to look in someone’s eyes was, before you were supposed to look away.

Most people could barely last a second, because any time after that, it meant something, and something happened. At a certain point, it became intimate — they saw you and you saw them. And something uncontrollable took place. That’s why most people avoided it.

The nurse cleared her throat.

“Amy, is there anyone we should call?” she asked.

Amy heard her but she was still taking the kind doctor in from behind her velvet veil of meds. He seemed like the sort of man she would set up with a friend, just to keep him in her world, but still just out of reach. And then she’d be secretly jealous she herself couldn’t go for someone so nice and stable and loving.

If she didn’t like nice guys, did that mean she liked them mean? And what did that say about her? What did that say about how she felt she deserved to be treated or how she treated herself?

He seemed like the sort of man who would love you just as you were. And she couldn’t let herself be loved just as she was, because she didn’t love herself just as she was.

Even before James, she was always hiding parts of herself from her lovers, but what would it be like, she wondered, to be seen completely, and loved for every part, even the dark and weird ones? Even the ones that made her feel like a hopeless, crazy, unlovable, messy, lazy loser?

Wouldn’t that feel like being held in some golden net of love, wouldn’t that feel so safe, like the world itself had taken you in its arms and there was no fear of falling ever again? That you’d been found, you were safe, you’d come home? You no longer had to wander like a vagabond through your own life?

She always felt like she had to be better, get somewhere else, achieve more, look better, before she let herself be loved. She was always holding herself to this impossible elusive standard, and then, when we she reached it, which was never, only then would she let herself be seen and loved.

She could love, with her overbearing needy panic, but she couldn’t be loved, she couldn’t… receive. And she had no idea what she was waiting for.

Meanwhile her life raced by like that horse tearing through the woods, and she had no idea when it would just stop, abruptly, and she would be thrown into death’s sea.

Somewhere along the line, she began to believe that being loved was something she had to earn, and she walked just outside the edges of it, endlessly trying to prove herself worthy of entrance to its secret garden.

To his credit, James had tried his best to love her, and convince her of that love, but one day, he gave up. He just had to. She wasn’t something he could fix. She was something she was going to have to fix. And he couldn’t wait around forever.

Amy felt she was always begging at the gates of love, and never sitting in its golden throne.

“Amy,” said the doctor, who had taken his hand off her arm and returned to jotting on his clipboard.

She returned from her trance and looked up at him.

“Word is, you’re a writer,” he said. 

 “Looks like you’re going to have plenty of time to do that now.”

“Oh,” she said, gingerly raising her arm to massage her temples, “I was.”

Her head felt swollen to the size of a Zeppelin.

“Is my head like, as big as this room, like the size of the moon?” she asked, squinting up at him.

“It feels like that, I’m sure. But it isn’t. I promise. You look…” he looked at her again, this time like someone standing in front of a painting in a museum, he turned his head to get another angle. She waited. She held her breath. He dropped his eyes to the floor.

“Fine,” he said, “just fine.”

She exhaled and dropped her hands into her light blue lap.

“I did write. I mean, I guess you could have called me a writer once.”

“I don’t think that’s something you ever stop being,” he said. “You either are or you aren’t, is my opinion.”

“Well, I wrote about other people, I wrote about their passions. I think that’s all I can write about. I don’t think I have anything to say.”

His body language told her he was beginning to leave the room, he put the pen in his pocket and nodded at the nurse.

“Well, Amy, I don’t think that’s true,” he said.

You don’t?” she asked.

“No,” he said.

Emboldened by the drugs, she pressed him.

“What do you think is true?”

“That everyone has a story to tell, and something to say, and we find pieces of our selves in everyone’s story. We’ve all learned and survived a lot more than we even realize. And when we tell our story, somehow we free ourselves, and somehow, it frees others too. So it’s almost, or it is, our birthright to tell it.”

“Holy shit,” Amy whispered under her breath.

When he left the room, she wanted to cry, “Don’t go!”

But, he had lives to save.

And Amy had a book to write.

This is an ongoing series from a forthcoming fiction novel by Sarah Durham Wilson of DOITGIRL.
Tune in weekly for the next chapter in ‘The Transformation of Amy Lunaro’.

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Sarah Durham Wilson
Sarah Durham Wilson is a woman in the world who writes about being a woman in the world. She teaches workshops, courses, and retreats on awakening to one’s inner Divine Feminine nature. You can find her on Facebook and her blog.
Sarah Durham Wilson