He didn’t realise who he was the day it began, it was like every other day. Out of bed straight to the bathroom, down the stairs for a cigarette go back up the stairs, say good morning to his kid and continue into the kitchen to pour a bowl of Wheaties. Every day was the same, a routine unbroken for years. He would drop his wife off at work and continue his journey into his work. He would sit at his desk inputting numbers into a spreadsheet for eight hours then make the journey home, picking his wife up on the way.
This day…this day is different today he woke up feeling strange. He was twitchy and nervous his back throbbed with pain, as he stood his heart pounded in his chest. The more he began to think about it the further down the path of a nightmare it was. His wife took one look at him and expressed no interest in his blatant distress. “Don’t forget to pick me up from work love” “how could I forget” he declared “I’ve done it everyday for seven years”.
He began to shuffle across his bedroom searching for his bright red dressing gown, one hand placed firmly on his wrist searching for a consistent pulse “nothing” “what the fuck where has my pulse gone” he began to hyperventilate, sweat was dripping from his brow, then all of a sudden he fell to the floor with a huge crash, pulling the bright red dressing gown with him. “Babe are you ok? What was that? Babe?” His wife; now snapped out of her own mundane reality, realised something was wrong. She ran to the bedroom and that’s where she found him. He was lying in a pool of piss and sweat, shaking and breathing heavily.
“I have no pulse, my heart has stopped…but I don’t feel dead. Am I dead?” He began to sob, his wife was expressionless, she didn’t know what to say. “Call a fucking ambulance…Christ what is wrong with me” she snapped out of it and ran for the phone unbeknown the son was also deeply engrossed in his own routine of YouTube videos and a virtual reality. “Hello, ambulance please”…she still hadn’t come to terms with the idea that he was dead “umm my husband is lying on the floor he has wet himself and is shaking, he says his heart has stopped?” The was a silent pause “ok what’s your name my lover?” “It’s Ann and my…my husband is called Greg” “ok Ann I want you to lie him on his side, place two fingers firmly against his neck and tell me if you can feel a pulse” she fell to the floor, panic had began to set in, she placed two fingers against his neck as requested……”I can’t feel anything there’s no pulse”…”my thoughts exactly Ann, I did just tell you this, I can’t move and my body feels cold and frozen!” “There’s no pulse I can’t feel anything, he says he is freezing and can’t move his body?” Ann began to cry, the thought of losing Greg hurt like nothing else she had ever felt. “You can’t die Greg who is going to take me to work?” He coughed and a trickle of blood dripped from his mouth. “Really that’s all your bothered about? Your ride to work?”….”I didn’t mean it like that Greg I…..I don’t know what to do or say” “ok poppet the ambulance is on the way, I need you to begin chest compressions. Turn him onto his back clasp both hands together and begin pressing on the middle of his rib cage with significant pressure, press then release, press then release ok? Keep doing this until the ambulance arrives” “ok…sorry Greg”.
When the ambulance arrived, Ann was still pumping down on Greg’s chest. “Press and release, press and release. I always thought I would make a good nurse”. Greg lay lifeless on the floor he was still alive he was sure of it. He could see Ann, he could hear her and feel the god awful press and release. “You really think this is the time to discuss career options, I’m fucking dying and your telling me you would make a good nurse?”
The doorbell rang, Ann screamed for their son to get the door, but he didn’t hear her. “DAVID ANSWER THE FUCKING DOOR, YOUR DAD IS DEAD” David huffed and put his tablet down on the coffee table. “MUM you best not be tricking me, wait did you say dad is dead? COOL CAN I SEE?” “ANSWER THE FUCKING DOOR!!!” David walked down the tall stair case to answer the door. “HI I’m Mike I believe we have an emergency?” David looked him up and down “ummm mum says my dad is dead…..” “right take me to him” he lead Mike up the tall staircase and into his mum and dads bedroom.
“He’s dead he’s dead I can’t feel a pulse, please save him. YOU BETTER SAVE HIM”. “Ok right…” Mike put his bag onto the floor “Greg I’m Mike can you hear me?”…Greg struggled at first “y-y-yes I’m him, I’m cold and I can’t feel my body” “PLEASE DO SOMETHING MIKE!!!!” Mike began doing cpr “1,2,3,4……1,2,3,4” the room fell silent Ann and David where stood perfectly still and in shock “I’m going to have to declare it….time of dea…” Greg suddenly hunched himself forward “I’m not dead you moron I’m just so cold, what the fuck is happening to me?” Mike was unsure what to say, he had been a paramedic for nearly thirty years and had no explanation. “Look Mr we need to get you to a hospital, your clinically dead so I don’t understand how you are responding to me, let alone moving….I’ll get the wheel chair”. “Are you taking the piss Mike…we live in a flat? We have stairs…….”
With the help of David, he and Mike carried his stiff body down the tall stairs. “I can’t carry him he is to heavy….I’m going to….” Ann let out a scream Greg shuffled down each step like a sack of potatoes, he lay at the bottom of the stairs almost folded in half. “OH MY GOD GREG ARE YOU OK?”….”IM DEAD ANN OF COURSE IM NOT OK”. Mike scooped Greg up with his hands and carried him into the back of the ambulance. Ann and David entered the ambulance with them. “I’m going to be so late for work, trust you to die on a work day Greg….not cool”….”oh I’m sorry Ann, I didn’t mean any inconvenience….”. “Ok it’s a thirty minute drive to the hospital, I’ll radio through to have the crash team on standby”.
Greg lay lifeless in the back of the ambulance, occasionally muttering profanities at the driver for his sheer inconsiderate driving. They came to a stop the trolly Greg was on slid down the ambulance cab, banging into the doors. “OH MY GOODNESS ARE YOU OK?….” Ann attempted to pull Greg’s trolly back, at which point David had his phone out and was recording his dad on video. “Dad how does it feel to be dead?….this will make us so rich!” “Oh glad you have your priorities son, I really am”. The ambulance door swung open, a team of dr’s gathered to see if Greg was indeed dead. The Drs rushed Greg and his trolly into the hospital, the room was a brilliant white and smelt like dentist gloves. “Greg I am Gordon, I’m a senior dr at Hempstad university hospital”. Greg was increasingly finding it difficult to talk, it was if all his bones had become fixed in place with cement. “Gordon am I dead? What is happening to me?”. Gordon paced around the bed, poking and prodding Greg. “I just don’t understand it, you have no vitals. Your organs have stopped working, your no longer pumping blood through your veins…….you should be dead!!!” Greg looked up at Gordon “I’m sorry Gordon, I really am” “what could you possibly have to say sorry for Greg? Your a mirical your….your immortal…..holy shit what is that smell?”. Although Greg couldn’t laugh, he felt something riddling through his stiff dead corpse “as I said Gordon I’m sorry, it slipped out”.