Grey. That was the color of his world. The grey of a heavy London fog. The kind that clung to the skin, muffled sound and seeped into the throat and lungs with every breath, making breathing difficult.
The grey even seemed to permeate his mind, making his thoughts sluggish and disorganized.
He didn’t know where he was, or why he was here. He tried to move, but the fog in his lungs had traveled to his limbs and body. They were deaf to his commands. He could hear muffled sounds, a light beeping here and there, somewhat regular, but it was nearly impossible to focus.
He wanted to sleep so badly. He’d never craved it so much in his life. However, the noises, though muffled, kept him from drifting off. As he struggled to focus, he could hear voices.
“I’m truly sorry, Mr. and Mrs. Laurent, there is nothing more we can do. Nathan’s injuries are too severe.”
The words seemed to blaze themselves across the fog, burning into his mind, clearing his thoughts enough for him to consider them and their meaning.
Mr. and Mrs. Laurent, Nathan, he recognized those names. And that voice, where had he heard it before? He struggled to remember through the haze.
“We repaired what we could, but his lungs, heart and liver are failing. With total life support he’ll probably last another two weeks, maybe three. Right now its a question of when, not if.”
That voice, so familiar, with its deep soothing tone, bothered him. He knew it and somehow feared the implications should he remember. Who were they talking about? Surely not him. Could it be?
A soft muffled sob, a heart-broken mother’s tears cut through the grey forcing him to focus again on the voices and the discussion they were having.
“That’s not acceptable,”
A third voice exploded into being, it’s tone hard, unyielding. There was no mistaking the fact that he knew that voice, especially in that particular tone, intimately. Father? Suddenly, he realized they were talking about him. His name was Nathan, Nathan Laurent and his father’s name was Thomas.
His father’s voice continued.
“If you can’t save my son, I’ll find someone who can.”
Nathan immediately realized he knew who his father was speaking to. It was Dr. Patterson, a friend of his father’s, from the Port City Hospital. Was that where he was? Why? What happened? Nathan tried to panic but couldn’t. His body refused to respond. The fog filled him completely, cutting his mind from his body. He was floating unable to do anything but listen to others discussing his fate.
“Mr. Laurent–Thomas,” Dr. Patterson said softly, “I understand your frustration, but there’s truly nothing … ”
“Don’t you dare spout platitudes at me.” His father broke in, “I neither want nor need them. I’ll be damned if I let my son die.”
Nathan pondered the words briefly then the fog surrounding him turned darker and thinking became even harder. Nathan’s last thought before the blackness took him was ‘But what if I want to?’