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While I Was Sleeping

While I Was Sleeping

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Published by chainbooks
Kali Sheppard wakes up after being in a coma for eight years to find that her life has dramatically changed since the car accident that almost killed her. She discovers that the man she was engaged to at the time of the accident is now married with a child. She is also shocked to discover that the passengers in the other car were not strangers at all. Kali must adjust to a new life, while her ex-fiancee, James, finds himself questioning the decision he made to marry his wife while Kali was asleep.
Kali Sheppard wakes up after being in a coma for eight years to find that her life has dramatically changed since the car accident that almost killed her. She discovers that the man she was engaged to at the time of the accident is now married with a child. She is also shocked to discover that the passengers in the other car were not strangers at all. Kali must adjust to a new life, while her ex-fiancee, James, finds himself questioning the decision he made to marry his wife while Kali was asleep.

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Published by: chainbooks on Feb 07, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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02/07/2012

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Chapter 1
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Even though she had been his fiancée, technically, for six years now, Jamesknew that two mornings from now, he would wake up married to another woman. Hiseyes never moved from her as he ran his fingers across her cheek, down to her lips,and across her collarbone, just were the hospital gown began. Her blonde hair was a bittangled and matted in unruly clumps around her now pale face, but James still thoughtshe looked as beautiful and as perfect as the day he first met her. He watched her chestslowly rise and fall, rise and fall, in rhythmic, even beats. As he drew in a sharp breath,he brought a hand to his own chest, quickly suppressing a sob that was rising from histhroat. He lifted her left hand, lifeless in his own, and kissed the diamond ring he hadgiven her, the one that was inscribed “Come what may” on the inside of the band. Afterallowing one tear, just one, to fall from the corner of his eye, he gently placed her handback on her chest, and drew her sheet further up her body.
!
“Goodbye, Kali,” he whispered as he passed a nurse on his way out the door.
!
Kali Sheppard had been asleep for the past eight years. Even though the doctorscontinually told her parents that the probability of her waking up was quite slim, Margieand David Sheppard refused to take her off life support in the hopes that one day theirdaughter might come back. They didn
ʼ
t care that the hospital bills were slowly, butsteadily draining their savings accounts, or that people frequently told them they neededto accept that their daughter was only alive by means of a machine. Every morning, asthey shared blueberry bagels with strawberry cream cheese and black coffee, Margieand David Sheppard would hold hands across their kitchen table and pray that Godwould send Kali back to them.
!
For the first six years, Margie had spent at least three nights a week sitting on theuncomfortable plastic couch in Kali
ʼ
s hospital room, knitting scarves and socks that Kaliwould mostly likely never have the chance to wear. After the accident had left herunconscious, the doctors had performed three surgeries in attempt to repair her injuriesand increase her chances of survival. She had not opened her eyes once since theypulled her out of the totaled car on Stark Road.
!
At first, the team of doctors had seemed to hold a slight hope that she would,eventually, pull through. At first, it was easy (at least easier than it was now) to sit byKali
ʼ
s side and believe that she would fight through her unconscious state as she
ʼ
d
 
fought through everything else in her life. At first, James had come to sit with Margieevery day. He had sat by Kali
ʼ
s side, he had held her hand, always stroking that ring onher finger; and a few times, he
ʼ
d even crawled in the narrow bed with her and held herall night long, hoping, like Margie, he
ʼ
d awaken in the morning to find her smiling up athim.
!
It wasn
ʼ
t until James had come to see her and told her that he was engaged toanother woman that Margie had first admitted to herself that, like James, she too hadmore or less given up hope. She remembered how James had looked at her that day,tears streaming down his stubbled face.
!
“I
ʼ
m so sorry, Mrs. Sheppard,” he had sobbed as he had embraced Margie.
!
“I know, honey,” she had whispered back, choking back tears of her own. “I
ʼ
msorry too.”
!
As much as Margie had wanted to have James for a son-in-law, she knew it wastoo much to ask of him to continue to hold on. He deserved a life, a family, and a wife,even if that wife wasn
ʼ
t her daughter. She hadn
ʼ
t gone to the wedding, but Margieimagined James had looked quite handsome in his tuxedo, standing at the front of theFirst Baptist Church. She only wished she had been sitting in the front pew, watchingher Kali walk down the aisle to meet him. That was three years ago. Now, James wasmarried to a lady whose name Margie neither knew nor cared to know, and had a twoyear old daughter who looked enough like Erin to have been her twin sister. Margie
ʼ
sheart still stopped when she thought about how James
ʼ
three-year-old niece had looked,lying in the road, blood all down her front, chest unmoving.
!
But despite all that their family had been through, all that James
ʼ
family had beenthrough, the past eight years, Margie still refused unplug Kali, even though emotionally,and spiritually, Margie had to admit she
ʼ
d given up on her daughter
ʼ
s life.
!
She wondered what Kali would say if she knew that her mother and father weresitting on a beach in Hawaii, drinking daiquiris and rum and Cokes, while she lay lifelessin a hospital bed. She wondered if Kali would be proud of the woman Margie hadbecome, or how proud she would be if she knew her father had quit smoking. Most ofall, she wondered if Kali would like James
ʼ
new wife, if she
ʼ
d be happy for him, if she
ʼ
dbe proud of the career he had built for himself without her love and support.
!
None of that mattered, though, Margie scolded herself. Even though it was thefirst time she and David had so much as left the county since the accident, Margiecouldn
ʼ
t help the feeling of guilt that was probing at her heart. How could she be sittingwith her feet in an ocean Kali would never see, drinking liquor Kali would never taste,smelling saltwater Kali would never again inhale?
!
As Margie watched the sun sink into the distance, casting coloured lights ofspectacular reds, oranges, and pink onto the water, she squeezed her eyes shut and

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