The Salvaging of Sonny Chapman
Sonny has the sensation of being on water: floating, bobbing, rocking. Her eyes are shut. She is in complete darkness. She is unable to move. She drifts in and out of consciousness, pain the only constant. She tries to remember, but it is too much effort. She can’t think straight; she can’t think at all. There is pain, so much pain, mixed with fleeting memories of terror. There is a vagueness and emptiness all around her. And then she hears footsteps coming down hollow sounding stairs.
‘Hi Little Lady, I have some water for you.’ says the stranger.
It is so frustrating for her, not being able to see. Who is this person? A foreign accent-maybe Italian or Spanish? From somewhere in her memory comes an image of Antonio Banderas. Sonny tries to speak, tries so hard to say Who are you? Where are you? Where am I?
She is scared now. The words stick in her throat, refusing to come out. Laying still, she silently fights within herself while this gentle man bathes her mouth with a soft cloth. He parts her lips and then her clenched teeth.
‘Relax your mouth and drink. Drink.’ he says.
Sonny tastes the liquid. It feels so, so good. She is confused. What happened? Where am I? Who is he? How did I get here? She can swallow, she can drink. So, she can’t be dead! This is a good sign. she thinks, as her head and every inch of her body continue to throb. The water is like ice, refreshing and quenching, as it flows down her throat. Swollen. On fire. For a fleeting moment the fire is extinguished, and it feels so good. Yes, she wants more of this ice, this beautiful, blessed ice.
Exhausted from the effort of drinking, she lays still, unable to move. Her lips tremble as she struggles to speak. The man puts his finger to her lips.
‘Ssshh. Sleep now. You must rest. We will speak later.’ continues the voice in the darkness.
Sonny feels the stab of a needle in her arm, followed by the familiar feeling of liquid coursing through her veins. The pain subsides, and she drifts into her other safe and beautiful world.