Sheldon Sands is in the hospital after his Mexico fiasco.
There’s nothing left. Nothing except the darkness and the silence. He tries to understand what’s going on around him, but that’s impossible. The noises make his world a loud and dizzy mess.
He tries to separate the noises but there’s just too many. Trying to figure it out is too hard. That and relying solely on sound is completely new to him. His brain is overwhelmed by trying to make sense of things he can’t see. In response to the agony in his head, he buries his face into the pillow and inhales. The smell is sterile; it’s the classic hospital smell. But it’s familiar and right now it’s the only comfort he has.
A new smell is in his space. It’s like flowers and cinnamon. It’s totally foreign and soothing at the same time. The voice that he soon attaches to the smell isn’t completely out of place. It’s familiar like he’s heard it before.
He turns his head in the direction of the voice. He barely recognizes his own when he speaks. It sounds rougher and raspier then he remembers it sounding. “I’m here unfortunately. Who are you?”
She smiles, he’s sure of it. He can hear it in her voice. “My name is Claudia. I’m your nurse.”
He scoffs at his own conclusions. He believes she sounds beautiful, but that’s all she is. She’s a voice, a semi-distraction from the darkness of his world. “Sugarbutt, I don’t need a nurse.”
Claudia laughed. So he was going to play the tough guy routine. She had been told all about his background. The fact that his mother had thought that he had died was bad enough. There was evidence that he had been tortured. The fact that the CIA had rushed him to the United States only to declare his situation hopeless let her know the type of life he lead.
Now she was stuck with the ill-tempered man. She pitied him. All the bullshit the man put up with. She could understand if he was angry and having trouble adjusting. “Agent Sands, don’t be silly.”
Sands sat up. He tried to focus. He realized in that instant that she was right, he needed help. But what he needed more than anything was for the bandages covering his eyes to come off. He wasn’t going to ask. The way that he saw it, they were on his face and if he wanted them off—then they’d come off.
Claudia went to stop him. He couldn’t be doing what she thought he was doing. The doctor said he’d be difficult. She had no idea that within 20 minutes of meeting him that he’d do something so drastic.
Sheldon heard her talking, but because he felt that woman never had anything good to say, he tuned her out. He very carefully found the tape that held the circular gauze patches to his face and started working at the tape. That was harder than he had anticipated, he finally lifted the tape and found that the gauze, very easily went with it. He put them both on the table.
Claudia gasped. She caught his hands in hers. Mentally, she could picture him touching the outer edges and screaming. She didn’t want him going into hysterics. “Sheldon, I don’t think….”
He shook his head. “I need to know.” There was a part of Sands that believed the entire incident was some sort of hallucination. As his fingers ghosted across the empty holes that used to house his eyes, he bit into his bottom lip. His eyes were gone. He dropped his hand to his side as he slid his body further down the bed until he was lying down again.
Claudia noticed that he was shaking. She was unsure if it was because he was crying or if his worn out body was finally giving into shock. Out of nowhere, Sands felt something prick his arm. All the sounds around him seemed to fade as a numbing heat spread through his body.
Claudia watched as all of his features relaxed. She supposed that if they had met anywhere else she would have hit on him no matter how poor his attitude was. But he was her eyeless patient; it was time to be professional. She watched him sleep. She knew that he had a long hard road ahead of him. However, he had already defied the odds. She had no doubt that when all was said and done he would come out of this victorious, even if he would be a pain in the ass before that.
She sighed as she imagined all the snarky comments he’d probably spew at her during their physical therapy sessions. She watched him sleep and silently wondered how things would have went if he had come in with his eyes.