Every time Charlie opened her eyes she was teleported into a new world. The last world was a street sauna full of delusion and nausea. This world was a fridge, it was cool and clean and bright, very very bright, and full of pain, immense pain, deep and penetrating and permanent pain that touched her very core and on and on into the marrow of her bones. This was a world of pain. A blurred entity swayed before her, its edges smudged by light emanation from behind. The thing advanced toward Charlie and emerged from the brightness and drew into focus. It was a woman, dressed in purple and white with a cyan mask over her nose and mouth. A nurse.
"Where am I?" asked Charlie.
The nurse turned sideways and somehow she doubled, replicated herself, like bacteria do, they divide. There was one nurse then she split and now there are two. But the new nurse was not an exact a clone, she had a white coat on, with a pocket full of pens and stethoscope and a clipboard and as Charlie's focus sharpened she realised that the second woman might have been standing behind the nurse. The second person might have been there all along and then Charlie decided they where probably not replicating bacteria.
"Hello, you are in Bogotá hospital" said the second woman.
"My name is Maria, and this is Isabel. Her English is not very good"
"What happened?" Charlie asked.
"Your mother is here, here in Colombia, I will go and find her. Charles no? Your name is Charles?"
"What happened to me?"
"The police want to talk to you, they will explain."
"What happened to me?"
The two nurses talked in Spanish and one left.
"Are you hungry" the nurse asked.
"How did my mother get here? Have I been here long?" she asked.
Yes, you where dropped on the entrance unconscious, you recovered but you where not in a good state, and we had to induce a coma because you where ... well ... it was for the best. For your best.
Coma! said Charlie
The nurse nodded.
The police will tell you more.
The other nurse returned with Becci, Charlie's mother and Charlie burst into tears. Becci ran to her side and carefully embraced her with a stone face, that face mothers wear when they can't risk crying on the outside, but are smashed to smithereens on the inside. And all they can do it lie.
"It'll be alrite, it'll be all right baby, we'll get through this" she said.
Another woman entered the ward, and joined the bed side cuddle, this second woman was Charlies mother, Charlie has two mothers, and this mother cried with soft stabbing sobs, patting her eyes with tissues.
"They cut my fucking arm off!" Charlie said and the truth, the hash clean brutal truth cut them all down to tears, and they clenched like fist around a broken bird, and the crying penetrated one of the nearby nurses, and she turned her head away to cry unseen, a tear for a stranger, a tear of mirth.
The nurses talked the one asked the other a question in Spanish. Becci pulled back from her family to look at them.
"Cinco minutos, porfavor, solo cinco minutos mas" she said.
"Si sinora, pero tengo que llamale, si o si" Maria confirmed.
"Gracias" said Becci and faced Charlie.
"The police need to talk to you hon, they'll be here in about five minutes, but don't worry we will be right here, okay, we are all together baby." said Becci.
The nurses left. The weepers wept. The police arrived.