“Once I can distinguish between a premonition and a flashback, then I’m sure I’ll be able to deal with the present.” Nicolas said that two months after the event that in an instant redefined his life.
Shortly after the accident he began to hear phantom voices in the background. He tried to ignore them, but the same ones played over and over in his head. They grew increasingly ominous, discussing his chances of recovery. He suppressed them as best he could as he began learning to read again. Doctors had told his family that if he had been found earlier, the damage would have been much less. He had stumbled on the running path near dusk and struck his head on a rock, rendering him unconscious. No one found him until the next morning. In addition to suffering multiple skull fractures, his brain swelled to a life-threatening degree. He regained motor skills and some cognitive skills, but he was unlike the 28 year old who had decided to leave work early in order to fit a training run in before dark. Because of the hour, he left his running partner, Dusty, a spaniel mix with a dirty brown coat, at home. Had Dusty been with him, she certainly would have brought him help. He wondered about “what if’s” like this as he thumbed through Green Eggs and Ham.