Hugged by an Angel
Author: Roberta Capizzi
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Genre: Contemporary Romance
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Synopsis: How can you ever love again when tragedy has crushed your heart?
Kathleen used to love life. She had plans, dreams, and faith in life; but that was before the accident that took it all away from her in an instant. Now that her beloved brother is dead and she's confined to a wheelchair, her future is but a dark cloud hovering above her head. How can she ever find the will to move on and keep living without him? Even the cares of the happy-go-lucky American physiotherapist who's helping her with her rehab therapies are all in vain. Life seems to have lost its meaning, until one night she receives an unexpected celestial visit…
Colin has been working as a physiotherapist in Dublin for almost five years, but he’s never bonded so much with a patient like he is bonding with Kathleen; there's something about those sad blue eyes that makes him want to help her, to take away the pain that reminds him so much of his own. Having lost both his parents in a plane crash when he was only sixteen, Colin knows how it feels to have someone you love taken so abruptly away from you, and he makes it his mission to help Kathleen find her faith in life again. But something changes along the way…
Sometimes love can work miracles. If you believe.
I woke up in a bed that didn’t feel like my own. I opened my eyes and the white light was so bright it stung, so I quickly shut them again.
I couldn’t remember where I was and I felt weird, as if something were wrong, although I couldn’t quite define what or why.
I took a deep breath and suddenly realized there was something stuck in my nostrils. Instinctively I brought my hand up to touch it; but when I did I felt a piercing pain in my arm. My eyelids fluttered open and my eyes slowly adjusted to the bright light. I saw a needle piercing my skin and I shivered. I had never been a fan of needles and the sight of one pulsing fluids into my arm was enough to give me the creeps.
I looked away and noticed a screen next to my bed from which a steady, rhythmical beep came, echoing in the empty room. Okay, I was in hospital; it didn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that one out.
But why was I there? I tried to remember where I had been or what I’d been doing before everything had gone black but, as much as I tried, it was all blurred. I attempted to turn my head to check if there was a clock or something that could give me a clue as to what time it was but my neck felt constricted and I noticed I was wearing a neck collar.
Grand. So I had a stiff neck, too. I really needed to find out what hospital I was in and why, because the uncertainty was driving me crazy.
I could hear distant voices outside the room echoing down a corridor, but I wasn’t sure they would hear me if I called for help. I needed to get out of bed, but when I tried to move my legs something just didn’t feel right. It took me a couple of seconds to realize I couldn’t feel them; it was as if my body ended just below my waist. A chill ran down my spine, taking my breath away.
With shaking hands I slowly lifted the sheet covering the lower part of my body and I squinted, not sure I was ready to see if my legs weren’t there anymore. But they were, just where they’d always been, so I opened my eyes wider and touched my thigh with the tip of my finger.
I pinched the bare skin, but it felt weird, as if I were touching someone else’s leg. I couldn’t feel my thigh, although my fingers were still pinching as hard as they could. Panic overcame me and I propped myself up on the bed using my arms to support my weight; however I wasn’t as strong as I thought and when my left arm, the one the IV was attached to, gave in, I slipped and fell, crashing to the floor. I pulled everything attached to my body down with me except for the oxygen tube that was wrenched out of my nose.
I didn’t feel pain though; at first I didn’t feel anything at all. Then sudden despair took hold of me as I lay there, facedown on the tiled floor of a hospital room, and my first thought was how much I needed my brother Declan to wrap me in his arms right now.
“Oh, dear, what happened to you?”
A woman came rushing in wearing a pair of those green rubber slippers only doctors and nurses wear. She turned back toward the door and I heard her shout: “Colin, come here now, will ya? I need help.”
A minute later, I saw another set of feet in white sneakers and two strong arms lifted me up; shortly afterwards I was back in bed.
“Trying to sneak out, were you?” a soft, deep, male voice said and, as I looked up to match a face to the sound, I was a little taken aback by the unexpected vision. A young man was standing by my bed and my first impression was that he reminded me of Declan.
His eyes were blue, the same shade as my brother’s, and he had brown hair just like him—only his was wavy and tousled and it slightly curled up on the back of his neck, while Declan’s had always been short.
The nurse fixed the nasal cannula back into my nose, checked that the needle was still in my arm and, when she looked at me again, I noticed she had a friendly smile. She looked in her mid-fifties, and her face was round and rosy; her uniform seemed a little too tight for her generous curves and her manner was somehow reassuring, very motherly. It was silly, but it made me feel a little better.
“I’m Judith, by the way. I’m the head nurse in this ward and you can call me whenever you need anything.” She smiled and I nodded. “Good, now I’ll leave you in the capable hands of our best physiotherapist. He’ll keep you company until Dr. O’Donnell gets here. You don’t mind, Colin, do you?” the nurse asked, turning toward the man in a white t-shirt and pants. He smiled and nodded; then the nurse looked at me and said she’d be back later.
I didn’t say a word; besides being in shock, I was too scared to find out if I’d lost my voice, too.
I looked away, taking a long, deep breath as I stared at the gray-paneled ceiling, wondering what was going to happen next.
Kathleen’s (they’re mostly about her brother):
Angel - Sarah McLachlan
Could it be any harder - The Calling
When I look to the sky - Train
There you’ll be - Faith Hill
Never gone - Backstreet Boys
One sweet day - Mariah Carey
Our farewell - Within Temptation (I imagined Declan singing this to Kathleen)
Falling into you - Celine Dion (for Colin)
Thank God I found you - Mariah Carey (for Colin)
Feels like home - Chantal Kreviazuk (for Colin)
Galway girl - Steve Earle
I love the way you love me - Boyzone
I’m a believer - Smash Mouth
Turning page - Sleeping At Last
Never knew I needed - Ne-Yo
Feel - Darren Hayes
Lost in You - Westlife
Close your eyes - Michael Bublè
Rush over me - Backstreet Boys
I knew I loved you - Savage Garden
About the Author: An avid reader since her childhood years and being an only child, Roberta always enjoyed the company of her fictional friends from the children’s books she loved reading, while she dreamed of writing her own stories one day.
It was when she discovered novels by authors Rosamunde Pilcher and Maeve Binchy in her teenage years that she realized it was time she put down in words the stories she had kept well hidden in her mind until then.
What started as a hobby, soon turned into a real passion and a way of life, until she could no longer keep the stories to herself, and decided to get over her fears and share them with the world.