Denise had determined this morning that she would not
dwell on her nightmare. It was too ridiculous to even
consider. All it meant, anyway, was that she was terribly
So she had begun to focus on Jane Doe, to keep her dream
off her mind, since she had begun to make her rounds.It
was almost unbelievable, but an air of expectancy followed
her wherever she went. Would it really work? Did she dare
try it? Would everyone think she was crazy? But, if it
worked, what difference would it make?
At her first break, Denise went to Jane Doe’s room. It was
amazing that no one had ever found her purse, or any
idenification for the lady. The theory was that perhaps it had
been thrown from the car, and maybe an animal had drug it
off somewhere. But there hadn’t even been any answers,
yet, from the missing persons’ list.
The patient was lying still, supported with pillows, her leg
still in traction. No changes in her condition, the nurse had
It was really crazy, but there was something about her,
Denise decided, something almost familiar, as she stood
looking over the patient. Denise noted the naturally arched
eyebrows, the oval eyes with long lashes, the slightly sharp
nose, cupid bow mouth, and softly curving chin.
Pretty, she thought. Very pretty. There were no bandages on
her face, now, and no swelling. She looked almost like a
life- sized porcelain doll.
The nurse came in to check her vital signs. “Excuse me. Am
I interrupting?” she asked.
Denise didn’t know this nurse. “No, I just came in for a
minute, while I’m on break. I just like to check on her every
chance I get. You must be new. I haven’t seen you before.”
Denise stated curiously.
“Yes, I am. I’m Maria Marshall. Today’s my first day, but I
think I’m gonna love it here,” she answered.
“It’s nice to meet you Maria. I’m Denise Whitaker, just one
of the volunteers.”
“You know, you really look a lot like this lady. Are you
related or something?” Maria asked. “Well, that’s dumb, of
course, since no one knows who she is,” she said
“No,” Denise laughed, “but thanks. I think she’s really
“You know, I heard something really strange that has
supposedly brought some people out of comas before. I’m
really dying to try it, but I’m afraid everyone will think I’m
crazy,” Denise confided.
“Really? What is it? She’s been in a coma for some time
according to her chart. I think anything that could possibly
bring her out of it would be wonderful!”
“Well, this guy on a radio talk show, supposedly a
psychologist, was talking about how hung up we are,
nowadays, on answering the phone, you know? Like, most
of us would do anything to answer a phone when it’s
ringing. He said a lot of times, people will even come out of
a coma to answer a phone. Ever heard of such a thing?”
“No,” Maria laughed, “but it kinda makes sense, especially if
there’s no physical reason for the coma. You know, it just
might work. I can’t see how it could hurt to try it,” Maria
said, thoughtfully. “Would you want to use the phone in the
“I don’t know. There’s usually several people in there, right
around the phone. They’d probably think I was nuts!” Denise
“The pay phone is in the waiting room. Why don’t we use it?
Let’s give it a try. Do you have any change for the pay
“Oh, sure. Do you really think we should?” Denise asked,
smiling, trying to gain the courage for such a step.
“Sure. What could it hurt? I’ll turn the ringer on the phone
down just a little, so it won’t disturb the other patients. Go
ahead. Do it. I’ve got a few minutes. I’ll wait here. Let it
ring, oh, say, ten times. OK?”
“O.K.! Thanks’” Denise called out as she turned, hurriedly
leaving the room.
Denise dialed the room number from the pay phone just
down the hall, her heart racing with every ring. Please,
please, let it work, she thought. It’s just got to work! But, at
the end of the tenth ring, she hung up, disappointed. She
Dejected, she walked back to the room to talk with Maria,
not accepting defeat well at all. Just got my hopes up too
high, she thought to herself. Now what?
But, upon entering the room, she didn’t see the defeated
look on Maria’s face as she expected, although the Jane
Doe was lying exactly as she had left her, still looking like a
“No good, huh?” Denise stated as she closed the door
“You know, I can’t say for sure, and though she didn’t come
out of her coma, I could swear there was a frown, just a
slight change of expression, mind you, but a response,
nonetheless! Let’s not give up, OK? Let’s try again. When do
you get another break?” Maria asked. “My lunch break is at
twelve o’clock, so can we meet in here about twelve-thirty?
This time, let me call, and you watch her, OK? I really think
there was a slight reaction, so it may work yet!” Maria was
still optimistic, and it was encouraging to Denise.
“Yeah,OK! See you then,” Denise called on her way out.
“Thanks, Maria.” Feeling a little better that there had maybe
been some reaction, according to Maria, even though slight,
Denise began her duties with a new enthusiasm. After all, if
Nana and Papa were praying for her, something was bound