Episode 7: Admission
The world gradually congealed into view. Drake was looking at a fluorescent light on a polystyrene tiled ceiling. Around him were curtains and above him stood a man with a benign smile on his face, wearing white.
“Where am I?” asked Drake.
“In the Hospital” said the man.
Drake was confused. “What do you want with me?”
“Well, we don’t want anything, apart from to make you well.”
Drake was trying to work out how he could be in a hospital, when he was clearly in a reeling ship. The room was swaying and he felt sick. Altogether he felt extremely strange, disconnected, and he didn’t like the look of the man in white now bending over and looking into his eyes.
“Whose side are you on?” Drake demanded, but his words seemed slow and delayed. He tried to focus: the face had something of Kolotov about it.
The man looked puzzled, and then impatient.
“Look, you’re here because you had a nasty turn. We want to make sure you’re alright so we’re running a few checks. Now just relax, and we’ll soon have you as right as rain.”
You must be joking, thought Drake, and leapt out of the bed. Except he didn’t. He couldn’t. His legs didn’t move at all. He tried to heave himself over the bed rail with his arms, but the man in white stood in his way.
“I’m afraid you don’t have use of your legs at the moment,” said the man in white. “We’re not quite sure what’s happened yet, but it’s possible you’ve had some kind of small stroke, so we’re running some tests.”
Drake tried to think back. What was the last thing he remembered? He’d gone to see Dr Sixsmith, stormed out of the surgery, driven home... That’s right. Mrs Drake was out – she’d left a note to say she was meeting a friend in town. He’d gone to start packing for his trip to Zagreb and then... that was where his memory ended. He must have lost consciousness then.
“I’m going to leave you in the capable hands of nurse Cooper now,” said the man in white. He drew back the curtain and called to the other side of the room. “Nurse Cooper, will you attend to Bed Number 6”?