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The Episode

James didn’t remember how he’d ended up at the hospital, but when he woke up he’d figured he’d had one of his episodes.

Normally, he would call for a nurse to find out what exactly happened and who brought him here, but for some reason, he couldn’t do it now. He didn’t exactly feel like talking to anyone, let alone a stranger.

When he looked around the room for clues, he saw two rings on the small cabinet beside his bed. He had no idea who they belonged to.

He examined the elegant gold bands. Were they wedding rings? His mind was fuzzy, almost as if a memory was hiding in the depths of it and the more he attempted to grasp it, the farther it fell. Exhaling, he dropped the rings and slowly raised himself from the bed. When he walked over to the closet he saw his reflection in the wall mirror: A black eye, blackest he’d ever seen. Or maybe it was his eyes playing tricks on him. Was he involved in a fight? He used to get in fights all the time when he was younger. Those were the days when he liked to pretend he feared nothing. He thought of himself as a wild thing who would not be tamed, until his condition forced him to slow down, building a cage of unseen barriers.

He turned to the sound of the door and a woman walked in.

At the sight of her, the events of the night before flooded back and he stilled.

“Oh, I left the rings here!” she laughed, walking fast to get them.

Beaming, she turned as she put on her ring. Then her smile froze on her lips when she realized the look on his face.

“Uh, you remember last night, right? The doctor said you suffered head trauma and could have some issues with…things.”

His head tilted slightly before he spoke. “We got married. I got jumped by your crazy ex. Not necessarily in that order.”

She let out a sigh of relief. “Having second thoughts yet?”

He smiled, forcing himself not to wince from the pain.

“Nope. I’ve been waiting for you to put on my ring all day.”

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