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Before I even tried to open my eyes I was pretty sure that the bed I was in sat inside the walls of a hospital. There was that smell, like the smell of old pee and pine sol mixed with nail polish remover, hospital smell, and it felt like it was packed up all inside my nose the way a strong smell can sometimes be.

"N.B.?" It was Momma. Her voice sounded like an angel most times. "N.B., honey, are you awake?"

I tried to open my eyes and it felt like they were glued shut. Everything felt glued together, come to think of it. My hands were glued down and I couldn't move 'em at all. It didn't feel like I was sad and I didn't really feel any pain, but for some reason I just started to cry and when I did I couldn't stop. It sounded like someone just kicked a little dog and I wondered if it was really me making that noise even though I knew it was.

"Shhhhh-hush, honey." Momma's hand came to rest on my forehead and on my arm. She petted me and that's when I started to feel the ruffled edge of the bandages above my eyes.

"Shhhhhh-hush-hush-hush, you're gonna' be okay, Momma promises."

Dad always says that Momma's not very good at lying, like how she can't even bluff in poker without laughing, but this time Momma made a pretty good liar.

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