Growing up in the poor side of town in the 1950s was tough. We had very little. If that was not enough to contend with, our house was ripe with every abuse imaginable from an alcoholic stepfather. As a young kid, I repeatedly promised myself that I would not make the same choices as my mother. I ran away from my childhood at age twelve in hopes of finding my biological father. I was in Florida, and he lived in northern California, in the town of Orland. Hitchhiking across the country as a kid was slightly daunting, but I managed. The first few months with my dad were great. He had a new family of three boys, and a brand new little girl that had arrived just before I showed up. Then he realized I did not have plans to travel onward. I stayed with my biological father for a short period. It turned out that he was not as happy to have me as I had dreamed he would be. I then moved to Los Gatos, California, to live with my father’s mother, Rowena Wescott. A very talented artist and writer, she was a direct student of Paramahansa Yogananda. Her study of Kriya Yoga consumed most of her ambitions. It delighted her to no end that I was more than willing to follow her path to attainment. As it turned out for me, Kriya yoga was an excellent foundation, and I wanted much more in understanding my humanity and place within creation. After reading and rereading Autobiography of a Yogi, enlightenment became my focused goal. And I was very focused. Hours long meditations and breathing exercises took up most of my “free” time. Not every day brings new revelations in my quest for complete spiritual attainment. It seems the closer one gets to the moment, the process slows to a crawl.
I have been fortunate enough to have the financial wherewithal to pursue my otherworldly hobby across the globe. I started my business career as a hardlines-commercial illustrator, then art director, and finally as the advertising manager for one of the largest department stores in the southeast US. My specialty as a commercial illustrator was anything dealing with home furnishings. I then began to design furniture. With two partners over twelve years, we built a chain of furniture stores, did an IPO, and sold the company a year later. Selling allowed me to do as I pleased. It had been a lot of hard work with long hours away from my first wife and kids. She decided to have an affair which left me single and free to concentrate my energies on spiritual studies. After the sale, instead of traveling to European furniture shows, as I had for so long, I traveled the world looking for enlightened teachers finding a few along the way. I decided I would not follow a linage of spiritual practices or ideology, but decided on a sovereign path toward attainment.
From my initiation into Kriya Yoga at the ripe old age of fourteen to my encounter with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s Transcendental Meditation at twenty-one, my studies concentrate on a specific path with little to do with “New Age” spiritual and metaphysical concepts. With the many years of pranayama and meditation and my encounters with mid-way beings, I am hardcore in my approach to awakening to a greater knowing. As a result, I know what I am as a human being and consciously travel in the company of beings in this realm and adjacent realities.
It’s been a very long time since I first encountered beings that reside in adjacent dimensions. It was over sixty-five years ago that I first met Eli. Eli is the extra-dimensional being that would open my young mind to greater understanding. As it turned out, our meeting had begun in my most previous incarnation in India. In the last year of that incarnation, I began to have spontaneous out-of-body experiences during second sleep. Second sleep is common in rural areas – first sleep is when one goes to bed just after sunset, then wakes at two or three in the morning for a couple of hours. Depending on a person’s station in life or gender, one could finish a day’s chores, read or write, eat a light meal, or in my case, practice yoga, pranayama, and meditation which fostered my first out-of-body travels. Second sleep takes you to sunrise.
As I mentioned, Eli and I are old friends. Eli is an adjacent being to this dimension, so visiting once again required consciously traveling through the astral realms to his area just off the Hall of Records in the Akasha. In this life, my conscious out-of-body experiences began at age eight. This time it was not the result of dedicated spiritual practices at the wee hours of the morning. My spiritual travels started due to being pistol-whipped on the top of my head by a drunken stepfather, Danny Genthner. He took great pleasure in the abuse he constantly heaped upon my mother, brother, sister, and me. As Eli explained to me back then, the resulting injuries aroused the kundalini energy of my root chakra.
The kundalini surge awakened my third eye just as I was falling unconscious to the floor. My entire body buzzed as runs of energy pushed me away from the sharp pain pulsating through my head. Suddenly, I was floating above the scene, my body lying in the fetal position at my stepfather’s feet. My sister, Carole’s mouth, was open as if she was screaming; my little brother, Greg, ran down the hall toward the front door. Everything below me was hushed while the sound of a million crickets filled the space above me. It was amazingly calm to be flying near the ceiling. I wanted to be anywhere other than in that room with him standing over me. Then a deep fear grabbed at my stomach, sending me crashing into my physical body. I immediately started convulsing uncontrollably. Stomach fluids spewed out onto the floor as I attempted to get to my feet. Gaining physical strength, I looked up at my stepfather. He had the gun positioned to strike another blow. I focused all my energy on just getting to my feet. Blood was running down my face into my hands. The look on Carole’s face at the sight of all that blood severely contorted her features. She had both hands up, covering her mouth as if to stop her scream.
“You’ve been threatening to kill me. Now’s your chance. Go ahead, you son-of-a-bitch,” I yelled in a deep guttural voice that was somehow not my own. “Hit me again, bastard.” My body felt bigger and stronger. The wild shaking had stopped. I wiped the blood from my eyes so I could see Danny’s face more clearly. Blood was now everywhere: down my shirt and jeans, on the rug, some even splattered on my sister’s dress.
He looked stunned at my sudden bravery. It was as if he was awakening from a deep sleep believing he was still in a bad dream. Looking back at that moment over the years, I came to realize that it was not my sudden change of voice or willingness to stand up to him. He was terrified at what he had done. The weekly belt lashings, slappings, punchings, name-calling, the constant shouting had been leading up to this moment. A moment that he could not deny committing. Without saying a word, he wiped the sweat from his eyes, turned, and quickly headed for the back door. Carole followed after him, shouting at the top of her lungs for him to get out of our lives. I was on the edge of the bed when she returned to help me. I sat there crying. Not at the pain. I didn’t understand why I was crying. But it felt good to sob. I would never cry in front of him, no matter how hard he beat me. I wouldn’t allow him the satisfaction.
“We’ve got to clean up this mess,” Carole instructed. “Mom is working late, so we have time.”
“I want to sit for a moment,” I replied, pulling my shirt over my head. “I heard the Buick start. He’s heading for the Shady Rest for more whisky.” My after-school jeans were wet. I had lost control and peed myself. “Where is Greg. He ran to the front door. Please go find him.”
“He’s in the front room in his hiding place behind the sofa,” she offered. “I’ll bring him here in a moment. I want to clean up the rug and put your shirt in the sink.”
While cleaning up the mess, Carole and I decided to make up a story about my head wounds. Our stepfather had told us many times he’d beat us to within an inch of our lives if we ever told mom about how he treated us. Mom would believe me if I told her it was because I was throwing rocks up on the shed roof again, and they all came down at the same time, hitting me on the head. She did believe my fib. I had to promise never to pick up another rock, let alone throw one.
The next afternoon, after changing my school clothes, I went to hide in the tall grass across the street from the driveway. My friends and I often played cowboys and Indians in the fort we had made. I hid there most days to watch how badly the Buick was swerving as it turned from New Haven Avenue onto Irwin Street. Knowing his level of drunkenness was essential to our safety. I reached up to feel the lumps protruding through my crew cut. Of the eight wounds, the one just above my hairline hurt the most. The anger I felt toward this fat ugly man who controlled our lives filled my lower body.
“I don’t want to kill him,” I shouted out into the field. “I just want to hurt him, the way he hurts Mom and Carole and Greg and me.”
A humming feeling began in my tailbone, quickly spreading up through my stomach into my throat. The tall grass gathered around me swayed in a weird slow motion. Without warning, a brilliant flash of light forced my eyes closed. WOOSH! I was floating below the million cricket sounds high above my physical body. Looking up made me go higher. I could see all of New Haven from that height. My stepfather’s Buick came into view as it turned off Dairy Road onto New Haven. The car moved erratically, swerving from side to side as it slowly moved westward toward home. He was drunk. I needed to warn Carole and Greg. The immediate concern threw me back to the space just above my head. I looked small, sitting there next to the ditch. The pattern of lumps under my blonde hair showed the precise point of each impact made by the barrel of his pistol. It didn’t look good. No wonder Mom had had tears in her eyes as she washed the dried blood away.
The fear that I didn’t know how to get back inside my body shoved my flying body in through my face. WOOSH! I felt tight inside my little kid body. The headache I had since the beating took all my energy away. I fell forward, hitting my face on the log that marked the boundary of my fort. The shaking started as I tried to get up. It felt like I was about to throw up. Then everything was silent. The cricket sounds were gone. The cars passing by didn’t make any noise. I tried to shout out to alert Carole, but my voice was old and gravelly, like the old guy who delivered our mail. I sat for what seemed like a long time, then the sound of the Buick on the gravel driveway woke my awareness. I slowly stood to watch him as the car’s front bumper just missed the front steps and the side of the porch. Mr. Zimmerman, our landlord at Fifty-Five Irwin Street, had promised my stepfather he’d throw us out on the street if his drunkenness did any damage to the house. Later that night, I found out that Carole and Greg had gone to the Linderman’s right after finishing her chores.
Not knowing it then, the beating and the ability to project my awareness away from my physical body was the single most crucial turning point of my life. I practiced every day, taking my flying body as far north as the new Cape Canaveral rocket base and as far south as the shrimp boats. With each flight, I gained more and more confidence. And when out-of-body, I was not a little kid. I didn’t have little kid feelings or thoughts. My mind was able to know things. I would ask myself a question, and the answer would immediately show itself in a series of pictures. Several months after I started flying, a small faint voice would often offer me instructions. It always sounded in my right ear. Even though it was hard to hear when I was concentrating on where I was going, the words were always clear and powerful. The voice gave me answers to all my questions, and a calm feeling always followed each instruction.
But, I was the only one flying. I was not meeting any other flyers and was quickly skipping my daily flights to play with my friends. I did have a strong feeling that one day I would finally have a flying friend. That was to happen most unexpectedly. Eli was to become my flying partner. And, there was one more major event that would shift my abilities even further toward my meeting Eli.
Greg and I loved to build cardboard forts. Mom had always told us to stay on our side of New Haven. New Haven was the only road going west out of town toward Saint Cloud and Kissimmee from Melbourne. There were a lot of drinking establishments lining both sides of the two lanes. Drunks were always getting into accidents, and drunken fights entertained the locals every Friday and Saturday night. Knowing my mother’s dislike of the traffic on New Haven, Mr. Linderman, the drug store owner on the other side of New Haven, most always supplied Greg and me with the cardboard we needed. Unfortunately, it had been raining, ruining our fort, and Mr. Linderman had been on vacation with his family. The dark clouds finally gave way to blue skies. I saw this as our time to sneak across to the cardboard pile behind the grocery store. We looked both ways as we started across. The car was going so fast that it had been hard for me to tell if it was safe to cross or not.
“RUN,” I yelled, watching the dark green Chevy suddenly speeding our way. “RUN, GREG! RUN!” The car was already at the corner by the time I was off the pavement. I quickly looked for Greg at my side, but he wasn’t there. “GREG,” I turned, looking back over my shoulder. He was running as fast as he could. White smoke was pouring from the wheels of the car. All I could hear was a loud screeching. The back end of the car was sliding forward as the driver swerved to miss Greg.
“GREG ...” I screamed. Greg was looking right at me, smiling like he always did when we were sneaking to the store. The car hit him just as I reached to pull my little brother out of the way. One minute Greg was almost across, and then he was flying through the air. His body twisted and turned as he flew over the ditch into the parking lot of the Shady Rest. I ran after him, jumping over the gutter and the small fence all at the same time. He was still rolling over when I got to him.
“GREG! Get up, Greg!” I insisted as I pulled at Greg’s shirt, trying to get him to start running. The younger boy’s eyes were open, and he was trying to say something. Then he began to bleed—from his mouth, his nose, his ears. Blood was everywhere. He started jerking like he was trying to get up.
“GET UP, GREG! GET UP!” I put my arms under Greg’s shoulders and pulled again.
“Let him down, son,” a man said from behind. “You’ll hurt him more if you try to move him.” He pulled me backward. Then someone put a shirt over Greg’s stomach and legs; another person put a towel under his head. Greg’s eyes were open, and he was looking around, but I could tell he didn’t see anything. A gurgling sound was coming from his mouth as he tried to breathe.
“The ambulance is on its way. Sarah called the sheriff’s office. Bill should be here any second,” the tall man bending over Greg said.
“It’s a miracle he’s still alive,” the first man added. “By the looks of it, he must have been thrown over fifty feet through the air.”
“HE’S MY BROTHER,” I screamed, fighting to get away from the man holding me. “I CAN TAKE HIM HOME! HE’S MY BROTHER,” I cried. “Let me take him home,” I pleaded. No one listened to my hysterical rants. Greg moaned again and moved like he wanted to get up. The man holding me let go of my arm. I fell to the ground. My legs wouldn’t support me. Each time I tried to stand, I fell over. I crawled over to Greg and put my mouth close to Greg’s ear.
“I’m sorry, Greg. I’m sorry I got you hurt. I didn’t see how fast the car was coming. Please don’t die. I love you. Please don’t die!” A tingly sensation deep inside my stomach, the same feeling when I go as high up in the air as I can, filled my entire body, then raced into my hands and out my fingers. A silvery green light was coming from my hands.
“Pray for your brother,” the still small voice commanded. This time it sounded in both ears. “Pray for this little one.”
I am not much of a Christian now and was equally puzzled by the inconsistencies in Sunday School classes back then. Many times I would ask questions that would end up with me in trouble with the minister. But I remember trying to repeat the tone and content of prayers I heard in church: “The voice told me to pray. God, send your angels to help my brother,” I said out loud over Greg’s body. “I’m not always a good boy, but Greg is. He only does things wrong when I tell him to. He never hurts anyone and ..., and I know you can help him.” The tingling in my arms and hands was making me feel happy inside. I could feel a smile spreading across his face.
“Put your hands over the little one’s heart,” the voice whispered again.
I knelt over Greg, placing my hands above his heart as instructed. Powerful streams of energy shot up from the ground beneath me. It was like a wave moving through my body, out into my arms, and then to my fingers. The muscles of my arms jerked and twitched. Suddenly my whole body felt like it was on fire.
“What’s he doing?” asked the man who had been holding me back from Greg.
“Sounds like he’s praying,” answered the woman standing just behind me.
“Why’s he got his hands like that?” another man asked. “Hey, don’t touch him, son. We don’t know how badly he’s hurt.” His hands reached down to pull mine away. As he touched me, a bolt of electricity leaped from me at his intrusion.
“JESUS CHRIST,” the man yelled, pulling his hands back.
“What the hell are you screaming about, Sweeney?” asked the man who had held me.
“The damnedest thing just happened. When ...”
SCRE-E-E E-CH. The police car that hid behind the big sign down by Dairy Road slammed on its brakes as it came to a stop behind the vehicle that had hit Greg. White smoke from the tires drifted across the road as everyone turned to watch the sheriff jump the ditch and stumble over the wooden guardrail. The man who tried to pull me away turned back and looked at me like he’d seen a ghost or something.
“From the giving heart of one to the receiving heart of another.” The voice sounded far away and small as I tried to listen. “Ab uno corde ad cor alterum,” the voice repeated.
“DAMN! What the hell’s happened?” demanded the fat man in the uniform.
“This little boy was running across the road when...”
“That’s the little Genthner boy, isn’t it?” someone asked from the crowd.
“Yes, you’re right,” answered another voice. “The Genthners live over there,” the lady said, pointing to Fifty-Five Irwin Avenue.
“I know who these people are, tell me ...” the sheriff started.
“As I was saying,” the man began again, looking around at the people in the small circle. “This little boy was running across the road when this Orlando car hit him. That’s the driver over there, leaning against the phone booth.”
The owner of the Chevy had been drinking and was getting sick against the glass walls of the booth.
“I didn’t see him. I didn’t know he was there,” cried the driver. “This isn’t happening! THIS ISN’T HAPPENING!” He was sobbing and yelling and shaking his head. Sheriff Bill led him back to the police car as the ambulance pushed its way through the crowd of people that had gathered to watch.
“Bring the other Genthner boy over here,” ordered the sheriff. The next thing I knew, I was standing next to the police car.
“This the man who hit your brother?” the sheriff asked, pointing to the man’s face.
“Yes, sir,” I answered, searching the guilty man’s features, trying to see the details of his face. The driver was bleeding from a cut on his head. His shirt was all wet where he had gotten sick. Blood from his forehead was sticking to his bushy eyebrows. The red streaks were running down his face, filling up the wrinkles at the corner of his mouth. The end of his nose was bright crimson, just like my stepfather’s would get when he’s drunk. The look in his eyes was scary like he was dead or something. His hands were shaking as he tried to light the Camel hanging from the corner of his mouth; the end of it was all wet with drool. He took a deep drag and started coughing.
“I have a boy, Ricky. He’s always running after ...” the drunk driver said as he looked over at where Greg was lying on the ground.
“If this little boy dies, you’ll never see that boy of yours grow up, let alone run,” the sheriff snapped, pushing the man into the back seat of the police car. “God damn drunks over here on New Haven. Damn kids with their running across...” He finished the sentence under his breath as he slammed the door.
I watched as the sheriff walked back to the Chevy and pulled the registration papers from the pouch on the steering wheel shaft. It was all I could do to stand there. My mind was whirling. Thoughts and feelings were crowding against the loud voices of the people. The smell of the burnt tires lingered in the air. The look of disbelief on the drunken driver’s face as the sheriff told him he was going to jail. Then I remembered the voice and what it had told me to do. I always felt good when the small inner voice whispered, but now I felt guilty and scared. My brother was hurt, and why did I smile when I prayed over Greg’s body. It was the tingling that had made me smile; it always does when I fly. Carole had told me one day when she watched me sitting silently on my bed. She said I looked happy.
I started to pray for Greg again. “I’ll never do anything bad again as long as you let him be okay. I’ll help everyone I can. Just let me take him home.”
Greg was in the ambulance. The paramedic riding in the back yelled at the people to get out of the way. The big door swung closed as the ambulance screamed its way through the parking lot. After the rescue vehicle left, the police took off with the driver of the Chevy. A tow truck from Zimmerman’s service station across the street was hooking up the Chevy as I walked back to where Greg had been trying to get up. Everyone in the crowd was telling everyone else how it had happened. It all struck me as pretty scary.
Carole ran over to where I was standing. She had seen everything from their front porch and had used the phone at the service station to call their mother.
“MOM!” I yelled at the top of my lungs. Everything started going black, and the ground was spinning. The tragedy fully hitting me, I fell uncontrollably to the dirt.
“What am I going to do? What am I going to do?” Mom whispered over and over again as we drove up AlA. Carole was crying, rocking back and forth.
The people at the admission desk in the emergency room wouldn’t let Carole and me go in behind the curtain. I could hear a lot of noise, and everyone was talking in loud voices, shouting words I didn’t understand. The nurse said, “A lot is going on, and it will only upset you if you watch. Please wait over there.”
“I’m going to use my flying body to see if Greg’s all right,” I informed Carole as I pulled her over to the two empty seats at the end of the room. “Guard my body and don’t let anyone touch me, and don’t talk to me either.” A heavy dose of nervousness coursed through my body, and having many people in the waiting room didn’t help.
I looked around to see who was there. One man was reading a magazine. The woman next to him was just staring at the floor. The man across from her was rubbing his hands together like he was trying to wash them. The boy beside the hand-rubbing man was holding a bloody rag around his hand. Next to the water fountain, two young kids looked lost in their ice cream faces and dirty clothes. All the other people were moving around in their chairs. They all seemed highly uncomfortable.
“You two okay?” asked the nurse across the room.
“Yes, ma’am,” Carole answered.
Carole was holding my hand as I started to remember the sun on my face. My chin began to wobble as I closed my eyes. I could feel the chair moving underneath me, first to the left, then to the right. The energy down in my body started to move upward past my stomach and then to my heart. The warm, fuzzy feelings spread across my chest and into my arms. Now the energy was in my throat and moving up through my face. I could feel my face smiling as I sat waiting for my physical body to let go of my awareness.
Suddenly, the energy sensation moved down my arm and out my right hand—just like it had done when praying over Greg. Carole was trying to pull her hand away, but it acted like it was stuck. Electrical shocks shot across my ribs, making the muscles in my stomach spasm. The more I tried to move my hand, the more I got shocked. I remembered the grassy field and what it felt like when I popped back into my body. The tingly feelings slowed down to where I could barely feel them. Carole tugged, and her hand popped out of mine like a rocket. I opened my eyes to find her looking at me like she was mad or scared or something. She was rubbing her hand, and tears were in her eyes.
“Did I hurt you?” My voice sounded like an older person. “Is your hand okay?” I asked, reaching for her. She pulled back like I was going to hurt her. My body still hummed, alive with energy.
“I’m scared,” she whispered. “My hand’s hot and tingling, and I can’t move it. What’d you do?”
“I don’t know! Nothing,” I promised. “I was just doing what I always do when I start to fly.”
“My hand felt like it was asleep or something like that,” she continued. “I’ll just sit and watch.” She stared at me with disgust. “You’re weird!” she exclaimed, rubbing her hand and moving to the far edge of her chair.
“Thanks,” I whispered. I closed my eyes, waiting for the warm and fuzzy sensation to flood through me. I said Greg’s name and remembered the smile he got when we played together. WHOOSH! I popped through the curtain above the gurney on which my little brother was lying.
Greg was lying on his back with no clothes on. Somebody had covered his arms and legs in bandages, and they also had his face covered with gauze. An older man, the doctor, told everyone what to do.
I could hear voices arguing from behind another curtain. It was mom. “Why can’t I see him? What’s wrong? Why won’t you let me see him?” she begged.
“The doctors are doing the best they can, Mrs. Genthner,” the nurse in the hospital dress said. I was glad that mom couldn’t see all the things the doctors and nurses were doing. It would’ve upset her even more. Greg was just lying there, not moving a muscle.
The doctor reached over and lifted Greg’s eyelids, one at a time. “He’s still with us. Get some sodium bicarb in here and ask that lab tech if he will make a career out of typing one little blood sample. On second thought, call and have those techs send at least three whole units of each flavor. What have we got on standby?” he asked a lady in a white uniform as he felt Greg’s stomach. Each time he pushed on the boy’s abdomen, Greg would moan. “God! We can’t wait. Start an ‘O’ positive,” the doctor demanded.
“We don’t know what type he ...” the nurse started.
“I know,” the doctor shouted as he grabbed a bottle from the young man who had just come through the curtain. “Get him started on this and check that abdominal drain. Make sure that the lungs don’t collapse. Keep the pressure in that bottle.”
There was a tube coming from the side of Greg’s chest, just below his armpit, and another one was extending from his stomach. The plastic tube from his chest went into a bottle that had water in the bottom of it. Blood was coming out of the tube from his stomach. Another bottle with blood in it was hanging on a metal pole with a tube going into Greg’s arm. Greg was shaking. He looked so tiny to me.
“There’s a lot of internal bleeding. I’m guessing one or more fractured ribs caught a bit of the liver or maybe even the spleen. We’ll have him open in a few minutes. Get him prepped and over to OR,” the doctor ordered as he waved his arms at the two men standing next to the cabinets. “As soon as we have the pictures back, we’ll know a lot more.” His voice was calmer as he pushed back the curtains. “I’ll need help. Get Anderson in here and tell Phillips to scrub.”
“We’ve called Orange Memorial. They’re getting ready for him. They want to know when,” the nurse dictated, pushing papers at the doctor.
“We need a signature on this! Why can’t things get done around here? Do I have to do your job too?!”
The two nurses who had been with Mom were pushing Greg down the hall toward a pair of doors. One man was carrying the bottle of blood, and another was holding the large bottle, the one that connected to Greg’s ribs, real low next to the floor. Two more bottles of blood were on the bed next to him.
“You the mother?” the doctor asked as he wrote stuff down on a clipboard.
“Yes,” mom answered weakly. She sounded scared and tired.
“As soon as we’re done, he’ll be going to Orlando, over to Orange Memorial. They have all the latest and the best, and he’ll need it if he’s to pull through. He’s lucky to have made it this far.” He put the clipboard down and placed both hands on her shoulders. “It’ll take a miracle. Do you understand?”
“Yes,” she replied. Tears filled her eyes. “What’s wrong?”
“He’s pretty broken up inside—a lot of internal bleeding. We’re not sure just what we’ll find when we open him up. Maybe it’s a simple sewing job. We can’t say. When his stats are stable, we’ll send him, maybe in the A.M. Have someone come for your children. You rest in the guest lounge by OR. You okay?” The attending physician put his hand under mom’s chin and lifted her face. “I’m going to give you a little something so you can sleep. Are you taking any other medicine? Have you been drinking?”
“I don’t want anything. Just make my baby well. Please help him,” she pleaded.
“I’ll stay with him until he’s out of trouble. I’ll do whatever I can. Okay.” The doctor’s voice was soft and gentle.
Mom nodded her head. The nurse ushered her through the other curtain and had her sign some papers. “We don’t have a phone. There’s no one to call to come to get Greg, I mean, Gary and Carole. They’ll have to wait here with me until I can figure something out.”
“He’s lucky to be alive. Every indication is that he should have died instantly. It’s a miracle that he’s made it this...” The nurse’s voice trailed off as Mom walked away.
I watched as she headed for the waiting room. Carole was still sitting next to my physical body as I turned the corner right behind Mom. As usual, my physical body was sitting very still. It looked alone and small, like Greg’s. At that moment, I promised God that I’d be the best kid ever if only Greg would be okay. With that, I popped back into my body just as Mom was hugging Carole.
Clouds of bright-colored lights blurred everything. I tried to get up, but my legs wouldn’t work. I closed my eyes and just sat, waiting for everything to be normal again.
“He’s going to be okay,” Mom promised as she put her arm around my shoulder. “My God, you’re freezing!” She pulled my face around. “Your face is hurt and...”
“He passed out when the ambulance left with Greg. That’s how he hurt his face and arm,” Carole interrupted, still rubbing her hand, the one that had gone to sleep.
“Let’s get someone to look at this,” Mom insisted. “My God, you’re freezing. Nurse! Nurse!” A nurse ran from across the room in response to her urgency.
“It looks like he’s in shock,” the nurse announced, motioning to the younger doctor who was standing at the desk. “Doctor, come look at this boy.”
My legs still wouldn’t work as the nurse tried to walk me toward the curtains. They’d work for a step, and then I’d trip. The doctor checked my vital signs and reflexes as the thermometer rested between my cold lips. He then told the nurse that I was okay and could go home whenever.
I knew my role with Greg: I would go out of my body every night to check on him. I had never flown as far as Orlando. The first time I would take my slow way following the roads. Once I saw where he was, I could just focus on the building, and I’d be there in a flash. I kept my promise to guard over him. It was there at Orange Memorial Hospital with Greg that I first met Eli.