Day 0 – happiness to horror

Sunday had started out perfectly. Especially when it was followed by a perfect Saturday.

It was a beautiful summer day; after months of cold winter. It was a welcome sign to get out of the house and into the warm hands of summer. We headed to Lake Mills in Wisconsin, about an hour from our place. We had a checklist of things to accomplish. Picking up a motorcycle helmet for me, getting ourselves a bicycle and going through the yard sales at Lake Mills. Any experience with Jitish is joyous, whether it is learning to ski with him or scanning through piles of old furniture. Every minute with him is worth it. We have our off days, quite often. But the other days are just pure joy. Days you really feel that you did something real good in the past to have such a wonderful present.

We got everything on our list that day and headed over to some friends. My boss, David, and my colleague, Megan, both live in Lake Mills and invited us over to spend a summer evening over some beer and brats. We have specific couples we decide to spend our weekends with. They really have to be enjoyable company. And both of their families are worth it. They adore Jitish. Who wouldn’t! It was a wonderful evening. A day well spent.

Sunday. The Sunday. No one wakes up thinking ‘this is the day I will never forget’. If you do, I hope it’s for positive reasons. I won’t forget the day. Not a minute of it. The first half because it was perfection. The second half because it was the exact opposite. The worst that could happen, happened.

Our Morning was comfortable. Comfort, from being with the one person who you are in sync with. Breakfast was us cooking together. Our favorite Indian breakfast meal. Sabudana Khichdi with tons of peanuts. Just the way he likes it. Recipe perfected over months of fine tuning. We devour the treat watching MASH on Netflix.

We both got out in the morning on our bicycles along the Ice age trail. We enjoy being with each other. Not just because we are Mr. & Mrs. Not just because we love each other. But because we push each other. To try new things. To challenge ourselves. He challenges me with daredevilish sports; skydiving, river rafting, skiing. There couldn’t be a more perfect partner. He is my 100 percent. Alpha man. My Spartan.

A decent workout in, We spent a good chunk of the latter part of the day packing up some of our stuff. Making moving day a little easier on us. We were set to move to our new apartment the following week. Anxious and excited. It was going to a big moving day on the 10th of May. Also, our one year anniversary. We decided to celebrate it by moving to our new place. Fresh beginnings.

Lots of packing. We didn’t want Sunday to be about packing and decided to take the motorcycle on a short ride. An hour tops, with a halt at the state park. It was 4:30pm and we had to be back by six to sleep by 7:30. Jitish flies out of Chicago every Monday morning at five to Washington DC for work. For which he wakes up at 2:30am and drives for two hrs to Ohare. (I wake up too. I cannot catch a wink when he is out driving. I sit up calling him every twenty minutes. He catches his flight. And I get onto the Flight Aware App to track his flight. And so Monday begins.) We strap on our helmets, jackets on, and off we go.

Someone on the cosmic management team decided that we were having too much fun. I bet someone was real jealous of our perfect day. Why else did this happen? A freak accident? Sure! But I naively refuse to accept that a random set of events led to this accident.

We were out for just about fifteen minutes. Exit 160 toward Kettle Morraine. Searching for the County road A turn. I look right, searching for the signboard. I look straight ahead; To stare into the back of his helmet. Alignment is necessary. You can’t let your head wander if you are on a motorcycle. The wind gets to you and that’s no fun. So I look from the corners, left and right. I see a car approaching the stop sign on the left. We have right of way. We keep going.

Only a second later, I feel Jitish slam on the brakes. His weight on the suspensions. I am flying. Instant realization. I remember his words. “If you fall, relax your body. Let it loose. Hold your hands close”. Eyes slammed shut. It’s odd how I remember falling. All the seconds. I hit the hard tar road. Rolled and came to a stop on my back. I opened my eyes and saw the blue sky. Useless. I had to get onto my chest to see anything. To see him. To find out if he is ok. Something is up with my left leg. A lot of pain. Make sure not to look. Don’t look. I didn’t want to lose focus, and looking at my leg (or the absence of) would only shake me up further. I pushed myself on my chest. Smelling the gravel and dirty road. Presence of mind. First things first. Locate him. Too many people surrounding him. I only see his legs. Worn out shorts. A few scratches. I hear the words ‘CPR’.

Two women surround me. Grandmothers. I’m ok, I utter. I know something is up with him. People running to him. Someone calls the police. Ambulance. Is he ok? I look at their faces. They don’t look confident. Or consoling. I’m trying to ignore the one that’s shaking her head ‘no’. I know it’s bad. How bad? I yell. Hoping he would hear my voice. Get up! I slam my hands on the road, why I don’t know. Get up!

I remember that I’m the only one who has a phone. His phone. In my jacket pocket. He has his wallet on him. We travelled light. I reach for my jacket. A deputy around me yells not to move. I ignore him. I need to make a call! My sister. I dial. No answer. I am praying Jitish has my brother in law’s phone number saved. He does. “There’s been an accident. Please come. Tell chechy (my sister)”. The deputy takes the phone away. I’m instructed to stay calm and not move.

This cannot be happening. This cannot be real. Why did we decide to take a break! Horror!

10 Comments Add yours

  1. Be strong soumya . you both are in our prayers everyday.believe it will all be good again and soon.

    Like

    1. Soumya Nair says:

      Thank you, Teena. I am trying real hard. I think its just not enough.

      Like

  2. Archana Bhui says:

    I’m Jitishs MIT college friends (Asims) wife. We’ve never met but since this nightmarish news we’ve been concerned and worried. None of that matters. What’s most important is you stay strong for the two of you and he recovers and is stronger than ever. I know it sounds easier than done but taking it a day at a time usually helps. Your incident has put into perspective, life and it’s ways for many of us, of what’s really important. I pray strength for you two in every way. And may your worst fears hearafter never bear fruit.

    Love to you both.

    Regards,
    Archana Bhui

    Like

    1. Soumya Nair says:

      Hi Archana, Thank you so much for reaching out. I am sorry I took so long. I have been going through bouts of sanity and lack thereof. I agree with you completely and take each day at a time. Jitish and I were planners. We planned! From vacations to savings to work to menus to conversations. We are living a reverso-life now. I can’t plan anything. Not a month. Not a week or a day. Until a few months back, I couldn’t plan the next hour. Each hour would bring a fresh new hell. We have moved three places in the last seven months. I need some good news to give me more strength, more resolve and more faith. Archana and Asim, Thank you. For your prayers and your support.

      Like

  3. H. Holston says:

    I can really relate and I loved your story. Well written! Thanks for a great post – I will make sure to share it with my friends on fb!

    Like

    1. Soumya Nair says:

      Thank you. I pray you see good days ahead too.

      Like

  4. navinarjun says:

    Hi Saumya,

    Here is wishing you and Jitesh a very Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year 2016.
    May you get God’s choicest blessings and look back at 2015 – as the year in which God tested your strength.
    Am confident that both Jitesh and you will come out stronger and of course. Though 2015 currently may seem to be one of the toughest years of yours life, it will hopefully also serve as a high water mark of your and Jitesh’s strength.

    Keep your spirits high and here is wishing you best always.

    Best wishes always
    Navin

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Soumya Nair says:

      Thank you, Navin. We met 8 years ago on this day. New Years were a day of high spirits and love. I find myself on the low end today, I see him broken and it breaks me. I hope 2016 brings us more strength, hope and a life where we can plan happiness, joy and success.

      Wishing you and your family a happy and safe new year too.

      My best,
      Soumya

      Liked by 1 person

      1. navinarjun says:

        My Wife Simrin is here with me and empathises with your emotions as this was quite similar to what She went through those dark days when I was out for few months in the hospital.
        Though She understands it’s easier said than done, from her experience She recommends that you do go through your emotions as in the Long run it will help you heal better. She also joins me in wishing you & Jitesh lots of good health happiness joy, peace of mind and prosperity. Best wishes

        Liked by 1 person

  5. monicamenon says:

    Thanks for showcasing how adversities actually becomes a source of strength amidst harsh realties.
    Will continue to pray for your family to live a meaningful life for yourself and for others.

    Like

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