November 12, 2021
An ailing elderly woman wakes from a coma and grabs a nurse's pen and the first words she writes send the woman into a panic.
When Maria Vargas first met her new patient, she was struck by the delicacy of her features. Her age seemed to be a thin veil overlaying great beauty. Sixty-five-year-old Dorothy Solomons was in a coma, a Sleeping Beauty without the spell of eternal youth, but there was no magic kiss to wake her.
So every day, Maria would come to the house Dorothy shared with her younger sister Sandra, and do for her all those intimate things we all do for ourselves, things that would have shamed Dorothy had she been awake.
Under Maria's gentle care, Dorothy slowly came back to life | Source: Shutterstock.com
But Maria was gentle, respectful, and all the while, she spoke to Dorothy softly as if she was a child or the mother she had never known. "It's such a beautiful day, Miss Dorothy," Maria said, as she gently wiped Dorothy's thin arms. "The sky is so high and blue, and the snow sparkles like diamond dust. I've never seen such a beautiful winter day."
There was no answer, of course, except for the soft ping of the machines monitoring Dorothy's heartbeat, her breath, her life. But Maria wasn't discouraged, she continued, "You know, if I could, I'd wheel your bed outside, and we'd have a race along that path!"
And Maria described to Dorothy the joy of the skittering sound of the hospital bed wheels on concrete, the glittering fans of snow thrown up their careening flight. Maria applied lotion to Dorothy's hands.
"I swear we could even fly, Miss Dorothy!" said Maria, with a giggle, "If only you'd wake up!" And that was when Maria had the fright of her life because the lax, frail hand in hers suddenly flexed and gripped tight.
Maria spoke tenderly to Dorothy as she cared for her | Source: Unsplash
Never give up, because a new and wonderful life may be just around the corner.
Maria looked up at Dorothy's face and was astounded to see those huge blue eyes wide open, her lips struggling to move, speak. "Miss Dorothy!" Maria cried. "Let me call the doctor, let me call your sister!"
But Dorothy was shaking her head, and her lips moved, shaping the word 'No!' again and again. Dorothy pointed at Maria's breast pocket, at her pen, and made vague gestures with her hand.
"You want to write, Miss Dorothy?" asked Maria gently, and she took a thick felt marker from her pocket, placed it in Dorothy's trembling hand, and rested it on top of a clean sheet of paper on her clipboard.
Dorothy's whole being seemed to be focused on her hand, and when she finished, she pushed the clipboard at Maria. Written in huge straggling print letters such as a child might form were the words, "KILL ME."
Dorothy was lost in her endless sleep like Sleeping Beauty | Source: Pexels
Maria gasped and dropped the clipboard in horror. "No, Miss Dorothy, NO!" she cried. "You're awake now, now we can help you get better!" But Dorothy was weeping, tears trickling down her pale cheeks.
Maria gently wiped her cheeks. "Listen, Miss Dorothy, let me call your sister..." But Dorothy started to shake her head so violently that Maria was frightened she'd hurt herself. "OK, OK, Miss Dorothy," Maria said. "It will be our secret for now."
But why didn't Dorothy want her sister to know she was awake and aware? Maria knew that something was wrong, so that day, when she left to go home, her cell phone remained behind, set to record.
The next day, Maria learned the whole ugly truth about Sandra Solomons, and why Dorothy had asked to die. When she listened to what her phone had recorded, she was shocked.
One day Dorothy gripped Maria's hand | Source: Pexels
"Well, hello Sleeping Beauty!" she heard Sandra Solomons say in a sarcastic tone. "Here you are, fast asleep and in my power! How does that feel?" There was the loud sound of a slap.
"Wake up! Aren't you the family beauty? The favorite? The lucky one?" Sandra was screaming, "Well look at you now! You had to take Tom from me, didn't you? Well, now he's DEAD.
"And YOU are a vegetable, a lump of pissing, stinking flesh. Just as well he died, isn't it? Imagine how disgusted he'd be to see you like this! Why do you think I offered to take care of you? Not because I love you, no one loves you, Dorothy! No one, and now I have my revenge..."
There was a lot more ranting in the same vein, then Maria heard Sandra say, "Sleep, sleep, little baby, because while you're asleep, all that lovely money Tom left you is mine to spend as I wish, and believe me I'm having a blast!"
Dorothy begged Maria not to tell anyone she was awake | Source: Pexels
Maria was horrified. She realized she couldn't leave Dorothy alone in that house with her evil sister for even one more day. With trembling hands, she dialed Dorothy's doctor's number and asked him to pop in as soon as possible.
When Doctor Levin arrived, Maria spoke to him about Dorothy's awakening, then she let him listen to a part of the recording she'd made. The doctor was shocked. "We can't leave Miss Dorothy here, Doctor," Maria said. "Please, you have to help me help her!"
"Don't worry," the doctor said. "I'll take care of it."
The doctor called Sandra and told her that her sister's condition had deteriorated and that she needed to be in the hospital for a few days until she stabilized. Sandra wasn't very happy about that, but she was forced to agree -- after all, she needed Dorothy alive.
Maria left her phone set to record and discovered the horrible truth | Source: Pexels
As soon as Dorothy was safe in the hospital, and out of Sandra's reach, Maria and Doctor Levin went to the police and reported the abuse their patient had been suffering at her sister's hands.
Sandra was arrested, and the power of attorney that allowed her control of Dorothy's estate was revoked. The lawyers and estate managers later discovered that Sandra had slowly been siphoning off the many millions Dorothy's husband had left her -- and why she needed to keep her sister alive.
Dorothy's will specified that when she died, the money she had inherited from her husband would all be donated to the many charities they had supported, with only a small legacy left to her younger sister.
Sandra Solomons was charged with abuse of a vulnerable person, fraud, embezzlement, and assault. Since she didn't have money of her own to pay for a lawyer, she ended up with a public defender.
"Wake up! Aren't you the family beauty? The favorite? The lucky one?" | Source: Pixabay
The young lawyer was shocked and disgusted by his cold-hearted, unrepentant client. He advised her to take a plea deal, but Sandra was arrogant. She said, "Do you think the jury is going to believe some stupid Latina nurse and a drooling cripple who can barely speak?"
But Sandra was in for a big surprise. By the time the trial came around, Dorothy could speak slowly but clearly and she testified. The jury believed every word she said, and Maria's recording was the final straw.
The jury found Sandra guilty as charged, and the judge said her behavior was inexplicably cruel and inhumane. Sandra ended up being convicted and sentenced to 12 years in prison -- a just punishment for her vicious treatment of her helpless sister.
As for Dorothy, she moved back to her own house, and under Maria's loving care and with a lot of therapy, she slowly recovered her ability to walk and talk. Dorothy later told Maria that it was the gentle sound of her voice that had brought her back from the edge of oblivion.
Dorothy adopted Maria as her daughter | Source: Pixabay
Dorothy, who had once desperately wanted to die to escape her torment, now discovered she had a new chance at life. When she was recovered from the stroke that had left her incapacitated and no longer needed a nurse, she refused to let Maria go, and adopted her as her daughter.
Maria found in Dorothy the mother she'd never had, and when she met a good man and married him, it was her new mother who gave her away. Two years later, Dorothy held her first grandchild in her arms, a little girl named Dorothy after her adoring grandmother.
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