At first, he was sure that he was in heaven. But he saw no sign of Jesus, and no flashback of how he’d lived his life. There were no voices praising God or heavenly sounds. And he knew he wasn’t in hell, because his spirit wasn’t on fire.
Then he heard Hammer’s voice. He could also hear Pastor Cummings talking to his mother. Her sobs nearly broke his heart. Mateo hadn’t kept up with her or his siblings the way he should have and the last place he wanted them to see him was in the hospital.
Mateo cursed himself. He couldn’t believe he’d let Turner get the best of him again. He could barely open his eyes but he could feel the needles in his arms and he could tell the hospital had him on some form of anesthesia.
Mateo struggled to open his eyes and he couldn’t move his arms or his legs. He vaguely remembered how he got into the hospital, but due its distinctive disinfectant smell and the beeping of the monitor, he was sure he was hooked up to a slew of devices.
Mateo was sure that the morphine he was injected with was sedating him. He felt higher than he did when he used to smoke weed. Mateo hadn’t felt like this since he and one of his old friend’s did some nasty things with a group of women in the back room of a strip club.
He couldn’t identify any other voices. Mateo figured he wasn’t dead because he could feel himself struggling to breathe. He wondered if he had been connected to a machine that helped him to breathe. He hoped he wasn’t paralyzed because he did not want to live the rest of his life like this.
“Son,” Mateo heard his mother ask, “can you hear me?”
Mateo nodded his head. He was happy that he could finally move a body part.
“Doctor, he’s moving!” Hammer shouted.
He could feel the excitement in the room as he continued to shake his head. Mateo didn’t feel strong enough to speak and he couldn’t move his lips. At least he didn’t think he could.
Mateo could hear a lot of things ruffling and moving and he knew something was going on. All of a sudden, he couldn’t feel anything again. He couldn’t hear God. But he knew that something was going down. And he wasn’t ready to die.