The men in the truck noisily called out as they pulled up to the curb. There was a rush of more people emerging from the building, wearing drab brown hospital scrubs. They were pushing a rickety-looking gurney, and she thought to herself, “I hope they don’t expect me to get on that thing,” but that choice was taken from her as her vision began to blur and darkness closed in around her eyes. All was blissful, sudden quiet.
She awoke once again in an unfamiliar place. This time she was lying on a stiff mattress, surrounded by scratchy white blankets. There was a persistent beeping noise which made her head hurt, and she raised her hand to discover bandages covering the left side of her face and across the bridge of her nose. Her left shoulder was also heavily bandaged and she found that she could not lift her hand on that side of her body without considerable pain. She ached everywhere with a dull throbbing awareness, and she had a hazy recollection of bumping along in the back of a truck.
Suddenly two people burst noisily into the room, brandishing a camera and microphone.
“Miss Drake, Miss Drake! Can you tell us how you are feeling?” asked a sweaty man wearing a bright orange pullover shirt, as he thrust the microphone into her face.
“W-what?” she asked in confusion, pulling away from the man and his looming camera.
The orange pullover spoke again in a hurried fashion, spewing a stream of questions. “How did you escape your captors? Did you know the men that attacked your boat? Why do you think they wanted you? Were they holding you for ransom?”
Without warning, another two men pushed their way into the room. They grabbed the first men by the backs of their necks, roughly shoving them out the door and yelling. She could hear more shouting and commotion going on outside her door, but she could not understand what was being said.
A few minutes later a harassed-looking man with a smooth, dark complexion and wearing a long white coat entered her room.
“I am so sorry about that intrusion, Miss Drake. I assure you that we are taking every possible measure to ensure your comfort and privacy.” He spoke English very well, although she could tell that it was not his native tongue.
He offered his hand to her, of which she tentatively shook.
“Let me introduce myself to you, Miss Drake. I am Dr. Aguilar. I performed the surgery on your left shoulder about an hour ago. The wound tore through several vital tendons which needed to be repaired. It should take a good several months to heal properly, and you will probably need some physical therapy, but I am sure that with your resources back in the States you will be able to be ready for your next project in no time.”
She looked at him with a glassy expression, and then shook her head.
“I’m sorry,” she said. “Did you call me Miss Drake? How is it that everyone seems to know who I am, when I do not even know myself?”
Dr. Aguilar blinked several times, followed by a long pause.
“You do not know who you are?” he asked. “Do you remember anything? Anything that happened?”
“The last thing I remember is waking up on the beach, with no idea how I got there. I don’t know anything that happened to me. I don’t even know my name!” She began to panic. This was so surreal.
Dr. Aguilar pulled out a small flashlight and leaned in, directing the beam into her uncovered right eye, gauging her reaction.
“I had no suspicion that your injuries were so involved. We will need to run a few more tests on you to see the extent of the trauma to your brain.” He had a concerned look on his face, which only increased her anxiety.
“Am I going to get my memory back?” she asked, her voice rising in pitch.
“Most likely. Usually concussion-induced amnesia is a temporary condition. However, I will need to make sure that you don’t have any more serious conditions, like swelling of the brain. Like I said, we will need to run more tests.”
He started to head for the door, but stopped when she called out to him.
“Wait!” she cried. “Please tell me my name!”
“Lena. Lena Drake,” he said quietly, and with his hand on the door knob he looked over his shoulder and added, “Welcome to Costa Rica, Miss Drake.” Then he left.
Lena didn’t know what she was supposed to feel. Some sort of instinctive recognition of her name, maybe? There was none, however.
She noticed an old television set propped on a shelf in a corner of the room. There was a TV remote hanging from her bed, and she switched it on, hoping for more answers.
The picture that materialized on the television was of a news broadcast. The announcers were speaking in what she now recognized as Spanish, although the accent was a little different than what she was familiar with. The broadcast was turned over to a live reporter, who was standing in a rowdy crowd of people and other news crews. Suddenly she recognized the building that was directly behind the reporter. It was the same building that she had seen from the back of the truck, with the billowing red, white, and blue flag over it. The hospital, she assumed. Those people were all standing right outside where she was at now.
An image of a blond woman was put up on the screen, and Lena recognized it as the same woman that the men in the back of the truck kept pointing out to her on their phone. She recognized when the reporter said “Lena Drake,” then a few moments later, “Hollywood, California.”
That was her, Lena Drake, from Hollywood, California. And somehow everyone seemed to already know who she was.
If she really was this Lena Drake that she saw pictures of flashing across the TV screen, how did she end up injured on a sandy beach in Costa Rica? It was the first of so many questions.
Check back tomorrow to discover more about how Lena Drake ended up in a hospital room in Costa Rica!