Time’s Passages

written by Alphie sevendayjesus247@hotmail.com

       The day was overcast and muggy, threatening rain any minute.  Walker hated this kind of weather since it made everything depressing.  Of course, this day would of been nicer if he didn’t get in that little argument with Alex.  Alex didn’t want him to go on this drug bust afraid that something bad might happen.  Walker just shrugged it off, he has been on countless drug busts where nothing has gone wrong.

       Driving up to the warehouse distract Trivette shook his head and started to check his gun.  He didn’t understand why Walker was doing this.  Alex is expecting in three months and all Walker could think about is his job.  When will this man ever take time and smell the flowers.

       “Walker, you don’t really need to do this?”  Trivette said looking at his friend.

       Walker nodded.  “Yes, I do.” He took out his gun and checked it.  “I’ve been on countless raids and has anything gone wrong on any of them.”   “I can think on countless times.”  Trivette just shook his head.  “I hope you know what you’re doing.”

       “I do.”  Walker got out and smiled.  “Let’s go.”

       Quickly Walker rushed to the front entrance where an officer was standing.  The officer nodded signaling for all the other officers to move in.  As soon as Walker was in he caught glimpse of two men with guns and shot at them.

       Within fifteen minutes all the suspects were gathered up and Walker was leading one of the last leaders out.  When the suspect was in the hands of an officer he decided to check up on Trivette.  As he stepped onto the balcony he quickly spotted Trivette handcuffing a suspect.  The suspect definitely looked like he had taken a beating from Trivette.  Without warning Walker heard a click sound as a gun went off.

       Trivette looked up at Walker and pushed the suspect up.  As he did he heard a gun as Walker rushed at him.  Everything seemed to happen in slow motion as Walker’s body jerked.  Trivette watched in horror as Walker lost his balance and collided into the railing.  All he saw next was his friend falling backwards down three stories.

       “Walker!”  Trivette ran to the railing and saw Walker laying on his back on a trailer.  “Walker!”  He saw Gage climbing the trailer.  “Gage, how is he?”

       When Gage climbed to the top his hear sank.  Walker’s eyes were open in a ghostly stare not even closing when it began rain.  Blood pooled from his head, quickly washed away by water.  He checked for a pulse and laughed with glee when he realized that Walker still had a weak pulse.

       “Get somebody here, NOW!”  Gage took off his coat and held it above Walker’s head.  “Hang in there Walker! Help is on the way.”

       In a few minutes a paramedic made his way to Walker.  “He’s not breathing!”  He checked for a pulse.  “And he doesn’t have a pulse!”  He started to do CPR when he heard a crack.  “I need paddles!”

_________________________________________________________

       Walker woke up with a jerk, finding himself in a dark room.  His whole body ached. His head was throbbing with every beat of his heart.  Moaning, he rubbed his face as his vision began to focus more.

       The room was really small and it seemed like there were animal skins hanging everywhere.  He also noticed that there was a kitchen just a few feet from his bed.  Where on earth was he?  He tried to sit up but that just caused pain to rack his body.  Laying his head back down he was about to close his eyes when he heard a door open.

       Looking that way he saw a young man carrying a bag of some kind.  The man dropped the bag by the fire place and turned around towards Walker.  He smiled brilliantly as he quickly made his way towards Walker.

       “Bout time you woke up.  Thought ya weren’t ever goin to,”  He said with a thick southern accent.

       Walker moaned.  “Where am I?”

       “Texas.”  the man took a rag and placed it on Walker’s forehead.  “Found ya while gatherin wood.  How you feelin?”

       “Like I’ve been hit by a truck,”  he sighed as the cold forehead soothed his pounding head.

       The man looked at him weirdly.  “What is a truck?”

       “I don’t know.”  Walker lifted his arm and noticed that he was not wearing his clothes.  He was wearing clothes just like the young man had on,  nineteenth century style.  Man, he must of hit his heard harder then he thought.  “What’s the year?”

       “Eighteen Sixty Six.”  he sighed.  “You sure ya aright?”

       Walker closed his eyes.  “Really, I don’t know.”

       The man patted Walker’s shoulder.  “Sorry, I didn’t introduce myself.  The name is Hayes Cooper.”

       Quickly Walker opened his eyes and studied the young man.  This can’t be Hayes Cooper! There’s no way.  The man had short, very light brown hair and a slight beard.  He was also incredibly skinny.  Walker had always thought that he was muscular.

       He swallowed his surprise.  “My name is Walker.”

       “Walker, nice to meet you.”  Cooper got a glass and handed it to Walker.  “Here drink this you seem like you need it.”

       “Thanks.”  Walker took a sip noticing that it was tea.  “This is good.”

       Cooper smiled.  “Home grown.”  He patted Walker’s leg.  “You go to sleep.”

________________________________________________________

       The waiting room was really crowded as Trivette slowly paced the room.  He couldn’t believe what has happened to Walker.  He looked at Alex who was being comforted by Sydney.  The doctor still hasn’t told them anything about Walker which usually meant that it isn’t good.

       Slowly a doctor strolled in asking for any family.  Quickly Trivette told him that they were his family and lead everyone to a private room where the doctor closed the door.

       “My name is Doctor Steele.  I was the surgeon that worked on Mr. Walker.”  He sat down wearily.  “Mr. Walker is incredibly lucky to be alive right now.”

       Trivette gave Alex a hug.  “But he’s going to be okay, right?”

       Doctor Steele shook his head.  “It will be a miracle if he makes it through two days.”  He sighed heavily.  “He has a severe head injury which is causing his brain to swell and right now there is nothing we can do without causing him anymore problems.”

       Gage slowly stood up.  “Other then that though, he’s all right, right?”

       “Afraid not.” The doctor rubbed his neck.  “His rib cage is crushed and because of that both his lungs are punctured.  Right now we have inserted two chest tubes to help drain his chest cavity of air and blood.”  He laced his hands.  “Also he has two cracked vertebrae and most of his internal organs are bruised.”  he sighed.  “It will be a miracle if he makes it through tonight.”

       Alex wiped her face.  “When can we see him?”

       “In about an hour or so.  Right now we are putting him on life support.”  He got up.  “I will get you when it is time to see him.”

_________________________________________________________

       A rooster crowed waking Walker up from a dreadful sleep.  Rubbing his face he took a deep breath and smelled something really good cooking.  He glanced over to the kitchen and noticed Cooper sitting by the fireplace whittling some wood.  Who would ever thought that this young man will later on turn into one of the best Texas Rangers in history?

       “What are you cooking?”

       Cooper turned around smiling.  “Oh, it’s rabbit.”  He stirred the pot.  “Had to kill two to make this soup.  How do ya like ya rabbit?”

       “My rabbit?”  Walker shrugged.  “Cooked?”

       “Ya act like ya haven’t had rabbit before.”  Cooper laughed. “Well, ya goin to have it the way I’m cookin it aright?”

       “Yeah, okay.”  Walker slowly sat up his head swimming.  “I don’t know if I’m up to eating yet.”  He swallowed hard.  “I think I’m going to be sick.”

       Quickly Cooper got up and grabbed a bucket just when Walker got sick.  “Here.”

       “Thanks.”  Walker wiped his face.  “I hope that wasn’t your water bucket.” “Nope.”  Cooper went to a door and took the bucket outside.  “Not no more it ain’t.” He joked, as he went to the kettle.  “I think the soup is done.”

       But as soon as Walker took one sip of the soup he had to lay back down. “I think it’s ya head.”  Cooper took the cup and started to eat the soup.  “Ya had a pretty bad bump when I brought ya here.”

       “It’s called a concussion.”  Walker sighed.  “Sorry, didn’t mean to snap. ”Cooper looked at him strangely.  “Concussa-what?”  he shook his head.  “Get to sleep. Ya really need it more then I thought ya did.”

________________________________________________________

As Trivette walked into the hospital room his voice caught in his throat.  His best friend had tubes and wires coming out of him from everywhere trying to keep him alive.  Tape covered his eyes to help keep them closed and moist. What was really disturbing was the tube coming out of Walker’s throat.

       “Doc, why is there a tube in his throat?”

       Doctor Steele stepped up to Walker and checked the tube.  “This is just a temporary thing.  Also we couldn’t get him to unclench his teeth without breaking his jaw.”  He sighed.  “He’s in a deep coma.  So any movement that he does make will just be muscle contractions or reflexes.”

       Alex nodded.  “Thank you, Doctor.”  She took hold of Walker’s hand.  “Hey, Cowboy, it’s me, Alex.”  She started to massage his hand.  “You hang in there, all right?”

       Trivette went to other side of the bed noticing that Walker’s breathing was very labored.  Glancing down at his friend’s side he saw a tube coming out between ribs.  Following the tube he quickly turned away when he saw a bag of blood.

       “Is there anyway you could hide that?”  Trivette said pointing to the bag at the foot of the bed.

       “Not really.”  He sighed.  “With it out in the open like that it makes it easier for us to see if his chest is draining well or not.”  He went to the bag.  “So, far so good.”

       “What’s with his breathing?”  Alex said, trying to fight back tears. “His chest is full of fluids and air right now compressing his lungs.  Also his chest cavity was shattered during the fall.  It’s amazing we’re able to help him breath in this kind of condition.  Most people don’t even make it to this stage with a crushed rib cage.”

       “Walker, ain’t like normal people.”  Trivette patted his friend’s hand.  “He’s going to prove all you Doctors wrong.”

________________________________________________________

       Another day has passed since Walker woke up. This day, though, he was able to sit up and walk around without being sick.  So, he helped Cooper with the household chores while Cooper showed him how to live in the nineteenth century.  Course Walker couldn’t remember where he lived last.  He had a feeling, though, that he didn’t live like this before.  He just wished he could remember something about his life.

       Cooper sat down at a table and counted some coins.  “So, how do ya feel about goin into town with me?”  He put the coins in a leather bag.  “It will be a four day trip.”

       “Four days?”  Walker nodded.  “Yeah, sure.  You live that far out?”

       “Not actually.”  he showed Walker his badge.  “I took time off cause of my leg but I’m better.  Hope ya can ride a horse.”

       “I can ride.”  Walker pointed at Cooper’s leg.  “What happened to your leg?”

       “Ran into some Injuns awhile back.”  He made a circle on his thigh.  “Got shot with an arrow.  Hurt like mad too.” He leaned back in the chair.  “It was deep and I couldn’t walk on it without it hurtin so I took time to heal.”

       Walker was surprised. This wasn’t the Cooper he always talked about or read about.  He almost smiled when he realized he’s seeing the human side of the “Legend.”  He knew, though, that ten years from now, Hayes Cooper will be one of the toughest Rangers alive.

       “So, when do we leave.”

       Cooper took out a watch.  “Tomorrow mornin at 2.  Want to start when it’s cooler so the horses don’t get over heated.”

       Walker smiled.  “Good idea.  Well, let’s get ready.”

________________________________________________________

       The machines did their usual noise as Alex sat at Walker’s bedside holding his hand.  He was getting weaker causing his skin to get really pale and gray. The doctor was amazed that he has made it through the night but didn’t expect him to last the week.  She knew though that her cowboy was a fighter.

       Suddenly Walker’s arm twitched violently causing her to nearly fall

backwards.   Doctor Steele had told them that this might happen because of the brain injury but she never pictured it.  After a few seconds his arm relaxed.

       “Boy, Walker that made me nervous.”  she patted his hand.  “No wonder the Doctor didn’t want the IV’s in your hand you will just pull them out.”  she rubbed his hand gently.  “He says you do this because of the brain injury.”  she fought back a cry.  “No matter what you are when you wake up I will be by you all the way.”

       A nurse walked in and smiled.  “How is Mr. Walker doing today, Mom to be?”

       Alex shrugged.  “Doing better.”  she looked at the nurse.  “His arm did one of those muscle spasm things though.”

       The nurse sighed then took the tape off of Walker’s eyes.  When she did Alex quickly had to look away.  Her husbands eyes just stared out; their green color seemed to have no life in them.

       “Is he responding yet?” she asked glancing at Walker whose eyes were taped up again.

       “Not yet.” The nurse then started to check all his tubes and bags.  “He’s doing good though.  He might make through another night.”

       She smiled.  “See he’s a fighter.”  She looked at Walker.  “He’s going to come out of this with no problems.  There will be no sign of brain damage.”

“Mrs. Walker, those spasms are usually indications that there is serious damage.  If he comes out of this perfectly healthy it will be a miracle of God.”

       Alex was angry.  “Why do you say that?”  She quickly got up.  “You leave this room now.  And I’m going to tell Doctor Steele that I don’t want you as my husband’s nurse again as long as he’s in the hospital.”

       Trivette walked in at that time.  “If I was you I would leave.” He

pointed at Alex.  “If you couldn’t tell, she’s pregnant.”

       “Okay, I will.”  The nurse left without saying anything more.

       Trivette shook his head.  “Some people… I tell you.”  He went to Walker’s bed.  “How is he doing?”

       “No improvement.”  She sighed.  “Oh, Jimmy I don’t know what to do.” “What do you mean?” Alex turned to him with tears in her eyes.  “The Doctor came in here earlier this morning and told me that Walker’s brain was still swelling.”  she wiped her face, further smearing her already smeared mascara.  “He gave me the option to....”  her voice started to crack as she began to cry.  “Jimmy, I can’t do it. ”He gave her a strong hug.  “He’s going to pull through.”  He glanced at Walker.  “He always does.”

       She looked up to him.  “But Jimmy, Walker has never been like this before.”  She sat down.  “But I can’t stand not having him....”  She started to rub her stomach.  “What will happen....”  She put her hand to her mouth.  “I don’t know what to do.”

       Trivette went to Walker’s side and held his friends limp hand.  “You’ll pull through this Walker, for Alex and your baby.”  He squeezed gently,  “I know you can do it.”

       The sun beat down hard as Walker and Cooper rode on the desolate prairie.  Walker was amazed at Cooper’s ability to ride a horse.  This man could ride even when his fast asleep on the saddle.  Walker thought he was good but this man was awesome.

       Yawning, Walker looked ahead at the hazy horizon and realized that he was incredibly thirsty.  Reaching for his leather canteen he was about to take it off when he heard a gunshot.  Instinctively he stopped his horse and crouched down low in the tall prairie grass.  Cooper was right next to him, holding a rifle, and scanning the area.

       “You aright?”  He asked, looking around.

       Walker nodded.  “Yeah, what is it?”

       “Outlaws.”  Cooper peeked above the grass and took one shot.  “And one is no more.”  He took aim and shot again.  “That’s two.”  He took one more shot.  “And that is three.”  He turned to Walker and smiled.  “Let’s check them out.”

       As Cooper joked, Walker was amazed to realize how relaxed he was.  Whatever happened to Cooper to have him loose his humor?

       “You hungry Walker?” “Uh, yeah.  What you thinking about?”

       Cooper smiled.  “Rabbit what else.”  He patted his horses back.  “Let’s ride.” “What about these men?”

       Cooper shrugged.  “Men will be here, don’t worry.  Let’s go.”

       As Trivette walked into the hospital room he was grateful that he didn’t see Alex in the room.  He has suggested that she take some time away from the hospital and that he would call her if any news came up.   Unfortunately the only news was that Walker’s condition was quickly going down hill.

       Going to his friend’s bedside he took Walker’s hand.  “Hey, buddy.”  He sighed.  “Alex is at Syd’s, taking a shower and eating dinner.  It’s just me tonight.”

       Walker’s leg twitched then his whole body started to thrash around.  Trivette stepped back as he watched Walker fight the restraints.  It hurt him so bad to watch his friend go through this.  Doctor Steele told him that it was the brain injury that was causing Walker to do this.

       A nurse rushed in.  “Saw his heart rate was high.”  He saw Walker thrashing.  “Let me page Doctor Steele. We might need to do a MRI or CAT Scan.”

       “What do you think might be wrong?”  Trivette shook his head.  “What’s going on?  What’s happening to him?”

       The nurse went up to Trivette after calling for the Doctor.  “Your friend has a severe brain injury.  With the swelling and bruising his brain probably is trying to heal but can’t.  With the MRI or CAT scan we will be able to tell what’s going on.”

       Doctor Steele ran in and immediately took off Walker’s tape.  Trivette noticed that his friend’s pupils were huge, definitely not a good sign.

       “Mr. Trivette I will have to ask you to leave.”   Doctor Steele paged for more help as Trivette walked out of the room.

       He went to the lounge and sat down wearily besides Gage.

       “I heard the alert.”  Gage leaned forward then buried his head in his hands.  “What is going on?”  He looked at Trivette.  “I have never heard of people acting this way in a coma.”

       “He has a severe head injury, Gage.”  Trivette stared at the wall.  “If he makes it, he most likely won’t be the same Walker we knew.”

       Gage huffed.  “I know.”  he leaned back in the chair and tilted his head to the ceiling.  “God, if you’re really there, please save our friend.”

______________________________________________________

The cold night air whipped at Walker as he tried to get comfortable by the

fire.  It was his last night before he got to town and he was so grateful that he’d be in a comfortable tavern bed soon.  He didn’t know if he could last another night with rocks digging his back. 

Looking at Cooper, he noticed that Cooper was wide awake, sifting the fire. Cooper smiled when he spotted Walker.  “Hey, thought ya were asleep?”

       “Can’t really get to sleep.”  Walker laid back and looked at the stars.  “This is beautiful.  Do you ever get tired looking at this?”

       “It’s a sky.”  Cooper laughed.  “You sometimes act like a city boy ya know that?” “Really?”  Walker realized what Cooper was saying and shrugged.  “I don’t know what you mean I love it here.”

       Cooper shook his head.  “Walker, ya one confusin guy.”  he pointed a stick at Walker.  “I like that though.”

       Walker shook his head.  “You do?” He laughed.  “You know I might stay in town once we get there.” “Oh really?  Why’s that?”

       “I don’t know.”  Walker sat up on his elbows.  “I might stay there till your next visit to see if I like the city life or not.”

       “Are ya sure about that?  My next trip could be months.”

       “I’m sure.”  he laid back down and smiled.  “I’m enjoying it here.”

_________________________________________________________

       Doctor Steele didn’t have any good news to tell the friends. In fact he just told them flat out that Walker was in a very deep coma and may never wake up.  So now Alex had the choice to take Walker off life support or not.  He knew that she wouldn’t and would refuse to do it.  But he couldn’t stand to see Walker suffering like this anymore.

       He turned to her and gave her a hug.  “Alex, have you decided?”

       She nodded.  “I know Walker is a fighter.”  She went to her husband’s side and caressed his face.  “He IS a fighter.”  She started to cry when she saw the tube behind Walker’s ear.  “They’re trying to drain...”  she went to Trivette and collapsed into his arms.  “It’s been almost a week and he’s only...”  she wailed.  “Why did this have to happen?”

       Trivette looked at his friend and had to fight back his own tears.  Since Walker’s fall five days ago he has only gone downhill.  He’s chest cavity started to bleed again last night and tests showed that a rib had punctured a vital artery.  Doctor Steele said that this was probably caused by Walker thrashing around.  And now Walker was bleeding internally, with no way the Doctor’s could stop it.

       Then there was Walker’s head injury and brain damage.  It seemed that Walker’s brain began to swell so bad that the doctor’s are opting to take him off of the life support.  The shunt behind Walker’s ear is to help release air and liquids building up inside his head.  Even with that little help, Walker’s life lay within Alex’s hands.

       “Jimmy, I need to be alone with Walker.”

       “Okay.”  He gave her one last hug before leaving the room.

       When she was alone Alex sat by Walker’s bed and took hold of his cold hand. She hated to see Walker like this but she couldn’t take him off of the life support.  She didn’t want that guilt feeling of having killed her husband.

       She smiled.  “Walker, guess what?”  She rubbed her tummy.  “They took a sonogram to make sure the baby was all right with all the stress and….. we’re having a little girl.”  She kissed his hand and whispered,  “I know you wanted a boy.”

       Walker moaned and his arm twitched then he relaxed.  Alex wished that Walker would wake up but that was just a dream.  She knew deep down that he might never wake up again.

________________________________________________________

       The town bustled with activity as Walker and Cooper rode into town.  Walker tried to hide his smile as he looked around at the simple town.  He would love to stay here and see if he could actually live here.

       Cooper rode his horse to a saloon and got off.  “Drinks are on me!”

       Inside the saloon many people turned towards Cooper and Walker, staring at them.  Cooper just ignored them and sat down at a table.

       A waitress came up.  “What will it be, boys?”

       “Two beers.”  She turned to Walker.  “So, do ya remember anythin about ya life?” Walker sighed.  “The only thing I remember is a lady.”  A badge flashed before him.  “I think I was a law officer.”

       Cooper smirked.  “Where at?”

       “Texas.”  Walker nodded his head.  “You know every night you ask me about my life but I never really know.”  He closed his eyes and saw a beautiful, blonde woman.  “And now it’s starting to come back to me.”

       “Here’s ya beers.”  The waitress put two filthy glasses in front of them.   Walker smiled.  “Thanks.” When she left he leaned in closer to Cooper.  “I remember something about a truck.”

       “What is a truck?”  Cooper took a sip of his beer.  “Never heard of it before.  Do ya mean trunk?”

       “Hmm...I don’t know.”  He sighed.  “And I remember something about war and bombing.”  He shook his head.  “Cooper, things are coming back to me that make no sense.  Memories that seem out of place where I’m at.”

       Cooper sighed.  “Well, ya not makin any sense to me.” Realization hit him.

  “I’ve read this in a book about time travelin.” “A guy named Jules Verne.”  He scooted away from Walker.  “Ya ain’t a time traveler ain’t ya.”  He started to laugh.  “No wonder ya English is so good.”

       Walker smiled.  “Yeah, but this life is so perfect right now.”  he looked around.  “I don’t know if I ever want to get back to my old life.”  Without warning a ripping tug came at his chest, causing Walker to gasp.

_____________________________________________________

 “What’s happening?”

       Trivette quickly rushed to Walker’s room when he heard Code Blue.  Arriving there, he saw a team of Doctors pulling a crash cart and doing CPR.  Alex was standing outside, being comforted by Sydney.

       “What’s going on?”  Trivette asked running to Gage.

       Gage shook his head.  “He’s flat lined.”  a tear ran down his cheek.  “He’s not going to make it Trivette.”  The big guy had to turn away as he began to cry.

_____________________________________________________

“What did you do?”  Cooper asked looking down at Walker who was breathing very heavily.  “What happened?”

       “My life flashed before me.”  he sat up.  “Oh, God, Cooper, what did I do?????????.”

       Cooper shook his head.  “I don’t know but ya gotta get back.”  He smiled. 

“It’s not too late. Ya can still go back.”

       “Ya, I think so.”  Walker couldn’t believe what he just said.  “I have a southern accent.  Cooper what’s happenin?”

       “Just let go.”  Cooper smiled.  “It was nice talkin to ya.”

       Walker nods.  “Ya too.”

       Suddenly Walker’s body was jerked violently through a bright light.  Opening his eyes he saw that he was in a hospital room surrounded by Doctors.  He looked around to see six stunned faces.

       He tried to talk but something in his throat made it impossible to do so.  So, instead, he just moved his lips causing everybody to smile.

       “Walker, so glad to see you awake.”  a Doctor shone a light in his eyes.  “If you can see this blink.”

       Walker blinked then mouthed, “Alex?”  The doctor nodded then quickly left.  A minute later Alex ran in, smiling.

       “Honey, you’re awake.”  She gave him a slight kiss on the lips.  “I knew you could make it.”  He started to move around.  “Walker don’t move! You’re going to pull tubes out.”  She smiled.  “Don’t you worry, everything is going to be okay.”

______________________________________________________

One Week Later

       Walker sat on the bed looking at the wall, amazed at what he had heard.  The Doctors told him that he was lucky to be alive today. His friends had filled him in on what was going on and he couldn’t believe it.  He’d been dead.  Of course, the pounding headache and his sore back and chest sort of told him.

       Looking out the window he could see his reflection in the glass.  It was still hard to see him with a white bandage on his throat reminding him of a tube that was once there.  He also saw the tube behind his ear that was going to get removed tomorrow.

       He wanted so badly to get up and walk around but all the tubes tied him to the bed.  Also Doctor Steele told him that he had cracked vertebra in his back which meant he would have a brace on for awhile.

       “Hey, buddy.”  Trivette went to Walker’s bed and handed his friend a notebook.  “How’s it going?”

       “Good.”  Walker’s voice was sore.  “Don’t need book.”

       Trivette shook his head.  “You’re throat is still really sore.”

       “Fine.”  Walker laid his head down.  “Doctor said...”  He had to swallow.  “...I might have a scar.”

       “Yeah, but you’re alive.”  Trivette smiled.  “For awhile there we didn’t know whether or not if you were going to make it.”

       Walker smiled.  “I’m fine.”  He winced as the tube behind his ear snagged on the pillow.  Quickly Trivette saw this and helped Walker out.  “Thanks.” “No problem.”  He patted Walker’s shoulder.  “That tube is history come tomorrow.  Bet you’re happy.”

       “Yeah.”  He felt the tube.  “Why didn’t...”  He took a drink of water.  “Why didn’t they just cut my head open?”

       Trivette sighed.  “You mainly just had liquid and air build up.”

       Alex walked in just then smiling.  “Cowboy, so glad you’re up.”  She came over and gave him a kiss on the lips.  “How are you doing today?”

       “All right.” He took another drink of water.  “How are you doing?”  She grinned.  “I’m doing really good.  And so is Kayla.”

“Who’s Kayla?” “Kayla is going to be our little girl.”  She rubbed her big tummy.  “Kayla Maria Walker.  How does that sound?”

       Walker smiled brilliantly and had to fight his urge to just jump up.  “We’re going to have a little girl?”  He looked at Trivette who just gave one of his smiles.

  “But I thought we decided not to do a sonogram?”

She shrugged.  “Doctor was worried about the baby because of all the

stress.” “Oh, okay.”  He winced as the pain in his throat got to be too much.  “Why Kayla?”

       “I just think it’s an interesting name; one that’s good for the new Millennium.”  Alex beamed.  “It goes quite well together.”

       Trivette nodded.  “She’s right Walker, Kayla Maria Walker has an awfully nice ring to it.” Walker tried to shake his head but the tube stopped him.  “I think it’s too many sounds.”  He took a long drink of water.  “How about Kayla Marie Walker?”

       Alex gave Walker a surprised look.  “Yes, you’re right, that’s sounds better, Walker.”   “Thank you.”

       “He can think when he wants to.”  Trivette said while quickly leaving his chair.  Walker pointed at Trivette.  “You better leave.”

       “Should I split you two up?”  Alex said, getting into one her best “Mommy” voices.

       “Yes,”  both men said in unison.

       She shook her head.  “What will I ever do with you two.” She got up.   “Well, Walker, visitors time is almost up.  But we’ll both be here tomorrow.”

       “Okay, see ya then.” Two days later Doctor Steele was thinking about releasing Walker from the hospital on strict rules.  He was amazed at how quickly Walker had pulled through and declared Walker a walking, talking miracle.  The only problems that the doctor saw were Walker’s ribs, lungs, and back.  There were no signs of lasting brain injury or internal injury.

       Walker sat in his room, and for the first time in awhile, he was by himself, not attached to any machines besides the IV’s.  As he was laying in his bed he couldn’t help remembering the times he spent with Cooper.  The time he spent with Cooper was so real, so vivid, that it seemed like it really happened.  Walker, though, couldn’t help but to think that it didn‘t.  He had been, after all, in a deep coma with no sense of his surroundings.

       He closed his eyes but quickly opened them when he heard his door shut.  Looking around he didn’t see anything so shrugged it off and closed his eyes again.

       “Hey, how ya doin?”

       That voice sounded so much like Cooper. Was he dreaming again?  Opening his eyes he nearly screamed when he saw the tall, lean, young man standing at his bed.

       “Thought I was dreaming.”

       Cooper shook his head.  “Ya ain’t.  I’m here.”  He looked around.  “Wow, this place is incredible.”

       Walker sat up straighter in the bed.  “Yeah, it is.”  He took a drink of water.  “How did you get here. As a young man, I mean?”       “What do ya mean?”  Cooper shrugged.  “I think I’m dreamin.”

       Taking a slow deep breath Walker shook his head.  “You sure are here.  You smell like grass and wood.”

       Cooper smelled his dirty shirt.  “Knew I should’ve washed this shirt this mornin.”  He shook his head.  “Oh well.”  He smiled.  “Just came here to check on ya.  Glad to see ya doin much better.”

       “Thanks for telling me to leave.”  Walker smiled.  “I would’ve missed my little girl being born.” “No problem.”  Cooper smiled and started to walk off.

______________________________________________________

The door to Walker’s room opened and Trivette stepped in.  “Who were you talking to?”  He scanned the room.  “There isn’t anybody in here.”

       Walker shook his head.  “You wouldn’t believe me even if I told you.” Trivette smiled.  “Try me.  I’ve heard plenty of your stories before.” “Okay, I was talking to Hayes Cooper.”

       Trivette couldn’t hold in a laugh.  “That’s really good Walker.  You know that guy has been dead now for a hundred years.”

       “See told you.”  “I’m not saying....”  He stopped in mid-sentence when he spotted a man in the corner looking at them with a smirk.  The man was dressed up in eighteenth century clothing that seen better days.  “Who are you?”  He asked, his voice cracking.

       The man laughed.  “Hayes Cooper is the name.”  He threw something at Trivette, who caught it with one hand.  “Walker, that’s for you.  To remind ya of the times we had.”  He tipped his hat.  “Nice to meet ya sir.”  With that he disappeared into the wall.

       Trivette shakily turned to Walker his eyes wide.  “What just happened?”  Walker smiled.  “You just met Hayes Cooper.”  He reached for the wooden figure that Trivette was holding.  “Well, all-be-danged, that man is sure talented.”

       He studied the small, attached, figures and saw that it was Cooper and him riding their mounts.  Around Cooper’s neck was a ring.  Taking the ring off he saw that it was his wedding ring and yet it wasn’t.  The band had badly tarnished like it was as old as Cooper.

       Trivette gave a nervous laugh.  “You know that’s really freaky.  ‘Cause we searched everywhere for your ring and couldn’t find it.”

       “Why didn’t anybody tell me?”

       “Cause we thought it got misplaced by accident.”  Trivette shook his head.  “Man, this is freaky.”  He took the ring and smelled it.  “This ring is old, Walker.”

       “It can’t be that old.” he took the ring back.  “I was only married a year ago.” Alex walked in and glanced at Jimmy.  “You look like you’ve seen a ghost.”  Trivette just gave a light chuckle and half smile.  “You might say that I have.”

       “Oh, Walker, you found your ring.”  She smiled, greatly relieved.  “I’m so sorry that I didn’t tell you.  It’s was just that you had enough things to worry about already.”

       “That’s okay.”  He pulled her into a kiss.  “As long as we have each other, then why worry about how battered a ring got?”

The End…

The Usual Legal Disclaimers.