June was looking at redundancy. The hospital was making cutbacks and they didn't have any patients for her. A trained facilitator, she’d help paralysed patients communicate by holding their hand over the keyboard. But lately nobody needed her help.
This made June nervous. On rainy days she'd find herself praying for a bike accident. Surely someone was due a devastating spinal injury?
Eventually the boss called June into his office and she knew this meant the end. She walked down the long corridor passing the coma ward and an idea struck.
What if one of the coma patients was actually paralysed? She quietly examined them but no-one showed any signs. June should have accepted her fate and moved on but she was desperate.
Why not pick a coma victim and pretend? She's the expert, no one could disagree with her. All she ever did was hold the patients hand over a keyboard until it felt like they were trying to push a button. She could do the job just as easily without a patient’s involvement. She'd probably be better at it - June's spelling was exceptional. What would the coma victim care? She'd make them look good - articulate.
June picked Christopher Pike, a man in his late thirties who hasn’t moved for eighteen years. Pike would be her saviour.
The hospital was overjoyed at the news Mr Pike was conscious. June's job was safe and Pike's family loved her. They always knew their Chris was still there. June felt a bit guilty about this but all the hugs made her feel much better.
June found it surprisingly easy pretending to be her new patient. Mrs Pike would mostly talk at her son allowing June to simply type affirming words on Pike’s behalf. If ever a question June couldn't answer arose then Pike was just “feeling tired” and needed “rest”. Sympathy will you get you far.
The media attention was not anticipated. At first a local news story, then national, within days it was all over the world. June felt a bit guilty about this but all the attention made her feel much better.
Before June knew it this motivational story made her a hero. She was the person that recognized Pike's condition and Pike was always complimenting her. Eventually their life story was bought by Steven Spielberg and Julia Roberts was playing her in a movie. June felt a bit guilty about this but dinner with Julia Roberts made her feel much better.
Life was good until the day Christopher Pike woke up. Maybe she could have bribed him to carry on. There was enough so both could be rich. But why should she share? Pike was just a puppet - she was the master.
It only took a few minutes. Eighteen years lying down makes you very weak. Far too weak to hold off a pillow over your face.
Christopher Pike died aged thirty-nine. June felt a BIT guilty about the murder but the guest slot on Oprah made her feel MUCH better.