He didn’t see it and because he didn’t, he crashed into it. He didn’t feel he had hit it that hard but apparently, he hit it hard enough to cause a trip to the ER with a concussion and two days in the hospital. When he woke up, he could only remember small bits and pieces of the entire trip. Charlie Juste and his two buddies Rich and Phil had come down to take on the slopes of Colorado. Phil was an expert sort to speak but the other two were newbies. Charlie and Rich had joined the gym to begin muscling up for the trip almost a year early. They also took classes to learn how to ski. Now, in California is where they were from, and it wasn't that easy to find a place to teach someone how to ski in California. But with one Google such they found a place that did it virtually and with simulation techniques. It was like putting on those goggles and you’re right there. Both guys went for about three months, three times a week. They would put on skis and the goggles like things and the machines would go up and down right and left at various speeds. It was as close to the real thing as you could get. It was like you were right there on the slopes, going down. You had to miss the trees that would pop up out of nowhere. You had to dip and twist and lean. It was almost as real as it could get, except they couldn't provide the snow.
The instructors meant business too. You had to pass a test where they were able to say you have some working knowledge of how to ski. You had to have at least a hundred hours. Also, they taught a one-day class on snow survival in case something was to happen. If you were able to provide documentation that you got your hundred hours and attended the snow survival class, you got a hundred-dollar discount on your lodging. Rich and Charlie were all in for that.
He opened his eyes and there in the room Phil was looking out the window and Rich was seated on the side of his bed looking up at the flat screen TV that was mounted to the wall in front of his bed. “What are you watching?” Charlie asked. Rich stood up and quickly, lower the volume on the TV as he looked at Charlie. Phil turned away from the window, “Charlie man you, okay?” he asked. Charlie looked at Phil surprised. “What you mean okay, of course I’m okay.” “Well, you are in a hospital a bed, which is a clear indication that you’re not.” Phil replied. “How did I get here?” Charlie asked. It was clear to Phil and Rich he didn't remember. The two of them were not going to be much help either because they were not with him when he had the accident. Phil hadn’t left the room yet due to a little too much beer. And Rich had found a “friend”, so he wasn’t in the room. The next morning Charlie who was the only one of the three who took advantage of getting some rest after a long trip. Charlie before laying down looked at the schedule of the lifts that took you to the slopes. He saw one for the next morning and decided that was it. He had to be honest he wanted to go alone. He didn’t want his friends to know how scared he was and how bad he was at skiing. So, he felt this would give him a little real-life practice. As Charlie laid in his bed still not recalling how his crash happened exactly. Phil and Rich bombarded him with one question then another. It was a good thing the doctor and his nurse walked in just in time to save him. "Hello Mr. Juste, I am Dr. Will Stern and this my nurse Shelley Clark." "Ms. Clark will be your nurse for the next eight hours, so if you need anything just buzz her." "Doctor excused me did you say Ms. as in not married?" Rich interrupted. "Ms. not married", the doctor confirmed. A smile came across Rich’s face.
“Okay”, Charlie jumped in, "Doc can you tell me what happened to me?” “No, I can’t” Dr. Stern replied, “only you can do that that.” The doctor continued and told Charlie he had a concussion and he had been in the hospital for two days for observation before release. The doctor asked Charlie how much did he recall about the accident? Chris rubbed his head and gave out a loud ouch. “That’s your bump son, be careful", the doctor admonished him. Charlie recalled getting downstairs of the hotel lobby just in time to catch the ride to the lifts, which was about fifteen minutes away. He remembered sitting by a very attractive young lady. It was only then that Rich turned his head away from the tv. Charlie continued that he thought to himself how white the snow was. He noted it was beautiful but almost blinding. “We made it to the lift, it took us to the place where we go down the slope”. “We went down two at a time", he said as if the light had come on in his head. He remembered that there was only six of them that morning. Charlie said the last thing he recalled is seeing and then not being able to see because the snow was so white. He said he didn’t recall attempting to slow down or anything. Phil chimed in and asked the doctor if the EMT workers told the staff anything when they brought him in, or if there were any witnesses that might have been able to tell them what happened. Dr. Stern replied that the only thing anyone recalls was that Ms. Clark here was the first one on site. Charlie hadn’t remembered that the attractive young lady he saw the morning of his accident on the lift was nurse Clark. She had gone down the slopes after him and saw what happened. “What happened?” Charlie eagerly waited for her response as did Phil and Rich. She told Charlie that the only crash was him crashing basically into himself. He had lost control. He was going about 20 miles an hour and being a beginner, that might have been too fast. Phil laughed out loud before he knew it. “When you lost control, your right ski came back and hit you in the head, first, then the left followed". "You did some wonderful flips and some beautiful snow angels when you hit the ground", she said smiling at him. Charlie embarrassed by her recollection of the accident, asked, “how or what finally stopped me?” She looked around the room and told him, the tree, at the bottom of the slope. “Mr. Juste you are lucky to be alive and even luckier Ms. Clark was there". "You owe her a dealt of gratitude”, Dr. Stern told him. “That’s why the concussion and the three broken ribs that will heal soon enough”, the doctor told him. The doctor told Charlie he would come by in the morning and if he had a good night, he would be able to go home. He assured Charlie that he was in good hands. Charlie thanked the doctor. Phil and Rich finally got the hint to leave also. Charlie almost had to spell it out. As Shelley walked the doctor out Charlie begins to hint to his friends that they should leave as well. Both pretended to not get the hint. Phil reminded Charlie that he was in “good hands”. Shelly reentered the room and the two guys soon left, making faces behind her back at Charlie. They acted so silly Charlie almost laughed out loid. Shelley inquired how long had the three of them been friends. "Too long", Charlie replied. “I guess I owe you my life Ms. Clark?” Charlie asked her. “No, I just happen to be there and did my job Mr. Juste". “Please called me Charlie” he encouraged her.
They set and talked a little bit longer and Charlie notices all his pain had suddenly gone away. The next morning Phil and Rich were just in time to pick him up. Dr. Stern had already been by with his release papers and Shelley’s shift had ended. “Hey Charlie, were you in good hands last night?” Rich asked. “Well Charlie replied, “let’s just say Ms. Clark and I will be keeping in touch.” “And I’m looking forward to getting on those sweet slopes again.”