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Chapter Five of "The Connection" (part two)

Slowly, i begin to feel things around me. I'm warm and i'm laying on somthing soft. i get feeling in my toes and fingers. There's a blanket over me, so i must be on a bed or a couch. i have a terrible head ache. now i can feel my arms and legs, and the thing i'm laying on is probably a bed and my head is propped up on a really fluffy pillow. i can feel my whole body now, and my back hurts too. What's going on? Where am i? I don't want to open my eyes. i don't really remember anything that happened but i do know there was something really weird. something incredibly strange, and there was a piece of paper on the floor. now i remember that the floor was tiled an ugly green color. i still don't want to open my eyes, because i know whatever it is i forgot, i dont want to remember. i can hear footsteps outside my door and low, muffled conversation, along with a beeping noise. that means my door is closed. i can smell the cleaning products used to sterilze wherever i am. someone is opening the door and i can see light spilling into my room through my eyelids.

"She's still asleep," a voice softly to someone. i hear somebody sigh.

"Will she be okay?" asks a familiar, worried voice.

"I don't know, its hard to tell but she's okay right now. We won't know for sure until she wakes up." The door clicks and i hear the footsteps fade away. i can't place a name on the second voice. it's familiar but i don't know whose it was. i know that if they hear me move they'll come in to check on me again but i'm tired and i want to be left alone. i can feel a sneeze coming against my wishes. i try desperately to hold it back, but it's no use. i sneeze and of course, the pair of footsteps come back towards me, opening the door again. i can't help but open my eyes; i'll have to sooner or later. i squint against the harsh light.

"Sami, are you feeling okay?" asks the nurse in a gentle voice. She has straight strawberry-blond hair pulled back in a pony tail and she's wearing a white nurses outfit. i'm in a hospital. i look around at the bright white, insanely clean room with beeping monitors and wires attached to my arm. i want to tell her that my head hurts, but i cant get words to come out of my mouth. i clear my throat but my voice is still raspy. "I have a headache. My back hurts too," i manage to choke out. Standing behind her must be the owner of the second voice, the one i couldn't place. It's a boy, he's an inch or two taller than the nurse and he has blond hair long enough to almost cover his blue, concerned eyes. he's really good-looking and seems about my age. his face is as familiar as his voice, yet i can't remember who he is.

my confusion must show on my face. The nurse steps away to get something and the boy comes closer to me.

"Sami, what happened?" he asked gently. i couldn't remember.

"I don't know... do i know you?" i asked him. i obviously knew him from somewhere, he was so familiar to me.

"You don't remember?" he asked me. i shook my head no. "My name is Jeff. I'm your friend and so is Marianna. She's not here yet, she went to go get your books," he explained to me. i remember Marianna, how could i not? She's my best friend. 'Jeff' rings in my head. the name is familiar too. it frustrates me to be so familiar to somebody but not have a clue who they are. good-looking guy named Jeff who is my friend.

"Do you remember anything at all?" he asks.

"I remember a piece of paper on the floor," i grimaced, "and a math test." he chuckles.

"A math test? was that the paper?" he asked. i feel like he knows that it wasn't a test i saw on the floor, he just wants to know if i do.

"No, i dont think so. i have math at the end of the day..." i try to figure out what's going on. The boy Jeff kneels on the floor beside my head and the nurse comes back in with a plastic cup filled with room-temperature water. i take a sip of it and put it on the side table.

"What's the last you remember?" the nurse asks me.

"A piece of paper on the floor," i say.

"And that she has a math test," adds on Jeff, smiling. the nurse laughs.

"Marianna should be down here soon with your--" the nurse starts. Marianna pushes through the door way and sets a bag of chips on the table. i smile to see someone i recognize AND know.

"Samantha Jenkish!" she says as she bends over to hug me.

"Marianna Wilsonburg!" i reply as i hug her back. she sits on the edge of the cot and i scoot over to make room. i can see the nurse part her lips like she wants to say something about Marianna sittig with me, but then rethinks it and sighs. By now, the nurse probably knows how close Marianna and i are, i'm pretty sure Marianna shot her look, knowing what she was thinking. i froze. knowing what she was thinking....

and just like that, it all snapped back. Jeff-- Jeff I met at the rollerskating rink. Jeff i promised to help around the school. Jeff who had a conversation with me, without speaking. i was at my locker. the paper on the floor was a note from Rob. Then i blacked out.


I decided to keep my mouth shut about my memory returning for a reason i wasn't quite sure of. it seems fun, but there's also something else i need to find out, but i dont know what that is.

"What happened exactly?" i asked, curious at what they would tell me.

"Well we were at your locker and you just passed out. We don't know what caused it," Marainna explained before anyone else could speak. Jeff's voice pushed into my mind again, "You, remember, don't you?". I preteneded not to hear him. I still wondered, though, if he told Marianna about it. I hadn't seen her desperately-wanting-to-know-the-details look, so she probably doesn't know anything. Now i pray that Jeff can't hear EVERYTHING, just what i say to him in my mind. i hope he can't tell i'm pretending not to notice it.
"What time is it?" i ask, not knowing if it's still morning or towards the end of school.

"Time for you to get a watch!" Marianna said automatically. I scowled and she laughed.

"Well you got here about 20 minutes ago and your friends wanted to come with you on the ambulance. Your parents are downstairs in the cafeteria." the nurse managed to say before Marianna did. I bet Marianna was glaring at her. Now Marainna and the nurse are probably having some kind of silent competetion. 'Nurse Samantha Hearner, please report to the front desk. Nurse Samantha Hearner, please report to the front desk,' called the speaker. My nurse rushed out the door, leaving the three of us alone.

"You okay?" asks Marianna sincerely. i was going to nod my head, then remembered the throbbing pain, which lead to remind me about my back, too. i grimaced. Marianna's face creased with worry.

"It's just my back hurts; and my head." i look over at Jeff and offer a weak smile, telling him he's not forgotten. "So i've been knocked out here the whole day?" i ask, with a slight grin. The air lightened a bit, knowing i wasn't in desperate pain.

"Pretty much," Jeff said. "I'm afraid you're going to have to make up that math test." i groaned, joking. they chuckled.

"She said she doesn't remember me," Jeff told Marianna. i may be paranoid, but i think i just saw them raise their eyebrows at eachother ever so slightly, like some sort of signal.

"You don't remember?" Marianna seemed shocked. i shook my head. "All that hard work for nothing..." she added.

"What?" i asked, confused.

"Sami, how could you forget your boyfriend?" Marianna said. My mind blanked. Jeff isn't my boyfriend-- at least i think he isn't. What happened when i was knocked out?

"I have a boyfriend? i thought i would remember something like that. How long have we been together?" i ask. i figure i may as well interogate to either make them crack and admit it, or two find out if Jeff likes me and Marianna's covering for him.

"Well it's been since last night, actually," Jeff answered. i look to Marianna and she nods. I bet they're just trying to crack me, and make me admit that i remember everything.

"How did we meet?" i ask him. he stalls for just a second, so short that you wouldn't have noticed unless you were looking for it. i look straight into his crystal blue eyes through the semi-darkness. He must've had this prepared or something.

"Marianna's brother Greg became friends with my brother, Phil. Marianna came to my house with Greg and met me. She set up to meet at the little cafe down the block. Do you remember that cafe, 'Matt's Coffee & Sandwiches'?" so she must've told him the name of that cafe we wanted to meet at after school. wait a minute: Marianna knew we wanted to meet at that same cafe today, she knew i liked him, maybe she set it up this way. Saying he's my boyfriend might be her actually setting us up-- maybe he asked her to... they did give that 'signal'... then again, i am pretty paranoid.

"I know the cafe, but i don't remember going. Sorry, i feel bad not remembering my own boyfriend," and i give an apologetic look. Jeff smiles at me and says, "No issue. Hey, we can go there today after we leave, if you're well enough."

Marianna adds, "Maybe it could bring back some memory." Well this is going farther than i thought it would, but okay. i nod my head in agreement. I may as well keep going as long as they do.

The nurse walks back into my room and shines a bright light in each eye and checking my breathing and heart rate. as she does this, she's saying, "Okay, Sami, your mother is checking you out now, as everything seems to be ok. You probably didn't eat enough today or were lacking some other nutrients. Make sure you eat a good dinner and you should be alright."

When she's done evaluating me for a final time, i stand up. I'm a little wobbly at first, but i think that's from being in bed all day as it goes away quickly. The nurse takes my purse off the hook on the door and hands them to me. Marianna snatches my stuff from her and glares at her on our way out. i try to hide it when i chuckle to myself.

As we step out the door, my mom is coming down the hall. She sees me and quickens her pace. She hugs me and says, "Oh, you're okay! You scared me, Sami. How do you feel?"

"I'm fine mom," I assure her.

"Yeah, she's fine mom," says Marianna. We all laugh. Someone must've told my mom who Jeff is, because she's not looking at him funny or questioning me.

The four of us head down the insanely clean hospital hallway towards the front door. I guess my mom is taking Jeff home, because he's walking with us towards our car. Yep, he's climbing in the back seat with Marianna and me. My older sister Becca takes the driver's side and my mom is in the passenger. Becca's 17 and just got her liscence and is learning how to drive. It scares mom to death, but it scares me more. At least there's a hospital near by.





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