Phantasma

November 30, 2008
By
"We say that the hour of death cannot be forecast, but when we say this we imagine that hour as placed in an obscure and distant future. It never occurs to us that it has any connection with the day already begun or that death could arrive this same afternoon, this afternoon which is so certain and which has every hour filled in advance.”
-Marcel Proust


I heard my own heavy breathing, my lungs trying to secure as much air a possible. That’s when I realized I was still alive. I knew I must have been lucky, for I felt no real pain, just irritation. It was funny, in a way, to realize these things as the gears in my mind quickly turned. It was like my body was in a fog, waking up after some deep sleep. My lungs didn’t seem to want to suck in any air and it felt as if I hadn’t breathed in ages.

It took me a moment to process other things, like sight and touch. I felt the roughness of the grass tickling my skin and the dew from the rain dampening my clothes. My eyes slowly fluttered open on command and I saw that I was lying in wet grass near the side of a road.

My breathing slowly returned to normal and quieted down. I forced myself to stay calm as I wondered where I was. I had no recollection on how I had gotten here or even where here was. I could have been on the opposite side of the world for all I knew.

My muscles complained loudly as I moved my arms to push my body up. I groaned inwardly, wondering why it felt like my body hadn’t been used in a long time I must have been unconscious for a long period of time for my body to be acting like this. I ran my fingers through my hair, removing the wall of brown away from my eyes. I scanned the field slowly, taking in every detail.

I was in a field near a patch of woods. I saw a pair of matching black skid marks on the road adjacent to the field. I followed them silently with my eyes, making my way to a tree. I drew in a breath of air as I saw a car twisted into a tree trunk. The mangled car was twisted sideways, the driver side completely crushed in. The passenger side was in slightly better shape, the door hanging wide open. I felt a pang of sorrow rush through my body as I silently wondered if the people in that car had survived.

Wait, where were the people in that car? Were they even still here? How long ago did this happen? The thoughts ran through my head like a speeding bullet, and just as quickly, I snapped my head around. My eyes immediately locked on a boy a couple of yards away from me and the car. He was on his knees, leaning over as if he were hurt. Was he hurt? Was he in the accident?

“Hey!” I called out, my voice loud and raspy, “Hey you!” I waited for him to turn around in confusion or recognition. Instead, he just stayed where he was, motionless. I watched in frightened fascination. I knew I was loud enough for him to hear me. Maybe he was border line unconscious or even deaf?

I rolled onto the balls of my feet, pushing my legs up. I flinched slightly as my muscles protested once more and I wobbled a bit, not used to standing. “Hey, boy!” I shouted, cupping my hands to my mouth to make my voice louder.

I watched his body, waiting for some sign of movement. My heart jumped in excitement as I saw his shoulders move slightly, but it quickly turned to disappointment, for he didn’t turn around or respond to me. I stared at his shoulders and saw them moving up and down slightly, as if he were breathing heavily or crying. Had someone he knew died? Could he breathe? That had to be it! He couldn’t breathe, so he couldn’t talk either. He had to be so freaked out about not being able to breathe right that he couldn’t hear or concentrate on anything else.

I knew I had to help this strange boy. I was the only one in the area, and although I had no idea how I got here, I knew I had to help him. It was the right thing to do. I was almost certain he would have done the same if I were in his position and he in mine.

I took a step toward him and a single memory rushed into my head. It was a boy, around the age of seventeen, standing tall around five nine or so. Dark brown hair fell into his sapphire blue eyes as he smiled the softest of smiles.

I know him, I thought, staring at the boy kneeling in the grassy green field. I didn’t know from when or how, but I knew I knew him. Fear swept through me as I suddenly burst into a run towards him, only to stop a couple of feet away, my head screaming in pain. I cradled my head in my hands, my brain overloading with sudden information.

It all came rushing back in one big tidal wave of memories. It was his birthday today, wasn’t it? He had just turned seventeen and had come over my house to hang out. We were best friends, always have been since we were little. We had decided to go out and go to our secret spot from when we were little to relive the memories. I had decided to drive since he had just gotten his license, and it was pouring outside.

The car had skidded and in an instant we were flying off the side of the road towards the woods and trees. I remember looking over at him, staring into his beautiful, terrified, blue pools. He looked so frightened, so scared for our safety. Had he known we were going to die? I didn’t want him to die; I didn’t want to bring harm to him. I wanted to be able to see his smile again and hear his laugh tickle my ears.

It had only taken me a second to make the decision, and I swerved the car again, praying he wouldn’t get in harm’s way. The car had slammed into the massive trunk, the driver’s side getting the brunt of the blow. I remembered pain, unbearable pain. My skin tingled just remembering it.

I couldn’t remember anything else after that. I reasoned I must have fallen unconscious. He must have been less hurt than I was and pulled me out of the car to safety. Or maybe someone else got us both out and ran to go get help. It didn’t matter what happened, because nothing would change the fact that I failed and he was hurt.

“Riley, Riley!” I screamed, his name sending tingles down my spine. How could I forget that wonderful, idiotic, name of his? I fell onto my knees behind him, placing my hands on his shoulders, shrieking his name as loud as I could. Respond, darn it! Why won’t you respond to me? Are you angry I made us crash? Are you mad at me for hurting you? I’m sorry; I won’t ever drive again if it only makes you answer me.

Tears streamed down my cheeks as I leaned my head against the back of his neck, putting my arms around him. He was warm, which was a good sign. I felt something sticky around his neck, something that wasn’t right. I lifted my head, and felt my heart stop as I saw red on his shirt. My worst fears had come true; he was hurt. He was dying, and it was entirely my fault.

I couldn’t give up though. All I had to do was get him to notice me, even if that meant dancing in front of him, waving my arms around like a lunatic. I jumped up, running around him and stopped dead in my tracks.

First relief, then panic, then nothing entered my body, in that order. Relief because he wasn’t hurt, he was alive, shaken, but alive. Then panic because he was crying, and holding a girl in his arms, covered in blood. Then nothing, because I realized what he was holding in his arms was my body.

I was dead.

“People do not die for us immediately, but remain bathed in a sort of aura of life which bears no relation to true immortality but through which they continue to occupy our thoughts in the same way as when they were alive. It is as if they were merely traveling abroad.”
Marcel Proust





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bafoonloverx2 said...
Dec. 7, 2008 at 11:35 pm
Omg amanda this was amazing, depressing but amazing lol i luv it <3333
 
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