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I wasn’t alive. I heard voices around me, I saw the lights blinking, I tasted the blood from my lip, but I wasn’t alive then.
My body was so numb that I couldn’t move it. I couldn’t blink, I couldn’t breathe. It was like God had come down and snatched my soul.
It was the last things I took in before I died, the mumbles of strangers, the touch of their hands on my arm. The sight of our car banged up and towed into the bushes.
It was the mumbles that I didn’t understand, inconsistent, random mumbling for the most part. What had happened? What did I do? Was she okay?
“I don’t think she’s going to make it”
It came from a man, maybe six foot tall, black hair, dressed in blue. His voice was deep and rich, a slight bit of worry in it. That was the last thing I heard before I died.
I didn’t understand- if I had died why was I still here? Why was I sitting cold on the pavement, gauze being wrapped around my arm, bright red lights spotlighting me like this was some sort of play?
It felt like it. It felt like a movie, some sort of action movie that would win me an Oscar for my performance. It felt like of all people why did this happen to me? To us?
It seemed like an odd thought to think at the time, but it was like deciding to wear your favorite earrings verses the ones you don’t like as much. You wear your favorites, and you end up losing one.
That was this, only blown up ten times bigger.
“How is she?” it was a woman’s voice asking the person who was putting the gauze on my arm. It came out to my ears as “howisshe?”
“Okay” the person-the woman-tending to me answered.
I was not okay. I couldn’t close my eyes, not for a second. I was dead; I had died suddenly without warning. I was gone, that’s why I couldn’t cry, and that’s why I couldn’t comprehend.
“We lost her”
The man was talking again, but this time I heard the words perfectly. Was I being killed a second time?
They lost her? Madeline was laying right there. Was this some sort of joke to them? They were doctors, they were supposed to be tending to us, helping us, so why weren’t they? It was simply a job to them, wasn’t it? Half of them probably had their spouse or their kids or their boyfriend or girlfriend on their brains, not my life.
Not my little sister’s life.
Their blue scrubs were just like the white and green plaid dress we have to wear to school. The masks across their mouths were like our matching knee socks. It seemed no different than school work; they seemed to be putting the same amount of effort in as I would have if I had gotten a C on an essay. They were doing C work, not A plus work; if they were working up to their potential, they could have saved two lives.
My thoughts were random and sporadic- is that what happens to your brain when you die? Do your thoughts become irrelevant and seem lesser than the situation at hand?
Then it happened. I closed my eyes. Life flooded back into my body, as if it had returned from a vacation, as if it had needed to get away for the past hour. When I opened them, I started to breathe again, rapidly this time. The world looked all too clear now, like when you put on your friend’s glasses and are shocked by the strength of them.
There were tons of doctors, pulling Madeline up onto a stretcher, carrying her into a too white ambulance. I noticed my parents talking to an officer, my mother’s face glistening with tears as she clung to my father.
My stomach scrunched into a ball, my chest suddenly felt like it had been smashed hard into, and my head began to pound like a basketball hitting pavement. I felt another hand being slipped into mine, and I looked up in my father’s blue eyes, his mouth just a firm line.
“They think Madeline’s on her way out” he told me, bending down to touch my hair. “They don’t think she’ll last much longer.”
I knew it. I knew it from the black haired doctor that had killed me.
“Ten year olds shouldn’t ride in the front seat” he said, his voice cracking. I had never seen my father cry. “We expected you two home from Madeline’s dance class two hours ago and when you didn’t show up…” he choked on a sob. “We knew something was wrong.” He covered his face with his hands. “You’re mother’s ok. She’s with Madeline” he whispered, mainly to himself.
“Daddy…” was that my voice? It came out of my throat, but it didn’t sound like me. “What happened?”
“An unknown drunk driver smashed into you.” He told me, tightening his grip. He helped me to my feet as a man helped me into another waiting ambulance. My father climbed in with me, small tears dripping down. I tried to comprehend as the siren began blaring. We had been hit? We had been hit, and I was driving? That made me in charge of the car. That made me in charge of my little sister…”
Tears began to drip down, like a leaky faucet. Did I hurt Madeline like that?
“It’s not your fault, Olivia” my father spoke up, as if reading my thoughts. “It could of…it could of happened to anyone.”
But it didn’t. It happened to me.
My sister died in the ER four hours later. A drunk driver had killed my sister. It was something you would see in a movie, a movie shown in schools though, a movie to prevent alcohol. It wasn’t something that you would ever think could actually happen- and happen to you.