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Waiting

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At first, everything is black. But it isn’t the same kind of blackness you get when you just close your eyes, it is the deep hollow black that makes you feel lost, that makes you feel that every direction you turn to there won’t ever be a light. Then in my minds eye, the memory comes. The horrible vision of that night. And there is the car, the road, and us. Me and Rob. Me and my boyfriend, Rob. But everything is blurry. As the thoughts run through my head, all I can see is blurry images and horrible noises. The rushing in my head is unbearable. I think I am drunk. No, I know I am drink. There are two blurry shapes of what look like vodka bottles beside me on my seat in the car. I shouldn’t be here. I shouldn’t be drunk. First of all, because I’m only fifteen. Second of all, this car belongs to someone else.

“You okay? You look a pleaky! Pleaky? PEAky! Ha!”

Rob is wasted. Really wasted. I think I am too. I’m not too sure how much I’ve had to drink. All I know is that Rob should not be driving. He’s definitely had more than me.

“I’m fine!” I say in a slur of laughter. But I’m not fine. I feel sick.

The car is going really fast and the rain is coming down in sheets. I can’t really see anything out of the windows. But then again I can’t really see anything properly at all.

The last thing I remember of that night was the moment Rob’s head dropped. It lay limp and hanging on from his neck. My eyes went wide as I realised what was happening and I screamed. His head shot up and he put his foot on the wrong pedal, flooring the accelerator by accident. I shut my eyes and screamed even louder.

When I’ve finished screaming, everything is black. I can’t feel my body anymore and I can’t open my eyes. He’d crashed the car. I know I’m not dead because I can still hear. I can hear sirens and shouting and water hitting flames. My body is completely paralysed. I can’t see or speak, only listen. I’m in a hospital now. I know this because of the sympathetic nurses that come in and chat to me as if I’m about to answer them. I know I’m in a hospital because of my mother. She comes in to see me every day. She reminds me where I am every time she’s here. It’s sickening to listen to her crying. To listen to her weeping over my lifeless body.

Now, I have nothing to do but wait. Wait for the time when I can open my eyes and dry my mother’s tears. Wait for the very second I can find out what happened to Rob. Find out if he got to keep his life, or if his idiotic behaviour killed him in the end. I don’t really care though. As long as I never have to see him again. It is his fault I am in here. He gave me that vodka. He stole that car… but it is partly my fault too, I agreed to come with him.

I have no idea how long I’ve been here. I have no idea how old I am. I wish I could talk to the people who come in. I miss my friends. I wonder how much I’ve missed out on. I wonder who is with who now. I wonder why I can’t wake up.

“Hey Georgie!” I hear Annie’s voice as she walks in to the room. I wonder what she looks like now. I remember she had strawberry-blonde hair and pretty green eyes – but that’s it. Annie has always been my best friend; I hope she hasn’t found a new one. “Oh my God! Oh my God! I am going out with the most gorgeous boy in the world EVER! He’s called Pete-“ hold on, what happened to Alex? Oh yeah, she dumped him. But what happened to Oliver? Wasn’t Oliver the last boyfriend she’d had after Alex? Or was it Finn? Anyway I’ll listen to the new one, Pete. “Pete is amazing! He’s really caring, considerate; ah he’s just lovely in general! You’d definitely approve of him Gee. Oh he said the cutest thing the other day! We were in the park and…” Okay, I’m bored now. Will someone shut her up now please?

Annie stayed for about an hour rambling on about this Pete guy. This is a bit of a pain when you can’t move your hands to cover your ears up. She was concerned at first, her constant panicking at the state of my health, but now that I’ve been here for a while, she slipped back into her usual gossipy self.

I wonder how Simon is, my little brother. I miss him too. I wonder how old he is now. I bet he’s grown. I wonder how tall I am for that matter. I wonder why I can’t actually wake up. I don’t want to wait any longer… Why can’t I just die? Why can’t I breathe on my own? What’s with this machine, doing the breathing for me? Oh there are so many questions I want answered, but I don’t even have the ability to ask them.

It’s a long time until I hear any of the nurses come in to check up on me. I think it is Julie. I like Julie – she understands things. She understands that I won’t answer her. The other nurses tend to speak to me as though asking me questions will wake me up. I can’t even feel my body for God’s sake! As if I’m going to just sit up and start having a very nice conversation!
I’ve learnt a lot about Julie. She has a boyfriend named Jamie and they live together now just down the road from the hospital.

I know it sounds stupid, but I think I may have forgotten what I used to look like… my mind is so blank now. I can’t remember what my family and friends exactly look like. It’s really sad too, because I miss them so much. I hope I will wake up soon. I don’t know how much more of this I can take.

All of a sudden, I hear music. It sounds like a flute. Not like someone has put a CD on for background music, its loud and real and here. The tune is beautiful, a sweet melody that wafts into my ears and dances around in my head, creating bright pictures behind my closed eyes. The pictures are amazing. There are pretty orange and red swirls entering my view from one side, and amazing blues and greens coming from the other. The moving clouds collide in the centre of my head, creating an explosion of colour; it glides down in multi-coloured raindrops. It was so beautiful, but then it was gone, as quickly as it had appeared. What I am left with was a little less pleasant. A horrible shooting pain goes all the way through my body, burning and searing every nerve and making every particle in my blood fizz. But at the same time this was also a wonderful feeling - I can feel my body again. The pain spreads from my feet all the way to my head, again making colours appear in my brain. After a few minutes of the pain numbing into hyper-sensitive feeling, I can feel my legs stretched out on a crisp cotton sheet. I can feel my hands lying by my sides on the mattress. My head is sore but I can feel the pillows beneath my head, the feathers stuffed in so tightly that the pillows are stiff and hard. My hair is tickling the skin around my elbows, making me want to shake it away and put it behind my ears.

The flute is still playing that harmonious, hypnotic tune. I want to sit up and watch whoever it is playing. But then, why don’t I? I feel my eyelids fluttering. Suddenly that deep, horrible blackness isn’t there anymore, as my eyelids move my eyes are coming back to life. I focus my vision and try to open my eyes again. The light hurts when they come open. Everything is blurry shapes placed around the room. As the shapes become furniture and flowers and windows and doors, I see the person sitting in the corner playing the flute. He looks around 16, floppy black hair and light olive skin. His eyes are shut and he looks perfectly lost in a world all of his own. I don’t think he’s noticed I’m awake yet. His face looks familiar, like he is etched into my memory somewhere but I’m finding him hard to place.

I cough to get his attention. He looks up and stops playing, moving his lips away from the mouthpiece to smile at me. As I rub my eyes he has got up and sat in the chair next to my bed.

“Hi Georgie. Its James, remember me? Or maybe not but you’ll remember Ellen, my little sister?” James. My memory clicks as if he were a puzzle piece being fitted into a jigsaw of my life. I remember James, Ellen and I had been best friends when we were younger but they’d had to move away. We’d stayed friends but it was hard not to drift apart. James was a year older than Ellen so effectively a year older than me.

“I know you.” My own voice sounds so alien to me now. “You play beautifully.” I said pointedly looking down at the flute in his lap. “But how did you know it would wake me up?”

“I didn’t. I had no idea that playing my flute would be able to wake you. But I’m so glad it did.”

He smiles at me and places his hand on mine. I return the smile, feeling free and liberated from my prison of nothingness. There are questions, and they’re all fighting for release from my dry, sore lips – but they could wait, it could all wait. I slide further down into my bed and James lifts his hand from mine and begins to play again. He plays, and I listen, letting the days of normality, or at leats some sort of normality, start again.




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