I go by Charlie This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

February 3, 2010
Jessica awoke from her coma.
          “Finally,” A voice said.
          Jessica turned her head towards the voice. “Who are you?”
          “I am your worst enemy, your only friend; I am you. But that’s neither here nor there. I go by Charlie.”
          “Well,” she smirked, “I’m just glad someone came to visit.”
          Charlie stood up. He reminded Jessica of her brother. His brown eyes, dirty blond hair, and his tan skin we’re all qualities of him.
          “So, Charlie, any idea how I got here in the first place?”
          “I came around when you were in an alleyway bleeding from the head,” He answered, picking dirt out of his fingernails. “I assumed you had gotten into a fight. What was the last thing you remember?”
          Jessica contemplated his question. What was the last thing she remembered?
          “I… I remember storming out of Adam’s house and walking down to the Starbucks for coffee.”
          “Why did your storm out of his house?”
          “I’m not quite sure. That’s what I’m trying to remember.”
          Jessica put her head on the pillow and adjusted herself into whatever relaxed position she could. Why did hospital beds have to be so uncomfortable? She eventually settled for sitting up with three pillows under her. She tucked her unwashed brown hair behind her ear and thought hard about why she ran out of Adam’s house in the first place.
          “We never fight. I mean, we fight like siblings, but it’s never to the point where one of us would walk out on the other.”
          “Hmm,” Charlie considered the possibilities, “Maybe you’re schizophrenic.” Jessica shot him an impious look. “I’m just joking.”
           “There’s no way possible for me to be schizophrenic anyway,” she claimed, “I’m far too sane.”
          Charlie shrugged his shoulders. The door creaked open and an outsized nurse came in.
          “Good Lord, you’re awake!” She exclaimed. Your mother and father are out in the family waiting room, would you like to see them?”
          Jessica thought about it. “No. Not right now. Can you tell them I need my rest or something?”
          The nurse hesitated, but agreed.
          “Don’t like your parents?” Charlie asked, hitting a nerve.
          “They’re not the best parents,” She adjusted her self with her elbows. “They kicked me out when I was fifteen.”
          “Do y’know the reason why?”
          “Ha, I wish I did,” She blinked away tears. “I went and stayed with Adam, my brother. I suppose I should have mentioned he was my brother earlier. Oh well, I guess it wasn’t important then.” Jessica started to cough and the machine she was hooked up to started to beep rapidly. The portly nurse rushed in with a syringe and injected it into Jessica’s chest. Her body relaxed and she fell into a deep sleep.






...
         
          Three hours later her eyes opened to see Charlie still sitting in his usual spot on the loveseat next to her bed.
          “Your parents came in while you were sleeping,” He began. “They were talking about how they regret not being there for you.”
          His words broke through her grogginess. “Are you serious?” She sat up in her bed.
          “Be careful, you nearly died before.” He helped her to get into a safe position.
          “Thank you,” She closed her eyes for a minute. “Is what you said about my parents true?”
          “We wish it was,” He said under his breath. Jessica didn’t catch it. “Yes, it is.” He patted her head.
          The door opened again. Jessica’s mother entered.
          “Mom…” Jessica’s eyes filled up and started to cry.
          “Oh dear. Jessica, I’m so sorry. This is my entire fault. If I hadn’t called Adam…”
          “Mom, what are you talking about? We were fighting about…” Jessica looked at her hands, “…me moving back in with you and Dad.” She looked up at her mother with fury in her eyes. “What did you do Mom?”
          Jessica’s mother had an old look to her. Her hair had gone gray since Jessica had moved out; no doubt from her and her husband’s constant bickering.
          “Jess, do you know about Adam?”
          “What about him?” Jessica spat the words out. “Did you put him in a coma too?!”
          “No Jessica.” Her mother looked down to the floor. “You did.” She turned around and left the room.
          “Wh-what?” Jessica’s head started to spin. Suddenly, the memory of the argument came back to her.
          Charlie took her hand. “Are you okay?”
          “I remember. He… wanted me to go back with them. He said he couldn’t handle me anymore. No idea why though. I was so furious with him. I told him I didn’t want to leave, that I couldn’t handle it with my parents. I remember getting a headache and then smashing him in the head with my calculus book as hard as I could. I didn’t even feel like myself.”  
          “And then what?” Charlie urged.
          “I ran out of the house to Starbucks. I took the long way through the alleyway to think and then that headache came back.” She paused, collecting her thoughts. “It was so painful; I started banging my head against the alley walls. I just wanted to die it hurt so badly. The last thing I remember was…”
          She looked up at the familiar stranger, “Why doesn’t anyone acknowledge you when they come in the room? My mom wouldn’t just tell me all of that with you here. Even if I haven’t seen her in 2 years, I still know her.” She removed her hand from his. “Who are you?”
          “You’ve asked this, and I answered. I am your worst enemy, your only friend; I am you. But that’s neither here nor there. I go by Charlie.”
          “What do you mean you’re me?” Her forehead wrinkled in frustration that she didn’t ask earlier.
          “Just that. I am you. Or part of you at least.” Charlie walked over to the cord that was just keeping her alive. “I tried to kill us by bashing that head of yours into the brick walls. But it didn’t work. But I have a chance now.” His had reached toward the plug.
          Jessica bolted up from the bed and tackled Charlie to the ground. She hit her head on the loveseat, knocking her unconscious.
          She awoke hours later.
          “Finally,” A voice said.
          Jessica turned her head towards the voice. “Who are you?”
          “I am your worst enemy, your only friend; I am you. But that’s neither here nor there. I go by Charlie.”





Join the Discussion

This article has 1 comment. Post your own now!

AbigailPalmer This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jan. 26, 2012 at 8:38 am
great story! Realistically written, I thought :) And I like how the mysteries unfold gradually, so you have to keep reading :) If you feel like it, maybe you could give me some feedback on my story? I'd really appreciate it!
 
bRealTime banner ad on the left side
Site Feedback