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The bang was sudden. I almost thought I'd imagined it. But then, almost as suddenly, I'm on the ground. At first I feel nothing, just the pressure on my chest that had knocked me from my feet. I feel almost numb. I reach towards my chest, trying to feel for what’s wrong. There's a warm, liquid coating my clothes and immediately know its blood. I’m petrified. There's so much blood. My hand is covered in crimson. The sight is nauseating. I can’t breathe. Then there is pain in my chest, twisting, searing pain that seems to be ripping my heart away from my body. It's worse than anything I've ever experienced. My body feels as if it's one big fit of spasms, but I'm not sure if I'm really moving or not. I turn on my side and vomit up all the food in my stomach. The taste is awful, and the smell is putrid. I feel so weak, so vulnerable.
I'm not too focused on what's going on around me, but I can here screams. There's a lot of talking and a lot staring. Doors are slamming and porch lights are being turned on. And then they're there beside me, my family. They half drag, half carry me into our house. I feel bad. I'm pretty light, but I can guess that some are weakened by the sight my blood.
They hoist me over the porch, but knock my head on one of the steps in the process, hard enough for blood to start trickling down my forehead.
My vision is blurring. All I can see is a strange mix of colors. My mind is spinning; I can't think straight. I close my eyes. “Think Ansley, think” I tell myself.
I can hear someone's voice above all the noise. "Open your eyes, Ansley! Stay with us! Oh God, please, Ansley, hold on!"
"Shea" I try to say, but it comes out slurred. My eyes feel too heavy to lift, but I try hard to respond to the voice. I get them half open, but that's all I can manage.
They lay me down on my bed. The pain is dulling, slowly fading away. Everything is quiet now. I can feel everyone's eyes on me. But there isn't anything I can say, anything I can do. I'm fading away, slowly fading away...
And then she's gone.
I watch her from the corner of her tiny room as her delicate fingers relax and her arms fall beside her on the bed. Her eyes fluttered closed. She looks beautiful, I think so at least. Her skin is soft and pale and her hair, brown and long. I picture her eyes. So big, so deep, so blue, beautiful. But now she lay in front of me, her beautiful eyes closed.
I glance around at everyone looking for reactions. There aren't many people, just a couple neighbors, my mother and father, my brother, and Bay. Bay's been one of my best friend's for years, but she's never been as important to me as Ansley. I've known Ansley since we were in kindergarden. I was five and she was six. Ansley is practically a sister to me. I love her like a sister.
Everyone's crying, everyone but me. I don't think I could cry. I feel so hollow. I feel as if this can't happen, not to Ansley. It's like a dream, where I know I'll wake up and things will be better. But I won't wake up. I'm not asleep.
Bay turns to me. She's been silently crying for a while now, and her face is red with mascara running down her cheeks. She raises her eye brawls at me, confused. I know what she is thinking. I want to tell her that Ansley is alive, that this isn't real, that I know it isn't. It can't be. Just minutes ago we were walking down the street, laughing. Bay, Ansley, and I had been walking down my street, just talking. And now, Ansley's bleeding out on her bed. I walk closer to her and I kneel next to her. My lip is quivering now. I take her hand into mine. It's cold. My parents watch me with sad looks, but they don't say anything. I run my free hand through her hair. It's so soft. Almost like nothing happened.
Bay comes over and kneels next to me. I put my head on her shoulder, still holding Ansley's hand. We sit there, staring at the limp girl.
I here sirens in the background, knowing they are for Ansley. Bay starts to move away and I loosen my grip on Ansley's hand and let it slip from my own, falling beside her. I step backwards, a tear slides down my cheek.
Everything grows dark. I cannot feel anything or hear anything. I'm suspended in darkness completely detached from the world. The only sense that remains is a small sensation that tingles through my hand. It's comforting in such a mysterious and scary place. I don't know where I am or why, but I know I'm not apart the life I used to know. I'm somewhere else now.
The sensation in my hand weakens, then stops completely, abandoning me in this desolate place, leaving me without even the faint, reassuring flutter of a heartbeat.