All Nonfiction Bullying Books Academic Author Interviews Celebrity interviews College Articles College Essays Educator of the Year Heroes Interviews Memoir Personal Experience Sports Travel & CultureAll Opinions Bullying Current Events / Politics Discrimination Drugs / Alcohol / Smoking Entertainment / Celebrities Environment Love / Relationships Movies / Music / TV Pop Culture / Trends School / College Social Issues / Civics Spirituality / Religion Sports / Hobbies
- Summer Guide
- College Guide
- Author Interviews
- Celebrity interviews
- College Articles
- College Essays
- Educator of the Year
- Personal Experience
- Travel & Culture
- Current Events / Politics
- Drugs / Alcohol / Smoking
- Entertainment / Celebrities
- Love / Relationships
- Movies / Music / TV
- Pop Culture / Trends
- School / College
- Social Issues / Civics
- Spirituality / Religion
- Sports / Hobbies
- Community Service
- Letters to the Editor
- Pride & Prejudice
- What Matters
Aubree Grey scanned the kitchen walls, trying to find something to distract her before she slapped her mother across the face. Her eyes locked on the pink elephant coloring page that hung on the side of the fridge. She started to think of her two-year-old brother, soothing her temper.
“Aubree, are you listening to me?” The nagging sound of her mother’s voice made Aubree cringe. She slowly balled up her fists, digging her nails into her palms, trying to calm down. It was no use.
“Bree, answer your mother,” her step-father, Robert, ordered.
“What do you want me to say?” Aubree screamed. “That I won’t see my boyfriend anymore? Well, that’s not going to happen so just let it go!” Tears silently fell down her mother’s face making Aubree cringe even more. She knew she would never hear the last of this. She could see the hour long lecture forming in her mother’s brain.
“Aubree, just listen to us,” her mother pleaded.
“Give me one good reason why I shouldn’t see him anymore.” Aubree sat her balled fists on the table in front of her. Her mother’s face grew pale and scared.
“One, he is way too old. Two, he’s a bad influence on you, I mean, look how you are acting,” Robert answered.
“I asked Mom, not you,” Aubree mumbled. “And how is he a bad influence? Just tell me.”
“The way he acts, Honey. He is rebellious, he doesn’t listen, he gets into fights, he’s probably been in jail a few times and he doesn’t care about anybody but himself,” her mother managed to say, counting the reasons on her hand. Aubree scoffed.
“He does not just care about himself, he does listen, and he only fights to protect me!”
“Aubree, watch your tone with your mother,” Robert ordered.
“Whatever,” Aubree scoffed. “You just hate him because you hate his family! It’s like you’re trying to re-create Romeo and Juliet or something!”
“That isn’t true-” her mother started to say. Aubree got up from the table, shoved her chair over and ran up the stairs. She stomped down the long hall, into her room and flopped down on her bed.
Sobbing into her pillow, her phone began vibrating against her nightstand. She sat up, wiped her tears and picked it up. She smiled when she read the name. Preston McAdam. Just the person she was wanting to talk to.
“Hello?” she managed to say between sobs.
“What’s wrong?” he asked, sympathy filling his voice.
“Nothing. Can you come get me? I need to get out this house.”
“Sure. Want me to come now?”
“Yeah. Just park down the street so my mom and Robert don’t hear your car.”
“Ok. I’ll be there in a few.” Aubree pressed the end button and placed her phone back onto the nightstand.
She wiped her tears once more and shoved herself up off the bed. She silently walked to her closet and rummaged around, looking for an old duffel bag. When she found what she was looking for, she began shoving clothes inside. She packed a month’s worth, straining to zip it around them. She heard the screaming of her mother’s voice through the air vent. She was complaining about something to Robert, like always. His voice was just below a whisper so she couldn’t hear but it must have been something important. There was a light tap on the window making Aubree jump.
She smiled when she saw the shadowed face of her long-time boyfriend. She drug the duffel bag to the window and quickly unhatched it, a warm breeze busting through around them. She handed him the large duffel bag before climbing through the window herself.
The wind had picked up, blowing them all over the roof, as Aubree neared the edge. Preston grabbed her hand trying to steady her as she began to wobble. A gust of wind ripped through the air, Aubree toppled over, and slid to a stop when her sneaker reached the gutter.
“Bree!” Preston whisper-screamed. “Are you ok?” Aubree flashed him a thumbs up, hoping it could be seen in the night.
“You might want to grab onto something while you slide down,” she informed him. His eyes scanned the rooftop, searching for something to hold on to. No luck. Instead, he cautiously slid down beside Aubree, stopping at the gutter.
“What do we do from here?” he asked. Aubree chucked the duffel bag off the roof then searched the ground for something soft to jump onto. She didn’t see anything in sight.
“There’s nothing!” Aubree yelled over the wind, “We might just need to take our chances. Just aim for something soft like the uncut grass!”
“Aubree, that’s crazy! We could die.”
“It’s better than staying here with my parents! At least we’ll be together!” Aubree wrapped him in a hug before inching her legs over the gutter.
“Aubree, I’m not going to let you die by jumping off your roof.”
“I’ll be careful. I’ve seen it done on TV a million times,” Aubree laughed.
“There’s a difference! That’s TV-” Before Preston could stop her, Aubree slipped over the roof’s edge, grabbing onto the gutter, only her fingertips could be seen. She silently lowered her feet to the porch edge, smiling up at Preston. She laughed when he shook hi head.
When her toes reached the porch, the let go of the gutter and looked back up, watching as Preston did the same thing. When he was safe, Aubree grabbed his hand and the duffel bag and turned to run.
“Aubree! Come back!” she faintly heard her mother yell from the porch. She had a flashlight in her hand and was walking towards the woods. Robert darted off the porch after her as they headed into the woods. Aubree and Preston took several turns, making sure they lost her step-father.
The shining, yellow metal of the car shone in the moonlight, making it easy to find through the trees. They sprinted towards it, not stopping until they reached the corvette.
“We made it,” Aubree huffed, making it seem as if they were running from a mass murderer.
Preston opened the passenger door, seeming like a gentleman, the smell of leather seeping out, gagging Aubree. She slowly sat, the smell growing smaller. She kicked trash around with her shoe, trying to make room.
“Sorry. I didn’t have time to clean it out before I got here.”
“It’s fine,” Aubree giggled.
“So, where to now?” Preston asked.
“I don’t know. Somewhere far from here.”
“Maybe we can stay with my sister for a while. She’s the only one that accepts us being together. I believe she said we are destined and will be together forever,” Preston laughed, imitating his sister Michelle
“Well, I do too.” Aubree smiled at him and allowed him to wrap his arm around her. She leaned into his shoulder. She noticed he seemed hesitant like something was wrong.
“Are you ok?” she asked.
“Yeah. Maybe we should just get out of here.” Aubree nodded and leaned her head on the window. She watched the trees blur by as Preston began driving down the street. Small raindrops began forming on the window. Aubree was thankful that they had gotten to the car before the rain came.
Aubree slowly turned the radio up, her favorite song blaring out the speakers. She smiled when Preston turned towards her, flashing her a warm smile also. She loved the feeling of being free. No parents to tell her what to do, just Preston and herself.
Aubree turned away from Preston in time to see the headlights of a speeding car heading towards them. Horror filled her face. She turned towards Preston, not noticing the fear that controlled him.
“Preston!” she screamed. The honking of the other car bellowed out, echoing inside the small car. Aubree shook him as hard as could, snapping him back into reality. He jerked the wheel, his timing too late.
Aubree grabbed his hand, intertwined there fingers and said a little prayer hoping to live. The sound of crushing metal filled her ears. A sharp pain ran up her spine, stopping at the top of her head. She knew she hit it on something she just wasn’t sure what. She never let go of Preston’s hand. She looked over at him, blood covering his face, and smiled before drifting off into unconsciousness.
The sound of beeping filled Aubree’s ears. Sharp pains shot through her body. She felt tingles running up her arm. She slowly opened her eyes, her mother and Robert coming into view. Aubree moaned, making her mother jump out of the chair.
“Bree, you’re awake! Thank God you’re ok! We’re going to find out who that idiot drunk driver that wrecked into you was and get him thrown in jail!”” Her mother smothered her with hugs and kisses causing the pain to grow unbearable.
“Mom,” she mumbled. “Mom!”
“Sorry, Honey. I was just so worried.” Her mother backed away and returned to the chair she had been occupying.
“Give her some space, Mary. She needs it.” Robert patted his wife’s shoulder.
Aubree scanned the unfamiliar hospital room. The walls were plain and a boring shade of yellow. The closet was stuffed with her clothes and the bathroom door was open. Machines sat on each side of her, beeping obnoxiously in her ear. Two chairs had been scooted to her bedside, her mom and step-dad occupying them.
She had needles stuck in her arm, several bruises from where they had missed, and scratches running up and down her whole body. Her arm was in a cast and she could barely open one of her eyes. She faintly remembered what had happened to her. All she remembered was seeing a flash of headlights and then opening her eyes for a second to hear the commotion of some EMS volunteers. And she remembered seeing Preston on a stretcher beside her. Preston! Had he been hurt? Or worse, was he dead?
“Mom,” Aubree said, her voice hoarse and scratchy. “Where’s Preston?”
“I’m not sure. We weren’t really worried about him but more worried about you.” Her mother shifted her eyes back down to the book she was reading.
“Robert, have you talked to his parents or anything?” Aubree asked
“Why would I talk to them inconsiderate, stuck-up people?” Robert scoffed.
“They aren’t like that,” Aubree whined.
“Yes they are. They are just like that son of theirs. Don’t care about anybody but themselves, snobby, they try to act like they rule the world!” Robert said. Aubree rolled her eyes at the rant he was going off on.
“Robert, Preston is nothing like that! He saved me from the-”
“Saved you?” he scoffed. “He helped you run away!” Aubree’s mother rose from the chair and walked over, wrapping her arm around Robert.
“Would both of you just drop it? Aubree, honey, you need to get some rest so you can come home. Your brother misses you.”
“I won’t rest until I find something out about Preston. I want to know if he’s ok!” Aubree demanded, struggling to raise her voice above a whisper.
“We will find something out while you rest,” her mother caved. Aubree struggled to keep her heart rate down but the machine began to beep uncontrollably. She looked at the whiteboard hanging on the wall in front of her. It said it was Thursday. She had ran away on a Friday.
“How long have I been here?”
“Almost a week. You were in a coma. We were worried you wouldn’t come out of it,” her mother informed her. Has Preston been in here for that long? Maybe he had in the same condition she was in and was awake now. She was dying to see him.
“Now rest,” Robert ordered. At that moment, a cheery-looking nurse came in.
“Looks like Sleeping Beauty has finally risen from her deep sleep. Now, did the potion ware off or did your Prince Charming come and save you?” she joked. A small tear fell down Aubree’s cheek. Her Prince Charming was no where to be found.
“I was only joking. I always use that line for my patients. It’s my favorite movie.” The nurse had a guilty look plastered on her face.
“I know. It’s just, I don’t know where my boyfriend is. He was also in the wreck and I’m afraid he might be-” Aubree couldn’t say the word.
“Well, what’s his name? We aren’t really supposed to give out information about patients here to other patients but you don’t look that harmful.” The nurse flashed her a warm smile.
“We don’t want to put you through that trouble. She needs to rest anyway. Now, if you would just check what you need to and get out, that would be great,” her mother said before the nurse could answer. The nurse quietly walked to her bedside and began to check her blood pressure.
“I’ll check and then tell you later,” the nurse whispered to Aubree. Aubree smiled, wiping the tears from her eyes.
“Thank you,” Aubree mouthed.
When the nurse left, Aubree decided to try and get some sleep, The pain restricted her from sleeping much. Every time she would move a sharp pain would shoot up her spine or down her arm or around her head. She just wished they would give her some strong medicine, morphine, anything.
……She dreamed that she was with Preston. They were living with Michelle, happy as could be. They were both ok. You could barely tell that they had been in a wreck.
“Are you guys hungry?” Michelle asked, heading for the kitchen. “We can eat some popcorn or something during the movie.”
“No. I’m not,” Aubree answered. She glanced at Preston, whom was sitting beside her, his arm wrapped around her as if to protect her.
“Not right now, Sis. Maybe we can order pizza or something later.” The smell of burnt popcorn filled her nose. She laughed knowing that Michelle, of course, would be eating since she had a bottomless stomach. Aubree always envied how much the skinny girl could eat before gaining a pound. Aubree laughed. Michelle appeared back in the doorway, a bowl full of popcorn filling her hands. She plopped down beside them, a smile on her face.
“What?” Aubree asked?
“You two are just so cute!” Michelle cooed. Aubree’s cheeks grew red. “And the way Preston acts. He treats you like a fine piece of china. Never letting you fall to burst into a million pieces. He’s the Edward to your Bella. He acts like Edward anyway”
A large pound sounded on the door. She recognized Robert and her mothers’ voice along with Preston’s parents. They were arguing outside the door, yelling that they needed Aubree and Preston. Michelle slowly rose from her seat, Aubree’s heart pounding as Michelle neared the door. The door burst open and the parents’ stomped through the door. Robert grabbed Aubree while Preston’s parents grabbed him. Aubree screamed and cried, wanting to be reunited with her boyfriend……..
“Aubree!” her mother screamed, smoothing her hair. Sweat covered Aubree’s forehead. She sobbed because of the dream but she also sobbed because the dream wasn’t real. She just wanted to know if Preston was ok.
“Mary, let’s just go down to the cafeteria and let her get back to sleep.” Robert led her out the door and Aubree curled up in a ball in the bed.
Remembering what the nurse had said, she began watching the door. She watched for hours, waiting for the nurse to come in with some word of Preston. Nothing. She now knew how Juliet felt while she waited for word from Romeo from the nurse. She also knew that story ended in death. She began growing more and more anxious when finally the nurse entered, a sad look on her face.
“What is it?” Aubree demanded.
“What?” Aubree demanded. She felt sick to her stomach, her heart pounding out of her chest.
“Sick as in-”
“He’s in a coma. There’s a chance he will be ok, though,” the nurse reassured her.
“What’s the chances?”
“50/50.” Aubree could tell she was lying.
“How long will he have if he’s not ok?”
“He’s on life support right now. The parents requested to take him off if his charts don’t change in the next month or so. There’s chances he will live though but if he doesn’t then he may die in a week or two. Remember, there’s a fifty percent chance he will live though. I’m so sorry, sweetie. If you need anyone to talk to, I’ll be there. I’m nurse Mandy.”
“It’s ok. I’ll be fine,” Aubree lied. She appreciated the way Mandy broke the news to her lightly but it still hurt.
“Ok.” Mandy left, without another word. Aubree felt alone. She felt as if she had just found out she was in the position Preston was in, rather than awake. As if she only had a few weeks to live.
“What am I going to do without you?” Aubree sobbed. Possibly in two weeks or less, she would be alone. Her parents would get their lifelong wish and her own life would be meaningless. She needed Preston. He was her Romeo, her Prince Charming, her everything. And now he was being ripped away from her more and more with every second. Did God not want them to be together? Had he sided with their families?
She wanted to see him. Scratch that, needed to see him. And she would if it took everything she had. But how? She was bound to the hospital bed like a dog chained to a tree. She couldn’t move like she was paralyzed from the neck down. Furious, she picked up the phone and dialed a number, hoping for an answer. After several rings, there was finally an answer. It was just the person she needed to speak with.
“Michelle, I need you to come help me get out of this hospital so I can see Preston before I do something very stupid,” Aubree threatened.
“I’ll be right there.” Aubree hung up.
There was a light tap on the door before an older, female clone of Preston walked through the door. Aubree broke out into a series of sobs. Michelle rushed to her bedside and wrapped her in a warm hug, showering her with comfort. Michelle was the only one that accepted Preston and herself being together. She knew they were destined to be together forever. Aubree knew Michelle had probably changed her mind, along with her.
“I know, it’s hard,” Michelle sobbed.
“I just need to see him again before……..you know.”
“I’ll do what I can. I know I’m going to regret this, and possibly get thrown in jail, but I’ll help.”
Aubree slowly raised her arm that held the IV and Michelle cautiously pulled it out, her eyes never leaving the door. Aubree slipped her arm out of the sling and raised to a sitting position, the pain growing unbearable. Michelle helped her out of bed. Michelle stuck her head out the door, looked left and right, then helped Aubree hobble out the door.
They cautiously walked down the empty hallway, trying to get to the elevator. Aubree periodically stopped trying to soothe the pain. It never helped. A cough echoed off the hospital walls followed by heavy footsteps. Aubree’s heart began pounding a million miles a second. Michelle grabbed her hand, fear filling her eyes.
“I know this is going to hurt but we need to run.” Aubree nodded in agreement. She started in a slow jog before pushing herself as far as she could go, sobbing from the pain.
When they reached the elevator, Michelle pushed the fourth floor button furiously, waiting for the door to close. Aubree was set at ease when they made it in the elevator without anybody seeing them.
The fourth floor was also empty. Aubree heaved a sigh of relief as Michelle led her to Preston’s room. The room was dark and fast beeping echoed out the door. Aubree was nervous about what she may see. She hesitated at the door before stepping in.
The curtain was roping the door from the bed when they walked in. The beeping was slow and steady and the room was dark. Aubree pulled back the curtain, gasping at the horror before her.
Cuts ran up and down his arms, matching hers. His eyes were swollen and lifeless. His skin was paler than normal and bruised. His arm was wrapped in a cast along with his right foot, propped up in a hanging sling.
“He must have tried to save me, taking all of the impact. I feel so horrible. If I wouldn’t have been such a brat and stayed at home he would still be ok.” Aubree sobbed. She walked to his bedside. She wrapped him in a hug, sobbing into his bruised shoulder. Michelle wrapped her arm around Aubree’s shoulder.
“I love you,” she whispered to Preston. His finger lightly twitched. Aubree was in shock. She couldn’t believe it.
“Preston, if you can hear me, move your finger,” Aubree commanded. There was nothing. Michelle’s eyes were wide with anticipation.
“He only moved when I told him I loved him.”
“Try again,” Michelle ordered.
“Preston, I love you.” His finger twitched again. Aubree gasped. “He can hear me!” Steps sounded outside the door. A nurse walked in, shock covering her face seeing Aubree in there.
“Aren’t you-” she stopped. The nurse gasped when she saw Preston’s finger move.
“We were just leaving,” Michelle said. Aubree never let go of Preston’s arm. “I know you don’t want to, but we need to get you back downstairs.” Aubree obeyed. As they walked out the door nurses were running in and out of his room, screaming that they needed to change his chart or that he might be ok. Aubree mouthed a thank you toward the sky and smiled, knowing there was hope.