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Living in Darkness
That’s all there was here. I have been here for too long, and I don’t know when I’m going to be able to leave. The woman who put me here, in this darkness, had told us something. A way to get out. But with every passing second, I couldn’t keep track of the days here, I forgot something else about the moment that I was put in this world of darkness. I was going insane here, nothing in this taciturn place, but darkness, and sometimes her voice. That was all I could hear at times, all I could feel, all I wanted.
The girl I had been in love with when I hadn’t been trapped in this world. Her name was never in my mind, barely could I remember it. But she was beautiful, short red hair and the brightest , most poignant green eyes in the world. When was the last time I had actually seen her face? The last time I had felt her hand in mine? I couldn’t remember. But her ethereal voice, it was there. Always there. Never leaving me, just reminding me of how much she loved me. Never coming closer, always at the same distance, but I lived for it. It was what I held onto when I felt like just fading into the dark.
Her voice was what expunged the part of the darkness that made me go mad. I held on, each moment, to that voice, and when it was silent, I could feel myself growing more and more insane. But I knew that somehow it was going to be her who saved me from this oblivion.
It had been a year and two months since he had been conscious. One year and two months since he had held me. One year and two months since I had kissed him. One year and two months, of sitting here in this archaic hospital chair across from his bed, where he slept. His blonde hair was a bit longer right now, since the nurses haven’t cut it in almost two months. I missed his short hair. But I missed those dark brown eyes the most. I hadn’t seen them in so long, and I was beginning to go insane.
I talk to him every second that I possibly can. The doctors told us that he would wake up eventually, that there was no way he would die. But that was last year, when we all still had hope. Now… well now all hope was fading. The doctors had said he would wake up in six months at the most. It had been double that, and now we were working on tripling it.
The doctors had told us after the accident that it would be best to talk to him, that he would be able to hear us. They had all looked to me when the doctors had said it. His family all looked to me, knowing how much we had been in love, knowing that if talking to him would wake him up, then it would most certainly be my voice to do it. So I had agreed.
I told them I would talk to him. And when I did the heart monitor echoed in my ears a jump of his heart. I had hope then. Now… Well, now my voice did nothing for him. Now talking to him, wasn’t for him, it was for me. Because there was no way I could go a day, an hour even, without talking to him. He was the only one who made me feel verbose now a days.
“One year and two months, Will. That’s how long it’s been since the accident. Thought I’d let you know in case you didn’t.” I said quietly, putting aside the math work I was doing. School had been horrible after the accident. Finally my parents let me begin independent studies (which even now had become perfunctory for me), not knowing that I would spend every single hour of the day in his hospital room. They thought I was going through a stage, but I knew I wasn’t. I knew that this was more than just a stage. I loved him, and if it took my whole entire life, I would wake him up one day.
“Will, I know I ask this every day, but if you can hear me, do something. Anything. Just wiggle one finger. Please.”
I watched him, but nothing happened. I sighed, leaning my head back against the wall. The images of that night flooded my mind, taking me back like a ghost to the calamity that people said was implausible.
It had been raining, and the dark clouds kept everything in darkness. The only light we could see were the headlights of his grey truck, giving us the little sight of the road in front of us. His hand was wrapped around my own, and silence filled the truck. We were happy, and no talk was needed. The rain fell harder than I had ever seen it fall. Then I loved the rain, now I hated it. It only reminded me of that night.
We had rounded the corner when something popped into the view of the headlights. Will slammed onto his breaks and the car skidded to a stop. Adrenaline was already pumping through my veins when I looked to Will. His eyes were somewhere else though. I followed his gaze to see that he was staring at a cloaked figure just standing there, right in front of the car, right in the middle of the road.
“Will?” I asked, I could feel my voice shaking with unknown fear.
He shook his head. “I don’t know.” He began for the door. “Stay in the car.”
He climbed out, pulling his hood over his head. I opened the car door after him, not listening, not wanting him to get hurt. I came around the hood just as he did and then found his hand. I wrapped it around my own, and looked ahead to the cloaked figure.
“I told you to stay in the car.” He said, not knowing what else to say as we stared at the figure.
“I didn’t want to.” I argued in a whisper. The figure moved suddenly, in one quick motion it’s hood was off and Will and I both stepped back in shock. The cloaked figure was a woman, half of her a young beautiful girl, with long golden curls and blue eyes, the other half a old woman with white hair and a completely black eye.
“Hello.” She croaked out while a smile appeared on her face. “I’m here to collect something.”
“My wallet and the keys are in the car. Take both of them.” Will said, thinking she wanted to steal from us. She only widened her smiled.
“No, no. I have come to collect a soul.” She said stepping closer to us. “You see, I look for souls of those in love. I come across one like yours only once in a good hundred years.”
“W-what are you talking about?” I mustered, though I knew that Will would want me to just be quiet.
“I once was in love too, but he died.” She looked down for a moment, then back up to us. “I swore that I would look for those in love, like how we had been. I would lock away the boy’s soul, somewhere easy to get to, and somewhere that would stand out to the girl. Most are too stupid to figure it out, so it works for me. But if they do find where his soul is locked away, then I bless them with long happy lives together.”
“Why are you telling us this? Just let us go.” I cried as darkness began to fall around us.
The woman smiled. “I’m locking him away. It’s up to you to save him now.” She said raising her hand. I looked to Will, his hand had fallen from my own, and his eyes held a glaze over them. “He’ll be in something that you hold close to your heart. Open it and his soul will be back in his body. Until then, I hope this isn’t too hard on you. Actually… I do.” Ominous, amorphous, darkness fell all around me and I lost consciousness.
When I woke up I was in the car, flipped upside down, the air smelling toxic around us, and screaming and flashes of light all around. An hour later I was in the hospital telling everyone what I remembered from the accident. I was fine, not a scratch on me, but Will, he was in a coma. A coma that had now lasted twice as long as it was supposed to.
“Anna.” A voice echoed through my mind. I opened my eyes and looked up and across the room. His nurse was standing at the door. She had helped assuage the pain for me after the accident.
“Yeah?” I asked. But I already knew what she was going to say.
“Visiting hours are up. You’re going to have to leave.”
“Ten more minutes?” I begged.
She sighed, looking from my eyes over to Will’s limp and almost lifeless body. “Okay. Ten more minutes. But that’s it.”
“Okay. I’ll be gone by then.” I assured, beginning to pack up my things. She left, and I shoved my book into my bag, then zipped it up. I stood and went to his bed, with my bag at my side. But something was poking me. I opened my bag again and looked inside, at the bottom of it sat a little red jewelry box. My breath caught as I saw it.
I gently pulled it out of my bag, and tried to remember how it had gotten there. I couldn’t. I opened it carefully and then looked inside to find the small heart-shaped locket that Will had given me the night of the accident. I hadn’t worn it since, but looking at it now, tears began to swell in my eyes.
I removed it from its box and let it swing from my fingers, carefully observing it. A small clasp on the top was what unlocked it and small hinges were attached on the bottom of both sides. Wavy lines that paralleled each other met in the middle shaping a small heart with two figures in the center of it.
I had promised him that I would wear it every day when he had given it to me. It had been the most beautiful thing I had ever received, and it was one of the most important things in the world on that night. But then we had crashed, and everything had gone downhill. No one believed me when I told them about the woman we had seen. The doctors said that I must have bumped my head when we flipped upside down, but when I kept saying what had happened people began to think I was crazy.
“Anna?” His voice was dry and very heavy. I opened my mouth in shock, before pretty much tackling him.
“You’re awake! Oh my god, you’re awake!” I screamed, wrapping my arms around him. I backed away and looked at him. “But how?”
“I told you before.” A voice croaked from the corner of the room. Will and I both turned to see the woman from that night standing before us. “You opened the locket and set him free. That’s what I told you to do.”
I shook my head. “They said I was crazy.”
“They still will, but you have him now to second your story.” She said and I looked back to Will. He watched me with so much love in his eyes; I held his gaze unable to look away. “Because of how much love you have for each other you’ll both be happy now. You’ll live long lives, and you’ll be together. Just how it should be.”
“Anna, it’s been-“ The nurse’s voice fell from behind them. “He’s awake.” She said in shock. I turned to say something, but she was already gone down the hallway to tell the other nurses and the doctor.
Will fingered the locket still in my hand, then silently slipped it into his own. “You haven’t worn it.” He stated before bringing me down onto the bed beside him. He moved the hair from my neck. “You’re hair got longer since last year.” He said while carefully clasping the locket’s chain together. I turned around and looked at him as the locket fell into place around my neck. He smiled. “Perfect.”
“You’re okay. I can’t believe you’re okay.” I whispered as I looked into his eyes.
“I knew I would be.” He said then kissed me before the doctors came in. We told them what had happened and they only debased our theory into being crazy, but we both knew otherwise, so we just let them say that it was miracle, and in a way I guess it was.