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The Other Side
When I woke up I wasn’t dead, and I wondered why.
The air was smoke, and my lungs struggled to find the tiny pockets of air hidden throughout it. They throbbed with every shallow breath. Seat. I was sitting in a seat. I thought it was soft, probably comfortable at any other time. Not now. It was the only thing in the universe, the only thing I was capable of processing. Empty echoes of pain pulsed all over my body; left shoulder, toes, right shin, left knee cap, nose, lips, teeth, ribs. It pulsed and I knew it was there, and I thought it should hurt, but it didn’t. It was like I was looking through a glass window. It was so nice there, and I wanted to stay on this other side, protected by the sturdy glass.
I wanted to stay on the other side.
But I didn’t, and hours passed. Maybe. It all felt the same to me. The ringing in my ears turned out to be sirens, faint but there all the same. I was slipping back through the glass, and it was so cold. I wanted to stay on the other side.
Strong arms pulled me out. The glass was gone; it had disappeared from behind me. Vanished, like it was never even there. Betrayal poured out from the same spots that were just echoes before. They weren’t echoes anymore. Someone yelled. My throat hurt. The strong arms let go of me. Voices yelled and the sirens became louder, a chorus mixed in with the sound of grinding metal, chopping wood, tears splashing on the wet grass.
Metal screeched in my ear again, and the strong arms came back. My body was floating, floating in all different directions. The earth was upside down and rightside up and diagonal. Another soft thing settled itself behind me and I waited and I waited and it didn’t go away.
I wondered how long it would take for the glass to come back.
“She’s lucky to be alive, that’s for sure.”
I opened my eyes, and the brightness blinded me. Immediately I shut them again, the imprint of the whiteness hovered under my eyelids until I dared to peek through the velvet curtain again. Even though I didn’t recognize what I saw through small slits I dared to open, the pungent lemon smell that pierced my nose brought recognition to my surroundings. I was in a hospital. And I was lucky to be alive, that’s for sure.
Of course I was in the hospital. The last thing I remembered was being flung into a tree. We swerved, and the tree caught the passengers side. The side I happened to be on. Of course I was in a hospital.
But why was I alive?
“Hally, you were in an accident. Just rest, don’t try to talk. Your parents, both of your parents, will be here soon.” He adjusted something above me, something that was too far away to see. “They’ll be here soon, just sleep.”
I slept in a fictional room. I dreampt of shattering glass.