Who would you trust if you didn’t know anybody, but they all knew you?
I heard the voices but couldn't place them in the darkness.
Your prom dress is in! You'll look fab when your bruises disappear.
Cooper feels really bad, you know? Wake up so he can stop moping.
What were you thinking?
Come on, Sweetie. Open your eyes for me.
You got what you deserved. You get that, right?
I hate being here. Seriously? You couldn't have waited for my side of the story? Of all the people to be stuck with…
I couldn't move, couldn't answer any of them. I tried but everything felt so strange like I was at the bottom of a pool after diving from the board. Voices were muffled and came in and out. I didn't know how long I'd been in the darkness, but I knew I wanted out.
One day, the dark water started swirling around me. Like coming up after a dive, the current roared in my ears. Rising to the surface, I opened my eyes and gasped for air that didn't immediately come.
Everything was blurry. I had no idea where I was. All I knew was there was something shoved down my throat keeping me from breathing, and I fought to jerk it out. How in the world could I breathe better beneath the surface than I could with my head above water?
"Hey, calm down. Stop pulling it," a distorted male voice echoed in my ears. I felt pressure on my arms as if something was holding me down. Terrified that this thing was going to hurt me, I fought harder.
"Stop," the voice ordered more firmly. "Quit! Ugh… I'll go get the doctor."
Nothing made sense after that. People ran in with distorted eyes telling me not to freak out. They didn't look human with their twisted faces and larger than average foreheads. I'd been abducted by aliens?
"We're going to get this out of you, okay?" someone said, a man by the sound of his deep, raspy voice, while standing over me and holding the tube coming from my throat. It was uncomfortable to say the least, and I gagged as it slid out of my mouth. Thankfully once it was gone, I could breathe again. The weight lifted from my chest and my lungs filled with the air I put into them.
As I calmed down a bit, the people began taking more of a normal shape. I noticed they didn't have gigantic heads, and they were, in fact, dressed like medical personnel. I scanned the room and assumed from the dull walls, pain chart hanging across from me, and the wide door to my right that I was in the hospital, which made sense with the all the beeping and tubes.
What I didn't know at the moment was how I got there.
"And she just woke up?" A man with a graying beard and blue scrubs asked the young guy in black standing next to him.
"Yeah, just like that. Scared me to death — relatively speaking of course."
I remembered that voice. I'd heard it in the darkness. Not the scary voice that was too whispered to recognize. The unhappy one.
"Okay, you stay here and sit with her while I call her parents."
"Sit with her? Me? Why? I have other patients to see."
"You go to school with her, right?"
"Well, yeah, but…"
"Then the others can wait." The man in blue smacked the other guy on the back. "Don't look so sad. Maybe you'll even make a friend." I heard laughter in the man's voice as he left the room, leaving me there with this guy I didn't know at all though he told the doctor he knew me.
"Do you need anything? Anything at all," a female nurse, I guess it was a nurse, asked from my right side. I followed the sound of her voice until I saw her face then kept going until I saw a tall pole with a line coming out of it. Presumably my IV.
What in the world was I doing in the hospital?
I shook my head as an answer because my throat felt raw from the miserable tube that had been so rudely shoved down in it. The nurse lady patted me on the shoulder — they liked to pat here — and told the other guy she'd be back in a few minutes and to try to get me talking. What if I didn't want to talk? Did I want to talk? Talking seemed painful, and what in the world would I talk about to a stranger?
She handed me the nurse call button and left. The chaos had died down, and it was just me and the strange guy.
He seemed irritated and a little nervous as he pulled one of the little blue, uncomfortable-looking hospital chairs closer to my bed, but not close enough to touch which I appreciated. I clung to the nurse call button as tightly as I could just in case he started freaking me out.
As he sat there like a lump, I studied him. He seemed familiar and I felt like I should know him from somewhere, but I didn't. He had jet, more than likely unnaturally, black hair, cut short around his ears and longer and floppier on top. It was fixed with some sort of styling gel or maybe it just laid like that on its own. How he styled his hair wasn't exactly important in the scheme of things.
He had big beautiful blue eyes, the kind of blue that were so light you couldn't look away if you tried. The blue popped thanks to a trace amount of black liner around his eyes. It wasn't an ungodly amount: no raccoon eyes by any means. But it was enough make them stand out. I really liked it. It suited him. His nose was on the bigger side and had a rounder appearance, but he definitely wasn't unattractive. On the side of his neck, I saw something that looked like a hickey. Seemed a bit inappropriate to wear a hickey to a hospital.
By the way his plump lips fell in a straight, stern line I could tell he definitely wasn't happy. I didn't know if it was me personally he wasn't happy with or the situation in general. It couldn't have been me. I didn't know him.
"Welcome back to the land of the living," he said finally with a hint of agitation in his voice. Was he always so bitter? "We were — they were worried about you."
What was I supposed to say to that? Um… "Thanks." My voice came out harsh and not feminine at all. It made me a bit embarrassed that this not so bad-looking guy had to hear me sound like a thirty year smoker, but it wasn't like I could help it. I didn't put the stupid tube down my own throat.
"I guess I should say that you gave everyone quite a scare." He leaned his elbows on his knees and stared at me. It wasn't a happy stare.
"Sorry about that." And I was. I just wished I knew who everyone was or why I scared them.
His eyes squinted, and I felt my face flush. Why was he looking at me like that? He took a l-o-n-g deep breath before speaking again. When he did, he didn't sound as angry. "Are you okay?"
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