Chapter twelve – Confessions
My head was pounding.
I groaned and tried to move around. I still had arms and legs… though they felt like a truck had run over them. A soft feeling below me indicated that I was probably lying on a bed.
I opened my eyes a little and tried to see where I was. I saw a blue wall… a bright painting, and something that looked like chairs on the sides of the room. It was very silent, although I thought I could hear faint murmuring from somewhere.
This… wasn’t the graveyard.
I blinked a few times and the room I was in became a little clearer. I really was lying on a bed, apparently, inside what appeared to be a hospital room. Maybe. There was a vase with pretty sunflowers on the coffee table near the wall. I suspected them to be made of plastic. From what I’d experienced, plants at hospitals and clinics tended to be artificial.
But back to the point… how in the world did I end up here?
‘Miss Adams! You’re awake!’
Footsteps sounded from the right side of the room and a person dressed in a pink nurse outfit came into view. The voice sounded female. I slowly lifted my head and looked the person in the eyes.
Blurry as my vision still was, I could see that she was a pretty person, a few years older than me. She had dark hair and beautiful eyes, of a cyan color that I’d never seen before on a person. A number of moles had settled on her fair-skinned face. I instantly liked this person and focused on her lips, trying to make out what she was saying.
‘My name is Julia. I’m the nurse of this hospital wing. How are you feeling, miss Adams?’
A question. My feelings. She was asking me about how I felt. I felt… dizzy. And numb. When I tried to remember what had happened, my head started pounding again and the murmuring became louder.
‘How did I get… here?’
‘A young girl with brown hair and yellow eyes brought you in. You and another boy- Ethan was his name, I believe.’
‘E…than?’ I whispered. Ethan was here? Was he all right? Had he been hurt? I would never forgive myself if he’d gotten hurt!
‘He’s fine,’ nurse Julia said, reading my thoughts from my facial expression. ‘He was passed out when that girl brought him in, but he woke up again a few minutes later.’ She pointed at a brown gift box on the edge of the table next to my bed.
‘Those are from him. He’s been sitting at your bedside quite a lot in the last few days.’
Oh… He was all right. Thank goodness he was.
I pushed the blankets away firmly and got up, shoving my legs to the edge of the bed. Julia the nurse was by my bedside right away and put her hand on my shoulder, stopping me from getting out of bed.
‘Don’t do that, you’ve just woken up.’
‘I feel… I feel fine,’ I protested.
‘What is the man on the painting in front of you holding?’
I looked over at the painting and tried my best to focus my eyesight.
‘A… a violin?’
‘Wrong. It’s a saxophone. You’re not going anywhere, young lady,’ Julia preached. ‘Not until we figure out what’s wrong with you. We did some blood tests when you came in, and at least you weren’t drunk or on drugs. But there’s no mistake that you were ice cold and white as a sheet when that girl brought you in. Honestly, at first we thought that you were dead.’
I snapped out of my memory and returned to the still fuzzy reality. Julia was looking down on me with a worried expression on her face.
‘You’re not all right at all, are you?’
There was no point in denying that now. ‘No.’
‘Would you tell me what happened?’
The corners of her mouth went further down and I felt guilty about telling her off right away. ‘I’m sorry,’ I muttered softly.
‘It’s all right. I’ll let your father know you’re awake and check on the other patients. If you need anything, just press the button next to your bedside, okay?’
I stayed in bed for at least another five minutes, until my initial dizziness had disappeared and I could finally see the room I was in clearly again. Only then did I allow myself to think about what the nurse had said.
She’d said… she’d said that Nile had brought both of us in several days ago. My dad knew I was in the hospital. And Ethan had visited me multiple times, bringing chocolate with him… that means he really had to be all right.
But… what happened before I was brought here? I pushed the blanket off of my legs and slowly shoved towards the edge of the bed. The air was cold and smelled of that typical hospital smell, but it did wake me up enough to clear my mind and think. I had entered the graveyard, I’d gone to that place where the portal was…
I’d finally found my mother! Yes- I wanted to rescue her, and then… and then…
And then I’d lost her to the realm of the dead.
It wasn’t until the following evening that I found out just what had happened. The whole of Sunset Valley was shaken up because of the event. At 12:30 am, just after Ethan and I’d gone down those stairs, the entire basement network underneath the mausoleum had exploded. Everything had come crashing down after that, leaving a giant hole in the cemetery.
At the same time, four FBI-agents on duty had disappeared. Police investigation teams suspected them having been blasted away by the explosion, but there were no traces of their bodies between the rubble at all. It was as if they’d never even been there.
I knew better than to tell the authorities of my presence at the crime scene this time around. Nothing good had come out of that so far. If anything, they’d drag me back to the facility again, and this time around there’d be no getting out. That was for sure.
Nurse Julia was obviously studying my reaction when she told me about the explosion, and I knew she was convinced that I had something to do with it. And yet she kept quiet to her superiors. I even suspected her of delaying the hospital’s report that I’d been taken in, and I was grateful for that. Eventually they would find out what the agents had been doing there, and that would trace them straight back to me. I wasn’t nearly ready to be questioned again.
She also gave me sleeping medicine, and that turned into the first dreamless night I ever had. But for some reason, it felt… wrong. Threatening, like that feeling you get when you think there’s something in the room with you. Even with the sleeping pills I kept drifting in and out of sleep, and the side effects of that thing were that I could swear I felt my legs move even though my mind hadn’t commanded them to. What on earth was in those pills?
When I finally woke up, I thought I was going crazy. Something big and red and almost transparent was floating just above me, so close we almost touched. I let out a loud scream and pulled the blankets up to my chin.
The very next second, just before nurse Julia came running in, the vision disappeared. Just like that. Poof.
‘Micah! Are you all right?’
Seriously, what was it with people calling me by my first name as soon as they met me lately? Though Julia I’d forgive, since I liked her. I quickly lied down on the bed normally again and tried to look calm and collected.
‘Nothing. Sorry, I just… saw something weird because of the sleeping pills.’
‘You saw something? You mean you had a nightmare?’ she asked.
‘No, I saw it just now. But I’m sure it was just a side-effect or something.’
That upset her. I could see it in the way her stance shifted slightly, and her eyes turned from worried to cautious.
‘The brand of medicine I’ve given you… doesn’t cause hallucinations.’
Oh, boy. She thought I saw crazy.
‘That’s… not good, right?’ I asked slowly.
‘No. I’d like for you to do some tests in the morning, to see what caused them. Is that all right?’
‘Sure, I guess.’
‘Good. Then I will come back in a few hours.’
She left again, casting several glances over her shoulder as she walked through the door. I suspected those pills were still working as I was overcome by another wave of fatique, and decided to close my eyes for a bit longer. I crawled under the blankets and closed my eyes, soon drifting off into slumber.
My bed felt… awfully hard. Not comfortable at all. I moved around a bit to get into a cozier position, when I noticed I wasn’t lying down at all. I was sitting. In a chair. The chair in the corner of the hospital room, to be exact.
Had I been… sleepwalking?
That sounded like Ethan. He must have heard I regained consciousness. I looked up and around me to see where the shout was coming from.
There he was. He came dashing in through the hospital doors like there would be no tomorrow if he didn’t run at full speed. He briefly stopped, scanned the room, saw me sitting in the chair in the furthest corner and stormed towards me right away.
‘MICAH! YOU’RE AWAKE! Your dad called me, but I can’t believe you’re finally awake!’
I slowly pushed myself up from the chair and prepared to greet him back, but before the words had even formed themselves in my mouth, he grabbed me and pulled me against him. His arms wrapped themselves around my shoulders and I automatically hugged him back, surprised but happy with his display of affection.
‘I’m fine, Ethan,’ I said, after a few seconds. He was still holding me and it was taking way too long for a normal hug. ‘Really, I’m okay. You can let me go now.’
‘You wouldn’t wake up for days,’ he whispered, his voice overflowing with emotion. ‘Your face was so pale- I thought you were going to die…’
‘I’m sorry I worried you,’ I whispered, softly stroking his back.
‘Can I… can I hold you for just a bit longer? I need to… to build up courage…’
He finally let me go and took a tiny step backwards. Ethan’s eyes were shining, a shine I only saw in them when he thought I wasn’t looking.
‘When you were in there… and later, at the hospital, I realized something, Micah. Or maybe I’ve known it for… for a few years now. But I was scared to say it. But this last week- I thought you were going to die, and that…’ He gulped, looking away from me and clenching his fists.
‘That would be t-the most horrible thing ever, because then you’d be gone a-and I’d never have had the chance to say it to you…’
‘What is it? What do you need to say?’ I asked, curiously.
He was struggling with his words. I stepped closer and tried to look him in the eyes, when all of a sudden he grabbed my arm and pulled me towards him.
The moment his lips touched mine was something I’d never experienced before. Ethan was tender, only gently brushing against my skin, giving a small, soft kiss and then patiently waiting, with bright red blushes on his cheeks.
‘I love you.’
I was paralyzed with shock for the first three seconds, and then my heart shoved my mind aside and took over. I pressed myself against Ethan and answered his kiss, my arms sliding around him just as his had done with me a few moments ago. Kissing him was the most amazing thing I’d ever experienced. For a short time, it was just the two of us. Everything else faded into the background as Ethan stroked my shoulders and placed his delicate fingers at the base of my neck.
When we finally parted, he was smiling tenderly.
‘You have no idea how long I’ve been wanting to do that.’
I smiled back and put my hand on his cheek. He felt so warm, like a soft fire heating me all the way up to my heart.
‘Forget about trying to bring back your mother.’
I abruptly pulled my hand back and stepped out of his sweet embrace.
‘I know why you’re doing this. I’ve known you from when we were kids, Micah. You’re hurting inside, and so is your family, but what you’re trying to do isn’t going to make anything better. You know that, right?’
‘It will,’ I said, denying what he claimed. ‘I can bring her back, you’ve helped me figure out how. I had everything figured out, Ethan.’
I did have everything figured out. Or at least, I thought I did.
‘I know what you’re thinking,’ Ethan said, moving closer to me again. ‘But it didn’t work. You have to promise me you’ll move on, Micah. Okay?’
I now completely let go of him and took a few steps back. I couldn’t believe what he was saying. Weren’t we in this together? He promised to help me, didn’t he? So why was he talking like this now?
‘I… I can’t do that, Ethan…’
‘Why not?’ he asked softly. ‘This is too dangerous for you. I know that the police call it an accident because the mausoleum was so old, but we both know it happened because of something we did.
Your mother has passed away a long time ago, Micah. Why can’t you just accept that? If you keep this up, you’re not the only one who’s going to get hurt…’
‘…you’re not the only one who is going to get hurt.’
‘That line… you’ve been talking to Nile?’ I said, shocked with the discovery. ‘She knows something about this, and yet she’s trying to stop me from bringing mum back! And now you’re picking her side? What are you thinking, Ethan?’
‘No, what are yóú thinking?’ he reflected my attack. ‘Yeah, I talked with her. So what? She saved us both from being crushed to death. She told me you were throwing your life away, and seeing how you were passed out and looking ready to cross over at that moment, I believe her!’
He won’t help you. He’s trying to get in your way. Don’t listen to him.
‘I can’t believe I’m hearing this,’ I said, giving in to the voice of my emotions. ‘You promised to help me. I never said it would be easy. Are you such a wimp that you’d back out the second something goes wrong?’
‘I never said-‘
‘You have no idea what I’m going through, do you? What I’ve been missing out on since I was little! I’m not going to lose it again now that I’m so close, Ethan!’
‘WILL YOU LISTEN TO YOURSELF?!’ he suddenly shouted, eyes filling with anger. ‘You’re completely obsessed! You’re not going to make it out alive next time! I love you, and I don’t want you doing that to yourself!’
‘Then help me,’ I said, with a voice devoid of emotion. By now, I knew I wasn’t sounding like myself anymore, but I ignored it.
‘No! You need to stop!’
‘I can’t do that.’
Ethan looked like he was about to explode. His fists turned white from him clutching them so tightly, and the blush on his cheeks was no longer from the kiss but from pure anger. I prepared myself for the chance that he’d actually punch me. But a second later he exhaled and all the emotion left with that breath, making him slink visibly.
‘You’re not going to listen to me no matter what I say, are you? You’ve always been like that.’
I watched him silently.
‘I guess there’s just nothing I can say, is there? Fine. It’s… it’s your choice.’
‘You can throw your life away if you want. But… I’m not going to stick around and watch you do it. I care too much about you for that. So… if you won’t stop what you’re doing even for me… we’re through, Micah. I’m done.’
I stood frozen as he turned around and walked away to the exit. His footsteps sounded heavy on the hospital floor. Within seconds he was at the other side of the room and opened the door.
Don’t call him back.
My best friend. And my first love.
We were over.
‘I love you, too.’
A soft knock on the hospital room door.
‘Micah? Are you still asleep?’
Nurse Julia slowly opened the door, gesturing for the person behind her to wait outside.
‘Micah, your dad has arrived. Do you want to see-‘
GUYS! 0.o This is a completely random question but… if you send foods from Europe to let’s say, South-Africa, will it arrive there? 0.o