It didn’t take long to figure out that you can’t sleep if you’re dead. Even though I knew I didn’t need any since I obviously wasn’t alive, I felt exhausted. I didn’t want to do anything besides sit here with Marc and hope he would wake up soon.

What now?

I was thankful that my mind seemed to still work, but it didn’t allow me to think.

This was something I didn’t want to see. But yet, my eyes did work. Knowing it was probably a late hour in the morning and that Marc didn’t want to wake up, I got up. Stood on my feet that I could not recognize anymore.

Nothing looked different. It was all still three-dimensional and colorful, with texture and shape. It was only me. When I looked down at myself, I had lost some of my hue. Like a picture that had been worn a little, I seemed a little more gray, a little more translucent. Almost like a aqueous shadow. It scared me.

Call me Alice in Wonderland.

I can never recall giving any thought to my mortality, or dying at all. I suppose it always seemed to be so far away that I was never worried or tried to imagine how I would pass whenever I did. It’s a sore topic, one I assume people don’t eagerly enjoy talking about at dinner every night nor when you call up an old friend. I don’t usually talk much during dinner or own a cell phone anyways. But I suppose now would be a good time to sit and think about it, even if its a bit too late. But I wouldn’t mind eating dinner or talking to one of my old friends right now instead.

The world around me seemed like it was a reflection in a pool of water, and if I was to touch it, ripples would scatter across the surface. I lifted my hand and gently waved it back and forth in the air, but there were no ripples. There was no tiny essence of the breeze of the air as it hit my hand, but I knew it had to be there. If I was breathing it in still, I was not sure. I doubted it.

The bed in the middle of the room caught my attention more than the air. I walked over to the foot of it.

It’s not everyday you get to see yourself.

A phantasmal chill shot uncomfortably through my body. It hit my feet and crawled up through my whole being, whatever it was now, and caused me to rebalance myself. I’ve seen myself plenty of times in mirrors, but this was uncountably different. It was fascinating, yet repulsive, and I couldn’t look away.

I was laying on my back, in what looked like pain. A few scratches on my face and bruises on my collarbone, but the rest of my body was mangled. Neck brace, cast on my foot, IVs and tubes hooked everywhere. I didn’t really want to inspect any closer. It was starting to become nauseating.

Glancing at some of the medical equipment, I didn’t hear the steady beeping of a heart beat that I assumed I was supposed to hear. I saw something I could discern though; the flatline of a heart monitor. My heart had stopped. I inched closer to the piece of equipment, then at my lifeless self and flinched. I’ve just witnessed my own death.

As if on cue, two nurses appeared nearby and rushed to my bedside. I quickly stepped back as they hurried around, checking my pulse and doing other things I didn’t care to watch. I stood back and watched them with apathetic eyes. They moved back and forth, doing things that were obviously in vain and would have no effect.

I was close enough to them to feel them brush past me. At one point, one of the nurses almost walked right through me.

Was I a ghost?

With a final glance back at my alive and well fiancé, and disregarding the frantic nurses who had no real use attending to my dead body, I left the room. Where I was to go now, I had no idea. But I couldn’t stay there. It was gross.

I wanted to cry so bad. My chest kept swelling with pressure in my ribs, trying to force tears out. My body refused to let them out. I was becoming increasingly frustrated with the limitations of this life after death.

Whenever I could not concentrate or sort my mind, I would take a deep breath, sit down, put my knees up against my body and close my eyes. I remember when I was little and lost in the middle of a grocery store while shopping with my mom, and I curled up with my knees to my chest and prayed with all I had. Eventually she found me, but I have acquired the habit for all my life.

And at this moment, in the middle of the hospital, this is what you could find me doing.  Curled up on the dirty floor, wondering what to do.

I seem to have recovered my hearing. The sounds of shuffling feet, rolling gurneys and people barking orders was overbearing in my ears. I wished it could all stop. It rang and pounded as I searched for a moment of silence anywhere I could find it. A couple of deep breaths helped to relieve my desire to cry. Settle down. Think.

I could see a few images in my mind of which I had trouble recalling. I saw the ground, and glass. But I quickly shoved them out of my head.

I’m dead. I looked up, back at my room, and saw nurses walking out. That I knew.

But why? How? What did I do wrong?

Is this Heaven? No clouds. No stairs. No gates. I didn’t like this Heaven. It felt too far away. It looked how  Earth was when I left it. Or, stolen from it. No one has lived to describe it, prove its existence, but I had a feeling that is was not this place. Right now, it only felt cold and unknown.

What am I going to do here? How long was I going to stay? How can I leave? Why can’t anyone help me?

I lifted my head and watched the people of this world move around, oblivious to the dead girl sitting on the ground. They didn’t see me, but I saw them. I wanted to call out to them, ask them what to do, anything. But I think my voice was nonexistent. No words could ever come out.

Now, trapped in a body that could not do anything for me but feel pain, I had no where to go. What would I do? Wander around and hope to stumble upon Heaven’s Gates and ask God to let me in? That would never happen. Not here. What am I? A ghost? That’s stupid. Ghosts aren’t real. I’m alive, but I’m not. Invisible, but remaining. Trapped in an in-between world. Wonderland. I kept thinking about it. I’m dead, I’m gone. No one will ever see me anymore.

What am I, whatever I am, wherever I am, to do?

Just sit here. And wait. That’s what I’ve decided. There’s nothing else.

Starting the longest wait that was for sure to last until eternity, I sighed. It would be nice to just stop and watch the world go on, without me. Maybe I can walk through walls and spook kids on Halloween. That’s probably all I’m good for now. I miss everyone. Marc. Uncle Henry.

Mom. Dad... They’re dead too. With me. Another blow at to my chest. Cry, damnit. One tear, please. I want to see them. If they’re ghosts like me, I have to find them, wherever they are. At least so I won’t be alone. That’s it, I have to find them.

This is so messed up. This isn’t real. What am I even saying?

Something touched me. I felt my body go rigid. It was warm though, something that seemed nice. Sort of scared, but curious, I raised my head up off my knees.

A little girl was seated, cross-legged, next to me. The first thing I noticed was the dark blue ribbon tied in her hair. Her light brown hair fell around her pale face. Her eyes matched her ribbon, if not a tiny shade lighter. She was the same cute girl from the pizza restaurant. Her hand was on my leg. It didn’t fall through me, but rested where it was so that I could feel it through my jeans.

My heart leapt. I held my breath. With a closer look, I noticed the translucency that radiated from her skin.

She was a ghost. Like me.

Despite the horrible fate of not being alive, with all the misery that a ghost could feel due to that, she grinned. I never thought under these circumstances, someone would want to smile. But, unable to help myself, I could feel myself smile too.

Someone was here with me, could see me, knew I was here. Impossible.

She slowly leaned her head on my shoulder and looked out at nothing in particular. I gulped, scared, but with a light weight lifted off my whole body. Something inside me felt a little less cold and alone. For a few seconds or a few hours, we just sat there, watching. Watching the world continue on without us as if she or I hadn’t died today. Just two people in the whole universe. I wondered how she had become like me, what happened to her. I’m glad I had company.

The girl crawled to her feet and tugged me up by my arm. I looked up at her, wondering what she wanted. She kept pulling, so I got up. She started walking down the crowded hallway, towing me behind her. Then slowed down to walk by my side.

Hannah. What’s your name?

I was a little shocked that she talked to me.

I formed my lips into what I wanted to speak. Natalie. I guess I can talk too.

There were so many questions I wanted to ask. Maybe she could help me answer them.  Maybe she could explain our strange outcome in a way that could possibly make sense. But I kept quiet.

The crash you were killed in, I was in it also.

My friend spoke softly, keeping her eyes ahead. I swallowed hard. Crash. I was in a crash. I remember that now.

Crash. Car crash? I remembered seeing the bumper of a car. She didn’t answer me.

Hannah stopped in front of a room. She gazed intently at the patient who rested inside. Her hand squeezed a little, and I looked.

Is that your mother? I asked her after a few seconds of silence.

Hannah nodded. She turned away and didn't look at the road. I took a deep breath.

I’m so sorry, Hannah. My heart sank.

She squeezed my hand again and looked up directly into my eyes.

What should we do?

I wish I knew.

The End

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