The first thing she noticed, before she opened her eyes, before she was even really awake was the dull soreness of her arm. It hurt, but nothing like the sharp needles of before. This was a quiet, soft pain that was almost unnoticeable but unbearable at the same time. Like an itch, the more she thought about it the worse it got.
The second thing she noticed, before she opened her eyes, was the soft breathing of someone that was not her. Wherever she was, she was not alone.
As she dwelled on these two facts, the events of the night slowly began to seep back to her, coming sluggishly like remembering a dream. And then the realization hit her like a sledgehammer. The thought was so unreal it felt like part of something imagined, something fictional but it spread throughout her like a cancer, blooming and spasming. She went cold, shivering. Her eyes tightened shut and she shook, from her core to her skin. It was powerful, a mix of physical and emotional, and it picked her up and slammed her into the ground. She shattered into a million pieces, each one a dream of a memory she would never have. A soft cry erupted from her, something born in pain.
She heard a voice, then another, and another. They sounded worried and urgent, but she could not make out the words through the cloud that had just descended upon her. Then she heard two words, two words she could make out clearly and perfectly even though no one was saying them. He's gone. These words reverberated about her frame, adding to the shivering and shaking. He's gone. These words hurt more then anything she had ever been through. With each repetition of them a new wave of pain exploded into her. He's gone. She spasmed, violently, knocking as something in the real, physical world. Something she was barely part of. He's gone. She felt something push against her arm. And then it was all gone, lost to dreams and sleep.
She woke again later, although she did not now how much later. Sara opened her eyes for the first time since the night before. It was very bright in the room, but she kept them open instead of shying away. The pain from before was still very real, but it was a little more numb, a little less present. She was able to push it back a little, for now. It felt so wrong to push away, knowing it was bound to rise again, harsher and stronger, but she did anyway. The situation on hand needed to be addressed, issues aside.
The room was a small regulation hospital room. Two cots, no separator. A corner bathroom, IVs, a sink, and a medical headboard for each bed. Then Sara realized there was someone staring at her from the other cot. The eyes staring at her were very familiar, and Sara recognized something in them. She saw fearlessness and energy, spirit and power. The person staring at her with those eyes saw things very simply, and was able to deal with things others had problems with with ease. She saw eyes that she saw every morning when she looked in the mirror. She saw herself.