The night comes and goes and I can't seem to move from beside the wall. I feel sympathy for the girl lying in the bed as the rising sun illuminates her silhouette. I wonder how much of my life was the way it was because of my blindness and unwillingness to understand others?
I slam my fist against the floor and the solidness of it surprises me. How odd that the one thing that I don't care about supporting me holds me steadily in place. I loosen my hand from a fist so I can press it to the floor. The coolness is like electric shocks that drive up through my arm and into my chest, jolting me awake. I inhale deeply and put my other hand on the floor. The sensation is addicting, its grip tightens around my curiosity like a cat and a toy mouse.
Then I feel it. A current, strong enough to move the floor tiles under me. I look up and see that no one else is in the room. Weird. I stand up carefully and peek through the door of the room. There's no one outside and it is unnervingly quiet.
"It's okay," I instruct myself, pulling my head through the door and back into the room. "It's okay."
Sitting back down, I fold my legs under me--letting the cool floor engulf me once more. I spread my fingers as far apart as they can go before pressing my hands back down on the floor, like a child exploring a Terra Incognita. Slowly, so slowly that my heartbeat slows and my eyelids droop hypnotically, I lean down until my ear connects with the chilliness of the floor.
I can feel the ripples on my cheek as I strain to hear what seems to be hidden in the floor.
With a sharp exhale, I prepare myself. The room is darkening and all the sounds coming from my medical machines are fading out. Soon I find myself splayed out on the floor, enthralled by the realization that this hospital is more than it appears to be.
I let my eyes close and I can feel the world falling away from under me, but somehow it keeps its hold on me. I clutch at the floor under my hands but feel something wet instead. A sudden heat washes over me and little pricks, like dulled needles, beg at my skin.
Then I hear something differently. The melodic, almost practised, crashing of waves against a sea shore and my lids go red as they always do when I close my eyes against the sun. I finally let go of... wet sand? And open my eyes.
The hospital room is long gone and I am now on the beach. The prickly feeling I'd gotten on my body was from the sand and the heat was from the overhead sun. This is where we went when we were ten, I know because of the heart shaped log that sits so closely to the shoreline. This is Miami, Florida, by the beach house that my parents bought when my sister, brother, and I were only five.
This is the day of my brother's accident. The day that our family changed.
"Watch," instructed the familiar voice, steering me in the direction of the happy family that I hadn't seen for years.