My throat burns as I awake suddenly, coughing and shivering. I try to force myself to focus, but the shivering is making me mad. The feeling is surreal and I try in vain to stop. Through these first few tumultuous minutes my mind starts clearing up, reminding me of what I had done and leaving me confused as to why I am still here.
Through the shivering of my body, I try to look around. I see flowers and cards and balloons and teddy bears everywhere. I see that the curtains are drawn and the night is clearly visible outside. The stars glint like naive children, believing that they will always stay the same.
The room is dark, but I can still see that it is a deep, rich purple. Static on the television screen on the wall resonates in the otherwise silent room. Where am I? The last thing I remember is letting go, so what had happened between then and now? And how can I still be alive?
I force myself to sit up. Oddly enough, the shivers start to dissipate as I get out of my bed. Though my mind tells me that I can't do this, that I will simply fall over if I stand up, my body reacts in a positive way. I feel lighter, freer, and the shivers completely disappear.
Somewhere outside my room, people are walking and chatting amongst themselves. A woman laughs in the room next door and the sound of her t.v. leaks in through the thin walls. I wonder where my family is. If they were the ones who brought me here.
I flinch at the thought of them punishing me over what I've done. The typical questions asking me what I was thinking. I can hear my mom's ghostly voice echo in my mind, "Don't you know you have so much promise? Why didn't I see this? Why did you have to do such a thing?" Of course, like always, she would bring it back to her and worry about the reputation of our family, or her parenting skills.
Then, to make matters worse, I can almost see her comparing me to my happy, carefree sister Leah. If the Lucas' family had anything to be proud of, it was my twin sister Leah Beverly Lucas. Not my brother James Gate Lucas, or me, the first born, Victoria Melanie Lucas. Leah always received that exclusive A+ in the notably hardest class in our high school, she was team captain of several sports teams (basketball, rugby, and volleyball), and she had an easy relationship with her best friends and boyfriend. She is the perfect daughter that my parents could ever hope for.
I fall back on the bed, seeing her curly blonde hair loosely tied below her shoulders. She was the only twin to get green eyes, since James and I both got blue instead, and when we were younger she would stare and stare at me with the curiosity of a younger sister looking up to the eldest. But in reality, I am only older than her by a couple of minutes. I wonder how she reacted to my... accident.
Quickly standing up again, I walk over to the door. I'm about to open it when it slowly opens of its own accord. I jump back, remembering how this hospital, the only one in Toronto that my parents took me to even if we live forty-five minutes away in Burlington, is rumoured to be haunted. Almost yelping, I take a few steps back in surprise when I see that it's mom. Her face is tear-streaked and her hair is messily done up in a bun. I've never seen her look so unprofessional.
"Baby?" her voice is quiet as she walks into the room. She grabs the t.v. remote from a coffee table by the door and turns off the t.v.. The silence is instantaneous.
"I'm okay mom," I whisper, trying to hold back my tears.
"I'm so sorry," she says, walking further into the room.
Looking down I remember how she used to sing to me when I was sick as a kid and couldn't sleep. Her hands had been so soft and her eyes so worried. I wonder where we took a wrong turn in our relationship.
"No mom, I'm sorry," I close my eyes and remember all those nights of just her and me, not the grades or expectations, just us. "I shouldn't have done it, it was stupid. Everything was getting out of hand and--"
"I will be here with you everyday, baby," mom is saying and I open my eyes and see that she has walked right past me. "I won't ask you why honey, I know we put pressure on you and your brother and sister, but I never thought that... oh god."
The sound of her crying surprises me and I turn back towards the bed that I had just awaken from. My eyes widen as I see my mom holding a blond girl's hand. Mom's face is on the bed. but her sobs are loud enough to seep up through the sheets. Walking a bit closer, my sight jumps into clear focus.
The girl is pretty and her long, blonde hair is in a disarray around her head on a pillow and there's a massive bandage on her forehead. Several casts and bandages cover her arms and legs, and her face is in an everlasting slumber. I take in a shaky breath, realizing what I am seeing.
I'm on that bed sleeping. I'm the comatose girl who has machines attached to her, occasionally beeping, a sign of a faint life.