The first time I died, I was sixteen. When I was brought back, something came with me. It wasn't a creature or anything dark. It was something powerful, planted inside, and it exploded to life as my heart started beating again.
[This is a trilogy.]
When I was sixteen-years-old, I died.
And I don't mean in that 'I was dead for two seconds before they revived me' bullshit you see in movies, I mean that I was legally dead for several minutes.
All I know is that pain was everywhere all at once, and then I was gone, a blanket of black over my eyes.
There was nothing for what seemed like a long time. No voices, no sounds of any kind. Then, somehow, something touched me and pulled me back. There was too much noise.
It all exploded around me and I tried to speak, but something stopped me. No, not something – someone. They had put their hand on mine and squeezed my fingers.
“It'll be okay,” a voice said. “We're going to take you to the hospital.”
“Okay,” I said weakly. “I'm tired. Can I go to sleep?”
“Not yet,” they said. “Not until we get you checked out. You've got a lot of bruising and might have a fractured rib. We have to see if you have any internal bleeding. After that, you have to tell us what happened.”
“Okay,” I said again. “I'll tell you. I promise.”
I didn't open my eyes, just listened to the man's voice, and tried not to fall asleep like he asked.
Hospitals always gave me the creeps. I guess it was from all the horror movies I'd seen. You know, the ones where some group of idiot teenagers decided to sneak into one on a dare or just for fun.
This definitely wasn't my idea of fun, being hooked up to monitors and prodded with needles. The nurses that came in and out of my room had been kind, asking me if I needed anything. I didn't.
There was a knock on the door and a man walked in. He looked around twenty-five, with shaggy brown hair and green eyes. When he smiled, it was crooked.
“How are you feeling?” he asked, coming further into the room. He took a seat in the chair across from my bed.
“Tired,” I told him. Then I asked, “Who are you?”
The man looked a little embarrassed. “I'm sorry. My name is Graham Miller, and I was the man who saved your life.”
“Oh,” I muttered, moving my hair from my face. I tried to sit up, wincing as I did, and fell back against the pillows. “Well, thank you,” I said through gasps.
Graham's eyes widened in alarm and he started to stand.
“It's okay,” I said, squeezing my eyes shut. “It just feels like sharp teeth digging into my side.”
“Do you want me to get you some medication?”
“No, they gave me morphine, just waiting for it to settle in. I'll be alright.”
He sighed and smiled softly, before coming over to sit on the edge of the mattress.
“I'm Vi,” I said to him.
He nodded. “Vivian Ashmore, I know. I checked your ID when we found you. But I have to say, looking at you now, you definitely don't look sixteen.”
I smiled thinly. “I look like shit.”
“Nah, you look better than you think, you just have to get cleaned up a bit.”
I frowned. “What happened to me?”
He blinked. “You don't remember?”
I shook my head. “I did, after it happened, but it's hard to remember now. I'm sorry.”
“It's okay,” Graham said, touching my hand. “You'll figure it out.”
“Where's my doctor?” I asked. “Can't he help me?”
“He'll be back soon. I was just keeping you company. I think, in cases like this, only a type of hypnosis can make you remember.”
“Hypnosis?” I asked. “So, I have to see a shrink?”
“You sound like it would be a horrible idea if you did.” He chuckled slightly. “It's not that bad, trust me.”
“You've gone to one?” I asked.
He nodded. “For a few years, but we'll save that conversation for another time.”
Just as he stood, the doctor came in. He busied himself with me, asking questions and checking my IV. When I managed to look around him to the other side of the room, Graham was gone.