I knew I was in another alternate reality/ dream. It was obvious.
And I was in a bed, by myself. Somehow I knew that Ali was still alive. And this time, even if it was only a dream, I was determined to stop her from dying again.
“Ariel, we’re going. So get your ass up off my couch. You are getting a job and getting your own house.” Ali was standing above me. She looked like she was in her early twenties. I blinked and sat up. I wasn’t in a bed; I was on a very super comfy lounge, with a few blankets piled over me. I stood up and took a drunken step forwards towards my sister. I fell into her arms and smiled up at her. She stared at me.
“How old are we?” I asked her quietly.
“Wow, you really drank yourself out of it didn’t you?” She asked. She looked disappointed and I suddenly felt very ashamed.
“No, I’m just asking. To be honest, I don’t remember drinking anything at all last night.” I replied. Obviously I was just like mum. “Where is mum?” I asked. I felt Ali stiffen and I knew it was a question that I shouldn’t have asked.
“You know that. She’s next to dad in the plot where we used to stand and play. Where the hell have you been? Why do you always make life so difficult for Ashton and me?”
I flinched and retracted from her arms.
“What do you mean, you and Ashton?” I asked her. She raised her eyebrows and frowned. I could see that she took the question the wrong way. She didn’t know that I had no idea about Ashton and her; she just thought that I didn’t know that Ashton felt sorry for me as well.
“Just don’t. He feels sorry for you. I don’t. I’m going outside for a second.”
It was then that I realised that we were in an apartment and on one of the uppermost floors. I saw Ali reach around for something rectangular. There was also a larger square package. She took a cigarette out of it. My jaw opened wider than it had when she told me that she cut herself.
She closed the screen door as she walked out onto the balcony and lit it expertly. I followed. She turned away from me and inhaled deeply. When she turned back to me she exhaled and there was a long billow of smoke which flew from her mouth.
“Since when did you start smoking?” I asked. I was appalled. I had talked with Ali years ago and a dream world away about smoking and she was also appalled by it. We were about 15 when we talked.
“Since we were 15, Ari, you know that. Please, just go back inside and get ready.”
I followed her orders and walked inside. As soon as I did, there was a crash, a scream and a sickening crunch. I turned around in slow motion and saw that Ali wasn’t there anymore. I ran outside, looked below and there was what was left of Ali. She was a pancake. A pavement pancake, and there was nothing I could do.
I decided that if the doctors decided to put me under again, I wouldn’t try and find out about the characters that were living this life, I would just get in there and straight away try and stop my sister from dying a horrible death.
Closing my eyes, I felt like I was falling again.
And then I felt no more.
“Stop waking up, like, seriously, go to hell.” I was stung by the words of the nurse.
“Well, I am sorry that I wake up every time my sister dies in my dreams.” I spat, “Why don’t you try something else to keep me asleep, something that would make my sleep dreamless.” I could still feel the handcuffs.
“This isn’t Harry Potter, you brat.” Her orangey gold hair was parted cleanly down the middle, straightened and pulled back into a low ponytail. I attempted to stick up my finger at her but it was useless. The nurse gave me a sadistic smile and I fought against my restraints.
And suddenly the needle was in my arm again. I fought against the wave of nausea and tiredness and struggled to keep my eyes open. I knew that I looked scared because the nurse’s face was smug.
“Please, please, no, I can’t stand watching my sister die again, and again…. Please….”
My words were lost on her and I wondered what I ever did to her to be treated this way. Maybe it was the singing…