I sighed and sat up. There was no sign of Ali. There was no sign of anything being anything different than the real world.
“Ali?” I called out hesitantly. There was no answer. I remembered what I thought in my other dream about how I wasn’t going to think, I was just going to do. There was no time. I fished around in my pocket for my phone. There it was; golden coloured and touch screened. I brought a hand to my hair and gasped; so much for not thinking.
I looked around for a mirror but I couldn’t see one. Then I realised that I was in a house that I had no recollection of ever being before.
“Hey, Ariel, are you ready to go…. Oh….” I was a man’s voice; I knew that much and it was vaguely familiar. The guy who walked into my waking space didn’t look a day older than he did the last time I saw him. He was fiddling with a cufflink and his hair was messed up. “Hey, are you ok?” He came and sat next to me. I started sobbing.
“Dad,” I sobbed into his arms. He nodded and stared at me like I was crazy.
“Whats up, is someone cyber bullying you?” He asked, looking down at my golden phone. “Your hair looks good that way, darling.”
I shook my head hard and looked at him. I hugged my father so tightly that he started choking and pushing me away. I looked down at my hair which was around my shoulders and gasped again. From what I could see, it was blonde. And it wasn’t dip dyed- the whole thing was dyed blonde. I shut my eyes tightly and opened them again, when I looked down, my hair was still blonde.
Dad stood up and took my hand.
“They’ll be here any moment.” He whispered. He made sure I was ok before closing the door to my room and leaving. I sat alone and finally spotted a mirror.
To my surprise, the blonde actually suited me. It wasn’t actually much of a surprise, seeing as though I had worn a wig about a year earlier to a costume party of Carrie’s. I frowned. I still didn’t know where Ali was. And if I was going to stop her from dying a horrible death, then I had to know where she was soon.
An hour later, I still didn’t know where Ali was. Every time I turned the subject toward Ali, dad turned the subject back towards something else. We had gone ahead and eaten lunch and had some popcorn and I thought about how nice it would be if I could live this life with dad without having to worry about Ali.
Although I knew that I would wake up in a couple of hours, handcuffed to a hospital bed.
“Dad, I have to ask you something-
I was cut off and I thought it was very rude.
“I already told you that it’s a surprise, although it shouldn’t have taken them this long to get here…” He looked down at his watch and fiddled with his cuff links again.
I didn’t know why he was wearing a suit, and he wouldn’t tell me. And I didn’t know why I was wearing a formal dress which was black, hot and sweaty and mid-thigh.
“Here.” He passed me a pair of strappy Jimmy Choo shoes and I stared at them. “You are supposed to put them on, not just stare at them, I just got a message and she should be here any moment.” He smiled at me and I didn’t smile back. I put the shoes up on the table. I didn’t miss the fleeting look of disappointment which flew over my father’s face. I felt bad.
“I’m not putting them on until you tell me who is coming.” I said stubbornly. I crossed my arms. There was a car which stopped in the driveway. We both listened in silence as it stopped. Then it started again.
“Put them on, go outside and you can see for yourself.” Dad looked happy now. I sighed and put the shoes on. We didn’t hear the crash which changed everything.
I jumped down a hallway and dad called me to tell me that I was going the wrong way. I stopped and then skipped the other way. Then dad told me that I was still going the wrong way. He laughed at me and asked me whether I had been here for the past 5 years or if I had been sleepwalking and I had just woken up.
“Trust me, it feels that way sometimes.” I replied.
When I finally found the door, I paused and then suddenly the door flew open without me even touching it. A very panicked someone started yelling in my ear.
“Sorry, I didn’t mean it, call the ambulance, and the cops, I’ll confess, I didn’t mean it, quickly hurry, hurry, I don’t know….. I don’t….” They broke down and I suddenly knew. If my dream self was the one here, she probably wouldn’t have a clue what happened. But I did. I left the poor shocked woman in the hands of my father and walked slowly outside.
There was a red Porsche in the driveway and it had been crashed beyond repair. In the front seat of the car and completely and utterly squashed by the faulty airbag was my sister. This version of my sister was shorter than me, had long black hair and the same piercing green eyes. She was stunningly beautiful, even in death. I didn’t mourn or cry or scream in shock.
I closed my eyes and let this world disappear into my subconscious mind.
“I watched your interchange with her on the video feed. No one told you to act like a complete stuck up bitch toward her. She has issues, alright; of course she’s going to be a bit strange but just because you’ve never worked in the mental department of the hospital yet doesn’t mean you have ANY right. I could fire you right now if I was in a bad mood.”
I smiled. I felt bliss. I felt peaceful and I felt a strange desire to laugh.
“Well at least I gave her the Nitrous Oxide.”
“You only gave it her because you didn’t want her to start screaming her head off, and you shouldn’t have given it her. It has bad side effects when not administered by a doctor.”
I started panicking- some random gave me a drug. I remembered doing a science test about Nitrous Oxide. It was otherwise known as laughing gas- hence my need to laugh so badly- and when it didn’t have at least 70% Oxygen, and then I could have gotten side effects that were permanent.
“Calm down fancy pants. Look, I know what I’m doing. BTW, she’s awake again.” The snarky voice kind of reminded me of someone, but I couldn’t remember who. And suddenly there was someone in front of me with another needle.
“Do you have my sister?” I laughed loudly. “Do you have her heart in someone else, her kidneys in someone else? I know that’s what she wanted!” I laughed so that tears started tearing down my face faster than a thunderstorm.
I felt a burning itch in my nose. I reached up to scratch it. Then I realised that I was still chained to the bed.
“My nose is itchy. Come on guys, I’m drugged to the point of being drugged, why am I still chained to a bed?” I asked. I was surprised at the answer that I was given. There was a silence that spread throughout the small cramped room. I was silent for a while before I pulled against the handcuffs. “Look this is about the fifth time that I have watched my sister die. I can’t do it again, stop putting me under, and just let me go.” I started sobbing.
“Can’t we just let her go? She’s more trouble than she’s worth.” The Ginger Bitch spoke. For once I actually agreed with her. The doctor shook her head.
“We are running some tests; we think she may have Schizophrenia or Bipolar. She’ll have to stay until we can diagnose her. It’s either that or a weird sort of depression.” She started talking to herself and wrote something else on a clip board. I rolled my eyes and remembered what they were saying about my mother dying.
“Wait, wait!” I yelled as they were both about to leave the room. They stopped and turned around. Ginger sighed. “How long have I been out?”
They both looked at their watches and then the doctor looked at her clipboard before looking at me over her glasses.
“You have only been here for three days. And you have had about four people harassing me to be able to see you for those three days. Don’t ask me how they knew that you were here-
“I thought doctors were supposed to make you feel better, not worse.” I mumbled. The doctor looked partly ashamed. I smiled and then stopped fiddling with my handcuffs. “But go ahead, put me back to sleep and make me dream of my sister dying in different ways again.” I closed my eyes and waited for the jab of the needle.
It didn’t come. I opened one eye and then the door slammed shut. No one was with me, and I was completely alone. I closed my eyes and thought of Ewan McGregor.