A fuzzy vision of me sitting in the passenger seat of the car heading into a tree briefly flashed within my sight and smacked me right back into reality. My whole body sprung upwards like a heavily wound up Jack-In-The-Box. I shot up from the bed I found myself in, drenched in sweat with my heart was pounding outside of my chest. I was greeted by the officers as well as a nurse and a doctor in royal blue scrubs. “Joey! Jen! Nick! Guys! Where am I? GOD!!-” I screamed out at the top of my lungs. Both officers gently shushed me and gestured me to lay back. They caressed me and rubbed my back and shoulders until I calmed down.
“Shhhhh… Michael it’s okay. It’s okay. It’s over now. I need you to lay back and relax.” The nurse gently pushed against my chest and gestured me to lay back. Both the young officer and sheriff slowly backed away from me and moved to the front of the bed where I could both see them.
“Why am I in the hospital? What happened? Where are my friends? Were you able to find them?” I couldn’t control myself. Part of my mind told me to stay calm while the other told me that I needed answers. “What happened to me? Where are my friends? Are they alive? Are they…” the solemn looks from everyone described it all.
“Only one of your friends survived the crash, Joseph I bel-”
“Joey?? Where is he? Can I see him now??? What happened to the rest of my friends? Where are they??” The impact from my injuries forced me to lay back down. Any movement I made the excruciating pain that much worse.
“They died on impact son. Two of your friends were launched quite a distance away from the car due to the mere force of the accident. Th-”
“Please… I don’t want to hear any more about it. I…” I completely lost myself within my own tears and cried harder than I have ever cried in my entire life. All I could remember was sitting up in the hospital bed, head between knees. The officers stayed by my side the whole entire time, and I am so grateful that they did.
A few hours later, my mom and dad came. They burst through the doorway of my room. “Michael! Thank god you’re alright… oh my baby!” I could remember my mom crying out as she held me close to her chest. My Dad held me and my mom close together in a massive bear hug. We held each other for what felt like an eternity. The officers stayed sitting in the chairs right in front of the windows.
“Mom, Dad I’m sorry I-“
“Shhhhhhh it’s alright. It’s alright. There is nothing for you to be sorry for.” My mom interrupted me as she gently stroked my hair. “We’re all just glad that you’re okay.”
“If there anything we can get for you son?” My Dad said as he gently leaned closer to me. My Dad looked solemn, tired. I’ve never seen my Dad like this before, not even when Grandpa died. His hair was disheveled, his gray eyes were bloodshot, and his skin almost colorless.
“No, I’m okay Dad, thanks though.” I nodded, assuring him I was okay. He walked out the door and joined the officers who were sitting in the cafe, which was thankfully down a couple doors from where I was.
I was in the hospital for a few weeks before I was allowed to go home. Joey was in critical condition for a few days, then slowly started to decline. He died not too long after. His back was broken in four different places, had a punctured lung, eternal bleeding, and had severe brain injury from the impact of his head ramming into the steering wheel.
I attended all of my friend’s funerals. Each one was back to back to back. It rained for what seemed to be like an eternity. A small monument in the shape of a heart was engraved into a sheet of bedrock that was put on a hill in the cemetery. Like the rain, our tears dropped endlessly. I dropped out of school and moved back home. I just needed time to recover before I could face reality again. What is reality now? I’m starting to question myself. In fact, I’m starting to question if I ever truly made it out of that accident, or if I’m still alive, stuck in some sort of flux in time or space.
I think I’m still stuck in this nightmare. I really don’t think this is over. I see my dead friends everywhere I go. They stand around and they just stare at me with empty eyes. Out of the corner of my eye, I always see this black thing. It’s kind of like a dog or a rat… Another thing is… I haven’t been able to sleep since the accident. The accident was over four months ago, and I still haven’t slept. That’s not humanly possible. I also can’t feel my toes and feet as I walk, and when I do walk I feel like I’m not entirely touching the ground… what’s going on?
Bad Ending… ?