Chapter One

I would have done anything to get out of this place right now. I didn't want to be here. I wished I hadn't had so much to drink. My head was about to explode. I had no recollection of the previous night. I had fought with my father and walked out of the house, as had been happening since I was fifteen. I was seventeen now, even though I behaved and reacted liked a fourteen year old. My mom often chastised me for my lack of maturity. I had never really cared about my mom's opinion though. I shifted on the hard mattress. The plain white walls did nothing to calm my nerves. I had never really liked hospitals. They always scared me. It was a place where people died or were battling their deaths. Hospitals always depressed me. I looked down at my hands. They were heavily bandaged and there was a plaster on my left leg. I tried to move, but it was too painful. I looked around the room. There was a huge bouquet decorating the table on my left. I smiled. I loved orchids. I was surprised that nobody was in the room with me. I didn't even know what I was doing in the room. I closed my eyes and tried to relax. I tried to remember the events of the previous night. I was blank.

My name is Katherine Brown. I hate my name and have my friends and family call me Kate. I am seventeen years old. I come from a pretty decent family. My father is an architect and my mother is a lawyer. They are never really at home. So there's not much I can say about them. I have a younger sister, Megan, who is the love of my life. She is five years old and is the centre of my world. We have a nanny at home who takes care of Megan while my parents are at work and I am at school.

My best friend is Tania Hayden. We had become friends in kindergarten and have been inseparable since then. My other best friend is Zaira Randell. Zaira had met us only in sixth grade, but she is as good a friend as Tania. My life revolves around my school and friends and Megan. I didn't really care about my parents since they were never really there. I have always longed for their love and attention and that was the reason I spent so much time with Megan, to spare her from feeling the absence of our parents.

I was getting extremely restless in my bed. I wanted to talk to someone, to know what had happened. I couldn't go anywhere myself because of the unbearable pain in my arms and also due to the plaster. I tried to go to sleep, but sleep evaded me as I kept trying to replay the events of the previous night. I must have been really drunk if I couldn't remember anything.

I was brought out of my thoughts by the sound of the door opening. I sighed out of relief. The suspense was driving me up the wall. I had to find out soon what had happened last night. Zaira was the one at the door. She looked tired, like she hadn't slept the entire night. I wasn't surprised at that. She was the most loyal friend you could find.

"How are you feeling?", Zaira asked, concern evident in her voice.

I smiled weakly. My throat was dry and I realized talking took too much effort on my part. I somehow whispered back, "Not so bad".

Zaira looked nervous, but didn't say anything. She came and sat on the edge of the hospital bed, handing me a glass of water from the side table. I drank it thankfully.

When I felt I could talk without causing myself too much pain, I asked softly, "What happened last night?"

Zaira hesitated for a while, twitching her fingers. I was never one with a lot of patience. So, it was obvious Zaira's behaviour was annoying me.

Zaira looked at me solemnly, as if someone had died and she's been asked to deliver the news. But I was sure nobody had died.

"I'm still waiting.", I muttered impatiently.

Zaira sighed heavily and then started talking, "Last night, after you left your house, you came over to my place with Tania. We decided to go to the party Damien Carter had thrown. When we got there, you started drinking a lot. And then Richie Wilson tried to get smart with you and you well, threw up all over him. Tania was slightly drunk as well, but managed to get you away from Wilson. I'd gone off with Todd thinking you guys would be hanging around for a while. I'm not sure what happened after that." She paused, breathing heavily.

"But the next thing I know, people all around were talking about this accident that had happened down the street. I didn't know why, but I quickly ran to the site, to find you and Tania being carried on stretchers, both unconscious. I immediately called both your parents. They were terrified and so was I. We've all been waiting for you to gain consciousness. Thank god you're fine, Katie. I was so scared for you." She engulfed me in a giant hug and I could feel the warm tears falling on my shoulder.

I was still trying to digest all this new information. Zaira was still crying into my shoulder. It confused me more. Zaira was usually the calm one. Something was missing in this scene. I closed my eyes, trying to figure it out. Suddenly, my eyes were wide open.

"Zay, where is Tania?" I asked slowly, regretting it as soon as the words left her mouth. I was suddenly feeling very hot and lightheaded.

"Tani was severely injured in the accident. She has been in a coma since they brought her here."

I didn't hear anything else before I fell into an inky darkness.