What happens when you die?
It doesn't matter who you are or what your beliefs are, at one point or another this question will have crossed your mind. It may have been no more than a fleeting glance, or it may be all you think about. How much time you spend thinking about it is not the point however, the point is that this curiosity to know what comes after death is something that everyone can relate to. Some people may think they know, they may be so sure about what happens that they will die in an attempt to prove that belief, but the truth is no one knows what happens. Well, that's the theory anyway.
Turns out that I do know. Don't worry, I'm not going to start pressing my religious beliefs on you now, I'm not going to try and convince you that I know because I've seen the light. I know because I've died, and believe me there wasn't a light at the end of the tunnel. In fact, the end of the tunnel looks exactly like the beginning on the tunnel. And that's because the God damned tunnel started and ended in the same place.
If I'd been religious in life I would have been well and truly pissed off. I went through life and although mine got cut off pretty early I didn't expect to have to go through it all again. I always thought that if there was life after death then it would be something spectacular, or at the very least something different. Turns out I was wrong. So very wrong.
I realise I'm getting a bit ahead of myself here so I'll track back a little bit and start somewhere else. Not at the beginning because you so do not want to hear the ins and outs of my life, it wasn't any fun living it so hearing about it would be even less fun. But we'll start at the end, which was also the beginning in another sense.
I died, though you've probably gathered at least that much from my ramblings so far. It wasn't anything particularly dramatic, I was walking home from my part time job and listening to my iPod when I crossed the road. You know those adverts on TV that tell you most people die in traffic accidents within a mile of their homes or whatever? Turns out they were right, at least for me.
One minute I'm humming along to the music and the next my body is lying in the middle of the road and I no longer exist. It was a crappy ending for a crappy day. I'd always hoped that when I died it would be something that people talked about for days, maybe even ended up on the news or something. But just another hit and run? Not worth more than a passing mention in the local newspaper.
I don't exactly remember dying, or even getting hit by the car. I remember a flash of pain, but that was all it was really, a flash. And the next minute I was opening my eyes in a hospital bed. Of course I made the obvious assumption that I hadn't died, that I'd just been knocked unconscious. That was until I caught a glance of myself in the mirror on the wall. Turns out I wasn't myself any more.
Maybe it's time for you to learn a little bit about me. I am, or at least I was, a sixteen year old girl called Daisy. I left school as soon as I could because I knew there was no way I was staying in that hell hole for any longer than I had to. Only problem was that I didn't know what I actually wanted to do after leaving school. Which meant a string of part time jobs that I hated but no choice other than to keep working at them because if I wasn't in work then my parents would kick me out of the house and then I'd be even more screwed.
So obviously when I woke up I assumed I would be looking back at the face of a sixteen year old girl, to see the face I'd seen every time I had looked in the mirror all my life. So imagine my shock when I see a guy looking back at me. A pretty hot guy, but a guy nonetheless. At first I thought I'd mistaken a window for a mirror due to concussion or something so I quickly turned my head away. Then the guy in the mirror turned his head away. I turned back, and he turned back. I raised a hand, and he raised a hand. I continued like this for quite a while and if anyone was watching me they would have definitely had me checked for brain damage. I was acting like an animal seeing itself in the mirror for the first time and thinking it is looking at another animal and constantly trying to outsmart it but whatever it does, the animal in the mirror does it at the same time.
Anyway I eventually accepted the fact that I was apparently the guy in the mirror. And then a group of strangers came in to the room. Only turns out, they weren't strangers, they were family. My family. Or at least the family of the body I was in. That situation wasn't as awkward as it could have been however. Although everything about us seemed to be different there was one connection between me and the body I was now in, we'd both been hit by cars.
Therefore my confusion as to who these people were was to be accepted and that it was just due to the damage my head had suffered when it got hit by the car. And obviously nothing to do with the fact that I didn't know these people and I wasn't who they thought I was. Temporary amnesia apparently. I went along with it, I knew arguing would be a waste of time, there was nothing I could say that would persuade them of what was going on and I didn't really want to end up in a mental hospital or wherever it was they put people who insisted that they were someone else.
And so I went along with it, I went along with everything. I constantly had people with me, doctors doing tests or family members talking to me about things, about what had happened before the accident. I listened to some of it and I blanked out other bits, I was having too much trouble accepting what was going on in the present without thinking about what had happened in the past as well.
I spent a few more weeks in the hospital before being taken home. Or to the house that they called home. Those first few days in the house were even weirder than my time in the hospital. They showed me my room and it was filled with pictures of the guy I now was and everything he owned. And it dawned on me that I was the one that now owned these things.
It was then, sitting on the bed in the middle of a massive room filled with everything that I could have wanted that I realised something. I had a second chance. Okay, so it's not exactly how I would have chosen things to go but to be honest it could have been one hell of a lot worse so who was I to complain about all of this?
I could either spend the rest of my life trying to fight what had happened, or I could accept it and try and fit in to this new life. Okay, so it wasn't exactly an ideal situation but it was probably a whole lot better than my life had been before the accident. And who knew how long I had left here before dying again? I knew more than anyone how quickly life could be over and so I decided to forget about my previous life, about Daisy, and instead embrace the new life.
And it was that moment that I became Brian Matthews.