Chapter 1: My Death

The music pounded against her ears as she waded through the crowd of people. There was a party, of course, and she was invited. She fidgeted with her tight tube top so it enclosed her amateur bosoms better. Casually, shaking her hair back, Charlotte tucked her chestnut hair back.

"Nathan?" Charlotte called, loudly over the roar of the music. She tried to pick out the strikingly blonde haired boy in the churning mass. "Damn," the girl grunted under her breath. Nathan knew that she hated being left alone and awkward. Puckering my lips, nervously she readjusted her top again.

"Charlotte!" She whirled around, somewhat grateful at the new approaching person. At least that person talked to her. It was a petite Asian girl who had called Charlotte. The tiny girl gazed curiously at the taller, paler girl.

Charlotte smiled, sweetly at the girl, "Yeah, Sunny, I was able to make it."

"Oh, so, where's Nate?" Sunny glanced around Charlotte as if checking for something. Sunny had always had a major crush on Charlotte's boyfriend, Nathan and so did half the girls in their school--including a few guys, if you like being detailed.

"I was just with him," Charlotte explained, flashing her a false smile. "But then he went to get me drinks." It was a believable excuse. Nathan hated it when Charlotte got like this--jealous, but who was to blame her? It was merely defense.

"Oh," Sunny muttered, her face lowering in disappointment.

What the hell? She doesn't even bother to hide her disappointment and interest in my boyfriend?! , Charlotte thought with contempt as she looked down at the suddenly very ugly girl.

"Well, I'm going to look for him." This was said with hesitance as the thinner, taller girl backed away from Sunny. Charlotte set her mind back on finding the wandering boy. Why did he have to be so perfect and loveable? She cursed herself for falling for the guy, but also found it as a blessing being loved and held precious by such a guy. A slight flush came onto her face as she glanced around the hot room.

"Nathan, why are you with such a ditzy bitch?" Charlotte's ears immediately perked up at the mention of his name. Who was that talking? Her careful brown eyes scanned the crowd of people and finally fell on a skanky platinum blonde haired girl. Next to the platinum blond chick was the undoubtfully shocking blonde hair of Nathan.

"Who's the ditzy bitch, now?" Nathan perked an eyebrow at the ample-chested girl.

"You know! That ginger!" Elizabeth purred at Nathan who just continued to sip his drink casually. Charlotte glanced down at her chestnut tresses self consciously. Were they red? Never knew it was a bad color. Frowning, she began to walk towards the two.

"So…" Elizabeth continued to purr on Nathan's firm chest. "Want to go have some fun?"

"What kind of fun?" Nathan merely glanced into his plastic cup, not paying too much attention to the flirtatious girl.

"I d'know!" She winked at him. "Like some really, really great fun." Charlotte stopped and watched as Elizabeth leaned in and whispered seductively in his ear.

A mischievous smile grew on his face and he nodded casually, "Sure. Lead the way." The watching girl's jaw dropped open as she watched with disbelief at the retreating couple. She couldn't tear her eyes off of them as they slinked up the stairs grinning at one another. How dare he? She clenched her hands into tight fists as tears prickled at the back of her eyeball. This was humiliating. Turning around to the kegs that were settled on the counter, she reached over and poured herself a huge cup.

"I am not putting up with your shit!" Charlotte screamed into the alcohol and chugged it down without a second thought. Maybe drinking this shit will make her feel better. The cold liquid flowed down her throat without hesitance and she decided that this felt good. Helping herself to another cupful, she drank cup after cup after cup of it for a long time before someone gently touched her shoulders.

"What are you doing?" That familiarly, husky voice that always made her melt on the spot stopped her from consuming the cup in her hands. Nathan had his arms wrapped around her waist, preventing her from bringing the cup to her nervous lips.

"Drinking, can't you see?" Charlotte growled, loudly and twisted out of his hold. Several girls in the kitchen gawked at the scene, but quickly left after being glared at by both Nathan and Charlotte.

"Yes, I can see," Nathan said coolly. How long had he been gone? Did he sleep with that slut?

"Did you sleep with that slut?" Charlotte spat, hatefully, reciting whatever was on her mind. Nathan looked at her with a slight mixture of horror and fury.

"What?" The words seems to rip from the back of the throat. Then a slight chuckle escaped from his perfect lips. "What are you talking about?"

"I'm talking about that Eliza-whore!" Charlotte snarled at him. How dare he pretend not to know?

"Oh, you mean that girl from earlier? That was her name?" Nathan scratched his head thoughtfully.

Charlotte's mouth formed an opened "o" of horror as she gazed at her boyfriend. "Nathan," she began slowly, eyeing him suspiciously. "What is my name?"

"Charlotte." Nathan answered without missing a beat. "Charlotte Aurora Pennon."

She glowered at him, assuming it was luck he remembered. It was true he was an all-time player. They've been going out for almost a year now, but you can't be too careful. "I heard everything you said with her! She was flirting with you and you---you didn't do anything! You even agreed to…"

"Shit!" Nathan breathed, exasperated. He ran a hand through his hair in annoyance. That was a habit of his whenever he was annoyed at something. "Charlotte, you know I hate it when people do that to me. I don't go for any girl that thrusts her chest at me. You should know that by now! I was just fucking around with her."

"You admitted it!" Charlotte shrieked at him whilst dropping her cup of drink. "You…"

"I didn't fuck her!" Nathan grabbed her by the shoulders shaking her. "I just decided to take advantage of the fact that she's drunk and popular! You can go check yourself! She's still tied to the bedpost naked." He noticed Charlotte's vacant glare. "I didn't touch her. I just told her to wait for me--naked."

This was hard to believe as she continued to glower at Nathan.

"Why can't you believe me?" Nathan grumbled, gazing into her brown eyes.

"Because it's hard to believe I have you," Charlotte craned her neck to look at him, her voice loud and icy. "We're seniors in high school now! Why can't you just grow up and--" He stood about a good few inches taller than her. She was five foot four whereas he was about six feet with lean muscles.

"Grow up, Charlotte?" Nathan interrupted, clearly exasperated at her. "You're kidding. Why don't you grow up?"

"Me?!" Charlotte gasped. "You're always just 'pranking' people--especially girls who fall for your looks without a second glance! Why can't you understand that I am a human being and I can get jealous…especially when you flirt with the girls to 'prank' them!"

"That sucks for you, then, doesn't it?" Nathan retorted, stiffly. "I've told you already so many times that I only have eyes for you! I will only come back to you! I tell you that so many times and you still manage to act like a big baby and cling to me all the time!"

"Cling? Cling?" She rasped at him. She had never been clingy, ever! How could he say something like that? He was the one who was never around! There were just too many problems we had between one another.

Without any words, he leaned in and his lips met hers briskly. Her eyes widened at his sudden advance. Just as quickly, he snapped away, his eyes intent on hers. "Have you seen me kiss any other girls before?"

The answer was no.

"Have you seen me hug any of these girls?" No. She remained quiet, evading eye contact. "You can never trust me."

Charlotte felt tears prickle behind her eyes again as she gazed the other way. Her ears felt flushed.

"If you can't trust me, then we might as well just end it right here and now!" Nathan stated, brusquely. Should she apologize? Her dignity willed her not to.

"Fine," she choked out unwillingly as tears began to shimmer at the rim of her eyes. "Fine! We'll break up--" Her voice cracked as she looked at the kitchen window, trying to keep herself from bursting out into tears.

Nathan grunted and then swiveled around and out of the kitchen. When he was clearly out of sight, she bent down and hugged her knees tightly. The room began to spin and she had to sit on her butt to steady her mind. Instantly, she regretted breaking up with him. She regretted it so, so much. She wanted to run after him and apologize sincerely. Charlotte glanced at her wristwatch and felt a scoff escape her throat. It has only been a minute and she was already missing him. She was such an idiot.

"I'm leaving!" Charlotte heard Nate's voice call over the loud pounding of the music. He must have been announcing it to his best friend Oliver who was now sitting on the couch making out with Sunny. Oliver did a okay sign with his hand, but didn't remove his tongue from the girl's mouth. Charlotte swallowed her pride and quickly scrambled onto her feet. If he left now she wouldn't be able to apologize a little bit. The door shut, but she grabbed the handle and sprinted out of the throbbing house. Outside were people lounging around either making out or just getting high off their asses. Scanning the lawn quickly, she saw Nate across the street walking towards his car.

"Hey!" Charlotte called loudly and began to jog towards him. He didn't hear her because he was digging through his pockets looking for his keys. "Nathan! Wait up!" That time, he had heard her because he looked up and their eyes met. The booming music of the house lingered in the quiet streets. The moist air of the night made goosebumps form along her forearm. She rubbed it while walking across the damp street.

"What?" Nathan called to Charlotte, reluctant on ignoring her. He watched as she was halfway across the street as she began to call back to him.

"I just wanted to say--" She was suddenly interrupted by loud screams that were even louder than the music itself! Charlotte paused and glanced back to see what the matter was. Suddenly a loud roar filled her ears and she felt even more goosebumps pop up along her neck. What was that? A painful, white light filled her vision and she squinted against it trying to see what it was. The roar didn't dull, but became louder and louder as did the light.

"Charlotte!" Her name was being called over and over again; loud and frantic. "Look out!! Move! MOVE!" Before she could even respond with a questioning, "What?" A loud crack and boom riveted through her body. There was a pain that was worse than any pain she had. Immediately, her mind traveled back to the time she had fallen off her bike and she had broken her wrist. This hurt about a few hundreds times that event and all over her body. The roar dulled and the lights faded as her body was hurled into the air. A small breath escaped her lips as she realized what had happened. The large black car zoomed past her, skidding along the gravel in an attempt to get away before her body even hit the ground. She felt like a rag doll being tossed into the air like that. The stars twinkled brighter than ever as her hands flailed in the air in an attempt to catch onto something--anything. No success, all she could see was the bright, taunting stars that watched as she collided with the wet concrete that ripped through her thin tube top and scraping her skin.

The thick metallic taste of blood flooded her mouth as she coughed and heaved. Why was it suddenly so hard to breathe? The icy air seemed to fill her body as she struggled to take in a breath. She felt the warm, thick blood spread around her fingertips as she twitched on the ground, her legs twisted in an awkward angle. Nothing about this was graceful nor comfortable looking. Loud footsteps flooded her ears that roared with her own heartbeat. She was so sure she was bleeding through her ears as well. The pain was so much it numbed her lips and sent pin needles along her forehead. Charlotte knew that this was something not to be taken lightly. White spots started to appear in her visions, along with the flickering black dots. Before she could blink away the red film that seemed to stick to her eyes, she saw Nathan's frantic face above hers.

He seemed to be saying something to her. His eyes wide and shocked as his hand enveloped her cold, icy ones. "Char--are you--someone call the--answer me!" She could only hear snippets of what he was saying because she couldn't make out the rest. The only thing she could hear was static in her ears, kind of like when you were listening to the bad channels on the radio. Just like that, everything went pitch black and all the people who were hovering over her just a few moments ago, vanished and she was left in a cold, lonely and dark space.

In the distant she saw a golden light. It was beautiful--like the brightest sparkle of a enormous diamond…no! It was better, it looked like the sun except you could bask in it's warm, welcoming glow instead of getting sunburned. Charlotte reached out a timid hand towards the light, but instead of being lifted towards the light, something warm and watery fell onto her fingertip. What was this? Curious, she brought it to her lips and tasted it. Tears?

Snap. The light was gone and it was replaced with a bright, white light.

Ugh, she groaned in her mind and she struggled to move her stiff body. It didn't move very well. Where was she? Around her, she was on a cold, metal table, her pale arms placed rigidly next to her body. What was she doing here? Charlotte attempted to sit up but failed horribly. The air around her was stale and reeked of chemicals. Charlotte's eye flickered around her frantically.

"Charlotte, my baby!" Someone bawled loudly. She strained to see who was next to her, but she couldn't see too clearly. Two figures were beside her head, one clenching her hand and the other one was patting the mourning one on the back. The woman continued to wail, "Charlotte! You're not dead! You can't be!"

Dead? The body of the girl refused to move no matter how much she willed herself to. Her fingers remained stiff and motionless by her side only adding to the grief. "Dead?" Charlotte whispered, frightened. "Mom! What are you saying? I'm right here--" Suddenly, she wasn't next to her mom and dad anymore. She was standing behind them, watching in horror.

"This can't be…" Her mom continued to cry uncontrollably. "I shouldn't have let her go to the party--" Her voice cracked.

"Mom! Listen to me! I'm right here!" Charlotte tried again, this time as loud as she could manage. No matter how hard she tried, she couldn't move from the spot she was in and could only watch her mother cry over the body. She couldn't see who the body was. It most certainly couldn't have been her.

"Lucy--" Charlotte's father began, sorrowfully.

"Paul, her hands are still warm!" Lucy sobbed, brokenly. "Feel them! They're still warm…" She gazed at her dead daughter. "She's Charlotte." The name seemed to send needles poking at her heart all over again. Charlotte's hand clamped over her mouth as tears glistened in her eyes. It couldn't be.

"I know, honey," Paul couldn't bear to say anything else. His eyes trained intently on the now silent girl. His little princess died before he could. It was always the saddest thing to see yourself outlive your child. Paul's heart pounded painfully as he ripped his gaze from Charlotte--his only daughter.

"Dad…" Charlotte choked out and reached out towards them. "Mom. I'm right…here." They didn't show any signs of hearing her; they continued their heartbreaking crying over the body of…Charlotte. She glanced down at her pale arms observing them critically. "I'm not dead!" Charlotte whispered, tears falling in hot droplets from her cheeks. "I'm not dead, mom! Dad! I'm right here." No matter how many times she said those words, they never turned around to acknowledge her. Slowly, they got up from beside the body and walked towards the door in a zombie-like trance.

"No…" Charlotte reached out to touch the small curls of her mother's hair. "Don't." Her mother didn't look up from the ground, her sad, brown eyes trained on the ground where the tears fell by her foot. "Don't leave! Mommy! I'm here!" Charlotte followed them a few steps, but slowed to a stop as they exited through the swinging doors. Why…Charlotte whirled around to the body that laid motionless on the gleaming, silver table.

"This is.." Charlotte murmured as she neared the pale body. On the table was undeniably her. There was a gruesome scrape along the side of her cheek, disfiguring her face. Her large eyes were shut, but there seemed to be a permanent grimace set on her lips. "No…" She reached out almost timidly to brush her fingertips along the tepid skin of the dead body. "I'm…not…dead." Even though she said this, the body in front of her served as proof. "This is just a nightmare." But it wasn't.

BAM! The doors behind her swung open to reveal a panting Nathan. "Charlotte!!" He hollered and scrambled to her body. Tears clouded his beautiful, blue eyes. No, he can't cry! She grimaced and hugged herself as she watched him kneel by her former body. "I'm…so sorry." He was crying now, tears dribbling from his eyes as he leaned against the hand of the dead body. "So…so sorry." Charlotte felt her heart pound uncomfortably in her ghostly chest as she staggered closer to the crying Nathan.

"Why didn't you look both ways?" Nathan whispered through teary eyes. At first, she was offended that he could still blame her for this, but then she watched as his expression falter. He clenched her dead hands tightly, to a point where his own knuckles were white with force. His shoulders trembled as he whimpered silently into her hands.

"Nathan," Charlotte couldn't look any longer as she looked away from her heartbroken boyfriend. "I should have looked both ways." A sad smile came onto her face as she watched him edge away from the body sullenly.

"I'll always be there for you," Nathan whispered, quietly. "I'll always love you. I'm sorry I never showed that to you when you were--" He paused to catch his breath painfully. "Alive."

The word seemed to make her chest explode in sobs as she watched him leave the room, his head ducked low. This was too much grief for her; she couldn't take it. Feeling bloated and sad, her feet began to lurch away from the ground. The doors swung open and she was pulled out; away from her body.

"Wait!" She cried, frantically at the sudden force that seemed to latch onto her. Charlotte could only watch as her body went further and further out of sight. "I don't want to die yet!" Everything went black.

Beep. Beep. Beep.

Charlotte's eyes popped open and she was confronted with the white, blank ceiling of her room. Her chest rose up and down rapidly as she struggled to take a deep breath. How did she end up back there? Sitting up silently, she let her covers fall from around her shoulders. Was it all a dream? Relief flooded through her veins as she pushed a quivering hand to her chest. Just a nightmare, she hoped. Quickly, she sprang to her feet, a smile lit on her face. Charlotte had never yearned so much for a hug from her mom and dad.

"Mom! Dad!" She sang as she ran towards the door. There was no response so she paused curiously. It was only six thirty, the time she normally got up during school days. Maybe they were still sleeping. Charlotte shrugged it off casually, she could still hug them. She shuddered as she remembered the tears on her mother's face and the sadness in her dad's eyes. Suddenly, the door flew opened and Charlotte jumped away from the raging door in surprise.

"Charlotte!" Her mother's eyes wide with anxiety.

Charlotte walked towards her mom, smiling, "Oh! I thought you were still asleep--" She stopped talking as her mom walked right past her towards the bed. It was crisp and well-made with no signs of her ever being in it.

"Lucy." A disapproving voice came from the bedroom door. Paul stood there with his eyes trained glassy on the whimpering mother. "You know what going in here does to you."

"I heard her, Paul!" Lucy protested, loudly, tears rolling from her puffy eyes. "I heard Charlotte." Paul didn't respond, instead he gazed at his feet defeated. He didn't know what to do.

The unseen girl's mouth dropped open slightly as she gazed unfocused at her parents. How could this be? Had she really died? She fell onto her knees and slumped there crying in harmony to her mother's sobbing.

"Come on, you heard what your mother said about going into the room of the…" Paul hesitated on the next word, but breathed it out anyways. "Dead….They want time to realize the truth. For the next week…Charlotte might come back to cry."

"Shut up, Paul! Our daughter isn't dead!" Lucy reprimanded, sternly, her brown eyes glued to the crisp bed. "She's not dead!"

Paul sighed and walked slowly over to Lucy. He draped a hand over her shoulders and guided her onto her feet. "Come, sweetie."

"She's not," Lucy whispered, brokenly and exited the room, leaving Charlotte lonely and grieved.

Woo. Enjoy and review. I hope you like. Ciao.