A/N- The Prologue is sort of a flash forward, this is a flash back sort of thing. Sorry if it gets confusing.

Chapter 1.

Hey Sweet,

would you mind picking up:




and some carrots for flopps? He did a trick today and I couldn't even reward him! Have a good day.

Love, Mum.

I sighed, my mum was so forgetful, hadn't she done the shopping yesterday? But I loved her, my brother was out at the moment, which was strange, as he was never ready in time for school. He just left a small note under my mums neat handwriting in his untidy scrawl.

Katie, going out with georgia tonite, not going to be home. Leave dinner out. -Damo.

Typical. Always out with his girlfriend, I mean, its not like I didn't like her, se was really cool, I just missed my brother. School that day wasn't going to be good, I wasn't feeling well and I had cheer practice, and the coach was going to kill me for not working on my double round off.

So I sat in my history class, trying to hold down my stomach while listening to stuff about the civil war, what did I care about that stuff? Im from australia, it doesn't matter to me. Well, I guess I was just in a bad mood because I felt sick. My friend Sarah passed me a note sneakily across the table. Our history teacher, Mz. Fording, was a passing notes nazi.

Katie! You look like a freaking ghost?! Are you feeling sick or something?

It read on the neatly folded piece of paper, I smiled, I liked havng such concerned friends.

Haha, im totally fine, just feeling a bit sick, it must have been last nights chinese :/

That chinese was disgusting, I remembered. My mum and I had taken a walk near the park, and brought back dinner, which was totally gross anyway. But I had enjoyed the walk with my mum, she was like my best friend and as a 13 year old, I needed a healthy friendship with my mum.

Ew where from? I want to steer clear, I think you should see the nurse or something... you look really faint.

As I read this I really did feel a little faint, the desk was starting to look realy comfortable, I was sleepy.

You know, maybe I should...

I flicked it at her and faced the front, where I promptly asked if I could go and see the nurse. She told me it was probably food poisoning, she didn't even check my temperature or anything, she just sent me home.

Its not a long walk from my apartment to the school, so I just walked it home. After picking up the stuff mum asked for.

My key turned in the lock, but halfway through turning it stuck. Stiffly I gave it an artful jiggle and kicked the door about a foot above the ground. This was how anyone had to open out front door. It was almost an art form, I chuckled to myself.

I put the bread, milk, and cheese in the fridge, and went to pat flopps, our pet rabbit, I begged and begged my parents for a puppy, but our already lenient land lady had put her foot down at a puppy, she would however allow a bunny. And so, flopps was initiated into the Cruise Family. I gave him a scratch and a carrot and went to lie down. My mum was working a late shift at the hospital, she was delivering twins today! So it looked like I was making dinner. My dad wasn't really around much, he usually went out to the pub with his mates, or was at work. I didn't see him a lot. Dinner that night, was me, ...uh...Oh wait. Thats it. Nobody else was there, I stuck some spaghetti in the fridge with names and went to sleep, I was still feeling awful, and got up several times to..uh "bow down before the porcelain god". I got up the next morning gingerly and got ready for school, there was another note from mum on the breakfast bench.


I'm so sorry I didn't get to eat with you last night, the twins I delivered were preemies, and it was a difficult birth. We had to stabilise them.

Anyway, thank you for dinner, I had it later, I thought I heard you being sick last night, are you ok? I would have stayed to check on you but I got a call.

Don't strain yourself.

Pick up some almonds too, if you get the time?

Love, Mum.

I smiled as I read this note. And I clutched my stomach as a shocking pain shot through me, it was over as quickly as it had started, I payed no attention to it. The short walk to school was actually refreshing, it was a nice sunny day.

During gym, we were doing rope climbing, I have no problem with hights, I'm almost at the top of the pyramid! But since I didn't show at yesterdays practice...something tells me i'm going to stay there, ill never be on top.

It was strange how, when I got to the top of the rope, I looked down and felt faint again. i'm. Not. Scared. of. Heights! And suddenly, I was falling. I didnt even care really, I couldn't see, I couldn't feel, I couldn't do anything to stop the darkness. I felt nothing. I heard nothing.

My senses came to life all at once, the searing pain was back, but this time, it was different, it was everywhere. My back arched as I screamed in pain, and then, there was nothing again.

Surely I was dead. I felt no pain again, I felt nothing. Nothing. Nothing.

But I was thinking, consciousness? Was that a part of death?

Yeah, I was wrong.

Blinding lights greeted me as I woke up in the genericly boring hospital room. My mum was sitting in a corner, she smiled at me and came and took my hand, and we waited for the doctor to come in. I couldn't hear yet, so he started talking to her. Her expression went from 'i'm-so-glad-she's-awake now' to 'clearly-bad-news'. But i'm awake, alive? Its GOOD news.

My mother, cried and sobbed silently, because I couldn't hear yet, I tried to ask her what was wrong, she tried to explain, but in the end, she picked up a pen and wrote a single word on the back of a chocolate bar wrapper.

One word that would change my life forever, that would make the look follow me everywhere I went.