ALEX

CHAPTER ONE

As I lay in my hospital bed I wished it was all a dream. That I really hadn't just done that. I wished for all the pain to go away, and not the physical pain, the emotional pain. I wanted the physical pain to stay forever, I wanted it to deepen and consume me until I was dead. I had never felt like a worse human being in my life. It was all my fault. I didn't deserve to be alive. As reality began to sink in even more on what I had just done, I felt sick. I grabbed the garbage can next to my bed and heaved in it. Someone must have heard me because I heard the door fly open.

"Alex! Alex! Oh my god are you okay?" It was the worried voice of my boyfriend Matt. He ran to my bed and had tears streaming down his face.

That made what just happened seem even more real to me. I started heaving more into the trash can and I was uncontrollably sobbing as I did, barely able to breathe.

"I'm gonna go get a nurse" He ran out of the room and returned quickly with a nurse right behind him.

I finished throwing up and put the trash can back down.

"I'm fine" I choked out as I continued to cry even more. "I just want to go home" I said and at that I tried to lift myself out of the bed.

"No, no no." The nurse said as she pushed me back onto the bed. She pulled something out of a drawer and stuck it in my IV.

"Here you need some rest. This should help you relax" she rubbed my shoulder, nodded to Matt, and left the room.

Matt was instantly at my side with his hand in mine, and his other hand on my forehead.

"You scared me, I thought you were gone" he still had tears in his eyes.

"So, it really happened? That was real?" I asked terrified.

More tears filled his eyes and he just nodded. I felt sick again. I was almost positive I knew the end result of what happened but I couldn't find it in me to ask. Before anything else could process in my mind, my vision was getting blurry and I was having a hard time keeping my eyes open. I gave into the drugs and let them take me into a deep sleep.

When I woke again, my face was soaking wet with tears. Matt was by my side again and he looked scared. His dark brown hair brushed over his face and his light green eyes were full of worry.

"Are you okay?" he asked. "You were screaming"

"Huh?" was all I could get out.

"You were screaming in your sleep. You must have had a bad dream" he said quietly.

Then I realized why my face was soaking wet. It wasn't just a bad dream. It was a horrible dream, but it was real. It was what had just happened. I felt knots in my stomach as the day replayed in my head.

I sat on the couch with my best friend Amalie. Her light brown hair flowed down her neck and complimented her tan skin well. She was laughing at something on the TV and I was laughing at her ridiculous laugh. She had been my best friend ever since we were born. She was born only a few weeks before me. Her mom and my mom were best friends through high school.

Both my parents died a few years ago, so she and her parents were like family to me, and my brother Emmett.

Emmett also had been dating Amalie for about 7 years now. They started dating in high school. We were all now Juniors at Ohio State University. Emmett had waited an extra year to go college so we could all go together. We were all very close. Emmett came down the stairs; he must have finally woken up, and gave Amalie a huge kiss on the cheek.

Emmett's black hair was all messy and sticking up a little, adding to my theory that he had just woken up. He sat down next to Amalie and put his arm around her. A few minutes later she got up to go get a drink, and as she walked into the kitchen, Emmett leaned over to me.

"Today's the day" he said proudly.

It kind of took me by surprise. I knew exactly what he was talking about.

"You're proposing today?" I asked shocked.

"Yeah" he smiled widely.

Emmett had shown me the ring weeks ago and told me how he planned on proposing to Amalie. I was excited for him. they were absolutely perfect together. I had never seen a cuter couple in my life. And they never fought. They got along so well I couldn't believe it. Even when they did fight, it never lasted long. They both understood each other so well and I knew they were meant to be together forever.

"Where are you going to do it?" I asked in a whisper curiously.

"I have reservations at this restaurant downtown later. But I have to pick up a few more things first."

"Well, I wanted to go to the mall today. Do you just want to go with us and I'll keep her busy while you shop?" I offered.

Emmett smiled widely once again letting me know that was his plan to begin with. Other than Amalie, Emmett was my other best friend. We were always close, but when our parents died we became even closer. I don't know what I would do without him. I took our parents death the worst, and he was my rock through all of it.

Amalie came back in which cut our conversation short. Emmett went upstairs to shower. He came back down about 15 minutes later. Emmett was simple. He always stuck to a t-shirt and jeans. His style was a little preppy though. Mine was much more relaxed.

"Hey Amalie, I want to go look for some new clothes at the mall" I said.

She sighed. "Ugh the mall again?"

"Pleaseeeee?" I asked with a big smile.

"Okay" she gave in.

"You want to come Em?" I asked Emmett.

"Yeah" he replied.

Amalie turned to him. "Really? You hate going to the mall with us?"

"Yeah. I need a new wallet." He lied quickly. Amalie didn't catch it.

"Alright well lets go I guess" She stood up and put her boots on. I did the same and grabbed my coat and keys.

"I'm driving" Emmett said holding out his hand for the keys.

"Fat chance. You wanted to come with us, I'm driving" I said back.

I walked out to the car. I turned and Emmett and Amalie weren't even out of the house yet. I stood by the car door and I felt my foot tapping impatiently. Amalie came out laughing with Emmett behind her with his arms around her waist. He kissed her on the cheek and she giggled.

"Come onnn" I moaned. "Oh and you both are NOT sitting in the backseat again. I'm not a taxi driver."

"Fine. I got shotgun" Emmett said.

"Don't be rude, let your girlfriend sit in the front" I scolded.

He seemed to agree because he opened the front door of the gray Honda CRV that our parents left us, and held it open for Amalie. Emmett then hopped in the backseat and sat behind me.

It was mid- February and the weather was kind of crappy. But hey that was normal for Ohio. My car did pretty well in the snow. I pulled out of the driveway and headed toward the mall.

Emmett leaned up in the front seat to face Amalie.

"Hey I have plans for us for dinner so don't make any other plans, okay?"

"Okay. Where at?" she asked

"It's a surprise" he kissed her then sat back in his seat.

We got to the mall and it was pretty crowded. Emmett quickly ran off to go buy whatever he needed to get for Amalie while we went into the clothes stores. I picked out a few things to try on and Amalie waited outside the dressing room to be my audience.

I picked out this striped shirt but when I put it on, it was so long it almost went to my knees and was really baggy. I knew I wasn't going to buy it but I wanted to see what Amalie would say so I walked out of the dressing room and struck a pose.

"Don't you love it?" I asked

Amalie busted out in laughter and so did I.

"You look like Freddy Krueger" she laughed.

I hadn't even realized it was the same color until she pointed it out which made me laugh even harder. Amalie was bent over in her chair laughing hysterically. I thought she was going to fall out of her chair.

Everyone in the store was staring at us but we didn't care, we just continued to laugh and then I went back into the dressing room. I found a few other things that I actually liked so I took them to the counter to pay for them.

"Aw no Freddy Krueger shirt? It was so hot!" Amalie joked.

I just laughed and the cashier gave us a dirty look. As we walked out of the store Emmett came walking up to us. He grabbed Amalie around her waist and spun her in the air real quick before kissing her.

"I love you so much" he said to her.

"I love you too" she said kissing him again. "But what are you so excited about? You're all hyper and jumpy. More than usual." she laughed.

"Oh, just excited to be at the mall with the two prettiest girls in the world."

I laughed and shoved Emmett. "Oh shut up with your cheesy ass."

I knew what he was really excited about. And I was kind of excited too. I knew Amalie would say yes. I always thought of Amalie like a sister to me, and as long as everything went as planned, she soon would really be my sister. I was so happy for them. I didn't know any two people who deserved each other more. If there was a picture for 'soulmate' in the dictionary, it would be a picture of those two.

We went back to the car and the weather had gotten worse. It was snowing a lot.

"You gonna be okay to drive in this?" Emmett asked me.

"Of course" I said confidently.

We got back in the car and my favorite song was on the radio so I turned it up. Amalie and I started signing to it while Emmett moaned.

"My ears are bleeding!" he yelled as he covered his ears.

Amalie playfully shoved him. He grabbed her hand and kissed it. She blushed and turned back to the front.

I kept driving down the road and everything was fine, until I hit a patch of ice. The car started spinning and I lost control of the wheel. We spun a few times but then the car stopped. I felt like I was hyperventilating.

"Is everyone okay?" I asked and looked around. They both looked as afraid as me, but everyone was fine I sighed in relief and so did they. I looked at Amalie and I was about to crack a joke about my driving but then I saw a truck coming at our car very fast as it wasn't slowing down. Amalie was smiling at me with relief but it was because she couldn't see what was coming right at us. I opened my mouth and screamed and then everything went black.

"Alex, Alex!" Matt was snapping his fingers in my face. "Are you okay? Should I go get the doctor?" He asked and I could tell he was terrified.

We had only been dating 2 months but he was such a sweet guy and was genuinely worried about me.

"No Matty I'm fine, I promise. I just need some sleep" I lied.

"Okay" he kissed me on the forehead, and let go of my hand. "I'm going to go get some coffee. I'll be back soon" he said before he exited the room.

As soon as he was gone I let out a deep breath and started to cry. I couldn't get the image out of my head. The blood, it was everywhere. The screams, they filled my head.

I had woken up when the paramedics were pulling me out of the car and all I could see next to me was Amalie face down on the dashboard covered in blood as another paramedic removed her. She wasn't moving. And the screams were coming from Emmett. He kept trying to reach for Amalie but the car was hit in a way where Emmett was pinned to where he was sitting. My face was stinging. I brushed my hand against my face and I could feel scratches all over.

I distinctly remembered getting put in the ambulance next to my brother. I was in a daze and everything around me was moving so fast but Emmett was trying to get off of the gurney and the paramedics kept pushing him back down warning him to stay put.

"WHERE'S MY GIRLFRIEND?" was all he kept screaming.

"I'm sorry, she didn't make it" The paramedic replied, and when I heard the words I felt like we were just hit by the truck all over again. I blacked out again.

I shivered as I thought about it. I knew Amalie was… I couldn't even bring myself to think it. Tears poured down my face and I must have been crying loudly because a nurse came running in.

"Sweetie are you okay?" she asked

"Yeah I'm fine. I just want to go home. Where's my brother?"

"Your brother is fine. He's being released now. We're just waiting on the okay from the doctor to release you. I'll go check on it though" she said before leaving the room.

She came back in about fifteen minutes later with the doctor behind her. Her dark curly hair was pulled back into a ponytail and she looked at me like I was a puppy that just got run over. The doctor was bald with glasses and didn't even look up from my chart when he spoke to me.

"Your X-rays were fine. You're just scratched up from all the glass. Your brother is probably going to be a little sore from being pinned the way he was, but he'll be fine too, But we are recommending you both report to a therapist for counseling. Mr. and Mrs. Adams have all the information for that, and they are outside waiting for you.

My heart dropped. Amalie's parents were out there waiting for me. I suddenly no longer wanted to be released. The doctor and nurse left so I could get dressed. I took my time. What was I supposed to say to them? Sorry I killed your daughter? I felt a stab of pain in my gut.

My hands were shaking. I walked out of the room slowly and saw them standing down the hall crouched over Emmett who was sitting on the bench with his head in his hands. I felt like I couldn't breathe. I wanted to turn and run. I didn't want to face them. Mrs. Adams, Amy, looked up and saw me. She tapped her husband Tom's shoulder and they both came running over to me and pulled me into a hug. They were both crying.

"Sweetheart thank god you are okay" Amy cried as she gripped me tighter.

Why were they being nice to me? I was the reason their daughter was dead. I wanted them to scream at me. I wanted them to hate me as much as I hated myself right now. I felt numb.

I looked over at Emmett and he looked miserable. He just stared at the ground. He was clutching something in his hands and I realized it to be the box Amalie's ring was in.

I wanted to go over to him but I had no idea what to say. Matt had come back and was sitting next to Emmett with his hand on his shoulder trying to comfort him.

"Alex, we have some things we have to take care of here still, we just wanted to make sure you were okay. Matt's going take you kids home. Just try and get some rest. If you need anything please call us" Tom said and gave me a final hug. So did Amy. Tom then wrapped his arm around Amy and they walked off down the hall.

I still stood there frozen. I was more afraid to talk to Emmett then I was to talk to Amalie's parents.

"Alex!" Matt called and waved me to come over to them.

I took another breath and slowly walked over to them.

"Emmett?" I croaked.

He looked up and his eyes widened. He jumped up of the bench and pulled me into a tight hug. I started crying even more. He didn't say a word just held me for a few minutes.

"Come on, I'm going to take you guys home" Matt said and Emmett released the tight grip he had on me. Matt put his arm around me and took us out of the hospital to his car.

We got to my house and Emmett got out of the car without saying a word and went into the house. Matt looked over at me.

"Do you want me to come in?" He asked.

"No I want to be alone" I replied

"Are you sure?" he furrowed his brow. It wasn't the answer he expected.

"Yeah. Thanks for everything though" I forced out a weak smile.

He leant in and kissed my cheek. "Get some rest and call me in the morning"

"Okay" I agreed then got out of the car and went in the house.

I went straight up to my room and I guessed Emmett did the same. The doctor gave us both some pills to help us sleep but I didn't take mine. I lay in my bed and I tried to sleep but all I did was toss and turn. After 3 hours of tossing and turning I gave up. I went downstairs to get a glass of water to take the pills.

On the way back up I peeked in Emmett's room to check on him. He was sound asleep and looked peaceful. Good. I went back to my room, took the pill and laid in my bed until sleep took over.

I was sitting in my car. And I wondered how it got fixed so fast. It had been completely totaled in the wreck. Then I looked next to me and Amalie was there. She made me jump.

"What?" she asked with a laugh

"You scared me" I replied.

"Why?"

"Because you're dead" I said quietly.

"I know, you killed me" she said calmly.

"I…I…I didn't know that would happen… I'm sorry" I stammered.

"You insisted I sit in the front with you. You killed me" She said it in such a calm voice and I felt like I was just punched in the stomach.

"I didn't mean to" I cried.

"You wanted me dead didn't you?" She asked

I couldn't breathe. "No! You're my best friend!"

"You wanted me dead" she said as she stared me down.

"No" I cried "No"

"You didn't move the car out of the way. You let the truck hit me."

"No" I screamed through my tears.

"Why didn't you just let Emmett drive like he wanted to? He never would have gotten in an accident and I would still be alive"

"I know, I know! I should have let him drive, I'm so sorry" Tears poured down my face and I put my head down on the steering wheel. I just kept sobbing and repeating, "I'm so sorry" over and over again.

I woke up and my face was soaking wet and I was shaking. I hated myself for taking those sleeping pills, they knocked me out and made the dream last even longer. Wait not dream, nightmare.

I shuddered just thinking about it. It was now light outside and I had been sleeping for a while. I grabbed the pill bottle and shoved them in my drawer. No way was I taking those again. If I was to have another nightmare (and I prayed I wouldn't have to go through that again), I wanted to be able to wake up from it, not be stuck in it due to drugs.

I didn't think I could take another nightmare like that. I didn't think it was possible, but I felt even shittier then I did yesterday.

I didn't leave my bed at all that day. Matt kept calling me but I didn't answer. I felt empty. I just stared at the ceiling wishing I was dead. I couldn't take it. I had never felt so alone or crappy in my whole life.

Sure Matt would have come over, but I didn't want him to see me like this. What could he say that would make this better? Nothing.

I don't think Emmett left his room either. I was way too afraid to try and talk to him. He hadn't spoken a word to me since before the accident. If he wanted to talk to me, he would come to me. I knew my brother, and I knew he wanted to be alone. I was probably the last person he wanted to see or talk to. This was all my fault. I knew it, he knew it, everyone knew it.