I wondered if someone would ever find me. Alone, desperate, and dying.
I could almost feel the hydration seeping out of me. I couldn't even form one coherent thought in my head, couldn't even promise myself hopelessly, this is the end.
The scrambled thoughts in my brain made no sense to me. Burned. Dying. Heat. Stroke.
Maybe I was going to burn. The sun, so sweltering hot on my arms and legs, might just set me on fire.
Something inside me wanted to sit up, stand, and run away, but my body wouldn't respond. I frowned and rolled my head to the side.
Maybe I should just close my eyes, block it all out until I see the white light. Why is death white? I thought to myself hazily. But then I remembered how the white light was supposed to be Heaven, and I knew I wasn't going there. I tried to close my eyes anyway, though, to see if I could force myself to sink into the cold depths of Hell. Or was Hell hot?
It's too hard to die, I decided. But it's too hard to live, too. So what else can I do to get away from the pain of flaming skin and a dry tongue?
And suddenly I felt weightless, like I was floating. I smiled because I was glad I had finally met with death. But it was still hot. So there's my answer to Hell.
And then I heard yelling, someone yelling out my name. "Jen! Jen!" Hello, I thought. Are you the Devil?
It's nice to meet you.
I'm new here. What do I do now?
Then an icy sensation spilled over my face, and my eyes flickered open, unfocused and dizzy.
I recognized the voice.
My eyes began to focus and I saw a face above me – it was Will! I wanted to say his name, but I couldn't move my lips.
"Jen! Can you hear me?" he asked.
I wanted to nod, but I couldn't, so I just blinked twice.
"Are you okay?"
I rolled my head to the side and realized it was on Will's arm. But when I saw a water bottle on the dry sand next to him, joy rushed through me. Because to me, water meant one thing: life.
But the water bottle was empty.
"Wa…" I was able to start to say.
"Water?" he clarified. "I'm out of water."
"Where…" I couldn't finish.
"I poured it all on you."
At first I was confused, but I slowly realized that had to be the icy coolness that woke me up from Hell.
"Jen, Jen, you're safe now. We're going to take you home now."
"We…?" I started.
Then another person moved into my line of sight, next to Will's head. "Hey, sis," Lily said.
And I closed my eyes, surprised that I had enough water in me to generate a single tear that made its way down my cheek.
"Are you sad, Jen?" Will sounded concerned.
"No," I was able to say, "I'm just glad I wasn't left stranded in Hell."