A bright light... and suddenly, my eyes open in sudden shock.
I grasp around for a moment and feel the rug beneath me. I lay there in utter confusion at where I was. I look up, and notice the pale ceiling. There appears to be a few lights in the long hallway. I struggle to get up, but stop in a sitting position before pain overtakes me. Looking around, the walls are a wooden brown with a pattern of some sort. There are a few pictures here and there. One of them catches my eye with its vibrant color. I look at it closely and notice that it is a picture of a field. Slowly, thoughts began to return to my head.
How the hell did I get here? The last thing I remembered doing was driving… for some reason, the memories fail to come. It seems that the answer will not come so simply... perhaps if I get up and look about, I might find the answer. Pushing with inner strength, I finally get up, albeit slowly.
Now that I was up, I look a bit more carefully at the hallway. There appeared to be no windows at all. There was no air ducts of any kind I could possibly climb into… then my eyes noticed a golden knob. There was a door to the left of me. I groaned. It became obvious what I was going to have to do to try and get out of here. I begin to hobble over to the door. Unfortunately, I tripped over my own two feet and fall face first. I curse at my terrible balance and start to get up again. I feel down a few times in the process, but finally, I succeeded in regaining my balance. I hobble over to the door with the golden knob. I begin to worry at what could be on the other side of the door. Still, it was my only way out, so all I could do was try it. I opened the door and stepped outside.
The room I had expected on the other side of that door was absent. Instead, I felt a cool breeze rush past me. I looked down at my bare feet, and felt the grass that was tickling my feet. The meadow was surrounded by a large group of trees on nearly all sides. In front of me, there was only one large tree in the center of the clearing. There was a lake at the edge of the clearing with a small island near the center. Between the island and the lake, a wooden bridge bridged the gap left by the water. The leaves rushed past me in a sudden swift movement.
It seems, I was standing in front of a meadow… but how did I get here? Before I could begin to answer that, I heard a voice… a very familiar voice. It sounded like it came from a girl, as it had a higher pitch than my own. I look to my left to see where the voice could be coming from. I begin to walk in that direction. The cool air rushed past me as I made my way to the noise on the edge of the meadow. Suddenly, it rushes past me on the left. I jump back in fright.
"Hello!?" I call out in surprise. "Is anybody there?" I was greeted with a giggle from the person. I shuddered from the giggle… it sounded familiar to me. Someone was definitely here with me, and I was determined to find out whom.
"I know you can hear me!" I yell out to the general direction the noise was coming from. "Who are you, and where am I?" Immediately after I finished, I was treated with a surprising proposition.
"Come and find me, and maybe I'll tell you!" The girl responded. She laughs and then begins to run off. I jump in surprise at the response. At this point, I wasn't sure what to do… but I needed answers. I rolled my eyes in disgust and begin to chase her.
I hear her move further into the forest to try and hide. I quickly change course, and follow her to what seems to be a river. It poured from the lake and continues somewhere downstream. The water looked clear. There was some fish splashing around the river. Nearby, I noticed the girl sitting on a rock. I sneak up to her and jump out in front of her. She jumps back in fright and laughs.
"Alright. I found you." I say to her. She continues to laugh. As she does, I look closely at who it is. She had brown hair and green eyes (an unusual combination if I could say so myself). She was about my size and apparently my age. The closer I looked, the more I found that I could draw up some memory of her… before I could grasp it though, she begins to speak.
"So you did… now you have to catch me!" She says in joy. She jumps up and begins to run past the lake. I groan in annoyance, and proceed to follow her. I was hot on her heels when she jumped up and began to jump through the trees. I gasped in shock. She stopped jumping and looked back at me.
"You didn't know I could do that, huh?" She says with a grin. "You can too. Just try it!" She jumps to the branch in front of her and continues to run. I sigh and decide to try. I pray a little, and jumped…
Right onto the branch. Never before could I do that it seemed. I gasp in surprise and almost lose my balance. Quickly, I grab onto a nearby branch and regain it before I could fall. Now, the odds seemed to have evened out. I quickly jump from branch to branch and continued the chase. She jumped right into the clearing and towards the tree. I quickly followed by jumping down nearby. She ran towards the large tree in the center, and I ran after her. Finally, I lunge right at her and knock her to the ground. We both fall down right next to the tree. We're both laughing at this point.
"Alright… now I got you." I say with a chuckle. I help her up and lean against the tree. "Now, I want answers. Where am I?" She chuckles and sits by the tree.
"Don't you remember?" She says to me. I shake my head in response. She frowns and picks an apple from the tree. "Well… that you need to find out for yourself." She responds. She then bites into the apple with a crunch and chews it slowly. As she does, she picks another apple and passes it to me. I look at it and shrug. I take the apple and bite into it. As I do, she continues to speak.
"All I can tell you is that you need to start searching around." She says. She points to a path into the forest. "I can accompany you, but that's about it." I looked at her for a moment, in an effort to remember where she was from. She seemed so familiar to me… unfortunately; it doesn't come to me completely. I give up on trying to remember, and sigh.
"I was afraid you might say that. I guess we should start to walk." I respond as I push myself up against the tree. We begin to walk towards the path. I look at her again and sigh… it still does not come to me fully. I decide to ask some questions.
"Who are you?" I ask her. She looks at me and chokes up a little. She swallows, and responds.
"I was afraid that you would ask that…" She says. "I can't tell you, or there could be consequences…" She looks at me with pleading eyes in an effort to stop my questioning. I sigh and bite into the apple again. As I do, I nod in agreement. Just when I was swallowing, I started to remember some things… I think I was driving at some point… I was talking to someone… and then a scream… and everything went black. As I try to understand what this means, I bump into someone. It appeared to be an old lady.
"Sorry ma'am." I say to her quickly. She looks back at me with a crooked smile. Slowly, she opens her mouth and begins to speak.
"No my child… it's quite alright…" She responds with that smile. I take the time to look at her. She appeared to be very old and frail. She had a wooden cane that was painted black, and was sitting near an altar of some kind. The altar appeared to have a few marble statues surrounding the pedestal. On the pedestal, there was a large totem. The totem had the face of a rabbit at the top, the face of a snake in the center, and the face of a turtle at the bottom. I shudder at the snake and turn back to the old lady.
"What is this place?" I ask her. She frowns at me and looks worried about something… She snaps out of it and looks at me with a twisted smile.
"It is not that important." She says slowly. "Some things are best left unknown… you could get hurt you know." I stare in fright at the sharpness of her tone. Her eyes appeared to have a cold twisted look in them, and suddenly it was gone. She smiles at me.
"Now you two just run along and play… and don't go near the river. There's nothing there." I nod in agreement and turn to go. The girl sighs and follows right behind me. When we turn the bend and the old woman is out of sight, she walks right up to me. She stops me in my tracks and sighs.
"You know that she's lying to you, right?" The girl with the brown hair says to me. I didn't really know how to respond, so I nodded in agreement. She smiles and continues to speak. "Good then. Let's go see what's there, shall we?" I slowly nod and walk next to her. I continued to look at her. As I continued to eat my apple, I started to remember some things about her… she had a very important role in my life apparently… but I could not remember what. I give up on that again, and switch to thinking more about what happened. More details begin to come into my head as I ate the apple. I remembered that I was driving when that thing happened… I might have been talking to the girl with the brown hair. It was starting to come back to me… slowly, I was about to remember that crucial detail on who she was, when she spoke.
"We're here. Let's see if we can find something." She says to me. I look at her and nod with a smile.
"Alright then… what are we looking for?" I ask her. She points towards the island in the center of the lake. I look at the wooden bridge, and smile. We begin to cross over the bridge. As I continued eating my apple, she began to speak.
"I need to tell you something." She says to me in a saddened tone. "You know when I said the old lady was lying to you?" I look at her and nod as we stepped onto the island. She turned around and unhooked the chains holding the bridge up. Suddenly, the bridge collapsed into the water and floated downstream. She turns back at me.
"Not only was she lying to you, but so was I." She says sadly. "I'm truly sorry. Please understand that I'm doing it for your own good."
I look at her in shock at her confession. I had trusted this girl with the brown hair and I was played for a fool. I shake my head in anguish and continue walking on the path. The trees around the path gave way to a pier with a boat. I look at the boat, and then back at her.
"What is this?" I ask her. She shakes her head sadly.
"Please trust me and get on…" She says sadly. I sigh in disdain and walk onto the boat. She cuts the line that held the boat to the small dock. I look at her in shock and anger. She begins to cry.
"You'll be alright soon… please don't worry about me." She says to me. She waves goodbye, and walks away. I turn around and look in front of me. There is a sunset in front of me… or is it a sunset? I wasn't sure. All I knew was that it was getting larger and brighter…
And then I woke up. I jolted up and looked around the hospital room. A man looks at me in shock. I looked back in confusion.
"Oh my god…" He says. He runs outside and cries down the hall. "GUYS GUYS! He's awake! He's finally awake!" People began to rush into the room. Tears of joy and cheers of happiness were all around. I was completely confused. They stopped cheering and looked at me in happiness. I looked back in further confusion.
"Wait… what happened?" I said. He looks at me and frowns.
"Don't you remember? You got into a car crash… you fell into a deep coma… the doctors thought you wouldn't make it." He responds. Suddenly, I remember everything completely and look around wildly. I look back at him in terror.
"Where is she!?" I said to her. He looks at some of the other people in the room and nods sadly. He then begins to speak.
"I'm sorry. The crash hit her full on. She… passed away." He choked up as he said it. The full brunt of the words hits me head on. Slowly, I slump back in my bed in anguish. It was over. I had lost her. The last link to my sanity, to my purpose, to my happiness…
My sister was dead, and there was nothing I could do to change it.