Riptide

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Chapter 9

No matter how ready I thought I was, I was not. It seemed impossible to be prepared for what happened next:

“Hold her down,” Dr. Yellow-Tie told three of the nurses, who followed the order. This made me extremely nervous.

“Why do you need to hold me down?” I asked the three strong people who used all of their weight to keep me from moving. I heard myself laughing that they would need three people to keep someone in a coma from moving. I thought they were insane until he injected me with the serum.

I began to shake and moan uncontrollably. I could feel myself waking up. I could hear the people outside the room curiously walking by, trying to get a glimpse of what was inside. I could hear that! I threw my eyes open but the entire world was blurry. I couldn’t make out a single shape. I tried to speak. Nothing came out of my mouth besides the same moaning from before. I could feel the sudden change in my body. I felt it as cell by cell, I became something else. I was no longer Olivia James. I was something more and no matter how hard I could fight it, I knew deep down that nothing would ever be the same. I wanted to scream at him, to beg him to stop things from changing. I didn’t want everything to change. I wasn’t ready.

“Sir,” said the nurse beside me. “Should we give her her next doss now?”

I wanted to scream that I had gone through enough but couldn’t. Dr. Yellow-Tie sighed, looking down at me. “Yeah.”

I prepared myself for the pain in my arm and tried to get myself to stop moving. It was no use. Three strong nurses couldn’t stop me from moving and nor could I. I had lost control. I wanted to apologize for the damage I was inevitably the cause of.

Dr. Yellow-Tie smiled down at me as if to tell me, “be strong.” I tried. It seemed my choices were fairly limited. Either be strong, like everyone was telling me to be or allow myself to slip away. No! I have too much to live for! I am not going to let myself leave this earth. I will be strong because I have more to offer this world. He injected me with the second doss and the shaking became worse. I fought harder. I wanted to live, I needed to live.

“Do this for Charlie,” I thought. “Do this for Mom, for Dad, be strong for Chloe, do this for the little brown-eyed dog you have waiting for you back home, do this for the heroes who fight for your life, be strong for your future, fight for your right to breathe, be strong for your team, for your wonderful house, fight for your family, and for Peter.”

“Come on, Oliv,” Dr. Yellow-Tie whispered to me. “Almost there.”

“Wait, what do you mean almo-” I was interrupted by another awful pain in my arm as I watched Dr. Yellow-Tie inject me with some blue liquid and I began to shake uncontrollably once more.

“Sir,” one of the nurses who was attempting to stop me from moving said. “I don’t think she’ll make it.”

“She’ll make it,” Dr. Yellow-Tie said. His words were so confident and assured of my survival that I began to believe his words. “She’s strong.”

His words became cloudy as each and every voice of the entire hospital suddenly rang in my head. I gasped at the pain and tore my arms out from under the nurses. I tried to cover my ears and drown out the sounds but it was pointless. They were too loud and too strong. I could hear everything. I was drowning in the noise. Chloe was pacing across my hospital room and trying to assure herself that I was going to be okay. “She’s fine, right?” Chloe asked herself over and over again. Fear.

A man three floors above us was complaining about the food in the cafeteria to his nurse who was taking his blood pressure.”I’m just saying, there should be something other than fruits and vegetables,” he said. Hidden helplessness.

A little girl had just tested negative for cancer thirteen rooms to the right of us. “The test came back negative,” said the doctor. “You’re free to go home.” Joy.

Charlie managed to calm Chloe despite feeling just as terrified. “Chloe, Oliv is strong. She’s going to be fine.” Hope.

A young man had just burst into the room where his mother laid with news of finding a job. “Mom,” he yelled, excitement pulsing through his veins. “I got it!” Relief.

A doctor had just learned how to cure his patient but had no one to share it with and instead rushed down the hall to tell the girl’s mother to tell her that her baby was going to make it. Pride.

Each moment gave another emotion. It was then which I truly knew I would never be the same again. I could feel the change. I felt it deep in my bones.

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