Riptide

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Chapter 10

He smiled down at me as I slowly drifted off to sleep. I was hoping that through unconsciousness, I would find my serenity and would no longer be able to hear, and yet I heard him leave the room to tell my family the news. I heard him tell them how strong I was and that I had fought through. I heard their joy as they jumped up and down which startled me awake. I listened as Dr. Yellow-Tie explained that I seemed to have a slight sensitivity to noise before allowing them to follow him to my room. “A slight sensitivity?” I muttered to myself. “More like a complete psychological breakdown.” I hoped to whoever was listening that this would be the only side-effect. I hoped I would simply have increased hearing and that there would still be certain aspects of my life which would stay the same, I didn’t realize just how wrong I was. Suddenly, the door burst open and my family poured through the doorway, all talking at once. They stopped at the foot of my bed and lowered their voices as if speaking to a newborn baby.

“We’re so happy you’re okay,” Chloe whispered after walking up to me and giving me a gentle hug.

I laughed. “Or as close as I seem to be able to come at the moment,” I said truthfully.

My father chuckled with relief. “There’s our girl,” he said, his voice slightly softer than usual.

Charlie smiled from near the doorway as I realized she had been crying. “Get your butt over here and give me a hug,” I demanded playfully, trying to jump back into the body of the person I once was. She followed the order gratefully.

My mother came over and asked how I felt. I laughed tiredly and thought for a moment on how to answer the question. “Honestly, I’ve never been more hungry in my entire life,” I said. “You’d be surprised how little an I.V. really does compared to eating a good-old-fashioned cheeseburger. But other than that, I just want to go home.”

She nodded silently. “Well then let’s get this girl a cheeseburger,” she said, turning to Dr. Yellow-Tie.

He nodded and was about to leave when I stopped him. “Wait,” I said. He stopped in his tracks and turned around. “I have a bunch of questions, but most importantly, what’s your name?” I asked.

He chuckled and introduced himself. “My name is Timothy Brown, it’s a pleasure to meet you properly,” he said, walking up and giving me a quick (but firm) handshake before leaving the room.

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