Riptide

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Chapter 8

She held my hand as she spoke. “So what? I mean the alternative is that I grow up without my big sister, right?” Charlie asked my mother and father to aide their concerns.

“Yeah, but he’s only tried it a few other times. He doesn’t know what effects the doss he has to give your sister will have,” my father said.

“But it would mean she would be alive if it works,” my mother added.

“I say we go for it,” Charlie said.

“I agree with Charlie,” I said to the room of people who ignored me. It no longer bothered me. I had grown accustomed to talking to myself.

“I’m not saying we shouldn’t go for it, I’m just saying… I mean, what if she’s not the same anymore? The Oliv who comes back might be a completely different Oliv from the one who left.”

“I didn’t leave, I was right here the entire time, Dad.”

“That’s a risk we’re just going to have to take,” my mother said as she opened the door and called for Dr. Yellow-Tie.

“Have you made your decision?” he asked. I couldn’t see what was happening, but my best guess was that she was nodding. “Great,” he said. “What have you decided?”

“We’re going to do the procedure.”

“I should warn you,” Dr. Yellow-Tie began. “The last man we tried this on ended up with a slight weakness to cold temperatures and a newfound temper,” he said. “I don’t know what a doss the size I have to give her will do,” he said.

“We’ll do anything to save her life,” my mother said firmly.

“I’ll go get the consent forms,” Dr. Yellow-Tie said quietly before leaving the room.

I could hear angered shouts from just outside the door as someone, presumably whoever was rushing around burst into the room and ran to my side. “Oh my god,” the voice said. “What happened? Is she okay? She hasn’t been at school so I texted her and there wasn’t an answer and then I left like seventy-two calls or something. She’s missed so much at school. She’ll be okay, right?” the voice asked worriedly.

“Wait a minute, I know that voice,” I said to myself. “Chloe? Chloe is that you?” I asked. Of course, there was no answer, but I wanted to know nonetheless.

Excitement and hope filled my heart in a way I hadn’t felt in a long time. I wanted to jump up and tell the world that I was okay... but I also wanted to do a lot of other things. I wanted to be able to speak again, I wanted to chew solid food, I wanted to thank Dr. Yellow-Tie, I wanted to see Peter, I wanted to learn “Dr. Yellow-Tie’s” actual name, I wanted Chloe to tell me everything that had happened at school and I really wanted, above all else, I wanted the procedure to work.

A few days past, I could hear my mother and father as they traded an infinite amount of information for the forms. My father would make the occasional comment on how many papers there were. I could hear my mother sigh and explain how she would sign a hundred more if it meant saving my life. Chloe talked almost nonstop, but I wasn’t listening. Anticipation clouded each day until finally, Dr. Yellow-Tie walked back into the room with another team of doctors and nurses, who rolled my bed to another room and told my family (including Chloe) to wait outside while they completed the procedure.

They agreed and Dr. Yellow-Tie closed the door behind him. “Alright,” he said to me. “You ready?”

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