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9. John

I wake up to a low beeping sound. White surrounds me--white walls, white ceiling... And the sunlight streams through the window on my right.

I can’t move.

I can’t feel anything.

The door opens as my brain tells me I’m in a hospital. A man in a white coat walks in, reading from his clipboard. My family follows behind him as I recognize the doctor is my father.

My mom rushes in, teary-eyed and snot-nosed and grabs my hand.

“Amabel!” She sobs and kisses me on the forehead. The smell of alcohol isn’t very traceable on her.

“Mom...” I croak.

My throat feels like it’s lined with thorns and my head feels like it’s being split in two.

I see my brother look at me with clear troubled eyes as he sits in a chair at the end of the bed. He seems fidgety and nervous.

My father stares down at his clipboard, reading something aloud. I don’t know if I choose to not hear him or I just can’t hear him, because nothing reaches my ears.

“What happened?” I ask as the memories come back.

“Someone ran a red light and completely caved in the drivers side of John’s car.” My dad says, the words coming out with little emotion. “You were lucky, Amabel.”

“Where’s John?” I ask, my heart rate speeding up as the beeps mimic it.

My mom looks at me with sad eyes and I look back and forth between them.

“Where is he?” My voice cracks.

“He died on impact, Amabel.”

I don’t know who it was that told me this news. I don’t care.

He’s gone. My one happiness, my one distraction, gone.

Warm tears start to create rivers on my cheeks as I shake my head, not wanting to believe it. He can’t be dead. He can’t be dead while I’m still alive this can’t be happening--

“No!” I practically scream. I rip my hand away from my mom and she bites her lip as a tear or two fall from her eyes. “No!”


“No! No he can’t be--”

“Amabel Ray Doll,” my dad says in a low voice. “Calm down. People are sleeping.”

“I don’t care! I don’t care dad, do you care?! Do you see what’s happening to me, to John?! John...” I sob, placing my head in my hands. My stomach twists and wrenches inside of me as I try to catch my breath. My body hurts, my lungs hurt, my head hurts.

He was everything... without him I would have gone insane long ago. Without him...

He’s gone...

“I’m sorry, honey,” my mom tries to calm me down.

I shiver her away and try to get out of the hospital bed, the drip attached to my arm yanking at my skin. I pull it out as my mom tries to make me stay in the bed.

I stand up and scream as my left hip cries out in agony. I fall back into the bed and hit it.

I lay sobbing.

“Go away,” I grumble through my breathing fits.


“Go away!” I scream and throw a pillow at them. “Leave me alone.”

“Amabel,” my dad says in a low tone. “I know this is hard for you--”

“Go! Away!”

I bury my throbbing head into the mattress, the cold fitted sheet putting pressure on the wounds that are apparently on my head and my nose that is now bleeding.

I hear their footsteps leave the room and I turn myself over, my body’s senses finally awakening with pain.

I stare at the ceiling as I try to control my breathing.

“I’m sorry,” I hear a voice.


He’s still in here.

I groan in response and cover my eyes with my hands. I can feel the scratches and cuts on them as they touch my skin.

“For everything.”

I lay still, not saying a word. Tears still flow from my eyes and sniffles echo between the walls of the room.

I hear Tobiah sigh and stand up. His footsteps get further away and a door opens.

“I promise I’ll help make it better.”

The door shuts and I’m left to mourn.

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