Chapter 28--In Your Head
"MOM!" your 5-year-old self cry out as you held your knee close to you, scraped from racing your best friend to your own backyard. You tripped over the gutter and was shocked to see the blood. "Mom! Help! I'm bleeding!"
Your mom, upon hearing your cry, rushed to you with a bandage and a couple wipes. "(Y/N)!" she cried back, kneeling at your side and assessing the damage on your body. "What did you do this time?"
"Racing against my best friend," you told her between sobs. "And I tripped."
Your mom sighed as she patiently cleaned the wound, gently wiping the blood away from your knee and putting the bandage over your wound. "(Y/N), please do be careful!" she softly scolded you as she faced you, giving you a kiss on the cheek. "You'll be okay now?"
You nodded. "Thank you mom!"
Your mom beamed at you. "Anything for you, my dear (Y/N)."
"OW!" your 8-year-old self cried out in pain as you clutched onto your stomach, after someone punched you so hard that you felt all the air being knocked out of your system.
Your previous best friend stood by you now as she lead you away from the scuffle. "Come on, let's go to the school nurse."
The two of you silently went to the school nurse, ignoring the laughter behind you growing louder and louder. By the time you reached her, the nurse smiled at you kindly and lead you onto the bed, holding out a pack of ice and wrap a towel around the pack so that you didn't go numb over the cold.
Your best friend stayed with you, perched on the edge of the bed as you clutched the pack hard on your stomach, trying to ease the pain that the bully delivered.
"You okay now, (Y/N)?" she asked you worriedly, looking at you with pity.
You nodded. "Don't worry. I'm a strong, tough one."
"A strong and tough one indeed, (Y/N), but you will one day reveal a weak spot that would make you break," the school nurse cried from across the room as she organized her many drawers full of different doctors' tools. "Be very careful, (Y/N), dearie. You never know if that bully would strike again, or anyone out there worse than him!"
You nodded again, laughing weakly. "When that day happens, I will most certainly be able to look out for that. Thank you."
The nurse simply nodded as she turned away and continued minding her own business.
"Watch it, (Y/N)!"
You doubled over and fell on your back as someone kicked a soccer ball hard onto your gut again, and another person kicked another ball right into your head right after. The double pain was too much for you, and soon you were unable to get up again.
You were saved by the high school gym coach's whistle, shrilly interrupting the match so that she could tend to you. "(Y/N), are you okay?"
You nodded, but winced, groaning as the pain stabbed right through your body. "I...I...I'm...fine...I think..."
The rest of the girls present, Trudy included, started laughing at you.
"Haha, (Y/N)!" they cried, laughing so hard that they were doubling over. "This is for your father!"
"SHUT UP ABOUT MY FATHER!" you screamed. By this point in time your father was already dead, and your mom was still hanging on but not as well as you wished she did. This was before you met Hiro, this was before Melanie showed up...and in that moment, you had always dreaded school.
"Oh really?" Trudy sneered. "Well, your father had already gotten enough torture in his life, taking care of his business AND you and your mom. I suppose the glue has already worn off long enough on your family. Shame you can't keep them together. Even your mom realized the damage!"
"Damage on what?" you retorted hotly, attempting to sit up now. "My family?"
"Stop talking already. You're making me sick," Trudy cried impatiently, but not before gathering enough spit to spit on you now, all over the ugly school jersey you were wearing.
That was it. Before you could get up now despite the pain, your coach cried out "ENOUGH! Trudy, you are to sit out for the rest of the game."
Trudy's mouth hung open as she heard the coach's request. "What?! But...sir..."
"No more arguments," she warned her, glaring at her. "I've seen your behaviour around the school, Miss Fridgerator. Clearly, I never thought you would deny your behaviour around Miss (Y/L/N), especially since you have many witnesses."
"She does," another girl piped up. "That is, witnesses who actually BOW DOWN to her! She's our queen!"
The other girls all nodded...except you.
"I'm getting sick and tired of all of you," you sighed exasperatedly, sitting up now, though still unable to get up on your feet. Your head felt like it needed to meet the ground, the need for a pillow increasing as your head continued to sear with horrid pain.
"Miss (Y/L/N), do you need assistance?" the coach asked you.
You shook your head. "I...I think I'll be okay on my own. Thanks."
And with that you turned away and headed to the gym office, but not before the coach put a reassuring hand on your shoulder. "Do be careful around Miss Fridgerator and the rest of the girls. If what she says is true, you may be in danger of them, not just in school but in the community as well. Take heed of everything that goes around you, (Y/N)."
You tensed as you heard the coach's warning, and nodded.
"If I do end up in the face of danger, I'll be careful. I promise," you assured the coach now, smiling. "Thank you, coach."
The coach nodded as she turned back to the rest of the class, and you grabbed yourself a couple ice packs from the gym office, holding them close to your stomach and head, hobbling back to the bleachers. You felt Trudy's cold stare on you, but you chose to ignore it.
"They're not worth your time," Melanie told you later on.
She was right.
A familiar golden glow surrounded you as you stood before a gate, the somewhat ghostly figures of your parents approaching you from the other side. You squinted as you tried to make out what was happening, but before you could register everything, your mother came out and tackled you in a hug.
"Mom?" you asked weakly, embracing her back.
"(Y/N)," she said warmly, smiling. "Look at how much you've grown."
"We've been watching you from afar," your father added, and you looked at him now, feeling the need to cry and laugh at the same time as you hugged him too.
"Dad!" you cried in relief, closing your eyes. "What...what are you doing here?"
"Like your father said, we have been watching you," your mom said. "We saw everything-your relationship with the boy, Hiro, and your friendship with Melanie and some of the other people in the San Fransokyo Institute of Technology, seeking revenge on Robert Callaghan, our assassin...and we thank you for that."
"Wait." You pulled away from your father's embrace just to look at the both of them now. "You know of your case? The (Y/L/N) case?"
"There was a reason why my father didn't tell me everything," your father told you. "They have been burned down, house and all. I was surprised they didn't make it out of the fire...and I still miss them dearly. I thought it was an accident too, at first, but when I realized what those threatening emails meant, I knew I had to protect myself."
"But you said...I said...I said that he was only saying those to scare you!" you protested.
"Only then did I realize, (Y/N)," your father said sadly. "I realized I was in danger. The whole family was in danger."
You shook your head in disbelief. "Why didn't you tell me?"
"We didn't want to scare you," your mom answered.
"Mom, the fact that you died, completely overwhelmed by Callaghan's hateful emails, already scared me!" you cried. "And besides, why don't you trust me? I'm old enough, I'm freaking 14 years old and absolutely mature for my age!"
"As mature as you would be, some things you just can't handle so easily," your father reminded you. "Not that we're trying to scare you now, but...it's true. How would you feel if we told you you were going to die?"
Your eyes widened. "The gunshot..."
"We saw," your mom said gravely. "Callaghan shot you in the court, didn't he?"
"We can see everything," your mom said, putting a hand on your shoulder, though the hand felt so empty you felt that a simple light package of air was just making contact with you. "The moment we saw him pull the trigger, we knew it was the end. But somehow...you are still alive."
"Wait." You put your hands up in complete surrender. "What do you mean, I'm still alive?"
"The bullet that embedded itself in your skull wasn't fatal," your father smiled.
"And how exactly do you know this?"
"You know your guardian, Mr. Lacitier?"
You nodded. "He's my new guardian now. Did you guys approve of him looking after me?"
Your mom nodded. "It was in my will after all."
"Ahh." You smiled at your mom now. "I guess you have made the right choice after all. Mr. Lacitier has been taking very good care of me so far." Then you turned to your dad. "Sorry, what was it you were going to say about Mr. Lacitier?"
"He studied biotech back in his days," he told you. "He does do natural sciences too, but biotech was his major. Anyway, he did teach me some of the most important organs in the skull. The bullet didn't pierce anything too important. So you still live."
"You...you sure? I thought the moment you were shot in the head, you die because you lose all coordination," you argued.
"Your case was...special," your mom said slowly. "Somehow you are still able to survive the shot. The bullet wasn't fatal."
"Do you know what happened at the hospital then?" you asked. "Or is it where I am now? I don't know what happened after I got shot."
"That would be for your boyfriend to tell you," your father said, smiling.
"Wait. You mean Hiro?" Your eyes widened. "Why would he be there?"
"He loves you," your mom said simply. "I could see that when you brought Baymax to me. The way he protects you, the way he comforted you when I told you I wouldn't live another day and refused to...I knew."
"So..." You looked down as you realized the truth. "He must have been there because of his promise."
"He kept blaming himself, the poor thing," your father noted. "Kept saying something about...breaking his promise."
"You mean the promise that he would be with me every step of the way?" Suddenly, you felt your heart twist in agony. "I have to help him."
"You are due to wake any time soon," your mom simply told you, smiling. "You are regaining consciousness."
"Wait, are you saying that all of this is happening only in my head?" you cried in shock. "Mom, dad...I can't leave you yet!"
"We know it hurts to leave us," your dad said. "But you're growing up. You'll be fine."
Too soon, you felt your body being pulled down by gravity, and you held onto your parents' arms. "Please, I don't want to leave you yet!"
"We will always be here," your mom reminded you. "Hiro has told you many times, remember? We will be here in your heart. We always will be." She then reached out and smoothed your hair down, brushing your hair behind your ear. "Make us proud, (Y/N). We want you to live a long and happy life. Make sure Callaghan's punishment is served right."
You nodded bitterly, tears streaming down your cheeks, though you managed to keep a brave smile on your face. "I promise. I won't let you down."
Then everything faded to black.
Your eyes slowly fluttered open and widened when you saw where you were-a room. More specifically, an empty, dark, hospital room with a curtain and a window which displayed the beautiful night sky. Your eyes darted all over the place now, before you heard someone groan and you turned your head slightly, despite the pain shooting through your neck, to see a boy with black hair holding on to your hand and snoring right by your bedside.
You smiled weakly as you squeezed the boy's hand, whispering his name so quietly in the dark.