I slowly shuffled down the hospital hall, clinging onto my Dad’s arm. Behind the nurse’s station, Dr Moss and Bella were talking amongst themselves. I gave a weak wave, and they both smiled and waved back. Hopefully, this will be the last time I come to a hospital.
Dad unlocked the car door with a soft clunk. He ran around to me and gently lowered me into the passenger seat with a bit of difficulty. The horrible crash flooded my memories. Being in the car felt like I was reliving it over again. I just stared blindly in front of me and I snatched out to grab onto my Dad’s hand before he walked away.
“We’ll take it slow, okay.” he said as I pulled the seatbelt over me and plugged it in.
I slowly said. “Maybe getting into the car is wrong.” but he quickly ran around and jumped into the driver’s seat. I swallowed hard. He started the car, and it gave a brief roar which startled me. I gripped the sides of the seat and dug my nails in and waited for the horror to begin.
He pulled away from the kerb and drove at medium speed. I closed my eyes, hoping that the drive would be over all ready. I kept on replaying the same scene inside my head when we were hit. I remembered my body being thrown around like a rag doll. I squeezed my eyes tighter, hoping to wash the image from my mind. Over and over it played the horrible scene of Kate’s battered car. Then my mind took me back to the dream I had. Kate’s body was lying in the middle of the road, all alone. I didn’t want to see that anymore. I shook my head to rid myself of the disturbing image.
“Ellie.” a voice whispered.
My eyes shot open to see my Dad looking down at me.
“We’re home now.” he said.
I looked around. My Dad parked outside the house. I just wanted to run upstairs to my bed and stay there forever. I threw the seatbelt off and walked towards the house while Dad watched my every move. He opened the door and waited while I slowly crossed over into our home.
“Shall I make us a cup of tea?” he asked. I wanted to agree but could not get the words out. He walked off towards the kitchen and I just stood there in the hall, alone.
Everything felt so awkward, even being at home, it felt wrong for me to be here like I don’t deserve to come back. I walked into the living room and tried to sit, but I felt anxious about something bad was about to happen. I just couldn’t shake the feeling that I had that surrounded me.
I got up and started pacing around the room. I just couldn’t sit still. My body felt wrong, and I didn’t know what to do with myself. My stomach felt uneasy, and I took off upstairs, covering my mouth. Leaning over the toilet, I threw up a yellowish green liquid, coughing, and spluttered into the toilet bowl. My mouth tasted awful. I rinsed my mouth with some water to get rid of the terrible taste. My legs slowly eased onto the cold bathroom floor and I reached out and pulled the toilet handle to flush.
“Ellie?” Dad called from downstairs. I didn’t have the energy to answer back. I heard footsteps and then a gentle knock on the door. “Are you okay?” he asked.
Struggling to stand up, I wiped my face with a towel and opened the door to see Dad’s worried face looking at me.
“I’m fine.” I lied.
“There’s tea downstairs if you want any?” he knew I was lying.
Finally, I came out the toilet and Dad followed behind me as I struggled down the stairs. I felt like a weak kitten. My body ached with pain and I wanted it to stop. He held out his hand for support, but I didn’t need it. I had to do this on my own. I didn’t deserve help. We both entered the kitchen, and he poured the tea from the boiling kettle. I took the hot mug with both hands while the heat pricked my skin. We both sat down at the kitchen table, sipping. Again it felt awkward, even just sitting here. We hardly said anything to each other, we just sat in silence and sipped our tea.
It was getting late. I drank the dregs of my lukewarm tea and placed it in the sink.
“I will have an early night.” I finally said.
He looked up from his tea and nodded. I noticed that the deeper dark circles were back fully formed around his eyes. “You could use an early night, too.” I suggested.
He tried to give me a smile, but I noticed I drained him, being through so much. I bent down and planted a kiss on his forehead.
“Goodnight, Dad. Get some sleep.” I told him.
“I’m the one who should tell you that.” he replied.
I left him in the kitchen and painfully pulled myself up the stairs to my bedroom. I opened my bedroom door to find that the bed had fresh sheets and my room was neat. My grim face formed into a slight smile. “Thanks, Dad.”
I changed into my lazy top and climbed into bed. My bed sheets smelled so fresh, not like the horrible hospital ones, itchy and like cardboard. A few minutes later there was a knock on my door.
“Come in,” I said. I noticed my voice was tired.
Dad came into the room and sat next to me on the bed. He stroked my hair slowly, and it reminded me of when I was a child. He would always stroke my hair to send me off to sleep, and I just felt so safe.
“Do you want to go to school tomorrow? I can phone them, if you..” I cut him off.
“No, I’d rather go. Plus, I want to see Becky and Lilly.” I said.
“Well, do you want me to drive you to school? I’m off for a few days, but I have to pop into work tomorrow.”
“No, I’d rather walk.” I said. Just talking about driving made me thinks of Kate.
“Your friends have been asking about you.” he said.
“I’ll see them tomorrow, anyway.” I stated with a yawn.
He kissed me on my forehead and turned off the light as he left the room. I got comfortable and pulled the soft sheets up to my chin. As soon as I closed my eyes, I was dead to the world.
I woke up in the pitch black with a gagging thirst; my throat felt like it was on fire. I got up from the bed and my head was fuzzy and I could not hold my balance. I fumbled for the light switch but could not find it. My knees buckled, and I fell hard onto the floor. The air around me felt thick, and I couldn’t breathe. My heavy eyelids fell, and then my eyes shot open. There was that smell again, that horrible, putrid smell.
My nose and mouth burned with every breath. The potent smell entered my lung with its noxious odour. The powerful stench became unbearable, and I tried to cover my mouth with my hand, and I tried to stand up. I grabbed hold on to the bed and tried to pull myself up with the last bit of strength I had left. I stumbled my way out of my room, pulling the door open. My entire body became like jelly. I fell forward, losing my balance, hoping to grab onto something on the way down. I craned my neck around to face my Dad’s room. I tried to call out but my voice was useless, my voice had left me. Deep down the hall, there was something in front of my Dad’s bedroom door, tall and dark.
No, it wasn’t something; it was someone. A large silhouette was standing in front of his bedroom door. At first, I thought it my father, but he would have seen and tried to help me. That was not my Dad.
“Dad!” I tried to shout and warn him, but it came out only a whisper.
This was causing the horrible smell, being so close to it made me gag and my eyes water. The black silhouette came closer until it stood towering over me. I coughed as the stench surrounded me like a thick cloud of smoke, making it hard to breathe. The ominous figure bent down and struck me across the face. Tiny black and white stars filled my blurry vision. Once dazed, the creature grabbed me and threw my nearly lifeless body onto his shoulders with ease and carried me off down the stairs. I tried to kick and scream but it was useless; I was weak, my aching muscles failed me. The figures’ clothes were rotten and foul. He smelled of raw sewage and I could feel myself wanting to throw up. I tried to grab on to anything within reach, but its sharp claws pierced my back, filling my body with pain.
He violently kicked the front door open and the bitter night air whizzed throughout the house, sending chills up and down my spine. The creature walked out of the house with me slumped over his shoulder like a meat sack, and I felt helpless. I felt light and heavy at the same time. I raised my lead filled head to see my house filled with black silhouettes; they were standing on the roof and were inside, looking down on me from the windows. I screamed as hard as I could and I woke myself up.