Everything was so dark. I didn’t have my life flash before my eyes or a beautiful meadow to see before everything ended, I saw nothing. I was surrounded, suffocated, and drowned in nothing. I thought it was the end. I thought Claire hadn’t made it in time and I was dead. I didn’t want to die without saying goodbye to my family or...Sam. I couldn’t go like this.
I began to scream bloody murder, but the sound just echoed around me like ghosts in the dark. I was completely and utterly alone. I started to cry thinking this was it. I had died on the way to the hospital and I was going to die alone without getting to say goodbye. I collapsed on my knees when an orb of light appeared near me. The sudden array of light scared me, but was so much better than the surrounding darkness. The light caught my attention and I watched as it moved closer.
I reached out for the source of light and when my hand touched the cool surface I found myself staring up at a tiled ceiling. Without moving I looked around to see I was in the hospital and I was alive. I looked down to see Claire had fallen asleep next to me and my dad was talking to a doctor in the hallway. Luckily, they were talking loud enough for me to hear them.
“What is wrong with her?” Dad asked
“She has severe anemia, Mr. Carlisle.” Doctor Mike explained
Doctor Mike looked through his chart and continued to explain, “Your daughter lost blood faster than her body could replenish it. The wound on her neck is where the blood came from and from what I can tell it happened a few days ago. So she’s been slowly bleeding out for days. I don’t know how she even functioned with how much blood had left her body. She should’ve been jello on the floor.”
“What the hell could do something like that?!” Dad yelled
“Most likely the same thing that attacked those kids a few months ago. She has the same mark as they did. Something attacked her and took the blood from her body. If she hadn’t come when she did, there would have been little chance of survival.” Doctor Mike explained
My dad closed his eyes and then opened them with a sigh, “Is she going to be okay?”
“She will be fine by tomorrow night. Carly is having a blood transfusion as we speak and will get another tomorrow morning. When you get her home, let her rest and don’t let her do anything strenuous for the next few days. She needs to heal and I don’t want her stitches to open back up.” Doctor Mike suggested
The doctor left my dad as he snuck a sneak peek into the room. I quickly pretended I was still asleep as he went down the hall for some fresh air. I opened my eyes back up to find Claire awake squeezing my hand. She looked just as tired as I felt and I was thankful for her. This is the second time she saved my life and I was so happy I told her the truth, “Thanks for staying by my side, Claire. Even if I did refuse your help, thank you.”
Claire returned the smile with tired eyes, “You’re my best friend, Carly. I couldn’t let you suffer. You saved my life when it came to your mother’s goons and now I am returning the favor.”
“I am so glad I told you everything.” I said squeezing her hand back, “Without you I would’ve died this afternoon. Having you and Sam is the only thing keeping sane at this point.”
“I feel the exact same way.” Claire agreed
“Where’s Saige?” I asked noticing I had not seen her since I had woken up. I knew Dad must’ve came with her so she had to be close. Maybe she was flirting with Doctor Mike. He was like thirty, but she had the biggest crush on him. It was kinda cute actually.
“Saige is in the cafeteria. She said that she wanted to bring you food. You should’ve seen her when she saw how bad you were. I think Saige even shed a tear.” Claire said
I laughed a little to myself, “Saige is a tough kid. She doesn’t like showing any kind of weakness, but she does care. Sometimes she just doesn’t know how to show it.”
I reached up with my hand and felt gauze and padding covering the bite on my neck. Claire pulled my hand away and answered the question that was clearly on my face, “They think it’s an animal. The same one that attacked Olivia and Jessie a few months ago. They can’t even consider that a vampire could’ve done this.”
“Thank god.” I said relaxing onto the bed and then sitting right back up when I thought of something, “Have you seen Ethan?”
Claire bit your lip and nodded, “He came with Saige and your dad when the hospital called. He looked a mess and when he saw you it was like he broke. That emotional barrier he always had up shattered into a million pieces. I think he finally realized the damage he was causing.”
“Maybe, I finally got through to him.”
“I really hope so. I don’t want something like this happening to you again. You’ve already lost so much. Losing your life is not an option. I won’t let it happen.” Claire said
“Has Sam come to visit?” I asked with hopeful eyes.
“He tried to, but the doctor said only family was allowed to visit with you.” Claire said as my face saddened. She saw this and reassured me, “Luckily, I got to him before he disappeared. Sam told me he would be back after everyone left, that way you guys would have some alone time. He was so worried I thought it was going to tear him apart.”
I knew Sam would be worried and I felt so awful. I went against him even after I promised. I’m surprised he isn’t furious with me. Maybe he is, but hid it in front of everyone else. I just don’t know. He is the best thing in my life and if I lost him now I don’t think I would survive. He is everything to me and I just hope what I did doesn’t make him want to leave.
As I was trapped in my thoughts I heard the door open to find Saige and my dad. Saige had a tray stacked to the brim with food and my dad had multiple drinks. Claire helped me sit up as Saige set the tray on my tiny hospital table. There was pizza, chicken, soup, fruit, veggies, and any food you could probably think of. I looked from the food to Saige with a raised eyebrow.
“Why did you get so much food?” I asked
“I didn’t know what you wanted so I just got everything.” Saige said with a big awkward smile, “I wanted to make sure you wouldn’t go hungry. You need to get your strength up and I just thought…”
“It’s wonderful, Saige. Thank you.” I said interrupting her, “But I don’t have a big stomach as many might believe. Why don’t we all just share this? There’s enough food for the four of us.”
“Good idea, I am starving.” Claire said going for a slice of pizza while getting sauce on her cheek. We all burst out laughing and then we got to eating. We chatted and enjoyed each other’s company. At one point having a small food fight.
When we were done, Dad cleaned up and we all hung out for a few more minutes. Then Claire had to get going and it was just us three. My dad wanted to stay the night with me, but I told him I would be fine. Saige had school and he had work, staying here would mess with that. I tried to convince him to leave and luckily, he listened.
Dad caved in and took Saige to the car. He returned to tuck me in and check to make sure I was alright, “Are you okay?”
“I’m fine, Dad. I’ll be home tomorrow and then after some rest I’ll as good as new.” I said with a smile.
My dad’s face became conflicted and he squeezed my hand, “What happened a few days ago? What caused you to hide this for so long?”
I hated lying, but it was the only choice I had. Telling him the truth would be dangerous for him, so I lied, “I was walking home from Claire’s a few days ago and heard this growling from the woods. I got closer to see what it was and then the thing jumped me. I tried to push it off, but I wasn’t strong enough. It bit me and then vanished. I didn’t think it was that bad, but then it got worse.”
“Did you see what did this to you? The doctor thinks it’s the same thing that killed your classmates a few months ago. Did you see what it was so this thing can be taken care of?” Dad questioned
“No, it was too dark. I wish I had because then the danger would be gone. I’m so sorry.” I apologized
“You don’t have to be sorry.” Dad said taking my hand in both of his, “I am just glad you’re okay. You should’ve told me what happened. Dealing with this on your own was dangerous, you could’ve died.”
“I know I should’ve told you, but I didn’t want to worry you. After everything that has happened in the last year I wanted to keep you out of it. I wanted to deal with it on my own, but I wasn’t strong enough.” I explained
“You are stronger than you think, you always have been. You have been through so much and you continue to fight each day. But next time, ask for help. Doing everything on your own isn’t necessary. There is nothing wrong with getting help.” Dad suggested
“I’ll keep that in mind. I love you, Dad.”
“I love you too, sweetie.” Dad said leaning down and giving me a kiss on my forehead. Before he backed away I wrapped my arms around him and dug my face into his sweatshirt. He hugged me back and we stayed like that for quite a long time. Dad pulled away first and kissed my cheek. He wished me goodnight and quietly left the room.
I snuggled back into my bed and began to fall asleep. I was on the edge of sweet bliss when I felt a breeze through my hair. I opened my eyes and found Sam sitting where Claire had been earlier. I turned to look at him and my eyes became wet with tears, “I am so sorry I went against what you wanted. Ethan would’ve killed that girl and I was the only one who could stop it. I hope you aren’t mad at me. I know I screwed up.”
“I’m not mad at you.” Sam said wiping away a tear from my cheek, “I knew the minute I told you not to you would definitely go to the school. I just didn’t know how bad it would get.”
“Who told you?” I asked
“Claire called me the minute you arrived at the hospital. She told me everything, including what Ethan did to you. I was so worried that I came right away. I had to make sure you were alright.” Sam said
“Ethan needed blood and as long as he fed on me then he wouldn’t hurt anyone else. He’s my brother and I don’t want him to become a monster. I wanted to keep him from that, but I didn’t think he would feed so often and take so much.” I explained
Sam looked at me with understanding, “He’s a newborn. When your new the thirst is the hardest to control. I know you wanted to keep him from the burden of killing someone, but putting your life in danger didn’t help either. In the end he would’ve killed you and had even more grief.”
“I know, I am so sorry.” I said as more tears came, “I didn’t know what else to do. I was an idiot and I screwed up. I’m surprised you aren’t breaking up with me. I screw up everything I do and put myself in danger every single time.”
“You are not an idiot.” Sam said getting up from his chair so he could stroke my cheek and look directly into my eyes, “You wanted to protect your brother from pain. I get it. I get it because I am the exact same way. I would rather see myself in pain then those around me.”
“I guess we’re both screwed up then, huh?”
“I guess we are.” Sam agreed
Our faces were within centimeters of each other, eyes never looking away. I could feel the cool of his skin without it ever touching me. His nose turned to the side only a little bit and his eyes were so blue you could swim in them. He was gorgeous and even in my weak state I couldn’t deny my feelings. My heartbeat began to speed up, which made him smile.
“You heart is beating quite fast. Is something wrong?” Sam asked in a suggestive type of tone.
“No nothing’s wrong. Nothing at all.” I said in the same kind of tone.
He looked me over as I had just done to him. Sam looked at me as if I were a goddess and that made me even more nervous. That’s when his hands slid up to grasp my face and his lips came closer to mine. I closed my eyes and felt his lips on mine. It felt as if everything had faded away and it was just me and him. His lips were so soft and gentle as our lips danced. It was nothing like any of our other kisses. This was something more.
I wanted it to go on forever, but he pulled away. I tried to calm my heart down, but it just wouldn’t slow down. I felt electrified, something I haven’t felt in forever. His smile widened at my reaction, “Once you are out of this hospital and all this evil vampire business is taken care of then we can enjoy each other’s company. We can go on an actual date that doesn’t end in ruin.”
“I would love that. Maybe, someday.” I said
“Someday.” Sam agreed
Once my heart began to slow down the tired feeling came back. I wanted to stay awake, but Sam said it was best for me to sleep. He would stay by my side until I went home tomorrow night. A comforting thought before everything went dark. This type of darkness wasn’t suffocating, it was peaceful. No nightmares or weird visions. Just the bliss of sleep.
Hours later I woke up to find Sam and another figure fighting. I thought I might be imagining things, but I knew I was awake. As my strength returned I came realize who the figure was. It took me a second, but my vision came into focus, “Ethan?”
“Carly.” Ethan said as he tried to come closer to me, but Sam held him back.
Ethan looked down at Sam’s hand and then over at me while Sam explained, “I told Ethan that you needed your rest, but he insisted. Do you want to see him or should I escort him out?”
I looked from Sam to Ethan and then back again. Ethan looked distraught and I knew he was sorry, I could feel it. I couldn’t just push him away, he deserved a chance, “Let me talk to him. You can stay right outside and if something happens you can come in to protect me. Okay?”
“I’ll be right outside.” Sam said vanishing out of thin air.
Ethan waited to make sure Sam was truly gone and then he came up beside me. His eyes were wet with tears and his face was distraught. He looked almost as bad as I did. His eyes scanned my injuries and that just made him sadder. He looked utterly destroyed as if his whole world had come crashing down.
“I...I am so...sorry.” Ethan said through his tears, “I was so obsessed with my own urges I didn’t realize what damage I was causing. This morning I saw how pale you had gotten, but I didn’t want to admit that I was the reason. I am so sorry.”
“Ethan, it’s okay.” I said
“It’s far from okay.” Ethan said as he gritted his teeth, “I almost killed you, Carly. I almost killed my own sister. You wanted to save me from having that girl’s death on my conscious, but then it almost cost you your life. I’m a monster.”
“No, you’re not a monster. You are a new vampire and controlling your thirst can be challenging. You are not to blame for the choice I made. I did that for you and I was prepared to die for it. You are not a monster, if anything I am.” I said
“Carly…” Ethan began
Before another word could escape his mouth, I spoke my mind, “Ethan, this is who you are now. You will have urges and one day I might not be there to stop you from killing. Yet you are not a monster. You are just a kid who got turned into a vampire too early in life. Don’t blame yourself.”
“It’s so hard not to blame myself. You’re neck is bruised and sore because of me. You almost died because of me. You are in here because of me. How could I not blame myself?” Ethan questioned
“You were scared and just wanted to feel human. With my blood the urges were gone and you felt almost human again. I made the choice to help you and I would do it again. My wounds will heal within the week and then there will only be a scar. I’m alive aren’t I?” I explained
“Yes but…” Ethan began
“Then don’t blame yourself. I am alive and I don’t blame you.” I said putting my hand on his shoulder and looking up into his face, “So don’t blame yourself. Please, Ethan.”
Ethan nodded, putting his hand on my mine. He smiled softly and wiped the tears staining his cheeks. We sat in silence for quite a long time because neither of us knew what to say. We stayed like this until he shot up when his phone rang. Ethan began pacing as he talked to the other person on the line. He was whispering so the person on the line could hear him, but I couldn’t. They began to fight as he’s tone rose a bit in volume.
As the conversation went on his voice quieted and he surrendered. The call went on for several minutes and I am pretty sure that I heard my name at least one or twice. Ethan said goodbye and quickly ended the call with an angry expression. Whoever he was talking to wasn’t a friend. Most likely the she devil.
“Who was that?” I asked
“It was mom. She wants me to come back home. So I guess I better get going.” Ethan said shoving his phone back into his pocket.
“You don’t have to listen to her. She isn’t as kind as you think she is. She’s not your boss.” I said
“I can’t betray her, Carly. She’s mom and she saved me from my terrible life. I’m sorry.”Ethan said as he vanished out of thin air.
I yelled out his name but by the time the words came out he was gone. Sam walked back in and sat down beside me, “He’ll come around. I know he will.”
“I really hope you’re right.”
For the rest of the night Sam and I talked. From food to favorite actors to interesting movies. It was calming to just have a talk and not have to worry about anything else. We talked into the early morning hours and then I found sleep once again. When I came to Sam and my dad were having a talk in the corner of my room. It sounded kind of heated, but neither did anything more than talk. They continued like this until my dad saw I was awake.
He came over, kissing my forehead, and telling me he had to go to work. He said he would see me soon and then he left, giving Sam a stern look. Sam shook off the weirdness and came over to me. I looked over at him with confusion and he shrugged, What was that about?”
“You’re dad came to check on you before work and found me here. He was pissed that I had come to visit, but was also grateful I watched over you. I told him how much I cared for you and his face softened a bit. I think I’ll crack him eventually.” Sam said
“He’s stubborn, but if you show him that there is nothing to worry about he’ll soften. My dad has always been protective of me and he hates the idea of me being hurt. So if you can show him that you would never do that, he’ll learn to love you.” I said
“I’ll keep that in mind.” Sam said with a smile.
“Is that all you two talked about?” I asked
Sam looked down at his feet and then back up at me, “I am also responsible for getting you home. Amy has to stay home for when Saige gets there and your dad will be working till late. So he said I could drive you home.”
“He’s beginning to trust you. That’s a good thing.” I said
“I hope you’re right.” Sam said
I had another blood transfusion in the morning and each passing minute I felt better and better. Sam never left my side, not even once. It was nice to have someone care so much. The rest of the afternoon was calm. When I ate lunch Sam stayed by my side and tried his best to make me smile. Laughter was the best medicine. Hanging out with Sam was amazing and just made things so much better.
Later in the afternoon the doctor said I was allowed to go home, but I needed to rest. Stress or strenuous activity could open up my stitches and cause more issues. I agreed and the nurses took my I.V. out and replaced my gauze. When it came to changing out of my hospital gown into my clothes, Sam stepped outside. I quickly slid on my clothes which someone had kindly washed for me.
As I was getting my shoes on, I felt a burst of air. I thought it was Sam, but when I looked up my smile faded, “What do you want Aria?”
“You’re mother wants to see you and since you won’t come willingly, I have come to collect.” Aria said appearing in front of me.
I slowly backed into the wall and put my hands up with begging, “Please, Aria not now. Tell her we can talk in a few days. I am hurt and I am not supposed to do stressful activities. I know you don’t care if I get hurt, but please just give me time.”
“Yeah, I heard what you were doing for your brother. Quite brave to let a vampire feed on you, moreso with newborns.” Aria said smelling the air, “You smell delectable as always and if I had the chance I’d feed on you too, but that would be ruining the merchandise. Your mom has run out of patience and I will not disappoint a second time.”
She wrapped her arm around my throat and pulled me toward the window she had come through. Sam burst through the door and slowly walked toward us. The closer he got, the closer Aria got to jumping with me in her arms. Sam pleaded with Aria, but she wouldn’t listen, “Aria, put her down.”
“Her mother wants to talk and Carly ignored the invitation. She is not a patient woman and can no longer wait. I have come to collect Carly, but don’t worry we won’t kill her. Kelly just wants to talk.” Aria explained
“Carly is hurt and still reeling from what Ethan did. Please come back in a few days, not now. Carly needs to rest, stress could make things worse. Please.” Sam begged
Aria looked down at me and then back at Sam, “She should’ve thought of that before she disobeyed her mother. Kelly told me to collect and that is exactly what I plan to do. If you try to fight me I throw her out the window, which is at least a four story drop. Do you want to take the chance of your girlfriend turning into a bloody pancake?”
I looked over at Sam and nodded, “It’s okay, Sam. She just wants to talk and I’ll give her that. Just compel my family so they don’t notice my absence and I’ll see you soon.”
Before Sam could say anything more, Aria jumped out the window with me in her grasp. I remember the speeding wind and Aria clinging to me. The last thing I heard was Sam’s voice yelling my name before unconsciousness took me over and everything went dark. Why can I never just have one normal day? Why does everything have to end in tragedy?