The first thing I heard was his voice.
The startling depth, the rawness, the subdued timbre. It echoed in my heavy subconscious mind. “Do not be afraid.” Sam’s voice said. It was him, I knew it was. But it wasn’t him all the same. There was something so astoundingly clear about it among the heavy haze of my head.
I couldn’t feel. I couldn’t think. I couldn’t see. I couldn’t hear. I couldn’t will myself to speak. No thoughts came to me. I was dead to the world, stuck in another dimension, one without feeling. It was as though I was in passage, in slow motion. Traveling to another place, another time.
Time stopped. Everything blurred. There was no yesterday, there was no tomorrow. There was no now. Everything was moving through molasses. All that I could sense was the crippling silence. But for his voice.
A glimpse of Sam’s face reached out to me in the blackness, my heavy eyes struggling to make sense of anything. The severity of his jaw. The flash of his dark eyes.
The voice spoke again. “Breathe, Jane. Breathe.” What a strange thing to say. I did as he said, my spirit taking in the breath of life, my form expanding and contracting with the act of inhaling. It was then that everything moved at an astounding pace, everything becoming a blur as the blackness subsided at an alarming rate, everything coming down around me.
I was new.