CHAPTER ONE - Burning Heat
I felt paralyzed. I couldn’t move i couldn’t speak, i couldn’t see. And the little beeps of something that sounded like a computer monitor was the only thing my ears could allow me hear.
I felt week with an enormous amount of heat spreading through every bone in my body. I tried to move my arms, but failed.
Where am i?
The question registered in my brain.
“Have you noticed any signs of consciousness? “an unfamiliar feminine voice filled the room, along with slow footsteps.
“No “another voice rang from beside me. A little less lively, and broken but quite familiar.
“If she does so much as, move a finger... ”
“I wouldn’t hesitate to call you or any other nurse near bye “. There was a brief pause. Just before i heard the door click.
I felt limp every were. My breathing raged, and my eyes heavy. And that’s when i realized there was something on my face, wind pipe, i think.
That explains it. I’m in a hospital.
I felt a soft grip on my left hand .
“Baby you have to wake up okay.“i recognize that voice anywhere “it’s been hard. Really hard...you’re all i have left. And i can’t lose you baby. Please you have to wake up ”
“Mom I’m here “i tried saying but all that came out was a puff of air.
“Dian! Oh God my baby! “she screamed “nurse! Nurse! She’s awake! ”
Next thing i hear is heavy footsteps storming into the room .
“She, she moved her fingers !“mom yelled
“And you are very certain? “the same feminine voice from earlier spoke.
There was a few moments of silence except for the constant mumbling of sweet words to me by my mother as she gripped my hand tight, not letting go. God knows i tried my best to call out to her but my voice just stayed stuck on my throat.
Slowly the light started coming up to me as my eyes fluttered open.
It started out blurry, then i slowly adjusted to the light and that’s when i saw her.
Golden blonde hair sprawled in waves around her shoulders, round plum chicks that show evidence to her healthy eating and those eyes. Intense blue grey eyes i managed to inherit from her staring down at me with sadness written all over them and dried tears just below her lower lashes.
She looked like she hadn’t slept for days and even still she managed to still look beautiful.
“Mom! “i chocked out, hoping dearly to God that she heard me. And she did.
“Honey! “tears that i thought were long dried up began to flow down her face. “sweet heart “she cupped my face in her hands. “thank God. I thought i was going to lose you ”
“Mom what happened? “she didn’t speak and her expression gave me no answer either. “Mom talk to me, what happened? And how did I end up here? ”
I groaned in pain as i held my moms arm for support while climbing the stairs to the front door of our house.
Every part of my body hurt from inside out. I felt hot, like there was a burning fire inside of me that refuses to quench. And my arms around mom’s shoulders seems to be making it worse even though she was cold. But that was the problem cold. I would retreat, but then i won’t be able to support myself.
“Careful dear “she helped me down on the sofa. “I’ll be back okay, let me make you a cup of tea “i nodded my head in a way of saying yes please, since my throat still felt sour and i just couldn’t find the voice to talk.
Apparently. I’ve been in a coma for about two months now. But it didn’t feel anything like it.
All i remember was us girls having a girls night together at Ming’s house before her grandma called in from the hospital and then there was this huge black out in the entire town and... There was some kind of... Creature. I’m trying so hard to remember, i don’t even know if i saw what it was but I’m certain i heard noises. We both did.
“Here “mom came back in with a steaming cup at hand and i just grabbed it from her not even waiting for it to cool down before gulping it all in.
“Aren’t you going... “she was cut off by the empty cup now sitting in front of us. “are you okay? “she asked eyeing me warily.
“I’m fine “actually I’m not. My head is spinning and everything else is burning. Hot, i feel hot and i hate it, but my body seems to like it, seeing as i quickly retracted from the feel of my mom’s cold hands that were pressed on my forehead before she even got to balance herself.
“Your temperature is burning up “she winced “you’re too hot. I don’t understand this isn’t supposed to be like this “she picked up her phone “I’m calling doctor Brewer to know why you are running a temperature “.
Doctor Brewer was our family doctor for twenty years. My mom had me in his hospital and every other thing else that has to do with medical health has always been through him.
“Dian! “she called and i jerked my attention up to her “i already called the girls. They should be here in a few” she said just before disappearing into the kitchen.
I took the time to examine the house to occupy the boredom. There was not much to inspect though. It was just the way i left it. But...fresher.
The pale white walls looked a bit newer. the couches had a bit of glow to them and although the frames in the walls were all the same they looked out of place. More descriptively rearranged.
“It may be her body adjusting to the familiarity of the weather Amila. It happens, you just have to give her a little bit of time and she’ll be back on two feet again ”
I know that voice, even from the constant cracking and shaking i can recognize it still. I was Dr Brewer’s. Okay that is kind of weird. I can’t possibly hear his discussion with my mother on the phone all the way from the kitchen to the living room, even though the distance isn’t that long. She’s not even on speaker phone.
“Are you sure. It is like she’s a cooking stove that’s been used all day without rest. I don’t think this is normal “her voice slightly going high against her will.
“Yes Amila if she goes like this for the next three days without any signs of reduction, call me “okay now I’m certain i can hear him just fine.
“Okay, okay. Fine “she sighed not feeling too convinced. Just then a low knock was heard at the front door.
“I’ll get it “i said standing up, feeling the need to move.
“You should rest dear ”
“really, I’m fine mum “she was going to do it her self but luckily i beat her to it. Not without a few almost trips though, that i tried to cover up and pretend it’s nothing.
“Dian! “Ming screamed and immediately lunched at me the moment i opened the door.
“Ouch! easy girl “i winced from the pressure but chuckled, i miss her.
“Sorry “she mumbled but made no attempt to pull away.
She was cold and it hurt my skin but i wasn’t going to let her go, I’ll endure it because i missed it. Although it didn’t feel long since we last met, in fact it felt like yesterday. But now holding her like this felt like it had been months since we last shared a hug.
“You’re burning “she suddenly pulled away. “shit girl it’s like you are on fire “she had a crease in between her brows.
Just then i turned my gaze to meet Faye standing there and staring me down with heavy eyes. She looked like she hadn’t been sleeping fine and she’d been crying alot, just looking at me all the heaviness in her eyes began to purr out into hot liquid.
Without thinking about how much it would hurt if i were to touch her. I lunched my self at her in a tight embrace.
“I thought you were never going to wake up “she subbed on my shoulders.
“But i did “i slowly pulled away and we just stared at each other for a while and the next thing you know we burst into a fit of giggles. I don’t know why we were laughing but we were. And it felt good.
“Come on in girls. You shouldn’t stand outside for too long “and with that we all strolled in heading up to my bedroom with Faye and Ming holding on to both my arms to help me steady myself as we climbed up the stairs.
Something that had been bugging me since i left the hospital, a presence I’ve been craving Stared me off. I’d been wandering, and when mom said the girls were coming. I thought for sure he would be here too.
“what about Damon? “i asked wanting to see him so bad. I miss him. I couldn’t help but wonder why he didn’t come over.
“He’s still in school... ”
Oh that’s right!
“He was in the middle of a class when i called to let him know you had woken up ”
“What about you guys. Don’t you have school? “Ming heaved a sigh as she sat beside me on my bed and Faye who was sitting cross legged on the ground directly in front of us had a deep crease between her brows.
“You have a lot of catching up to do “.
“You did what? “i stared at my friend in disbelief.
Apparently Faye had suffered minor injuries the night the accident happened, but unlike me who ended up in a two month coma, she had recovered during the first three days. But then she decided to give up art and photography in college to do her research on the creature that attacked us.
Faye and i always had similar dreams. We’d both had a passion for art and photography and we both sent applications to NYU on the same course along with Damon who was going for advanced chemistry. We used to draw and paint random things when we were younger and add them to our collection of F&D. A large art book that we store all our works from scratch till date.
So yes it upset me knowing that my best friend would give up all her dreams because of an incident that caused her a traumatic period.
Ming on the other hand got called back to China, according to her family to take care of her grandma who almost broke a spine after falling. But that’s all just bullshit.
Her family are really religious people, they don’t like people who aren’t accustomed to their tradition and like every other wealthy family, they wanted Ming to go back home so she could study business and manage half the shares in their company.
But Ming begin the strong willed person she is had never wanted anything to do with the family business and wanted to keep pursuing her medical degree before it even started, decided she wasn’t going anywhere. Besides here in Randall is where her true family is. Myself, Faye and her cousin Jaime are what a family should be like, not people who share the same blood with you and act like you were never even born until you become useful to their eyes.
Just like you might have guessed. Her mother didn’t like that so she cut off all her allowances and tuition fees, leaving her daughter broke and unable to afford medical school. So Ming stayed back and began working at Joe’s. The most popular dinner here in town that never sleeps, while she struggles with paying for online classes that her dad secretly supports by sending her little funds every now and then without her mother’s knowledge.
John Lee, although i have never truly met him before, is a very powerful man with seven children all scattered around the world for both educational and business purposes. A Chinese man who is one of the richest men in the entire world, with an aura like that of a deadly ogar. A man you never want to cross under any circumstance. But despite all that, he is a man that loves his children more than anything else in the world and would do anything to maintain their happiness. Reasons as to which i will always hold respect for him.
“I couldn’t Dian ” Faye said “that thing. The thing that hit me... The thing that hit you... “the expression on her face was one of pure horror. Her breaths became shallow and ragged just a little bit. “that wasn’t a normal creature... ”
Ming put a hand on her shoulder to stop her friend from talking. Her dark hair framed in a shoulder length bulb around her slightly round cheeks, small sharp eyes filled with a wary like expression and her small pink heart shaped lips pressed tightly together in a small pout. “slow down ”
She says calmly and Faye obeys taking in a deep breath. My memory of that night was slightly foggy so i couldn’t exactly remember what it was that had attacked us.
It was probably just a wolf that had gotten lost at the wrong side of the track.
But that’s the thing. Ming lives no where near the woods. It was rather a big lavish penthouse on the upside of town where the rich folks live. So no, i don’t understand why and how an animal big enough to break through her front door could get to that side of town and only attack us.
“I saw it Dian! “Faye said directly to me, controlling her breath this time. “it wasn’t a wolf or whatever else you’re thinking ”
A deep crease formed between my brows. I stared at my friend, she wasn’t acting normal. Faye is someone who easily brushes things off when rendered unimportant or impossible. But then again she’s the smartest among us, she’s hardly ever wrong about anything. And at the same time she’s been through a tough time these past few months i haven’t been around, so i can understand why her beautiful hazel eyes read a fearful expression i couldn’t decipher.
“It had wings and... and... ”
“Faye. “this time i was the one to stop her rambling again.
She pursed, staring at me with disbelief in her eyes. “you guys don’t believe me ” it wasn’t a question. It was a statement. Her eyes moving from me slowly to Ming and back to me again.
“It’s fine. “she goes blank “but i know what i saw. And I’ll prove it to you ”