Chapter 6: Down the Rabbit Hole
Everything is dark. It’s so dark, too dark. ‘Where am i?’ I think looking down to where my hands should be. Instead of seeing my hands I just see darkness. I let out a sigh and try to move my hands to run them through my hair. I can’t move. I start violently trying to get my hands and arms to move; to do anything. I feel hot tears begin to run down my face. ′Scream’ I think frantically ‘just scream and then maybe someone...someone can do...something’. I open my mouth and try to call for help. Nothing. No noise comes out of my cracked and chapped lips. I keep trying and trying but soon my throat starts to burn so I stop. I shut my eyes, which makes absolutely no difference so I open them again, and just exist in this nothingness; tears still rolling down my cheeks.
After what feels like an eternity of nothingness I see something. I actually see something far in the distance. I hear what sounds like waves crashing onto a shore. A small smile pushes its way onto my face as I continue to stare at the speck of something in the distance. My legs begin to move, as some other force wills me to walk toward the unknown speck on the horizon. My eyes light up ‘Moving, holy hell i’m moving’ I think trying to move my arms again; only to realize they are still glued to my sides. The thing is getting closer and I can almost make out what it is. The sound of waves gets louder and louder as I continue to walk toward the sound and the light.
‘Lighthouse’ I think finally getting close enough to identify the tall, familiar structure. In what feels like moments I am at its base and I am stopped. Water rushes over my feet, but no sand. Just what feels like cement; cold, hard, black and oddly smooth underneath me. I shiver a tiny bit as the cold water rushes over my feet again and again. I close my eyes briefly, and sniff the air expecting to smell the comforting scent of salt water. However what I smell is sharp and chemical. My eyes pop open as my legs begin moving again propelling me forward into the water. First up to my knees, then my hips, then up to my shoulders. I gasp for air as a wave rolls over my head filling my mouth and nose with the “water.” The tears start again as another wave breaks over my head. I am pulled under the foul smelling liquid and this time I can’t find the surface. I begin flailing, or trying to flail, as it seems I have no control over my body. I try to scream but the “water” just fills my lungs.
“Paisley?” I faintly hear someone call my name. I give up and close my eyes focusing on the nothingness that has once again surrounded me under the waves. “Paisley!” the voice is more urgent. ‘Just let me go’ I think feeling my body shake slightly. “PAISLEY!!” and suddenly I am back in the hospital in my bed with Derek standing over me, his hands on my shoulders, and sweat dripping off my forehead. “Shit Paisley what was that? Are you alright? God I thought it was happening again and...” he trails off removing his hands from my shoulders and plopping exhaustedly back into the chair he had been occupying when I went to sleep.
His head is in his hands so I can’t read his facial expression but by the way his shoulders are shaking i’m almost positive that he is crying. Unsure of what to do I get out of bed and walk a few steps to the chair and perch lightly on the arm. I nervously place a hand on Derek’s shoulder. He flinches like I’ve just socked him. “Umm uhh it’s okay?” I say not too reassuringly. ‘Come on really?’ a voice in my head chirps ‘You’re the one who almost just died... or something, and now you have to comfort him?! Ridiculous!’. I mentally roll my eyes and shush the voice. While I am lost in thought he quickly stands almost knocking me off my perch. Luckily with whatever grace that has been hiding away for the last 16 years, I manage to catch myself.
Derek looks at me. I look up at him, and if looks could kill I would be a pile of dust on the ground. I quickly move my gaze to the rather fascinating floor tiles. I hear a sigh and muster all my courage to look back up into those bright baby blues. To my surprise his eyes hold none of the venom that was there only moments before. Now they looked sad, and almost ashamed. I blush and look away again ‘so much for courage’ I think just as my stomach decides that it would like to make a guest appearance.
The light pink tinge on my cheeks quickly turns red enough to rival my hair as my stomach growls rather loudly. The boy opposite me runs his hands through his shaggy brown locks and extends his hand before saying “Hungry?” A little smirk forms on his face, as I cross my arms and give a little sheepish nod. “Well come on then.” he says with a hollow little laugh and a pointed look at his hand. I raise an eyebrow at him as if to say ‘and what exactly do you want me to do with that?’. He lets out another laugh, this one sounding more real and less hollow. He takes one of my hands, intertwining our fingers, and before I can protest he begins leading me quickly down the hall.
I smile and blush yet again, all the while one thought dominating all the others ‘He said again.’