The Magic of Stars

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Chapter 19

My eyes are blurry and my legs won’t move. I try to open my mouth, but find that I can’t. My mind is blank and I’m very confused. I hear sounds but I can’t place them. The lights above me are on and the walls around me are white. I try to move my finger, but somehow the one on my right hand moves instead. Where am I? I think silently. I can’t remember anything at all. I start to freak out and get scared before a face appears right in my line of sight with a happy smile.

It’s a small, skinny boy with dirty fingernails, light brown dusty hair, and very pretty ice blue eyes, which are staring at me expectantly as if he wants a hug or wants me to say something. I don’t though. Mostly because I can’t, and the other reason is because I have no idea who this little boy is. I don’t even know who I am. He looks about ten or eleven years old and his smile slowly fades.

“Stella. It’s me. It’s Jack! You’ve been sleeping in a coma for three days. I called dad and the doctor as soon as your eyes opened.”

I feel myself getting stronger and stronger and I try to sit up, but my muscles still aren’t listening to what my brain is trying to tell them. I wiggle my toes and move my legs into a position so that I’m able to sit up. The boy--Jack, smiles again and helps me.

“Where am I?” I say in a rough voice that hasn’t been used for a while. I look at the exits and am able to see two windows letting the sun file into the room with one door off to the side, also white with a metal handle. The room smells like the aseptic smell of carbolic acid or the distracting smell of flowers and it’s very sharp and sterile, hurting my nose. The floor has white tiles and there’s counters with rubber gloves, scissors, masks, and other tools. An old TV set hangs from the ceiling. One of the windows was giving me a view of the world below just beneath the screen. In the corner are two chairs, frayed with wear and tear. And on one of those chairs was a boy, about my age, sleeping peacefully although he had sleep deprived eyes with bags hanging below.

“You’re in the hospital,” Jack says quietly, knowing that I’m looking at the other boy in the room. “And that’s Ace.”

Ace was gorgeous with long eyelashes, a strong jaw, a muscular form, but also impossibly skinny. His skin was tanned to perfection and his lips full and cherry red. He started shuffling around a bit as if he was going to wake up so I faced Jack and put a finger to my lips. He nods as soon as a doctor walks in, a nurse behind her with a clipboard.

The doctor had the posture of a soldier. Every action she took was precise and purposeful. She smiled in the cold and distant way professionals do. I can never relax around such expressions. I need a genuine face, preferably a smile, but if not I’d really rather they didn’t fake it. Her eyes were devoid of any make-up and her hair was in a tight bun, not a strand out of place. Through the examination she gave commands rather than requests. The nurse had hovered two feet behind, her relaxed expression of earlier replaced with a grim slash for a mouth and knitted brows. When the prodding was over, I dropped my eyes to the covers in anticipation of her speaking to me, but when I raised them again the room was quite empty; only Jack and the boy left, both glaring at me with open expressions.

“Stella,” the boy said. It was like he was seeing right through me. I tried moving around the tubes and wires connecting to me, but they only tightened. I felt my cheeks go bright red because I’ve never been around a boy this handsome. He grinned at me before walking over and making small movements like I might hurt him or scream if he doesn’t treat me right. He sat on the edge of the bed with an action of tender lightness. “Please talk to me. Do you feel alright?”

“Uh, yeah, I guess. I’m sorry, who are you and how do I know you?”

He looks taken aback and his eyebrows are up in surprise. He gets off the bed and gives me my space because he knows that he’s a stranger to me. “Your dad is coming here today. Jack--I mean, your brother over there,” he points to Jack, thinking that I don’t know him either, “he called your father and don’t worry, he’s on his way.”

“Thanks a lot. How about my mother?” I ask, wondering how she’s going to fit into all of this. Ace doesn’t say anything. He only rubs his hand through his short hair and sits back down, looking at Jack. Jack is now sitting on the floor with his back to me, but he doesn’t make any moves to look towards me when he speaks.

“Mom is dead. She died of cancer six years ago when I was too young to remember,” Jack said. His voice was raw and filled with remorse and regret. “I’m so sorry Stella.”

I close my eyes and try to remember who these people are. Who my mom was and who my dad is. How does he deal with this pain? How can I wake up in a hospital bed with no memory and not have a mother? Did she even love me?

I lay there quietly, keeping my eyes closed, matching my breaths to the beeping of the machines that surrounded the bed, the only indications of my heartbeat, my existence. My legs were numb. I don’t remember if they were like that or if I just now noticed it. I wanted to leave, but I didn’t know where to go. The beeps of the machine were getting faster and faster and my eyes were getting dizzy from breathing too fast.

“Stella, are you okay?” I don’t know which of them asked me. More and more voices were joining in with the ones I knew were in my room already.

“She’s going into shock. Give me the sedative.”

“Which one? The Propofol or another anesthetic?”

“Give me the Propofol right now. We’ll need the bigger needle to make it flow easier.”

“Yes doctor, coming with it right now.”

The voices keep going and we’re slowly fading into the background. My mind slid into a memory I didn’t even know I had.

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