When you die, there’ll be no more pain. You’ll walk into the light at the end of the tunnel and everything will go away.
For a while, everything was black. Now, I see the light. But if I’m dead, why am I still hurting?
“Miss, can you hear me?” Somewhere in the light, a man calls for me. I want to see him, see where this voice is coming from, but no face appears. Nothing does.
My head hurts. To say it hurts is an understatement, it’s a pain I’ve never felt before. A pressure from all sides, piercing and dull at the same time. I’m sick. I’m cold and the cold keeps growing until eventually, it covers me completely. Until it pulls me back into nothing.
* * *
I’m lying on a beach. It’s warm and gentle, the sound of the sea fills up my ears. Waves roll onto the shore, the steady rush calms me, keeping my body in its heavy drowsiness. Although a beeping sound next to me slightly disturbs the peace.
I want to open my eyes and see where it comes from, but I can’t. My body’s too heavy to move.
Seconds pass by and the beeping becomes clearer. Other sounds make it into my head as well. Papers rustling. Footsteps. A voice.
“Miss, can you hear me?”
It’s a woman. I don’t think I know her, but she sounds friendly. Calm and warm. I want to answer her. I want to say-
Yes. I want to say yes. My lips refuse to form the word, pressing out nothing more than a whimper.
Why? What’s wrong with me? Where the hell am I? Why don’t my eyes open? Why can’t I speak?
The beeping becomes faster as my lungs close up. And all of a sudden, it’s back. The pain.
“Uh,” I press out, wanting to press my hands onto my head, but someone grabs them before I can.
“Ssh, it’s okay. Don’t move,” the woman tells me. “You need to calm down. Breathe with me, Rebecca, deep inhale.”
I’m trying to do as she tells me, forcing some air into my lungs, but the pain won’t go away. Not until something cool spreads through my arm, making my body tickle slightly, before the calm sweeps over me.
Before the dark comes again, pulling the comfortable blanket of painless nothing back over my head.