Annie stared at the person on the hospital bed. The tubes and wires connected most of the machines to him. The steady beeping of the heart monitor was all that she could hear. She couldn’t cry. She just felt numb inside. As she gazed at his peaceful expression, she let all the memories come flooding back…
September 19th 2011: “Wait! Wait! Wait!” she shrieked, nearly tripping over her feet as she tried to catch the quickly fading sight of the bus. She exhaled slowly as she wondered what to do now. This had not been her day. As she scrutinized the timetable for what seemed like forever, she failed to notice the boy that was lounged on the bus shelter bench. His light blond hair seemed to shine in the morning sun. She sat down on the opposite side of the bench. “The name’s Bennett”, he stated out of the blue. “Annie”, she smiled. The bus arrived and they both hopped on.
Annie had met Bennett again. She discovered that Bennett had moved to Clare from Dublin with his parents to “experience country life”. He enrolled into St. Joseph’s Community College, Kilkee. They gradually became friends.
Annie reminisced about the moment when she realised that she was falling in love with Bennett. She had been paired up with him for a school project. They researched at the library and were walking home. Just then, it started to rain.
October 11th 2011: “Shoot!” Annie cursed at the sky as the raindrops started to fall. It was nearly a 10 minute walk from the library to their homes. As they both sprinted back to their respective houses, Annie slipped and crumpled onto the pavement. Bennett spun around as he heard her cry out in pain. “What’s wrong?” he shouted. The noise of the rain was deafening. “I think I twisted my ankle!” Bennett made a spur of the moment decision. “Get on!” He motioned for her to get on his back. She did. Bennett ran home, determined to get Annie home safely, whatever it took. Annie, on the other hand, was experiencing a new feeling. It was really weird. They finally reached home. As Bennett handed over Annie to her parents, she beckoned him over from where she was lying on the couch after they had both been dried off. “You didn’t really need to do that; you could have just called my mom.” Annie could not explain what happened next. Bennett looked deep into her eyes, murmured, “I wanted to”, and softly kissed her on the forehead. Bennett glanced around after leaving the room to Annie lying on the couch, gobsmacked. He smiled.
The annual School Dance (they could never figure out a proper name for it) was one of the most prominent memories.
November 21st 2011: She seemed to almost float as she entered the room. She could feel everyone’s gaze on her. She eyed the ground, blushing uncomfortably. The long red strapless dress complemented her dark, black hair. She took deep breaths, just one step, two steps, three steps, and four. Her thoughts were interrupted as she tripped on the hem. She braced herself for the impact but instead felt a pair of strong arms catch her. She glanced up. Bennett was chuckling as he lifted her up. “You really do know how to make an entrance, don’t you?” Annie blushed. Bennett grinned and mock-bowed, “I suppose the safest thing to do now, is to ask if I may have this dance?” Annie curtsied, laughing. “You may!” Only then, did they notice everyone staring at the two of them. Bennett led her up to the dance floor. The moment the band started to play the song, Annie recognised it immediately. “For all the lovers out on the dance floor tonight, this is ‘All About Us’ by He is We and Owl City”. Bennett and Annie gazed into each other’s eyes as they danced. As the final lyrics of the song were sung, they kissed a long and tender kiss. It was perfect.
Annie laughed to herself. She had never worn the dress ever again, in case anything would happen to it.
December 6th 2011: Bennett walked up to her. “Will you, Annie Jacobs, take me to be your-“ Annie just stared. “Are you… proposing to me?!” “No, I am asking you”, he paused and took a deep breath, “to be my girlfriend.” “Yes, yes, yes!” she exclaimed as he kissed her smack on the lips.
Annie grabbed Bennett’s hand.
December 25th 2011: “Merry Christmas!” Annie opened the fragile little box. Inside was a locket which could hold a picture, and on the back was “A + B = F” “Thanks Bennett, but are you giving me a present or teaching me algebra?” Bennett laughed. “No silly, A is for Annie, B is for Bennett, and F is for forever.”
She took the locket out of her pocket.
April 20th 2012: “Maybe, it goes here?” Annie smiled. “You just press the button here, and the countdown starts” Bennett laughed and swung her around as the timer ticked on. “Now pose!” They both pulled crazy-looking faces as the camera flashed. “I love you.” They kissed. “I love you too.”
Annie opened the locket and touched the picture inside.
The two of them had always been friends. They were always laughing and fooling around. Bennett was always the life of the party…
Her train of thought was broken when she felt something wet on her hands. She reached up and touched her cheeks. She finally let the tears fall as she squeezed his hand.
She took a deep breath.
“Hi! It’s me, Annie. Your Mam and Dad are here too, but they are down in the waiting room. I look like a mess, by the way, thanks to you. I rushed over here so quick that I have makeup on!” She laughed nervously. “Seriously though, you need to wake up. So that we can joke about people’s hairstyles, and drink milkshakes together and, and…”
She completely broke down. Sobbing, she remembered the events before the crash.
She sobbed uncontrollably. “I’m so sorry.”
She suddenly felt a movement on the bed. A groan escaped his lips. His eyes slowly opened. His eyes darted around the room as he tried to make sense of everything.
“Bennett! I’m sorry for everything! I can’t believe you’re awake! Oh, I better call a doctor!”
Bennett grabbed her hand as she was leaving the room.
“Sorry, but, who are you?”