I could never forget that night.
If I close my eyes, I can still hear the sounds of my world falling apart. The tires squealing, the glass shattering, and screaming.
There was so much screaming.
I wish I knew how much of it was mine, and how much of it was his, but that’s one of the questions that will never be answered. Well, there are too many that are never going to be answered. That one isn’t the highest on my list.
It took a toll on him, that much is for sure. As I sit here in the corner of his bed, I can see the tears running down his face. I wish I could tell him that everything is going to be okay, but I can’t. He has no clue that I’m here, that I’m in the same exact room as him.
You’re wondering why, aren’t you?
As much as I wish I could say that the accident wasn’t bad, I can’t. I had been killed on impact; the paramedics and coroners had told everyone that the death was instantaneous and that I had no clue what was going on, but they were wrong. I was still alive when they pulled him out of the wreckage. I was still alive when they pulled me out, too.
But my pulse was weak. They didn’t think I could hold on. My body was so mangled, and I was bleeding profusely. The paramedics decided that it would be best to let me die.
Sitting here, I wish they hadn’t. There was a chance that I wouldn’t have made it anyways, but they could have at least tried. Then they could really tell my family that they did everything they could. They said it anyways, but I know it was a lie.
He’s sitting still, his arms folded into himself, and he rocks slowly back and forth. He’s still covered in bandages; the accident was only a week ago. My funeral was yesterday, but he was just released this morning. I know he’s upset that he missed it.
Well, he’s upset about many things. I know he blames himself for everything. He thinks it’s his fault that we crashed, but how could he have known? We were on a back road, and the car in front of us died. It was either hit them or swerve. He didn’t know the tree was there. He didn’t know we would go so far, and so fast.
It hurt to see him like this. He didn’t want to let go of me, but he hated himself for what happened. I inched closer to him, wondering if he could sense my presence.
I didn’t know what would happen, but I scooted even closer to him. I could smell the salt in his tears, and I could feel the heat coming off of his body. So badly I wanted to reach out to him, cradle him in my arms, and let him know that I’m okay. But there was no way I could do this, no way that would make any sense.
The dead were dead, right? Sure I was here, but that was as a spirit. I didn’t fully understand why I was here; maybe, I told myself, I couldn’t let go until he was okay. Maybe I was supposed to be his guardian angel, or maybe I had some task that I needed to complete before I could officially rest in peace.
I’m not sure how long I was sitting there when suddenly he shifted. He looked in my direction, and his eyes got wide. I wasn’t sure what was going on, but I was a little worried about him. Was something wrong?
“You… you aren’t…. I’m seeing things,” he murmured.
I looked around, trying to figure out who he was speaking to. Himself?
“I’m dead, I’m dead,” I whispered to myself. “He doesn’t see y---”
“How are you here?” he gasped.
I looked him in the eyes, and somehow I could see my own reflection. He reached out his hand and caressed my arm. I shivered.
“I don’t know,” I said. “But, I am. I guess.”
He started crying, more than he had been before. “It was all a bad joke! A dream!” he laughed uneasily. “Tell me it was a joke….”
If my heart was still beating, I can guarantee you that I would have felt it break. “I’m… I’m not alive. I don’t understand how I’m here, or why, but I do need to tell you some things.”
“No!” he cried.
He shot up, off the bed, quickly. He looked at me as if I were some monster, not his girlfriend. Stepping back, he put himself in a corner. I could see some blood peaking out from the corners of his head bandage.
“Calm down, please.” I said, my voice shaking. “Please. I need to let you know that I’m okay. I don’t know…. I don’t know where I’m going after this, but I’m okay.”
He looked at me again, but this time I couldn’t tell what the emotion was. “You aren’t her!”
“You don’t have to believe me! But I love you.”
His shoulders slumped. “I don’t want to lose you again.”
I walked over to him, my arms out. I was slow and cautious, like someone around a wild dog. “Then just hold me, for however long we have.”
He wrapped his arms around me, and I closed my eyes. For the first time in a while, it seemed, I felt warm and alive. It was so evil for me, because I knew well enough that I was dead. But it was nice to be able to pretend that I wasn’t, if only for a little while.
It seemed like forever, but then, not very long at all, that I could feel myself starting to fade away. My presence felt like it was flickering in and out. But I wasn’t scared.
“I have to go now.” I said, trying to sound as calm as possible. “I love you.”
His eyes started to tear up. “Don’t go, please. Don’t leave me.”
“I have to. You’re going to be okay, I promise. I love you so, so much.”
I leaned closer to him and kissed him. My lips barely brushed his, but I could feel the electric current as if it was the kiss of a lifetime.
“You’re going to be okay,” I whispered.
As my vision started to black out, I could hear him say softly to me, “I love you, Sarah.”
Then it was all over.
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