Chapter 1

There are three things I know as absolute fact. 1: The best episodes of American Idol are the auditions. 2: No one has actually figured out how many licks it takes to get to the centre of a tootsie pop. And 3: Dead people don't wake up. So you can imagine how surprised I was when I did.

Normally, it takes me a few seconds after waking up to actually kick my brain into gear. But this time, it didn't. I felt the coldness creep into my skin through my wet clothes, the uncomfortable, hard ground press into my back and a pain in my head. Immediately, everything came spilling back.

I had been saving Juliet. Pushed her out of the way and managed to kill myself instead. Or not, since I was pretty sure that dead people don't wake up. I opened my eyes, only to wish I hadn't.

I was under a truck, my head pressing into bottom. I shrieked in fear and tried to push myself away. The painful gravel dug into my fingers as I desperately clawed my way out, while the metal bottom of the truck ripped up the skin on my forehead. I could hear my breath coming out short and fast and my heart beating at the speed of light. Finally, I reached a place where I could turn my head to the side. I looked and saw the edge of the truck, barely a ruler's length away. With newfound desperation, I shifted myself to the side, until I was able to look up and see the sky.

I could feel tears running down my cheeks as I breathed in new air. It was only then that I saw the weird blue and red lights that flashed in the sky. I frowned, confused, and sat up.

There was an ambulance a few meters away, with paramedics standing by a stretcher, running around in a flurry of activity, looking just as desperate as I was a few seconds ago. A group of people look on in rapt horror, their eyes following the paramedic's every move. I recognize Juliet Sykes at first.

She still looks the manic, depressed girl I saved from the road minutes ago. Her wet hair sticks to her t-shirt and I can't tell if she's crying or if it's the rain on her face. It takes me a second to figure out the rest. Lindsay, Elody and Ally. I'm shocked, to be honest. Their makeup is running down their faces, making them look like horrifying clowns. Elody latched onto Ally like a lifeline, while Lindsay is just sitting down, an expression of horror on her face. Her face is red and splotchy and her eyes are fixed on the paramedics. They all look lost.

Lastly, is Kent. He stands apart from the rest of them. He doesn't looked shocked, no, just absent. Like the sun could explode and he wouldn't even blink. I shudder. It's scary, because he's always too full of energy and too positive to be looking like this. It isn't Kent, it can't be. But there he is, standing. I kissed him only minutes ago. He was smiling there was no tomorrow, but now he was just staring into the sky.

Finally, I look over to the stretcher. A paramedic blocks my view, but I wonder who is in it. It must be the driver of the van? I look back at the van, the one that I had been stuck under. It's an ugly green colour and the engine is still on, but there isn't a driver in the seat. I can see the road glistening with a red colour. My blood, I realize. That's my blood. It looks like there's too much of it.

I lift a hand to my head, checking for the head wound that has to be there. Nothing. Not even a scratch. I look down at my hand, certain that I'll see blood on it, but it's spotless. I look back at the ground. There's defiantly blood there. So why isn't there any on me. Then, I remember my hands painfully hurting as they dug into the gravel. They had to be scratched up, didn't they? I check and once again, perfect. I drag a finger across my palm to make sure, but there's nothing except for smooth, unbroken skin.

I sit down on the gravel. My head feels fuzzy and I'm not sure I can stand up. Why am I not injured? Why is there blood under the van, but none of me? Even my clothes are spotless, if a little wet. But then, I hear the paramedics barking orders.

"We need to move quickly!" The first one, a burly man with a thick red beard, barks.

The second, a wiry woman, nods, "Get ready to lift." The burly man who was blocking my sight finally moves. I stare at the person in the stretcher in shock. She's just a girl, with long, dark hair, pale skin and blood smearing her clothes. Huh, I think, she's wearing the same outfit as me. And that's when it all comes together.

It is me. Dead looking and injured, but it's definitely me. I touch myself to make sure I'm still here. I feel solid and I can definitely feel the rain pelting down on me, but there's another me in a stretcher. Before I can figure anything else out, the paramedics lift my body up and head to the ambulance. They're going to drive away, I realize, without me. I don't even think as I sprint towards the ambulance, throwing myself inside as the two paramedics load my body onto the ambulance. One goes towards the driver's seat, while the other stays outside for another minute.

"Hey! Kid," He shouts. Lindsay looks up, tear stained, "Do you know her?"

Lindsay nods, "Her name is Samantha Kingston."
The paramedic nods, "Okay, I need you to call her parents and tell them that she's going to Civic hospital, okay?" Lindsay nods and the paramedic goes to step into the ambulance, when Kent runs to him.

"I need to go with her. I'm her," he hesitates for a second, "Boyfriend."

The paramedic looks reluctant, but sighs and invites Kent inside anyways. He bounds in and the paramedic closes the door.

As soon as it closes, the driver leaps into action, gunning down the road in breakneck speed. I hardly register Kent talking to the paramedic, as I look down at my body.

I look almost dead. Blood cakes my head and my face, merging with the rain to make something the colour of a not-quite-ripe strawberry. My limbs are a mess as well. My left leg isn't supposed to bend the way it is and I'm fairly sure all my ribs managed to break. My own body makes me want to throw up.

I spend the drive watching the paramedic work on me. He inserts various cords and I.V.s into my skin and every once in a while barks numbers at the driver. They make no sense to me, but considering the speed the driver is at, I'm pretty sure they aren't good. Kent, amazing, kissable Kent, I still staring at me blankly. I'm sure this is weird for him — the girl who just kissed him is now half dead in an ambulance, but I'm fairly sure this is weirder for me.

Dead people don't wake up. Then again, before February 12th, I was pretty sure that people didn't keep reliving their day over and over again. But I had. I relived February 12th to save Juliet. Which I did. I was successful, so why was I still here?

Okay, new story. I just finished Before I Fall and loved it, especially the ending. Endings often feel out of place, but for Before I Fall, it felt perfect.