It was a small plane.
It had propellers and the pilot was the only crew member. He welcomed us with a smile and shook hands with me and the other eight passengers.
As the plane took off, and navigated its way towards Port Angeles, the roar of the engine threatened to distract me from my troubled thoughts. Phoenix - Seattle - Port Angeles - Forks. I was going to live with my father. I wasn't necessary happy about it, but it was the right thing to do. I wanted my mother Renee to be happy and enjoy her new marriage to Phil. In return, I'd get to spend time with the father I usually only saw two weeks a year, and perhaps have some peace and quiet. Charlie didn't hover like my mother did. Life with Renee was all I'd ever known, but she depended on me too much. A teenager shouldn't have to pay bills and make sure there were enough groceries in the house. I loved my mother, but I was thankful she now had Phil to look after her.
Cold, wet, cloudy Forks. I hadn't been back in years, even though I'd spent my summers there as a child. It was my least favorite place in America, and now my new home. I already missed the warmth and sunshine of Arizona. Not only did the weather in Forks make me miserable, I would also be transferring during the last few months of my Junior year of high school. Would I make any friends? In Phoenix, my class was over a thousand people. Charlie mentioned the entire high school in Forks had only three hundred and fifty students. The new girl would be noticed. Ugh.
Moving to Forks was my choice. I'd exiled myself. But, really, truly, I wanted to be anywhere but here. I sighed and looked out the window. Even though I didn't like the weather, I found the Pacific-Northwest really beautiful; the mountains, the lush and extensive forests were captivating, mysterious.
I sighed. I could focus on the positive...whatever small scraps I could find. I was good at pushing unpleasant thoughts out of my mind. I was a suffer in silence kind of person. I wouldn't think of my unhappiness any longer and I wouldn't complain. This was my life now...at least until I graduated from high school. Maybe it wouldn't be so bad. Charlie would give me a bit of freedom and classes probably wouldn't be that difficult at such a small high school. I calculated the dates in my mind. Eighteen months until I went to college. I sighed again. It sounded like a prison sentence.
Suddenly, the plane began to shake, unusually so, and the noise that had been distracting me was now alarming. Something was wrong.
"There's a problem with the engine," the pilot yelled back to us. "Brace yourselves!"
My eyes flew open and my heart began to pound as the plane jerked back and forth. Panic and fear overwhelmed me. Suddenly, it was eerily quiet. The engine shut down and the cabin went pitch black. My stomach churned in knots as the plane began to rapidly descend.
I was going to die, I realized. .I wished I could tell my parents I loved them one last time. Bits and pieces of my life flashed before my eyes. Vacation in California. Middle school dance. Hours reading in my bedroom.
Tears streamed down my face. My life wasn't supposed to end this way. I was sure of it. How could this be it for me?
I squeezed my eyes shut and heard the screams and fearful cries of my fellow passengers, as the plane glided into the forest and began to flip over. By some miracle, my seat belt held me into place and I covered my head with my arms. The force of impact caused me to black out for a few moments, but I awoke to the smell of gas filling the cabin.
Survival instincts kicking in, I clamored to unbuckle my seat belt. I felt a warm liquid begin to drip down my face and as I put my hand on my cheek, I realized there was a deep gash. Instead of feeling frightened, I felt more clear headed and rational than I had ever felt before.
The plane had ripped into two pieces. I glanced toward the crushed cockpit and knew immediately the pilot had not survived. Nevertheless, I called out to him. There was no answer and since I couldn't reach him physically, I stumbled into the open air. It was dark and raining.
"Hello? Is everyone okay?" I yelled out, amidst the downpour and fumes. There was no response. I began to cough. It was difficult to breathe and I felt dizzy. There was a blazing fire and large pieces of metal towering over me, and it was difficult to see because of the smoke from the fire.
In the distance I heard the voice of a woman. "We're over here...walk towards the trees," she cried.
It hurt to move, but I quickly ran away from the wreckage. The woman guided me by the sound of her voice; it grew louder the farther I got away from the plane. Suddenly, there was an explosion and I tumbled to the ground. As I fell, I looked back to see fireballs rocket into the night sky. I gasped in shock.
Trying to catch my breath, I called out to the woman. "Are there any other survivors?" I asked, my voice trembling with emotion.
"Only you," she responded sadly.
I looked around, and did not see the woman, only the dark forest.
"Only me?" I asked, confused. "What about you?"
It was then the woman appeared. She was not alone. A man was with her.
They were not passengers from the plane. There were only nine of us. I would have remembered these faces.
The woman and man stood still as statues, several feet away. What were they doing in the forest? They were wearing normal clothes, no, expensive looking clothes, and there wasn't a spec of dirt or damage. They weren't hikers or EMTs. The woman was small, the man was tall. And they were beautiful...almost heavenly looking...angelic.
"Did I die?" I blurted out. Maybe I was in some strange version of hell.
The man looked at the woman and they were both obviously concerned. It seemed as though they were talking to each other, but I couldn't hear what they were saying and their lips were moving too fast.
I didn't feel so clear headed anymore. I was trembling. My heart was pounding.
"We're going to help you," the woman stated. "My name is Alice. This is Jasper."