Olive was knocking on my bedroom door. It was 7 in the morning. I hardly slept last night. And even though I had fun at the concert on Friday, it all came back to me that night at bed time-the last note he had put in my locker, especially. I had the nightmare again. I never stopped having them, I just told my dad that I did. I hadn't answered Olive's texts since I had turned off my phone.
"Come on, Sydney, we need to go to school," Olive said through the door. "Let me in, please." I got up off of my bed and unlocked the door. She came in.
"I don't want to go to school," I said.
"That's crazy talk," she said. "We have like three tests today."
"How did your date go on Friday?" I asked.
"Great!" She said. "I think he really likes me!" She was smiling really big. "Now get dressed so we can go to school!"
No One's POV
Young Max was walking with Alicia and Leo down the hall.
"So are you going to come to the arcade after school?" I asked Alicia.
"Yeah," she said. "I can study and then play games."
"Maybe you should play games and then study," Leo suggested.
"I guess that would make sense," she said.
"So what kind of doctor do you want to be?" Max asked her.
"I want to be a cardiothoracic surgeon," she said.
"That's someone who does surgery on the heart, right?" Max asked. He had read some of her books when she left them open.
"Yeah, that's the cardio part," she said, "but they also do surgery on the lungs, esophagus, and other organs in the chest."
"Won't that be a lot of work?" Leo asked.
"Yeah, but I'm up for the challenge," she said. "When I set my heart on something, I don't give up."
"Neither do I," Dustin said from behind us. "Hey beautiful, what you doing hanging out with these losers?" We turned around. "You need a real man."
"Says the boy who got held back twice," she said. Max and Leo started laughing.
"Come on, Johnny, Bobby," he said. "Let's go." They walked passed them. "See you around," Dustin said, looking at Alicia in a way Max didn't like.
"You better stay away from her," Max said, not missing a beat. The trio stopped in their tracks. People started gathering around. Leo looked at Max worriedly, taking a step back. Alicia stayed right next to Max staring at Dustin and his lackies. They turned around and Dustin walked up to Max.
"And what if I don't?" Dustin asked Max. "What if I said that I'm not going to ever leave her alone. What are you going to do you pathetic piece of trash?" Max stood there looking at Dustin, anger boiling up in him. "I thought so." He started to turn around.
"This," Max said. Just as Dustin started turning his head back to him, Max threw a punch at his face. He hit his nose. The crowd that had formed cheered.
"Get him!" Dustin said, holding his nose. His lackies went for Max. From the corner of his eye, he saw Dustin going towards Alicia.
"Get away from her!" He yelled. He punched him in the jaw and they both started throwing punches. He looked back at Alicia who was protecting him and Leo by keeping the lackies away from them.
"Max, watch out!" she yelled. He looked and Dustin hit him in the head. He went down.
I went my locker after English to get my book for science class. There was another note. It read: I wonder….
I crumpled it up and walked to class.
"Today, we'll be watching a video to go over speed," Mr. David said. "Thank you, Austin, for helping me find a video about speed." I looked over and Austin was staring me down. A chill went down my spine.
The video started. There was a car in the video driving down the street. It showed the car's speedometer, it kept going up. It showed the person wasn't paying attention. It shows the car from the outside. Then it shows another car from the inside. Then it shows from the second driver's point of view, the first car hit the second one. My heart started beating fast. It went black. I started having a flashback:
I was 7, riding in the car with my mom. She let me sit in the front seat. We were going to the fair, it was one of her days off. I was talking about how fun it was going to be. We were having a girls' day. We stopped at the red light. It went green. Mom started driving again. I looked out her window and saw a car that wasn't stopping. 'Mommy!" I yelled. I felt the impact. I saw my mom's eyes close. I held her hand. Then it all went dark.
I saw the car crash on the screen. Then I heard a thud. I looked back and didn't see Sydney.
"Sydney!" I yelled and ran back to her seat. Mr. David stopped the video. I saw Sydney. Her body was shaking violently. She was having a seizure. "Mr. David! Sydney's having a seizure! Call an ambulance!" I yelled. He immediately got on his phone. I rolled up my jacket and put it under her head.
No One's POV
Judy rushed into (Young) Max's ER room. Alicia and Leo were standing next to his bed.
"What is this I hear about you getting into a fight at school?!" She questioned him.
"Mom," Max said. He had his arm in a sling, a black eye, and a concussion.
"You are grounded for a month," she said.
"Wait, Ms. Reynolds," Alicia said. "He was protecting me."
"What do you mean?"
"Dustin Rivers has been harassing me," she said.
"You mean the kid that gave him the blackeye the other day?"
"Yes," Alicia said. "Max told him to stay away from me. Dustin said that he wasn't going to and asked what he was going to do about it. Max punched him."
"Can you two give me a minute with Max?" Judy asked them.
They left the room.
"You like her," she told Max.
"No, I don't," Max said.
"Then why would you protect her like that?"
"She's one of my best friends," he said.
"Mmhmm," she said. "Anyways, with the facts coming clear, you're grounded for…one day." Max smiled.
Mom and I went to the hospital. Sara came in right after us. Olive had called me and told me Sydney had a seizure during science class. They let her ride with her.
"What happened, Olive?" I asked.
"Mr. David played a video in class to demonstrate speed," she said. "It was about cars. One of the cars crashed into the other one. I heard a thud, looked back, and didn't see Sydney. I rushed back to her seat, and she was having a seizure. I told Mr. David to call for an ambulance."
I put my hands over my face. "Oh my…"
"What is it?" Sara asked.
"Sydney was in the vehicle when her mom was hit by the car that killed her," I said. "I thought she wasn't affected by it anymore. She can talk about her without breaking down. She stopped having the panic attacks and nightmares."
"Actually…" Olive said. I looked at her. "She had a panic attack last Monday. She told me not to tell you."
"What?" I asked. "Wait, what triggered it?"
"Someone left a note in her locker that said No wonder your mother left you behind." My mouth went agape. The doctor came out.
"Hello Max," he said. "I'm sorry to meet here again under this type of circumstance."
"How is she, Dr. Robinson?" I asked.
"She's awake," he said. "She told me that she has been having nightmares that started shortly after the accident six years ago. She also said she had a flashback during the seizure and has them often. She did not know she had a seizure though."
"She said the nightmares stopped," I said. "She has flashbacks?"
"Yes, it feels as if she is reliving the event," he said.
"What do you think is wrong with her, Dr, Robinson?"
"To be frank with you, Max," he said. "There is no doubt in my mind that she has PTSD. She has had it for a while. If it was caught earlier, it probably wouldn't have gotten this serious. The seizure that she experienced is called a dissociative seizure, being an emotional response to the memory, trying to hold it back from resurfacing."
"What can we do?"
"Do your best to keep her away from triggers," he said. "I will prescribe her medication that should help."
"Thank you, Dr. Robinson," I said.
"She should be able to go home by the end of the evening."
Author's Note: Just in case you didn't catch it from their interaction, Dr. Robinson is the same Doctor that was there when Sydney was brought in after the accident. I realized that Sydney would be 13 still (I had put 14 in the start of this). I'm not sure when her birthday would be. Maybe I'll do a chapter for that. She is in eighth grade. I didn't start at the start of the school year. It's probably in early or late October by now. I'll figure it out. How are you liking the friendship between (Young) Max and Alicia? Do you think Judy is right?