Lost in a portrait, in a picture of me
This can't be everthing I see
Then my canvas is incomplete
Your color's everything to me
And my canvas will set me free
--- Lost In A Portrait by Trapt
Summer didn't know how long she'd been staring at the ceiling. It seemed like a long time, but she couldn't really be sure. She didn't even remember waking up. It just seemed like she'd been awake for a while.
The ceiling was an ugly off white color. It was marred here and there with various pits and bumps. The maid must have taken the year off, because there were dust bunnies and cobwebs everywhere. The walls, what she could see of them, were a sterile white color...the kind of white that made her want to grab a paintbrush and paint them any other color.
It suddenly occurred to Summer that she couldn't turn her head. It didn't really concern her; it was just something that she realized. She strained for a couple of minutes but only succeeded in turning her head about a quarter of an inch.
The beeping sound was really starting to get on her nerves. She'd heard it long enough to know that it was coming from over her left shoulder, but not long enough to figure out what was making it.
The sound was starting to grate on her. Each beep seemed to bore straight into the base of her skull, twisting like a drill in her brain. She tried to take her mind off of the sounds by focusing on one of the dust bunnies on the ceiling. It was threatening to drop at any moment.
There was no way she could concentrate. The sound was just too annoying. Plus, she was starting to become aware of a dull ache in her right arm, and her neck was starting to burn. She tried to look down at it, but found that she still couldn't move her head. It occurred to her that she could just lift her arm up, but she couldn't seem to move her arms either.
It was then that she realized that she was only seeing through one eye. She closed her left eye and tried to open her right one. Nothing but blackness. She tried again. Nothing.
Summer was starting to get worried now. Panicked thoughts began to swim through the muddled haze that filled her mind. She didn't know why she couldn't move her arms or head, but she knew that something was very wrong.
There was something very familiar about the tormenting sound now. She had heard it somewhere before, but she just couldn't place it. Try as she might, her muddled mind just couldn't do it.
Summer was extremely thirsty. Her mouth was dry, and her throat felt like it was stuffed with cotton. She tried to speak, to yell for someone to help her, but nothing came out. Her voice just wouldn't work. She tried again to move her arms and thought that she felt them move slightly. Encouraged, she tried to lift her head. Sweat broke out on her forehead as she strained. Finally, with Herculean effort, she was able to lift her head a few inches. Exhausted, she let it drop back into place, managing to turn slightly to her left.
Beep beep beep.
The sound seemed to pick up tempo when she saw the plastic bag hanging from a rack by her bed. She had definitely seen that before. Her mind hadn't cleared sufficiently for her to process it exactly, but she knew that it wasn't good.
Beep beep beep beep.
The tempo was definitely increasing. There was a small hose coming out of the bottom of the plastic bag. Her eyes traveled along its length, tracing its path as it came to rest at her wrist. Its journey ended at her wrist, where the plastic disappeared under a swath of white cotton gauze taped to her arm.
Beep beep beep beep beep beep.
Summer was in full panic mode now. Her mind had suddenly become crystal clear. The hospital. She was in the hospital....and she couldn't move her arms; she could barely move her head.
Summer gritted her teeth and lifted her head again. It didn't take quite as much effort as the last time since adrenaline was pumping through her veins. It was still draining. After several grueling minutes, Summer succeeded in turning her head over to the right.
Beep beep beep beep beep beep.
Marissa was sitting in a chair against the wall. There were tears in her eyes, and she seemed to be talking to someone beside her. Summer couldn't tell who it was, since she couldn't see out of her right eye. With a grunt, she forced her head to turn more.
Beep beep beep beep beep beep beep beep beep beep beep beep beep beep beep beep.
The annoying beeps had increased exponentially. They were coming so fast now that they had blurred into a single sound. They had increased when she saw Ryan beside Marissa. Ryan Atwood...and he had obviously been crying. Chino didn't cry. That scared her.
Summer tried to get their attention, but she still couldn't seem to speak. Try as she might, nothing would come out. "You'd think that they would hear that annoying beeping and look over here," Summer thought. No such luck.
Then she noticed Seth's mom and dad. They were standing beside Ryan. Well, Mr. Cohen was standing, but he seemed to be holding Mrs. Cohen up. Her body was shaking. It looked to Summer like she was crying.
Someone was missing.