Chapter One: Appearances and Other Variables
By Kate Carter
Disclaimer: If "Doctor Who" was mine, my cell phone would have Bluetooth. As it is, it is not, and it does not.
A/N: I suppose an apology is in order to all of those who have been watching this story. I just wasn't happy with it. Eventually I concluded that I could leave it unfinished (no), come up with a lame way to finish it (heck no) or rewrite it. As you can see, I chose to rewrite it. And I'm pretty pleased with the result!
My name is Emily Rose Thompson. I'm nineteen years old, and I've spent my entire life in San Francisco, California, just your normal American girl.
Until I died three days ago, that is.
I don't really know how to explain it. I guess I should start at the beginning.
When I was two days old, I was left at a hospital in a car seat. There was a small note left with me; "Her name is Emily Rose. She's two days old. We wanted to keep her, so badly, but it's just not safe. Let her know we loved her." The only other clue I had was the blanket I had been wrapped in. It was made of some sort of strange material; soft and light, but incredibly warm, a rainbow riot of colors that changed as the blanket shifted, constructed of a tightly knit yarn that felt like a cross between chenille and silk. No one had ever seen anything like it. Still haven't, actually, since I still have it.
I was adopted fairly quickly, and my parents have really been terrific. Dad owns a computer consulting firm, Mom works as the editor of a small newspaper. They always made time for me and my younger sister, Elizabeth, who's also adopted. They really couldn't have been better parents to us.
At the same time, though, I was always…different. Not necessarily bad-different, just, different. When I went into kindergarten, I was reading chapter books. The teacher had me tutoring other kids in the class. At five. When I was nine, I won the local geography bee - against eighth graders. Of course, I did horribly at the state geography bee, but that was because being up in front of so many people scared me so badly I almost passed out. And I was eventually banned from competing in the school science and history fairs; people thought I must have been cheating, after I won first prize three years running. All right, I wasn't officially banned, but when they "happen" to come up with a rule stating that no participant can receive a prize more than three years in a row…
Anyway, I've always been smart. And, I know, it's kind of weird, but…I've always been kind of psychic too. I knew that Michelle Tanner, who was a junior when I was a freshman, had scored a 30 on her ACT – before she did. And I knew that my dad was going to have a car accident. I was just thankful he didn't die, because I should have warned him. But I didn't even believe it myself.
So, why did I die? Well, it's not so simple as I know what's going to be happening next. That would be nice. It's more like…possibilities. Option A might happen. Option B will probably happen. Option C is slim. Option D is a one-in-a-thousand chance.
Unfortunately, this time it was option D. And option D involved a bridge, my car, a drunk driver, and gravity.
Luckily (I guess) it was a dry gully and there was a gas station nearby. An employee at the gas station called an ambulance. I vaguely remember the firefighters and paramedics extracting me from the car, one of them telling me I'd be all right and it was a good thing I wore my seatbelt, and me trying to tell him that no, I wouldn't be all right, because option D had happened, and it was clear to me what was going to happen; I was going to die.
I was drifting in and out of consciousness as the ambulance raced to the hospital. And as I slid towards oblivion, one of the last things I remembered was somebody – a woman - holding my hand and talking to me.
"Emily? Come on Emily, wake up. My name is Dr. Holloway. It's going to be all right."