~1~

I always remembered cities to be vibrant and constant in action. I expected people to be rushing around

yelling at cabs and long lines waiting for their Starbucks coffee. New York was even worse than I expected. Great.

I also wasn't thrilled at moving to New York just because of the fact it was where everyone wanted to be there. They all claimed it was the heart of everything. Heart of what is what I want to know. I hated the idea of going to a new school and making new friends. I know they'll just make fun of me again. Just because I was blonde and brown eyed didn't have to make me an outcast. I knew it wasn't because people didn't like me. It was simply because they were jealous.

I arrived in New York on Monday. I stuck my head out of the heaps of pillows I was buried in. Mom and Dad were arguing about something in the front of the car, something about fish and Japanese food. I didn't want to know. Sidney was snoring in the back while Josh slouched over continuously clicking around on his video game. What a piece of junk. All those things do is fry your brain. I turned my focus back to the city. It seemed kind of normal. It was definitely different then San Francisco. I guess I was just spoiled with all the freedom, the warm weather and the perfect cliché of friends. Mae and Jasmine would be calling or texting me any minute now to see how New York was. They'd be blabbing on and on about how they were going to miss me. I still didn't know why we had to move, something about Dad's job. Whatever.

Dad slammed the breaks. All I heard was the screeching of tires and screaming. I heard myself screaming too. I remember feeling my seat belt being ripped out and a sharp pain on my head. I must have blacked out by then or something. I lay there dripping in my own blood unable to move and unable to scream. I was paralyzed. I was sure I was dead but how could I really be sure? I closed my eyes.

Sometime after an hour maybe I felt myself waking up. I sat up. I was in the car. The car was upside down. I looked at my hands. They were stone cold and freakily white. I examined them shocked. I looked around and screamed. I saw myself. I was laying there all twisted up. There was a big gash on the front of my head. It was already drying with the blood. My arm was behind my back and I was sure it was broken. I held up my own arm. It was perfectly fine. A chill went up my spine. I shifted and started to panic. I looked to the front of the car. Mom! Dad! Sidney! Where the heck is Josh? I saw Dad leaning back on his seat. There was a peaceful look on his face, even with his eyes wide open. I scrambled up and tried to reach him. Then I saw Mom. Her eyes were closed and a pool of blood was soaking up her white skirt. I covered my mouth and stifled a sob. I sat back. Josh was on the floor of the car. His video game was on and making all sorts of noises. It was being neglected. I was almost too scared to look for Sidney. I turned around slowly again to look on the opposite side. She wasn't there. Sidney! Where are you?! I couldn't stay in that car any longer. I felt like puking. I felt my head spinning. I tried to open the car door but it was stuck. How am I going to get out of here? I yanked on the handle and started to freak out. I started to cry. I got mad and punched the door. Punching the door didn't make me feel better. All it did was hurt my knuckles. I screamed out loud and plastered my face on the window. Banging on the glass didn't do anything. I sniffed wiping my eyes. I looked over at Josh. He was just like a lifeless rag doll. I grabbed his video game and smashed it on the window. Nothing happened. I tossed the toy away and banged on the glass again. What is happening!?

Suddenly I heard screaming. I shot forward hitting my head on the seat. I cursed and looked out the window. I was in the middle of an intersection and there were tons of people on the sidewalks with horrified looks on their faces. I screamed at them begging for help but they didn't even see me. I saw red lights flashing and sirens started to come out of nowhere. I looked around frantically. What is all this? Why can't they see me!? A bunch of policemen and firefighters rushed toward the car. They had flashlights. Why do they need flashlights? It's freaking lunch time! They shouted something to each other. I hated how they acted all concerned and thought they were "taking care of a situation" when they couldn't even see that I was stuck in here. I screamed some more. My throat was becoming hoarse and I was getting tired. I noticed that someone was standing by my window. They peered in and looked at me. We locked eyes for a split second and then he was gone. I sat there wide eyed. I was getting freaked out even more. What kind of city is this? The crowds seemed to just stand there. Some people were crying. The press was everywhere. The sirens were blaring full blast now and it hurt my ears.

Then I heard drilling on my door. It screeched and then I saw a drill bit coming in. I moved back so it wouldn't touch me. The door fell apart in seconds. A police man glanced in, left and then came back with a flashlight. I looked at him blindly. I gaped at what I had just discovered. They seriously could NOT see me. I yelled at him. I called him names and threw things out of the car. He jumped and blinked. He was probably wondering what had just thrown something from the car. He put half his body in the car and looked around. His gaze stopped at what had been my body. He touched my forehead. I screamed at him not to touch me with his filthy hands. He finished looking around spotting Dad and Mom in the front and Josh on the floor. He sighed and left. I quickly followed and stepped out of the totaled car. Physically I felt fine. No one even looked at me. I was invisible. The firefighters had started to take apart my car. I felt hot tears running down my face. I ran over to the right side of the car and reached in the broken window where my Mom was. I trembled as I un- latched the necklace on her delicate neck. I went around to the other side and unbuckled my Dad. The seat belt is hurting his face. I took off his watch and shoved it in my pocket. Then I remembered Josh. I darted back to my door, climbed in a searched for his video game. I could hear it still beeping. Beeping like a heart normally would. No one's heart was beating now. I found it and grabbed in cradling it in my hands. Where is Sidney?

I walked to the nearest sidewalk. A car had run into the stop light and it was blinking like crazy. Red…..Yellow…..Red…Green….Yellow…… There was so much noise it was almost like it was silent. I looked at my car. My family is in there. I was still crying. I was cold. I hated New York already. I reached into my pocket for my phone, but it was gone. I rummaged through my coat pocket. It wasn't there either. I stomped my foot. Glancing down I noticed I was missing a shoe. My new black converse shoe was ruined. The white laces were red with dried blood. I stood there watching the medics take out the lifeless bodies of my family. They put them on rollers and put white sheets over them. Then they lifted them up into the ambulance. After the van drove away the police got in their cars and back up. The crowds were being pushed back by normal people who actually cared about the scene. I wanted to go up and yell in their faces and throw things at them. I couldn't think of something for them to do besides staring so I let it go. I sat down on the curb. A man had gotten out of his car was yelling at a police man. He was late to a party or something. I didn't care anymore. Everything I ever had was gone. It was taken from me in a matter of seconds. Why?

Then I remembered the man. I wasn't even sure if it was man but I knew we had looked at each other. I knew he saw me. There was no question. There is a feeling when someone looks you in the eyes. How come HE could see me…….and I could see HIM, but no one else can see me? I felt so confused. I didn't know what to do. The scene was slowly staring to evaporate. A group of policemen had gathered on the corner of the street. Almost everyone was on their cell phones and there were still cars in the intersection. I knew it was going to be a while to clear all that up. But hey, like I could go anywhere. I felt like my life was officially over. I curled up in a ball on the curb and watched everyone. Listening to people shouting was comforting. I didn't feel as alone. The sirens were gone. To them the emergency was over. For me, it was just beginning.

I was still sitting on that curb even after everything was normal again. There were cars blazing through the intersection again, just like my car had been just five hours earlier. There weren't any crowds anymore. Everyone was going about their personal business again. The stop lights still weren't working, so there was a lady in the street showing the cars where to go. I put my head in the dent on the pole that held the lights up. It fit my head perfectly. I laughed and looked at my clothes. I had decided to try to "fit in" for New York. I had figured why not? Everyone else would probably be expressing themselves. I had a pair of moderately tight cargo pants on and earlier that day at the airport I had secretly put pink stockings on underneath. I knew my Mom would have freaked. She hated the whole punk thing. Sidney always got away with whatever she wanted, except she got along with Mom. Miss Prep. She was her little pet. As long as she had her precious cell phone she was fine. My Mom practically dressed Josh too. All he needed was his video games and a pair of underwear. I laughed. Why am I even bothering? I'll never see them again. I guess this is all part of the cycle. Shock…..Denial….Anger…or whatever it is. I wiped my nose on my sleeve. What a way to come to New York……I should probably try to tell someone. I tried to find a phone from where I was, but I didn't see any. I really really didn't want to get up. I was too lazy and perfectly fine sitting on my butt. A group of kids came around the corner. There were three guys and three girls. Each guy had a girl on his arm. The guys laughed and the girls giggled constantly. They shoved each other playfully and toyed with their hair. I opened my mouth and poked my finger in. Gross. Can't they do that somewhere else? They crossed the road and I settled my head back in the dent in my pole.

~2~

I eventually gotten used to what had happened. I had left my spot on the sidewalk. It was better that I get away from the whole block. I wandered around aimlessly, hitting trash cans every once in a while and shouting at people. It didn't do any good. I knew now that no one, absolutely no one could see, hear, touch or even SMELL me. I looked it as a freedom, but gradually realized it would probably drive me crazy. I even tried running into people. They looked like they had been struck by lightning. It was actually kind of funny. They looked like a lost puppy wondering what hit them. Stupid freaks. I randomly discovered I wasn't that hungry. I was trying to figure out what I could do in this city. To me there wasn't much. I also decided I was dead. I had seen my own body. I hadn't been moving and I had seen the medics take everyone out of the car. Well that settles it. I'm dead! Isn't that great! All we need now is some hurricane for the ending ceremonies. I had no idea what I was thinking.

I figured I'd need to sleep somewhere. It was getting a little dark out. I wasn't used to having to take care of myself. I probably would have been in some apartment by now eating steak, potatoes and peas. That was my idea of a "family dinner in New York" My mom probably would have been arguing with my Dad again. I wished I had paid attention to what they were talking about earlier. I hated the fact that the last thing I heard of them was an argument. Typical American family I suppose. I was still holding Josh's video game. I figured out how to turn it off so it wouldn't beep every freaking minute or vibrate on my hands. I didn't look at it as annoying anymore. It was Josh's. It was my little brother's favorite toy. I started to cry. Crap….I hope I don't start doing this frequently. I shoved it in the biggest pocket I had in my pants and stalked off. I was still missing a shoe and my foot was getting cold. I looked around for some kind of mall. San Francisco had malls everywhere. No malls would have killed Mae and Jasmine. They loved shopping. They usually had just dragged me around and dressed me up. They had a lifeline supply of money and credit cards so I let them buy me whatever they wanted. I always acted like it was boring but I secretly loved every minute of it. I used to sleep over at their houses and tease their cute older brothers and we would always have picnics by the bay watching the street musicians. New York didn't seem to have as much life. It had life and everything but I wanted something more. I wasn't "colorful" life. Everyone was stone faced and busy. They're totally missing out. I shrugged to myself and crossed the street.

I lucked out a found a shoe store. I opened the door and ran into a guy coming out. He shouted something offensive and looked around. I laughed and let the door shut. It was warm inside the store but my hands didn't get any pinker. They were still white, just as white as they had been in the car. I shuddered. Something is really freaking me out here. I searched around for sneakers. I found a pair of red converse shoes that were on sale. Then I remembered I didn't really need to care about price. I picked them up and tried them on. They fit perfectly. I smiled smugly to myself. I've never shoplifted before. I picked up my old black converse shoe and held it close. I was thinking of putting it in the trash can but I decided against it. I stood up and started toward the cash register. Whoops….don't need to pay. Forgot again. I looked at a rack of bags on the wall. There were backpacks, purses and little twelve year old cheetah printed tote bags. I spotted the kind that you sling over your shoulder. I picked out a black one that had a pink and blue checkered print on it. I shoved my one shoe in it as well as Josh's video game. I had put Dad's watch on but I put in the bag since it was a little too big. My favorite color was pink, but it changed pretty much every day. I was wearing Mom's necklace so I didn't put it in the bag. I wanted to wear it. I turned around to leave when I looked out the window. A guy was standing outside staring at me. I gasped. He saw me looking at him and darted away. I screamed at him to come back and ran out the door. My new shoes made it a lot easier to run. I saw him crossing the street looking back for me. I stayed close behind him.

I was still running. My breath was running out really fast. I held my stomach. I had a cramp. I wanted a banana. Mom had always said they were good for running cramps. I ran out into the busy street narrowly escaping an approaching car. I had crossed minutes before the "walk" sign lit up. I gasped for air keeping my eye on the running figure ahead of me. Heck he's fast. I saw him run into an alley and stop. He doubled over and got on all fours. He looked like he was throwing up. I stopped and watched disgustingly. I folded my arms, pursed my lips and walked up behind him.

"Hey" I said sticking my chin out. He jumped up and spun around. I raised my eyebrows immediately. He was tall. His ruffled dark brown hair covered most of his forehead and a little of his left eye. His eyes were clear blue. Almost like ice in a way. Someone who's actually attractive. He wiped his hands on his shirt.

"I wouldn't try running again" I said raising my eyebrows. He laughed and heaved his chest in and out. He was clearly out of breath. And I thought I was out of practice. He looked at me with a comical grin on his face. I frowned.

"Don't look at me like that….I caught you remember?" I said taken aback. He laughed again.

"Is that all you can do? Laugh? And how come you can see me?" I said demanding to know. I wanted answers now.

"You didn't catch me. I ran out of breath…remember?" he said grinning. Standing in the alley made me self conscious. I didn't like alleys. They made me feel closed in. The smell was awful. I think it must have been behind some foreign food place. I crinkled my nose. I was totally offended. Who does he think he is? Why won't he answer me? He just stood there smiling. He seemed amused which made me even more irritated. He was observing me and I didn't like it one bit.

"Well!" I shouted. "Are you going to answer me? Because I've been waiting all day and I really don't feel like waiting another freaking minute!" I started to babble on and on about random things. He just watched me and nodded. I started to cry again.

"Oh for the love" I said and wiped my eyes. He didn't move. He just kept staring. I looked up and screamed at him.

"Why won't you talk to me?" There was about a whole minute of silence. I sank to the ground and sobbed.

"There isn't anything to talk about" he said simply. "I can't give you an explanation, but if you come with me, maybe you'll find what you're looking for" He said offering a hand down to me. I looked up. My blood started to boil. He didn't care. No one cared. No one even knew how I felt. I ignored his hand and stood up.

"Fine!" I said. He just stood there again. I guess he must have been waiting for me to calm down, because until I did we didn't go anywhere. I eyed him cautiously.

"Wait……how am I supposed to be sure you're not going to kidnap me and shove me in some basement" I said trying to be a descriptive as I could. He laughed again. It was really starting to get to me. I narrowed my eyes and adjusted my bag on my shoulder; it was cutting of my circulation.

"You're already dead" he said. "You can't die anymore" I laughed out loud.

"Oh well that's SUCH a comfort!" I said sarcastically. I was really getting tired of this whole dead alive thing. Who believed in these things?

"So I can't die? What if I threw myself off a bridge?" I said shaking my head at him laughing to myself. This is hilarious! He didn't think it was funny. He wasn't smiling anymore and he narrowed his eyes at me. His eyes looked like ice burgs and made me shudder. I stopped laughing.

"What?" I said getting offended again. He was just so weird!

"That's not funny at all" He said suddenly grabbing my arm. He jerked me forward.

"Hey! What do you think you're doing?" I said clawing at his hand. I screamed.

"That won't do any good you know, better not waste your voice" I took his advice hesitantly. I was terrified and angry at the same time. He shoved me and I fell into his chest. My legs gave way from underneath and I scraped me knee on the pavement.

"Hey watch it! I just got these shoes" I said angrily.

"Aw….you've even started to steal….. "So young" he said, nodding his head.

"What? Are you going to try to slap some duct tape on me now? I said mockingly. He squeezed my arm and I yelped. He didn't seem so funny anymore. I kept quiet and let him drag me along. Something told me to watch myself. I was confused about where were going. Of course I knew nothing about New York so it didn't matter. I had nowhere else to go.

~3~

I gave up trying to get this guy to let go of me. He was actually kind of cute, but I refused to be nice. I was not going to be handled like a slave, even for someone this cute. He seemed distracted and was probably getting fed up with having to hold me. His hand was clamped on my wrist as he dragged me along. I rolled my eyes and let him pull me. I made no attempt to cooperate with him. We made it to the river's edge. I didn't know what river it was but it was just a river. There was also a bridge. Cars were zooming over it honking. It was a late rush hour I thought. I didn't even know what time it was. We weren't on concrete anymore. It had turned into gravel a little while before. It looked like some kind of deserted trash yard. He stooped and yanked me forward.

"Ouch!" I said fondling my wrist. It was all red where his hand had been. He didn't pay attention. He pointed to the bridge.

"There's your bridge" he said raising his eyebrows. I looked at him gaping. He was actually serious.

"You're kidding right?" I said almost laughing but kept it in for the sake of the mood. He nodded.

"I thought you wanted to try it?" He said perfectly serious. I laughed almost embarrassed. I felt my face turning red. I lowered my head and nodded "no".

"Thought so" he said and grabbed my other wrist and pulling me forward again.

"Where are we going now?" I said finding the confidence to say something.

"You'll see Jamie" he said. I gasped.

"How did you know my name?" He sighed and turned around.

"I know a lot of things okay?" he looked away for a second and then turned back. "Can we just go?"

I looked into his eyes again. Those clear ice berg eyes. I searched them for a minute.

"So I guess I should trust you….maybe?" I asked.

"Maybe?" he said questioningly. He cocked his head. I lifted my arm awkwardly and then let it fall back.

"Okay so I should…..chill out" I said. He was really a piece of work.

"Okay then" he said and pulled me along as he continued to walk. It was dusk by down and I was getting cold. I tried to slow down to zip up my blue hoodie. He looked back and stopped to see what I was doing. He refused to let go of my wrist. He twisted me around and put my back up to his chest. Wrapping his arms in front he quickly zipped my hoodie. Then he turned me back around and started walking. I'm so confused.

One…..two….three………I counted the blue cars on the freeway above us as we walked. I was so bored. I didn't even know where I was going. My "captor" seemed intent on not talking to me and just walking. He never ran, just walked along dragging me. It didn't make sense to scream because no one could see us anyway. He stayed away from the people. We walked along the river's edge for quite some time. It went on and on and on. The water wasn't even pretty. It was just this ugly brown color. On the other side of the river, there was green grass and a few picnic tables. Every once in a while there were a few people out there. A group of teenagers were sitting on the bank making a fire and drinking. I could hear them shrieking and yelling. Probably daring each other or something. I almost wished I could be there. I wanted to laugh. But Mr. Serious here didn't want to laugh any more. What's his problem? I huffed and kept walking.

"You know" I said softly and paused. "You could just let me walk ahead of you……so you could see me if I tried to run off, which is what you seem to think I'm going to do" He slowed down a bit and looked at me quizzically. He shrugged and shoved me forward. I looked back over my shoulder and gave him a grin. He raised his eyebrows and held out his hand as to point me forward. I turned around and started to walk. Then I realized I didn't know where we were going.

"Okay very funny" I said folding my arms and turning back to him. He was smiling now. He looked down and chuckled. He came up to me and grabbed my wrist again. I sighed and continued to follow.

"Is this something you normally do?" I asked not expecting an answer. "Because it could totally put a damper on your personality…..it's not like someone wants to be toted around on their shoulders" I said examining my still white hand and my nails. He tugged a bit on my wrist and I grimaced.

"Hey….careful with the wrist, you've been doing that all day" I said annoyed. He didn't seem to give a care.

"You know you still haven't answered ANY of my questions." I said hoping for a reply. He didn't.

"Can you just answer me?" I begged. This whole silent thing is retarded. "Please?" I said really hoping for a reply. He looked back at me.

"Fine….what do you want to know?" he said and kept walking. I was exasperated.

"Well first I want to know where the heck you're taking me" I said satisfied with my first question.

"No, I can't answer that" he said. I frowned.

"But you said!" I huffed in frustration. He turned back around.

"I'm not making any promises" I bit my lip and snorted This was stupid.

After about an hour it was pitch black. We were still walking and I was getting tired. I closed my eyes and let my captor pull me along. Eventually I was so tired I slumped to the ground. He stopped and looked down. I was too tired to open my eyes but I knew he was looking at me. I could just feel it. I laid there for a little bit before I felt being picked up. I opened my eyes and started to protest but he had already picked me up. He held me like baby and started to walk again. I stared up at him quietly. He didn't look down. I gave up and leaned my head inwards. I warmed up immediately. I closed my eyes and tried to fall asleep. My mind was whirring in million different ways. I wasn't even sure that today had really happened. All I knew was that I was tired. I thought about Sidney. I didn't know where she was. I just hoped she was okay. I fell asleep instantly after that.

I woke up to loud music. It was blaring in my head and I wanted it off. I found myself on a mat with a silky blanket. It was bright orange and it hurt my eyes. In fact, everything hurt; my wrist, my neck, my legs and even my stomach. I rubbed my eyes. My black bag with pink and blue checkered print was lying beside me. I opened it and found my lone shoe, my dad's watch and Josh's video game. Good their still there. I lay back down and covered my ears. I looked around. There was no one in the room. A bunch of other mats were on the floor. They were all immaculate. There was a pair a shoes by each head of each mat and a water bottle in the shoes. O….k…that's just weird. I got up and tried to walk. I was a little tipsy for some reason. I leaned against the wall for support and took a deep breath. I noticed that I wasn't cold anymore. My hands had returned to the normal tan they were the previous day. Well at least before the accident. I brushed it off carelessly not caring if I knew why or not. I searched around for anyone. A human being would be nice. I don't think I even cared if I saw a ladybug. Some life would be a comfort. I entered another room. The walls were all the same; a light peach color. The rooms were all neat and immensely clean. It was sunny and the air smelled clean. Clean for New York. I was so confused. What the heck is all this? I snooped around a bit and returned to my own mat. I saw down frustrated that I couldn't do anything. I thought about leaving but what use would that do. I'd probably get scooped up again. I scanned the room for something to do. I found the stereo. I ran to it and searched for the off button. It was a different brand then I was used to. It confused me. Then I found the "Pause" button. I stuck my hand out and was about to push it when someone grabbed it. Not again. I looked behind me to find a woman. She was skinny as a bean and her black hair went almost to the ground. She was wearing capris and a really short t-shirt. I looked over her five times in one second. She was kind of intimidating. I didn't know what to say to her so I just cocked my head. Her grip was like iron and I looked at her hand and she let go understanding it hurt.

"Uhm…………..hi?" I said totally not knowing what to do. She finally smiled.

"Allow me to introduce myself" she said extending her hand.

"Oh……Uhm I'm Jamie" I said squinting even though I didn't know why.

"I know" she said gently. We've been waiting for you. I am Jaylin."

"Wait what?" I said wide eyed. "You've been WHAT for me" I said starting to feel nervous.

"No need to be alarmed" she said quietly. "Please come with me" She said motioning for me to follow her.

"No….I'm not going anywhere until you explain" I said stubbornly. I planted myself firmly on the floor. She nodded and snapped her fingers. Then suddenly "my captor" appeared. I narrowed my eyes.

"Not you again" I said curling my lip. He smiled and gave a little bow.

"Its nice to see you awake….you got really heavy last night" I was about to retort but I clamped my mouth shut. I had completely forgotten he carried me home last night. I chewed on my lip.

"Since you are unwilling to cooperate I have assigned Alex to be your escort" Jaylin said. I groaned.

"Please!" I begged. "Not him…he never talks to me…give me someone who at least will talk to me" I can't believe I'm even agreeing to this.

"Oh he'll talk to you" Jaylin said assuring. "Now please come….we have much to discuss" She paused a little to look over me. I gave a snobby look. She looked taken aback and quickly left the room. Alex looked at me.

"Well…..are you going to come or am I going to have to drag you again?" he asked.

"NO thank you" I said loudly. I held up my wrists. "I don't need more of this" I stood up and unzipped my hoodie. I smelled bad and I wondered if he could tell. He smiled and led me out the door.

"Ladies first" he said. I gave him smart look and walked through. He followed quietly.

I didn't like Alex following me. I realized I liked him in front of me much better then behind me. I didn't like him watching me, especially while I was wearing such ugly clothes. I was always annoyed when people looked at me. I wanted to shout and ask them what so interesting. Alex didn't really show any expression toward me. He either laughed at me or stared at me. Maybe he's just like that. I stopped a little ways down the hallway and looked back at Alex. He stopped and looked back at me.

"Well" I said. "Where to?" He smiled and pointed to the right. I turned right and found myself outside. I could hear all sorts of noises; everything that I normally wouldn't expect. We seemed to be in an isolated place. I could see all the tall skyscrapers outside, but no city life sounds came to me. I didn't really care anyway. I spotted Jaylin sitting under a tree with a few other people. A man and another woman followed by a boy that seemed my age as Alex did and a little girl. I placed myself next to Alex and let him lead me to them. I wasn't sure what to think. I looked at him thoughtfully but he didn't return my glance. That was also kind of annoying me. Well fine….be that way.

As we approached the group, Jaylin looked up. She didn't smile or frown. Her face was perfectly normal. Her wide green eyes swooped over me again. I guess she just liked looking at me. I fidgeted with my hands and looked at my shoes. My new red shoes were a little scuffed but they looked awesome to me. Jaylin mumbled something to the boy standing next to the tree. He took a step forward. "Jamie, this is Braden" she said pointing to the boy. "And Ceilia" she said pointing to the little girl with bouncy brown curls and deep brown eyes sitting on her left on the grass.

"And I'm Anton" said the man sitting on Jaylin's right. He had gray hair and a scruffy beard sprinkled with dark hairs. A kind smile occupied his face. Overall he seemed quite handsome, though Braden took my breath away. He had blonde hair and brown eyes. Just like me! I just looked at them not sure if I should say something. Alex had moved over by Braden. His eyes were still fixed on me. I was beginning to feel uncomfortable, again.

"We want to explain something to you Jamie" said Jaylin suddenly. "We understand you may not understand it as much as we do, but we'd like to try your hardest" I gulped. Here we go. I waited for her to speak again.

"Yeah?" I said shaking my head. "I'm waiting" I knew my tone annoyed her. I didn't care if it annoyed her. I wanted answers. So what if I had an attitude. She could deal with it.

"You are in shock, we understand that but we feel you must know what has happened" Jaylin began slowly.

"You were in a car accident………….a very bad car accident….Anton and I---" I cut her off there.

"A BAD car accident?!…….a BAD car accident?! I lost my whole family! They're gone forever! I'll never see them again. You call that just a bad car accident" I was yelling now. Jaylin purse her lips.

"Please let me explain before I have to make you sit down….I understand your upset but I didn't have Anton, Celia and Braden come out here for nothing" she stopped for a second and resumed. "Now sit down and be quiet." She snapped. I was taken aback. Even though I was still angry I sat down. Alex and Braden copied me.

"Now…………you are dead." she said flatly "There is nothing you can do to stop or change that. Your family is dead too. We saw your car accident and saved you." she stopped as if letting me say something; so I did.

"You….SAVED me?" I said trying my best not to get smart again. "How can you SAVE me?" I was so confused now. Nothing made sense anymore.

"Who are you?" I asked suddenly not letting them answer.

"We're just humans" stated Celia quickly. She had been sitting on the grass quietly until now. "Since we're dead we're invisible so no one can see us, so it's the same thing as being dead. But we're alive in a sense. I don't think anyone knows exactly why. We just figured it out" She went back to toying with the grass. I looked shocked at her. She's like what, 9 or something? What is she talking about?

"We don't know exactly why you are alive. Your accident was pretty serious. You must have done something inside yourself to stay alive. It's a miracle" said Anton. He sat down slowly next to Jaylin. She smiled at him and he took her hand.

"We are inviting you to live with us, unless you would like to figure things out on your own. It is extremely dangerous out there and we can help you." They looked at me. Again, I didn't like them looking at me. I looked at Alex. He was looking right at me too. I rolled my eyes. I looked at Celia and Braden. They seemed perfectly normal. I wasn't sure what to think. How could anyone know what to think?

"Okay……so what. I'm just supposed to live here with you? Are we going to have all those "family" dinners and have outings and send a Christmas card out every week?" Then I suddenly started talking. I talked about ball games, going to the mall, going out to dinner, having family friends over. I was starting to feel the pain of really losing my family. Ceilia had stood up and walked over to me. She sat down next to me and took my hand. It was warm. She brushed my hair away from my eyes and stroked my hair. It was actually pretty comforting. But I was not about to tell anyway one that. I ended up crying again. They all just sat there. As still has stone. They really were starting to freak me out. I felt like I was in some prison. What did I do? Are you convicting me for getting in a car accident? Is that it?!

I was sitting there by myself now; under that big tree. It was beautiful. I was being all emotional and thinking of how beautiful and full of life it was. If Mae and Jasmine could just see me now. I laughed out loud. This was absolutely crazy. Just plain stupid. I dug my hands into the dirt. It felt cool and comforting. I fingered it around and picked up more. I started digging. I was crying already again. I threw the dirt on the grass. My hands were black. A few stones came up and I threw them away. I started pulling the grass out. I didn't feel like screaming right now. I just lay down on the ground and cried. Laying there in the dirt I thought. Everything I had ever had was gone. I knew I couldn't change it. But I just wanted to at least think about it. It made me feel better. Not a lot of things usually made me feel better. I thought about Sidney. I hated not knowing where she was. Maybe she was just dead and I didn't see her in the car. I figured I would let that unfold by itself. I cared about it, but just not enough to do something about it. I guess I was just too lazy.

~4~

She was still laying there. How could she just lay there and do nothing? I was confused by her. She was so different! I didn't understand how she could just do nothing for so long. I felt like walking over to her and talking to her, or at least something other than letting her lay there, but I figured she wouldn't want to talk to me. I didn't think she liked me that much. After all, I was the one who dragged her here. I watched her silently. She sat up and looked around. She was still clenching her fists. They were black. She had probably been holding dirt. I felt so sorry for her. She was beautiful. She probably didn't even realize it, but she was beautiful. I loved her eyes. She was wiping them off. She had black streaks on her face now. I wanted to rush over there and wipe her tears away, but she probably didn't want me over there at a time like this now anyway. Maybe later.

I think she must have seen me because she stood up abruptly and walked over. She shoved her hands in her cargo pants and looked down.

"Hey" she said quietly. "So I guess you got some entertainment for the day" she said looking over at the tree. I tried to smile. It was a little awkward.

"Hey" I replied this time looking at her. She avoided my look and looked away.

"So what is this place?" she said finally.

"Well…………I could show you around?" I offered sticking my own hands in my pockets. I didn't know what to say. She made me feel different. I wasn't used to it. She nodded silently. I looked at her for a minute. I could tell she was squirming. I stopped. I didn't want to make her uncomfortable.

"We can take a walk?" I suggested. She nodded silently again. I guess she didn't feel like talking. I don't blame her.

We walked for a little bit. I didn't talk to her. I suspected she might get mad and yell at me. Apparently she liked to yell. So I let her do what she wanted. I wondered if she was as awkward feeling as I was. I kept a straight face, or at least I tried. She was just so funny to observe. I knew I should probably stop laughing so much. She was going through a lot. I slid behind her quietly. She spun around.

"Why do you walk behind me? You like watching me or something? Am I that interesting to you?" she snapped. Oh boy…here we go again.

"You are interesting" I said instantly regretting it. She looked surprised. Then she gave a weak smile and blushed.

"Well…….thanks….I guess" she said shyly. I just nodded. I didn't want to make a big deal out of it. I can never do the right thing. I knew that as a well known fact. Somewhere along our walk she sat down. Her clothes were all dirty. I should probably tell Ceilia to get her some clothes. I sat down a few feet away and picked up a stick. I started to peel off the bark. She looked at me. Her brown eyes were soft and full of questions. All I could do was smile. I probably looked like a retard.

"So……how did you come to be here?" she asked me suddenly. I looked away.

"Same way" I said. I didn't feel like explaining how, maybe some other time, but I didn't even know her. It made me uncomfortable. She looked hurt sitting there.

"Oh" she said. I regretted that too. But I really didn't want to explain. I didn't like to talk about it. I wanted her to understand I wanted my space. I wasn't some un emotional guy that would talk about anything. I expected her to understand that. Maybe that was mistake number three. Oh well. I sat there with her for a while. I thought about asking her numerous questions, but I had no idea how. I kept thinking of what she would say and I imagined all her responses somehow ending up getting mad at me.

"What's your favorite color?" I asked quickly. She looked up suddenly and smiled.

"Pink" she said looking at me. "Yours?" she asked.

"Blue" I replied. "But it changes a lot"

"Me too!" she said excitedly. I smiled. What else?! I was getting stuck again.

"So how come no one can see us?" she asked changing the subject in a second. I didn't know how she did it. We had just been talking about colors. What was she thinking about?

"I don't know exactly. I just know that no one can….except……..yeah I don't know" I stopped realizing I almost gave her too much information.

"Except what?" she said raising her voice. She perked up a bit obviously interested.

"N--nothing…..no one can see us" I stammered. Great. I'm screwed. I got a little nervous and chucked the stick away. She squinted at me.

"You don't have to tell me" she said. I looked at her helplessly. She huffed and picked at the grass. I noticed she was trying to make a bracelet or something, because she was trying to tie them together. I smiled quietly. She was having trouble. As she struggled to tie them I noticed a tear. She was crying again. I felt sorry for her. I inched forward and gently took her hands. I quickly tied the grass around her wrist. She sniffed.

"Thanks" she said.

"You're welcome" I said quietly. She laughed. What? I'm not allowed to say "you're welcome?" I ignored her criticism and stood up. I started to walk away but she followed me. "Where are you going?" she asked innocently. Was she crazy? I thought she didn't want me there.

"Well I figured you wanted to be alone" I said voicing my opinion honestly. Another mistake right there.

"Oh….." she said chewing on her lip. "Well fine." she said and went back to where we had been sitting. I sighed. What now? I decided to just leave. It was for the best. If she wanted to follow she could.

~5~

Why is he like that? I don't want to be alone! I watched him stalk off quickly. Fine, he could do whatever he wanted. I sat there pouting. I didn't understand why he was being nice. Maybe he felt sorry for me. Or maybe he just didn't know what else to do. I guess that's the way he goes. I thought it was nice of him to sit next to me. It was comforting to have another human being close after everything that happened. His favorite color was blue. Just like his eyes. And he said you're welcome! Who says your welcome? Guys are supposed to just shrug or something. I never even imagined finding one that would say "you're welcome". Well, he was certainly different. I had a feeling we would be friend. One day, we would be friends.

It was around lunch time I guessed. My stomach was talking to me. Sometimes I imagined it was my friend. Now I'm going crazy. Stomachs don't talk! I sprawled myself across the grass. It smelled kind of sweet. Weird. The sun glared in my eyes so I shielded them with my hand. My grass bracelet sparkled weirdly in the sun. I smiled. I closed my eyes and let everything around talk to me. I could hear the faint sounds of the city, but barely. A few birds twittered around, but mainly the wind. It smelled good and while it swished around I imagined I was at home in San Francisco. We had lived on a hill and you could see the bay in the distance. All the colorful houses made it look almost like Greece but watered down a lot. You could see the Golden Gate Bridge too. I thought it was the best place in the world. I had no idea what went on around there. I was nine and playing outside in the backyard; a tall red fence enclose the ultimate backyard. My favorite place was the sandbox. I'd hide things and make Sidney dig around to find them. She always found them all because I hid them close to the surface. She'd laugh and giggle and drool. I didn't mind the laughing but the drooling grossed me out. I remember my dad coming home every day from work. He'd drive up the driveway in his shiny new car. I loved to run alongside it. Sidney was too young to talk and Josh was always inside playing with some toy. I laughed and waited until he stopped. Then I'd climb into the car and sit on his lap. He'd kiss me on the cheek and ask me how my day was and if I had been good. Mom usually came out by then. She looked so happy. Dad smiled back at her and walked inside holding her hand. I watched them go inside the house. I was happy.

A figured appeared as a shadow. I opened my eyes and saw Ceilia; the little girl. Her bouncy brown curls were adorable and they framed her chubby cheeked face. She gave me a warm smile.

"Would you like to change?" she asked. I nodded.

"Yes thank you. I can't wait to get out of these clothes." I stood up. I was about a foot and a half taller than her. I looked down sheepishly. It was awkward.

"Come with me then" she said turning toward the house. It looked different on the outside. It was all one story and had a black roof. The walls were a peachy color just like the walls inside. Everything seemed neat and tidy as the inside did too. There were flowers and bushes by every window. It made me smile just a tad. It was so pretty. Ceilia led me inside. I followed quietly. We passed the room I had been in. I didn't know how I remembered because the rooms all looked the same. We came to a room. It had three windows in the front and none on the ends. The same peachy color was on the walls again. So I guess they like peach. Jaylin was sitting in a rocking chair talking to Anton who was on the floor. She seemed upset. Her face looked concerned. She looked up, no smile this time. Well I don't like you much either. I stood next to Ceilia waiting for someone to talk. Anton smiled at me. It made me uncomfortable. I started to fidget again. Ceilia stepped forward.

"I thought I'd take her to get some clothes, she needs some style"

"Hey!" I said. She had practically just insulted me. She gave me a little smart cock of the head.

"Well you do" she said turning back to Jaylin. YOU could use some style. I tried to make myself feel better by folding my arms.

"Alright" Jaylin said suddenly smiling. I rolled my eyes. Now she smiles.

"Take Alex with you though" she added before we started to leave.

"What? Why?" I said. "Do we really need him?"

"Yes, you do" said someone from behind me. I sighed and turned around. There was Alex.

"Do you always do that? I asked. He looked at me confused. "Just suddenly appear?" I enlightened him. He glanced at his feet. Smart. He knows not to say something back. I had a smug smile on my face. I knew. Celia gave me a little push out the door and I looked back at Jaylin and Anton. They were talking again.

Ceilia took me outside followed by Alex. I was officially back in my bad mood. I didn't want him following me. Celia didn't seem bothered by him. She was humming to herself. I imagined we looked like a monkey in the middle without the ball. Ceilia was in the front dancing around and Alex just shuffled behind me, who was in the middle.

"So where are we going?" I asked impatiently.

"You'll see" said Celia not bothering to even look back. I made a face at her back. I looked back at Alex. He was staring straight ahead but glanced at me for a second. He was wearing a white t-shirt with an opened button up shirt. It was light blue. I guess he really meant he liked blue. He had khaki shorts on and some plain brown sandals. I looked down at my own feet. I liked my red converse shoes. I like my pants too, but they were dirty. The light tan color was way darker now, and I had discovered a hole in my pink stockings earlier. I can't wait for new clothes. Ceilia kept humming as we walked. I didn't pay attention to what was around us. I didn't notice though that there were a lot of trees. I didn't remember New York City having a lot of trees. I expected it to be industrial and such. We didn't see any people. I wondered why. I had a craving to see them and I didn't know why.

I suddenly had a thought. It ate my mind out. I stopped in my tracks.

"I have to tell someone!" I said horrified. "I have to tell them what happened! They must be worried sick!" I started to run. I didn't know where I was going. I just started running.

"Jamie wait" I heard Alex call.

"Bring her back" I heard Ceilia say blandly. I kept running. Alex caught up to be quickly and grabbed my wrist.

"No!" I screamed. "I have to tell them! I have to tell them I'm okay!" I tried to pull away but he grabbed my waist to get a hold of my other wrist. I twisted and slipped away.

"Jamie don't make this harder than it has to be" he said firmly. He reached out for me but I dodged him.

"No! I need to tell them! I have to tell them!" I screamed again. Out of the corner of my eye I saw Ceilia standing there. She folded her arms genuinely amused.

"Tell who?" Alex said while he caught a hold of me again. He was too fast for me. I hit him. I pounded on his chest trying to get away. He wrenched my arms apart and sat me down on the ground. He sat crossed legged in front of me holding my wrists.

"Tell WHO Jamie?" he said looking straight in my eyes. I didn't look at him. I turned my head away.

"I have to tell them" I said. "They need to know what happened" I was about to cry again. I didn't want to cry. He probably thought I was crazy already.

"And I'm not crazy!" I blurted. He looked surprised.

"I know you're not crazy" he said seriously. I looked at him shocked.

"You don't think I'm a nut case?" I asked sniffling a bit.

"No. I don't, but you need to tell me what you're talking about" he said softly. I bit my lip.

It's just……." I paused. "It's just that no one knows what happened to me. Don't you think it's a good idea to tell someone?" I said starting to panic again.

"I have to tell someone that I'm okay. I can't let them not know what happened to me. They think I'm dead!" I struggled for him to let me go but he wouldn't let go.

"They won't know" he said. "They can't know" I looked up. My eyes were starting to water again.

"I have to tell them. I'll tell Mae or Jasmine. They'll understand. I have to tell someone"

"You can't. They won't be able to hear you" he said trying to explain. I didn't want to listen. He didn't understand. He would never understand.

Ceilia had walked up behind Alex.

"What's she complaining about now?" she asked seeming annoyed. I looked at her not sure how to act.

"Nothing" said Alex standing up and ignoring her. "Everything's fine" He said and pulled me up and brushed me off.

"Let's go" said Alex. He waited for me to start walking. Ceilia rolled her eyes and started. I followed quietly. I would find a way to tell someone. I have to.

Ceilia took us to the city. We were walking along on the sidewalk dodging people left and right. After all, people couldn't see us. Pigeons were all over the place, and there were a lot of homeless people feeding them French fries or something. Alex had moved up to my side and held my elbow gently maneuvering me around the people. I gave him a hard time and I knew he was getting tired of it. Each time he got a little firmer. I smiled smugly knowing I was getting my way. I felt like a baby. Being toted around. I guess I was looking at it the wrong way. After all, they were getting me new clothes. Ceilia looked back every now and then to make sure we were there. I gave her a sweet smile. She didn't respond. She knew I was being smart. Alex kept looking around. He seemed a little nervous.

"What, you don't like cities? You live here don't you?" I asked not looking at him.

"I don't mind them" he said sighing.

"Well why are you so nervous?" I asked confronting him.

"I'm not nervous" he insisted.

"Well you sure look like it" I said wanting him to say something back.

"Well I'm not" he said putting an end to it. Fine.

~6~

How am I going to control myself? She was being impossible. She didn't know she couldn't tell anyone about her accident. Not one could hear her anyway. Her freak outs scared me. I didn't know when she would try to run off again. Jaylin would be so angry if she got away. No one was happy she was here anyway. Ceilia had just wanted to get out for a little bit, so she offered to get her new clothes. I was going to have to take Jamie wherever the clothes were. Ceilia was already starting to disappear. I let her do whatever she wanted. She was such a brat. I was the only one who wanted Jamie here. Braden didn't really care. He usually just went and watched people at a local public school. I didn't know why he liked it; maybe because he missed it. I missed it too, but I didn't seclude myself all the time. Anton was extremely opinionated. I didn't care. He could think whatever he wanted. Jamie would need a place to stay. I couldn't let her roam around. She could get hurt. I knew she was probably annoyed with me. But I wanted her to understand I wasn't a toy. I kept a firm grip on her elbow. I knew she'd probably try to kick someone. She had a habit of that I noticed.

Ceilia had disappeared completely now. I probably wouldn't see her till tomorrow knowing her late night excursions. I didn't care. I'd take care of Jamie. I found a store that looked like Jamie according to the clothes she was wearing now. It was in the center of the city. Ceilia just HAD to bring us to the center. She always had to be the center of attention. There were too many people here. Jamie was quiet.

"Is this good?" I asked her stepping close to a wall so no one would run into us.

"She looked into the windows.

"Yeah. It's fine" she said casually. She stepped out in to the sidewalk unknowingly. I had to grab her and pull her in before a jogger almost crashed into her.

"Sorry, she was going to hit you" I explained. She looked a little scared. She'd get over it once we were inside. I opened the door for her and she went inside.

Jamie looked around at clothes and I watched her carefully. She ran through racks of clothing in a matter of minutes. I didn't know how she could have looked at everything so fast. I was going to ask her, but decided against it because I thought she might get annoyed. Better to be safe I thought.

"What do you think of these?" she asked me holding up a pair of faded blue jeans. She turned them around revealing a design on the back pockets. I didn't understand why everything needed to be decorated.

"They're fine" I said shrugging. She huffed at me and turned back to the rack.

"I mean, they're nice. Get them" I said running my hand through my hair. She eyed me.

"You just said you didn't like them, I took that as a no" she said smartly. I sighed.

"Just get them" I said becoming tired.

"Why? You don't like them. You just said you didn't like them" she said still looking through the rack.

"I never said I didn't like them. I said they were fine" I said defending myself. This was impossible.

"Yeah" she replied. "You don't like them". I gave up. I threw my hands up in the air and then let them drop.

"Jeez, calm down" she said walking off to look at something else. I was calm; she was just getting on my nerves. I fingered a red shirt on a hanger. It felt smooth. I moved closer to where Jamie was. She already had a few things in her arms. She was looking at shirts. She picked two out and seemed to be deciding. I came up behind her and pointed to the light blue one she had.

"I like that one" I said. She looked over her shoulder and smiled coyly. She flipped her hair over her shoulder.

"Why?" she asked waiting for my reply. I was stuck. "Because it's your favorite color?" she added. I looked surprised.

"How did you know?" I asked. She laughed.

"You told me today remember?" she said. Putting the other shirt she had picked out she put the blue one on her stack.

"Fine, I'll get that one" she said and moved on. I just stood there wondering how she remembered everything. I had just gotten used to remembering she had brown eyes without having to look at them to remember. That was an improvement for me.

Jamie perused some more clothes. Her pile had gotten bigger. I hoped she didn't want to take all of them. I watched and waited patiently. She looked cute looking at clothes. Her blonde hair covered her neck and was almost longer then her shoulders. She moved hangers back and forth picking up various shirts and pants. I wondered how she knew if she liked something without having to try them on. A few other people had come into the store. There was music playing. I preferred listening to classical music but this was okay. It was soft and it kind of went with the store. I don't know how I thought of that, but it did. My legs were starting to get tired so I sat down on a purple couch in the store. I kept an eye on Jamie. She had moved her pile of clothes to an empty rack. No one even noticed the moving hanger. We got lucky today.

Jamie had picked up her pile and walked over. I had been waiting for her to finish. I didn't mind at all.

"I found some things" she said looking at her pile in her hands.

"Good, that's good that you…….." I cleared my throat. "Found some things" I said getting up.

Do you want to try them on?" I asked pointing my head in the direction of the dressing rooms. She shrugged.

"They won't care?" she asked looking at the cashiers. They were standing there doing something on their computers and folding clothes.

"Well you can go in the men's changing room" I suggested. "I don't think anyone is in there" She raised her eyebrows at me.

"The men's changing room?" she asked. I knew that was a bad idea to suggest now.

"Well I think there are people in the other" I said. She just stared at me. Then she walked off toward the changing rooms. She decided to take my advice. She stopped and turned around.

"Are you coming?" she asked, more like telling me to come from the look on her face. I sighed and got up. I was comfortable on that couch. She turned back and went in the dressing rooms. I heard her slump the pile of clothes on the floor. I sat down on a bench. It wasn't as comfortable as the couch, but it would do.

She came out shortly wearing some jean shorts and a long sleeve red t-shirt. She stood there awkwardly.

"Well, what do you think?" she asked me suddenly. I stammered

"Uhm…well…it's nice?" I said not knowing what to say. She rolled her eyes.

"You can't hate everything you know, it's bad for you" she said and went back in to the room. I crossed my arms. A few pairs of jeans came flying over the top of the door.

"I hate those" she yelled. "Take them away please! They make me look fat" I rolled my eyes.

"You don't look fat" I said and scooped up the jeans and put them on another bench.

"Yes I do!" she said from inside. I didn't say anything. I knew it was pointless.

"See! You aren't arguing with me! I look fat" she said again. I threw up my hands. She was impossible.

"I didn't say you were fat. You're not fat." I said trying to make up with her. She opened the door and stepped out. I sucked my breath in. She was wearing a white sun dress. It was yellowish at the bottom and it fit her perfectly. It was beautiful. Why did it have to be her? She smiled.

"Do you like it?" she asked twirling around and looking in the mirror. "I do" she said answering her own question. I was speechless. I smiled too.

"Its very pretty" I said simply. She stopped and looked at me.

"I don't care if you don't like it" she said. I opened my mouth to protest but she cut me off.

"Because I like it." she said stopping to look in the mirror again.

"And that's all that matters" she said to herself. She turned away from the mirror and went back in to the changing room. She came back out with a stack of clothes.

"I'm ready" she said smiling bright. She seemed happy. I wanted her to be happy. This was good.

~7~

He was okay. He wasn't the ideal person to go shopping with but I didn't have anyone else. I held my bag of clothes tight. I couldn't wait to go try them all on. I was sure they'd fit me. Alex walked next to me again; his hand on my elbow. I got used to it after a while.

"Where's Ceilia?" I asked suddenly noticing she wasn't with us. Had I really missed her that much?

"She went somewhere" Alex said changing his tone.

Okay! Someone's a little grumpy" I said looking at him. He ignored me and walked on. Okay?

We kept walking; moving around people and crossing streets. I used the time to figure out where we were. I kept seeing signs for streets with numbers. It confused me. What if someone mistook an N for a W? I decided to not try to figure out it out. I didn't see the point in it. I didn't see the point in anything now. I just wanted to get changed.

We passed a few stores now and then, but nothing I would want to explore. Alex was keeping an eye on everything, and I mean everything. I watched his eyes out of pure boredom and they moved a million times a second. I wanted to know what he was looking at. Then I noticed where we were. This block! I stopped in my tracks.

"Why did you bring me here?" I said narrowing my eyes at Alex who had turned confusingly toward me.

"What are you talking about?" he said seeming annoyed. "I didn't take you anywhere in particular, we're going home" Home. That word doesn't mean anything to me stupid!

"This block!" I said almost shouting. "You know exactly what I'm talking about" I glared at him. You did this on purpose didn't you! I yanked my arm away from him. He looked shocked. Maybe he really didn't know what I meant. He reached back a grabbed my elbow. I tried to pull away but he clamped around it again. It took the breath out of me. I gasped. It was so tight.

"Stop! It hurts!" I said looking down and scratching his hand with my free hand. I choked as I saw my arm turning blue. I looked up expecting Alex, but it wasn't. I felt a chill run down my spine. What now? It was a man. His eyes were clouded but seemingly looking straight at me. I felt like he was looking straight through me. I felt exposed to everything. No one could see me but I still felt like they could. His grasp on my arm was so tight I felt faint. I moaned and slumped to the ground. After that; I wasn't sure.

I heard a beeping sound. I opened my eyes. Everything was blurry and I couldn't feel my feet. I tried to move my head but I couldn't. I let my eyes adjust. The beeping was from a machine. I saw lines waving around on a computer screen. That's my heart. I watched it fascinated as it rose and dropped. I tried to move my head again and got nowhere. It probably moved a billionth of a centimeter. I was never good at math. So…..I guess I must be in the hospital? Wait! How can anyone see me? What is this? I started to panic. As soon as I did the machine started beeping louder and faster. I started to gasp for air. I was losing it. I saw a red light at the top of my door go on. I heard people rushing into my room. Three very white blurry figures hovered over me. I waved my hand for them to get out of my face. I have a personal space bubble you know! I couldn't talk to them. All I did was wave my hands. My heart felt like it was jumping out of my chest. I was heaving so hard it hurt. One of the blurry white figures said something to another blurry white figure. I frantically tried to make eye contact. Didn't they know I was suffocating? Suddenly a hand came down. A plastic thing was put on my mouth and I immediately relaxed. Air! I closed my eyes. Everything was fine. The blurry white figures had stepped back a bit. They were talking quietly. I opened my eyes and looked at them. My eyes were a little out of focus but they tuned out after a minute. There were two men and a woman. The first man had white hair and a beard. I think he was doctor. The second man looked like he was in his late 30s, and the woman on his right was beautiful. She had tumbling red curls and green eyes that sparkled. I smiled. They returned the expression. The woman walked over to the right side of my bed and leaned over.

"How are you feeling?" she asked inquisitively. I opened my mouth to say something but nothing came out. I nodded my head a smiled. She touched my hand gently. I jerked. Her touch felt like electricity. It ran all the way down to my toes and back up to my fingers. I crinkled my nose. She laughed softly.

"There we go, can you feel your feet now" she asked standing up straight. She looked back at the men behind her. They nodded and left.