Chapter 2: Purgatory

It was dark, empty. I couldn't hear, see of feel anything. But I knew I was moving, swaying side to side through the abyss that so desperately tried to take me with it. Like waves, I was thrown around in a rip tide, crashing against rocks. I didn't know which direction I was moving. I didn't even know what way was up. But In truth, I didn't care. It was comfortable and I wanted to let myself be taken by it. The pain and the tears were gone.

I was glad.

But amongst the peaceful waves, there was something I hadn't noticed until now. It was small and insignificant, but it had been growing amongst the crashing waves.

It was bright. Powerful; even though I couldn't see it, I could sense it. There was something strong that didn't belong here.

It was reaching towards me, its hand like rope that tightened round me, trying to lift me from the darkness and waves. Naturally, I tried to turn from it, escape its pull on me. But my body was limp, lifeless. It held me still, and it pulled me ever further away from the waves that were so gentle and calm.

The darkness dimmed, as a faint silver glow replaced it. Whatever as holding me was hot, uncomfortably so. But it kept getting hotter. The warmer it became, the brighter everything around me was. The darkness was fighting a losing battle, even with its once strong hold on me; it had no match for the stunning silver light that cut through it like razor blades. A sense of awareness returned, allowing my body to react to the situation. I could feel the pain, in my leg, as it spiked and grew throughout my whole body. This made me more willing for the waves to take me, for the darkness to swallow me; removing the pain and the fear from me, forever.

But it just kept getting stronger; I could now hear some of my surroundings. A voice filled with panic, the rhythmic beat of a fast paced run, and two heartbeats, one racing forward, healthy and strong. The other, was fainter, like a small hummingbird's flutter, as it struggled to soar from on beat to another. It grew slower and fainter, wanting to give up on its struggle. Then I realized the faint beat was from me chest. I could feel its fading run.

It was my heartbeat.

Mine.

But a voice, strong and powerful, pierced the darkness completely, for just one second. My vision cleared. But my eyes, weak and feeble, rolled around aimlessly, I couldn't focus. Everything was moving so fast, it was difficult to make sense of anything.

But I was in someone's arms. Their skin was hot against my cold skin, but they were also soft and protecting, like something that you would want to curl up in and fall asleep on. A chest, thin and muscular, was like a wall on my side.

Above me was a blurry figure, running, panting as he carried my lifeless body. Flowing like a shadow was black hair twisting and curly behind his back, like arms, reaching out to me. But their grasp, was not strong enough to protect me from the clutching darkness that weighed my body down with invisible lead chains. It no longer felt peaceful, the waves had gone. There was nothing left.

It was empty.

There was nothing that could take the pain away, so it returned, and I was now trapped in a darkness I no longer wish to be in. I want to be able to feel the warmth of the person holding me so tightly, their soft but protecting touch. The embrace and safety I felt in their arms.

"Hang on!" The voice shouted, but it wasn't harsh. Fear and urgency broke through on every word. I recognized the voice, but my head couldn't bring the name that belongs to it. As I was engulfed in the darkness the rest of the sentence was drowned out, and I was pulled back into the silent painful black abyss. It was a heavy pressure trying to crush me, I resist it, tried to stall my fate, as I wanted to feel that warmth one more time.

"Do you think she will ever wake up"?

"Give her some time, she's been through hell"

"But it's been three days already"

"She was so weak when she was brought here, she needs time to recover"

Three days.

Only three days. It feels like years have passed in this black prison.

Unable to see. Move.

If there was such a thing as purgatory, then this was it. I was conscious, but my thoughts, emotions; were trapped in a limp, dead body. I was trapped, in a broken world and I couldn't get out. All I could do was resist the force that was trying so hard to crush me, and stay afloat against waves that were doing all they could to drown me in this darkness.