"In The Dark" Contest
Pen Name: TRDancer
Title: Flat Line
Summary: The girl beside him was just a helpless victim of his carelessness, an unfortunate pawn on Fate's chessboard. All he wanted was to die and he failed. AU/AH, One-shot. Written for the "In the Dark" Contest.
Word Count: 2275
For Rules and Other Submissions, please visit: http://www(DOT)fanfiction(D0T)net/u/2003775/
Cigarette smoke curls into the air around me like an imprint of things best forgotten, ghosting on the same breeze that ruffles my already messy hair. The chain link fence presses into my chest and stomach, digging into my bones uncomfortably. I hate the feeling—it makes me feel alive.
I stub out my cigarette on the top of the fence and toss it into the grassy ditch beside the busy highway, where car upon car rushes by on it's way to somewhere important, thinking it's going fast, when that couldn't be further from the truth. Those cars are snails.
But I? I am lightning. I am thunder. I am a hurricane. Going fast is all that matters to me. Fast, fast, fast enough to leave everyone behind, fast enough to become someone else as I drive, fast enough to forget that I am not lightning, am not thunder, am not a hurricane. Fast enough to stop feeling at all.
I am not afraid of what can happen to me out on the open road. But I am afraid of what could happen to someone else, someone innocent, someone with something to live for, someone who is the complete opposite of me. Someone who knows love.
Yet I get into my silver Volvo, skip the part where I should buckle, blast my classical music (because who doesn't want to die to the sounds of piano plinking?), and peel out of the parking lot of my favourite convenience store, onto the freeway. The gas pedal is pressed to the floor and it will not lift for the rest of the night. I hope that this time it will not lift for the rest of my life.
"Shit, shit, shit," I mumbled around the package of cookies in my mouth, fumbling for the power button on my car's stereo. I loved my new Porsche, but it could be so annoying at times. Loud rap music was blaring out of the speakers, and I was trying desperately to silence it. It was way too early—too late?—for blasting music.
My hand finally made contact with the power button and I sat back in my seat, spitting the package of cookies into my now free hand. I grabbed one side between my fingers and the other with my teeth and pulled, ripping the plastic clear down the middle just as I hit the brakes at a red light, making the cookies go flying, one out onto the road and rolling under my tire and the other landing safely on the dashboard. I grabbed it up and took a huge bite. Ah, sugar, sweet sugar, I sighed to myself.
The light turned green and I took another bite of my cookie and looked to the left before pressing down on the gas pedal. No one was ever on this street at this hour, so I wasn't particularly cautious.
Then, three things happened in rapid succession. One, I looked to the right and saw a silver car coming toward me. Two, I hit the brake. Three, I closed my eyes.
I could feel the impact of the car crashing into the passenger side and the force continuing to push my car across the open road. I took a moment to praise God for the fact that Alice hadn't come with me today, and then I waited for my life to flash before my eyes.
It felt like someone was sitting next to me, holding my hand and whispering that everything was going to be okay. Then the pressure on my hand faded away, leaving a faint scent of honey, and I recognized the sound of my mother humming Clair de lune before it was cut off with the loud screech of crashing metal. The world turned white.
This feeling is not unfamiliar. I am lying on a hospital bed with various tubes and machines around me, and all I can think is it didn't work.
I am not happy.
I try to open my eyes, but I cannot. Frustrated, I attempt to move any other part of my body. I am unsuccessful and so I allow myself to float into white space again. This is unfamiliar; I usually float into darkness.
In the white, a scene begins to play before me. I am wandering the streets on what I know is Christmas Eve, when suddenly the bright, colourful Christmas lights fade away and are replaced by the image of a family gathered around a large Christmas tree, laughing and showing each other their presents. It is something I only remember from the very early days of my childhood, and I envy the family, with their beautiful looks and laughing faces. The one brunette girl starts to fade from the picture and suddenly I am part of it. The older boy with short dark hair laughs and nudges me, saying something I can't hear. The short girl jumps up and hands me a present. The rest of the family looks at me encouragingly, smiling. I look down at the red and green wrapped present in my hands before the scene fades away, leaving me alone in the white again.
This time the white morphs into a beach with Fourth of July colours plastered everywhere and crowds of people laughing and having a good time. I only get a flash of the large Admissions sign in front of me before it disappears and is replaced by the same family gathered on a picnic blanket, the two blondes playing beach volleyball as the rest of the family looks on and cheers. The brunette is sprawled across the picnic blanket, picking at her cookie. She looks up and seems to see me, as her expression turns to one of confusion before she disappears again, and I replace her on the picnic blanket. The short girl immediately turns to me and grabs the cookie out of my hands, a mischievous look on her face. I try to grab it back, but she waves it above my head, laughing soundlessly. Following my instincts, I pounce on her, holding her down while I grab the cookie from her. A wave of happiness washes over me—this is the kind of sibling I've always wanted. I start to laugh just as the vision disappears again, leaving me alone.
It seems like I am floating for forever before the next image overtakes me. This time, I am sitting alone in my bedroom, listening to my parents in the other room, fighting. I'm surprised that I can hear anything at all this time and I reach up to cover my ears just as the scene changes to a big dinner party. I look around and see a huge sign that says 'Happy Birthday, Bella!' on the wall. Scanning the joking people, I see the brunette, wearing a party hat that says 'Birthday Girl' on it. I walk over to her and she looks away from the girl she was talking to, up at me. This time, I register fear in her expression as she reaches out to me, mouthing the word you before fading away. Now I am sitting where Bella was a moment ago, looking at the people in front of me in wonder as they push a large cake blazing with candles that says 'Happy 12th, Edward!' in icing on it. Tears well up in my eyes as the cake and smiling faces die away.
Suddenly, I am woken by the loud beeping of a heart monitor gone bonkers and the scurrying of nurses and doctors in the room. I wonder if it's my heart monitor and slowly crack open my eyes. No one is hovered over me, so I turn my head in the direction of the noise. The staff are gathered around the bed next to me, shouting loud orders and blocking my view of the person lying on the bed, except for a shock of deep brown hair spread across the pillow.
Vast, open, white space. That's all I've been able to comprehend since the crash. I've become content with floating, though I was once scared of the lack of gravity my mind possessed.
Out of nowhere comes gravity again. I'm sitting by the Christmas tree, watching each of my siblings open their one Christmas Eve present. The scene disappears just before the part where Alice is supposed to hand me my present comes, and I'm standing on a secluded street in the middle of a blizzard. I shiver because of my lack of a jacket and wrap my arms around myself. I can hear singing from a nearby church, and I stumble in it's direction. As I walk into the church, I somehow feel that no one will understand me, and I cower into a corner, just trying to stay warm. The world fades into white again.
In an indecipherable amount of time, the white disappears again, replaced by the beach as I recognize it from last year's Fourth of July. Jasper and Rose play beach volleyball as the rest of us cheer them on. I have a chocolate chip cookie in my hands, and I begin to pick at it. I hear moving sand beside me and I turn to see who it is walking up to me. I don't recognize the copper hair or green eyes, in fact, I am sure I've never seen him before. He vanishes and I am standing outside of the fairgrounds that are set up on the beach, by the garbage cans. There's no one there and there's a gnawing feeling in my stomach. I realize that I must be here to look for food and I take a wary step toward the trash cans. Then I have another epiphany—I've replaced the boy in his life. It scares me and I am grateful when the white comes up to swallow me once again.
I am relieved when I don't leave the white for a long time, but eventually I find myself sitting at a table, surrounded by people and balloons. I can tell I'm wearing a party hat, and I recognize the scene as my twelfth birthday party. Jessica sits next to me, talking my ear off in principle, though I can't hear her or anything else. The sound of movement behind me catches my attention and I turn to see the same boy as before. This time I am afraid because I know it means that I'll be sucked into the alternate universe. I try to reach out and grab hold of him, but my hand moves painfully slow.
"You," I attempt to say, but nothing comes out, though I know my mouth is moving. My outstretched hand becomes transparent as my view turns to a small bedroom. I can hear yelling coming from beyond the wall and it intrigues me. I press my ear against the wall, trying to hear what the voices are saying.
"What's your fucking problem? Why can't you wish your daughter a happy birthday without being cynical about it and ruining it for her?" a woman's voice screams. I lean away from the wall again and cover my ears, not wanting to hear the man's response. It is ten times worse than I expected it to be, and I wish for it all to disappear. It obeys and I find myself not back in the white, but sitting on a park bench watching the boy I saw before, a man now, teach two little boys that look like him how to throw a football. They try it and he laughs at their attempts good-naturedly, telling them to continue playing while he goes and sits with Mommy. I look around for another woman, but he walks straight to me, sitting down and whispering in my ear.
"They're so perfect, our children," he says before kissing my cheek. I blush and I can feel my heart beating fast, almost too fast. "Promise me you'll never leave me?" he asks.
I open my mouth to reply that of course I won't when the world turns black.
It was definitely her lying in that hospital bed; the same girl that I'd dreamed I was replacing in her life.
And it was evident that she was dying.
I wondered how she'd ended up here in the hospital. I wondered how I'd ended up in the hospital. Obviously I'd crashed, but into what? I searched my brain for the answer desperately and was soon greeted by a barrage of images. The car racing down the highway, smashing into a red Porsche, throwing the driver straight into the street light post and my head right into the dashboard as Clair de Lune continued to play on the stereo, though everything was disintegrating around it...
I snapped my eyes open. I was the reason she was here. A perfectly normal girl with a life to live, a family to love, and friends to cherish, and I had taken it all away because I was stupid enough to want to die while driving. I was a sick, sick person.
The beeping heart monitor was slowing down now, and the medical team's voices grew louder and louder as it did so. I could barely stand to listen, knowing that with every beep, Bella's life grew father and farther away. But listen I did, right up until the beep turned into a whining noise, signalling a flat-lining. The nurses and doctors fell silent.
I choked back a sob. How was it fair that an innocent person should die for my sins?
It wasn't, not one bit.
Streetward. Let it be noted that Lennixx owns 0.003% of him. Thanks to Lenn, Jenn, Dream, and Leon for answering my cryptic questions, even when it took awhile for them to understand what the hell I was talking about.
Drop me a line or six hundred, please and thank you. :D