Bring Me to Life
Chapter 1: Survivor
Dark, grey clouds smeared across the skies; rain threatened to fall. I stood by an old tree that I used to climb every day when I was little. But, ever since that car accident when I was seven, I have had brain tumor after brain tumor. I've had three of them already; two of them had been surgically removed. The third one was still attached to my brain, giving me major headaches ninety percent of the time. I've been wondering if I should even have another surgery to have it removed. Maybe I should let nature take its course…
I sighed and brushed a fallen leaf out of my silky, black hair. It was May, year 2012. It had been staying surprisingly cool lately. Shaking my head at myself for changing topics so suddenly, I turned to the orphanage and allowed my eyes to glaze over as I stared at the brick building. I had spent the past four years there, which was the longest I had ever stayed at an orphanage.
I realized that my legs were growing tired from standing too long, so I opened the door to the orphanage and hung my black hoodie on the coat rack by the back door. I preferred black clothing during the cooler months, because black soaks up heat. During the warmer months, I usually wore white or some other bright clothing.
My name is Serenity Park. I'm part Korean and part American. I grew up in Seoul, South Korea, but I've jumped from orphanage to orphanage every year or so. Until four years ago, that is. That was when I was transferred to this orphanage in Manhattan, New York.
I climbed the stairway that was only a few feet from the back door and stopped at the room three doors away from the landing. I twisted the old bronze knob and pushed the door open. My room was pretty ordinary; there were two twin-sized bunk-beds, but only three of the beds were ever used. I stooped down and pulled a stack of Korean comics from underneath my bed and picked up the one on the top. It was one of my favorites, and I've read it several times since my parents bought it for me for my birthday a year before the car accident.
I am seventeen years old and I have chocolate brown eyes, long raven hair reaching past my elbows. I'm a bit short for someone my age, only standing four feet and seven inches.
I laid down on my bed and opened my manhwa to the third chapter, but only a few minutes later, the door to the room opened and two girls entered. One of those girls I didn't particularly like; her name was Amanda. She had long, wavy blonde hair and cerulean-blue eyes, her face clear of any blemishes or freckles. The girl that followed Amanda into the room was a little nicer to me; her name was Miranda. She had short, brown curling hair and brown eyes.
Amanda looked at the book I was reading in disdain, "What? You're still reading that crap? Can't you read something else for a change?" I ignored her and flipped to the next page. This angered Amanda further. "What? No come back? What's wrong, that tumor making you even more stupid?"
Tears threatened to fall at her hateful words, but I forced them back. The headache I had been having all day was getting worse. I could feel it pulsing in the back of my head, each pulse greater than the previous one. The tears that I had been so desperately trying to hold back finally fell. I could still hear Amanda bitching at me. I stood up, keeping my eyes on the floor.
"Amanda, don't talk to her like that! You know she's not in her right mind!" I heard Miranda whisper harshly to the other girl.
I was getting sick of everyone thinking I had some kind of mental disability, just because I have a brain tumor! The headache was now so powerful that it was making my vision blurry. I started shaking, from crying or anger, I couldn't tell. Just because Amanda was fairly new here didn't give her the right to treat me like that! I darted out the door as Miranda called to me, but it just sounded very muffled to me. I felt like I was in a daze, my body moving on its own.
Rain drops pounded on my head as I left the orphanage. I hated it there; at least, ever since Amanda moved in. Sometimes I just wanted to rip her throat out! My tears mixed in with the rain, and I could feel myself becoming colder. I should have brought my raincoat…I didn't care who saw me crying. It was the only way that I knew how to release what I was feeling. I'm a pretty shy person, so I would never yell at anyone, or scream out my problems to the world. Normally I hate being the center of attention. I was always afraid I would make a fool of myself and everyone would see and make fun of me. I always tried avoided it if I could.
I turned a corner and ran into the street without looking at the sign to see if it said if it was okay to cross or not. My headache was getting worse, worsening my vision and hearing. I felt myself fall, but I couldn't even see the street below me; I was too weak to stop my fall and I landed hard on the pavement.
I heard tires screeching and a horn blowing; I slowly, painfully lifted my head slightly to see a big, black object racing toward me. My blood ran cold as I tried to stand, my knees wobbly and trying to buckle. I knew I had to move, but whatever it was that was racing toward me, hit me. Everything seemed to be in slow motion. My legs felt like lead, and I knew I wouldn't be able to move out of the way in time. The last memory I had before blacking-out, was immense pain, both in my head and in the rest of my body.
I opened my eyes; I was in what looked like an operating room. The strange thing was, I could see myself on the operating table below me. Why was I covered in blood? What happened? And why's my headache all of a sudden, gone? I looked above me, and, instead of there being a ceiling, there was a warm, bright light that beckoned me to come to it. I tried to head toward the light, but my legs felt like lead, I could barely move them. Tears dripped down my cheek, I was afraid. What was going on? My body just seemed like it didn't want to cooperate…
My head jerked up. Where did that voice come from? In front of me, the air began to waver, almost like water. Something materialized from it, but their figure was very blurred; I couldn't make out what the person looked like.
"Who are you?" I asked, my voice cracking.
"I'm someone that you used to know. But I'll explain all of that some other time."
"D-Did some bad happen? What's going on?"
"You were hit by a vehicle. I'm afraid that you're dead. But you've only been dead for a few minutes, so there's still a chance you can make it back to your body and live again. I'm here to give you a choice: live and experience something special that will happen, or die and come to me, where there is no pain or sadness."
I was a little confused. What was she talking about? What was this 'special' thing that was supposed to happen to me?
"You'll understand soon. Now, which do you choose?"
I was very curious of what this 'special' thing she was talking about; I'm a very curious person, so curiosity got the better of me, "I choose to live."
"Very well. But I need you to know, I'll always be in your heart." She placed a ghostly hand over my heart and the next thing I knew, I was gasping for breath and staring at a ceiling with a bright light, doctors surrounding me.
"She's awake! The transfusion helped!" I heard one of them exclaim. I couldn't comprehend what they were saying, as everything began to blur again, but one thing stuck in my mind, "What transfusion…?"
My eyes snapped open, then I shut them tightly, the light hurting my eyes. Slowly, I opened them again and noticed that I was in a bed with rails and a curtain was drawn around me, hiding me from anyone that were to go past the doorway to my room.
"…you sure that was a good idea, sir?" Questioned a monotone voice. He sounded very boring, like someone from the government or something.
A rather good-natured voice replied, "Of course, Owen. Despite any side-effects it might have, I think you did the right thing."
"Sir, I'm afraid she was too weak…"
"Your point is? Since you're well, you, shouldn't that have made her stronger?"
"That's what I'm afraid of, sir. Her blood cells were so weak that I'm afraid that," he paused, "Sir, she's awake." How he knew I was awake was beyond me.
The curtains slid back and I saw two men watching me and I felt my face redden. I felt like I shouldn't have been listening to their conversation. One of the men had brown hair tied back into a low ponytail, a beard, and a mustache. The other man had light blonde hair, neatly cut, and piercing light blue eyes. For some reason, I felt that the blonde was studying me somehow. It didn't seem like he was studying my physical body, if that made any sense, but almost as if he was looking past that, into my soul.
"Are you okay?" Asked the brown-haired man, a glint of mischievousness in his dark eyes.
I jerked my attention to him and replied in a small voice, "Yes." I paused and took in my surroundings again. It looked as though I was in a hospital. I remembered bit from my 'dream', but I wasn't sure if all that was made up or if it really happened. So I decided to ask, "What happened?"
The brown-haired man didn't look that surprised, "You ran out in front of us. Owen here, tried breaking, but it wasn't fast enough. We ended up hitting you anyway."
Guilt swelled up in my chest. It was my fault I was in this place; I could've actually killed someone! It was my fault that they had gone through so much trouble to save my life! It was my fault that I damaged his car! Well, I was only guessing the last one.
As if reading my thoughts, the brown-haired man said, "Don't worry about the limo. It can be easily fixed. By the way, I'm David Xanatos. And he," he gestured to the blonde-haired man, "is Owen Burnett, my assistant." I felt my cheeks become warm. I had made myself look like a fool in front of the richest man in New York! I may be from South Korea, but even I knew who some of the important people were! Xanatos Enterprises were the company that had brought me and a few other girls from our old orphanage to the one I was currently staying at! I don't know why I didn't recognize him before…
"Is she okay?" A voice asked behind the two men. Owen moved sideways to allow a strawberry-blonde-haired woman to come by my bedside. A tall boy about my age and the woman's hair color stood next to Xanatos. Both the woman and the boy had some kind of tattoo over their right eye; it looked to be in the shape of a fox's head.
"Y-Yes, I'm ok…" I replied as I casted my eyes downward. This was so humiliating! To be seen like this by someone as famous as David and Fox Xanatos! I knew the woman was Fox because I had been a fan of The Pack when I was little, before my parents were killed. It took a year or two after the American debut, but The Pack had finally been dubbed into Korean when I was five.
"Sweetie, who are your parents? We need to call them and let them know what's happened to you."
My heart squeezed at the thought of my long-dead parents, "M-My parents are dead…I live at an orphanage on Locust Street…"
"Oh, honey, I'm so sorry!" Fox exclaimed as she embraced me, causing my face to turn several shades of red; after all, I haven't really been hugged since my parents' deaths. She stood back up and turned to Xanatos, "David, Alex, can we talk out in the hall?"
"Of course." The three of them walked out of the room, leaving me in the room with Owen. The air in the room rang of awkwardness. I felt like I should say something, but I didn't know what. I never was very social, therefore my social-skills were mediocre.
A few minutes later, David, Fox, and Alex walked back into the room. David walked over to the side of my bed and placed a hand on my shoulder, "We've decided. How would you like to be a Xanatos?"