The Second Chance
By Natasha Conley
"Serena, watch out!"
Those were the last words I hear as my body crumbled to the pavement. The colors of the road and moving vehicles swirl as my knees grow weak, falling beneath me. The pain fills my nerves. A twisting, agonizing knot resides in my stomach. My flesh feels engraved with cuts and black gravel, and a loud humming sings through my head.
Raindrops and dirt cover my body. I notice a slice on the left side of my torso. My school girl blouse seems to be splattered with blood. So much blood that I feel as if I am going to throw up just looking at it…I am losing too much blood.
"Serena! What happened to you?" I hear Raye and Amy cry from the arcade doors. I can see the fear in their eyes. Fear for me. But I don't feel frightened. In fact, I'm not scared at all.
I try to open my mouth to speak, but no words come out. Slowly my head becomes dizzy, and my body numbs. Almost instantly after the numbness begins my eyes retire into an involuntary sleep, and I am lost to the world around me.
Tap. Tap. Tap.
I hear knocking against wood. The sound is aggravating, annoying, and so completely intolerable.
Tap. Tap. Tap.
I want to scream at the tapper! I'm not ready to wake up yet, but with such despicable noise, I will never be able to get back to sleep.
Tap. Tap. Tap.
I need to tell this person to stop. It is annoying to listen to the thunderous sounds of knuckles clanking against wooden tables.
As I allow my eyes to flutter open, I realize that the source of the sound is coming from a young man sitting in the corner of the room. He is staring at his hands, seemingly lost in his own little world. I study him, noticing the grim expression on his face. Noticing the way his dark locks flow so perfectly atop his head. He looks just like a prince hiding in unfortunate clothing; a black turtle neck sweater underneath a pea green jacket with gray slacks.
"Stop it!" I cry at him. Surprise radiates across his magnificent facial features before he hesitantly drops his hands into his lap.
"I fidget- when I'm nervous, I mean." He smiles at me, with embarrassment clearly showing across his cheeks in the form of red blossoms. "I…I feel so terrible about what happened the other day."
I stare at him quizzically. I don't know this man. I stare at him twirling his finger over his right knee. He sure fidgets a lot, though. However, if I'm being completely honest with myself…was I even sure who I…?
"Oh, no!" I gasp. I glance towards him with fear and sadness very apparent on my face, I'm sure.
He obviously noticed my discomfort. He stares at his knuckles as shame filters his eyes. "I knew I shouldn't have come. Andrew said it would be a good idea, but I knew better."
Andrew…why did that name seem so…familiar?
The tall mysterious man stood up and began walking towards the door.
"No! Please wait!" I felt tears creeping down my cheeks. He was the only clue to my life right now. I need him to help me. To fill me in on who I am-or rather who I was.
"What?" He turns towards me. Hope seemingly radiating from his body.
"I don't know who you are." I whisper. "I don't even know who I am."
His midnight blue eyes fell into watery darkness, as if it were he, and not myself whose memories were lost. Sadness seemed to swallow him up like a black hole as I sat fearful of his response. Waiting for an answer is agonizing torture. I feel a tightness in my throat, and a tingling feeling, like spiders crawling up the base of my neck. My heart thrashes in my chest.
Yet, I continue to wait for some kind of response.
Finally, after what seems like hours of awkward silence, he reaches for the doorknob.
My heart feels like it is falling out of my chest as I plead with him. "Please, please tell me what's going on!"
The man pauses for a moment and turns back to me. I notice his body is shaking. He is staring at me with pity, and with a lost devotion. Yet, I cannot figure out who he is. What was my relationship with him? Why is he so…so emotionally upset?
With a low, empty voice, he mutters. "Your name is Serena Tsukino. And you thought you had me figured me out…but you never actually knew me at all."
His words awe and shock me all at once, but after he says those final words, he opens the door and leaves. Leaving me to question everything that has happened so far.
Who is he? Is he a friend or maybe a classmate? A boyfriend, perhaps?
I blush at the idea of him being a boyfriend. If that was true, wouldn't he have told me his name? He probably wouldn't have left with such words either. Oh! But can't a girl hope?
To be honest, how I am feeling doesn't even matter. At least, in regards to the dreamy guy who had vacated my room.
I look around and observe the objects and colors surrounding me. I am laying in a bed, blankets covering me from stomach to toes. The bed frame is made with plastic. There are buttons covering a huge white plastic remote hanging from a thick white wire on my bed. A big metal stand is holding iv bags that are hooked to my arms by little tubes.
I'm scared. I know I am in a hospital. I remember how it feels to be in a hospital. Sitting in the bed wondering how long you will be there, and how truly hurt you are.
Some time passes before someone else enters my room. A woman with long brown hair pulled back in a ponytail and wearing pink scrubs rushes in with concern on her face.
"Serena, do you feel dizzy at all?" The nurse asks. The frazzled lady pulls her pen out and waits to write my answer onto her clipboard.
"No, I'm just confused." I answer.
"A man came from your room, he said that you didn't remember anything?" The nurse prompts yet another answer from me.
"Serena, what do you actually remember last?"
I stop to think for a moment. I press my mind for any memory whatsoever. Big red eyes, black fur, and a crescent moon comes to mind.
"I don't remember anything but a black cat." The fact I could only remember a cat was freaking me out a little bit. I felt so frustrated. I wanted to scrape my brain for any little detail to help me remember anything about my life. Anything that would tell me who the attractive man was. What his significance had been. Why this cat was important enough for me to remember when I couldn't even remember my own name. Tears begin building in my eyes.
Why did something like this have to happen to me?
"I'm going to talk with your doctor. Just relax. Everything will be okay."
I watch the nurse who never graced me with her name exit like the stranger before had. When I heard the door click, I burst into tears, sobbing into my hands. My whole life had seeped through my fingers. I didn't know my age, or if I had a favorite food. Did I have a family or friends? I choke realizing that I didn't even know what had happened to me in the first place!
I don't know exactly how long I cried before I heard a knock on the door. I wipe my face as quickly as I can. A man in a white lab coat enters with a clipboard. "Well, Serena, it's nice to see you're actually awake. We were worried we were going to have to put you in a room as a coma patient."
My eyes widen. How long had I been sleeping? As if he knew what I was thinking, the doctor says, "Three days. All the sleep helped though, seeing as the wound in your side is healing nicely without you moving around. We'll need to keep you here for a few more days, perhaps a week or so until we can diagnose exactly what is going on with you. We need to figure out exactly what kind of amnesia you have and from there we can decide how to treat you for that, and of course keep an eye on your wounds."
I nod my head. The only thing I think to respond with is a simple question, "What happened to me?"
"You were hit by a car, Serena."
He looks at me with pity. While I am grateful for the information, I couldn't help but despise him at that moment. He smiles before making his exit and I feel sick to my stomach. I feel envy. How lucky this doctor was to have all the knowledge about his life, but not only that…but to have knowledge of college and how to deal with cases like me.
How great would it be to fall asleep and to wake up having everything that just happened be a dream? It would be perfect. A sudden glimmer of hope strikes through me and I decide that I should just give it a try.
I close my eyes. Sleep, I'm sure, I've always found to be a beautiful thing. I was almost positive of that.
It was yet another day that I was running late. I rush down the stairs, calling out to my mother, "Why didn't you wake me up in time for the bell!?"
As always, I forgot my lunch. My mother holds it out for me, smiling and shaking her head. I can feel the fear I have for my teacher, and the fear of being late.
Suddenly, I hear the yell of kids as they hold down a black kitty cat. One with Sailor V band-aids on its forehead. That was probably what the kids were doing, torturing a poor kitty! I yell at them and they run for it.
The cat does a back flip onto a car, and stares at me with its strange red eyes after I pull off the band-aids. A crescent moon!
"Oh, Serena, why didn't you watch-" The foreign sound of a quiet voice echoes in the background of my mind, momentarily pulling me away from my flashes of memories.
Things are starting to blur. I hear the bell for my school, and I feel like I'm just going to die. I run for it as fast as I can. Suddenly, the road starts to swirl.
"Do you think that she will remember us?" A female voice whispers.
I almost make it to the school building before I fall. The world is turning black.
"Of course she will. We're her friends." another voice says slightly shrill like.
I open my eyes to see a blue haired girl sitting at the corner of the room where the man from earlier had once sat. I look at her, thinking of him. Everything comes back in a rush, making me feel so alone. I really can't remember anything! Who is this girl? She looks around my age, but I just can't remember. I want to cry, all my memories really were gone. I don't know anyone who has come into my room so far. I hold back my tears. I have to to be strong, and crying wouldn't accomplish that.
I take a moment to observe the blue haired girl who I don't recognize at all. She is wearing gray jeans and a light blue t-shirt. Her eyes are full of tears and she is looking at someone else in the room.
Across from her is a girl with long, raven-colored hair. She is wearing a silk red tank top and light blue shorts with a black belt. She looks fierce and stubborn. Like she is unwilling to accept my state of mind at the moment.
"Serena is such a huge part of our lives. She knows us so well, she wouldn't be able to forget us." The raven says.
"So, do you think it would be safe for Luna to be around her during this time?" The other girl asks.
"Of course! She knew Luna before us!" The girl in the red top exclaims.
Neither one of them have noticed I have awakened. Go figure.
"Who are you two?" I ask, honestly annoyed they interrupted my dream. I watch as their faces go into shock. They both look confused. Just as confused as I am with these strangers consistently popping in and out of my room.
"You mean, you really don't remember us?" The girl sitting in the corner asks me with a shaky voice.
"No." I reply, frustrated.
"Serena, this isn't funny! Of course you know us, we're your best friends, meatball brains!" The girl in red yells at me. Her hand slaps her mouth, and she looks towards her friend, looking immediately remorseful for the words that left her lips.
"Raye! How could you say that to her? She has amnesia. You know that! You can't act this way with her anymore. She has no idea who you are."
I am annoyed. How dare this girl tell me who my best friends are?
"All right, 'Raye'. I have no idea who you think you are, but I only have one best friend, and she is not you, or whoever that girl is!" I yell pointing at her friend.
I see the hurt on the other girl's face. Her cheeks flush, and she looks as if I had stabbed her in the chest with a knife. I can feel the twisting and aching pain in my heart. I realize I have said something very hurtful, but at this point it's too late to change it anyways.
"Amy, let's go. I can't handle this right now. This is just awful." Raye says as she leaves.
Amy doesn't leave though. She sits next to my bed, and she smiles at me sadly. I was getting sick of this. The pity faces. The disappointment that these people have when I don't know who they are. I don't even remember how old I am for Pete's sakes! How should I remember them?
"Serena, please ignore Raye. She was just so hopeful that you would remember us. She believed that you would remember. We love you so much. It just hurts our ego is all," Amy's voice cracks as she holds back a sob.
"I'm sorry for not remembering. I'm so confused." I say to her. "It's so frustrating to have people come into my room. To not know them, and have them hurt when I can't remember them. I don't know who even I am! How can I remember them if I can't remember myself?"
"We didn't know." Amy responds sympathetically before pulling me into a hug. I feel wetness on my shoulder as she holds me tight. I know Amy is crying for me. It's overwhelming to have someone who I don't remember crying for me, claiming to be one of my very best friends. Guilt floods through me as I force myself to try to recall anything about her, but nothing comes to mind. Why couldn't I just remember? I can't take it anymore and break down in her arms. We cry together. I hold on tight and so does she. I may not know her, but I can feel a connection to her. She is someone who is vital in my life.
"Amy, are you comi-?" Raye asks as she cracks the door open, poking her head into the room. Amy ignores her, focusing only on me. Through watery eyes, I watch Raye's expression as she sees the scene in front of her. Raye's eyes soften as she looks at me. Instead of rushing out, she pauses, glancing from the hall back to us. I close my eyes, trying to blink tears away. Soon, we feel Raye's arms wrap around us as her tears fall too.
"I'm sorry." She whispers into my ear. "I am so sorry."