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Rated: E · Short Story · Dark · #2262872
You wake up to realize that the past year has been a dream. Or is this a dream?
         Quiet as a mouse, you stand on the sidewalk, looking out at the peaceful town. Everything has a wet sheen to it, from the old cobblestone street to the clusters of people. The light patter of raindrops against your umbrella nearly lulls you into a daze. A mist hangs in the night air causing everything to seem like a mystery, or a dream.
         But this isn't a dream. If it were, you would be in a much brighter place. One filled with flowers and a warm summer breeze. No. This is your life.
         You take in a deep breath of the chilly air and walk across the street. You dread climbing the two wooden steps that lead onto the creaky deck. You look up at the water dripping from the old awning, the one thing keeping the dreary weather from damaging the circular tables that had been so carelessly left out. Finally, you draw your attention to the door in front of you. A warm light radiates from in between the dark curtains that block your view. You slowly place your hand on the tarnished knob.
         "Well, let's get this done and over with," you mutter. With a sudden yank, you open the door, and a warm air fills your nostrils. You step inside but see no one. It's like everyone vanished leaving everything as it was. Chairs are still upright. A coffee mug is on a table, stemming. The fireplace burns brightly. The TV plays a soccer game, whose score is 3 to 5.
         "Hello? Anyone here?" When no one answers, you sigh and hang your umbrella on the rack. "She never answers does she." You slowly make your way across the floor, your shoes leaving a trail of water in your wake. "Hello!" you call again but are only met with silence. You walk past the lunch counter to a door labeled Staff Only. You open it to find an empty living room.
         The place is barely decorated. A flickering light shines on a pail green sofa which faces a twelve-inch TV. The rose pattern curtains flap in a gentil breeze let in by the half open window. There's a large puddle at the bottom of the window. You quickly rush over to it and close the window with a loud smack.
         "Alex? You're home early."
         You spin around to see your sister Jenna. Her tired brown eyes wander over you, a questioning look on her face. You sigh, "No I'm not. I was given shorter hours remember?"
         Slowly, recognition appears on her face the way a sunrise might. "Oh, yes. I remember now."
         You shake your head. "You also left the window open."
         Jenna rubs her arm and shrugs. "Oh--well--it was sunny before and--"
         "And now it's raining," you finish, as you take off your wet shoes and coat.
         Jenna frowns. "I'm sorry. I just didn't hear."
         You force a smile and place a hand on her shoulder. "Don't worry about it. Let me just get a mop and clean this mess up."
         Jenna nods and walks off, leaving you where you stand. "She won't ever get better, will she," you say as you mop up the puddle of water.
         Your life wasn't always this dreary. Just a year ago, you and Jenna were living comfortably in the apartment behind your caf Business was good, and so was Jenna's memory. But that all changed after the car accident. Thanks to your poor insurance, you had to use a lot of your own funds to fix the car, not to mention the medical bill. Afterwards, Jenna seemed to forget things left in right. You went from doctor, to doctor, but no matter how much money you dished out, no one had an answer. That made it hard for Jenna to run the cafwith you, so you had to get a second job at the local factory to deal with the loss of customers.
         Once you are done moping, you go back out to the cafpart of the building and set up shop. From eight to ten you water in Ernest for someone to walk through the door, but only Miss. Lesly, the old lady who runs the pawn shop next door comes in for a cup of coffee.
         Tired and hungry, you finally make your way to bed after making whatever you could find for Jenna's diner. Quickly, you slip into a deep sleep.

         You wake to find yourself in a cold, clean smelling room. You hear beeping to your right, and something feels to be clamped to your pointer finger. "What the--where am I?" you mumble as you sit up in bed. You look around to see that you are in a hospital room. Rain gently patters against the window and nothing, but a pail green chair and twelve-inch TV adds life to the place. You look down at yourself to see that you're in a hospital gown.
          "Hey! What's going on!" you scream as you start detaching any wires that had been stuck onto you. "Hello? Anybody there?"
         "Hey! What's going on!" you scream as you start detaching any wires that had been stuck onto you. "Hello? Anybody there?"
         Suddenly two people in white lab coats burst through the door. "Dear goodness! She's awake!" the woman exclaims.
         "Call her sister, she'll want to know about this," the man says to the woman. The woman nods and runs out of the room.
         "Wait, you know Jenna?" you ask bewildered.
         The man sighs and comes closer to you. "Do you know your name?"
         "Of course, I know my name. Alex Albright. Now what's yours?" you ask tentatively.
         "My name is Dr. Oliver Wilson. I have been keeping you comfortable for the past year."
         You put a hand to your head. "But I've been working in a factory, and the caf-"
         "I'm sorry but you were in an accident about a year ago and haven't been awake since then."
         You sit there in shock. "H--how is this possible?"
         You look to see your sister in the doorway of the hospital room. "Jenna?"
         Your sister runs to your bed side. "Oh, Alex, I thought you'd never wake up! I've been working at a factory to try and deal with the loss of customers and--"
         "You're ok," you mumble looking your healthy sister up and down.
         Jenna smiles. "Of course, I'm ok. Why wouldn't I be?"
         The doctor clears his throat and places a hand on your sister. "Miss, your sibling hasn't had as peaceful of a rest as we thought. It seems that they've been experiencing a vivid dream very close to your past year of life. Have you ever talked with Alex about your day?"
         Jenna blinks a few times. "Of course, every day."
         The doctor sighed. "Well, that explains it. Alex has been taking your every experience and literally puttering themselves in your shoes."
         Jenna gasped. "Oh my--that must have been a terrible world."
         "But it wasn't real," you mumble.
         The doctor smiles. "Don't worry. You'll get used to your situation. Most comma patents that wake up do."
         "So, she can be released?" Jenna askes.
         The doctor nods. "As soon as I give Alex a final checkup and you fill out some paperwork. You and Alex will both be free to leave the hospital."
         Jenna flashes you a smile, however you don't return it. "Great. Let's get this over with then," you say with a nod.

         After your doctor cleared you, and Jenna signed a few things, you find yourself being wheeled out of the hospital.
         "I still can't believe that you woke up," Jenna says.
         You remain quiet, still not too happy with how the past few hours have played out. You glance around at the parking lot. There are absolutely no cars in sight, and though you had seen rain though your hospital room window, it was now sunnier than ever.
         Finally, you and Jenna reach your car. The same car that got you into this crazy situation in the first place. You stare down the maroon-colored car. "I'm not getting in that," you say as you get up from the wheelchair.
         Jenna laughs. "Oh, Alex. Don't be silly. The car won't do anything to you. Now let's go home."
         "No. I won't," you say, backing away.
         Jenna scowls. "Get in the car now." She then grabs you by the arm and shoves you into the passenger seat.
         You try to get up, but your seatbelt won't come undone. You watched as Jenna starts to drive away. "No, stop. I don't want to be in here!" you exclaim, suddenly very worried.
         But your sister doesn't answer, she just keeps driving. In the mist of your confused state, you catch something out of the corner of your eye. It's a street sign that reads "Mellick Road". You gasp and become frantic. "Jenna, stop! Don't you remember this is where we got in the accident?"
         Jenna glances over at you. "Alex, what are you talking about? We've never been in an accident before."
         You look at the date on a billboard that passes by you. It says, "Today is April 9th, 2031". "Wait, it's April 9th of 2032, not 31. That's--that's the day when we--"
         BAM! A car hits you and your sister out of nowhere and the car starts to tumble. "This can't be happening!" you exclaim over the noise. You shut your eyes and cover your ears, anything to block the memory playing before you. Then, everything is still. Except for a voice. It's Jenna. You look over to see her trying to unbuckle herself.
         "Alex," she mumbles looking at you. "Alex, wake up,"
         "I am awake," you say, as you reach over to her.
         "No, Alex. WAKE UP!"

         Your eyes fly open, and you leap out of bed. Hyperventilating, you look around to find yourself in the same grungy room you had fallen asleep in. "What-what the--"
         "Alex, look at me. Hey!" A pair of hands grip your shoulders and force you to stand still. Jenna is staring you in the face. "Alex, are you ok?"
         You blink a few times. "Jenna? What happened."
         Jenna sighs. "You had a nightmare, I think. You were shouting and stuff. Are you ok?"
         You look out of the window in your room. It's raining once more. You smile and nod. "Yea, I'm fine."
         You then hug your sister for a long time. Happy to be right where you are.

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