Everyone at school has turned against me.
I don’t know why.
And no one will tell me.
I have been Royal High School’s most-liked girl for the past four years, but a lot can happen in two days. Suddenly, I’m the school’s most-hated girl, but before I can figure out why, a ten-story fall off a water tower plunges me into a coma. Rumors fly that it was attempted suicide. Unfortunately, I have no memory of those final seconds before the fall.
Through a strange barrage of dreams, flashbacks, an out-of-body journey, and my faith in God, I start to search for answers. But the more I learn, the more I realize that my life is in mortal danger. Soon someone is leaving threatening notes, waiting expectantly for me to emerge from my coma. Who wants to hurt me? And why?
Only my trust in God can get me through this nightmare. But will I be able to handle the truth?
Targeted Age Group:: YA & Up
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
To explore the theme of betrayal
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
The Lord blessed me with them
Because of my condition, I have to wear specially made tinted glasses whenever I go out into the sun.
But now there’s total darkness. The air is shallow like I’m deep inside of a pit. I strain to look, pushing my muscles as hard as they can go, but reality tramples over my willpower and I remain helplessly in this obscurity.
“Dr. Bader. . .test.”
What kind of test? I was praying someone would ask. I felt a faint pinch in my arm, some kind of tube. Then Dr. Wongananda’s voice.
Yes, an IV, like I had thought; that explained what the needle was doing in my arm. But there was another pinch near my wrist too. I reeled over memories of hospitals. My grandmother had been in and out numerous times for one health issue or another, and I remembered seeing a needle near her wrist with a tubing line taped across the palm of her hand. My mom had explained that it was an arterial line used to monitor her blood pressure. The sensation of the needle brought me to the conclusion that this was probably the same device.
It might be hard to understand why I should care about some silly little needles, but I have hated them for as long as I could remember. My dad used to duck his head whenever we went for my annual visits. As a little girl, I would scream so loudly that all of the staff and patients in the waiting room might easily assume that I was being tortured. If I could rip out the tubes and jump off this bed, I would.
The droning sound returned. I assumed it was from some kind of monitor, though monitoring what I had no idea.
Someone swiped something soft under my nose. The doctor’s voice thudded across the floor of a gigantic ocean, washing only scraps of useless information to shore.
Why wasn’t anyone talking to me? Didn’t they realize I could hear them? I gathered all my mental strength and willed my body to move. My blood turned strangely hot as I stretched my arms and legs in vain. I assumed it was the ECMO machine
“Another tissue”. Again, the softness of a tissue passed across my upper lip.
I recalled one of the times we toilet-papered our classmate Lana Bell’s house. Lana was so reserved that most people forgot she was there. Her picture didn’t even appear in the yearbook. It was almost like she didn’t exist, except for one thing. She had a reputation.
It was Mike’s idea, our faithful trouble-starter, to sneak into her neighborhood—an affluent one at that—and toilet-paper her parent’s house. This wasn’t just your old toss-it-in-the-tree prank, however. By the time we finished the project, each square inch of that roll had been formed into the shape of a bell, for her namesake, leaving exactly 76 little white bells scattered across the front lawn to mark our 76th day in eighth grade. Mike was funny that way; his pranks had to be ‘nice’.
The following week in chemistry, Mrs. Haddonfield paired Lana and me during lab.
“These will be your partners for the rest of the semester,” she announced, but to me it sounded like “Lana will be your partner for the rest of your life.”
I spent the next seven months worrying every class that she would discover my involvement in the bell lawn décor, but she never did.
My mom’s voice snapped me back to the present.
“Can she hear me?”
I noticed that I was hearing them in complete sentences again. Perhaps my senses were returning to normal and soon I would be able to communicate with them.
“Dr. Bader, we have her test results.” A female nurse was speaking.
“Results for what?” My mom wanted to know.
“We’re just looking for any abnormalities. Diabetes, toxins. . .”
“Toxins! Are you suggesting she was drunk?”
“It’s important to rule out. . .”
My mother’s voice was hard and deliberate. It was the voice she used just before grounding me, but it cracked, too, with a bit of doubt.
“You listen to me. My daughter is clean. She has never taken any drugs. She doesn’t drink. Let’s stop wasting time and administer the tests that will get us. . .what is that thing?”
“No. There. Her thigh.”
“Intravenous catheter. Something like an ice pack. When blood passes through these balloons, it cools her body down. It’ll bring down the swelling that I mentioned earlier. The goal is to maintain intracranial pressure.”
If I could have shot up, I would have. There was nothing wrong with my brain, I was thinking just fine!
“Right now, it is imperative that her body maintains a certain temperature in order to avoid further brain damage. The results did not show any drugs in her system, which helps us treat her more sufficiently. Mrs. Walker—”.
“I apologize. Ms. Walker, we are running tests right now that should be able to aid us in determining recovery time.”
I waited to hear something from my mom. An outburst. Tears. Denial. Anything. The silence was deafening as it screamed into my ears. I never knew silence could shout, but it did right then, pounding its fists fiercely against my skull and scratching furiously at my closed eyelids.
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