Sorry guys! This one was a little rushed, school exams are kind of catching up with me!
They didn’t speak anymore, not like they used to. Now it was only polite conversation, delicately skirting around anything that might ignite into something more. The silence killed her, dead air compared to the days when they seized every opportunity for a few moments together. Back when he was her always. Back when promises where everything. Back and back again. Orabelle woke to the sight of the sun shining gently through her curtains and the smell of spring. A bird was singing outside of her window and she breathed in deeply, smiling for a mere moment before she remembered.
The alarm went off, a blaring and unwelcome sound.
Trystan woke to the sight of sunlight filtering through his window as he settled into the warmth of his blankets, smiling as quiet birdsong drifted through the cool air. Birds, he thought, so beautiful. Just like –
Orabelle stumbled sleepily out of her bed, her hair messy as she glanced back at the bed, its covers strewn every which way. Apparently she had thrashed around quite a bit last night. No surprise, Orabelle thought to herself. It was a rough night. Her eyes filled with tears and she angrily brushed them away. She moved through her morning routine wordlessly, her eyes blank and her motions stiff as she randomly chose some clothes from her closet. By some miracle, they matched and she looked half-decent that day. She reached up and touched her face, remembering a similar touch, so much softer, from sunny days filled with sparkling blue eyes meeting hers and she couldn’t help but shudder as she realized she would probably never feel that way again. A sudden chill ran through her as she hurriedly yanked on a peach colored sweater.
It was cold, Trystan had decided, pulling on a lightweight jacket to ward off the spring chill as he stepped onto the sidewalk to begin his daily trek towards school. Orabelle stared at the phone in her hand, desperately wanting to call him. His name hovered at the top of her starred contacts list, almost mocking her churning stomach and nerves. She lowered her hand before quickly stabbing the call button before she could change her mind.
Trystan’s phone was ringing. It was odd for it to be ringing so early in the morning, no one he knew should be up this early in the morning. He raised his phone for a moment before lowering it, staring straight ahead at the rising sun. He couldn’t understand why she was calling, he hoped that she was okay. He hesitated for a moment before gently pushing a button on his phone.
“Hello?” Trystan asked, his voice full of concern.
“Trystan,” Orabelle said, almost breathlessly as she tried to remember everything she wanted to say to him. “I wasn’t sure if you’d pick up.”
“Are you okay?”
“What?” Orabelle asked, caught a little bit off guard. “Of course I’m okay, I –“
“Then why are you calling me?” Trystan asked, cutting her off. Orabelle blinked, surprised, before responding, her voice wavering slightly.
“I’m not allowed to call you unless something is wrong?” She tried to go for a joking tone, but Trystan could hear the hurt bleeding through in her voice. He sighed.
“Of course not, but I’m on my way to pick up Dana, and,”
“I figured.” Orabelle said quickly, trying to hide her hurt.
“We’re just friends. You know that right?” Trystan asked, as he stopped in front of Dana’s house. Orabelle nodded silently before remembering he couldn’t see that.
“Yeah, I know that you and Dana are just friends, but I just-“ She trailed off as she remembered how he started slipping away from her, slowly at first and then faster until it was too late to recover what had been lost.
“You just?” Trystan prompted.
“Nothing,” Orabelle said hurriedly. “Nothing at all.”
“Goodbye.” Orabelle said quickly, her voice thick with tears. Trystan could hear it, but she hung up before he could say anything. Trystan shrugged, figuring that he could catch up with her at school and ask her what was wrong.
Orabelle looked in the mirror in the hall, straightening her long, black hair so her bangs nicely framed her dark eyes. She touched her cheek again for a mere moment before whipping her gaze away from the mirror as if everything she saw there repulsed her. With eyes full of hurt, she climbed into the passenger seat of her mother’s car, ready to reluctantly face yet another lonely day. Putting her headphones in, she stared out of the window, watching the landscape whip by in a series of colored blurs until headlights blinded her. There was a loud crash and suddenly she was in motion, going in circles and everything was light and dizziness and Orabelle had no idea which was up, something sticky coating the side of her face, and finally, a soft blackness that stole over her so calmly she almost didn’t notice the transition.
Trystan arrived at the school safely, walking in and waiting for the first period bell to ring. He looked around for Orabelle, but she was nowhere to be found.
“Where’s your girlfriend?” Dana asked, her eyes fixed studiously on the book she held open on her lap. Trystan shrugged.
“She was mad at me this morning, so she’s probably just hiding from me to spite me.” He sighed. Dana looked up and gave him a slight smile.
“Yeah.” Trystan agreed. “Huh indeed.” Classes rolled from one to another, until the mid-morning announcements began with the chatter of students steadily rising in pitch and volume until Mr. Price stood in front of the auditorium, raising his hand until slowly, the student body fell silent. Mr. Price cleared his throat and shuffled a few papers on the podium before looking up at the gathered crowd in front of him.
“Some of you may know Orabelle Wish Isby,” he began, before pausing, clearing his throat again as a general buzz of confusion ran through the crowd. Orabelle? Isby? Did anyone actually know that girl? A few people sat up, watching Mr. Price intently at the mention of their friend. Trystan froze, a sinking feeling consuming him as he waited anxiously for Mr. Price to finish his sentence.
“Orabelle was in an accident this morning when a driver ran a stoplight and slammed into the passenger side of the car where Orabelle was sitting.” Again, a buzz ran through the crowd. This was exciting and new, none of the students had ever been in a car wreck before. A macrabe interest hushed the crowd rather quickly except for those few students who choked, huddling close to the few others, speaking urgently in hushed whispers.
“She’s in the hospital now.” Mr. Price said quickly, before tacking on his own awkward ending. “Here’s a lesson to all of you who can drive. Be safe so you won’t hurt anyone else.” He says lamely before stepping away from the podium, smoothing his tie.
“That’s just awful,” one student gasps, checking her phone to make sure her lip gloss still has optimum coverage.
“I wonder if she’s okay.” Another says to Trystan who merely nods, in a state of shock.
“She must have been coming to school.” Dana says softly, taking Trystan’s hand as she looked at his face, concern creasing her features. Trystan looked at Dana and pulled away slightly, walking towards the door, towards his car. “Where are you going?” Dana called at his retreating form. Trystan said nothing until he had reached the door and walking out of it, he called over his shoulder.
“She needs me.” He said simply and walked through the door, letting it close behind him with an ominous bang. His car started and for a moment he just sat at the wheel, letting his doubts and fears wash over him like a tidal wave. What if he had talked to her for just five minutes longer? What if she died? What if she died still mad at him? Trystan bent his head low, leaning against his wheel. For a mere moment, he wished he believed in some god, any god, so he could pray. “She’s gonna live,” he muttered to himself. “She has to.”
It was a strange world that Orabelle now inhabited. All blurred colors and hazy words and faces, floating around in such a way that she wasn’t able to hold onto any particular thought for any more than a second or two. She could vaguely hear the doctors talking about how she had a low chance of pulling through this. She could hear her parents sobbing and the slight warmness that came when they held her hand, but she couldn’t convince herself to try to wake up from this dream world. Everything was soft here, nothing hurt, not anymore. Thoughts of Trystan floated around her but they vanished as quickly as she reached for them.
Trystan burst through the doors of the hospital, getting Orabelle’s room number from an impatient man at the front desk. He ran into the elevator, banging on the numbers and cursing at every pause. Every second wasted was taking her further away from him. He reached his destination and darted out of the elevator as quickly as he got in, breezing past several startled nurses. He paused in front of the door, number 206, his hand resting on the knob.
“You can’t go in there, son.” A kindly doctor said, resting a hand on Trystan’s shoulder as if to pull him away from the door.
“You don’t understand,” Trystan said breathlessly. “She needs me.”
“I’m sorry,” the doctor said, “but it’s family only. Her mother requested it and we have to honor the family’s wishes.”
“She needs me,” Trystan repeated, his body stiff and his eyes fixed on the door. The sound of footsteps approaching snapped him out of her reverie.
“Trystan,” Orabelle’s mother said tiredly, pushing her hair behind her hair. “What are you doing here?”
“I need to see her.” He said. “Please, let me see her.”
“I’ve tried to tell you, son. It’s family only,” the doctor insisted. Orabelle’s mother shook her head, gently tugging on the hem of her shirt.
“Let him in.” She said softly. Trystan shot her a grateful look as the doctor stepped backwards, shrugging as he continued his walk down the white corridor. Trystan opened the door, and froze, staring at Orabelle’s prone form with horror. A heart rate monitor beeped quietly from a corner of the room.
“Oh Orabelle,” Trystan said quietly, shuddering as he made his way to her bedside. He picked up her hand and pressed it to his forehead. “I was such an idiot. Please come back to me, Orabelle, don’t leave me here.’ The heart rate monitor picked up in pace, beeping a little faster. Trystan glanced at it, startled. “I know you can hear me,” he said softly.
Orabelle felt his touch. He was there. He came for her. She couldn’t believe it. She had to get out of here, out of this liquid, hazy world, because the love of her life had come for her and she couldn’t leave him alone. She started to thrash, trying to get rid of the heaviness sitting on her chest like a block of lead. She fought to wake up, she fought towards the warmth, towards his touch, because he was there, he came for her.
Trystan watched, his eyes filling with tears as the beeps on the heart rate monitor began to slow down until they stopped all together. A long beep sounded, a sound that would haunt him for the rest of his life. A group of doctors and nurses bustled in, pushing Trystan out of the way. They tried everything they could to wake her again, but to no avail. Finally, they just looked at Trystan with that pitying look in their eyes and he turned away, something unpleasant clawing at his stomach.
He charged out of the hospital, his chest heaving and his vision blurry. She was gone. How could she be gone? She was never supposed to leave him. A ragged cry broke itself free from his throat as he sank to his knees, trying to contain this grief before it consumed him.
“Don’t go,” he whispered. “Please don’t go.” He looked at the sky, but the clouds and the burning sun had no answers for him, nothing but cold pity for the boy that lost the girl he thought he loved.