Alana, Age 12, Sherwood Park, AB

Tuesday, July 2nd; 3:42am

I stared down at her, lying lifelessly in the hospital bed, sleeping deeply in a deadly coma. A tear slipped down my cheek and I wiped it on my sleeve. I tried desperately to push all thoughts about earlier that night out of my mind, but they kept on seeping through the cracks and nagging at my soul.

I felt sick to my stomach. I moved away some of the covers on the bed, and lay down beside her. “I love you,” I whispered gently in her ear, and I fell asleep.
Tuesday, July 2nd; 2:58am

Loud sirens awoke me and I sat up instantly. I rubbed my eyes and peered around. I had to shield my face from the brightness of the police car’s lights. Everything looked blurry through the rain. I could barely remember why I was here. My memories suddenly flooded back and I felt dizzy.

A tall female officer walked over to the bench I was sitting on and began interrogating me. I answered very few of her numerous questions, but she seemed to be paying attention to my sketchy, mumbled answers.

She asked me what my name was, and when I answered, she just gasped. She called over her partner and began to talk with him. I wasn’t paying any attention to what they were saying because I was still tired and a tad dizzy.

“We’ve got to get her to the hospital,” he said urgently. They quickly led me to the car and helped me into the back seat. We buckled up and turned onto the road leading to the hospital.
Tuesday, July 2nd; 4:38am

I woke up and sighed. It was just a dream. I was still trying to forget what had happened when a nurse stepped into the room. She had brown skin and dark hair done up in a bun.

Why did this have to happen? Why did she try to follow me? And why did the drunk driver have to hit her?

“Hey honey,” she said in a sticky-sweet voice, “You need to leave the room while we do another examination.” I nodded and hugged my mom goodbye. I wiped the tears off my cheeks and left the room. I sat down in an uncomfortable brown chair and tried once more to get some sleep.
Tuesday, July 2nd; 1:04am

I slowed down and started walking toward the park bench. I was still crying from what had happened earlier. My head was throbbing and my body was shaking. I pulled out the elastic from my wavy brown hair and wrapped it around my wrist.

As I lay down on the damp bench, I thought about Dad. I hated the fact that I wouldn’t see him again, and I wondered if he missed me as much as I missed him. The sound of the thunder surprised me, and I gasped.

Of course he does, I told myself, he does love me; I know it. He left because of mom, not because of me. Tears started trickling down my face. I hated Mom. Why wouldn’t she let me see him?
Tuesday, July 2nd; 5:00am

I sat up in the big chair and shook my head. I felt my heart beating quickly under my thick blue sweater. Another flashback. I begged that they wouldn’t take me back any further. I’d rather not think about what I said to her.

I watched the nurse come back down the hallway. She smiled at me and told me the examination was finished. I asked how my mom was doing, but she wouldn’t let me know. I sighed and lumbered into my mom’s room.

She looked so dead. It was hard to tell if she was breathing or not, because her chest was just barely rising when she inhaled. I watched the heart monitor beating slowly, irregularly.

I lay down beside her again and hugged her. She was so different. She seemed stiff instead of her normal self. Once again I started to cry. I had had a throbbing headache all night, but it was the worst now.

I kept on almost drifting off, but the sound of the beeping heart monitor woke me up each time. I tried to keep myself awake so that I wouldn’t have to have another flashback.
Tuesday, July 2nd; Midnight

I hugged my friends goodbye and I walked into the house. My mom was sitting on the couch crying.

“Mom, what’s wrong?” I sat down beside her and tried to comfort her.

“Your father phoned,” she started to explain. Her eyes were red and she was breathing unevenly. “I’m sorry honey, but I can’t let you see him anymore.”

“Why not?” I asked urgently.

“He’s not safe, and I won’t give him a chance to do anything to you. He’s in prison again. And you’re not going to visit him this time. I won’t let him hurt you again. I’ll never risk it,” she was weeping now.

“No!!” I screamed, “I want to see him!! He’s my dad, I can see him if I want!!” Wait, I told myself, I can’t say this. I tried to stop screaming at her, but I couldn’t. “I hate you!! I want to see him!! I hate you, I wish you would die so I could live with dad!!” No!! What was happening? I wasn’t choosing my words, they were already said, and I couldn’t change them.

I ran out of the door and slammed it behind me. I started sprinting through the rain down to the park. I splashed through mud puddles and disgusting muck that filled the streets. I didn’t want to run. I didn’t want my mom to follow me in her car and get hit. I tried to stop, or maybe turn around, but I couldn’t control myself. “No!!” I could hardly make a noise, “No!!” I was yelling as loud as I could, “No mom!! Don’t follow me!! Don’t!! Please No!!”

I heard a beeping noise. What was that? The heart monitor!! This was just a flashback. The beeping noise turned to a long tone. Oh no, her heart had stopped beating. “No mom!! Don’t die!! I need to tell you something!! I don’t hate you!!”

My head was spinning and I fell on the ground. I needed to talk to my mom. My tears came down in large sobs, and I was terrified of what was happening. I realized just how horrific this was. My mom was dead, and I had caused her death. And possibly the drunk driver’s too. Why did I run? Why did I yell at her?

“Are you okay?” someone asked, “You’ve been shaking and mumbling for over half an hour now.” Wait, I recognized that voice. “I’m okay honey; they took me off the heart monitor. I woke up” Mom!! I sat up and looked around me. I was back in the hospital on my mom’s bed. I was gasping for breath and laughing at the same time.

“Mom!! You're okay, I thought you were dead, I thought your heart had stopped.” I hugged her, “I didn’t mean any of the things I said. I don’t hate you, I love you. And I don’t want to stay with dad, I want to stay with you.”

“I knew that honey,” she chuckled, “Everyone says things they regret, I do to. You just happened to say them at the worst time.” I smiled. I knew that she would understand. She always did.

The nurse said my mom would be out of the hospital in a week or two, depending on how her surgery went. The drunk driver is in prison, just like my dad. I could see my dad in a few years, and my mom would let me send him letters until then.

I knew everything would work out, and everything happened for a reason. I went back into the waiting room and sat down on the big brown chair. I needed some sleep, without flashbacks this time.

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