When the world came back together, it was to the rhythmic beeps of a heart monitor.
One of my hand was cold, the other sweaty. Someone was holding it, I realized as my eyes fluttered open.
To the side of my bed, latched onto my hand as if his life depended on it, was Sean.
"Oh my god!" He whispered when he looked up at me. He was Sean, but older, somehow. "You're awake. Can you hear me Rachel?"
"Rachel?" My head hurt and my heart beat. "Sean, what are you talking about . . . I'm Rayne."
Sean bit the inside of his cheek. There was a knock and another person entered the room. She was blond, with porcelain pale skin and huge blue eyes.
Grace looked up at Sean. He shrugged. "The doctors said she might not remember."
"Grace? What are you doing here?" My voice was a dull murmur, muted by the I.V. attached to my arm, delivering what was no doubt pain medication.
"Grace? Rachel, Honey . . . I'm Monique. Do you remember anything at all?"
I shook my head. "Not if you're Monique and I'm Rachel. Who are you?" I nodded my head towards Sean.
"Scott." He said. "But Sean's a cool name too."
I blinked. "I was so sure . . . " I whispered to myself. Then, louder, "Where am I?"
"Park Ridge Hospital." Grace (Monique?) answered. Her voice was clipped and efficient. Not sultry. Not warm.
Sean (Scott?) was the same though. The voice, the mannerisms, even the hand clutching mine. The only difference was an engagement ring. I didn?t have one. Monique did.
"Sea- Scott . . . You're . . . engaged."
"To Monique. We held off on the wedding when you had your accident."
"It was horrible . . . You were with Alex -"
"Your ex." Scott gave no other explanation. "And the next thing we know, you're in the ICU. God, we thought you'd never wake up. They told us you might not."
"How long was I . . . out?" I asked. The memories were so clear, so sharp. Could Azi really not have existed?
"Two weeks." Grace shook her head. "You had us worried. I'm going to go find Alex, he's going to want to know she's alive."
Scott's face flushed, a subtle red. "You do that."
Monique bounced out of the room. Scott finally let go of my hand.
"Not a big fan of my ex, are you?"
"Guy's a pig. If it weren't for him, you wouldn't be in here."
"How do you figure?"
"If he hadn't asked for a second chance, you wouldn't have been in the car when it went off the road."
I sat for a couple minutes, trying to figure this out.
Okay. My name was Rachel. Scott was obviously a friend and engaged to Monique. I had an ex who was, according to Scott, the reason I had been asleep for two weeks. I was in a hospital. I disliked pain medication.
Azrael did not exist.
"You okay?" Scott asked when he noticed a tear on my cheek.
"Yeah. Just. My side hurts."
"Understandable. Do you need more meds?"
I shook my head.
"Come on. You're in a hospital. Don't you think it's time to get over this silly aversion to medications?"
"She doesn't have to do anything she doesn't want to."
The voice came from the doorway, and, before I turned I knew who it was.
The room suddenly didn't have enough air. "Azi?"
The man in the door was older than Azi. Other than that, he was no different. My heart wrenched.
"Alex. And you, my darling, are Rachel."
"Good. I see Scott here has filled you in." The note of barely contained derision was amusing.
"Yeah. Look, you guys . . . I'm feeling a little lost. Can you give me and Az - erm . . . Alex a moment alone?"
Scott rolled his eyes, but grabbed Monique's wrist and pulled her out of the room.
Alex sat down on the edge of my bed.
"How are you feeling?"
"Better." Now that you're here sounded corny, so I left it out . . . "Confused. I don't remember anything."
"Not even me?"
I hesitated. "I do remember you . . . But your name was Azi. And you were in highschool. With me."
He laughed, and enveloped me in a fragile hug. "We did go to high school together."
"Your name was never Azi, was it?"
"No . . . Can't say it was."
I looked around, finally noticed my room was full of roses. At least sixty bouquets of the flowers. They were my favorite, I remembered.
"We're not really broken up, are we?"
Alex laughed. "No, we're not. Whoever gave you that idea?"
"He never liked me. I couldn't figure out why . . ."
"I'm tired." I said. It was true. My eyes drooped.
"Yes, sleeping for two weeks'll do that to ya." He laughed and kissed my forehead. "Go to sleep."
I nodded sleepily. "Mkay."
I closed my eyes and was surrounded by blackness once more. The last thing I heard before I dropped off the edge was Alex's voice, soft, velvet, alluring.
"Good night, Rayne. Sleep well."
I knew that I had gotten my fairy tale ending.
And so, I slept.
Author's Note: Wow! It's over! I love you guys SO incredibly much for reading all of that. :) Sorry it wasn't in for a while, my computer crashed, so I had to dig up my old laptop, which had a virus and yadda yadda yadda. Thanks once again, for the patience and the support.