www.whyville.net Nov 14, 2010 Weekly Issue

Senior Times Writer

Burn Survivors: Part 5

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Michelle's POV

Jacob wouldn't speak to me.

This would not be such a problem if the biggest dance of the year wasn't around the corner, and if I wasn't trying so hard to do something I was now positive I couldn't do again.

But my God, my gracious God, I had hope, and my hope was enough to get me through the day.

Melissa and I were going to prom together with a group of mutual friends, friends that Jacob didn't much care for because of the way they treated me. To be honest, I didn't like how they treated me like less of an adult. We were going to college in the fall. I was anything but a child. Yet I smiled and just dealt with it. Take it in stride. At least they weren't treating me like a toddler.

Three weeks to go. My heart thumped in my chest as Melissa and my mother helped me try on dresses. I didn't want to dress up anymore; I felt hideous. There was no point in making me look beautiful if I didn't feel beautiful. You know?

Mommy stared at me long and hard, sorrow building in her eyes. "I have the perfect dress for you," she murmured. Melissa's eyes glimmered with curiosity as she pulled me out of the dressing room. "What dress, Mom?" she asked. Melissa quickly became part of my family, and as a result, she called my mom "Mom". She was truly my best friend. I loved her to pieces, and then some.

Mom didn't answer. She simply motioned for us to go get in the car, and the ride home was absolutely silent. Every ride including me was silent now, as they all knew I just wanted to think. They knew who I was thinking about, too.

I looked at my reflection in the window for the entire duration of the ride. My eyes met those of my reflection. I felt so weak, so powerless. My phone danced in my lap, singing lightly to me. For a moment, my reflection seemed to stare at me with this look, asking if I was going to answer the phone. Melissa's hand snaked over my shoulder and slid away with my phone.

"Hey, this is Mel." I could only hear one side of the conversation, but my reflection looked away from me. Melissa looked shocked. Absolutely shocked. Her gaze met mine, and she didn't tear them from me to talk to Mom. "Mom, we have to go back downtown." "Why? What happened?" The words escaped my lips without thinking. Did I really care?

My reflection looked into my eyes again. "You do care, Melissa is panicking. You love her," the girl in the window sighed. "Melissa!"

Death's POV

I'm everywhere. Right now, I sit behind you as you read this. I creep around, inspecting your everyday lives. I'm sitting in this room with Jacob right now, unfortunately, I'm not here to comfort him. I'm waiting for him now. The hospital staff has him stabilized, but I stand still in the corner. I see Jacob. Not physical Jacob, I see inner Jacob, the young man who loves Michelle Davis, the compassionate artist who had dedicated his life to his art, and to a picture of Michelle he'd been working on for the longest time.

A glowing crept into the room. Not a light, a soul, but not Jacob's; he was still fighting. Michelle's voice in the hallway rang true and clear. Concern. Breaking with tears. Love. Pain. Her soul screamed silently. Not a scream, but this high pitched screeching. The sound of a distressed soul looking for a way to demolish the pain inside. Her heart threatened to break through her ribs.

Her Jacob was dying and she couldn't help him.

"One last time, please!" she begged the hospital staff. "I just need to see him!" Careful not to get too close to Jacob, I ducked into the hall. Michelle's face was pouring tears, her eyes filled with frustration. If she could reach the nurse's throat, the nurse would be mine right now.

For the longest time, she argues. Michelle fights with every fiber of her being. Suddenly, the never ending beep that I'd been dreading rang true and clear. The howl of a banshee escaped Michelle's throat, and she suddenly found the strength to throw herself out of the chair. Everyone dove for her, trying to keep her from smacking her head on the floor. Everyone but me. I sunk away, shielding my eyes from this beautiful predator.

Within that moment, the most beautiful and amazing thing happened. I opened my eyes and Michelle stood on two feet, eye to eye with the nurse. She wobbled, struggling to keep vertical to the floor, but the beeping didn't stop. It drove her. Possessed her, even. "I am begging," Michelle whispered. "Please."

The nurse stared into her eyes for the longest few seconds and quickly slunk back into the room.

Michelle's eyes closed and she fell. Melissa couldn't get to her fast enough as she fell, her head smacking hard on the pavement.

I'd be lying if I said their story ended here, but I'd also be lying if I said there was a such thing as a happy ending.


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