I woke up in pain. My head was pounding, my ears throbbing; my sinuses burned, hot blood dripping down my throat. Hot pain like fire licked all across my skin.
My head swirled and my vision swam. I couldn’t focus my eyes on anything in front of me, I was too disoriented. I closed my eyes and tried to gain my bearings with my other senses. My eyes were no use, and the rest of me just as useless. I thought I was upside down, tethered to something, my head and shoulders pressed against the ground. Where was I? My mind couldn’t conjure up any images before right now—what was this? How did I get here? Where was I? I opened my eyes, grasping for any strand of thought—I knew my name, I knew who I was, I knew where I lived—but my immediate surroundings were a mystery. I vaguely remembered my mom talking to me, her voice light and happy—when was this? Today? A week ago? A lifetime ago? Where the hell was I?
I tried to shove the panic back down my throat. I tried to listen to my surroundings. I could hear dripping (a cave?), a hot sizzle (a kitchen?), the sound of creaking metal (what was that?). And, as I shifted my burning body, the sound of crunching glass.
Was I in an overturned car?
I was strapped into a car wreck.
And I wasn’t alone.
As my vision slowly cleared, I slowly stretched my head to the left and saw a person. My heart sank to my feet. I knew him. That was Ben. He’s my best friend, my boyfriend. How did he get here? What happened to us?
He wasn’t moving. Blood glistened all over his gray shirt and dark skin. His eyes were closed. I felt tears well up in my throat as my subconscious ran ahead of my mind, telling me something I had yet to decipher. But before I could listen to what it had to tell me, it stopped—his chest rose and fell, evenly and alive. The feeling melted back a bit as logic comforted my shell shocked brain. I was alive, he was alive.