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I awoke a few hours later with a start. I looked around in the darkened room and then bolted upright. My head felt like someone had hit it with a sledgehammer. It pounded and throbbed with hidden shock waves of pain. But then it ceased for a moment, leaving me breathing raggedly and closing my eyes. This pain was much worse than before; it was stronger, sharper and so excruciating that I felt weak from just the attack.
Maybe an aspirin, I thought quickly, it’d stop it…please God, please let it stop it.
I clambered out of the bed and just as my feet hit the floor, another burst of pain hit me and I crumpled down to the carpeted floor, rolled over on to my side and grunted. My hands clasped over my left eye and I pressed forcefully on my eyeball, hoping it would somehow stop it, but it did nothing to help. I made a pitiful whining sound, clenching my teeth together tightly to prevent myself from crying out since I knew Jessica was still asleep in the bed above where I lay on the floor. I didn’t want her to see me in pain. I didn’t want her to become scared and cry.
I didn’t want to see any of the pain I was experiencing in her face.
The pain ebbed away a few seconds later and it allowed me to stand on my knees and then my feet.
I had to go somewhere…but I didn’t know where.
My parents would help me…call an ambulance…get me to a hospital…get me help.
I knew Jessica would’ve helped me and everything, but I didn’t want her to know…didn’t want her to see me…
“God…please don’t…” I said in a weak whisper and started for the door.
All of a sudden, a heard the scratch of sheets and the uncomfortable hotel bed comforter become disturbed and then a soft, familiar voice made me stop in my crusade to the door.
“Where are you going?” Jessica was looking at me, I could feel it and I pressed my teeth in to my lips and turned back to her, trying to give her a normal look, trying to tell her that nothing was wrong…
I walked back to her side of the bed, bent down and kissed her on her forehead, trying to keep her blissfully unaware and not trouble her with my excruciating pain I would be experiencing any moment once again.
“I’m just going to…” What was I doing? I had to think of a lie, and fast. “Get some water…I’ll be back soon.” It was the only thing that entered my mind and the only thing I could think of, so I just told her that. I smiled down at her and she seemed to accept my reason for leaving and mumbled a sleepy okay and pulled the sheets and comforter over her body to keep herself warm so she could sleep soundly.
“I love you.” She said just before she drifted off. At those words, I felt a sharp pang in my stomach and heart…I’d lied to her again. It was at that moment that I almost broke down…but I remembered I had to be strong…she couldn’t see me…she wasn’t supposed to…
“I love you, too.” I answered back as I opened the door as quietly as I could, feeling tears well up in my eyes and the pain from lying to the girl that I truly loved, wrench my heart and stomach. I closed the door and took a few steps in the direction of the elevator and then collapsed in the hallway.
When I came to, I was still lying in the hallway, fixed in the fetal position. I had no idea how long I’d been lying on the floor…it could’ve been only a few seconds…or it could’ve been hours. At first I was confused, didn’t remember what’d happened and why I was out in the hallway, but then I remembered my parents…and help. I pushed myself up weakly, staying on my hands and knees for at least a few minutes, feeling my head throb so loudly that I could feel the blood rushing through my ears, deafening me by the initial rushing sound inside my own head.
I couldn’t stay here…I had to get to the elevator down the hallway. Jessica…she couldn’t find me in the hallway…she couldn’t find me and see me…
Thinking about Jessica finding me in the hallway made me gather my courage and reserve strength and stand on my feet and waver and pitch from side to side like a drunk stumbling down the hallway. I paused only one more time before I reached the elevator and pulled my body inside.
The doors closed loudly with a clunking sound and I looked up at the elevator button panel that would deliver me from my pain. I reached out with my hand, my index finger feebly pointed out to press the button for my parent’s floor, but no further than a few millimeters from the button, another fiery episode of agony hit me.
This time, I screamed. I didn’t hold back. I cursed. I screamed and shouted, beat my hands on the carpeted elevator floor and sobbed dismally. I’d been so close…so close…all I had to do was press a button and I couldn’t even do that!
“No.” I said aloud. “No!” If it was going to take me, I would fight it…I’d fought it before…I’d felt the pain and suffered…and I’d beaten it back.
“Stop.” I pushed my hands underneath me and şirinevler escort then tightened my muscles, elevating my body a few inches from the ground. “Stop!”
“Stop…” I choked out with almost a pitiful sob, “stop.”
I tightened my muscles in my arms and felt my body lift from the floor…I was almost there…and I leaned on my left arm and used my right arm to reach out to press the button. It would be the hardest thing I’d ever done and I was doing it…
When I felt the smooth plastic button on the elevator panel, I pushed all of my body weight in to it, and felt my finger satisfyingly sink in and a chime emit from the top of the elevator and the doors closed.
I’d done it…I was going to be on my way to the hospital…I’d be helped…and Jessica wouldn’t have to cry for me…I’d be okay now.
I fell to the floor, letting my body sink down on to the soft carpeted floor and felt the elevator rise.
My parent’s room was down…down, not up.
The elevator chimed once more and the doors opened and I instantly felt a gust of warm air rush over me and in to the elevator.
“Oh,” I groaned and picked up my head weakly and looked out of the elevator.
I was on the roof.
I was angry, but most of all scared and frustrated. I should’ve opened my eyes…I should’ve made sure I’d pressed the right button…
I’d pressed the button next to the floor my parents were on, just a few centimeters away from salvation. I didn’t have the strength to push another button…I could barely move by now. I could’ve stayed in the elevator…waited for someone to call it and find me, but who knew when that would be? It could’ve been hours, hours I knew I didn’t have.
Oh no, the doors are closing!
I threw my hand out, stopping the door just before it closed firmly and trapped me in the little box. I couldn’t stay here…in this box…my coffin. The doors slid back open.
I pushed my hand down on to the concrete floor in front of the elevator and let my hand venture around the surface; searching for something I could hold on to and pull on so I could get out of the elevator. I found something finally, a empty hole that had been used to fill the pool and hooked my fingers in to it and pulled with all of my might, dragging my body out on to the cool concrete and out of the elevator. Once I had my feet clear, the elevator doors closed and the elevator car left, its leaving evident by the whining of cables as it went.
Now I was alone on the roof, lying with my stomach on the concrete, struggling to fathom what to do next. I picked up my head, lifting it just enough to allow my chin support my head from falling back down. I saw a bench over by the pool that was lit with underwater lights, refracting the wavy blue water on to the ground and potted plants around it.
The bench would help me move better since I be able to move my legs underneath my body and possibly walk, assuming I could get up on to it in the first place. But it was next to the pool…too close…if I slipped, I’d fall in the pool and nothing would be able to stop me from floating face down in the water and drowning slowly. I actually considered it for a split second, drowning myself, floating in the pool…anything to release me from the pain in my head.
The pain had gotten even worse, this time feeling like someone had stuck in a red hot knife in to my left eye and had began to turn it. My eyes watered uncontrollably and soon my vision was hidden and clouded by my own tears. The roof of my mouth pulsed like my heart and my tongue felt thick and dry. I could barely swallow. I gasped for air, gasped for anything that would prolong the painful end to my life.
I can’t feel my fingers! My hands!
My limbs were numbing…not hurting, but any cognitive sensitivity began to melt away. It was spreading quickly, coursing from my fingers to my hands, and then on to my shoulders and down my back…
It wasn’t so bad; at least my head wasn’t hurting as badly now. The cool concrete felt so good against my skin…I was tired…so tired. I let my head relax and my cheek settle against the smooth concrete below me. Now I was comfortable…I closed my eyes and heard the sounds of traffic on the street below the hotel cease in to silence.
A Hispanic maid found me the next morning. She was coming to the roof to change the wet used towels from the day before with soft, freshly laundered ones. As soon as she stepped off the elevator, she saw me lying on the ground and assumed that I’d probably just fallen asleep after a swim…or maybe I’d gotten drunk after spending a wild night with some loose girl and passed out there, so she didn’t approach me right away, but went about her job quietly, not wanting to wake me until she was finished. She walked all around the pool, setting the towels in their selected stations and making sure there were a set amount in each place. When şişli escort she finished, she walked towards me, bent down and said in a heavy Hispanic accent, “Sir…sir, you not sleep here.”
But I didn’t move.
“Sir—.” She reached her hand out and when she felt my cold and stiff body, she instantly jumped up and covered her mouth with her hands, gasped and stepped back with a horrified look on her face.
“They always find us like that.” A girly voice said quietly.
“Dios mio.” The Hispanic woman said and made the sign of the cross on her body and hurried to the elevator, not looking at me again as the elevator doors opened and closed.
“So, what…am I supposed to go with you now?” I asked and turned towards the little blond girl with the pink dress and black shoes, who was standing next to me. She’d appeared right after I’d passed on, and told me who she was…of course, I was wondering about how she might’ve died herself, but thought it might’ve been rude to inquire so I listened to her tell me what I was supposed to do and what she was supposed to do.
“Not yet. I’ve still got someone else I have to help, but I’ll be back soon.” The girl said in a distracted voice. She didn’t seem sad at all, as if she’d grown accustomed to dealing with things like this.
“Mmmm.” I mumbled and walked away and when I looked back, the little blond girl was gone again and I went to sit down somewhere and wait for her to appear again.
First the hotel manager came, then a little while later, the police and then the paramedics. I was surprised seeing all of the people grouped around me…I know, right now you’re thinking, how did I see all those people? Well, funny thing after you die, you’re anchored to your body until your ‘protector’ comes to guide you, for me, that was the little blond girl, but since she had other business to attend to, I would have to wait.
I was sitting on the roof’s wall a little ways from the pool, watching them check my vital signs and then take out a blue body bag and set it out next to me. I felt apprehension, knowing that my parents would be notified very soon and then…Jessica.
I suddenly wished I’d gone somewhere else to die.
I wished I could’ve just disappeared so Jessica wouldn’t have to see me dead. I felt regret in my decision to leave Jessica the night before and an intense sense of anxiousness watching the elevator doors for my parents to finally come and see me lying on the ground.
I jumped off my perch on the hotel roof’s wall and walked slowly over to where the police officers and medical personnel were gathered and talking about some other case they’d been on a few night ago instead of me. I saw my dead body through the crack of living bodies and thought I looked okay…I didn’t look like I was in pain, nor did I look like I’d been scared…just sleepy. I was certainly glad I hadn’t chosen to drown myself in the pool since that would’ve left my body all bloated, distended and weird looking.
Least I could identify myself easily, even though my skin was waxy and pale and looked as white as a piece of parchment, but other than that…everything was—.
“Where is he? Where’s my son?” I saw my father asking the police officer closest to the elevator and then being led to where I was lying. He stopped in front of my body, looked at it and then stooped down in front of it. He said nothing but shook his head, shaking tears from his eyes that I saw hit the ground next to him. Seeing him sad made me sad. I wanted to show him that I was okay, that nothing was wrong…
“Are you going to be okay, sir?” I blonde haired officer asked and put his hand on my father’s shoulder. Feeling the officer’s hand on his shoulder made him break out in to a pained sob, he covered his face with his hands, gasping and sobbing. The police officers that had been discussing the unrelated case with the paramedics drifted away, back towards the elevator, to give my father some privacy.
I wanted to cry just like him because he couldn’t see me, couldn’t feel me. But I was there. I could see him and his pain…
“Don’t cry, Dad…I’m okay.” I said and felt my throat begin to itch…a symptom of when I was about to cry back when I was still alive.
“If you’d like, sir, I can give you a reference for a crisis counselor…” The blond police officer said quietly, stroking my father’s back slowly, trying to comfort him. But my father never responded and began to rock and forth, crying in to his hands. I’d never seen my father like this.
He’d always portrayed a strong persona, never cried, never even shed a tear in all the time I’d known him for. But here he was now, weeping and crying for me, his only son. I couldn’t take much more of seeing him cry, it was scary for me, scarier than when I’d first realized I’d died.
I didn’t want to see my body anymore, lying facedown on the concrete and stiff.
I didn’t want to see my father crying, grieving for the only son he’d ever suadiye escort had.
I turned away and tried to block out the sound of my father’s sobbing, but it penetrated everything inside of me, down to my very soul. I gritted my teeth in anger and frustration and screamed as loud and as long as I could, but no one heard me except me. I ran over to the wall of the roof and kicked it and beat is as much as I could, screaming and wanting to cry and break down just like my father had, but I couldn’t, something was stopping me. It was trying to comfort me but I ignored it, I ignored everything I saw, felt, and heard…until I heard a door slam open.
I knew who it was at once and turned in the direction the sound had come from.
I suddenly felt what she felt, confusion.
She stood still, staring at the blue body bag that the paramedics had just set me in…I could see it in her eyes that she didn’t believe it was me. Our father saw her and wiped his tears, his face was smudged and it was defiantly obvious that he’d been crying, but he went to her and said something…what it was, I didn’t hear but the blond police officer that had tried to comfort our father told her something as well. All of a sudden, our father yelled out for someone to help them. I couldn’t see through the rush of police officers and paramedics, but when they finally cleared, I saw that Jessica was gone.
I didn’t feel anything then. There wasn’t anymore sadness, anymore fear, anymore regret, and anymore confusion…just nothing. I felt empty inside, like I’d swallowed a four-pound brick and it was in my stomach.
I went over to a place by the roof’s wall, sat down and crossed my arms on top on my knees and rested my forehead. I didn’t know what was going on and worst of all, I didn’t know what was happening to Jessica. I knew nothing. It was at that moment that two solitary tears rolled down my cheek. I felt them run off and saw them make two even-numbered star prints on the concrete below me and then I felt a small hand on my arm.
It went down and embraced my own hand firmly and then I felt myself being drawn upwards, being carried by an unseen force, up and up I went, past the hotel roof…past the tallest skyliners of the city…past the known heavens…
After I got over the initial passing of my former self, I began to hear the thoughts of my loved ones and friends…they all said that I was a great guy and all that stuff, but the only one person I never heard was Jessica. But that was the way it was supposed to be. The thoughts of the ones we love most aren’t supposed to be heard, because they’re already known. I didn’t need affirmation that she loved me back when I was still alive because I already knew she did…a soul doesn’t need the attestation of love, only the conscious body does.
Even though I didn’t hear her thoughts of how much she loved me in real life, I was still with her. I stayed with her…made sure she was safe and that nothing bad happened to her. Watched over and protected her. And she knew it, she knew it like I told her in my own voice, even though she couldn’t see me…she felt me.
Time eventually progressed and Jessica finally met someone. I wasn’t jealous if that’s what you’re thinking, more happy than anything actually, because it meant that she didn’t dwell on my death for a long while like others I’d heard of. I was at her wedding, in the back row accompanied by our grandparents that had passed away a few months before we were born as well as our great-great grandfather, who reminded me a lot like our father. We all waited patiently for Jessica to walk down the aisle in her wedding dress and when she did, she…she was…I can’t even describe how beautiful she looked, almost like the guardians of heaven…maybe even more beautiful than them.
When Jessica walked by, I smelled that one scent I’d come to know intimately…it still made me as dizzy as it had when we’d been together. But I saw her smile…and I could tell she was happy, which was what I truly wanted. I glanced around and saw our parents in the front row and I remembered the scene earlier when our father wanted to lead Jessica down the aisle, but she didn’t want him to…it was a respectful request and our father complied…albeit, he did look slightly put off. Our mother held him by his shoulder so he wouldn’t jump up suddenly and grab her by her arm to lead her down the aisle, but he insisted he was fine with her decision but our mother kept her hand on just in case.
I did feel some sadness seeing her marry Rick, but I knew what the future would hold and didn’t worry about it too much…
After the ceremony, our great-great grandfather and grandparents left, and I stayed for the reception. Kaliegh was there and I just couldn’t help but make her dress ‘unexpectedly’ rise when she was in front of our male cousins. But after all the ceremonies and the dancing started, I saw Jessica sitting at the table all alone with her hand under her chin, looking out at the dance floor where Rick was busy bustin’ a move like an awkward white guy would, with his aunt. I went over to her, feeling somewhat nervous, hearing the music playing and remembering the one dance that had brought us together in the first place.
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