Pushes and shoves, cries for help, cars honking, sobbing, shouting, footsteps.
Police sirens, ambulance sirens, an ear piercing scream…that came from my sister.
I hear all these noises but see nothing, only total darkness.
I wake up in an unfamiliar room with a blanket wrapped around me and the smell of hot chocolate drifting about.
‘Hello dear, good to see you awake.’
I look up from where I’m lying and see a nurse (I think), changing the flowers on the bedside table and placing a fresh mug of cocoa on the table.
‘Where am I?’ I ask.
And then I remembered.
‘JADE! No! No, no, no! Please tell me it was just a nightmare! She’s not…’ I couldn’t bring myself to say the word ‘dead’.
The nurse just gave me a sad look at patted my shoulder.
‘No…’ I hug my knees and sob into them. Why? She was the only thing I had left.
The nurse leaves the room and suddenly I’m sobbing about all the things I’ve ever kept to myself.
My hatred towards my father, my mother’s death, every single hurtful word thrown at me, every single moment I got jealous, how hard it is to raise a child from the age of 12, to have a job that I absolutely hate to pay for the rent, food, clothes and other things Jade and I needed. To never of had a best friend who I could share secrets with, to make sure no one in our apartment knew that I was 17 and looking after a five year old on my own, to never have someone who loved me besides my mother and sister. And now, both of them are gone… I’m alone and broken.
I stare out the window and remember all the memories Jade and I shared. She was so young, too young. So smart and capable of great things yet she was only five...
I hear the door open behind me but I don’t have the strength to move.
‘Anna dear, there are interviewers for the local news outside. Would you like me to bring them in or not until tomorrow?
It was the nurse.
I don’t know if I should be interviewed or not? I mean it’s her death… this shouldn’t be on TV. No respect these people. But then again... I could let the world know how great a kid Jade was.
‘Hhmm, Anna dear?’
I force myself to turn around. ‘Bring them in.’
The nurse smiles. ‘I’ll just be a second’.
‘Anna is it true you were her only family left?’ A reporter in a striped jacket asks.
I think about it for a moment.
‘No, there’s our grandma but we don’t know where she is.’
‘Anna, over here! Is it true you’re only 17 and you were looking after five year old Jade alone?’
Should I tell him? I don’t know…
‘Mmm’ I reply with, hoping he would count it as a maybe.
‘Anna over here!’
‘Smile Anna, you’re on live TV!’
‘Here sweety, answer this for me?’
‘Is it true you pushed Jade into the road?’
‘Was she running from something?’
I back into the corner of the room on my hospital bed. So many questions…
I feel tears forming in my eyes. Why do they care about the facts? Why do they think I pushed her?
‘OK!’ I yell. ‘If I tell you exactly what happened will you leave me alone!’
They murmur in agreement.
‘OK.’ I gulp down the tears and wipe my eyes with my sleeve.
‘We were leaving the house and we walked down our street until we came up to a road. I asked her to hold my hand while we crossed; she nodded and held my hand.’ I sniff and dab at my eyes again. ‘I said “Look Left”, then we looked left…’ *Sniff* ‘Then half way through saying look right she… she let go of my *sniff* hand and… she ran...across the road…’ By that time I had collapsed in a heap on my bed trying not to look like an idiot crying on Live TV, I heard more questions and stuff but the nurse came in and yelled at them all to get out.
I heard the door close and once again, I was alone.