40. The Person in Black
I wake up to voices in the distance calling my name. "Ally!" I hear Louis call. "Where could she be?" Harry's voice says. He sounds close. "Harry," I say as loud as I can. "Did you hear that?" Harry says. "Harry!" I say, louder this time. "Ally!" Liam exclaims. "Liam!" I shout. Harry and Liam burst through the trees into the clearing, closely followed by Louis and Aubree. "Ally!" Aubree says, kneeling beside me. "We were so worried! Are you alright?" I nod weakly. My head still throbs dully, but it's not as bad as before. "How long were you here?" Louis asks. "I don't know," I reply. "I blacked out." Liam and Harry help me up and Harry carries me to Liam's car. "You're bleeding!" Emma cries, pushing her way through everyone to get to me. Lacey is right next to her. Kat stands a few feet away, arms crossed. Emma presses her hands to my leg in attempt to get the bleeding to stop. "What happened?" Lacey demands. I explain the whole story in full detail. "So the voice was definitely a guy?" Liam asks. "I think so," I reply. "I was a little confused the whole time so I guess it could be a girl disguising her voice too." Aubree hugs me out of the blue. "I'm so glad you're okay," she says. I smile at her. "We should get you to the hospital," Liam says, sliding into the driver's side of the car. Lacey sits in the passenger seat and Emma and Aubree sit in the back with me. "What am I supposed to say to the doctor?" I ask. "Just say you fell while you were on a run," Emma says. "You're in running clothes so I don't see why they wouldn't believe you." When we get to the hospital, Liam helps me in. The doctors can see me right away, so I'm whisked off to a room. The fluorescent lights hurt my eyes and everything is so sterile and bland. I suddenly feel a pang of sympathy for Niall. This is how he has to live. "What happened?" the nurse asks me. "I was going for a run," I say. "And I tripped over something and fell." The nurse looks me over. "Quite a hard fall," she comments. "Um, yeah," I say, hoping she believes my story. "You don't have a concussion," the nurse tells me after checking my head. "You're lucky. The pain should go away by tomorrow. Take pain medicine when you get home, and if the pain gets any worse, come back." I nod and thank her and head to the waiting room where everyone is sitting anxiously. "I'm good to go," I say and they all visibly relax. "Let's all go see Niall while we're here," Lacey suggests. We all make out way upstairs to where Niall is. I knock tentatively on his door. "Come in," he calls and I step in. He smiles at me and I rush over to him. I sit next to him on the bed and everyone else crowds around the bed and on the plastic chairs scattered around the room. We talk for a while, Louis cracking jokes and Aubree recounting a video she saw on YouTube that makes us all laugh. It's when Kat is telling a story about something that happened last summer with Aubree and Liam that I notice something. Kat lowers her voice to sound like Liam, and when she does so, it sounds exactly like the person in black who assaulted me earlier. Goosebumps rise on my arms. When everyone begins to leave, I lean over and whisper in Niall's ear that I think Kat is the one who attacked me. His face falls. "Oh Ally, no," he says. "Are you sure?" I nod. "Yeah. That's definitely who it was." Just then Kat walks back into the room. "What are you guys talking about?" she says. Neither of us reply. She shrugs. "Whatever. Ally, if you don't hurry up we're gonna leave without you." She leaves. I exhale in relief. "I'll see you tomorrow," I tell Niall, kissing him on the cheek. He hugs me and I exit his room. Kat is waiting for me. "Everyone else went down to the cars awhile," she says. Then she whispers in my ear, "Tell anyone, and you're dead." I swallow. She pulls back, smiles pleasantly, and skips down the hall toward the stairs. I steady myself against the wall. Kat is crazy; this proves it. But how am I going to tell the others? She said she would kill me, and I believe her.