20th June 2012-The Coma State
My eyes fluttered open as I sat up in bed from my terrible dream from my birth to the crash. My dark green eyes adjusted to the light seeping in the room. Wind blew gently in through the curtains. My heart was racing in my chest. I’d seen a World I didn’t seem to recognise after my crash. I was in a Coma, but that couldn’t be right. I’d been in this World since I was born.
‘That was either a scary dream or my reality.’ I rubbed my eyes.
‘Amy, we have two hours until we are leaving for the airport. Are you up?’ A woman’s voice called from the other side of the oak painted blue door.
‘Yeah, I’m up. I’ll be down in a minute, Mum.’ I called.
I crawled quickly out of bed. My white silk nightdress hugged my shape of a child’s body, as I was only sixteen years old. I walked over to the oak wardrobe, found my big bag and pulled it out. The backpack was blue and had a black handle. This bag was one like the ones people took on Duke of Edinburgh Awards expeditions. I unclipped the lid. The backpack was only a third full, yet the wardrobe was empty. I grabbed the objects left around the room; a pair of walking boots, a jet black TOSHIBA laptop, a violet purple box, a blood red CD box and finally a wooden and grass green photo frame.
The photo was of three boys and a man that looked quite like me and had brown hair but two of the boys’ hair was a bit lighter than mine. The last boy had dark brunette hair, exactly like mine and his blue eyes sparkled. They were all smiling at me from the photo. They were with a man, whose brown hair was in spikes and his smile was as warm as an open fire on a cold day. They all looked quite alike. I put it in securely and shut the top of the bag. I then grabbed the clothes draped over the plastic pomegranate red chair and started getting ready to leave. Once I was dressed I dashed downstairs, unsure of my present and future.
I came down into the kitchen, sat at the table and sighed deeply. I felt nervous and excited, almost bouncing off my wooden seat. Ashleigh Thomas was dressed in a skin pink Polo shirt and a pair of skinny jeans in the colour of dark denim. She also had a pair of dark boots up to her knees on along with her dark brown hair to her shoulders in tangles. A slice of toast with chocolate spread on was waiting for me to eat on the red and white check draped cover on the mahogany table. I sighed deeply as I looked out the kitchen window. The ‘For Sale’ sign was still in full view as they were supposed to be leaving the house.
I was now in a pomegranate red shirt and dark jeans with a brown belt around my waist for the jeans. Ashleigh gave me a sky blue bundle. I opened it up. It was my sky blue raincoat. I smiled at Ashleigh as I pulled on the sky blue raincoat.
‘Thanks Mum. Do you think Matt and Jacob will like me?’
‘I’m sure they will.’
‘How long has it been now?’
‘It’s been since you were a baby.’
‘I can’t wait to live with my brothers now, since I haven’t seen either of them before face to face. I’ve spoken with them and seem quite nice.’
‘What do you mean?’
‘Mum, there’s a thing called Facebook. Matt and Jacob added me on it, so we chat a bit.’
I ate the toast, slightly smirking at Ashleigh’s horror. I finished the toast and ran upstairs. I came back quickly enough and with me I brought my backpack downstairs so it was easier to get to the airport. I sat on my chair again, but looked at the spotless and shiny black and white tiled floor covering the kitchen, wondering what would happen. I just wished my visions would stay back for a bit longer.
‘Amy, wake up, please!’ A voice called to me, but I somehow knew they weren’t lying.
The dream I’d had last night was the truth: I had to get back to my real life.
‘What is it, Amy?’
‘I’m going to miss this place. I’ve grown up here and now we have to leave.’ I covered my tracks, hoping Ashleigh hadn’t heard the voice.
‘We may be leaving Birmingham behind, but we have the chance to look forward to going to live in LA. There will be new experiences for us to find. You’ll make some new friends, Amy. You can trust me on that.’ Ashleigh sat down.
‘You don’t understand, Mum! I don’t want to live in Los Angeles! I want to be a family, but somewhere that we can be left alone. Out in LA, we’ll get swamped by people wanting our money or wanting to marry one of you for the money. That is the problem with being popular like the TSB is. Everyone wants you for your money, not because of who you are.’
Ashleigh had no idea I knew about the TSB. I stood up and looked out the chocolate brown rimmed double-glazed window. Ashleigh stood up and turned me around to face her. Ashleigh gripped my right wrist tightly. Her hand was tightening like a vice.
‘Mum, let go! That hurts!’
‘We are going to LA. We are staying there and you will not complain once, otherwise I will get rid of the picture of your brothers and your father!’
‘Mum, I’m sixteen for crying out loud! Doesn’t that mean anything to you?! I know you don’t like being here in this age with all these new gadgets and things, but this is ridiculous! I know you think I can’t look after myself, but I can! You can’t do this anymore. When we see Dad, I’m going to tell him what you’ve been doing behind his back to me!’
‘Amelia, if you don’t shut up, I will give you that mark on your wrist again and this time it’ll last longer. So don’t push me further.’
‘No. You’ve tried to hurt me before, but it didn’t do anything because I know what to fight for. I even know what you and Dad with all our other family members do. I’m not the only one out of the loop! There are ten that are not in this and I’m one of them. You won’t stop me from bringing the family together. I know what I’m doing, but do you?’
‘Amelia Thomas, I’d shut up before I take your stupid photo of your brothers and your father… along with that locket from your dead brother! Do you want me to take it or not?’
I stayed silent, focusing on Ashleigh’s grip and holding onto the locket in my left hand tightly like she held onto me. Ashleigh had turned threatening towards me. I almost cried in fear. She released me eventually. I grabbed my bag and put it in the boot of the awaiting Taxi. She sat next to me as we both left the beautiful house behind. I waved at the house as we left it for good towards the airport. I was quiet all the way there, sat next to my mother. I was led by my arm to the desk. Ashleigh signed us in for our flight. Both of us got on the plane. We flew for a few hours and I slept on the plane there.
‘You’re not alone, Kiddo. I’ll find you.’ A voice I recognised called to me again and again in my sleep, but I thought he was dead.
I woke up a few minutes away from landing. I was nervous about this. She led me off the plane when we landed in LA’s International Airport. I wasn’t sure when my bag would come out from the plane. Ashleigh and I had our belongings, one bag for me and two for her, and we started looking for Matt, Jacob and my Dad. I saw two boys waving at me from the corner of my eye.
Their brown hair was a hint lighter than mine and they looked like the boys in the photo and their accounts on Facebook. I looked at the boys and I saw they were my older brothers, Matt and Jacob. I put my bag down for a second. Matt and Jacob ran to me whilst I ran to them. Jacob hugged me in the middle first, spinning me round in his grip. I was almost in tears, clinging to him tight enough. He let me go and he smiled at his little sister. Matt then hugged his little sister as he just reached us both. My brothers both grinned at me. Matt was in a dark blue T-shirt, jeans with a pair of bright red converse and a bright pomegranate red jacket. Jacob was in a bright red T-shirt, bright pomegranate red converse, jeans and a dark blue jacket with no sleeves. They seemed to like wearing the same colours as each other on different pieces of clothing.
‘Hello, Amy.’ Matt grinned.
‘Hello, Matt.’ I laughed.
‘Hello, Amy.’ Jacob smirked.
‘Hello, Jacob.’ I smirked back.
A man came over to us. His brown hair was short to his ears. He smiled at us three. The man had a sleeveless denim jacket, faded jeans and a sea blue Polo shirt with black boots. Ashleigh came over with my bag too.
‘Hello Dad.’ I hugged my Dad as he hugged his daughter.
‘Hello, my little Amelia Thomas.’ He laughed, before he kissed my head.
‘Hello, Mark.’ Ashleigh kissed his cheek.
‘Let’s go home.’ Mark led the family through the airport.
I carried my bag on my back and Ashleigh pulled her zebra-patterned suitcases through the airport. Mark got the bags in the boot of the Jeep. Matt and Jacob sat in the back with their sister. Ashleigh sat in the front with Mark. I was able to hold both my brothers’ hands to the house. I was smiling all the way, laughing with my brothers. I was shocked at how beautiful the family mansion was. The white walls shone in the afternoon sun. The two storey building was a fascination for the eyes. Glass in blocks of four covered the front of the house, shining in the sunlight. Something didn’t feel right to me.
‘Are you alright, Amy?’ Jacob smirked.
‘Yeah…I think so.’ I looked around the clean and tidy area that covered the whole street.
Only I had noticed the Aston Martin sat on the road, watching the Mansion with two figures sat smirking at the family heading towards the Mansion. I saw one of them was on the phone, laughing.
‘It’s up to you to stop this. Only you can, Kiddo. I’ll join you soon. We’re both in this to the end.’ The voice was back, bringing the images of the crash back to me.
When none of them were looking, I rolled a little ball across the road and it hit the front right tire of the Aston Martin. It popped and stuck to the tire and changed from its original grass green colour to the jet black tire colour.
‘That’s my Kiddo.’ The voice laughed.
‘The camouflage works.’ I mumbled.
‘Did you say something?’ Matt took my right hand.
‘No. I was just looking at the landscape.’ I lied.
Matt and Jacob led their sister into the house. They led me upstairs to a bedroom and past the bare white walls. The bedroom walls were white and the door was sky blue painted oak. It was just like my old room back home. I placed my bag near the door. Memories of pain flashed in my mind of how much our mother struggled to look after me properly, but then thoughts of my missing brother looking after me until I was seven crossed through my head, confusing my feelings.
‘This is your new room. Do you like it?’ Matt smiled, bringing me back to the present.
‘Were you trying to make this room like my old room back in Birmingham?’ I asked.
‘Maybe, maybe not, who knows?’ Jacob laughed, a British-American accent coming through.
I opened my bag and put the photo frame on the bedside table made of mahogany wood. Matt and Jacob didn’t know that I had that photo of them. Jacob saw the opportunity and grabbed me which got me over his shoulder. I laughed with my brothers. I felt happy, like I’d never had any trauma in my life before that one moment I couldn’t remember if it was the truth or a lie.
‘Boys, you’d better not be annoying your sister already!’ Mark called up the stairs.
‘We’re not, Dad. We’re just getting used to each other.’ Matt called back as Jacob put me down.
Matt saw the opportunity and got me over his shoulder, high enough that I couldn’t get back down without his help.
‘Oh, come on!’ I laughed.
‘Boys, if you mess her around like you did before to me, you’ll never see your X-Box 360 again!’ Ashleigh called up the stairs, so Matt put me down.
‘We’re not messing her around, Mom. We’ll be down in a bit.’ Matt called.
Matt and Jacob just looked at their sister. I was shaking quite a bit on the bed. Jacob sat next to me and held me into his side. I broke like china on a tiled floor. I was scaring Matt and Jacob now. Jacob wiped stray tears off my cheeks once I’d stopped.
‘What is it?’ Matt was trying to guess.
‘Our mother’s gone mad. Since she came back from that visit that she made to see you when you were nineteen and Jacob was eighteen, she’s been hurting me and has been aggressive. I can’t fight it anymore.’ I stared at the carpet.
‘I wish they hadn’t have gotten that divorce right before you were born!’ Matt punched the wall, almost breaking it and creating a hole, making Jacob stand up.
‘Matt, control your anger please. We all feel that way, but we have to be strong for Amy. Please, just do that for her.’ Jacob placed a hand on his older brother’s shoulder.
I then struggled to remember if our parents really had got a divorce. When I was little, I’d seen our parents kissing, hugging each other and one leading the other off to the bedroom. Now my life was spinning out of control and I couldn’t stop it.
‘We have to tell Dad. I don’t know how to tell him this.’ I looked at the carpet.
Matt helped me up from the bed. Confusion covered my brothers’ faces.
‘What do you mean?’ Jacob raised an eyebrow.
I pulled up the right arm sleeve on my coat. A bruise covered the inside of my arm from my elbow to my wrist. My brothers almost fell over backwards in shock.
‘We have to tell him now.’ Matt and Jacob growled in anger in synchronisation.
We all walked back down the spiral shaped staircase. Matt and Jacob led me through the snow white rooms, various sized and coloured paintings flashing past my eyes. Mark and Ashleigh were having an argument in the kitchen.
‘…you’re the one who wanted to keep the boys apart from her!’ Mark growled.
‘I didn’t make Amy what she is now. That was your fault that you disappeared on her!’ Ashleigh yelled.
‘I’m not the one who brought her up, Ashleigh. You didn’t let me see her until she was six years old. You made me leave, even though you knew it would hurt her. You only allowed John to see her, but now he’s not here, you wouldn’t let anybody in to see her! She’s sixteen, so I’ve missed more than half of her life now, Ashleigh. I told you this would affect her badly, but you went ahead and now she could be hiding things from us because she doesn’t trust us!’ Mark was calming down.
Jacob, Matt and I walked in. Jacob was standing next to me, as I was standing on the end of all three of their kids, in age order; Matt, Jacob, me.
‘Dad, why are you fighting?’ I was shaking slightly.
‘We’re not fighting, Amy.’ Mark sighed and came to their kids and he tried to hug his little daughter.
I stepped backwards. Mark was confused. Jacob tried to hold my hand but I moved away from everyone.
‘I know it isn’t easy to have an Autistic kid, but it doesn’t mean that you have to fight over who gets to have a normal life with the normal kids or who gets the other one. I’m not a toy to be fought over. If you can’t sort it out, then I may go back to the UK by myself and use another mean of transport.’ I was about to cry.
‘Amelia, it’s not like that.’ Mark sighed.
‘Don’t Amelia me! You know I don’t like being called Amelia!’ I was getting angry.
‘I didn’t mean it like that, Amy.’ Mark sighed.
‘I get it. Neither of you want the weird kid. I know that, Mum. You have tried to lose me every time we go to the shops or go out anywhere. I always find my way back to the car and I’m sick of this behaviour! All I want is a normal life as a normal kid. Is that too much to ask for?! Now you’d better sort this out because something’s going on and I can’t control it this time. It’s up to you two to deal with it, not just for me, but for Harriet, Matt, Jacob, John, Finley, Callum and me. There’s way more of us than you think.’ I was about to crack.
‘Amy, please-’ Mark begged.
‘I know it hasn’t been the same since John died, but can’t you at least sort it out for your youngest kid? You couldn’t even do it for John! You owe him that at least. He was the father figure I never had and then we got hit by that car! I can’t take either of you fighting anymore! It makes me sick! We’re meant to be a family and right now, all I think of you is a load of rubbish that can’t even care for their own kids.’ I was getting rid of my tears and anger was replacing it.
Mark walked to me and hugged me tightly. I flinched at the pain in my right arm.
‘I had no idea you felt this way, Amy. I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.’ Mark sighed, trying to calm down their stressing out daughter.
I sighed deeply, but released myself from our father’s grip.
‘Dad, we need to tell you something.’ Jacob looked nervous.
Mark glanced between all three of his kids, seeing the nervous look mirrored on Matt’s face.
‘Jacob, Matt, what’s wrong? You can tell us.’ Mark looked scared for his sons.
Matt raised his eyebrows at me, giving me a signal to show the bruises. I shook my head, trying to keep my tears back.
‘Amy, show him your arm.’ Matt looked at me with sympathy, yet his voice spoke with power.
I looked at Ashleigh, worried what might be revealed.
‘Do you wanna know why I’ve been quieter than when you saw me years ago?’ I asked.
‘Amelia, what aren’t you telling me?’ Mark sounded scared.
‘Your ex-wife took control of me harder than she should have.’ I glared at our mother.
I slowly pulled up my right arm sleeve of my coat. The bruise was still purple and fresh on my arm. It even had the marks of where the fingers would have been holding onto my arm. Mark’s face dropped. Ashleigh tried not to look guilty about it.
‘Do you see what you’ve done now, Mum? This wasn’t me. I couldn’t do this to myself. You could and you did!’ I tried to hold my anger back.
‘Amelia, I’m so-’ Mark started.
‘Save your breath. The damage is done. It’s your fault I’m like this! If you had intervened I wouldn’t be in this mess, showing you the true nature of your ex-wife, the nature of the mother to your children. Now I’m damaged more than I should be because you did nothing! You’re meant to be my Dad and you did nothing! You don’t care enough to help your youngest daughter! I hate you and I wish you were better than this! John was a better father than you. It would have been better if he was my father than you!’ I tried to hold back my tears.
‘Amy, please! It wasn’t like that!’ Mark tried to convince his daughter.
‘How was it like then? Were you too busy to get a plane to the UK to see me?! John did it every week before the crash! Why couldn’t you do the same?’ I was softening up, letting the tears fall.
‘Amelia, I love you. You know that. I wanted to come and see you. Every time I came, I got shoved away by Ashleigh. It wasn’t my fault. I’m sorry if I hurt you, but I wished I could see you. Remember when you ran off, I found you and comforted you. Your mother gave up on you! So don’t tell me I didn’t care!’ Mark was getting angry about it too.
‘You’re my Dad! Aren’t Dads meant to be there for their kids? You have two daughters and five sons! You couldn’t care for us.’ I growled.
‘I only have one daughter and that’s you! Where are you making this up from?’ Mark was worried I was hallucinating.
‘I’m not making it up! Matt was a twin, wasn’t he? His twin’s with us. You have two sons, one called Finley and one called Callum. John is alive! I can feel it.’ I growled.
‘Stop lying, Amy! I thought you might try and get attention, but this is crazy!’ Mark snapped.
My heart thudded in my rib cage, trying to get out. I knew John would’ve fought too.
‘You’re as bad as her! I’m not the one who needs to stop lying, both of you need to before it’s too late!’ I yelled.
I retraced the steps that Matt and Jacob had led me through to get to the kitchen, but I ran to my new room. I slammed the door and screamed my heart out as I sat on the bed. Matt and Jacob ran after me, hoping to help me before I hurt myself. They were able to get into my room after I’d slammed the door, since I didn’t barricade the door, and Jacob hugged me as I had stopped screaming. Matt secured the door after them.
‘It’s going to be alright.’ Jacob sighed again and again to soothe me from getting angry again.
I breathed and sighed deeply. Jacob and Matt looked at each other, creating something that would stay longer than our parents staying together. Matt stared into my eyes.
‘They’re meant to care for me as parents. Both of them don’t care anymore.’ I sounded shaky.
‘We’ll sort this out. You’ll be fighter, just like…’ Jacob trailed off.
‘I can be just like he was.’ I pulled the locket out from behind my shirt, ‘It was the last thing I got from John. I haven’t ever been parted with it. He was my Dad to me, better than Mark ever will be.’ I took a shaky breath.
‘No matter what happens, we’ll be together forever, alright? We’ll do it in John’s memory. We must all promise not to say his name again, ok? We don’t want any more arguments. Dad was in pieces after you left from this one.’ Matt smiled weakly, a strong American accent in his words and a slight British accent hidden amongst it.
Jacob and I nodded in agreement, yet I was hesitant and looked at the carpet in a day-dreaming state, wondering what John would have done in this situation. I then noticed a cloaked figure on the balcony, the cloak to the floor. Only I seemed to have noticed them.
‘Wake up, Amy. Please, we need you, Kiddo.’ The voice was back.
‘John’s here.’ I growled.
‘What?’ Jacob asked.
‘Can you see a figure on the balcony?’ I was curious, not taking my eyes off the figure.
‘No. Can you see something?’ Matt asked.
‘Yeah and they have the same voice as John.’ I growled.
‘Let’s go, before the figure you can see comes closer to us.’ Jacob led us out the room.
‘He wouldn’t harm us, Jacob. He’s our brother.’ I pointed out.
The figure had held a hand out to me, but I was led out by Matt. We walked back downstairs to find everything intact and where it should be, except for one thing:
Our parents were missing.
I started to search the living room and the kitchen for our mother. Matt and Jacob did the same for our father.
‘Mum, where are you?’ I called.
‘Dad, where are you?’ Matt and Jacob called in synchronisation.
A white envelope was on the tiled surface next to the sink. Matt picked it up. There were three names on the envelope. It was our three first names. Jacob, Matt and I looked at each other. Matt opened it.
‘What does it say? I was nervous.
‘Here goes. “Matthew, Jacob and Amelia Thomas, We have taken all of your family members. All of your twelve members left in the TSB are scattered across the World for you to find. You have a week to find the first member. The only clue you get is this; Ich wohne in die Doppelhaus.”’ Matt said.
‘What does that mean?’ Jacob asked.
‘The clue means someone lives in a semidetached house, so they would be somewhere in Germany.’ I explained.
‘How do you know this?’ Jacob was shocked.
‘I know this from a place called school. The language is German. I’d recognise the basic stuff from what I did in school.’ I smirked.
‘Where might they go?’ Matt said.
‘We need to think of places in Germany that are big cities.’ I scanned the room for clues.
‘We could try… Berlin? That’s the capital city of Germany.’ Jacob suggested.
‘Yes! Do you remember our cousin, Edward Thomas? Edward mentioned once that he wanted to live in a semidetached house in Berlin, the capital of Germany. We could try there first. Right, we’ll go to bed and then plan where we’ll be going from there in the morning.’ Matt smiled.
I looked at the tiled floor towards the carpet into the lounge. A red stain was on the floor.
‘I think it’ll be harder than that. Matt, we’ve got a problem.’ I pointed at the red stain on the tiled floor.
Matt found a swab tube in the cupboard. He got some of the blood wiped onto the cotton bud and he got it back in the tube. Jacob then cleaned up the rest of it. Matt walked to the wall by the Plasma TV. A machine appeared and Matt inserted the swab. The machine took it and the results came back saying one person’s name: MARK THOMAS.
‘It was Dad.’ I felt broken.
‘We’ll get through this together. We’re a team to the end.’ Matt and Jacob smirked, hoping to comfort their sister.
Matt got us all to walk back upstairs to bed, as he was the eldest of us three. I walked to my room. I laid my body in the crisp sheets and tried to fall asleep once my head hit the pillow. I looked at the photo frame on the bedside table.
I wished some answers would come to me, as the answers were blocked from my understanding what really happened when I was seven years old. There was only one chance to find out what and I had to find the person with that chance. I finally fell asleep. The white curtains over the door to the balcony blew in the wind, my name being called in the same voice again, blowing in the wind entering my room to wake up for real as the cloaked figure watched me sleep before disappearing into nothingness.