As I stare out the fogged window, wondering what I'm doing here, my thoughts go back to Saturday night. Oh, Saturday nights are nice.
"Hey, where'd you go?" My mother leans back from her worn-out leather seat and looks at me. Her blue-purple eyes (which I inherited) are staring at my body. "You seem to have left it like a shell. It looks hollow."
I give her a glare that says, Not In the Mood.
She puts her hands up, keeping a fair distance. "Okay, okay Miss Moody Pants," and turns back around.
I pull out my notebook and start writing.
Blank spaces have been left in my head after Saturday night. I only seem to remember select details. Details I truly don't care to remember. I remember...
My dad puts his hand in front of me as a car comes in contact with ours. I slam into the window on my right side. As my dad's head hits the steering wheel, his arm hits the side of the seat, full blast. My mom has hit the side of the window as well. And passed out.
As the light fades from my vision, I sense my pencil tip break.
"She doesn't have full consciousness yet."
"But she has to know!"
"Mister, even if she was awake, the news would be too much stress. She was just in a car crash."
"I don't care! Even if she's not my daughter, I still have sworn protection over her."
"Miss Woodbanks, are you awake?"
I squint my eyes in the bright light. I put my hands on my side. I don't feel my usual soft sweatshirt. I feel a... hospital gown?
"Where am I?" I open my eyes a crack more.
Around me is a room of cream walls and medical machines. Sitting at the foot of my bed is my father, with a cast on his arm and a taped gauze on his forehead. How did that happen? Why am I even here?
"Miss Woodbanks, you are in a state of shock. Everything is okay. You survived a car crash a few days ago. Have been unconscious ever since."
My dad places a hand on my feet. "Hey baby-doll."
I sit up and look around. "Why am I here? What car crash? I don't understand."
My dad tightens his grip on my feet and turns to the nurse. "What does she mean? Why doesn't she remember?"
"When she hit her head on the window, she experienced a serious concussion. The blackout didn't help. It caused her to forget certain things going through her head, including the car crash itself."
My dad stood up and started pacing around the room. Back and forth. Back and forth. "This wasn't supposed to happen. I was supposed to keep her safe!" He hit his good arm against the wall, and sunk to the floor.
I gained some strength and got out of bed. The nurse told me to sit back down but I didn't listen. The plugs and machines hooked up to my body became disconnected but I didn't care. I walk over to my dad and put an arm around him and start to cry.
"I'm sorry Dad. I have failed you in ways I do not know." I stay there, crying in his arms.
He takes his hand and runs it along my hair. "Haley, everything will be okay. I will protect you. Whatever it takes."
Over the next couple weeks, I enrolled in therapy. They tried to help me remember, but I couldn't remember much. They had me keep a diary of things I remembered every day. I had forgotten where I lived, who my friends were, what happened to get me in this hospital. I could remember my mom and dad. I could remember a select Saturday night party, but I don't remember why I was there or what happened at that party. I remember overhearing a small conversation between my dad and a nurse while I was unconscious. But that was about it.
Every day, they had me go to my bathroom mirror and recall who I was, so I wouldn't forget. I am Haley Woodbanks. I am 17 years old. I have hazelnut, long hair with blonde streaks in it. I have blue-purple eyes that I inherited from my mother. A few weeks ago, I was told that I was in a car crash. My mother and father were in the car with me. My mother did not survive. My dad and I are now at a hospital, getting better.
My dad came by my room every day and told me about my old life, my old friends, where we used to live, why we were driving that day. Apparently, we were taking a road trip to Colorado from our home in Iowa to see my family. Right after we crossed the border to Nebraska, we got into a car crash with a family of four. Their family survived, thankfully. We are all now at Nebraska Hospital.
I had started hanging out with the other family's son, Michael. He was 17, just like me, but was at least a foot taller. He had blonde hair and green eyes. We would have lunch in the cafeteria sometimes. He had smashed one of his legs in the crash, and was on crutches.
Every day, I would struggle to remember my old life, and that party that kept coming to mind. My dad kept saying that he had to protect me, but failed. These things troubled me the most, and I couldn't find a way around them.
But the next week I was about to experience would be the most crazy and surprising week I would ever experience.