It's my fault

A continuation of when Mia has just woken up as she does at the end of 'If I Stay'. Written from Adam's perspective.

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1. There she is.

There she is, lying in front of me.

Awake.

She isn’t looking at me, but straight up at the wall instead and for a moment I think I can see the desire in her eyes to be anywhere else but here. Perhaps a place before the accident. As she sharply turns her eyes to the window of the room in which she lays, I see bereavement loom over her eyes. She already knows. But how can she know? We haven’t told her… yet. I’m holding her hand so tight, I’m afraid I’m hurting her, but as I squeeze her hand I feel as though pieces in my body are mending. They are healing. Not that I’m the one that needs to be healed, but she’s a part of me that I just came so close to losing.

Three nurses rush to her side, one including Nurse Ramirez. The other two nurse’s mess around with some machines behind her while Nurse Ramirez sits by her side, with a gentle smile on her face like a mother looking at her newly born child.

She whispers to Mia, who is now looking at her. “I knew you could do it.”

Nurse Ramirez nods at me, politely signalling for me to give the nurses and Mia a moment. You and the rest of the family can see her in a short while. I see Mia still looking at Nurse Ramirez, a gentle tear of disbelief dropping from one of her eyes.

As I softly release her hand I feel a salty tear creep into my mouth dissolving on my tongue and I realise that I’m crying too, but I’m not crying for me. I’m crying for her. Crying that her parents will never see her grow up, crying that she’ll never see Teddy grow up, crying about the amazing people that have just departed from her life in a flash.

I’m crying because she’s crying.

*

It was a Sunday night. The band and I just had a group meeting at the local bar and when we finished I was so ready to go home. Almost fatigue, I wasn’t going to stop off at Mia’s house, but she left her scarf in my bag yesterday and she asked me to drop it off on my way back. Her house was only around the corner from where we were, so I did.

As I neared her house I heard blooms of laughter. The cracking-up-on-the-floor sort of laughter. I hopped up the stairs and as I was about to knock the door, it was as though something stopped me. Something stopped me from wanting to disturb their joy together. I decided to peep through the window where I could see the faintest piece of light coming from their almost broken lampshade. They were there - all four of them. Gathered around a coffee table that’d been dragged from besides the sofa to the centre of the living room. I stared at them for a while, despite how fatigue I now was. Their joy kept me there – gazing. They were playing a board game and it was Teddy’s turn to roll the die. He clenched it in his hand, shaking it around and doing a little dance meanwhile, then he blew into his cupped hands and began talking to the die as if he was telling the it which number to fall on. As he dropped the die, they all watched it roll across their wood floor, quickly decreasing in pace until it came to a halt. They all went silent and Teddy’s face dropped in devastation. And again a sudden burst of laughter pierced through their house and Mia moved Teddy’s game piece one space along the board. Mia’s dad’s eyes filled with tears of laughter that held him in such a trance he couldn’t even wipe them away.

How could a family crack up so much over a simple board game? But that’s the beauty of Mia’s family I’ll never forget.

*

I walk backwards towards the door, my eyes fixed on her still, but I feel faint. So faint I can barely manage to stand, so I slide down the wall (now outside of where Mia lays). I feel the heaviness of shame weighing me down as I realise...

…I’m an atrocious human being.

I’m the reason she’s going to have to go through this pain. I’m the reason she’ll wake up every day looking out the window searching for her mom… dad… Teddy. I’m the reason bereavement loomed over her eyes.

I made her stay.

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