Hoping for a Better Day

Hope's best friends and sister were all taken from her in two days. Just two days. That's all it takes for her life to fall apart.

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1. One

I refuse to believe it.

My name is Hope.

It just can't be true.

I am 25 years old.

There is no way that happened.

I am a medical ninja.

It was a bad dream.

According to my medical ninjutsu master, I'm one of the best.

I'm going to wake up any time now and realise it was a bad dream.

And yet...

No. No, please no...

Why couldn't I save them?

Hikaru. Haruka.

My best friends.

Faith...

o0o0o

"No!" I scream, bolting upright in bed. My hands go to my hair and I pull at it, and I realise I'm sweating. My eyes are wide, and I'm trying to make the horrible nightmare go away. But it just won't.

Tears begin to fall down my face in a steady stream. My bedroom door slams open and my mother rushes in. She sits on the bed next to me and I fall into her open arms, sobbing. She's crying too, but she strokes my hair and kisses the top of my head.

"Shh, honey." She whispers, still stroking my hair. "Calm down. Everything's going to be okay. I promise."

But I know that those are just empty words. Everything's not going to be okay, and I know it.

I'm not going to be okay. And I never will be.

o0o0o

When I wake up again the next morning, I'm laying down again in my bed. I can hear birds chirping outside my window, but I don't move. I just lie there, staring at the ceiling. I notice that a sliver of sunlight is coming through a crack in my curtains. I turn my head sideways to see a picture frame on my bedside table next to a glass of water. I ignore the water and slowly reach out and close my hand over the frame. I struggle to sit up in bed, my back leaning against the pillows. I hold the picture out in front of me and study it.

In the picture is four people. On the left is Hikaru, a cheeky boy with black hair, brown eyes and a goofy expression, wearing typical ninja getup. Next to him Haruka, a kind boy with pale blue hair and matching eyes, also clad in ninja getup, winking at the camera. Beside him is me, with waist-long platinum-blonde hair and sea-blue eyes, wearing a lilac top that exposed my stomach and sleeves that stopped just before my elbows, and blue jean shorts, giving a big smile. And then there's Faith, my sister, with white-blonde hair done up in a messy bun and eyes the lightest brown, with an open black leather jacket that exposed a blood-red singlet, wearing leather pants. She was giving a small, rare smile.

My eyes settle on Faith's face and her beautiful smile and the tears start again. I hug the photo to my chest and bring my knees up to my chest, like I'm protecting the picture from harm.

But I'm the one who has always needed protection. I'm a medical ninja, and that's all I am. I'm always in the middle of the group, being shielded from danger. I know that I'm the only one that could heal them, but I was a burden. Just another thing that needs protecting.

And if it weren't for me, Hikaru and Haruka and Faith would still be alive.

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