'Hanna,' I heard the whisper shout. The face appeared, the black cotton of the mask stretching with their words. A black gloved hand stroked my face, moving my blonde hair from my face. Pain. I felt so much pain. The words like an echo lost in the sea. I turned to Ali but she was gone. In fact the whole fire was gone. The forest had disappeared. Just me and the voice. 'Hanna?' the voice repeated but with a softness. I opened my eyes awaiting heaven. As if I am worthy to be accepted there. This time the white light was dull, until I realised it was the whiteness of the room. Then a chorus of beeps filled the air.
A woman was holding my hand and I could feel how tense she was. 'Mom?' I murmured, my throat still dry as hell. Tears started to form as I pulled her into a small hug. I turned onto my side, trying to raise my head for a clearer look around the room. Atleast I think it was her; she was wearing a dark top and Mom jeans and...sneakers? 'When did you become such a Mom? Like seriously, how long was I out for?' I smiled - well I tried to but I could barely move. My eyes then scanned the other people in the room. Aria, Spencer and Emily. They looked pale. As if they expected me to be like Alison was a year ago.
'I was cleaning the house out when I got the call. Do you remember what happened at all, Honey?' she asked. I shook my head and squeezed my eyes shut as if it was blank. If I said I remembered then I'm sure there would be lots of questions - too many questions. 'Well, there was a forest fire and you were found passed out by a stranger.' There was a knock at the door as the doctor came in with a clipboard. The door's sign with the number A35 shifted as it shut. A. The letter filled up the empty space of my brain like it was the answer to everything.
I sat up, taking a sip of water from a clear plastic cup left beside my bed as the doctor scanned my heartbeat. I glanced at the bottom of the cup, the light hitting the engravings at the bottom. I could see obvious scratchmarks, the rough letters coloured in black marker pen for emphasis.
Liar liar pants on fire, oh wait... - A.
'A,' I breathed, grasping at my throat where I could feel the smoke again. I didn't realise I had said anything until the girls stood around me looking around the room for any clue. I quickly placed the cup back on the table with a bang, knocking it to the floor. Spencer bent down and picked it up, twisting the cup in her hands like a detective. Her mouth parted into an 'o' shape. The doctor turned to me from the machine and placed some instrument to my head. She began to ask routine questions. What's your name? What year is it? Are you a radioactive werewolf - which I probably looked like? Okay, I made the last one up. Soon the questions finished and the doctor ushered my Mom outside to, I guess, discuss the future of my health. As soon as the door shut, Spencer passed the cup to Aria who had the same expression.
'Was it A that did this to you?' Aria whispered, grasping my arm. Her big dark eyes stared into mine with so much emphathy that my eyes began to sting with tears.
'Hannah we were so worried. We thought -' Spencer said, crossing her arms over her chest, looking out of the window. She walked to the window and started to twist the blinds as if in a daydream.
'So, what happened?' Emily asked, sitting on the edge of my bed.
I glanced down at my wrist. My arm was bruised badly. The bracelet was still there, thankfully. Closing my eyes I touched the material. 'I don't remember much before I woke up. I remember that I saw A last night and I am pretty sure the fire was not an accident. The letter A was carved in the ground like some kind of joke. The rest was a blur. Then, I woke up,' I said, staring at the word Hanna in order to avoid the gaze of the others. Risking a glance, I could see their eyes looking at mine with horror.
'Oh my God, Hanna! We should have gone with you,' Spencer shuddered. I felt my body shake as the tears rolled down my cheeks. I wish I could have asked more questions. I wish I could tell them who A was. I wish Alison would let me tell them that she's alive.
Suddenly a phone buzzed across the room, the ringtone breaking the silence. I wanted to scream not to answer that but they would know something was wrong. Spencer flipped her phone open and her mouth parted open. No, no, no. 'Just Dad telling me about some big dinner party tonight. I'm so sorry Hanna. I'll just ignore it,' she suggested. Relief flooded into me.
'No, you guys should go. You've been here for hours and I can't thank you enough. Seriously, it's just a few stitches and cuts. No biggie. I kind of need some rest anyways. You know, beauty sleep,' I yawned, putting my back towards them. 'Just don't forget my makeup tomorrow. I can't see all the hot boys like this,' I laughed, tugging my blanket up to my neck trying to keep warm. I heard the door shut and muffled voices outside.
Then another buzz occured. My phone. I turned to see it sitting on the table, looking unscratched and mudfree which was the opposite of me. An unknown number popped up. I unlocked the screen, seeing a few messages from people at school including Mona and Sean. I hesitated but I pressed on the newest message
I told you everything was going to be okay, my darling. C'mon it wouldn't be me without a huge drama.
Alison. She was alive.