Annie quickly turns around. She whispered to her from just behind her right ear. While Annie was startled, she was also slightly amused. She never really liked Paige sneaking up on her like that, but then again, when they go long periods of time without acknowledging each other (both can be stubborn) it is very much a welcoming intrusion of sorts. When Annie turned somehow Paige was able to sneak off to another room before Annie could even catch a glimpse of her walking away. Well for now that’s a start to a conversation since the last argument they had was pretty heavy. The arguments were always physically bad for Annie. She actually did throw up when she got so upset. Everything is good now. Annie has gotten a day of puking out of her system and is now ready to make those amends.
She walks off to the kitchen expecting Paige to be making up some coffee and maybe give her a quick ass grab from behind while she fills the coffee pot in the sink. Annie loved playing with Paige those little physical moments of endearment. Annie has never been good with the words, never good with the ladies but on paper she owned the world and her own power back. Paige must have gone up to the bedroom because she is not in the kitchen either. Annie is ok with making the coffee, Paige could never get it right. Always too strong or too weak. One time Paige even forgot to put the coffee in the machine. Quick shower as the coffee brews.
Annie notices that Paige has gone back to bed. She sits next to her and strokes her hair.
“I’m sorry Paige. I don’t even care who is at fault this time or hell I’ll take the blame on this one. I just want us to stop this impasse we have reached and god, actually get back to us. I love you, I’m gonna take a quick shower.”
As Annie walks off she hears a slight whisper of I love you from Paige. Now the day can be good. Things can get back to weirdness again. They love that weirdness. If anything in the ugly world, they have their unnormal and that is their love and that is their world.
Some of Annie’s best ideas and deep contemplation come while she is in the shower. This time though she is plagued with obvious worry. Paige has not been doing very well this time around. Spending a lot of time in bed and when she isn’t in bed she is in even more pain just from going to the bathroom. She will do anything for her, no matter what. If she needs a body part, its hers. If she needs even her own lungs, Annie will be her breath and not fear death. When she fell in love the only option for her in their eternity was to leave this realm before her. Annie could spend the heavens waiting for her up there somewhere but could never spend one minute of the ugly reality of Paige’s death in this realm of demons in human skin. In this world, they were a team against the others and they loved their match. Annie did think it selfish though to leave Paige here in the macabre. They would joke sometimes about a suicide pact. At least then they could write their own endings and could erase the unpredictable. Dark humor amongst themselves was all. They did enjoy their illicit romance toward the morbid.
Annie kisses Paige on the forehead as she heads out for the day.
“Call me if you need anything at all. I don’t care if its pickles, ice cream, or especially, especially, if you’re not feeling too good. I hope you know you’re all I have ever needed. I spent my entire life looking for just you. Paige, there is no such thing as luck with us when we have walked many worlds together already and will walk the millions more. God, all of you is who I am. Try to get up a little and move around. Ok, call me sweetie.”
Annie doesn’t hear a peep from Paige. She looks peaceful in her sleep. Deep somewhere in the dream scape and hopefully somewhere without all the fucking pain. Annie heads to work hoping in some odd way Paige did hear what she had said. It was good, she actually was able to get some words out that were sincere and came from that jaded heart of hers. Annie had her moments but that was few and when it did happen she was proud of it.
All day long the editor has been up Annie’s ass wanting her to edit and reedit all of which she has turned in. Fucking deadlines looming and the asshole can’t seem to make up his mind. Sometimes she wondered if it was a personal thing or he was a manic OCD type of person. It didn’t matter most of the time after she got paid. Hell, that money did set them up for another month’s rent and food in this poverty-stricken time. She could handle any shit with a steady paycheck. Drumming away at the computer she heard her phone buzz against the stack of books piled on her desk. That’s where the fucker was. Paige’s mom is calling and it looks like Annie had missed a few of her calls. Oh, God!
“Annie, you need to get to the hospital now! I had to call the ambulance. Something is wrong with Paige! My Paige!”
Annie hangs up the phone without even a good bye. The editor catches her in the hallway as she runs past without regard to anyone in her way. Either they move or she is plowing them over.
“Hey! Where the hell you going?!” Annie doesn’t even fucking care.
She’s not even sure how fast she is going. Everything outside of the car streaks past in the mirrors. She won’t even stop for cops if they start chasing her down. She’ll explain later. They can arrest her and—The last thing Annie sees is the car pulling out in front of her. Glass shatters into her face. The screech of metal and carpet slam against her legs. The steering wheel chokes her ribs. The sound of her own legs breaking echoes inside bloodied ears. Splintered pieces of glass all around her, blood spits across the windshield………fade to black.
“Uhhh, uhhh,” Annie’s breath is labored a bit as she sickeningly rouses from sleep. The fog is heavy in her eyes and sticky. She blinks several times barely clearing her vision. She begins to make out the roughness of the wall above. A dream, a horrible dream that is all. Wait, wait, what the he—
Her eyes sharpening as more light flushes into her pupils, she is not familiar with the ceiling. It’s not all bumpy from a shitty plaster job like home. Its tiled. No ceiling she has ever seen before. She knows something feels odd, as a matter of fact she can’t feel anything. She hears a door creak open as she thinks to move onto her elbows. She can’t move.
“Oh, I see that you’re up. Any more of those bad dreams?”
“Wha—how—Where am I?” With all the strength she could bring up from inside herself, she utters with a shake in her voice that question she was not wanting to hear the answer too.
“Annie, dear, you were in a car accident six months ago, you were speeding home to your wife and it happened.”
Annie just stares at the doctor with sore crimson eyes. This too has to be a dream, right? The doctor sits down next to her and gently touches the top of her hand. Annie can tell there is more. More that she doesn’t want to hear but knows she will anyway.
“Annie, you’ve been paralyzed from the chest down. Your wife, she passed away while you were in the coma.”
It all comes back to Annie in that instant. It floods her senses in a rush of agony. She never got that chance after the argument that morning to apologize and tell her goodbye. It was that morning when the fight happened they both scowled in hate at one another. She left, she hurried out so pissed off. Never turning around to look at Paige one last time. Then the call from her mom. Annie was always supposed to go before her, that was the deal. She can’t feel her body and now she doesn’t even want to feel her soul. All she has now are the reoccurring nightmares and a good bye on replay that never happened.
It’s not real, it’s not real, it’s not real.