I did a collaboration with Timber, so shout out to her! I wrote Liv's POV, and she wrote Zuri's POV. A link to her profile will be in my comment! Kudos to her!!
I glanced up from my science notes as my mom turned on the tv. The newsman comes on and starts talking about the daily announcements. I go back into my notes and don't start listening again until I hear a name that I hadn't heard in so many years.
“Zuri Rivera, a coma patient of seven years, has finally woken up. Missed by her family and friends, she is now in the long and tedious stage of recovery. This story will change the world forever. Letters of encouragement and packages are flooding Fairhope’s Thomas Hospital. We leave that story for more updates later. Now onto the weather.”
I swallowed hard and looked over at my mom. She smiles and nods. I jump up off the couch and resist the urge to cartwheel around the room. My heart pounds against my chest and tears spring at my eyes.
“W-when can we see her?!” I manage, out of breath from jumping around in a circle around the room.
“We’ll go later this afternoon, around 5:00.”
I nodded, my cheeks hurting from smiling, and I darted up the stairs. Once safely in my room, I flop onto my bed and scream into a pillow.
Could this really be happening? Seven years and she was back? Just like that?
I jumped off my bed and ran a few more circles around the room, squealing before ending up in front of my closet. I swung the door open and my eyes darted around, colors and choices jumping around in my head. I flicked through the clothes, my hands shaking and my knees going weak. It differed from any other time I had been excited. I was going to see my best friend again. And this time she was going to be doing more than just breathing.
I pulled open the closet door even further so I could squeeze my hand to the very back of the closet. It was dark and dusty as I felt around, looking for an old purple t-shirt I had gotten a few years ago and never worn. Being that I rarely ever grow and haven’t grown since then, it would probably still fit. My hand slipped on something sharp and I reached for the hanger, wondering what clothes would be sharp? As I pulled it out I sighed, gripping on to the hanger of a dark blue, sequin-covered skirt. The sequins shook and rubbed together, sounding like rain pouring down onto the roof.
“Come on! It’ll look amazing!!!!!”
I laugh and slip on the skirt, and push the bathroom door open, dancing around in a circle and Zuri almost falls on the floor laughing. Zuri grabs my hand and we spin in a circle, getting faster and faster until we fall onto our backs, giggling and rolling all over my carpet.
My grip came loose, and the skirt fell to the floor.
I swallowed hard and took a deep breath.
“It’s fine, Liv. She’s better. She's alive,” I mumbled, forcing my mind away from the memories.
I pulled out my favorite grey sweater and a pair of jeans from one of my drawers and slowly got dressed. My mind slugged through memories as I got ready, everything in my room resembling her. Every little accessory had a memory gripping onto it, refusing to let go.
I walked into my bathroom and opened my drawer, pulling out a blue pouch with my makeup.
I went digging in my drawer for a brush and my hand brushed over a small charm bracelet.
Tears pricked my eyes like a cactus as I stopped and brushed one of my fingers over the cold metal.
I gingerly picked it up and my hand shook as I closed my fist around it. It wouldn't even fit me anymore, only 3 charms still clipped onto it.
A painted yellow rose, a dog, and a BFF charm.
Zuri chose the dog, and I chose the rose.
And on her 7th birthday, we went out and bought the third charm. Then the accident happened a few weeks later. I didn't think I’d ever be the same again.
I run to my room, slamming the door behind me, and collapse onto my bed. My chest burns and my broken arm throbs as I let out a sob, everything aching. Texts, calls; I can hear the phone's ringing downstairs. Nobody knew anything for sure, nobody could reassure me. It feels like I’ve been split in two. She couldn't be hurt. What was wrong with her? Why did this have to happen? No, no. It has to be a dream. A nightmare. Zuri would come through my poster covered door any second. She would wear her giant smile and she would hug me and laugh her amazing laugh. She would promise to never do that. To never leave me. There is a knock on my door and I glance up to see my mom's shining red hair as she quietly walks into my room. She sits next to me on my bed and pulls me close. I bury my head in her lap and let the heavy tears stream down my face.
She runs her long fingers through my hair and nods.
“I know, baby, I know. It’ll be alright. We’ll figure it out."
I threw the charm bracelet across the room, dragging myself out of that memory. It wasn't alright, and we didn't figure it out. No one understood how it felt. Seeing your best friend right next to you, knowing that she could die. Having her lay next to you and not respond to her name. For seven years! They treated it like a foreseen death. Telling me I’m sorry for your loss, she’ll get better.
They didn't get it!
I closed my eyes and tried to calm myself down, splashing my face with water to wash away the tears.
I dried my face and quickly did my makeup, going with the usual neutral look. I stuffed the bag back into my drawer and picked up the charm bracelet off the floor, throwing it into my bathroom and shutting the door, wishing I could throw away some of the memories that lazed around in my brain. Waiting for the right time to knock me over like a wave.
I rubbed my eyes and sighed, shutting the door to my room bedroom and slowly making my way downstairs. My mom stood in the kitchen, throwing things in her bag as I slid into the bathroom. I stood in front of the bathroom mirror, adjusting my wavy copper hair. Would she even recognize me? I thought back to seven years ago, my hair short and straight. My eyes still a deep blue instead of grey. Once I started believing everyone, I shut everything out, refusing to believe that it had happened to me.
Knocks on my door, condolences in my head, tears on my face. Why were they treating it like death?! Zuri was stronger than that. She would get better. Any day now. She wouldn't-wouldn't die. My dad swings my door open with a sorrowful look on his face. I can see the words ready to jump out of his mouth and ruin my life. He sits onto the bed next to me and slips his giant hand into mine.
“Livvy, Zuri has gone into a coma. Do you know what that is?”
My heart stops and I force my tiny head to nod.
My dad rubs my back and smiles grimly.
“The doctors say she’s going to be ok, but she needs some space. We’ve cancelled our visiting plans for today. I’m so sorry, Livs.”
“Sorry.” Apologies became the word that I heard daily after Zuri went under. Every single day people would come up to me. I resisted the urge to punch them. My little 6-year-old brain couldn't cope with people always apologizing for something they would never understand.
My mom put her arm around my shoulder and we walked out the door, my heart in my hands.
No more shallow apologies for my almost dead friend.
She was alive.
“Come on! It’s harmless. We can drive the cart. No one’ll see us! Please!” the girl pleaded.
“Fine.” The two girls hopped onto the golf cart and drove around the dirt field, screaming and cheering. The girl driving was looking at the blond girl instead of forward. They were laughing and talking. Suddenly, the cart flipped, and the girls were with it. One lie there, motionless on the ground. The other was sobbing and calling for help while clutching her bleeding, now-bent arm.
“Help! Someone! Anyone!”
I woke up in a hospital bed, sweating. People in white uniforms were circling me, watching the blurry TV. I looked around the unfamiliar room, stopping at a clock. 4:30.
"Zuri Rivera, a coma patient of seven years, has finally woken up. Missed by her family and friends, she is now in the long and tedious stage of recovery. We leave that story for more updates later. Now onto the weather." Zuri? Who is Zuri? Me?
“W-where am I?” I muttered with a scratchy voice. “Who-who am I?”
Everyone’s gaze now fixed upon me.
“She’s waking up! Get her something!” said a plump woman with brown hair and all-white clothes.
“Whoa, whoa, whoa. Who are you?” I asked with wide eyes.
“I-I’m your nurse,” she replied. “Do you remember anything?” I pondered the thought for a moment. Did I remember anything? What happened to me? Then it hit me, one word. I didn’t know what it meant, but it was all I remembered. Liv. My best friend? Sister? Mom?
“Liv. Liv. What does that mean?” I didn’t try to stop the overwhelming tears in my eyes. Who could she be? The thought was killing me. "Who's Liv? Who's Zuri?"
“Oh, sweetie. Liv, she’s your best friend. Y-you really don’t remember anything? Not even when your family visited you just ten minutes ago? Oh, wait. You were asleep,” a slim lady with red hair answered. "And... Zuri... she's-she's you."
“H-how long have I been asleep? An hour?” I asked. One woman started to sob. Why? I was just taking a nap at... what was this place? My house?
“No, darling. Seven years.”
“Zuri, dear. Someone’s here to see you,” said the plump lady, Beth, as I was swimming in the Hospital pool. The nurses told me I was in a coma for seven years and would not be able to remember anyone or any event in my previous life. Was it basically like dying and coming back to life? Nah. They said I was in a nasty golf cart accident with Liv, but all Liv got was a broken arm.
But, to lift my not-very-high spirits, they told me my passion was swimming, and they agreed to let me swim in the Hospital pool as long as someone was watching me. So Beth took me down to the crystal-clear pool.
“Zuri. It’s Liv,” Beth urged. My heart stopped, as did my tiny body. I blacked out into the depths of the clear pool.
I woke up coughing chlorine water. “L-Liv?”
“I’m here, Zuri. I’m here,” her soft voice said. I relaxed my tense shoulders and sat up.
“Liv? Is it really you,” I said through unexpected salty tears.
“Yeah, Zuri. It’s me,” she replied through her own tears. “I missed you so much! You have no idea.”
“You’re right, I chuckle-coughed. “I do have no idea!”
At that, Liv and I laughed and caught up on everything we’d lost when I was in my dreadful coma.