Oblivion - Jessica Wood

Oblivion

by

Jessica Wood

CHAPTER ONE

Tears streamed down my face as I ran into my bedroom and slammed the door behind me. I reached for my diary—the familiar pink leather journal that was filled with my deepest thoughts. My shaky fingers pulled the gold fabric ribbon page marker, taking me to my last entry, and I began to frantically scribble down everything I was feeling at that moment—all the pain and fear that raced inside me as the screaming escalated an octave higher between my parents outside of my room.

They’re fighting again. It’s been happening more and more frequently, each time worse than the day before.

I wish they weren’t so unhappy. I wish my parents didn’t hate each other so much. I wish I was anyone else but myself right now. I wish I was anywhere else but here.

As if hearing my thoughts, I heard my father roar, “If you want a fucking divorce, you can have it! But I’m going to warn you just this once: if you walk out of that door, don’t ever think about coming back again!”

“I don’t plan on it!” I heard my mother spit back. “I’m leaving first thing tomorrow, and I’m taking Liv with me!”

“No!” I cried, my mind racing as I thought about everything I was about to lose.

Just then, my room and the pink leather diary in my hand faded away into the background as my consciousness registered a soft, steady beeping in the distance. What is that?

When I turned toward the sound, I found myself running across a familiar street in the middle of the night. I was wearing a jewel-encrusted blush-pink evening gown that weighed down on my body and restricted my movement. The air was bitter cold and cutting, but the adrenaline that coursed inside me seemed to shelter me from the cold like a numbing blanket.

Suddenly, I saw two bright, blinding headlights coming toward me at high speed. The sharp screeching of car tires filled the air, drowning out all other noise. I felt the impact of cold metal against my body as I was lifelessly flung sideways against the solid pavement.

I braced myself for the impact of the pain that would greet my body.

But it didn’t come.

Instead, the steady beeping returned, but this time, it seemed closer, louder.

Then a hushed conversation seeped through my consciousness.

“There’s nothing we can do for her right now, Mr. Brady. As you know she has suffered some head injuries from the accident, so all we can do right now is to wait for her to wake up and see from there.” The female voice seemed miles away, but for some reason, I knew she was talking about me.

“Okay. Thank you.” The man’s voice was strained and low as I heard him walk in my direction.

I felt my head throb in pain, in time with that unnerving beeping that became increasingly louder.

“She’s very lucky to have someone like you to visit and be by her side every day. You must really care about her.”

“Yeah. I do.” The male voice was closer than before.

Then I felt a warm hand on mine, bringing me into the present. My mind registered the bed I was lying on. The smell of stale, chlorine air invaded my senses. The beeping came into focus and I could hear it coming from a machine a foot away from me. Am I in a hospital?

My fingers twitched as I tried to move my body.

“Nurse!” the man’s voice cried out in alarm. “I think I felt her move.”

My eyes fluttered open and closed, struggling against the heaviness of my lids and the blinding lights that stung my eyes.

“I think she’s waking up!” The man squeezed my hand as he inched closer to my face. “Liv?”

“Mr. Brady, let’s give her some room.” The man loosened his grip on me and I heard him move away.

I opened my eyes again, and this time, it was easier. My vision was blurred as I looked around, but I could detect two figures close by.

“Ms. Stuart?” The female voice was gentle as she moved toward me.

“Where am I?” I blinked and after a couple of seconds, her face came into focus. “Who are you?” I looked around the room and found myself in a surprisingly large and luxurious hospital room.

“Ms. Stuart, you were in an accident and you’re at The Pavilion, a private in-patient hospital unit at the University of Pennsylvania hospital. I’m Nurse Betty and I’ve been taking care of you.”

“An accident.” I repeated her words and tried to