- “Hanako! It’s late, time for bed.”
- “Hold on, I’m almost done with this chapter...”
- I’m deep in a new book, and almost done with the third chapter. An American pilot was shot at by Russian troops, and he was downed in...Siberia? I think that’s it. My eyes are burning from being so tired, and strained from using nothing more than and worn, old book light under the covers of my bed. Not to mention my long hair keeps getting in my face, my head being held down.
- “Hanako! It’s really late – your father is already asleep in bed, like you should be.”
- “Ok, Mom, I’m going to bed now!”
- I turn off my book light – or try to, the thing is so worn it’ll sometimes turn on by itself. Sometimes it will feel warm in my hands after using it for a while. I really need to get a new one. I manage to get the light to turn off and wrap myself in the covers as tight as I can, trying to keep my unruly hair out of my nose so I can breathe easy. I get comfortable on my pillow, and close my eyes, waiting for sleep to take me away to the realm of dreams.
- Something’s wrong. There is an unusual smell wafting through the air, and I feel strangely warm, almost hot.
- “HANAKO! HANAAAAKOOOOOO!! OPEN THE DOOR, WAKE UP!!!”
- I bolt out of sleep, and can barely see half of my room lit orange through the thick wall of smoke. I’m coughing profusely and my eyes are tearing up. I jump out of my bed and stand up in the smoke, hot as an oven, and try to get to my door through memory. I touch the door handle – Ow! Hot!! I cover my hand in my long sleeve and quickly open the door. My dad is on the other side, and immediately grabs me.
- “Hanako! We need to get out, NOW! Your mother is downstairs, we’ll follow her.”
- He picks me up, carrying me as he runs down the hall, avoiding hot embers that are scattered on the floor. We’re coughing, our sight blinded, the heat is intolerable. Dad manages to find the stairs and flies down them and heads towards the front door. Mom is there, trying to open the door, but the door handle is hot like my room’s handle was. Dad hands me over to Mom, and starts ramming the door with his shoulder. He isn't by any means a strong man, and I can hear him breathing deeply between tries. He is finally able to create a large crack. He rams the door one more time, this time breaking through and falling outside. Just as my Mom is about to head through, we hear a deafening crack from the ceiling. The room above us falls through – my room.
- I hear beeps. Rhythmic beeps. The right side of my body feels hot, but my left side is cool, almost cold. My eyes sting and my ears are ringing. Through the tears my eyes make in reaction, I can see I‘m in a white room, some kind of mask is on my face. I can make out a door, and see the silhouettes of two people talking.
- “House fire? This is so tragic. Its days like this when I really hate my job.”
- “I know what you mean. The child really had some great parents. They sacrificed themselves to save her. The mom was holding the child when they were leaving, and the father was waiting just outside. Unfortunately, the room above collapsed on them. When the room fell in, the mother held the child close to her, and received most of the impact, killing her. The father was also hit, but not as bad. Unfortunately, we couldn’t save him. His lungs were too far damaged.”
- “What about the child?”
- “The mother had absorbed much of the impact, so her daughter only received some bruising. However, she wasn’t completely covered, and most of her right side is very badly burned. She almost didn’t make it.”
- “How did the fire start?”
- “It started in the daughter’s room. We don’t know if faulty wiring, but something in there was definitely the cause.”
- I can’t control myself. I start shaking and crying uncontrollably. I my crying alerts one of the people outside, and they both come rushing in.
- “Good, she’s conscious. Hello there, I’m Dr. Kosuga. I’m very glad you’re awake. You are going to be just fine. I’m so sorry for what you have experienced. There was nothing you could’ve done to prevent this, don’t blame yourself.”
- It’s far too late for that. I don't even hear what he says next. I can only think of my parents. Everything I have ever known and loved, I've destroyed. Why couldn't I have died from the fire as well? Why couldn't I have died in their place? Why gives me the right to live?
Sharkmanv3 Apr 11th, 2012 631 Never
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