C1 1. Knowing…
I was sitting on a blue hospital chair. My grandpa was in his hospital room; his condition was something I never liked to speak of. It was our weekly visit; he’d been in a coma for more than three months after the car accident. He never spoke, he never moved, just lay there lifelessly, the slow movement of his chest was the only indication there was still a soul in his body.
We were allowed to go inside one at a time. I never went inside; I didn’t want to see him like that. Maybe it was because of the strong bond I had with my grandfather that I could not accept his condition. I didn’t want to think of him like that. I was waiting outside curled up on a chair, covered with a blanket, reading “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”. It was distracting enough, enough for me not to think.
It was October in Wisconsin; St. George was dressed in white exactly like every other year. I was waiting for my parents for hours, it was getting dark outside, but I didn’t mind. This was hard on my dad, his father was in an extremely bad state of health and even though my dad never admitted it, he was very pessimistic about it. Everybody was. I refused to be anywhere near my family, I would isolate myself from everybody else; I would just hide in a corner and do anything that would take my mind off of things.
It was the only way for me to bear it.
That day though, for some reason I just walked to the glass; the blanket still around my shoulders and the book in hand; I stared at him, I hadn’t seen him in a while. He looked emaciated, his cheeks had sunk, his eyes were deep in their sockets, and he looked pale, dead almost. He was connected to beeping machines and an oxygen mask was over his mouth and nose. His chest rose slowly and dropped back down smoothly – he was still there. There was a soul in this functionless body – my only hope.
“Life is a very fragile thing, April…”
I gasped in surprise; there was someone next to me. Where had he come from? I turned my head to the side, an old man, a stranger. I stared at him in wonder. “No one seems to realize that until it’s too late…” The man continued in a very soft and gentle voice, turning his head to view my grandfather briefly. The brown of my eyes met the blue of his.
He stared at me intensely. I had never seen a blue so deep in my entire life… His face was folded with wrinkles, his talc-white hair came all the way down to his shoulders, but his eyes seemed so young, out of place on his weathered body. They were bright and shining and deep, a beautiful blue unlike anything I’d ever seen; almost not human…
“April, Josephine, Smith,” he murmured to himself, turning to look back at my grandfather. My name; how did he know my name? My heart raced immediately and banged against my ribs. He turned around and leaned in my ear, tucking a strand of hair behind it. I froze; the blood in my veins was running cold. He whispered in a calming, soft melody. “Only you can stop The Whispers…” he breathed. His eyes glimmered under the bright light of the hospital waiting room. The book fell out of my hands responsively, crushing on the hard tile with a loud thud; I was petrified on spot, scared now. “You should be just scared of yourself, not of anybody else…” he musically murmured in my ear and pulled away.
I stared at the floor, trying to find words to reply. I looked up again.
He was gone.