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Grade
9

Simon, 2038

 

The first day of my life that I can remember is the day that Toby was hit by a car. As bad as I’m sure I felt that day, though, that isn’t why I remember it. If Mom had taken him to any other hospital, I’m sure I would’ve forgotten the day just like all the others before it. I was only five, after all.

 

It’s been twenty years, and I haven’t forgotten.

 

Mary Beth, 2018

 

The bed is hard and small. Too small. I don’t like it here. I want to go home.

 

Simon, 2038

 

The car sputtered a few times, then came to life. I had eagerly awaited my first ride in the front seat, and now that Toby was lying down, spread over all of the seats in the back, I finally had my chance. For Toby’s sake, I tried not to enjoy it. Since he was older, he had always wanted to be the first to watch the road up close. I decided not to tell him once he woke up that I had beat him to it.

 

Mary Beth, 2018

 

The people come and go. They say things to me, but I don’t know what language they speak. I can’t possibly be in the United States anymore. These people all wear brightly colored baggy clothes, and the shirt always matches the pants. Sometimes they wear paper masks over their mouths when they come near me. Also, they like to poke me with sharp, pointy silver things, and attach small tubes to my arm. Maybe this is their way of inviting me into their tribe. I don’t like them very much.

 

Simon, 2038

 

Mom pulled up to the curb outside of the emergency room entrance. People rushed up to the car, eased Toby into a wheelchair, and rushed him inside. Tears streamed down Mom’s cheeks as she followed quickly behind, pulling me along with her. I had to run to keep up with her giant footsteps.

 

Mary Beth, 2018

 

They took away all my things. Or maybe they didn’t and I just can’t find them because my legs aren’t working. If my legs worked, I could run away. They gave me books, but I can’t read them. Maybe the words are broken. I think I could read before I came here.

 

Simon, 2038

 

The chair I sat in was stiff and wooden and too tall for my short legs to rest on the ground. Mom’s eyes were red the whole time, and she seemed so sad, even though the people that took Toby said he would be okay.

I started to swing my legs back and forth, and Mom didn’t tell me to stop. She just stared straight ahead.

 

Mary Beth, 2018

 

The only good thing I’ve gotten out of being here is my notebook. They gave it to me a few days ago, and I’ve been writing down everything that happens to me in it. Maybe someday I can sell it and become famous for my adventures, but first I have to escape from here. If only my legs worked.

 

Simon, 2038

 

Things calmed down a bit once Toby was admitted to the hospital. He had a big room and his own bathroom and a TV, and there was a remote with a button that could make a nurse come right to his room. After I pressed the button on the remote seventeen times, a nurse led me out of Toby’s room and into a room that was filled with toys and games and another TV. He played video games with me for a while, until a boy with no hair came in and asked to play. There were only two remotes, so I went to play with a toy train I saw in the corner. That is, until I noticed that the door to the hallway was open.

 

Mary Beth, 2018

 

They keep taking my notebook and reading what I wrote in it. Actually, I don’t think they can read it. They always give each other confused looks, and then they look right at me and sigh. This behavior is perplexing. I wish I could ask them about it. Every time I try, though, they just stare at me. Like I’m the crazy one.

 

Simon, 2038

 

I slipped into the hallway soundlessly. Every time I saw a doctor or a nurse, I hid. At first I was looking for Toby’s room, but I became hopelessly lost in the maze of hallways.

I was just about to give up and call out to find someone to help me when I heard it. It was soft at first, but as I walked closer to the sound it grew louder and louder until I found myself outside of a door that was barely open. The door was heavy, but I  pushed it as hard as I could, and it creaked open.

 

Mary Beth, 2018

 

There is a boy in my room. He is small and short, even shorter than me. He seems to be out of place here, because he isn’t wearing the strange, colorful clothes that the large people wear. Perhaps he is not here by choice, like me.

No, that can’t be right. They have made me wear long, baggy shirts that have strings in the back holding them together. The one I am wearing right now has little pictures of cartoon clowns on it. He is wearing clothes that are too big for him, but perhaps that is just because he is so small. I wonder who he is.

 

Simon, 2038

 

The room was a lot like Toby’s, all except for the fact that it contained neither Toby nor Mom. Instead, the bed contained a small girl. The sound I had heard turned out to be her murmuring to herself. Her eyes were glazed, but she stared at me, not blinking. I can remember saying “What’s your name?”

 

Mary Beth, 2018

 

No. No, no, no, no. He is one of them. He speaks their language.  This is some elaborate trick to get me to let my guard down.

 

Wait. Now I can remember. He asked me a question. He asked my name, and I understood him.

 

Simon, 2038

 

I told her everything about me. My name, my age, what my kindergarten class had been doing for a science project. I asked to know everything about her. She just stared at me and scribbled in a notebook as I pestered her with questions. I talked on and on, for what felt like hours, but must have been two minutes. I stopped talking when I heard footsteps outside the door.

 

Mary Beth, 2018

 

He said something. He said something and I heard it. He said many things after, and is still saying them now, but I can’t understand him. But I did. I’m trying to tell him my name, but my mouth won’t work. I have to try harder. I have to. I have to. Say it. Say it. Say it.

Say it.

 

Simon, 2038

 

The nurse from the video game room was out of breath and looked slightly panicked as he burst into the room to pull me away from the girl in the bed. “You can’t be in here,” he said. “How did you even get in?”

“Mary Beth!” yelled the girl in the bed, and the nurse must have lept a foot in the air. “Someone! Come quick!” he yelled. “She…. she’s awake!”

Mary Beth stared at me, wide eyed. That was when I noticed it. He eyes were no longer glazed. They were clear.

 

Mary Beth, 2018

 

I said it! I did! I really did! Everyone is yelling. The boy is smiling. Everything is good.

Wait. I know where I am. They brought me here. So I can get better. I don’t know why I forgot. It all seems so clear now.

 

Simon, 2038

 

They were all talking at once. “I never thought…” “For her to say her name… seems impossible. Are you sure…” “... yes, we’ll have to let her family know…” “Amazing! Simply amazing!”

I just stared at Mary Beth. I could tell she was happy.

 

Mary Beth, 2018

 

Something is wrong. It’s all going away. I want to keep everything that I know, but it’s leaving. Everything is running away.

 

Simon, 2038

 

I was the first one to notice it. The doctors caught on quickly.  Her eyes began to unfocus. She was fading away.

 

Mary Beth, 2018

 

The strange people are all staring at me. I wonder why they are doing that. I just want to be left alone. I don’t like them very much.

 

Simon, 2038

 

“That’s all I can really remember about that day. After that, I just know that I must have been escorted out of Mary Beth’s room. They must have brought me back to Mom. We must have gone home together.”

“Please, I just need to know if she’s here. My searches have lead me to this place. Please, just tell me. I need to know if she’s okay.”

 

Mary Beth, 2038

 

The bed is hard and small. Too small. I don’t like it here. I want to go home.

 

State
MI
Zip Code
48105