A/N: A piece I wrote for university a while back!
She lies utterly still, frail and broken in a hospital bed. James couldn’t believe she was the one in the hospital bed. He’d always seen her as this lively, creative, impulsive girl that he never thought she could look this vulnerable.
How could someone who was always smiling end up like this? James had always loved her smile. It was the first thing he’d noticed about her when he’d first seen her back in year seven. Her hair danced wildly in the harsh winds and yet she didn’t look at all angered. He noticed how bright her eyes were, how real her smile was and when she looked at him, just for that split second, James knew he had to know her. But there was one memory, one shining, golden memory that captured Aria’s essence completely and it was one of James’ favourites.
Her green eyes danced with mischief and her loosely curled light coppery-red hair spun around her shoulders as she twirled in the pouring rain, laughing as she did so.
“Aria!” James called out, exasperatedly, “are you crazy?!”
The seventeen year old girl came to a halt. Shaking her head, she gave him her dimpled smile.
“No!” she laughed, beckoning him over, “come on!”
James shook his head. Aria pouted. James was done for – he couldn’t resist, especially when she had that lost puppy look on her face.
“Please?” she bit her lip, peering at him through her eyelashes, adorably. Defeated, the seventeen year old boy sighed, stepping out into the rain to meet her.
“You’re going to catch a cold,” he stated, putting his hands on her shoulders, “where’s your coat? You’re going to freeze in just this dress.”
“I don’t care,” she whispered, looking up at her best friend, smiling brightly. James sighed, giving her a stern look. Aria in reply just giggled. He rolled his eyes but was unable to contain his own smile, unable to resist her sweet charm.
James wrapped his arms around Aria’s waist as she slipped hers around his neck. For a moment, they just stood there; her green eyes met his grey ones. Then, slowly as if not to ruin the moment, James cupped her face in his hands. He mumbled something along the lines of ‘I love you’ before his lips captured hers. It was perfect in every way. James felt as though his heart was about to explode from his chest, there was a spark and it just felt so right. It was gentle, loving; unlike anything either of them had ever felt before and as James pulled her against his body, her hands running through his hair, James never wanted the moment to end.
Watching her motionless body brings an unbearable amount of pain to James. Leaning down, he kisses her forehead, his tears drop onto her cheek.
“Honey, I know you can hear me, I know you’re still in there, so please just open your eyes for me sweetheart,” he whispers shakily, stroking her cheek. Picking up the guitar that’s by his legs, he starts to strum as flashes of that dreaded day burn through his mind, taunting him, blaminghim for not saving her.
“Sir your girlfriend’s been in an accident, you need to get to the hospital.”
James’ world slowed. It was like he couldn’t move. Stuck. He dropped the camera. Glass shattered. Metal clashed. The woman was still on the phone. Discarding everything, James ran from the studio.
He entered the hospital in a panic, leaving his car parked askew, probably with the door wide open but he didn’t care. The place was spinning. He felt faint. He had to find her. Panic. Floor. What floor?
Intensive care. Can’t breathe. Blood. So much blood. Broken bones. Car accident. Anger. You must wait here sir! Hours. Coma.
Rose petals are laid out on the floor. A single candle glows brightly at the table. Two seventeen year olds sit opposite each other. The boy, James, has raven black tousled hair and grey eyes. He’s dressed in a simple top, black jacket, jeans and boots. The girl, Aria, has loosely curled coppery-red hair and bright green eyes; she’s dressed in a white creamy lace top and creamy light pink skirt and light brown boots. They’re both laughing about something. They’re the kind of couple that are best friends as well and if anyone heard their conversations, they’d think they were insane. James reaches over and takes Aria’s hand. She blushes. He smirks. They kiss.
From a distance there’s a woman. She watches them with a faint smile despite not being able to hear anything. The couple are unfazed by this. Somehow the woman feels connected to them, like she knew them, or had met them somewhere.
“You’re thirsty, I’ll be your rain, you get hurt, I’ll take your pain.”
Confused, the woman turns, up until now she’s heard nothing but now there’s a voice in her head, begging her to listen, pulling her away from the date in front of her. Why can I hear a voice? Whose voice is it? Why do I feel connected to the voice?
She follows and ends up in a hospital room. On the bed she sees a twenty year old version of Aria but here she is unconscious and bandaged. A dull, throbbing pain starts to form in the woman’s head. Her body feels heavy; something about her arm and ribs don’t feel right. What is happening? Why do I feel pain?
She has a sudden urge to rush over to the twenty year old James by Aria’s bedside. His face appears gaunt, pale and tired. The spark in his grey eyes is gone and instead tears stream down his face. He holds Aria’s limp hand in his. The woman can feel his touch. She can feel his lips on her cheek. The only sound the woman can hear is his voice – loud and clear as he sings to Aria.
“My aim is so true, I wanna show you, I’ll try forever, I’m never gonna say surrender. When you heard what I told you, when you get worried I’ll be solider.”
The woman’s confusion grows. Why can I feel him? Why can I hear his voice and only his voice?
“Baby,” James whispers shakily after setting the guitar down, kissing Aria’s forehead, “darling, wake up for me, please. Don’t give up on me.”
The woman steps a little closer, intrigued. Everything feels so familiar.
“I need you, I love you,” he begs, kissing Aria’s hand, “it’s my fault, I should’ve come to get you. God, please, it’s my fault, don’t take her, please don’t take her.”
Aria is unresponsive. Broken. Cold. Still. James’ sobs leave the woman feeling hollow, there was something so harrowing, so haunting about the scene in front of her. She touches James’ hand, the one that holds Aria’s. They don’t feel her touch but that doesn’t matter. She understands now.
“Oh God,” the woman stumbles backwards, fear crawling into her heart.