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The next chapter of my life opened quietly, like it was trying to creep by me so that it could set up the horrible stuff I would have to suffer through before I realised it. It also marked the end of the comfortable routine I had sunk into over the years, and the start of something big - my life ended. Literally.
You know how sometimes it takes more than a second for something big to sink in?
This took more than that. Every time I closed my eyes, I'd wonder if I had been dreaming all this while. Maybe the next time I opened those two plain brown irises I see with, I would be back to being a normal 16 year old whose biggest problem was how to get her crush to notice her, and not dodging the omnipresent demons of Hell.
I missed the sun, and the way my mum loved to make me wake up for a sunrise on weekends because she thinks I'd have wasted my day otherwise... and even my dad, who's never really around these days. Though I guess I wouldn't know whether he was around more now, being dead and all.
My brother, Thomas, who'd gone the smart route and chose the furthest college he could find (that meant the other side of the world), would know better. Or probably not. I envied him, with his genius intellect and his dashing (puke) good looks. He charmed everyone he met, including all of the girls at our high school. I'm guessing they were hoping that I would have that same charm, or at least his smarts, and were sorely disappointed to see that I didn't turn out the same as he did.
I didn't have his golden blonde locks (mine was, sadly, stubbornly black, like my mother's), or his mesmerising (according to my best friend, Jessie) blue eyes, and I certainly did not share his love for books. My brother had inherited my mother's love for academics and my father's looks. If not for his nose, you'd never tell that my mum and my brother were related. Just like you couldn't tell that we were related. I'd gotten the typical Chinese black hair and brown eyes (though they sometimes turned hazel) from my mum.
It wasn't that I didn't love my mixed heritage. I just wished I could look more... special, like mixed kids usually do. But I just looked Chinese, the other side of my family be damned.
The one redeeming factor that I had was that I could play the piano and sing fairly well, but what good was that now? I'm dead, and God knows I haven't heard any form of music since I arrived, and that was... weeks ago? I couldn't tell. Time seemed to stand still in Hell.
I hummed a tune just to fill the overwhelming silence, then heard a low groan coming from my right.
"Sorry. Did I wake you?"
I forgot I was nursing a patient. I forgot things sometimes, when I think too much. He was new here, but he was older than I was. It was only by a few years, I could tell, but that didn't stop him from trying to boss me around. Unlike me, he knew how he had died, and why he ended up here. Of course, he refused to tell me a thing.
I, on the other hand, only remember closing my eyes to darkness clouding my vision, and opening them to the same darkness that clouded my vision. You can hardly blame me for thinking that I was dreaming, can you?
"You hum nice," he said begrudgingly, "But keep it down, will you? The dying patient is trying to sleep."
"Right," I couldn't help saying, "You won't die. In case you haven't noticed, Matthew darling, you're already dead."
I had thought, being dead and all, that you don't bleed here in Hell, but then he tried to save me in a situation in which I was completely in control yesterday before he barged in trying to play hero, and I realised I'd been wrong.
You still bleed in a world where you don't need to breathe, and you still have to hide from the dangers that lurk around you. You still have to do things like eat, even though you technically didn't have a pulse.
You still have to move on. Only how can I?
Just yesterday, I met the most annoying man I have ever known, and probably the only man I would ever know in this godforsaken place. And today I have to take care of him because he got stabbed in the gut by the vapory black shards the demons had in place of hands while trying to get me away. I pretty much had it under control, if you ask me. I would have jumped up the windows - gravity doesn't work like it does on Earth here - and navigated through the 18th Century styled buildings until I reached the safehouse - my safehouse - which was where we were at now.