something was wrong.

the room felt incredibly chilly and it wasn't due to the air-conditioner. it felt like a place of death and maybe it was where someone had died before because she was in a hospital after all. north noticed as well that it was eerily quiet besides from some semi-silent sobbing coming from the boy with blonde hair whose head was buried in the blankets that wrapped around her.

"hey, ben, what's wrong?" her throat was dry and scratchy.

"great, now i'm going crazy." he muttered to himself.

she drew her eyebrows together, confused. "what the hell are you talking about?"

"and now i'm talking to myself. perfect."

with no other choice at hand, she chose to slap the back of his head that caused him to bolt up at once. he stared at her with unblinking eyes, contemplating with himself as tears still continued to stream down his flushed cheeks.

she noticed how bloodshot his eyes were, how red his nose was, how disheveled his hair was that they stuck out in odd places and how he was incredibly pale. something was definitely wrong.

"ben, you're scaring me with all the staring. tell me what's going on?" she urged.

He shook his head, "y-you died north... i don't know if I'm dreaming or just hallucinating right now because how could i be talking to you when you died ten minutes ago?"

"i... what?"

"i need--" he was gasping and crying and his hands were shaking, "i need to wake up. wake up ben! wake up ben!" he was screaming at himself and pulling at his hair and slapping his own face. it frightened her to see her best friend freaking out like this so she jumped out of the hospital bed and pried his hands off of his face and hugged him.

she was crying with him by now. "ben--ben it's okay. it's me, it's north. this isn't a dream--we're awake. we're both awake." she was saying this more to herself than him because she too was scared that she wasn't awake, that she was really dead and this is what the afterlife was like.

he hugged her back, tightly like she was his lifeline. "don't die. don't leave." he cried over and over again into her shoulder.

"i won't, i'm here. i promise i'm not going to leave anymore."

she remembered that little boy she had talked to. it was terrifying to say that they had their conversation in that exact same room she was in right now except it wasn't pitch black nor was it just blindingly white.

for what seemed like forever, they just stood like that, holding each other and wondering to themselves if they would actually wake up any time soon but found themselves beginning to believe that north really was alive. she began to feel alive.

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