My brain thumped numbly against my skull, threatening to break through completely. It felt as though all of my impulses were softened by cotton wool, barely touching my skin.

I awoke and opened my eyes… Except that they wouldn’t open. Everything was dark and black; I was suffocated in a parallel medium of dusk.

I attempted to reach out my hands in front of me, to grab something remotely solid in the oppressing darkness, but my arms wouldn’t move. Somehow, my mind was alive in a body which seemed dead.

I tried to speak, but my throat was constricted by invisible hands, tightening on my oesophagus, squeezing any potential sounds out of my body.

I felt my hand gently move, but I hadn’t commanded it. A soft scooping and my hand lay cupped in someone else’s which was warm to the touch, sending little pulses of electricity up and down my arm. I attempted to squeeze back, but it was like trying to cluster thin air.

That was when I heard them speak.

Their voices were deafening to me; their tones erupting like little explosions all over my skin and making it ache. Someone right beside me was sobbing, in little baby soft whispers which soothed the aching in the rest of my immobile being.

‘I don’t know- that van hit her pretty hard’.

‘Yeah but the Doctor said there’s still some brain activity, although minimal’.

‘I don’t care what you guys say, there’s no improvement, look at her, she’s a mess, she can’t speak, move, not even open her eyes’.

‘Shhh keep it down, she can still hear you’.

‘Don’t be ridiculous, she can’t she’s brain dead- she’s gone, you have to realise that!’

The hand holding mine gripped tighter.

‘I don’t care, I am not turning that support off, and that’s final. I believe in her, she will pull through…she has to’.

A silence greater than my own filled my ears and a resonating beep entered my consciousness.

‘I think it would be better if you all left’, I heard the woman holding my hand say, ‘please? I just…I

want some time alone with her’.

A shuffling sound, like the echo of pearls running along a tile floor ensued as the other voices left the room. I felt the hand let go and trace the oval of my face and linger at the limp strands of my hair.

‘Sweetheart, I know you can hear me’, the woman whispered, her voice trembling in a tone that made my heart ache to reach out and pull her to me. ‘You’re going to pull through this, I know you are; you’re gonna wake up and open those beautiful green eyes of yours and see everything that you’re missing. I know you can do this, I believe in you’.

Her last few words were inaudible, barely recognisable utterances as soft sobs in the back of her throat. I felt warm splashes on the surface of my frozen skin, landing like little promises of life all over my exposed arms.

A gentle brush across my forehead and a shadow of warmth flushed my brow as she planted a kiss there. I heard her heels grow faint as she wandered away from me, leaving me even more alone and isolated in my silence.

I pushed all the energy that I could towards my hand and was able to, slowly, ever so slowly, touch the spot where she had breathed some life back into my body.