Remember Me(100)

By: Ashlee Mallory

His legs almost buckled with relief.

She was okay. Thank God.

Allie opened her eyes. The cobwebs that had clung to her dreams, preventing full consciousness, had finally lifted away. Her mouth and throat were dry as the Salt Flats, and she ran her tongue across her crackled lips wishing for water.

Where was she?

The last thing she remembered was blood. Her own. Flowing into the warm water surrounding her. Pain. Señora Sanchez. And…a deep, worried voice. Telling her over and over to hang in there. That she would be okay. That she had to live.

Sam’s voice? Sam’s hand?

Or maybe it had just been the EMT…

In an instant, everything came back to her. Jesus. She should be dead. But for some reason…she wasn’t. She was in a hospital room.

She looked around and saw Laney sitting in a chair next to the bed, skimming through a magazine. She must have sensed something because she looked up and met Allie’s gaze. The magazine dropped to the floor as Laney squealed and jumped up to give her a hug. Allie tried to lift her arms to hold her sister, but they were too weak.

“Oh, Allie. I am so sorry.” Laney choked up. She grasped Allie’s hand and held it tight. “I’ve been telling myself the past couple of days how stupid I was to be angry at you, and I almost lost you before I could tell you. I love you, and I know what you told me before, you told me because you love me.”

“It’s true,” Allie barely managed to scratch out. She struggled to swallow. “Water?”

Laney was out the door in a flash. Allie almost smiled, but the effort hurt her lips. She closed her eyes as they filled, flooded by feelings of immense gratitude and joy to be alive. She would never take anything—life, family, those she loved—for granted, ever again.

Moments later, Laney was back with some ice chips. “A nurse is on the way. Mom’s downstairs in the cafeteria and will be right up.”

She eased a few of the icy shards into Allie’s mouth. The cool moisture was like a drop of water on a frying pan. Not nearly enough. But she sucked on it blissfully.

They were quiet for a time, until Allie could finally speak again. “You’re holding up okay? Have you talked to Mark yet?”

Laney laughed and shook her head. “Me? Well, considering I wasn’t the one who was nearly slaughtered by a homicidal maniac, I’d say I’m doing better than okay.” Her smile grew somber. “However… Mark’s moved out. Until we can figure things out. We’re going to start some sessions with our bishop next Tuesday.” She glanced uneasily at the door. “But I haven’t told my mother yet. I’m hoping I won’t have to.”

Allie nodded. All in good time. It was a start.

“Okay,” she said and let out a long breath. “So, what happened to me, anyway? I only remember bits and pieces.”

Laney glanced around the room as if looking for an escape. “Oh, Allie, don’t worry about that now. I’m sure the police will go over all that stuff with you. Where’s Mom?” She glanced in earnest at the door.

“I’m here, dear— Oh!” Peg cried as she came in and saw Allie was awake. She hurried to the bed, gave her a kiss on the cheek, and placed her hand across Allie’s forehead. “Thank goodness you’re awake. I have to phone your father. He’s been so worried.”

“Peg,” Allie said seriously. “I want to know what happened to me.”

It took a lot of back and forth between Laney and Peg, but Allie finally pieced together what had happened between the time she’d left that message for Sam and waking up here in the hospital.

At hearing that Javier had come to the hospital and tried to smother her while she was still unconscious, she shivered and drew the thin hospital blanket tighter around her. She couldn’t think about that right now. It was too disturbing.