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I Caught Myself Smiling While Thinking About You
I heard the gunshot and a scream, then everything went black. So this is what its like to die? It was peaceful, yet eerie. I thought I was screaming, but it was too hard to tell if it was my imagination or reality. My eyes flashed to what I hoped was real life. I saw people rushing and shouting things, white walls, and a wire. The only thing I heard was "You can't let her die, I need her." I had no clue who the voice belonged to. I slowly drifted back into the dark dreamland. I knew there was someone with me, I could feel them watching me. It felt like a hole was being burnt in my chest. I willed myself to open my eyes. I was filled with shock when they actually opened.
"Ohmygawd! She's awake! You guys, she's awake!"
My friends. God I love them, but only Jenn was actually in the room. The others immediately rushed in.
"Jenn?" I managed with a raspy voice,"Wha-what happened?"
"Not right now, when you're fully recovered I'll tell you." she replied.
"How long have y'all been here?"
"Well, you got here at about 1:15 this morning, and it is now 11:30 at night. We got here at about 6. Your cousin was here when we got here!"
"Which one?" I asked curiously. All of my cousins were either under the age of twelve, or lived in California.
"I think he said his name was Brayden," Jenn told me.
"Jenn, I don’t have a cousin named Brayden. Did he say he was coming back?"
"Yeah, he said he was coming back tomorrow." I shook it off and turned to my other friends.
"Aubree we've been so worried about you! The doctor said you were gonna be totally fine!" my friend Stephanie told me.
"How do you feel?" asked Maddie
"Well obviously, she doesn’t feel good, she has a hole in her body," Ava said. The others shot looks at her, Maddie even went far enough as to kick Ava's shin.
"I'm not even going to ask because I know you wont tell me now," I said and closed my eyes. Each of them kissed me on the forehead and left the room. The next time i woke up to a woman praying beside me, and a boy sitting in a chair. The woman was my Aunt Rebecca, the boy I had never seen in my life. He was gorgeous. His honey brown hair fell in his eyes a little bit, his arms were muscular, and looked to be about 6 feet tall. I stirred a little and instantly both my Aunt and the boy snapped their heads to look at me. My Aunt looked so relieved.
Aunt Rebecca has been my legal guardian since I was ten, so seven years now. My parents were in a horrible car accident on their way to my a conference in San Antonio. Aunt Rebecca took me in instantly. She was sweet, but worried way too much.
"Oh my dear Aubree, thank you Lord," my aunt said.
"Hi Auntie," I said.
"How do you feel honey? The doctor said you can start moving around, get on your feet, do you want to try?" she asked me, but I was too interested in the boy.
"Who are you I asked him," ignoring my Auntie. He pointed to him self and I nodded.
"We'll get to that later honey," my Aunt said, "when you can handle it."
"I can handle it now."
"Yeah, Rebecca, she can. Its better now than when she can throw things or hurt me," said the boy.
Aunt Rebecca sighed and stood up from her kneeling position.
"Alright, but you BOTH must remain civil about this, and you CANNOT blame me for any of this Aubree," my aunt said. The boy and I both nodded.
"This," she started, "is Brayden. Brayden's parents and your parents were very close friends in their newly wed years, until you turned two," auntie continued, "Brayden was three at that time. Your parents decided over dinner one night that you two would be married once you, my dear, turned eighteen. Brayden did you want to add anything?"
"Yeah, I only found out about this two days ago, so please don’t be mad at me Aubree." he finished.
I just sat there, in this gloomy hospital room as I processed the fact that I had an arranged marriage. And to some guy that I have never even met before today! What on earth am I going to do? I'm only seventeen; I have a whole life ahead of me. I don’t want to be tied down, at least not yet. But let’s get one thing straight, I will NEVER love this guy.
“Are you kidding me?! An arranged marriage? I don’t even know this kid! He could be a serial killer, or a drug dealer. No offense.”
“Aubree, he comes from a very good family, I’m sure he’s a gentleman,” Auntie said, “I’m going to get coffee. You two get to know each other.”
And with that, I was alone, with my fiancé. I shuddered at the word. Why did my parents have to be so old fashioned.
“So…” I said, breaking the awkward silence.
“Aubree, I know you don’t like me, and frankly I’m not 100% sure about you right now. But I know that our parents just want us to be happy. Right?” he asked me.
“Yeah, well happiness doesn’t always come from an arranged marriage, especially when I’m not even eighteen yet,” I shot back.
“How much do you know about your parents wedding?” Brayden asked me.
“I know that they got married in my grandmas backyard, and that they honeymooned in Brazil, and that they were absolutely head over heels madly in love with each other.”
“Did you know that they were eighteen? And that they also had an arranged marriage?”
I looked at him in disbelief, “How do you know that?” I managed to ask through teary eyes.
“My parents told me. My mom was your mom’s maid of honor & vice versa.” I just shook my head.
“So let me get this straight Brayden. You want us to try this, so that we can live happily ever after like my parents?”
“And mine, they were arranged too,” he added.
“Sorry to rain on your parade, but my parents didn’t live happily ever after…” I said.
“I’m sorry Aubree, I forgot,” he said. He looked embarrassed. Good, he should be.
“Wait, do you know the story?”
“Yeah, my parents, remember?” He told me.
“Oh, so you probably know why I’m here then…?”
“Actually no, nobody told me. They said that when you were ready you would tell me.”
“Well, it’s a good thing I don’t remember…”
“It’s the pain meds. Do you want to go walk around? It might make you feel better,” He suggested. Brayden flashed a smile, and I melted right there. This was going to be hard to hate such a gorgeous human being.
“Sure,” I sighed.
I sat up and swung my feet over the side of the bed. Brayden rushed over to help me up. When he took my hand something inside me turned on. My stomach got a weird feeling, and the place where Brayden was touching me was burning and tingling, but I didn’t want it to stop. What was going on...
It felt weird to stand up. My legs wobbled and I nearly fell over. Brayden caught me and looped his arm through mine. I smiled a little, and saw Brayden smirk out of the corner of my eye. I dragged my IV along with me as we walked through the dull, depressing hospital hallways. We walked slowly, and Brayden was careful with me. I saw so many people who were so much worse off than me, and may never leave the hospital. At that, the tears began to come. I wasn’t bawling, just a few tears. I just nod when Brayden asks if I’m alright. We finished our walk and my aunt Rebecca smiled at us when we walked in the room.
“Well it looks like you two are getting along pretty well,” she said as Brayden helped me back into the hospital bed. I know he broke out into an ear to ear smile when I said, “Yeah, he’s not half bad.” Not much of a compliment if you ask me, but to him it was. With that I closed my eyes and fell asleep. I dreamt about Brayden, and myself. When I woke up to Brayden and Auntie asleep in chairs, I caught myself smiling.