“Waiting On the Other Side, 5”

by Brianna G. Harte

As I came back to myself, a breeze freshened my soul just a little. The feeling left behind was warm and comforting, though not entirely satisfying. It awakened curiosity. What happened afterwards? How did I sustain bruises evident on my still form upon the simple plastic beds? A smile peeking onto my face for a few seconds disappeared as another question creeped into my heart.

“Jess? Where’s Harrison?”

My sister wouldn’t lift her head.

Out of frustration, I moved to face her. My hands reached out to her shoulders. For a mere fraction of a second, it was as though they made contact. No fingers passed through at that moment and, while perhaps unrelated, Jess gasped. Promptly, my hand disappeared beneath her body. I recoiled in horror, melting into an empty sorrow while I hugged myself.

“Please, Jess! Hear me!” Once I noticed Jess’ indifference, my head bent downward. “Alright then.” I was an adult, one with a sweet little boy. And I wished I could cry. Arms stretched wide, I slowly gave a hug. I stopped short of truly reaching her. It would be far too painful to go through. In that moment, a warm spark ran from my chest to my fingertips. Releasing myself from Jess, I backed away without touching the floor.

“Take care.”

With that, I disappeared through the walls of the emergency room. A parking lot greeted me, and just beyond it, so did a field of grass dotted with color. They came into view as I shifted forward, transforming into fallen leaves. An image of a large pile of them, taller than my boy, came to mind. A rake would be propped against one of the nearly barren trees. A youthful laughter echoed. Despite the emptiness hollowing me out from the inside, I still willed to hear a child. I shook my head at the thought. Still, I could not help myself imagining days when I would clear the yard and Harrison would crash into it, exploding with pure joy. Another laugh, light and cheery, pierced through the silence. This time, I was fairly certain it was real.

“Harrison?”

I began to rush toward the sound.

I flew like the wind, rushing through the forest, nothing to stop me. “Harrison!”

Copyright © 2016 Brianna G. Harte. All rights reserved.

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