"Are you awake?"
Who's tha- Holy fucking shit. Wow... Ugh...
My head... Fuck... God, fucking jackhammer-
"Hey... can you open your eyes?"
Leave me alone... I... I want to slee... Wait, what? Who's that?
"I guess you can't. That's alright. Just rest. You need your sleep. The doctor will be in to see you tomorro-... well I guess it's later today."
That voice? That voice! Anna? Anna!
I opened my eyes then.
Bright. Blinding. I had to close them again. I tried to sit up but there was something on me, restraining my movements. It held me back. Held me down.
But... Anna! She was so close by. What's going on? Wasn't she shot? Wasn't she dead? Anna... what?
I saw a figure before me. A slender shape in the light, standing somewhere to my side. But-
My eyes searched for her face and our eyes met. Her eyes widened then, and for the first time, I took in the rest of the room.
White. Clean. Spotless. Sterile. A hospital room. I was lying on a tidy little bed in the middle of this large room. An IV stuck into my arm. A gray little machine beside the bed rounding off strange figures and graphs. A series of gray straps ran around the bed, tying me down.
And Anna... she was standing beside the bed. Dressed as a nurse. A little tray in her hands. A vial with crimson liquid beside a syringe and little packs.
I tried to rise again but the straps held me back once again. At the sight of my efforts, Anna took a step back, but didn't retreat.
I called to her. My voice was raspy, but coherent nonetheless. My throat ached strangely, like I was dehydrated. But I had to call her. Anna, I eventually had to spit. I asked her what the hell was going on.
Hey eyes widened further still and her response only confused me:
"How... how did you know my name?"
Then she blinked and she grabbed a little tag that was pinned to her front:
"Ooh. You read my name-tag. Yes. My name is Anna. I'm a nurse at this hospital... "
What? But... what?
She... Anna's a nurse? But... she... How could she be a nurse? She... She... Wasn't she a college freshman? No wait. Beyond that, wasn't she shot? How is she...?
I voiced my questions to her then. I asked her why she was dressed as a nurse. I asked about her wounds. And I tried to ask about Colin. About Monica. About where the hell we were, but her expression silenced me.
Incredulity; she was looking at me as if I were stupid.
"Don't worry. I know you're confused. You... You've been sick, Alex... you... you were infected by Frea-... by a... a variant of Creutzfeldt–Jakob Disease... It's called CJD2S4. A very serious degenerative brain disease... You've been sick for the last month."
What? I've been infected? By CJD2-what the fuck ever? What's that? But... what? What the hell? When did I get infected? I... What... but... Henry? Oh shit, Henry! Is he alive? Did he survive? What about Colin? And his mom... MONICA. Oh my god, was she really infected? Did... did Anna really inject her with infected dog blood???
Too many questions running through a beaten path. My head ached, and my eyes watered just keeping them open. But I had to ask. About my gun shot wounds... about the others... about Anna... about...
What the hell was going on?
"You've been... you were admitted to this hospital a month ago... after you... after... your family..."
A month ago? A MONTH AGO???
What the hell? That... that isn't possible... I...
I asked for the date.
Anna... Anna told me it was Wednesday. The fifth of August. 2009.
One day after Colin shot me. One day since Anna was shot by Colin. One day since I lit the school ablaze...
Impossible. What the fuck is going on?