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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

FICTION: Beads Part 5: "Fear"

Published: March 11, 2005
Section: Arts, Etc.

She woke with a start. Her body felt heavy, weighing down on the mattress. She could hear someone shuffling around her, but she imagined it would take too much effort to open her eyes. Then, the person stopped moving.

Hey are you awake?

She thought she recognized the voice.

Greg? she asked, weakly.


Trying, she finally opened her eyes, squinting in the bright light. Her vision was blurry, and at first she wasnt even sure what she was looking at. The walls were so white, she thought, so bright. Everything hurt in her body. Confused, she tried to sit up in the bed, but realized her hands had tangled in the sheets. She couldnt stop the panic that pushed on her throat, and she opened her mouth gasping for air.

A hand steadied her, resting on her arm. Whoa! Hey calm down.

Greg she mumbled, squinting, reaching for the man sitting next to her.

Shh its alright, he said softly.

It took her a few moments to figure out where she was. And that the man beside her wasnt her brother.

Wheres Greg?

She blinked, realizing who it was.

Wheres Greg, Crawford? Where is he?!

The man only shook his head. She didnt understand what was going on. Shouldnt she be in a hospital? She looked down quickly, to assess mobility, injury, anything. She was fine. She felt fine. Just a little dazed.

I dont understand, she whispered to herself. She couldnt remember what happened to her car, or even when it happened, anymore.

Ophelia, look at me. Do you know how you got here? Do you know where you are?

I think so she trailed off, feeling the dream sensations fade further into memory. She couldnt distinguish between what was actually real and what only seemed real. Did the accident actually happen? What had transpired at the airport?

The airport she began, widening her eyes as she suddenly remembered the day before, Did we lose it?!

The light shone dimly in the motel room. The rain had darkened Crawfords mood considerably, and the lamp did little to help. He lay on his bed, staring lazily at the ceiling, his hands interlocked behind his head, under the pillow.

He turned to look at her. Ophelia never really looked peaceful when she slept anymore, he thought. Her face was scrunched up her eyes moving wildly beneath her eyelids as she dreamt.

Crawford shifted, resting on his side, still watching. She gave him quite the scare back at the coffee shop. Almost caused a scene that would have sent them both to a place worse than prison.

After a while, he noticed her breathing changed.

Hey are you awake? he whispered, leaning forward.


Crawford could barely hear her. What?

Suddenly, she sat up, flailing at the bed sheets, breathing frantically.

He reached for her. Whoa! Hey calm down.


Shh its alright, he said, with a pained look.

Wheres Greg?

It happened every couple of days, as if she had no concept of time. As if the accident had just happened, yesterday. He knew she dreamt about that day a lot. Had nightmares, seems like. Hed never asked her to talk about it, and she never offered to do so.

Her voice was urgent. Wheres Greg, Crawford? Where is he?!

I dont understand. Crawford thought she was going to cry. He kneeled beside her bed, forcing her to meet his eyes.

Ophelia, look at me. He saw her take a deep breath, beginning to protest, but then, she did as he asked.

Do you know how you got here? Do you know where you are? he pressed.

I think so she frowned, pausing. The airport Did we lose it?!

To be continued