White Gown

The first time I saw her, she was in her white gown staring at me in the hospital bed –– not in a bad way, a good way, a way that I never thought anyone would ever look at me. Reading this you probably don’t believe me, but I promise. I promise that she was standing right there at the foot of my bed watching me. I had been in agony, but as she was watching over me I could feel no pain –– not one single hurt. She must have had a magical vibe.

That first time, she turned away from me to see a little girl –– a miniature version of herself –– in a white dress.  She was so… so graceful in every way, delicate. She stroked the girl’s fair hair as she whispered to her. Synchronized looks in my direction, I saw both of their pale blue eyes as they stared into mine.

When they walked away it felt as if they had healed me, so I closed my eyes and tried to imagine it again.

I am Elise Miller. I am nineteenyears old and I have been diagnosed with lung cancer from the asbestos in our old apartment. They told me that I had a fifteen percent chance of living. But ever since my first surgery, I have been semi-okay. After that, my mom and I moved to a small apartment in San Francisco, California.

I am in the hospital again –– my third time this week. She’s back at the foot of my bed, yet this time she has more glow and is trying to speak to me. I listen intently, hearing her soft, faint voice. “Help me, help me, please. I need you.

And then a red coated man comes and takes her hand and carries her away.

I wanted to help her, this magical being who had saved me from my pain.

She doesn’t come back until the next day. But this time when she appears, she is tied up to a chair, in chains, the red coated man walking around her.

“She’s mine,” he says. “Don’t even think of trying to take her back.”  He has a deep, dark voice. It’s easy to sense his evil and mischievousness.

I don’t go to school anymore and it has given me lots of time to think about these characters I have made. I want one wish. That wish is to be able to talk back to these characters. I want to know how they feel, how they think.

I am back in the hospital, this time for testing. When I stare at the end of the bed, that same woman is trapped in a room with no windows, no door. Only a chair, a rope, duct tape tied to her and the red-coated man walking around her.

He’s saying something to her, something like, “I just want to know where he is and why he is doing this so I can stop him.” The red-coated man seems really demanding.

The woman keeps fighting back. “I would never tell you. Over my dead body.”

“Your husband cannot be trusted any longer. If you join me we could take over his power and do good to the world.”

“You will never see me support you, even if our world was turned upside down.”

Then I glimpse another man walking around. He is tall and wears all black. This man is looking for something, and I wonder if he is the man they were talking about. Then the white-gowned woman walks up to him. She is in a panic.

“He is after you,” she says with fear in her voice.

“But he will never find me, because he is not welcome here,” the man says.

She has no response to this, but I can tell she could say millions of things to him.   

When I finally leave the hospital from this round of testing, my mother and I get into a terrible car accident coming out of the parking lot. Everything goes pitch black. I only have a small cut on my arm but my mom has a broken thumb. Back to the hospital we go! This time I’m not the patient –– my mom is, with her broken finger.

A few days later we find out that the guy that crashed into us has been paralyzed from the waist down. He had rammed into the side of our car in great speed trying to cut a red light.   

And then the test results show that the cancer is coming back. I will never be done with hospital visits. I see her every time and become more of a witness to her story. This time, from my bed I see that there is another character. He walks up to the man in black, and looks around. “We need to stop her from her plan.”

“What is this so-called plan?!” I scream in my sleep. “What are you going to do? Don’t kill her, I need her!”

“Elise, are you okay?” my mother asks.

“I am not okay mom, she might die!” I yell at her. My mom runs to the door and I hear her pleading for help as I continue to scream in terror. I hear people rushing to my room and I feel the breeze against me as we rush to another room, the dreadful, terrible, “black hole” of San Francisco: the Emergency Room. Then my vision blurs and my mind is frozen.

When I wake, I instantly see the back of her white gown. But she isn’t just walking away, she is running away. Running down an endless road in the dark, where there are no lights, all the other characters running after her. She has gone into a small alley where she stands behind a gate. The other characters sneak up behind her and take her away.

“I have to go Elise, I’ll see you in the morning.” Is that my mom? I don’t respond because I am too tired.

Her white gown drags across the sidewalk as she walks in her elegant way, handcuffed.

The moon played a part in this story. He glistened his shining light on her gown and grinned. I awake after that, and out my window the moon grins at me. I grin back. As I look at the moon I see someone sitting on top of it. Her white gown crept off the side of the moon. She winks at me and…

Elise was gone too soon. She could not continue on her story, but sometimes we have to accept that some stories just cannot be finished.

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