I opened my eyes and found myself in a hospital bed, surrounded by beeping machines and an oxygen mask covering my nose and mouth. Next to me I heard a boy sobbing quietly. I tried to reach out to him, but it were only my fingers that managed to make some movements.
???: M-Mio...?! Are you... awake? Or am I imagining things again?
I would have recognized this sweet voice everywhere. Yuuki. Tears welled up as I slowly turned my head towards him.
Yuuki: Please, try not to move. I don't want you to hurt yourself! Ugh... I'm so happy you're awake and... alive!
Yuuki was crying and laughing at the same time. His face was red, his eyes swollen and he had the biggest smile on his face I had ever seen.
Yuuki: Everyone's been so worried about you. You've been out for months and even your parents tried to visit as much as possible. Well, they had no other choice, but...
I finally found my voice back, or at least managed to make some sound.
God, that sounded awful.
Yuuki: Well... Your, eh... sister... Well...
Tears started streaming down his face again. I tried to say my sister's name, but couldn't get more than a few weird-sounding tones out of my mouth
Yuuki: She's dead, Mio. They couldn't help her anymore.
For a few seconds all the strength I could possibly have at this point sucked into my body and I shot up. I looked at Yuuki, full of disbelieve. Worrisome, he tried to push me back down onto the bed.
Yuuki: I told you not to move, dammit! Mio, I'm very sorry, but please look after yourself first. You haven't moved for at least five months and I don't want you to hurt yourself.
I lay down again. Five months. FIVE. Months. I'd missed my own birthday. What about school? What about my dream?
Yuuki: The teachers said you could still graduate, but only if you go to cram school during the breaks. And if you're pretty much score at the top of the class. So in your case, that's a no go. Don't worry, we'll fail together. I'm not the brightest student out there either, as you may know, and I skipped a lot of classes to visit you. So I'll be there for you, this next year.
So I'm redoing my last year, great.
Yuuki: I really shouldn't make you worry about things like that right now. You stay here, I'll tell a nurse you woke up.
I'd like to say the following weeks were all a big blur, but they weren't. According to the doctors examining me I recovered incredibly fast, so after two weeks of strengthening my legs and getting used to solid foods again - weeks in which Yuuki visited more often than my parents - I got to go home.
But it didn't feel like home anymore, and I couldn't figure out why.
The small table next to the sofa was covered with a picture of my sisterm three tealights and an insane amount of postcards. I told my parents I was tired and wanted to sleep, which they thought was a good idea. Still a little wobbly, I went to my room, which smalled strangely sterile, lay down on my bed and fell asleep almost instantly. The short ride from the hospital to home had made me more tired than I thought it would.
After a few days of sitting in bed and eating soft foods I decided to do some research on the accident. Weirdly, I still clearly remembered the time, date and place it all happened, so finding information online wasn't all that hard. Nothing ever happened in that part of town, so if something did happen the newspapers were full of it. Soon enough I'd found out we were brought to the same hospital, but I couldn't find a name anywhere. I was getting ready to leave for the hospital when Yuuki called.
Mio: Yuuki, hey!
Yuuki: Hi Mio, how are you?
Mio: I guess I'm alright, I still get tired very quickly. But considering the circumstances I'm doing good. What's up?
Yuuki: Eh, I was wondering... Do you want to go to the park with me? You haven't been outside a lot and I thought it'd be nice to hang out for a bit. Would you like that?