My entire body ached. Every single part of it felt like it was on fire.
I couldn’t remember what happened at first. But after a few agonizing minutes, I remembered. The future. The drugs. The explosive. That’s why I hurt so bad.
Where was I? I tried to open my eyes but they wouldn’t budge. Was I dead? No, I could feel my body, I was pretty sure I was alive.
The more I woke up, the more aware of my surroundings I became. I heard soft chatter around me and a small, annoying beep every few seconds.
Finally, I woke up enough to move. I pulled myself into an awkward sitting position, I had to pull my left leg up because for some reason it wasn’t moving. Must be the pain meds, they probably haven’t worn off yet.
“What’s going on?” I asked, as I looked around the hospital room.
Everyone was here. Why? I was just knocked out, right?
“Oh Lake, baby, you’re awake.” Ginger leaned forward and pressed the nurse button on my bed.
“What’s going on?” I asked again.
“Do you remember what happened?” She asked softly.
“Yea kinda, am I ok?”
“Lake, the doctor is gonna see you soon. We’ll have him explain.” My dad chimed in.
“How’re you feeling?” Allium asked, his voice full of concern.
“Tired, sore, kinda like I’m on fire.” I laughed slightly, but stopped when I felt a horrible pain from my stomach.
“We can have the nurse give you more pain meds.” Ginger softly put her hand over mine.
“How long have I been out?”
“Almost a week, babe. They had to do a few surgeries, but that’s done now.” Ginger explained.
“What? What even happened? I thought I was just knocked out.” I responded in disbelief.
“You fucking idiot, you blew up my supply closet! Why would you do that?” Stone practically exploded with anger.
“W-what? No I didn’t. Stone, I blew up the time machine. Remember? You built it so we could try and save Skye.” I didn’t care that we were surrounded by everyone, I needed to explain myself.
“What are you talking about? I never built a time machine, Lake. That’s not possible.” Why was he lying? Why was he acting like it never happened?
“Stone, it’s ok, we can trust these people. We can talk about it in front of them.” I assured him.
“Dude, I have no idea what you’re talking about.”
“B-but I travelled to the future!”
“Lake, the thing you blew up was a supply closet, that’s it. I never built a time machine, you never travelled to the future.” Stone looked baffled, as if he really had no idea what I was talking about. “Do you think his head injury was more serious than we thought?” Stone turned to Thyme and expressed his concerns.
My mind was swimming. I pulled my still numb legs up to my chest, that position always made me feel safer.
I know I went to the future. It was all real, it wasn’t just a head injury. Stone had to be lying, he just had to be. It couldn’t all be a figment of my imagination, right? I’ve never been that imaginative, I couldn’t create an entire world of people!
It wasn’t real.
I remembered now.
The time machine was a supply closet. Whenever I got upset, I’d sit in there and imagine I was in the future. Somehow, my mind convinced itself it was all real.
“No, no!” I screamed over and over.
“Get the doctor, he’s having some kind of breakdown!” Someone yelled, I wasn’t sure who though.
“It had to be real! I know it was real!” I screamed, as I watched the horrified faces of my family and friends. Ginger was crying, as was Stone.
Then, a nurse rushed in with a syringe and within seconds I was unconscious again.
“Hi Lake, I’m Doctor Ashburn.” A man’s voice was the first thing I heard as I came too. “How’re you feeling?”
“Tired, numb.” I responded curtly. I wasn’t in the mood to talk. My head hurt and I was still processing everything.
“Lake, we need to talk about your injuries. We’ll get to the other stuff later.” He was nice enough, but the way he spoke made me feel small. I didn’t like it. When I didn’t respond, he continued speaking. “You suffered a concussion when you fell backwards, and a flying piece of debris struck you in the stomach. Luckily your father was home and called 911 right away or else you would have bled out.”
“Oh, thats why my stomach hurts so bad.” I tried to joke but no one laughed.
“Lake, when the debris hit you, it almost severed you in half. We were able to save your life, and we were able to patch up your insides, but unfortunately, you’re paralyzed from the waist down.”
My stomach dropped. Part of me knew that was rational, I knew it was true. But the other part, the winning part, refused to believe it.
“No, I can walk just fine.”
“Please Lake, don’t.” Ginger pleaded with me as I moved my body to the side of the bed.
“No, no, no, it’s ok. He’s wrong, I’m fine.” I smiled at her as I went to stand.
Immediately, my useless legs gave out from under me and I fell forward.
“Fuck!” I yelled out as I landed harshly on my stomach.
“Oh my god.” Ginger started to cry again.
“Get me a nurse, we’ll help him into the chair.” Dr. Ashburn told one of my family members and within seconds I was being helped off the floor.
“This is bullshit.” I buried my face in my hands. I felt like a child, I needed everyone’s help with everything and now here I was, crying in front of everyone.
“I’m sorry Lake, I know this is a lot to process. But we need you to learn how to use the chair now. Don’t worry, your wife will be here with you the whole time. She’ll learn how to help you the best she can.”
“M-my wife?” I asked, confused. “No, Ginger and I aren’t married. Yet.”
“Oh god, he doesn’t remember.” I heard Ginger sob from behind me. My dad started crying too.
“Lake, baby, we got married last month. We did it in secret, the only person there was my best friend, Aloe. You remember him, don’t you babe?” Ginger sounded hysterical. But I could not for the life of me, remember this ‘Aloe.’
“I-I’m sorry hun. I don’t know him.”
“He’s here, I can bring him in. Maybe it’ll help jog your memory. Is that okay, doctor?”
“Please do.” Doctor Ashburn gestured to the door.
As soon as I left Lake’s hospital room, I dropped the concerned wife act. This was all so amazing, it wasn’t part of my plan but everything was falling perfectly into place.
“Hey Baby, I have the best news.”
Aloe Pinson-Shorter sat in the waiting room patiently. He came as soon as he heard about the explosion, the two of us needed a way to use this to our advantage. Luckily, he came up with just the thing.
“Hey Babe.” He approached me with a huge smile on his face.
“I take it everything went well? All the papers are in order?” I asked excitedly.
“Yup, you and Lake are now officially married. How are things on your end?”
“Even better than expected, he’s absolutely insane. Apparently he thinks the supply closet was a time machine, so he tried to blow it up. Now it’s way more believable that he doesn’t remember the ‘wedding.'” I giggled, it was almost too easy to fool this guy.
“This is perfect. You said you think you’re pregnant with his child, yes?”
“Yup, my period is late. I think it’s happening.” I wanted to bounce off the walls with excitement.
“Oh babe, this is excellent. I managed to talk the FRO board into speeding up their plan. Lake’s family should be back into power within the next month, and you know he’s the heir to the throne. That mean’s you’re the queen.” He grabbed my arm softly, I loved when he used that word.
“And as long as I have his kid, there’s no way I’ll lose my position. Especially if he’s locked up in a mental ward his whole life. That can be arranged. Luckily, we have the whole hospital on our side.” We promised the entire staff a huge grant if they helped us get into the throne. They agreed to do anything we needed.
“Soon, we’ll be in control of the entire Fae kingdom. All thanks to you, my queen.” He pulled me into a passionate kiss.
“I love you, Aloe.”
“I love you too, Ginger. But we should probably get into that room, they’re gonna get suspicious.”
“Lake, honey. This is Aloe, my best friend. Remember him?” Ginger came back in the room a few minutes later.
“Hi Lake, how are you?” The unfamiliar man spoke to me as if we knew each other.
“I-I don’t remember him.” He did look familiar, but that’s because he strongly resembled my mother. Same hair color, same skin color. That couldn’t be a coincidence.
“Are you sure? We are related, remember? We found out that our moms were cousins, Venus Pinson and Jasmine Fae.” He smiled slightly.
“That is my mom’s name, but I don’t recognise the other one.”
“I do.” My dad said from behind me. “I never knew her, but Jazz talked about her a lot. They used to be really close, then Jasmine found out Venus married her ex. She was not happy about that.” My dad sounded really sad, but it was the most I’ve ever heard him say about my mother.
“I-I don’t remember any of this.” I admitted. Maybe that head injury was really bad.
“That’s ok Lake, we’ll work on getting your memory back.” Doctor Ashburn assured me.
“Doctor, I just got in touch with the psychologist.” A nurse walked in and quietly spoke to the doctor.
“She says that based on your report, we should immediately send him to a mental health facility to be evaluated. She thinks he may need permanent institutionalization.”
“What? I’m gonna be locked in an asylum for the rest of my life? I’m too young for this! I’m only twenty-three!” I started to panic, the thought of being in a hospital for the next eighty or so years was absolutely terrifying.
“Lake, this isn’t for sure. It’s just a possibility. We need to get you evaluated first.”
The entire room was silent except for the soft sobs of my family and friends. No one knew what to say or how to react.
I was insane and paralyzed. I’d never have a normal life again.
If you have any questions, for me or any of the characters, shoot me an ask here! I’ll gladly answer anything you need, unless it’s a spoiler for the next generation.
There will be a generation five, don’t worry this isn’t the end. But there will not be an heir vote, unfortunately. Sorry about that, but I have a feeling you guys are gonna love what I have planned for the next generation. Thanks for reading 🙂