I can hear cheering and congratulating. I try to open my sleepy eyes. They are so heavy.
“Breathe.” A voice commands. I do my best, its so hard, I don’t want to make them angry.
Someone pushes my eyes open its too bright to see. There is some angry discussion.
“Our experiment was a success.” Someone says, not to me.
I try to form words but I can’t really feel my face at all. I hear someone crying in the corner. I feel a vague pressure on my hand. The crying sounds like my mother.
“Its okay sweetie, you’re back now.” My mom says.
“Mom?” I croak, almost not a word. I try to grab her hand back I don’t know if it worked.
I can hear a reporter speaking, “The world celebrates with the first human revival. Humanity has finally defeated death. It has been a tense two months watching her progress. Please send in your questions.”
“What?” I say a little better. Last thing I remember was going into surgery for my lung.
I can feel her petting my hair back from my forehead. “It’s okay… It’s all going to be okay.”
The doctors named me a success and bundled me up to go home. I could hardly move let alone walk, but everyone seemed so happy. I was able to see after a few hours of trying to open my eyes.
“You know sweetie all you’re friends were so worried about you.” I heard my mother say from the front seat of the car. I kept my eyes closed most of the way home, the world was blurry and it was making me feel sick. “We are going to have your favorite dinner when we get home.”
I didn’t want to eat dinner, it tasted like cardboard. There was a constant stream of people coming in to congratulate me, tell me how happy they were to see me. I could only voice a couple words, my vocal chords hurt.
“So is she like a zombie now?” I heard a little girl ask, I couldn’t remember who she belonged to. Her question startled everyone they all fell silent. The question rolled around the room in whispers.
“Zombie?” I asked feeling gravely wounded.
“No honey, not at all.” My mother cooed.
“Monster?” I choked, starting to cry. I felt embarrassed for crying in front of all these people. I couldn’t go anywhere, my muscles were not strong enough. I could barely hold up my hands to cover my face.
I could hear the little girl being admonished for her question. I’m sure everyone was thinking it.
“Go,” I managed having a hard time breathing. My mother helped me out of the room and away from the people.
“You’re not a monster, we all wanted you back. We missed you so much.”
That didn’t change the fact that the people downstairs were looking at me like I was going to eat them. It didn’t change the blurry vision, or the tasteless food. It wasn’t the same. Everything was a struggle to do, I moved so slowly. My mom put me to bed. The night felt better, cool, dark safe. I could see better without all the blinding lights, the constant headache was gone. I lay in bed all night looking at the stars. I fell asleep when the sun came up. My mother tried to wake me but I was too tired.
I could smell breakfast but I didn’t want tasteless pancakes. I kept sleeping. She came in again at lunch and dinner. I slept until the sun went down. I tried to move but I was too weak. I watched the moon travel across the sky though my window. More TV crews showed up the next day interrogating me, forcing me to be awake during the day. I couldn’t help but glare at them as they shined bright lights in my face.
They asked my mother all kinds of questions, they tried to ask me but I only gave them one word answers, which was all I could manage.
A week passed, my mother did interviews for me letting me sleep during the day, leaving food for me to eat in my room. Then the letters started to show up. Hate mail mostly. Telling my mother I was an abomination, the dead should stay dead. She tried to hide them from me, but it was easy to read the graffiti on the sidewalk.
We watched old news reports that were playing constantly since my revival. It was hard to watch the “live” broadcasts of my surgeries where they poked around in my body. The first five failed revivals before they finally woke me up were terrifying. I couldn’t watch them and looked away most of the time. Mother seemed to be riveted by them. She read me articled about how magical it had been that I had been revived.
I couldn’t take any more of it. The life I had now seemed fake, less sparkly than the first one, even if it was short.
After a month I could feel my body starting to deteriorate. I could hardly see things, it hurt to make any noise, my skin was flaking off to reveal the atrophied muscles underneath. I looked disgusting. My mother didn’t even want to see me, but the news crews flocked like flies to the living rotting corpse. I couldn’t object since I couldn’t speak. This was the worst death I could imagine.
Everything was pain. I wasn’t eating, or drinking and I was still alive. The doctors couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me when they came with their TV crews. I could hear my mother pleading with them to put me out of my misery. I was their crown jewel, there was no way they were going to let that happen.
Once all the TV crews had left, and it was just me and mother. She was crying.
“Baby, I’m so sorry I did this to you.”
I wanted to cry with her.
“I’m going to fix it…” She whispered kissing my forehead. I saw her pull out the gun and put it to my temple. I wanted the sweet release of death from this torture. “I love you…”
I summoned all my strength. “Love you too…”