"Where have you been?"
Nick was surprised to smell the ocean, the waves providing a soft melody in his ears. He felt the sand beneath him as if he was sunbathing and had just simply fallen asleep there.
He opened his eyes slowly, a blurred figure extending a hand towards him.
"I was looking everywhere for you. I thought you'd gotten lost or something."
Nick smiled, the voice was calming and friendly.
"Brian?" he blinked at the blurriness in front of him and it focused. It was a man, shorter than him with sandy brown hair and blue eyes, eyes that reflected his own. He helped him up and Nick took a few moments to brush the sand off of his clothes.
"You act like you don't know who I am... Are you okay?" Brian asked, frowning at him.
"I don't know anything anymore." Nick whispered. None of this made any sense. Was it all a dream? Brian was right here in front of him. There was no way to explain any of this, but Nick felt safe here. He felt that nothing could harm him again.
"Isn't it beautiful?" Brian asked with a smile,nodding gently towards the water. Nick was met with a spectacular sunset, the colors blending in a palette of oranges, pinks and reds. He smiled, taking in the view and feeling at peace...but there was a hidden sense of dread eating away at his heart. Why did he feel so uneasy?
"Too bad none of this is real." Brian said suddenly. Nick frowned, looking at Brian as the world seemed to become silent. Gone were the ocean waves, gone were the seagulls. Total silence surrounded him, suffocating Nick to the point where he felt his heart begin to race.
Everything began to fade, as if he were watching a TV that was not in focus.
"Wait....Brian! No... Brian!!!" he yelled. Brian was speaking but it sounded muffled.
"Come find me....... Help me... Take me home, Nick. Please...."
Nick cried out again but the world simply faded into darkness. He couldn't see anything, just heard Brian's voice whispering.
He felt himself being shaken by a pair of trembling hands. As he opened his eyes he found Sienna looking at him with a panicked expression, desperately trying to wake him. He'd been asleep again. Nick silently cursed himself for this, he felt weak for even getting upset. It was only a dream, a dream he so desperately wanted to be real.
"Nick?" Sienna called more urgently. Nick struggled to get away from her embrace. She had been holding him, trying to calm him down. Nick shoved her off and she fell back onto the floor. He stared at her, his chest heaving with labored breaths.
"You were yelling in your sleep. Are you okay?" she asked timidly. Nick didn't answer but he ran a hand through his hair, letting it fall gently into his eyes. He closed them and tried to calm himself. Sienna was talking but he didn't listen to her....her voice was muffled by his own thoughts.
"Do you need to see a doctor? I can take you to one if you like." she offered. Nick kept his eyes closed and just nodded, shaking slightly. His chest was hurting from the anxiety attack he'd just had, but he really just wanted out of the room. He felt trapped and lonely. He wished he hadn't woken in the first place....the only time he was happy and safe was in his dreams. What worried Nick was the fact he didn't know if his dreams were memories or made up in his own head. The beach had to be real. There had to be a way to get there, but he didn't know how he was going to accomplish that when he didn't know where he was. There were just too many questions that he needed answered.
Nick allowed Sienna to take him to see the doctor, it felt good to get out of that room for a little while.
"All of your vitals seem normal. It's just a simple case of anxiety." the doctor told him.
"If I am so healthy, why do I have to stay here? Why can't I go home?" Nick asked. He saw the doctor and Sienna exchange glances as if they'd known he would question his health.
"Because, we want you under observation for the time being. While your physical health is normal, you have been through such an ordeal that mentally you're not stable."
Nick frowned, shaking his head in disbelief. He was being treated as if he were a mental patient.
"So you think I'm crazy or something? Is that it?" he spat, feeling his heartbeat increase again. His palms began to sweat.
"Nick, please..." Sienna begged. Nick just clenched his fists, trembling silently as the doctor continued to talk. He did not listen, all he could think about was figuring out whether the beach was real and how to get back to Brian.
"Just keep calm. You're only making it worse getting riled up. Sometimes our emotions can mess with us in ways we don't understand. I'm not versed in psychology but I can see you have been through a lot. You need to just relax and not stress yourself. We are taking very good care of you here."
After the doctor, Sienna walked with Nick back to the room in silence.
"Nick, you've been angry since you woke up. What can I do to make you happy? I want you to be comfortable here. I want you to trust me." she said, opening the door. Nick was so upset he could only laugh, his voice dripping with sarcasm.
"You want ME to be comfortable and happy?"
"You can start by telling me the truth. What am I doing here and how did I end up in that coma? Where the hell are we anyway?"
"Nick-" Sienna started, but he interrupted her.
"You know what? I don't know why I am even bothering. You're not my friend. You're just going to keep on lying to me. I get that. I just wish I knew what was going to happen to me." he told her as he sat down on the bed. All Sienna could do was stand and watch.... she didn't know what to say.
"I understand how you feel but this isn't going to help matters. I'll be back later. Just try and calm down."
Nick watched her leave and rolled his eyes at the door, thinking.
"Yeah, calm down. Easy for HER to say. She has no idea what this is like. None."
He hoped that sleep would come easy that night, and almost wished he would have another dream about the beach, because that was the only place that felt like home to him right now. He would be perfectly fine with never waking up again.
Nick closed his eyes, hoping that he wouldn't see that room again.