Hannah stared up towards the ceiling, listening to the hard-pouring rain pounding on the roof and turning over on her side on the comfortable bed. She could hear the argument outside her door from across her new, large dark bedroom get even louder than the rain, which was saying something- it must be getting pretty intense in that family meeting, which happened to be about her.
Her stomach was growling as it had been, but she ignored her own body completely and closed her eyes- ever since they had brought her there, to her Uncle Leroy's house. After the accident the had killed her parents, but left her unscathed, they had brought her to this house two days ago apparently, and only yesterday did she have enough energy to wake up. She had eaten little of the meals her Aunt Sophia had forced on her- Strawberry Oatmeal and salad and steak, mostly- but other than that, she said nothing of her want for more food. Now, it was mind over matter, and her mind was hardly in the mood to eat.
The accident- it replayed like a movie scene in her mind, stopping at the beginning of her unconciousness and rewinding back to that morning of that day. It had been just an ordinary morning; breakfast, her father's stupid jokes and her mother's light nagging about homework- she had gone to school, and had a normal boring day. She'd buzzed through her classes, instant-messaged her father over lunch about going out that night, and ditched sixth period to go to the mall with her best friend Jess, so they could register for an upcoming anime convention.
And when she'd gotten home, she had called her nineteen-year-old collage brother, Brandt and chatted him up about their day, hung up and showered. Her mother had come up to annouce they were eating out at the Italian Theatre, and she'd dressed in her new denim jacket and skirt, she remembered, she'd gotten from her father for christmas. She recalled how excited she was, looking in the mirror and thinking about the play they would see, and went to check up on her sister, Allie. Allie, though, was sick and didn't feel like going anywhere- and since she was thirteen, she was allowed to stay home by herself so that she could sleep.
And then, they had gotten in her father's brand-new red Jaguar, and taken off down the road. It was dark, and very windy- and it had only begun to rain- but they had thought nothing of it. They reached the theatre, eaten very delicious lasagna, watched a spectacular show of Pinochio Ballet and headed back to the car. However as they did, her mother worried and murmured something to her father about driving carefully. Hannah's heart pounded as she neared the worst part of her memory, when the wind had picked up and the rain fell harder, on the roof of their car. There wasn't any other car around, but her father frowned and peered hard through the misty sheild.
And then- there was a flash of lights, her mother's face- the one thing that hurt most: Her mother had jumped out of the front seat, and shielded Hannah from the great impact of the collision, the breaking glass- and that was the last she could recall of that night.
And so, here she was- she had woken slightly in the hospital the next day, went through the examinations and woke two days later here, in her uncle's house. There were flashes of her brother's and sister's visits, Jess, her grandparents- but it all seemed a blur to her- the mix of memories and dreams all swirled together, until Hannah wasn't even sure or her wherabouts, or even the exact date. She felt sickness, sadness, anger, pain- yet she felt numb, as if anything could happen to her now and it wouldn't matter.
The shouting had stopped. Her stomach practically screamed at her, and this time, she stirred from her semi-conciousness and rose from the bed. Groaning, she clutched her spinning head and stood, to stare at the mirror on the dresser at the foot on the white rose-pattern bed. Oh my fucking god…she was compelled to just flop back on the bed and die, but her automatic self-conciousness wouldn't let well enough alone.
Her stringy, waist-length auburn hair was greasy, her skin white as a ghost, her green eyes sunken in like a decaying corpse- with great, dark circles around each. Oh my god…oh my…fuck, I may as well be dead already, damn it! She eyed the door to her private bathroom- and decided that even though she felt like dying, she did not want to die looking the way she did.
After her half-hour shower, she dressed in silky red pajama shirt and pants her aunt had lent her, and opened her door to peer out. They were getting just a little louder then; and now thinking a bit more clearly, she could decipher the words.
"Well, she is only fifteen- we can't just let her live by herself! And mark my words, she won't be happy about selling the house, and nobody's going to move in there, either!" That was her Aunt Jodie, her mother's sister.
"But we can keep it until she reaches the age, right? It is Talvma property!" Her Uncle Tommy, her father's older brother.
"But it would greatly benefit all of us if we did sell it, and what about Allison?" Aunt Jodie was furious.
"What about her? She will stay with Hannah, wherever she goes. That is all she asked of me, when I spoke with her yesterday. I will respect that wish." And that, was her dear Uncle Leroy- Her father's oldest brother and head of the Talvma family.
"And of course, we can keep the house, for it is Talvma property- and based on the children's decisions, we shall do so accordingly. As for who would move into the house with them, Brandt is already determined to do so. It is that simple, my dear family. And it is what Johnathan and Sarah Mae would have wanted for their children. All of the accounts have been set, Brandt's account and trust funds have already been opened to him- everything is as it should."
At this point, Hannah chose this moment to enter the room, causing several to gasp. Tommy and Sophia leapt to greet her, and embraced her tightly.
"Kid…I don't even know what to tell ya anymore…except I'm real sorry, and you can count on me to do anything that you need being done." Tommy pulled away, and she smiled lightly at him.
"Thanks Uncle Tommy…Sophia…everyone…" Her voice was hoarse from a lack of speech the last few days. Then, determined to say whatever it was on her mind, she approached Leroy Talvma, and he rose to bow politely. She bowed her head.
"Uncle…I can't even begin to thank you for what you have done. You've seen to all of my needs, and my siblings, and…you just make everything okay." She shook her head and gave him a bewildered smile. Yet, his serene gaze never wavered from her face and he embraced her.
"But of course, it is but my purpose in this life to do so. Fourty years on this earth didn't go for naught, young one." She pulled from him and bowed once again.
"May I ask, Uncle Leroy…what happens next?" Her dark, distraught eyes searched his, surprised with his calm manner. He sat back down, and gazed around himself, at his anticipating family. After a moment of further consideration, he simply shrugged and smiled.
"As they say in theatre, 'the show must go on'. The funeral," He said lightly, "Will be held tomorrow. At the moment, your sister is with Leroux's, your mother's family. Brandt has chosen to distract himself with work…and the house- it's ready and waiting for you, whenever you feel it's time. Amongst your rather large collection of flowers," he smiled amused, "your classmates came to visit, and I took the liberty of inviting them to the funeral. Any other questions you may have, please do not hesitate to ask. Sophia, Jodie- they will help you ready for tomorrow, if need be. And in two hours time, there is to be a large family dinner- I would suggest attending, if you feel up to it- it's going to be delicious." He winked, and she smiled back, despite the pain of the numbness wearing off.
And so, she chose that moment to leave the room, and padded across the hall to her own. When she shut the door; however, she realized how dark it was, and went to open the thick, heavy black drapes. Outside, the rain had drizzled the normally beautiful grounds, and winter had not done much good to it either. The sky was stone gray, the woods in the distance were bare, and even the grass looked gray, somehow. Outside as a whole... did not look appealing, so she closed the drapes, and flopped back on her bed, just listening to the rain.