Chapter 1: He's Dead Jamie Lee

July 27, 1999

Jamie sat in the hospital lobby waiting for the news. Her older brother was on her right and her younger sister on her left. Her brother was older than her by three years and her sister was younger by four. Jamie had her arm around her younger sister, Jenna. Jamie's older brother, Bobby, was holding onto her hand and wiping his tears with his other.

Jamie couldn't get the thought of why they were there out of her mind. She had just been sitting at home with her whole family when suddenly her father slumped down and landed in his cereal in the middle of a sentence. Jamie's mother knew what to do and drove him immediately to the hospital where they were told to wait in the lobby until something came up. Jamie, Bobby, and Jenna had been there for three hours and hadn't heard anything.

"I'm going to the restroom," Jamie whispered to Jenna. "Do you need to go?"

Jenna nodded and followed Jamie down the hall to the bathroom. Jamie guided her seven year-old sister into a stall and Jamie went into the one right next to it. Jamie finished first and went to wash her hands, but on her way she heard sobbing coming from one of the stalls. "Jenna?" she asked. "Are you okay?"

"Yeah," came the reply. "Why?"

"I thought you were crying."

"No I wasn't."

"Oh," Jamie said and washed her hands. When she was done she turned to the mirror to examine her features. Jamie glided a hand over her flushed cheeks, then her small nose, and then gently touched her pale pink lips. Everything her mother said she had in common with her dad. Jamie ran a hand through her raven-black hair and cleaned her green eyes of the running black eyeliner and mascara that she had worn for church that morning. Jamie looked away from the mirror when she saw a young lady come out of a stall with tear-streaked cheeks. "Are you okay?" she asked.

The woman started crying and looked to Jamie. The first thing Jamie noticed was her eyes. She didn't notice them first just because she was crying, but she noticed them because they stood out from the rest of her body. Her eyes were a deep blue unlike the rest of her body, which was a bright red showing she had probably just gotten a sunburn (summer's there were horrible), and her eyelashes were dark black and curled just right. The woman took out a tissue and dabbed at her eyes making her makeup run even more. "Sorry," she said and looked towards Jamie. "It's just every time someone asks me that I remember why I'm here."

Jamie didn't want to pry, but she wanted to help this woman. "Why are you here?"

"My father was just in a car accident. He…" the woman faltered then continued. "The doctors say he won't live until tomorrow."

"I'm so sorry." Jamie said and being the loving girl that she is, hugged the stranger. "Would you like to come sit with my family? We're waiting for news of our own father."

The woman smiled, but shook her head. "I need to be with my own family now. They all just can't believe that the strongest person in our family is lying on their own death bed." The woman sighed and untangled herself from Jamie. "Thank you though."

Jamie smiled, "It was no problem." Jamie watched the stranger walk out and then Jamie walked to Jenna's stall. "You okay?"

"Yes, I'll be out in a minute." Jenna's voice sounded forced and had many tears welling up from inside it.

"Okay I'll wait." Jamie replied and went back to the mirror. She sat on the counter and forced a smile to everyone who passed by. A little while later Jenna came with puffy red eyes and tear streaks on her cheeks. Jamie jumped down when Jenna washed her hands and hugged her sister. "Daddy will be okay." Jamie whispered and took her sisters hand.

Jamie and her sister walked hand in hand to the lobby while talking about what they're going to do when Daddy comes home. When they reached the lobby they saw their brother and mom huddling together with tears running down their face. Jamie and Jenna rushed over, "What happened?" Jamie asked.

"Your dad has…" her mother started, but stopped. "Had," she corrected. "Internal bleeding near his lungs and one of his lungs was punctured. That means that blood got into his lung and started to stop his bleeding. With all the blood in his lungs, not enough was getting to the heart and he had a heart attack." Jamie's mother stopped again when tears fell slowly out of her eyes. She motioned for Bobby to go on, which he did.

"That's what happened this morning, Dad had a fatal heart attack. It was the last straw for his already weak heart, there's nothing we can do now about it. Mom already knew about the internal bleeding, but she didn't know what to do about it." Bobby said. "Dad isn't coming home, Jenna. He's gone to his home in heaven, Lord willing." He said to her younger sister while trying to force a smile.

"Jenna," her mom said and motioned for her to follow. Jenna did as she was told and Jamie was left with her older sibling.

"Jamie," Bobby said when tears welled up in her eyes.

"How could this have happened?!" she cried out. "He's not dead! Dad is not dead!"

Bobby put an arm around her as Jamie struggled to break free. "Jamie, calm down!"

"Bobby," Jamie cried. "He's not dead! I can go in there right now and talk to him!"

"No you can't, Jamie."

Jamie let the tears fall from her eyes. She let her emotions come out in those tears and for the first time in a long time she was silent, the whole lobby was silent. Every soul in the room was quiet, you couldn't even hear a cough or a sneeze. Jamie felt Bobby pull her onto his lap as he stroked her hair and rocked her back and forth. The silence suddenly became too deafening for Jamie that she just cried loudly. "No, Bobby." She said fighting back more tears. Jamie hit his chest over and over again with her fist, "Dad. Is. Not. Dead." She whispered after using all her strength to hit Bobby.

Bobby nodded carefully and looked Jamie in the eye, "He's dead Jamie Lee."