Genre: Contemporary Young Adult
Word Count: 65,000
For Sarah Baxter, the plan was simple; get through senior year, graduate, and go to college. Instead, the night of her 18th birthday turns tragic when the car containing her parents, her younger sister, Allie, and Allie’s boyfriend is hit by oncoming traffic on the way home. Now Sarah is faced with decision after decision; what her parents’ final outfit will be, where to bury them, and whether or not to become her sister’s legal guardian. With no one to guide her, Sarah signs paper after paper, giving up her path of attending college next year, having a social life, and enjoying her senior year, in the hopes that with her undivided attention Allie will recover.
When Allie wakes from a coma, her brain only retains hard facts rather than friends and family. After weeks of observation, Allie is released from the hospital and the girls are pushed back into school. Here, Sarah must find a way to help Allie retain the memories she makes through the day, and somehow try to regain the ones she lost in the car accident. Fighting through their own grief, the girls must find a semblance of a balanced life, and get through the remainder of the school year so that Sarah can still be a teenager and a sister, and so both girls can accept who they’ve become after the accident, and become a family again.
We don’t know anything yet.
I’ve been hearing this lie for the last six hours. Doctors, nurses, everyone who passes by me says the same damn thing. I think the worst part is that I know they all know something. Even I know at least one of them is dead. But I don’t know who, or if it’s only one of them, so until I have some information I refuse to cry.
Rather than celebrating my eighteenth birthday, this is where I’ve been for the last six and a half hours; unable to feel, unable to fully process what’s happening. A voice in my head that sounds strangely like mine keeps repeating, This isn’t happening, fuck, this isn’t happening, and I keep listening to it.
So I don’t cry. I don’t react. Instead, I either count the tiles on the floor, or if I see someone walking by, ask questions:
“Are they in surgery?”
“Ma’am, we don’t know anything yet.”
“Is my sister okay?”
“We’re not sure.”
Before I can ask anything else, they all walk away from me, saying, “I’m sorry, we don’t know anything yet.”