Leo is just my type of guy. A little nerdy, with brown eyes and a warm smile to match. He’s tall and a little lanky, but his arms fit perfectly around my petite frame. He’s smart and knows his way around all my favorite fandoms. I know it might sound immature, but I fell really, truly, deeply in love with him in just a few short months.
So my plans changed.
I felt bad about it, but it had to be done. I left Andrea’s family for longer than usual. It was difficult to do, and I knew I’d miss my little sister, but Leo made me happy, and I couldn’t bear to be away from him for so long.
I stayed as Millie for six months.
In that time, life seemed truly perfect. In fact, it felt as though things improved by the day. I had never gone so long without going catatonic, so my mother was, of course, pleased. Stress melted away from my life. Leo and I grew ever closer, until we began concocting secret plans of marriage. My life felt stable, happy. I even considered letting go of Andrea completely – it was hard saying goodbye to that family, sure, but the further away from them I got, the easier it became. In the end, it would probably be better for them, too. Maybe – just maybe – I could finally make the choice.
But, after those six months, I changed my mind.
I’d been home sick for a few days. It wasn’t anything too serious. I was mostly tired, with a slight cough and an intermittent fever. My mom thought I’d been overworking myself and wouldn’t let me out of bed. As I bled away my time reading and watching TV, a feeling of unease and dreadful guilt began to creep into my heart. I couldn’t stop thinking of Andrea and my other family. I knew how much they must miss me, how hard they must be trying to wake me up…
I sighed and decided to switch back. I couldn’t make the choice, I just couldn’t. It would be all right – I’d tell Leo about it, and things would get easier. Maybe he could see me in both my lives. I just prayed that he’d believe me.
So I closed my eyes and switched.
But, when I opened them, I was still Millie.
It was strange, not being able to switch. I tried and tried and tried again, but no luck. I was trapped. It was as though I had to flex a muscle to switch over, but the muscle had already withered away.
I’ve been trying for the last two weeks to switch back to Andrea, but I remain unable to do so. Every day, I grow sicker and sicker. My mother hospitalized me just last week, and I’m honestly terrified. I didn’t know that I wouldn’t be able to switch back, but I also didn’t realize that my choice had been a death sentence.
Yesterday, I Googled my name – Andrea’s name – and found just one news story on her — me. It covered her brave family’s journey as they pleaded for their daughter to wake up, but a statement from the attending physician left me cold in my heart.
“Although we are trying to remain hopeful, at this point, it is very possible that Andrea may simply never wake up. At that point, her family will have to decide the future for their child.”
No matter how hard I try, no matter how much I cry, I can’t go back. Andrea’s body is lost to me, and I’m losing this one, fast. I don’t know why I keep getting sicker, I don’t know why this is killing me, but it is. And I don’t know what to do, who to tell.
Worst of all, I wonder what will happen if they decide to take her off of life support….