She woke with a vexed groan and rubbed her aching head.
“Where am I?” she thought, “I don’t remember anything…”
She looked around with blurry eyes, unable to really focus on anything. She noticed that the atmosphere smelt of fresh rain and grass.
After a few minutes had passed, trees, vines, tall and thick grasses had come into view. She stared blankly at her surroundings until the thought slowly came to her- she was in the jungle.
“How could this be?” she asked herself, “Why would I be in the jungle? How could I even get here if I live in San Francisco? This is crazy. This has to be a dream. Alright then, I’ll go along with it. I just hope I wake up soon…” And she slowly stood up, grabbing a nearby tree for support. She brushed herself off, noticing that she was wearing a green tank top and a darker green skirt that went to her ankles. She shrugged it off and began walking. She would just walk until she found someone to help her understand what happened. She began thinking again of the last thing she saw before all of this. She remembered a man looking down at her, laughing, then he said something but all that came from his mouth was silence. Next she remembered something hard hitting her head from behind and then darkness. She shook her head trying to surface the right answers. This didn’t make any sense. Who was this man and what did he do to her? Whatever it was, she couldn’t figure it out right now; right now she needed help and somewhere to sleep.
She continued walking for several hours noticing the slight rustle of the wind, the sound of birds singing, smelling the fresh air and noticing the thick plants everywhere, the millions of tropical flowers, the warmness of the sun peaking through the trees, and the drizzle of rain over the canopy. It was beautiful but then the girl started to realise that she could be stuck here, in this strange place for the rest of her life. She was getting frightened of the pictures in her head. They were the horrid images of her death.
She thought of her body lying thin and sickly from starvation and dehydration. She thought of getting caught in a trap, falling through a hole and breaking her neck. She couldn’t help these horrible thoughts and pictures as each minute passed by with her losing more and more hope of someone not finding her or at least looking for her.
Finally she grew tired and very hungry as the night approached. She searched for food and water and found a stream with a bush of berries beside it. The berries looked edible so she nibbled one just in case. They seemed alright so she picked and ate, picked and ate until she needed a drink. She cupped her hands and drank from the stream. The sky turned dark as the sun went behind the canopy, the thickness of the wild plants and the girl decided that she would continue her search in the morning. She lay against a tree and fell asleep right away.
The rain was uncomfortable during the night and the girl moaned for it to leave. And when she woke the next morning, she found herself covered in warm blankets. She kept her eyes closed and smiled in relief that it was all a dream. After a few minutes, voices filled her ears and she opened her eyes to see a white ceiling and turned her head to see machines attached to her and fluids flowing into her arm.
“She’s awake!” a familiar voice yelled to the sleepers in the chairs next to the girl’s bed.
They stirred and rubbed their weary eyes. There was a woman, a man and two boys all with smiles formed on their faces.
“We were so scared honey!” cried the woman, “We thought we might lose you for a little while there.”
The girl was a bit shocked and confused. She had no idea who these people were but she guessed who the man and woman were- her parents.
“Wh- who are you?” the girl stuttered.
“Honey, we’re your parents. This is your brother Mason and this is your boyfriend Sheen. Sweetie? You don’t remember us?” the woman wiped tears from her eyes.
“No…not really but…but I recognise your faces. Who am I?”
The girl’s mother was clearly shocked but she replied, “You’re Joan Miranda. You’re seventeen and you live with us in San Francisco.”
“I thought I was in the Amazon. The jungle…it was so real and I remember small things but I couldn’t figure out how I got there but I saw this man and then I woke up…I woke up in the Amazon. It was such a strange dream…” Joan trailed off as she stared across the hospital room.
Sheen looked at her confused. “But Joan…you were in the Amazon.”