The next thing I remember I am in a hospital bed, staring at the ceiling. I don't remember leaving the mines, climbing down the mountain, or arriving at the hospital. The only thing I remember is Elena. She came for me down in the mines. When I try to set up to look around I get very dizzy and feel extremely weighted down. I remember this feeling from a year ago, the hospital had started my medications again. Along with a few sedatives most likely.
When I hear the door open and close I try to sit up again, but I am met by the sweet voice of Elena, "Hey, hey. Take it easy." She helps me move a few pillows behind my head and get the bed into a sitting position.
"What's going on? Where am I?"
"You are in the hospital. You had a breakdown down in the mines. When we found you, you were talking about how you didn't want to hurt someone." Elena shakes her head.
"It was you. I didn't want to hurt you." I lightly take her hand. But it is clear she is a little frightened of me, as she jumps when I do. I pull my hand away and put it on my face, but I don't feel the protruding teeth anymore. "I'm back to normal?"
"Pumped full of drugs but yes."
"Elena, I am so so sorry. I didn't mean for anyone to get hurt."
Elena shakes her head, "You didn't. Other than a few mental scars. Which everyone has come to understand since you were off your medication…" She pauses for a moment, "You can't do that, Josh. You can't just start and stop your medications whenever you want."
"I know…" I nod and hang my head. "I just… I wanted to get back at them for Hannah and Beth."
"Hannah and Beth wouldn't have wanted that." Tears begin to well up in her eyes. "They would have wanted us to think of them while we are having fun together. That's the reason everyone came back this year."
"Is everyone okay?"
"Jessica is still recovering, Chris broken an ankle, Emily got bitten by a 'bear,' or something."
"It wasn't a bear. It was a…."
Elena cuts me off, "If you wanna get out of here, you won't talk about what happened. We can talk about it when you get out. If we talk about it here they'll commit us both."
"How long have I been under?"
"About two weeks."
"And you kept coming to see me?"
"I wanted to be here when you woke up. But seems like I missed that by a few minutes."
"When can I get out of here?"
"Not for another month, maybe longer." Elena sits on the side of the bed, "You had a full-blown mental breakdown, Josh. You're lucky you aren't in jail."
"The only reason you aren't is because of the videos showed the police that you were most of the night and we filled in the other blanks."
"The group. We're still your friends. Some of us more than others. Mike is still pretty pissed but you didn't kill Jessica so…"
"I didn't kill anyone… I didn't want to hurt anyone…"
"Hey, hey…." Elena places a hand on my head to calm me down, "It's okay. We all know you didn't. The only thing you're being blamed for is going off your meds."
"Is anyone else here?"
Elena shakes her head, "No, but if you want to see them I can see who can come."
I nod and smile softly, "I have to apologize for what I did."
Elena nods and stands up, "Okay, give me a minute." She pulls out her phone and walks out of the room.
I think for a minute, 'was it all a hallucination? Me turning into a Wendigo? Hannah being a Wendigo? Everything? No, it couldn't have all been. Elena said that if we talked about what happened we'd all be put in the hospital, so it couldn't have all been a hallucination.'
After a few minutes, Elena walks back in. "Sam, Chris, and Ashley are close by, they'll be here in a few minutes. Mike is a little further out. Em and Jess are still in the hospital so they won't be coming. It's kind of surprising Em actually committed herself. Uh… Matt is out of state with school, he's been the only one who's completely gone back to normal."
"I'm surprised that all want to come."
"You're Chris best friend… Ashley is the sweetest thing in the world so is Sam. I'm not so sure Mike isn't coming to punch you in the face, give you a hug then leave, but I guess we'll find out."
"Don't let him hit me."
Elena laughs softly, "I won't. Don't worry." She takes a seat in the chair next to me.
"Elena… am I in the…"
"Mental Ward? No… They are treating you here for dehydration and a few fractures."
"You broke a few ribs and a fractured a wrist and your leg."
"Will I have to go to the ward when I'm discharged?"
"Yes… You will…" Elena nods, "but it's for the best."
I nod and smile over to her, "I know."
After about 15 minutes Elena's phone goes off and she stands, "That's Sam." She turns to me, "I'll be right back." she kisses my forehead before leaving the room.
When she comes back she enters the room with Ashley, Chris, and Sam. Chris' right leg is in a cast, it must be the ankle he broke. Ashley and Sam both glance around the room, as if they are unsure about what's going to happen.
Chris crosses over to me and Ashley takes his crutch when he gets to the bed, "Hey, man." He lightly punches my arm.
"Hey…" I smile. "Guys… I uh…"
"Hey," Chris shakes his head, "Don't worry about it… at least not until everyone is here."
Ashley walks over next to Chris and smiles, "Hey, Josh…"
"Hey, Ash. Are you okay?"
Ashley nods, "Yeah… I'm okay… We've all been worried about you."
Sam walks over to the other side of the bed, "I don't know about them, but I knew you'd pull through."
"Why didn't anyone stop Elena from going back into the mines?" the four of us look over to Elena.
Sam shrugs, "I tried, but what can I say. She's stubborn as the girls."
I nod, "Yeah, she is." The group laughs.
Before too long Mike gets there as well, Sam going to get him. Elena is now sitting on the bed next to me to make room in the room for everyone else. When Mike comes in he points his head inside, before stepping in, Sam coming in behind him.
"Hey." Mike walks over to me, holding a hand out. "What's up?"
I put a hand out as well and Mike high fives me, "Living life as best I can." Mike and I chuckle for a moment and I look around the group, "Uh… guys… I need to say something."
Chris stops me, "Josh, it's okay. We know."
I shake my head, "No, I need to say this." I take a deep breath, "I know that while we were up at the lodge I wasn't exactly myself for the whole trip and I realize now that it was wrong to go about things the way I did. But I didn't mean for anyone to get hurt. It was just supposed to be a stupid prank to get back at you guys for the prank on Hannah. But it got out of hand and I'm sorry."
"It's okay, man. You were unwell and upset."
"Yeah," Sam nods, "No worries."
"We all survived" Ashley chuckles, "and now we have one hell of a story."
"Minus the weird creatures," Mike adds.
"But…" Sam smiles, "You have Elena to thank for convincing us."