Peer Review by Lopiekins (United States)

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My Star

By: Riley Noel

PROMPT: Turned to Stone

   Sunlight danced along my pillow as it filtered through my pale curtains. I pulled the covers over my head as a voice groaned softly by my ear. 
" Good-morning doll," he said. He wrapped his arm tighter around me pulling me closer to his warm body. I giggled softly curling into his embrace. 
 " You know I was thinking," he said softly. " Why don't we just run away somewhere for the day". 
"Where would we go?" I asked. 
"Anywhere," he said. I twisted around so I could face him. His soft blue eyes were pleading, his wavy blonde hair was messily thrown, but his smile was bright and mischiefs. He propped himself up on his elbow, tucking a strand of my hair away. 
"Maybe if we run they won't find us, " he said. I blinked.
" Who won't find us?" His smile dipped and his eyes flicked to the wall behind me. 
" Don't forget I love you," he said. Planting a kiss on my forehead. Before I could respond he faded away along with the room.
    I was laying on a cold stone floor, the boy was gone. I sat up slowly. Untwisting the pale sheets wrapped around my feet. Where am I?  I wondered as I turned around the room. It was small and plain. The only furniture a rickety bed, now devoid of blankets, a grey nightstand with nothing on it, and a ceiling fan. There was also a window a few feet from the bed.  Hospital I thought I'm in a hospital. But why? Carefully I made my way to the window, my bare feet dragging across the cold floor. Outside was a park with trees, benches, and flower beds. A few older men in hospital gowns wondered about, nurses walking beside them. I jumped as a door opened at the other end of my room.
" Hello Alice its time for your breakfast," a woman said. Barely looking up from the tray she was carrying. I glanced around the room, looking for the Alice she was talking to, but there was no one else. There has to be I thought. My name isn't-- My mind froze. Oh God, what is my name? Too many questions formed at once. Why can't I remember my name? Who was the man in my dream? Why did he want us to run away? Was I supposed to run away from this women? Why am I in a hospital? 
Alice are you okay?" the women asked. She approached me slowly like I was a cornered animal. 
"Did you have another dream?" She asked. Setting the tray on the nightstand. Another dream. I had no idea what she was talking about. It must have shown on my face because the woman's face filled with concern and worry. 
"Oh sweetheart, its okay you have to let him go". Let who go? The world was starting to spin, too many questions building in my mind. I gripped the edge of the window sill as I started to sway on my feet. The women rushed towards me. As she caught me  I noticed her name tag read Gina. 
"Its okay Alice you're going to be okay," She whispered. My eyes were getting heavy as she guided me to the floor, laying me flat on my back. She said some things into a pager that I couldn't hear over the sound of waves crashing against a shore. 
 " Alice," Gina said. But I could barely hear it the room started to spin and the waves got louder and louder until.
   "Are you dizzy yet doll?" I opened my eyes to find the same boy from this morning standing across from me holding my hands. 
 "One more time," I said. He laughed, it was a beautiful sound, like soft wind chimes. He gently pulled me closer and gripped my hips. I placed my hands on his broad shoulders as he lifted me up and spun me around wildly. I through my head back and laughed as loud as I could, as the world around me blurred together. He set me down again, gently wrapping his arms around me tight. I buried my face in his neck breathing in his saltwater sunshine smell. The waves crashed against our feet making him shiver. 
 "Don't let me go," I whispered. 
 "Never," he whispered back. I closed my eyes as he kissed my cheek, and the world faded away. 
  "Alice, can you hear me?" I opened my eyes again and found myself on a hard hospital bed. Gina was staring down at me worriedly. I nodded slowly. 
  "The doctor says you can go back to your room as soon as you feel up to it,'" I nodded again. Gine patted my arm and gave me a sad smile; then turned to leave.
 "Gina," I rasped. My voice was dry and rough like I hadn't used it. Gina turned back to me, surprise painted in her eyes. 
 " Can we go for a walk instead?" She bit her lip, glancing at the open door. 
 "Please," I added. She smiled again.
 "Sure dear". We walked out to the park in silence. The walk hadn't been very far but I was already out of breath. My thin legs shaking slightly from the effort. I spotted a bench a few feet away and slowly headed for it. 
 "Gina," I said once we had sat down. "Why can't I remember who I am?" Gina's face crumpled.
 "You had a dream again didn't you?" I nodded unsure how to explain. She sighed softly. 
 "The boy in your dreams his name was Jason, Jason Star." Jason. His name was so familiar but it didn't fit the boy in my dreams. Maybe I had called him something else, just as he had called me doll. 
 " He was a member of a violent criminal crew, at least he was. Until one day he got beat up bad and was rushed to a hospital where you were interning," she continued. A picture flashed across my mind. The boy, Jason, covered in blood wincing in pain but never screaming. His bloody jacket was thrown over a white chair. 
 "You two fell in love eventually," she said with a small smile aimed at me. I blushed looking away. More images flashed. Jason, leafing through a book laughing, racing down a hallway with crutches, raiding a vending machine until our arms were full, a fight in the rain. 
 "He turned over a new leaf, came clean about all the crimes. Because he was young and had only ever been an accessory, he was granted only a few months probation. He was going to try out for the police force, or become a lawyer." Gina stopped closing her eyes for a moment as if telling the story hurt her. 
"You guys went on a three-month long vacation before school started again for you. You were going to travel the whole country. You had just got back, he was walking you home from a concert," she paused again. I felt like the memories were just out of my reach. Every time I tried to grasp one it hid behind a wall. 
 "Please go on," I whispered. 
 " A few members of his old crew had escaped prosecution. They jumped you and dragged you into a back lot. You got beat up pretty bad," she said as tears slid down her cheeks. " But they weren't there for you, they were there for him. They killed him." I stared at my hands. Had that really happened to me, had I been--- before I could finish the thought Gina placed her hand in mine. 
 "When the police found you-you were holding onto Jason's body but refused to speak. When you did it was in bits and pieces," I looked up at her, she met my gaze with so much pain. "You couldn't remember the attack."  But I did remember. I remembered the soft city lights, a warm hand holding tight to mine. I remembered screaming, kicking, bitting. I remembered the blood, the pain, the hands roaming all over me. I remembered crying, the threats, the lies, the promises, the pain. I remembered his body. His bloodied, broken, beautiful body, tossed across the pavement like trash. 
 "Don't leave me," I whispered as I pulled his head into my lap. Blood and tears dripping down my cheeks my whole body aching. He reached a hand up his fingers barely touching my face.
 "I'm sorry," he chocked out. I shook my head trying to tell him it wasn't his fault but my throat was raw, and the words wouldn't come out. 
"I love you, Alice Black," he smiled and closed his eyes. My body shook as I watched his hand fall limply from my face. I let out a choked sob. 
 "I love you, my star."  
   I looked up at Gina her eyes still filled with tears. I squeezed her hand.
 "I remembered," I said. She looked at me with even more pain. 
  "I know," she said. I started at her my mouth agape.
 "You know?" I repeated. "How?" Gina didn't look at me, instead, she started at the sky. The sun had started to go down setting it ablaze with fire. 
 "About once a month you have a dream, you never tell us what its about but, I know you see him. Then you pass out and ask to go on a walk," she paused looking back at me. " We sit on this same bench and you ask why you don't remember who you are. And every time I tell you the story and every time you remember but, by the next day, you start to forget again. By the end of the week, you're back to not knowing your own name." I didn't know what to say. I looked out at the flower beds and the trees swaying in the early evening wind. Had I really been here before? Had I remembered a boy I loved only to forget it the next day? Then a worse thought entered my mind. How long had I been remembering and forgetting?
 " How long," I asked. "How long has he been gone." 
 "A year today," 
 "Why do you tell me each time," 
 "I guess I just hope one day you'll come back to us," she answered wiping her eyes with the hand not holding mine. I tried to remember other things, something that would hold me here. I remembered a man and women smiling from a porch, waving I drove away. A black and white border collie chasing me down the drive. A redhead girl splashing water at me in a pool. 
  "Are my parents okay?" I asked. 
 " Yes, though they miss you terribly. They come by as often as they can. Your friend Rose comes by with them too." Rose that was the redhead's name. But, I couldn't remember anything else about her. Nothing. Suddenly fear gripped my heart. I didn't want to forget these peopel again, I wanted to remeber. I needed to remember. The image of Jason's bloodied body flashed across my mind. No, I refused to forget because it hurt. I replaced the image with one of him smiling down at me, then my parents laughing, Rose blowing out my birthdy candles.
 "Gina, could I get a pencil and some paper?" Gina hesitated at my odd request but then nodded. A real smile spreading across her face.She looped her arm through mine and guided me back to the hospital. Right before we got to the door though I stopped, and turned around. In the fading light, I could just barely make him out. A boy with soft blue eyes and wavy blonde hair, his mischievous grin lighting up his face. Jason. I smiled back then turned around heading back inside.
Good-bye doll 
Good-bye my star


Message to Readers

I just made some quick adjustments to the story. Adding some more details and fleshing out some new characters! Any ideas or suggestions would be awesome. Thank you amazing people :)

Peer Review

A broken girl whose boyfriend was killed

The emotion, along with the slow way the author unfolds the story for us

The entire first paragraph has beautiful dialogue between the two characters

There is an air of suspense, as we are given most of our information by Alice at the beginning of the story, and grief/empathy as we learn the backstory of the girl

A strong sense of hope for this young woman, along with a growing sadness regarding what she's already been through, and still has to go through

Reviewer Comments

A few punctuation/ capitalization errors, but a beautifully written piece.