E woke. Although, she kept her eyes closed. She knew that if she opened her eyes then nothing would be different. It would be the same as usual. It was.
When she eventually opened her eyes, out of the sheer boredom of keeping them closed for hours, she was greeted with the same thing she was greeted with every day. Complete and utter darkness. Her room was nothing but black walls, baring nothing but a written excerpt, of which’s origins she had no idea. It read:
“Obsession, it takes control,
Obsession, it eats me whole.
I can’t say the words out loud,
So in a rhyme I wrote you down.
Now you’ll live through the ages,
I can feel your pulse in the pages.
I have written you down,
And the whole world will read you,
And you will live forever.
In eyes not yet created,
On tongues that are not born.
I have written you down,
Now you will live forever.”
She had one clue as to who was the author of the words scribbled onto the black canvas that was her room’s wall, this clue was the picture that was framed beside her uncomfortably thin mattress in the far corner of the room. The picture was of her, and a man, and two young children, one girl and the other a boy. She had no recollection of these people, she just knew that she loved them very much, and wanted to be with them again, no matter who they were.
A light erupted from outside her room, through the crack of the permanently locked door. E sat stark upright immediately. It was there every-day but no matter how many days pass, she was always confused by it. She hoped it was her way out, some hope of escape. Suddenly, a hatch opened at the bottom of the door, she knew what this meant. It was time for her daily dose of shitty food, that had no place in a prison let alone wherever she was. Today it was different. There was a note alongside it, it didn’t say who it was from or why it was there, it simply read, “21. C x”
Hours passed, E had no idea what to think of the note and tried so hard to see if she could remember who ‘C’ was but nothing came to mind. Nothing else happened that day, she kept in her usual slumber, and staring at the blacked-out walls, searching for some sort of answer or epiphany. It didn’t come. Not that day at least.
The next day, E went through the same process that she always did. Call it a morning routine if you will. The same usual things happened. It was like she was living the same day over and over, she could predict it. She flailed her finger in the air, just as the light flashed on once more. If only she could see her own face, then she would really be angry about being locked away. She was beautiful. A red-head with the cutest of brown eyes. Her eyes glistened like no others could. They gave off a sense of inner beauty, like her soul was pure. She was the only one in the world that had this ability to show her soul and her true feelings through her eyes. It was her superpower.
As every-day, her food came and yet again there note with it. This time it simply read “20. G x” This confused her even more, she had no idea what to expect. What to think, and what to do. All she knew was that something was coming and whether that was good or bad, I guess she just had to wait and find out. Every day that went by, she became more and more anxious. The numbers counting down. 19, 18, 17, 16 and so on. She needed to know who ‘C’ was, and what he or she wanted with her.
Another day, another note. “2. C x”. E broke down. Tears streaming down her face uncontrollably. Her face still looked perfect, even with the little wet balls of emotion flowing down her face. She was scared, no, terrified at what was to come in the next few days. No matter how much she hated how she was, she didn’t want it to get any worse, or any more painful. Little did she know, help was coming, whether she liked it or not.
The day came. E didn’t sleep. She was too anxious. The light came on, and, for the first time in weeks, she stood up in her room, walked across to the door and breathed heavily, waiting for the inevitable to occur. Her bare feet touched the concrete floor and the hatch snatched open, the regular food slipped into her room. There was another note. She picked it up, turned it over and what she saw confused her. “Now. C x”. She wasn’t allowed to be confused for long. Her door swung open. A rush of cold air replaced the heavy, used air that occupied her room. The light blinded her for a moment. Her eyes adjusted, there was no one there, outside her room was a vast, open space filled with a mist that she could barely see through. A girl popped out from one side of the door and shouted in E’s face. “What are you doing, why aren’t you running? Come on, let’s go.” The girl grabbed E’s hand before pulling her away from her solitary confinement. “Come on! I’ll explain on the way.”
“On the way where?” They were the only words E could muster from within. She was confused, but thankful.
“I was sent to get you. ‘A’ said that if he came to save you that you wouldn’t have let him.” Her words went even further to puzzle E. She tried to make some sort of sentence come out of her mouth but E just couldn’t. Anything that she sounded aloud came out as an incoherent mess of bamboozled sounds.
They pushed past a barrier, that was nothing but a mere obstacle in the way of this mysterious girl. She seemed obscenely motivated, like there was some sort of higher power possessing her. She shoved a dark figure out of the way. The figure looked like a security guard but E got bustled past him way too quickly to get a good view of their face of body.
At this point, E could barely breathe. The sprinting. The pain. The force of foot to floor. The breeze that was pushing against her face, and it stung her face as it was a sensation that she was so foreign to. The girl barged through a door, to what seemed like the outside world. E wasn’t allowed to slow down. The pace was kept up. Still frantically following this girl who has whisked her away from all she knew.
Hours passed. E’s body gave up. She couldn’t run anymore. She just couldn’t. She had to stop. This world was new to her, at least, what she knew, this was new. The girl bundled E into an old-style diner, filled with classic 50s nostalgia and music from that era. They sat down, it gave E just the kind of rest she needed at this moment.
“So, do you want anything?” The girl spoke confidently, but quietly.
“W-w-who are y-you?” E could only stutter, still catching her breath that was long gone by now.
“Oh of course, where are my manners? I’m C. I did try and tell you I was coming. I understand that it vague, you have my apologies.” C spoke like she had been through this kind of thing before. Like it was rehearsed.
“Do I… you know, know you?” E asked, trying to pry some sort of information from her new-found ally.
“You don’t. Well, you do, but you don’t remember me. It’ll all become clear soon. I promise. Seriously though, would you like some proper food? I can’t imagine what hell you’ve been through.”
E took her up on her offer. She wanted to experience real flavour for the first time in an eternity. Burger and fries, just the thing to reintroduce E to the real world. She couldn’t get the scripture from her wall out of her head. She was connected to it. Like it was part of her. The words spoke to her like a voice from a higher power. The feeling told her that she knew this girl that sat before her, that just rescued her from hell on earth.
“You said something about ‘A’?” E mumbled through shovelling food into her mouth.
“Yeah, I’m not sure if you will meet A but I’m sure they are anxious to meet you again.” C replied, her way of speaking was soft, and caring. Like she was in love with every word that left her mouth. Every syllable that was uttered by her lips, beautiful. E had forgotten what it was like for a person to speak to her. She appreciated every word that C said whilst they talked about the world. How the world has changed, how it is different. E’s last memory was of her as a teenager, being stuck in the back of the head with a police baton. Since then, she’s known nothing but darkness.
E’s stomach turned. The sheer volume of food that she consumed was painful to her, she couldn’t remember ever having this much food. She let out moans of pleasure for every bite she took out of the double-cheeseburger that was put in front of her. C laughed as E took each bite, with a sort of glee that E needed to see in someone. Happiness was something that E hadn’t ever seen. She couldn’t recollect ever seeing the emotion but right now she did.
“Right.” C shuddered quickly, “Let’s get going, let’s see if we can jog some of that memory of yours.” E stood, and thanked C, as she stood right in front of her, smiling from ear to ear. E didn’t understand why she was so happy but was so relieved to be out of her hell that it didn’t matter at all. She gladly followed her no matter what she said. The trust that E had developed for her in such a short space of time was unbelievable.
The two of them walked out of the diner, then walked down the street, talking and chatting about the world today, with E surprised at every turn. Donald Trump. North Korea. Theresa May. All of which are brand new concepts to E, who couldn’t even remember who John Kennedy was.
“Do you drink?” C asked, more jokingly than serious.
“I don’t know, do I?” E replied, wanting to find out more about herself.
“Well, let’s find out.” C said, become frantic yet again, her aura was so excitable and enthusiastic. Much like a good-willed tornado, running through E’s life, turning it upside down in such a positive way. C’s eyes locked onto a building in the distance, with the intent of getting extremely intoxicated. They burst through the doors of the establishment and the smell of alcohol and sex hit E’s nose like a car driving into a brick wall. Scantily clad women surrounded her, every single thought that you get during puberty hit her in that moment. It was like she was growing up all over again, all in that one second. She let herself go. She wanted to experience everything in one night. Every feeling, every emotion. She turned to C, and simply said, “Drinks?” C then happily obliged. Vodka, Daquiri, Whiskey. Everything you need to warm your soul.
E quickly found herself drunk, barely being able to string a sentence together. She had girls to her left and girls to her right. She wanted them. She turned to the girl she deemed most attractive and she pulled her aside, slipped a $20 bill into her underwear, begrudgingly donated by C. Then, she kissed her. Passionately.
She felt nothing. Nothing at all. No feeling. No sexual desires. Nothing. Instead, she just thought to the person in the photo. The man she kept seeing in her sleep because she had nothing to look at but his face. He was what she wanted, but she knew she couldn’t. She tried again. Kissing the girl for the second time, expecting something to change but it didn’t. She was overwhelmed by this feeling she had, for someone she didn’t even know. She cried. For hours. She didn’t know why but she just did.
She didn’t know how to feel. She slept, for 16 hours straight in a bed that was covered in a comfortable quilt and comfort. She woke with C sitting at the foot of her bed, looking worried. C was almost as beautiful as E. This being the first time that E could get a proper look at her friend’s face. She was innocent, yet travelled, her curly, mousey-brown hair perfectly suited her face. She had two different colour eyes. One brown, one blue, in the cutest way possible.
“Are you okay? We’ve got some things to do today. I must take you to meet N. We’re going to decide when you’re ready to meet A. Okay?” She was much calmer than the previous day, she seemed much more relaxed. E thought this was a refreshing thing, that she’ll get more sense out of her. She appreciated her.
They walked for hours, they had no change for bus fare as all their money had been spent on the night’s escapades. E didn’t appreciate this, she just needed rest, but hoped that this was going to be worth it soon. They came across a car. A dirty 97’ Ford Mondeo. C got into the driver’s seat and encouraged E to get into the passenger seat and she reluctantly agreed. Then, C insisted that E be blindfolded, that she couldn’t know where they were going. The darkness was too familiar. Too scary for her, but she said that it was okay, she had to see what was going on here.
“E? Are you okay? Can you hear me?” An unfamiliar voice called out the her. C removed the blindfold to reveal a man, in his early 20s. He was tall, strong and had short, straight, ginger hair. E was sat on a wooden chair, with splinters in her feet from the cold wooden floor that she was walked across moments before.
“N, I presume?” muttered E. He nodded, not giving much away. Then turning to C and whispering frantically talking, making it obvious that it was E that they were talking about. They shared intermittent looks towards her, like they were suspicious, but she hadn’t done anything, well, at least, anything that she remembered.
“We’re sorry, E.” N confidently spoke. “We haven’t exactly been truthful to you about this whole experience. There’s something you should know.” He continued, this being the first time that E had felt any kind of anxiety since the cell.
“My name is CeCe.” C interrupted. “And this is my brother, Noah.”
“We are your children.” Noah said quickly before E could react.
“Wait, the picture, the wall…” E said, wondering if what she felt was true or not.
“Yes, it is us in the picture, that photo is fifteen years old. The man in the photo is our dad. He wrote that passage on your wall, he would have saved you when you had the chance but you wouldn’t let him.” CeCe continued, starting to cry, overcome with emotion.
“The passage is from his wedding vows. We weren’t born when you two got married but you were so happy.” Noah butted in, continuing to blow E’s mind. She couldn’t speak. Her voice wouldn’t function and any emotion that she tried to express came out as tears.
“Would you like to see him?” Both Noah and CeCe said in unison, wanting their long-lost mother to be with their father. E nodded. Still crying and unable to talk. Noah turned around and knocked on a door at the back of the room. The doors swung open and stood there was the most handsome man E had ever laid her eyes on.