The slap on my face was hard but it woke me up. I jerked up, hitting my head on something. It made a dull noise. “Ow.” I murmured, rubbing my eyes.
“Why is your head so hard?” Said Noah, a faint note of laughter in his head.
“I don't know. Why did you slap me?”
“To wake you.” said Noah. “You kept shouting at me.”
I sighed. “You're not supposed to wake somebody when they're having a nightmare.”
The beach grew quiet. I rubbed my head, the sore point where I had hit Noah.
“What were you dreaming about?”
“The hospital but I don't think it was a dream. Why have you been screaming about.” Noah looked at me blankly. “Vespa told me. She went in to calm you down and you basically attacked her.”
Noah rubbed his eyes. “I keep remembering things about the hospital.”
I thought popped into my head and I grabbed his head roughly, searching.
“What are you doing?” My fingers scavenged his scalp looking for the scar, the scar that would put the final puzzle piece into place. “Cassie?” I couldn't... and then my hand skimmed over it. Barely thick enough to be felt, but it was there. A scar no longer than a fingernail and practically as thin as wire. It was there though.
“Look.” I grabbed his hand and put it to the scar. His fingers glided up to it, he pulled his head upwards but kept his fingers on the scar. I smiled satisfied.
“What is it?”
“I think we were operated on, to get rid of our memories. It can't of been long ago, two years I think. Is that what you dreamed about?”
I stared at him, eyes wide in question. “I was with my family, but something kept trying to drag me away from them. There were eight of them trying to pull me away. They eventually did and then they were pinning me down. Checking my eyes, seeing to the cuts on my arms.” His eyes widened in realization, he stared at his outstretched arms, admiring the thin cuts. “It was glass, I’m sure of it, shattered glass.”
I sighed and pushed my hands into my hair, pulling and willing myself to think. There was something in my head that I was so close to figuring out, but it was like trying to get through a brick wall.
“Go get a knife!”
Ten minutes later Noah returned with a knife... and Vespa. I groaned inwardly as she stared me down.
“What the hell” She asked drily, kicking me with her boot. I grabbed her foot and pulled, she landed on the floor with an 'oof' and before she could argue I searched, her scar was easy to find, it was larger than both of ours, messier even. Her's was older by far.
“Feel this scar,” I pushed her fingers to it. “We all have one and I think it's like a memory blocker or something. I need you to cut along mine and search the cut.”I grabbed the knife from Noah. Vespa grabbed my arm.
“Are you crazy?”
“This is pretty crazy Cassie you can't go round asking people to cut your head open.”
I rolled my eyes. “If you do it we might be able to figure out what happened to us.”
Vespa stared at me blankly. I sighed. “Something happened ten years ago, that made us go into that place. Somebody told me we were helping with something. Do you have an idea what we're supposed to helping?”
“Well cut then.” I pulled my wrist from her grasp. They both looked at me as though I was mad. “Fine i'll do it myself.” I found my scar with my fingers and teased the knife along. Tears sprang to my eyes, as blood began to drip down my temple.
“Cassie.” Said Noah in and attempt to stop me. It was too late though. I chucked the knife onto the sand and pushed my fingers into the cut. I bite hard on my cheek and squinted through the pain. It hurt so bad but I had to know if there was something there. I pushed further into the flesh but there was nothing there at all. I dropped my bloody hands and wiped away the tears with my wrist.
“What.” I murmured, wiping blood from my face.
“This needs to stop.” Said Vespa, looking into my eyes.
“You, you need to stop worrying what happened in the past, you need to focus on now, we cant change what those people did to us.”
I got up, my vision slightly blurred. “What did they do...” Silence. “Exactly you don't know, and we won't know until we remember but there's something blocking me from remembering.” Everything grew unstable and the silence of Noah and Vespa only irritated me. How could they be so cool about it, didn't they won't to know.
Vespa sighed. “Knowing won't erase what happened to us, Cassie. You need to get over it.”
I laughed. “Get over it, they took ten years of my life away. Do you not want to know what they did? Aren't you curious?” I was shouting now, infuriated with their stupidity. Knowledge was power, wasn't it.
“You're...” Noah trailed off looking at his shoes.
“What? What am I Noah.”
I stepped back, as though his words had hit me, it stung like a slap. A tear rolled down my cheek but all that came out my mouth has laughter. “I'm mad. You, you eat your body parts and you're telling me that i'm the mad one.”
Noah stood, angry. “You know that's not true.”
“How do I, you could be an impulsive liar for all I know, for all anybody knows. Because we don't know what happened we can't be sure.” I spoke slowly, dangling my words in front of him like meat. I knew it was cruel but we had been through so much and he had called me crazy. Vespa stood too, knowing I had taken it too far.
“Shut up.” Noah shouted.
“Make me.” I teased. Noah punched me before I could even step back. It hurt but I just laughed it off. “Only psychos hit girls.”
“Well at least I didn't murder my parents.” My mood sobered. “Isn't that what your in their for, being a delusional socio-path.”
I pushed my finger into his chest. “You know full well I didn't do that.”
“Well that's what the story said you did, you could be an murderer for all I know, for all anybody knows. Because we don't know what happened we can't be sure.” He repeated my words spitefully. Anger bubbled up in me and I jumped at him.
We landed on the sand with a thump. I punched and punched. Noah was stronger though. He rolled over so I was on my back and held my wrists above my head. “Stop it Cassie.”
“That's not even my name, we don't have names remember?”
“Cassie calm down.”
I screamed. “Why does everyone I trust hide things from me, why do you all lie and turn against me.” I cried.
“What are talking about?” Said Noah, confused. In his thought his grip loosened on my wrists. I pushed him off and got up. I ran. Like I always did.
I didn't know where I was going and with blood pouring down the side of my face I looked like a complete... psycho. I wanted to hide, I ran up the hill into the forest, there was a spot I could go.
“Cassie, oh my god, Cassie.” Shouted Elle, her face going paler at the site of me. I ignored her and sprinted faster. In minutes I was in the woods and in the clearing of the party. It was then I saw it, I small smile formed on my mouth. The tree house. I hadn't noticed it before, yet I knew it was there. I climbed the ladder into it. I sat there like I had in the cupboard. There were pillows and blankets. I pulled my t-shirt off and wrapped the blankets around my body. I crumpled my t-shirt into a ball and pressed it against my head to stop the bleeding.
How had everything become such a mess. Noah was right I had gone mad. I just wanted to know what had happened to me. I hated there being an empty space in my life. All the memories were just a jumble and Spencer was a complete mystery. I had no memory of him before what I thought was our first meeting earlier this year but obviously I was wrong. In my memory I seemed to know something, something they didn't want me to know. They said I wouldn't hurt anymore, but that didn't make any sense I wasn't hurting in the first place. There had to be something. Something that happened ten years ago.
“Dude they aren't here.” said a voice. I froze. Moving so as not to make a noise I popped my head out of the tree house. In the clearing below was a guard from the hospital and Spencer. I began to panic, I dropped my t-shirt and told myself to breath deeply but it didn't help. I scuttled back into the tree house.
“She's here I know it.” said Spencer, loudly. Aggression in his voice.
“She?” The guard asked confused, did he mean me?
“They, I meant they, they're here.”
“Chief wants us to go home.” the guard said. In curiosity I peeked my head out again. I had to see. Spencer through his head back and laughed.
“I don't care what chief wants, we'll get them back. They're here I know it, or at least they've been here.”
The guard sighed, putting his hand on Spencer's shoulder. “Still believe what that kid said.”
Spencer through the guards hand off his shoulder.
“He said he'd seen her, she bit his lip. That sounds like her.” Flynn. In shock I jerked back. My leg accidentally hit the ladder. I watched in horror as the ladder began to fall.
“Someone's up there.” Said Spencer, I listened as he approached, his footsteps echoing through my head.
“It was the wind Spencer.” Said the guard lazily.
Spencer grew closer. I listened with my heart in my mouth as Spencer walked around the tree. “Hello?” He called. I stayed silent and still. He moved away and let out a sigh of relief.
“Spencer... Spencer what are you doing there's nobody up there, it was the wind.”
“Did you feel a gust of wind?” Said Spencer, his voice strained. I bit my lip to stop me from screaming as I realized what he was doing. I listened and enough, Spencer groaned as the ladder hit the top of the tree house. My eyes widened. In a panic I did the only thing possible. I pushed the pillows from the back of the house and laid down. Working quickly, his steps growing ever closer. I pulled the blankets over my body, making sure every part of me was covered. Snaking my arm through I pulled the pillows on top of me. I waited. Only able to see through the tiniest of holes between the blanket and a pillow. His head came into view. I tensed my toes to stop from moving or squeaking. My heart was beating so fast I was surprised Spencer couldn't hear it knocking on my ribcage. He looked around, his eyes lingering on the pillows. He stared for a second too long. His hand reached down to touch one of the pillows.
“What's this.” Said the guard from the ladder. He held something in his hand. Something grey and red. A deep scarlet red. It took me a moment to realize what it was but when I did it was hard not to burst into tears. I tensed in my leggings and bra, shivering under the blankets, as Spencer took my t-shirt from the guard. He unrolled it and stared.
“The blood's still warm.” I cursed, why was it always my blood. He looked at the floor. Droplets of blood and sand granules were strewn everywhere.
“Do you reckon it's one of there's?” Asked the guard.
“I know it is.”
“but Chief wants us back.”
Spencer stood and let out a long sigh. “You go. I'll stick around for a while.”
“Ok.” The guard backed down the ladder and when he was out of earshot, Spencer finally spoke.
“Where are you?” He murmured, clutching my bloody t-shirt in his hand.