I open my eyes to find myself in the dark, alone. No Seb, I guess he went home. Damn. I still haven’t asked him about the money. The gentle blips of the machines next to me are the only sounds, though listening more closely, the whir of air-conditioning is also audible. The room itself is only visible thanks to the dim light of the moon, creeping in through the window. Curtains obscure yet more light, making it very difficult to see anything.
I get out of bed slowly, finding that the machines are on wheels, allowing me to move around a little and stretch my legs. I open the curtains, then the window, letting the cool air burst in. I imagine myself flying, the air rushing past me as I rise, aiming not for the moon or some distant star, but for home. Just a short hop away from this prison, it would be so easy. But no. I have no wings; I have no way to catch the wind.
I banish the thought from my mind, I can’t let such things grow, it’s too risky. I close the window quickly, forcing myself to breathe the stale air that fills this place. I can see in my reflection something rare, my pupils match. I look normal, just a regular woman with blue hair and grey eyes. I see no evidence of past trauma; I can almost believe my memory is intact. I can see a young girl, with brown hair and grey eyes, smiling at the world, playing with faceless parents. She is happy, like I used to be, like I should be now. But I’m not. I’m afraid.
I’m terrified that the next time I collapse, I won’t get up, and that next time Seb will be left alone. It would break him, I know it would. Losing him broke me, now it turns out he never left and I’m not sure how to piece my mind back together. I took death to stay with him, and I suppose it worked, but it doesn’t feel right. Every time I look at him I see his shattered face, I realise just how delicate he is, how simply he could be wiped from my life. Or how simply I could be wiped from his. But fear won’t help anyone; it only seems to make things worse, somehow.
I look down at the street below me. A man in a long coat stands beneath a broken streetlight, almost invisible against the shadow of night. I lean closer to the window to get a better look; he seems restless, undecided on the best way to stand. As he adjusts his coat, I see the glint of metal of something hidden in his inside pocket.
Another man walks nonchalantly towards him, stopping just next to him. The other man is holding a plastic bag, though I can’t tell the contents. A brief exchange takes place, the bag is handed over, but nothing in return. The man in the coat starts to walk away, but the other man grabs his shoulder and stops him.
An argument soon arises, with the other man trying to reclaim his bag, but the man in the coat just shrugs him off. Eventually a punch is thrown, hitting the man in the coat squarely in the chin. Using his free hand, the man reaches in his inside pocket, pulling out what I think is a gun. But not before the other man can hit him again, knocking him to the floor. The other man prises the firearm from his grip, without a moment’s consideration, he fires.
The shot echoes around my head.
The man in the coat stops struggling. The other man retrieves the bag and leaves quickly, letting him bleed out on the pavement. Is he still alive? I can’t tell, maybe I should try to help, but I wouldn’t know how. Besides, this is probably another strange hallucination and there’s no way anyone could survive a shot to the head from such close range anyway. The growing pool of blood looks like ink in the low light, his dead eyes hidden in the cover of night. It looks so real. But I know it can’t be.
I remind myself of the last three times I thought someone was dying and needed help, all three weren’t real. Why should this be any different? All the others seemed real until I woke up afterwards, I can’t trust my eyes any more. I draw the curtains to force away the image, getting back on the bed and lying back. I stare at the ceiling, which is just visible through the darkness.
What is wrong with me? I know this isn’t normal, I know there’s something wrong, but no one seems to be able to tell me what. Last time I was kept in they tried every test they knew to find some source of all of this. Nothing. They couldn’t spot any reason for my memory loss; as far as they were concerned I should have all my memories. Still, it doesn’t change the fact that I don’t.
I close my eyes to try and rest. Also to stop myself from glancing over at the curtains that hide the outside from view.
Everything goes black.
The darkness now is not much different to that of the room, but it is somehow more open, less restrictive. I can imagine that I am not stuck, not held against my will within these walls.
I hear the click of a door.