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I am Kira. I am 1.

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10. Chapter Nine

 

CHAPTER NINE

The sound was almost deafening. I gripped the blanket over me tightly, eyes rammed shut. The tapping and thumping and all sorts of other noises seemed to be mushed together, creating one big sound which changed pitch and volume all at the same time. I wanted to run, feeling trapped but I couldn't open my eyes. They'd told me not to move. It would make the pictures of my brain fuzzy, blurred; just like if you moved when someone was taking a normal picture of you.

But this wasn't a normal picture. It was going to be a picture of my brain and it scared me. What if this revealed things I didn't want to see... What if the sound squished me to pieces? It felt like that, knowing I was encased inside a machine, feeling as though the huge magnets in it were going to magnetise me to death.

“It doesn’t move and nothing will touch you. Most of all just remember it won't hurt you. It just makes a lot of noise, that’s all.”

I repeated in my head, what the nurse had told me before being pushed into the machine. I tried to reassure myself but I couldn't stop feeling it, feeling the fear. I wanted it to be over but time wouldn't move any faster. I was surrounded by the noise and the fear and the dread.

"Think of a happy place," had also been one of the nurses suggestions. But how could I think of a happy place when I couldn't remember things... I couldn't remember things which made me happy? And it scared me... I couldn't remember things... Amnesia made you forget things. But surely it wasn't that, it couldn't be.

My head was filled with blurriness and 1's.. 1. 1. ...1.....1....1.1.1.1.1.1.

NO. I tried to push them away. I tried with all my might. The experience was worse enough, I felt as though the magnetic field was passing through me, I didn't need the 1's consuming my brain too. But I couldn't stop them...

I wanted to squish my eyes shut harder but I couldn't move. If I blurred the pictures then I'd have to be here longer. I didn't want that. So I breathed out slowly through my nose, trying with all my might to think of something, something other than what was currently in my brain.

But there wasn't anything... I couldn't this time, I couldn't grasp hold of memories. I felt as though my heart had been swallowed up, a horrible lump forming in my throat. Why couldn't I do it anymore? Before I had... Wait... There's something. Words.... Go... What.....

Go... to the...forest.

A electronic sounding voice, crackly... what....

Go to the forest...

GO TO THE FOREST.

I flinched, my eyes flying open... I in-took breath sharply, confused. Humming and whirring increased in pitch... The machine seemed too close around me... I couldn't breath... no.... no.... no

1.1.1.1.1.1.1.1.1.1.1.1.1.1.

GO TO THE FOREST.

Screaming... Noise... Panic... 1.1.1.1.1.1.

NO.

1.1.1.1.1.1.1.1.1.1.1

Kira.

Kira.

KIRA.

A voice, a women's voice. My eyes flew open again, I felt the grip of someone on my arm.... bright light. My eyes were startled, stars and dots clouding my vision.

"Kira." It was the women again.

My eyes regained focus. It was the nurse who had put me into the machine. She was standing next to me looking concerned. The bed I was laying on had been pulled out of the machine again. I looked around the white room. I could see Doctor Stevens standing on the other side of the big glass viewing window at the end of the room. He looked serious and cold. I shivered.

I tried to speak, my voice shaking but no words came out.

"Are you okay?" the nurse asked, her voice sounded kind.

I focused on her face and tried to speak again. "What... What happened?" My voice sounded raspy.

"Your MRI is finished," she told me gently. "It's okay to be a bit disorientated, you've been still for a long time."

"But...," I started to speak again, confused. Screaming... Someone had been screaming. And the voice... the crackly voice. Go to the forest... What?

The nurse rolled back the blanket from my legs as I was still shaking. She looked back at me, "what is it dear?"

"Someone... I heard someone screaming, and a voice... there was this loud voice," I muttered out, stumbling over my own words, scared that I had been the one screaming.

The nurse looked confused. "No one was screaming, Kira. There wasn't any voices either." She paused. "Maybe it was the noisy machine and your imagination mixing it up."

I wanted to protest, sure someone had spoken to me during the process... but maybe it was just my brain, my imagination. I blinked rapidly as the nurse helped me stand up from the bed. I couldn't stand properly for a while, wobbling. She held onto me, saying something about what was going to happen next but I wasn't listening. I was focused on what had happened. 

There was definitely a voice... and the 1's. They had filled my brain, confused me and then there was that voice. Go to the forest.

"Here are your clothes," the nurses voice broke through my train of thought. I felt the soft feel of cotton and looked down into my hands. This is what I had been wearing before I changed into a hospital gown.

"Don't I have to wear this still?" I asked, pointing to the gown.

The nurse shook her head. "No dear. The ward you're in, we usually let you wear your own clothes," she explained to me. "You just needed to wear this gown for the MRI so there was no metal on you."

I nodded as she led me to a dressing cubicle. I changed back into my clothes, feeling more comforted by them. I felt like me... but yet I didn't.. something was still wrong. I knew it. I sniffed and took in some more air, pushing back the stinging feeling in my eyes which was trying to bring out tears.

I exited the cubicle and the nurse led me through another door. Doctor Stevens was waiting for me.

"I'll be looking at your MRI scans and the test results from the questions we asked before," he told me and I avoided his eyes again, nodding. I didn't like being reminded of either test experience. The questions before the MRI had been an awkward experience. He had asked me so many questions about myself and I had to tell him what I could remember. I thought I would struggle, knowing full well I couldn't remember things but, I knew my name and when I really thought I could tell him my birthday and about my family. It was like I had been able to access my memories then. I had felt I knew every answer to the questions, like something in my brain suddenly allowed me to know these things during the test.

Now I couldn't, my brain felt hazy and blank... and filled with... I shook my head, trying not to focus on the number.

I had not been concentrating on the conversation, brought back into reality when the nurse was directing me to the door at the back of the room. Before I could walk through, Doctor Stevens spoke again, "Kira, you seemed adamant that you heard a voice when you came out of the machine. I heard you talking to the nurse through the intercom." I tried to keep my breathing calm and normal. I'd promised Asha I wouldn't tell him about anything weird going on in my brain.

"I think it was my imagination," I repeated what the nurse had thought it was. "I was just a bit confused and scared by the noises."

Doctor Stevens facial expression was pulled into a contemplating look. It unnerved me. I felt like he was trying to intrude into my thoughts through his fixed gaze on me. I tried to break free but I couldn't, he held me still in his view. "Are you sure, Kira?"

I nodded, trying not to be too quick about it so it was suspicious. "I'm sure." But I wasn't sure at all.

There had been a voice. I knew there had been. Through the 1's and through the swirling thoughts in my brain, there had been a voice, a message. But why? 

As the nurse walked me back to my room, I couldn't help but feel horrified. I was going mad, my brain was telling me things which I didn't understand. First the numbers and then mysterious voices in my head that didn't make sense. What did it all mean?

Go to the forest. Forest. There had been a forest in my dream...

But were the two things connected? 

I got back into my bed as the nurse left and pulled the covers up further around me. I wanted more comfort. The tests had made me feel worse, I didn't know what the conclusions of them were yet and I definitely didn't think the answers would be any good for me. I pulled the covers up again, I just wanted to be warm right now, to feel some kind of security.

My eyes fell on my wrist and I moved the hospital wrist band up, wishing that my skin was blank again but it wasn't.

1. It was still there.

I had cleverly used the band to cover the 1 embedded on my skin so that the doctors and nurses wouldn't see it, but now it was clear as day. My worries always became worse when I looked at it. I had spent many minutes in the bathroom trying to wash it off and hoped it was just like when you draw on yourself with pen, not permanent, but it would not budge. Why was it there in the first place? What was it for?

Suddenly, I became aware of the sniffing sounds of crying from my left, annoyed that I hadn't realised before. I quickly looked round at Asha who had been laid facing the other way when I entered. Now I could see her eyes were filled with tears and fear. I didn't need to ask why, I knew why. She must have heard the voice too.

"What did they say?" I whispered but I could already guess. This was happening to the both of us.

I fixed her gaze in mine as together we said, "go to the forest."

Go to the forest.

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