I am Kira. I am 1.


7. Chapter Six



The new room was small, well smaller than the last one.

There were only three beds in this room and it seemed homelier somehow, less cheap. Maybe it was for people who would be staying more long term. That thought filled me with dread so I pushed it away and focused back on walking. As I followed Doctor Stevens into the room I could get a better look, seeing for the first time the girl I would be sharing the room with.

She was sat on her bed, the one in the middle of the three, watching me with her dark eyes through her black rectangle framed glasses, her face framed by the hijabi she wore around her head, covering her hair from view. I met her eyes and she smiled at me. I wasn't sure whether I should smile back as I hardly knew her yet but I made myself do it as I didn't want to seem rude. When she glanced at Doctor Stevens I thought I saw her shiver but wasn't too sure as it had hardly been noticeable. I wouldn't have blamed her for shivering though, Doctor Stevens made me feel like shivering too.

"Kira, this is Asha Ryder, Asha, this is Kira Lancaster," Doctor Stevens introduced us two and we nodded at each other in acknowledgement, I think too nervous to say anything. "You will be sharing this room, until we see fit to release you or we need to change your room for any reason," he turned to explain to me. I nodded. He pointed to the bed on the left of Asha's. "This is your bed."

I shuffled towards it and sat down, slowly, dangling my feet over the edge. I did not want to look at Doctor Stevens although I could sense him looking at me. He said nothing and it was silent for a few moments before I finally felt him look away from me.

"I'm still speaking to your parents at the moment, if you need anything there is a buzzer by the door," he explained. I nodded. Thank goodness for that, I thought to myself, as he left my presence again.

I swung my legs up to the bed to sit cross legged, facing more towards Asha. We both sat awkwardly, not sure what to say or do. Finally, the silence between us was broken. Asha was first to speak. "That man is very cold." She sounded foreign and her accent seemed something similar to African or from that sort of region.

"I know," I agreed. "He gives me the creeps."

Asha nodded in confirmation. "Me to." She paused for a little. "He is not my doctor but I've still had him come in some times."

"He's my assigned doctor, unfortunately," I told her.

She gave me a sympathetic smile. "I do not trust him, his aura, it is bad." Her words were so dark and meaning full as she said them it made me feel what she meant.

I could not think of what to say, I agreed with her entirely. I sat back more comfortably in bed. Asha was watching me. I could tell she had something on her mind but she did not seem confident enough to say it. I tried to give her a reassuring look, to speak again but she did not say anything.

Instead she turned away, getting off from her bed and walking towards the window on the right-hand side of the room, opposite the door from which I had come from. She stood before the window, looking out on the world and all of a sudden, I felt sorry for her. I had no idea how long she had been here but maybe she had been trapped inside these walls for a long time. I wanted to ask her but didn't. I could just see it from the way she was standing, her posture, that she didn't want to be here.

I didn't want to be here either.

I sighed, closing my eyes to darkness and rubbing them with my palms. Being like this made me so tired, maybe it was just all the effort from what was going on in my head. I was trying so hard to think of memories, of who I was, ignoring the ever-going confusion in my head with all the mixture of 1's and blank darkness. It was hard to think and it took most of my energy away.

"Kira." It was Asha's gentle voice. I opened my eyes, she was standing next to my bed.

I looked up to her, cleared my throat. "Yes."

"You were murmuring," she told me. "Are you ok?"

I nodded quickly and she turned to sit on her bed again. I looked at her, she had an unreadable expression on her face. I took in some more breath before asking, fearing the answer, "what was I murmuring?"

"One," she replied and my heart sunk. "Over and over again."

I dropped my eyes to my lap. Asha sighed. "It's ok, Kira, I know how you feel." I looked up, confusion on my face.

"What do you mean?" I asked her quietly.

She didn't say anything at first, sitting there her hands shaking a little. "I have a number to, a number in my head, 313. It won't go away." She shuddered and I saw tears in her eyes. "It won't go away," she repeated as a whisper.

I bit my lip, tears piercing my eyes. She did know how I felt, it wasn't just happening to me. I felt relief but I also felt sadness. Why was this happening to us? Why?

"And...erm," I felt awkward asking this but I needed to ask her, "your memories...are they...?"

Before I could properly form my words, she nodded. "I can't remember my life, who I was, where I come from. I have no clue."

I met her eyes as she looked up again. "I am so confused." I breathed in deeply. As I looked at her sad, confused face I saw her fear, clear in her eyes. I felt like I mirrored her, feeling exactly like that.

"But can you get snippets, like some clues?" I questioned because I knew sometimes I could.

She shook her head, looking to the floor again. "I did not even recognize my own mother."

I gave her the best sympathetic look I could. Maybe she was not so able to break through the barrier to try and get to memories, like I could. I decided not to say that I could remember some things, if I really tried to.

My voice shook as I tried to comfort her, "I-It will be fine." I wasn't sure that I was telling the truth.

She shrugged and laid down on her bed, saying sadly, "I don't have much hope, the darkness might just swallow me up. Maybe that will be the best thing for me." She rolled onto her side, facing away from me and I heard that she was crying. I didn't know what to do.

My own tears were sliding down my face and a sadness had swallowed me up, dragging me down so much that I didn’t think I could have said anything, too weak and miserable. Her words, what she had said, echoed round in my head. Maybe she was right. Maybe the darkness of the 1's would come and take me.

As I lay there I thought to myself, if that was going to be my fate, I would at least like to know why it had to be this way.

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