A pierce through the head and he drops dead to the forest floor. Pale and bloody, but just a spec out of the rest to hunt down. It’s a fight for survival, a fight to represent yourself. But there’s something missing…
It all started when everything got out of hand, the year of 2056. Countries throughout the globe thought they were better than each other. Massive killing was taking place. An end was needed fast. All generals from the countries came up with an idea. A fight for survival – a fight for representation. All was agreed on and they decided to create something artificial. Something completely unreal. A place where the environment is not even livable.
They set off in an uncharted area. Ships loaded with waste were dumped. Once filled, it was covered with rock and cement. Areas had desert, forest, lakes, snow, and rain. How could a play so unreal match for such an entertaining game?
Participants were then flown to this vast wasteland. Hundreds. Placed in this land, zoned at different areas, they have to find each other and fight. No weapons, no food. Ultimate survival. No one had a glimpse of what was to come. No one thought it would become so harsh. Anyone who tried to escape was sentenced to immediate death.
I’ve been through many injuries and near death situations. I’m trained for this harsh crap. Other than that, I really had no choice. Vanessa was a bad girl in the eyes of the capitol. Back in Palem, where I live, I was sentenced to death. I killed a guy who tried to rob me. I said it was self defense… no one believed me. I didn’t want to get my throat sliced in front of everyone, I’d rather fight.
They placed me in the ice wasteland. When first stationed, I thought I wasn’t going to live through this freezing temperature. I was beat and gagged. When I woke, I was alone, curled in a ball, trying to generate body heat. Eventually I found a way to make a home. I used the clothes I had as my blanket and slept on the cold snow, bare ass. I survived this way for a week. I ate snow, slept and looked for prey. My horizon looked endless. All I saw was white. I didn’t know what to expect. I didn’t know that I, too, was being hunted, until the first victim came.
By then I was already past the ice, fighting my way through trees and branches. I heard a whoosh. I checked my surroundings, but I found no one. All I found was a shank: a sharp wooden spear. I picked it up and began running for escape.
I tripped over a branch of what looked like the bow for a bow and arrow. I heard the tree branches snap from up above. I was being hunted.
I hid behind a tree. An arm was poking out from where I was standing. I picked up the bow and spear and brought it back. I aimed and let go in an instant. Suddenly, a squirt of blood came out of the main artery in an arm and a loud crash on the forest floor. Insanity.
I went over to the pale body, picked up the rest of his weapons that were on his back, and carried on.
At the moment, my stomach was growling. I needed to find something to eat. I placed my weapons down and took some wood from a tree. I started a fire. Nights in the forest get dark… and cold…
I took my bow and arrow and began searching for any type of animal the next morning. There were birds flocking in the midst air, but too fast for me to catch one. I smelled something burning. For a second, I thought it was my fire. No, it couldn’t be… mine was in the opposite direction. I went searching for the fire, hoping that there might be food roasting.
I calmed the fire a bit and lay on the floor. The warmth of the fire calmed my nerves… and I slowly drift asleep…
When I wake, I find myself damp. Ugh, it rained… today isn’t going to go so well. I begin the hurt for prey, when I come across a rabbit. I take out my blade and fling it 30 yards. Right through the chest. I take the blade out from the piercing, wipe it clean and begin to chow down the rabbit. I haven’t eaten in a week. I feel better. I drop the rabbit’s bones on the floor. I hear a whisper… I look around. Nobody. Am I hearing myself, I thought to myself. But then I hear it, again. God damn! Where is that coming from?!
21 gunshots through the air. 21 deaths. 30 left. I come across a waterfall. I undress and wash myself up. …why is the water coming out red? I look up and I see a body hanging by his shirt on a rock. Ouch… I quickly get myself ready when the whispers return. I ignore it and try to sleep off this stress. Tree branches crack in the distance. Someone is running…
I take out my bow and arrow and follow the sounds of the branches. Steady…
The arrow passes the running boy and ends up getting the one who was chasing him. I see the blood pour out of the guys’ stomach. A face full of dirt, face full of blood, face full of crap.
The boy being chased catches his breath next to my fire. What does he want?! I bring out my knife and attack him. I put it up to his throat.
“Whoa, whoa, whoa there pretty lady… don’t kill me just yet,” said the kid.
My hand was trembling from the thought of killing him. He was… cute. He looked like a skater. You find a lot of those back in Palem. I pulled back my knife and he stood up. I wonder what his name is…
“I’ve let you free. What is it that you want?” I said to the boy.
“First off, the name’s Jake. And second, I thought I’d spend a night with you. You look stunning. What can a girl like you be doing here? Geez. You look like those dream girls: perfect lips, pale white skin, and bluish eyes… a beauty.”
I felt myself getting red. Uh-oh…
“Vanessa…” The sound of my own voice. I sounded different… I didn’t sound like a thug or some mean bitch. My voice sounded sweet… I can’t like this kid though; it’s a war between everyone. I should just kill him right now.
“Do you… uh… mind if I stay here with you tonight?” Jake asked.
In my head, I wanted him to stay here. I wanted him to actually be next to me. “Just… just find yourself a spot. AWAY FROM ME!” I told him. I looked away shyly. I didn’t want the redness in my cheeks to give my feelings away. What the generals want me to do is stab him right here and now to get on with myself. I curled in a spot next to the fire and drifted off to sleep… thoughts of what’ll happen the next morning… and what can happen if I do fall in love…
As my night drifts away, I feel his lips connect with my forehead. My sleep was deep enough to block out everything, but his kiss woke me up for a quick second.
I hid my smirk.
I went back to bed.
The next morning came. He was next to my side… fire all ready with some cooked bird. How could he have caught the bird when I couldn’t catch one myself? The smell was so good, so I rushed up. His smile brought a smile upon mine… is his smile fake?
“I made some bird… want some?” Jake asked.
“Yeah. Hurry up and give it to me. I don’t have all day. Geez. I should have killed you, and now you’re trying to hit on me.” I looked away so I won’t begin to blush at the texture of his face… I take a bite from the bird and walk away. He just sat there… looking up, watching me leave. I turned my head back. Crap! He caught me…
I found a campsite with a whole bunch of people. Jackpot. I quickly climbed up a tree to get a birds view of all their materials and the amount of people that are actually there. There was a beehive. I started kicking around the beehive to see if anything was in there. A loud buzz came out of the hive. I panicked. I quickly climbed down the tree. My only escape was to run past the campsite and let the bees sting all of them.
I made a run for my life, something I really have never done before. Running was never my thing. The bees followed me as I passed the campsite and stung each and every one of them. All of them were away from me… but that wasn’t the end of my worries. I felt a sting in my leg. Not a bee sting, but more of a gash. Something must have cut me on my way down. I put pressure on my leg as I fell to the ground. This pain is too much. My eyes began to close. I felt myself fading…
I woke up the next day, I guess, and not alone. I was surrounded by someone. Jake… How’d he find me? So many questions ran through my head, I couldn’t believe that he was actually here. He was shirtless, his shirt around my wound. I felt a bit better, less woozy. I was able to stand, but not for long.
“Here, let me help you up,” Jake said.
“No, get away. I can do this myself!” He backed away at my response. The pain grew again as I walked for a while. I passed the site where the bees stung everyone. No one was dead yet… I guess they passed out. I took out my knife and threw it at one. No reaction, no more movement. The next one tried to crawl. I stepped on his face on a rock and crushed the skull.
“Whoa,” Jake said in the background.
My body felt like it was giving up on me. I fell backward and passed out.
As I woke, I was actually in comfort. Something was holding me. So soft… As I moved to find another comfort spot, I felt a soft kiss on my forehead. A feeling rushed through my body and my face brightened. He noticed my reaction so I put on a mad face and crawled out of his arms.
“Food dropped from the sky,” Jake told me.
I was confused. I didn’t get what he said.
“I guess audience is digging this stuff. They actually think that I’m faking such a love,” Jake said. My mind went blank at those words, happiness, yet confusion. Did he just tell me that he loves me? It started to piss me off. I wanted to kill him already so I can actually move on with my life and kill the rest. I’m not here to fall in love; I’m here to escape prison. Why is he clouding up my mind?!
I left him alone and took a walk.
A voice came from the back of me. “Look at this asshole who thinks she can just walk around and not get hunted. Just because she’s a girl, she thinks she can get away with such things.” I am seriously not in the mood for this.
I can hear the speed of the person running. I’m dead. I get tackled to the ground.
“Time to end your misery,” the person said.
The knife that the boy has comes closer to my throat. What do I do? Fear is inside, anger on the outside. I’ve never been attacked. What are my options? My arms are pinned to the ground, my hands under my legs. What if I die here? What would Jake think? Ah, he wouldn’t care. He’s a fake. He’s trying to trick me into loving him so he can kill me in the end.
My leg reacts, and I kick the guy in the bad spot. A small incision is made on my neck and blood is just pulsing out. I stab him in the leg and then take a jab at his nose to push the bone up. Dead. I yell at the top of my lungs and rest my head on a rock. More blood loss. I find myself breathing faster. I need someone now.
My eyes half closed, I get picked up and brought into a cave. My thoughts are clouded and my vision is starting to blur. With little sunlight, I’m examined. Who could this be?
Another night fades and I wake to the sound of gunshots in the air. 4 of them. The death toll is increasing, and my life is shortening as each day progresses. It feels weird not waking up to a smile or a kiss on the forehead.
…What am I thinking? I don’t need him. I can move on with my life. It’s not like he’s missing me. I could leave this place without a trace and he wouldn’t come to see me for one last time.
All these words are going through my head and I find myself going into depression. A feeling I’ve never felt before. I’ve been sad, but this is actually affecting my condition. I’ll sleep it off…
A new morning. A new location. Where am I now? I’m outdoors, just waiting to be attacked. I pick myself up and check out my surroundings. Who put me here? I stand up and slowly walk towards a smell of smoke. The smell is getting stronger… and there’s a sound of flames.
A boulder comes from one of the trees, blocking my path. What the hell? I go around it and now there’s fire in my way. I guess I can’t go this way. My only hope is to turn back. To what, though? There was nothing that way. This place is too open to even decide what to do anymore. I head back to square one and instead of going straight, I turn left. Instead of fire and huge rocks in my way, I’m entering an ice land. I’m not ready to die just yet… I head back and go in the opposite direction. This is blocked off by fallen trees and a pack of wolves up ahead.
My only hope is to go where I didn’t want to in the first place. The rain. I take a sigh, look down, and begin my journey into the rain. Everything goes dark, and I smack into a tree. Damn. Something grabs my arm. My feet are no longer touching the ground and I scream desperately. What the hell is going on? The speed that I’m traveling at is inhuman. My arms are wrapped around someone’s neck, and my legs are gripped around a torso. In a matter of minutes, everything stops and I’m placed on the ground. A huge hug is wrapped around me… and my lips are touched by something… It feels soft… They felt like someone else’s lips… The lips of the person I had imagined.
A soft laugh emerges from the silence. Jake. The long awaited dream… Luckily it’s dark in this cave. My cheeks feel like they are on fire right now.
“You think I didn’t know what you were thinking? You thought I didn’t care?” Jake says softly.
He took my hand and kissed it. My eyes felt like they lit up.
“My feelings for you are too much to even explain to you right now. If there was something I wanted more than anything right now, it would be to actually hold you as victor.” There was a long silence… “There’s only 4 more people left in this war. 2 of them including us. We’re not supposed to help each other, but I really can’t help it.”
A whisper came out of my mouth… “I love you…” I was barely able to hear it myself, but I guess he has some weird hearing ability, as he responded “I love you, too.”
The crowd watching this at Palem responded in a loud manner – loud enough for the contestants to hear. The long sighs, they were feeling what I were feeling. This feeling… so indescribable.
“Yes, it is indescribable for myself, too,” Jake exclaimed.
How did he hear me?
“While you tried going out on your own, I was watching you. I eliminated all the enemies that were going to attack you while you passed out. If it wasn’t for me, you wouldn’t be here right now. And I don’t think I would be smiling as hard as I am. See… I’m not like everyone else. I’ve just gone through many science experiments. Back in 2032, I was kidnapped and taken into a lab. I was beat until I couldn’t hold myself together anymore. I was thrown into some life tube. There is where my life changed,” Jake told me.
“What happened?” I said.
“They used some particles they found from a crash site that contained unknown substances. I guess they always wanted to test it. I guess I was just the test subject. Ever since the test, I noticed that I was not aging. I was released back into public, but I couldn’t adapt. I was already reported as missing. I was in the lab for over 10 years. No one would recognize me. I was someone different. My facial features changed. My abilities were different from everyone else. So I ran away. I went to the woods. I tested my powers. My speed was faster than anything imaginable. After a while I decided to go out into public again, but my mind was racing. I was inside other people’s minds. For instance, I would be in a library, and I would hear everyone, but no one was talking. I couldn’t live like this,” he continued.
I was shocked from his story. I couldn’t believe it. I’ve read about immortals, but those were always books. Myths, like any other person was forced to read in school. Those were never true, those were always those “once upon a time” crap stories. There was never evidence about some dude who underwent test and was erased from society. There was always a random story in the library about missing people, but never have I heard a story like this.
“When they told me about this representation game, I decided to come out into public. I decided to test my powers. I wanted to see if I can use these powers with others. I guess you were my test subject for speed. Did you feel a bit woozy coming off my back after I kidnapped you from the rain forest?” Jake said.
“Not really. I was in too much of a shock to even believe what was happening to me.”
Jake smiled and placed me on his lap. I felt his lips on mine, and a rush went through me that made my mind blank. Over and over, I wanted to feel this. My night faded as I fell asleep in his arms…
A new morning, a new day. What was to come for this killing game? Jake wasn’t in the cave and I began to feel lonely. I wondered what he was doing…
A looked around for food. Nothing but plants was in this cave. I guess a few leaves wouldn’t hurt. I ripped them from the ground and bit them. Not the best… but at least something. My mind was just racing from last night. So much was told, so much was felt, I didn’t want that night to end.
The gash on my leg was closing naturally from the slice I took while trying to escape the bees. I took a step outside, the sun was shining bright. This seemed so unreal. I have the perfect guy, the love for him, and now a sunny day. What more could I ask for?
I stood on top of a rock to check out this rain scenario. Instead of rain today, I guess, was sunshine. Weird. I smiled as I thought of the kiss he gave me when he saved me from the darkness, and the kiss he gave me while in his arms. It made my heart beat faster.
All I felt was a loud thump and my back began to hurt. What just happened? I was just standing on a rock. I felt throbbing, which has to be followed by blood eventually. I was now on the floor, still oblivious as to what just happened. Then I felt a slash come across my stomach. I look up and I see it was one of the last enemies. His eyes were bloodshot red with rage. He wants to kill me on instant. He begins to drag me, and I’m hitting rocks and pebbles along the drag. A swoosh appears and the one who was once dragging me is on the floor, snapped neck. Jake standing over me picks me up. He places me on a tree trunk and quickly takes off his shirt. He takes the shirt, the last one he has, and puts it around my stomach area. He tightens it to apply pressure to the wound.
Jake holds me. “Don’t worry, it’s going to be okay.”
Just then another enemy appears from behind, kicks Jake in the head and I fall out of his arms. Jake falls to his knees, he looks like he’s in pain. He gets up, and the enemy tries to end Jake.
Jake is immortal. He can’t die. Jake tackles the boy to the floor and brings his arm behind his back. He puts his knee on the boys arm.
“AHHH!!!” The boy screams.
Snap. The arm breaks. Another broken bone…
Jake takes the knife the enemy has and puts stabs him in the back. A deep wound, a whole bunch of blood loss.
While all of this is happening, I’m on the floor, amused at his fighting skills. His speed of killing is so fast; it’s a blur at times. Jake leaves the enemy to die bleeding on the floor. He quickly rushes to me to see that I’m traumatized. Jake places his hands on my face, and kisses me. Even if his kiss is salty, even if his hands have some blood, the kiss brings me back to life.
As he releases the kiss, he drops to his knees.
The moment I saw the blood coming out of his mouth, my mind went blank. He said he was immortal, right?
“And there is only one way to kill an immortal of my kind… and that is to stab them in the back…” Jake said.
His words… they can’t be real. I mean, he’s not dying. Of course not. He’s immortal. I’m just going out of my mind.
“Vanessa…” He held out his hand at mine. My tears were already flowing out of my eyes… he was going to die… He tried to lift himself up to reach my lips…
“I love you…” were his last words…
He fell back to the ground… fell to his death…
I look at my hands, white. I look at him, and… he’s… not breathing…
“Ladies and gentlemen, the winner of the first ever Survival Games belongs to Vanessa Ditroia. Vanessa, if you would, please make your way to the center of the map. A map will be placed at your current location.”
“Vanessa Ditroia, if you would please make your way to the center of the map.”
I’m in an empty room.
“JAKE?! WHERES JAKE?! JAKE?! JAKE! I LOVE YOU JAKE!”
I extend my arms to feel his warmth but no arms wrap around mine.
I’m woken up to a see a video clip of the Survival Games. Jake…
I’m broken down to tears. Hallucinating…
Where is he? Where can he be? Where are his lips? Where can he be?
And it felt as if my body didn’t move for ages. I woke in a room with nothing but the bed that I lay on. The scars I once had on my legs from battle are no longer here. But the memories I hoard for Jake are still here…
The stitch I was supposed to have from the gash is not there. My skin is no longer dirty. The bitch that I was before I entered the games is no longer there. I rose from my bed to look at myself in the mirror, something I haven’t done in months. The bags under my eyes seem like they won’t fade. I guess it’s just safe to say that Jake as left a scar on my body… not a scar you can see… but a scar in my heart. Even if he said he was immortal, everyone has their time to die.
Something feels different, though. My body feels stronger than usual…
I was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. Maybe taking the death sentence would have been better. I’m stuck in the room, surrounded with these white walls, with the memories replaying in my head like a video. I could care less about reputation right now. Reputation doesn’t mean a thing. The glory of getting a goodnights rest has passed over my head. Rest is no longer needed. All that really matter right now is I’m stranded, alone, without your love.
The question still pops up from time to time: how did I commit myself to such a romance when I was such a bitch to everyone else? No one ever told me that they love me, and I guess you were the first and last one to ever do so.
I’ll kill my way through this hell, just for a chance to hear your velvety voice once more. The last words linger in my head… I love you Jake.
“Vanessa, it’s time to get you ready. Today you’re going to get interviewed. Suck up your tears, get your act together, and let our makeup artist do their job. They always do a good job on covering the inner pain,” said one of the officials in the waiting area.
The television was on in the waiting area of the hospital I was in. “Today is the big day as Vanessa Ditroia finally comes out into the public after the horrific battles at the Rep. Games. I wonder how she’s feeling after her loved…” I quickly turned off the T.V. before they even mentioned Jakes’ name.
I felt a sharp pain in my lower back…
The sound of a car horn came from outside; I stood on my knees on my chair to look outside the window to see a limousine waiting for me. There was no need for a limo, but whatever. A rack of clothes were at my choice inside the limousine. All fancy stuff and I didn’t want to dress fancy.
Well, I was dressed in jeans and a nice top, so I might as well stay with that. It’s an interview, who needs to be looking all fancy in front of officials.
My mind began to race with questions they might ask. I didn’t want to cry on public television, but it might just happen.
Jake… why can’t you be here right now to hold my hand and tell me it’s going to be okay. Your presence was good enough when you were still here, but now that you’re gone, it’s when I’ve realized that I’m going to need you most in this type of situation.
As I stepped out of the limousine to face City Hall for probably the first and hopefully last time, camera flashes blinded my eyes. I needed to find an escape from all this unwanted attention. I want to be left alone, at least until the interview.
“Vanessa, please take a seat.” I pulled my chair closer to me so I won’t fall off. My cheeks were already turning red and my mind was racing. I had the upmost feeling that I was going to screw up. My words are bound to come out all stuttered. I’m going to make a fool of myself.
“First off, congratulations on your victory on the Representation Games. It must have taken so much effort to get those kills and come out as victor. Please, tell us how you did it all!” the interviewer said.
Ugh, what am I going to say to this? Jake was the one that helped me most. I can always lie… “Well, it wasn’t easy. I started off in the most frigid places. I was placed in the ice wasteland.” The crowd gave a big “oooo.” This was making me nervous.
“It was hard surviving with ice surrounding you. There was no fish below me, there was no food. I had to depend on my own prior knowledge, which I didn’t know much about ice.” This is becoming a bit easier…
“So I decided to eat the snow to gain at least some water in my body and use my own clothes as a blanket. After a week, I felt that I was prepared to walk out into the hunting world. I traveled the ice for about a day until I entered the jungle. And that’s where it all started. Someone tried killing me. No one gets around me! I used his own weapons to execute him.
“It got harder along the way. Alliances were being made and that set up a challenge. I wanted to wipe them out quick…,” I was cut off.
“Would you say you joined an alliance with Jake?” the interview lady asked. Just his name being said stung with a passion. It hurt more than anything else I felt.
“You could say. It was much unexpected. I didn’t want to team up with anyone. I wanted to prove my own point, with my own name, not have someone else with me. I killed the one who was chasing Jake. Everything changed from that day on. I was never complimented. Every saw me as the type who would always start trouble. Back in Palem, I always had my hair tied up and had a sleeveless shirt. I wanted to reveal what I had. I wanted people to feel intimidated. I guess Jake just didn’t get intimidated. He was one of those lucky ones who wouldn’t run away with the face that I gave them.
I gave him a chance to stay, and he did. Jake, I guess, took it that extra mile. He treated me in the nicest way. I wasn’t used to such attention,” I responded. Whew. Finally, that was off my chest.
“Shy much?” the interview lady responded. I guess she was right.
“You could say. I was always red around him. I committed myself to his love, something I told myself that I would never do with any guy. He won the battle over my heart,” with my own words, my heart was beginning to drop. My eyes were starting to close a bit. This subject really needs to change…
“Since Jake won the battle over your heart, you fell in love with him, right?” I nodded my head at her question. My will to speak was going away. “How have you handled his death, even though he said he was immortal? What’s to come next for you in life now that your loved one is gone?” My head dropped to her question… and my tears began to fall. I sensed the crowd fall silent. That was the one question I didn’t want to be asked. A headache came on, and my mind couldn’t register.
“Vanessa?” the interview lady asked. I didn’t bother responding. Just say that you’ve been missing me more than ever and that you wished I was still here. Say it so you can get out as quickly as possible. A voice… Jake’s voice… Is it really him?
I wiped my tears, “I just wish he was still here… immortal or not, I still would have fallen in love with. And even though I barely knew him, and we were only together for a month, it was a month that I will not ever forget. To experience such a love, such a presence, it made me happy inside. And to watch the blood come out of his mouth and see him drop to his knees, it was as if I was going to die with him. Humanity is just a matter of overcoming. Jake is just something I don’t think I’ll be able to overcome.” My back started to hurt. It felt as if a needle was injected to my back. I wasn’t feeling my normal self. And I faded…
A dream, that’s all it was. I was just hallucinating. It wasn’t his voice. No. I’m not going crazy. I don’t have voices in my head.
But are you so sure of yourself, Hun?
I yelled at the top of my head. Voices…
I haven’t slept in the past 2 days. These voices are overtaking me. I was hospitalized once again. The voices are unreal. The voice is familiar. It’s the voice that used to whisper into mine when I would fall asleep. It was the voice that would wake me up in the morning. It was the voice of Jake.
I’m not going crazy…
Is it some sort of calling? Is he trying to tell me what to do with my life now that he’s gone? He’s watching my every move… The voices are going to make me delusional…
A night’s rest of sleep is all the doctors wanted. I was released from the hospital just yesterday and moved into my new home. The home that would have belong to both Jake and I if that kid didn’t kill him…
The wind blew outside. Not the ordinary wind sound, though. It sounded more like a voice…
I have to snap out of it. I’m going to take a walk. Where are my keys?
I looked all over, and I can’t find my keys! I’ll just go to lie down. I’m worthless… I don’t have the strength to even do anything anymore. I don’t deserve to be here anymore. Jake wasn’t supposed to die. He was supposed to continue is immortality. I was the one that was supposed to die. I needed to be murdered. I was the one that just had to lay on the floor, motionless, with blood gushing out of my mouth. Why did Jake even decide to choose me? There were other girls in the battlefield. I’m ugly anyways. And I look like shit.
My doubts are beginning to hurt me… this pain is just starting to build up and I’m falling to my knees. What might have happened if Jake didn’t die? Would he be here with me today…? Standing next to me and holding my hand? Or would we have gone separate ways?
I grabbed my razor and slashed it across my wrist. If I couldn’t die in a game, then I’ll die bleeding on this blood. I’ll just watch the blood gush out of me with every heartbeat. Who cares anyways? I was no good in the world anyways.
Why aren’t I dying yet? There’s so much on my blankets but I’m nowhere near fading into a different society.
You’re not going to go, Vanessa. You’re different. You’re stronger than that. I start pulling my hair at the sound of his voice. I stood up from my bed and placed my head on the wall. The appearance of him shot through my head. The memories are crippling me. His long hair… his Hershey brown eyes… it was everything someone would die to have. And instead, he died for me…
My blood from my wrist is still gushing out; my bed sheets are stained and now are beginning to stain the carpet. I’m tearing my own self apart with the memories of him. I just want to pick up the pieces and move on from this. This depression is too horrific to explain. I look at myself in the mirror to see that the blood won’t stop anytime soon. Why haven’t I fallen to my death yet? The razor is right on the vein. I become dizzy at the thoughts of Jake.
Screw this; I’m leaving without my keys. I kicked my door open and left the house. I walked outside with bloodshot eyes and a bloody wrist; someone is bound to call the ambulance on me. I didn’t care about that. I just want to let myself fade into a new world, so I can forever be with Jake. I want to be next to him.
I want to wake to a new world to see his smile and have his arms around me. I walk around my new town to only see that it’s surrounded by skyscrapers. Nothing is like Palem. It’s not thuggish. If it was thuggish, someone’s nose would have been broken by now. But I still question to see if I even have the strength to do that. I glance at my wrist; my whole hand and arm are bloody. People are staring at me as if I am a mad woman.
They’re all probably happy with their husbands. Everything turned to nothing for me.
“Excuse me, Miss, but are you okay? Do you need help?” some random stranger asked me. I pushed him out of my way and proceeded down the road I was on. I didn’t know where I was headed to, but it doesn’t matter. As far away from home I can get is what I want to do.
What if I were to plunge myself to my death? What if I just jump off a building? Would that actually make me die? I lose my balance and start choking on the curb of this street. Everyone starts to run to me to see if I’m doing okay. Why can’t they all leave? None of them even know what I’m going through. And they would care less anyways. Someone tried to help me to my feet. I was grabbed by the back of my shirt, but I fought him off. My shirt ended up ripping a bit… One girl gasped. What was she gasping at? I looked at her with a confused face. She was pointing to my back. What was on my back?
They all started running away from me and I was left stranded on this street. I get back to my feet; the sun is just beginning to set. My horizon looks endless. Everything looks so clear to me now. What happened to my blurry vision? The faces of each individual were picture perfect.
I passed my hand on my back. Everything seemed perfectly fine. Is there something written on my back or something? I’m the only one hallucinating in this situation, so it must have been something. The blood from my wrist stopped gushing out. The blood was beginning to crust all on my hand. I got back on my feet.
I think I’m just asking for too much. I think I just have to shut up and accept his death and move on with my life. But it’s too hard… No one would match up to his sweetness. I’m not obsessed with him though, I know that. So what if I get his voice in my head every now and then… That doesn’t mean anything. It’s just mental. Ha! I’m mental. I’m retarded. I look around for a really tall building. Maybe if I jump off the building, that’ll bring me to my death. Jumping off a building does mean instant death, right?
I spot the perfect building right in City Center. I’ll fall in front of a crowd, and they’ll see my bloody mess on the floor. I’ll be dead. And for once, I’ll be happy. I begin to make my way over to the Center. People are staring at the bloody mess I already am. I just laugh in their faces. As I approach the building that I’ll plunge off, I look around to see the crowd. Hundreds of people coming in and out of the building. Good enough. I enter the building.
“Do you need any help, miss?” the lady asked me at the customer service area.
“Yeah, I’m just looking for one of the offices. I’m going to apply for a job.” Bullshit.
“Oh, okay. Just take the elevator to your right and find the floor that you’re looking for. Good luck!”
Luck doesn’t exist. I make my way to the elevator and press the 87th floor. I don’t think it’s the last floor, but I’ll find my way to the roof. Everyone would look like little ants from the top of the building, and that’ll seem pretty good. At least I don’t have to see the reactions of the ones who see me up there. I go to a corner of the elevator to let the others in and I cry at the sight of one guy. Looks exactly like Jake…
He has the same Hershey brown eyes and long hair… He glanced over at me while waiting for the down elevator… And I just gave a weak smile with the tears in my eyes. I reach the 87th floor, when the floor is almost empty. I looked around to find stairs. I pulled the door to open, but it was locked. The little window it had was barred. I began to kick the doorknob, hoping it would break off. It did, and I pulled open the door. I glanced up to see there were so many flights up ahead for me to get to the roof.
I begin to run up the stairs when I hear the door open. I think someone heard me. Shit. I start running faster to only find myself at another locked door. The flight of stairs has stopped, so this has to be the roof. The door just has a keyhole, so I don’t know how I’ll be able to get this open. I take the hairpin that was in my hair out and bend it into shape to be able to pick the lock.
Five minutes and this door still doesn’t want to… I heard a click. I push the door. The roof was visible to me. In my mind, I can fly… I get to the edge of the roof. The view is spectacular. Everything looks so much clearer from here, and my mind is going blank. Jake… I’ll be with you soon enough. Jump off, I’ll be there to capture you in my arms and have to still in this life… I love you. His words are in my head, and my legs start to shake. I lose my balance. One foot clings over the edge, and I fall to one leg. This is it… I’m hanging on with my grip to stay on, but my mind just blanks out… and I’m soaring through the sky…
A pleasant cry for hope.
Why am I awake?
Who’s next to me?
Where am I? Jake? My body is intact, as if nothing happened. I’m back in the hospital… and there are flowers… Who brought them?
“What was she even trying to do out there? Many have claimed to see her walk into a building and then see her falling through the sky, eyes shut. She was rushed to the hospital immediately but one of the workers that was just leaving the building. From what we’ve heard, her body was fully intact, no blood, and fully able to move… This is Kat Evergreen reporting from Channel 8 News.” The T.V. faded into a commercial, but I just turned it off.
Is that what really happened? And if it was one of the workers who brought me to the hospital, who was it? Who the hell would want to save me? I see flowers on the table next to me, but who are they from? Jake? Did you save me?
Life has its beginnings, prepare for it now. I ignore the voice in my head, for I am too confused to even hallucinate. I was brought breakfast in bed. Pretty nasty hospital food, but I guess they want me to stay active and alive. I hear people outside my room talking about how I am still alive with no broken bones or anything. I don’t even know I’m still alive.
Someone walks into my room that reminds me of Jake. It looked like the same one who saw me going to the 87th floor. He had the same Hershey brown eyes with the longer hair.
“At least you’re still alive,” the guy said.
“Who are you?” I asked.
“You’ve seen me before. I was the one that stared at you while you were in the elevator. I was the one who didn’t want the doors to close. I was the one who walked out of the building to see you fall flat in front of me, yet, still breathing. My name is Anthony. I was the one who brought you to the hospital.”
Anthony… That was his name. He was the one who looked at me when I was in the elevator. He resembled Jake in so many ways, it hurt. Why did he even decide to bring me to the hospital? My world is becoming a big confusing. I gave him a blank face, my eyes full of fear and pain. Anthony reached over to give me a hug, and my body didn’t move one bit. A little rush came through my body, the type of rush you get when you enjoy a certain feeling.
“Why?” I asked.
“Why were you crying?” Anthony responded.
I ignored his question. I sucked my teeth and looked away. I want Anthony to leave already… He’s beginning to cloud up my mind with memories of Jake. I want to avoid all that right now… at least for now.
“I’ll check up on you a bit later. You seem like you want to be left alone…” Anthony said to me. His voice had a bit of pain in it, but why? He doesn’t even know me to start loving me… But I should be the last to talk about falling in love at in instant. Anthony looked too much like Jake to start off with. Even his lips looked like Jakes.
Anthony left the roof, and I was left with racing thoughts of him and Jake. Confusion… More depression…
One of the nurses came in to check up on me. “Pull up your sleeve, please. We need to monitor you 24/7 since you pulled off some stunt there by staying alive. I’m going to take your blood pressure,” she told me.
Stunt? What stunt? It wasn’t a stunt. It was a suicide attempt and it all went wrong. She cuffed my upper arm with the blood pressure machine.
“Everything is normal,” the nurse said as she took off the machine. “They are going to run some tests on you later today, so don’t get too comfortable. You’re able to walk and all, so you wouldn’t have a problem.”
She left the room and whispered to the other nurse. For some reason, the words came out perfectly clear. “This is weird. She attempts suicide and she’s intact? Something is not registering here,” is what she said. It wasn’t registering in my mind either. It didn’t make sense. I wanted to die. I wanted to be with Jake. And now I’m stuck here in the hospital with someone else watching over me. I don’t even know this dude. What could he possibly want from me anyways? It’s driving me crazy…
I turned on the T.V. but nothing good was on. It was all about how I survived the 94 story jump. No easy way out of life, I guess. Not even jumping off a building. I still don’t get how I survived. No one else would have survived that.
The nurses woke me up. I guess it was time to go get tested. I rose from my bed and they walked me to the test room. It looked like an M.R.I. room, but I guess it wasn’t. It looked a bit different. I changed into a robe that they wanted me to wear and gave me earplugs. They placed me on this huge mat and put me in. What to expect of the result, I don’t know. The rumbling noise started and I fell asleep to it. It reminded me of the gunshots that were fired in the air each time someone would get killed in the Games.
For a while, I was asleep. But then the machine just stopped. The lights in the room went out. They pulled me out of the machine quickly. Everything turned back on after I was pulled out.
“What just happened?” I asked.
“I don’t know, you tell me,” the doctor responded.
Huh? What was that supposed to mean? The doctor examined my body to see if I was okay. When he got to my back, he stopped. I heard a little gasp, but it wasn’t said out loud. It sounded like it was from his head. He wrote something down on his paper.
“Something wrong, doc?” I asked.
“No, nothing is wrong. We’re going to bring you back to your room. We’ll try these test tomorrow,” he responded. What the hell is going on? I was brought back to my room. I didn’t sleep that night.
The morning came, and so did Anthony.
He brought me some breakfast. It was pancakes.
“I’d figured since you didn’t like the hospital breakfast, I’ll bring my own. It’s pancakes. There’s syrup in there too. How are you feeling?” His voice is so sweet…
“Um… I’m doing fine. The tests failed. The machines turned off, so they said they’ll do them again today. Aren’t you supposed to be at work?” I said to him.
“Nah, I took the day off. I wanted to spend the day with you. I wanted to check up on you. Did you know everyone is talking about you? And how I saved you? I don’t know about the saving part, because you pretty much lived through the whole thing.”
“Why me? There are other girls out there that want to commit suicide and they live. It’s not like you want me or if I’m needed in your life.” He looked away as I said that to him. I’m thinking he’s shy?
“You’re different from anyone else. You have those bluish eyes, perfect lips, pale white skin… you’re everything a guy would want,” he told me. Jake? Huh? That’s exactly what Jake told me. “But anyways, what’s up?”
“Nothing surprised. A bit confused, but that’s it. Tell me more about yourself, Anthony.” I leaned in a bit closer.
He put an arm around me. “Well, my life is just okay at the moment. I just found a job, and I’m still trying to find a decent home. The one I live in is really bad. So when I woke up, I didn’t want to go to work that day I brought you to the hospital. I did, obviously. You didn’t look too well when you were on the elevator. So when I walked outside, I found you… And I was lucky.”
“Why lucky?” I asked him.
“Well, because you’re beautiful,” he smiled and I think I blushed a bit.
“Vanessa, get ready. In 5 minutes we will perform more test on you,” a nurse told me.
Anthony got up from the bed. “I guess it’s time for me to go. Let’s hope they discharge you sometime soon. You’re perfectly fine; you don’t need to be here. See you later.” He left the room in silence, and I began to feel lonely. I didn’t want him to leave my side just yet…
I was brought back to the exam room. Again, I was forced to change and put in that big machine. The test ran all the way through, and nothing showed in the results.
“Vanessa, here are your discharge papers. You’re ready to go,” one of the nurses said. I took the papers and walked out of the building. I looked for a cab, but I found nothing. There was a consistent horn of a car; I didn’t know where I was. Once there was an open spot, I see a car pull up. The window lowers. “Get in.” It was Anthony. I huge smiled was put on my face.
“Want me to take you out for dinner?” he asked.
“No, it’s okay. I’d rather stay home. I want to rest. I need to change my sheets too,” I responded.
“Okay. Hey, um, I was given a sheet to watch over you. The Officials at the hospital gave it to me. They consider me as some sort of guardian or whatever. It seems fine to me, at least I get to spend more time with you.”
Shit. I didn’t want this to happen. My mind is clouded enough with the memory of Jake; this is just going to make it worse. I don’t want to bury the memories; I actually want to move on. I just sighed at Anthony and gave him a fake smile.
As we drove, it was nothing but silence. I didn’t know how to feel anymore. What was going on? I picked up the sheet he was explaining to me and looked it over. It looked real… Is it true? Or is it made up. These questions were running through my head, and I don’t know how to stop them. Anthony is a Jake. Jake is my life. But… Anthony is… Jake? Huh? I turned around and looked out the window. Everything is going by too fast. Where is the pause button? Where is the button to rewind and go back to Jake? It didn’t exist… And I felt that I didn’t exist either…
Anthony pulled up to my house as I gave him the final directions.
“Err… Thanks…” I said in a glum.
“Anytime, Vanessa,” Anthony said. He handed me a piece of paper. I didn’t want to open it yet, not in front of him, that is. He drove off and the wind blew through my hair as the car sped out of the driveway. I turned the doorknob to my door since it was left on. I entered, and my keys were still nowhere to be found. My knees grew weak, and I fell to the floor. Why this was happening, I could not understand. I closed my eyes… and it was as if I entered another dimension.
This world looked exactly like the island I fought on. I was in the jungle, looking for a place to stay.
“Do you understand why I have brought you with me now, Vanessa?” a voice spoke. What was going on? Who said that?
I looked around and I found no one.
“Don’t bother looking, my love. I’ll appear to you. Have patience. Now, Vanessa, back to where we were. Do you understand why I have brought you here? Why you carry on with my soul inside of you?” No way… This… This couldn’t be Jake talking to me…
“Jake…?” I yelled out. My voice echoed, but he did not appear. I started to look around, but I only found myself going in circles. No appearance. No magical poof. What’s happening, I don’t know just yet. The voice sounds like Jake’s. It must be him. I can’t jump to conclusions, not just yet.
“So you do remember me, Vanessa. You remember my voice,” and out of nowhere, Jake appeared on the same tree where the guy was at when he tried killing me.
“Jake! I missed you so mu…” But I was cut off. This is becoming strange. Jake never used to cut me off. My heart dropped, and my eyes began to close in sadness.
“I know you have, Vanessa. I am nothing more but a ghost to you now. Let us not get into this subject. There are more things going on than you just missing me.”
“Wha… What do you mean?”
“You obviously know what I mean, Vanessa. Someone else is in your life. I’m not the one to say that I’m holding you back from him, but sadly I am. Love was part of you when you were held by my arms during the game. A depression dawned upon you, but is that stopping you from liking someone else? I follow you everywhere you go, and I know what goes on in your head, Vee.”
I lowered my head in shame. As much as I hate to say it… I wish for this hallucination to end. What if this isn’t a hallucination? I think Jake sensed the sadness in me as he grew silent.
“I’m not here to hurt you, Vee. I’m here to guide you through this so I can see you happy once again. As I watched and listened to every one of your movements and thoughts, you’re denying the fact that I will forever and always travel with you. You’re denying the fact that I am gone.
“Someone else has entered your life. As much as it hurts for I to say, but it hurts to know that he’s somehow taking over your thoughts. I’m appearing less and less to you as time increases. Sure, I may not like it, but maybe it is for your own good. Maybe I do need to fuck off. Maybe I sho…”
“Don’t even continue that last statement, Jake. I know you’re able to read my thoughts, but I too, possess such a power. Ever since you’ve left me, ever since you decided to just give up on me, ever since you lied to me about your immortality, I’ve become stronger,” I replied.
“You’re so ignorant.”
My face became red with anger, and I knew this was about jealousy, not about his sob story.
“You know for a fact that you are. From the start, you didn’t want to accept the fact that you were in love with me. From the start, you didn’t want to be with me. You were a rebel. You gave in to your love, and you’re giving in to your anger right now. Vanessa, you would never understand yourself as I understand you. You don’t understand who you truly are anymore. What has yet to come will be something you will never truly understand,” Jake told me.
I didn’t get it. I sat to the floor and covered my face. He was looking at me, I could feel it. Jake was never like this. He never wanted to hurt me, or… that’s what I always felt. What if this was all just planned out? Did he want to just die on me and watch me go on my own, as I always did? Does he even understand that I still love him…?
“Of course I understand,” he said in a low voice. Jake began to climb down from the tree. He’s coming right towards me. I moved the hair from my face to watch his path, but by the time I did so, he was right in front of me. Kneeling, he stood in front of me with sad eyes. It was hurting him more than it was hurting me, I could sense it in him.
Jake passed his hands through my hair and stroked it back. I cracked a sad smile… “And I love you, too,” he said. My eyes watered. I refused to look back up at him. Jake looked at his hands, and he stopped stroking my hair. He stood up… and I now prayed for this hallucination to continue. I don’t want him to go… not just yet.
I expanded my arms, I reached out to him so he can pick me up, too, but he just turned around. My vision became blurry; Jake was getting farther and farther from where I was. Why is this happening? Jake hasn’t turned around. And I know that this is the end of my enchantment.
I yelled his name, but he did nothing but walk faster.
I woke up on my bed, no longer the floor. Keys were on my nightstand and this day was already starting to puzzle me. I looked around my house, but to find the cold emptiness that was always here. It’s exactly what I feel. My door was locked, something I did not do when I entered. My body grew cold, and I went to the living room and lay down.
I turned on my T.V. and flipped through the channels.
“You see what you’ve done! It’s your entire fault!”I changed the channel. “I can’t believe you’ve done this… How could you?!” I guess T.V. isn’t working out. As I walked over to the kitchen, I heard someone knocking on the front door. Why is someone knocking on my door so early? I shouldn’t be asking that. No one knows me in this neighborhood except as the girl who tried to commit suicide and lived. I walked over to the door, but I caught a glance of my hair and quickly fixed it.
I looked through the peek hole. Anthony. Why now? I opened the door, and the first thing I saw were flowers in his hands.
“What do you want?” I asked. His face was surprised, and it looked like my reaction hurt him.
“I came by to check up on you… Remember… The sheet…?” Anthony responded.
“No shit, I remember the sheet. Well, you’re done checking up on me. See, I’m smiling to see you here. Bye.” I went to close the door on him, but he stuck the stem of the flowers in the way. “Great way to fuck up my flowers. What do you want?”
“I just want to say hi and spend time with you,” Anthony’s voice sounded as hurt as Jake’s was in my hallucination. I felt as if my facial expression changed. I felt… sorry. “Do you… mind if I come in?” Anthony asked.
My mood changed again. It felt like nothing I have ever felt before. It was anger. It was Jake.
Jake not now… Please.
The look on my face confused Anthony, as it went from sad to angry. Jake was angry, and the results weren’t going to be good. He is in me, and my emotions are also his.
I ended up slamming the door in Anthony’s face. I closed the curtains and it became dark in my house. A car drove off, and Anthony was finally gone. What have I done? What has become of me? I went to my room and threw the lamp that was on the nightstand to the floor. The glass shattered against the carpet floor, and the sound echoed. I opened a drawer from the nightstand to slam it onto the ground, but I suddenly stopped. The sheet Anthony was talking about was in here. I don’t remember putting this in here though.
On it was his address, his number, and a picture held by a paper clip. I just hurt the one that actually looked after me. You don’t find someone like that every day.
My muscles tensed up. I quickly changed out of the pajamas I was wearing. I went into my closet and pulled out a cubby that contained all my underwear. I randomly grabbed one and jumped into the shower. Slamming the door behind me, I felt as if my anger is growing.
The shower was already running… Can this day get any weirder? I undressed and got in. It was set to how I normally put the shower – More cold than hot.
Jake… His cold hands on my face as he would touch me. Whoa, this shower just got colder… I went to adjust to my normal settings, but it automatically did. When my facial expression changed and I felt how sorry I was for doing what I did to Anthony, the shower got hotter. The sting passed through my body, and the scar on my back glowed.
I turned off the water and grabbed my towel, dried and dressed myself. I toweled dried my hair and stepped back into my room to see that my keys are no longer there and the glass from the lamp is no longer there.
This is really starting to piss me off. I’m not even going to bother looking for them. I looked through my closet and chose some black skinny jeans. I slipped them on and my wallet was already in here. Why must Jake know me so well? I went towards the door to leave, when I see my keys on the doorknob. They weren’t there when I fi… whatever. I took them, closed the door, and locked it. I began to walk when I found a drivers license on the floor.
It had my name on it. Since when did I learn to drive? Or even apply to have a driver’s license?
So… even if I were to have a driver’s license, I don’t have a ca… I take that back. A car was parked right outside of my house. I don’t have car keys though. I approach the car and take out my house keys. Right next to them were the keys to the car. Okay…
I get in the car, start it, and then pull out the paper that I slipped into my back pocket while leaving. It was the paper that magically appeared in my drawer. The address of Anthony’s house was there. I’ve walked around this place enough to know where to go now. I placed the paper on the dashboard so I won’t forget it. I started the car and headed out. Where I was going, I’m not completely sure. How I could drive this car, I still don’t know.
It was as if I was living a nightmare. Where is the option to wake up already? I turned to get onto the highway and pressed on the gas pedal. I rolled down my window a bit and the wind blew through my hair. I was going 80 already, and I wasn’t even sure what exit to get off on. My luck is running out. My anger is taking over. This pain is not normal to me. I’m used to the thug I once was back in Palem. This highway felt as if it wasn’t going to end. Less and less cars go towards this address, why would Anthony work in the capitol of the city if he is this far?
Is this address wrong? I began to drive faster and I entered what seemed like fog. It wasn’t going to slow me down though. I stepped as hard as I could on the pedal. Now this place doesn’t look familiar…
I closed my eyes. Hopefully I’ll get out of here…
Guess not. And I’m in the same hallucination as before. I’m an innocent bystander in this one. Jake’s still walking away… I begin to run to stop him and I snap into the body of the Vanessa in the actual hallucination.
“Jake!” I yelled. He turned his head… And his eyes were full of fear. I caught up to him, and I put my hands on his shoulders. “Listen, Jake, I need to ask you of a huge favor.”
“What is it, Vee?”
“I need you to get out already! Get out of my hea-” I wasn’t even able to finish my last sentence when I was thrown back into where I once was. Speeding down the highway, I take the exit I guess I was supposed to take when going the other way. The address on the paper was different… It looked more accurate.
I’m back in the city. And I drive around to look for his house.
You want him so bad already, don’t you, Vanessa? You want me out of your head.
I break the car hard at a stoplight as my anger takes over again. And my path is correct.
Don’t memorize anything. Just go, do what you have to go, and see what happens. This isn’t a game of whether I should do it or not for the sake of someone who died for me. Who cares if he died for me anymore? The only one that would care is himself. Controlling me won’t help anymore. You’re full of shit, Jake.
I get out of my car and knock on the door which seems to be Anthony’s. He has a welcome mat. Wow… I hear footsteps and see someone walking towards the door. The door opens instantly, and the Hershey brown eyes look melted. I bite my bottom lip and I give him a huge hug. I felt the inside of him grow happy. I like where this is going.
“What… What are you going here?” Anthony asked. It looked as if he was crying recently. His eyes were almost bloodshot red.
“I was being… a bitch. I woke up in a bad mood and I accidently took it out on you. I’m sorry. Do you, uh… mind if I come inside? I’ve been driving for a while.” He smiled, and quickly grabbed my hand and closed the door behind him.
“I’m not going to ask what happened this morning, but do you want anything to drink?” Anthony asked me.
“Not really,” I responded.
He simply stared at me with his cute smile and warm eyes… Am I falling in love with him? What is inside of me is indescribable. It wasn’t like when I saw Jake. My back stung for a second. That should be nothing…
“You look… nice today. The wet hair really makes you look better than what you are, but then again, you look nice in anything you wear or however you look.
“Want a tour of my house?” He asked me. I nodded my head, and he held my hand and we walked around his house. Anthony is… holding my hand…? And… I’m letting him…? For some reason, I was getting anxious. My hands started to sweat, and my stomach began growling.
“Last but not least, this is my bedroom. Lie down; sit on it; do whatever. My home is like your home,” Anthony told me. I started to sweat more.
“Hey, uh, do you have anything to change into? I’m feeling uncomfortable in these clothes now. Not sure why,” I asked him. He looked through one of his drawers and pulled out some basketball shorts.
He turned around as I slipped off the jeans and threw them in the corner. The thing is… I’m not going to put the shorts on.
“Don’t turn around yet! Do you have a shirt I can use?” I asked. He dug into his drawer again and pulled out a shirt that’ll fit me a bit big, but well enough for now. As I took off my shirt, I threw it past him. I pretended to put the shirt on, but I simply slipped under his quilt.
“Okay! You can turn around now.” Anthony turned around to not only see that my jeans and shirt were off, but he also saw the shorts and t-shirt on the floor next to the bed. I love this. I gave a devious smile to him and his face was more shocked than I have ever seen in my life.
“Y-y-you know,” Anthony stuttered, “It is getting a bit hot in here for me, too.” He took off his shirt in front of me and I saw a body I thought I’d never see in my life. His abs was purely cut, and his arms were buff. Anthony sat on the side of the bed and I smelled the Axe coming off of his body. He slipped off his shorts and told me to go over to him. I pulled the quilt off of me and he watched me walk over to him.
I sat down on his lap, and he held me by the waist.
Anthony whispered in my ear, “From day one, I always dreamed of holding you in my arms. I love you.” With those words, he was slowly unhooking my bra. The pleasure… It was beginning to rise. I got off his lap and he put the bra to the side. I lay flat on the bed, topless. He came over me and I pulled down his boxers.
He kissed me down my neck and when he got to my waist, he took them off, with ease. I now lay nude on the bed, along with him. My heart began to race and my mind began to wander. This was the place to be. Anthony’s lips pressed against my cold skin, and he began to go lower. He gripped me by the waist and as it inserted, the sweat began to fall more.
I moaned at my loudest. This feeling is unreal. Each time Anthony inserted, my pulse rose. He whispered in my ear while stroking my hair, “I love you so much.” This is what it was like to be in love. His grip was around my waist and the tension rose each time. The kisses were just right as they passed over my body along with his hands.
The night went along, as the pleasure rose with each passing minute. As everything slowed down, he held me, and the night slowly, drifted away.
The sun rose and shined into the room like no other morning. This one was unique. I got up and found my underwear and bra next to the bed. I slipped them on, along with my skinny jeans, and went to get breakfast in the kitchen. There, I stood looking at the reflection of myself of the refrigerator, and I saw someone I haven’t seen in a while.
I smiled, but I felt as if the reflection was wrong. Something might not be right. I opened the fridge, and took out the milk. I looked for a bowl to pour cereal in, then a spoon. When I closed the refrigerator door, I saw Anthony. I smiled, and he held me by the waist and kissed me.
“Good morning, love,” he said to me.
“Good morning to you too,” I replied. I took my bowl of cereal and ate it at the table. He watched me as he cooked himself waffles with a waffle maker.
“Hey, I have to head out. I need to fix things at my apartment. You know where my house is, so pass by if you want to,” I told Anthony.
“Yeah, yeah, sure.”
Huh? Was that sarcasm? I started to feel more and more uncomfortable as I walked out the door. I opened the door to the car and drove off. Anthony didn’t even walk me to the door, or say goodbye. This wasn’t good. Did I let myself open to this guy too early? Or is this how he acts when he wakes up? I don’t know. I don’t know anything anymore. Jake didn’t appear in my dreams, nor did I even hear his voice at all while having sex last night. Was it because of what I said? I think I… did I lose Jake…?
This ride home seemed endless as I was driving. My mind was racing, and Jake was the one that was clouding it, not Anthony. I parked the car in my drive-way, and all I could do was just sit there. Did I really have sex with Anthony?
I get out of the car and open the door to my house and go straight to my room. I lay down and I stare at the ceiling.
Three hours have gone by. Not a phone call from Anthony or a knock on the door. Not a voice from Jake or a hallucination. Something’s wrong with me.
Whoa. I just fell asleep. I had three voicemails on my phone.
…None were from Anthony. The hospital called and they wanted me to have a checkup since I haven’t been there in a couple of weeks. I decided to call Anthony, just to see what he was up to.
…No Answer. I guess I should just take a shower…
Or not. Someone was at my door. I looked through the peek hole and Anthony’s car was parked in the drive-way. I opened the door and I was put on the floor. Anthony grabbed me by the waist and kissed me the minute I opened the door and I lost my balance.
“Why didn’t you answer my calls? I asked.
“You were calling me?” Anthony asked.
“Yeah, I sort of was calling you.” What the hell? Doesn’t he have a cell phone?
“Don’t worry about it. At least I’m here. Let’s go to the room,” he told me.
He started to take off your shirt.
“What are you doing?” I asked.
“We can’t finish what happened yesterday?” Anthony asked.
This wasn’t pleasing me. He comes to my house to have sex with me, not to see me. I’m not letting him get away with this.
“Put your fucking shirt back on. You came to my house to see me, not to have sex with me,” I told him.
“Relax Vee, I was on-“but I didn’t let him finish. And I couldn’t say anything either. Someone else was at the door. My hands started to shake. My adrenaline was racing. Anthony grabbed me again and held me by the waist as I opened the door. Opening the door wasn’t an option to however was on the other side. I saw long hair, and a pale white hand, then the face…
Now I’m not hallucinating. I know I’m not hallucinating, it was really him. Jake… was in front of me. Anthony… was holding me.
“So this is what happens when you try to block me out?” Jake told me.
It really was him…
“Who is this, Vanessa?” Anthony asked.
Words couldn’t come out of my mind as I went pale. I zoned out into another world as I stared into the eyes of Jake again. Everything was coming back to me. The first time he appeared to me, his lips, his eyes, his kisses, his holding, and his voice. This wasn’t a dream. Reality was in my face, and I took it for granted. Anthony and Jake were trying to get my attention. I can hear them yelling at me… but it all sounds muffled. My back was starting to hurt. My stomach felt as if it was growing heavy. My head was about to explode. I’m falling. No one is holding me. I’m blacking out…
I woke up to arguing. Not the usual stress I normally wake up to. Both Jake and Anthony were at my bedside yelling at the top of their lungs. What happened? All I remember was seeing Jake, not being able to talk, and then blacking out. Wait… if I’m waking up to still see Jake then this isn’t a dream. As I started to get up from my bed, it suddenly got quiet. Jake sat down next to me and Anthony punched the wall.
“Vanessa,” Jakes voice… It’s the same.
“Who the fuck is this guy, Vanessa?!” Anthony asked.
“Can you calm the fuck down, Anthony?! Let me explain. Anthony, do you know what my history is and why I’m living here today? It’s because of him. Jake died for me in the Reputation Games. I bet you didn’t know that I loved someone else, right?” The room was getting so quiet that my voice was beginning to echo. “Jake is the first person I’ve ever loved. I didn’t think I would come across you, Anthony. I fell in love with you for one reason. And that was because you looked like Jake. I was going to commit suicide because apparently, he died. Why he’s here today I do-“
“Say no more, Vanessa. I came here for one reason. Yeah, I am dead. This is all just a hallucination to you. My touch… is not really my touch. Only you and Anthony can see me for reason. Anthony has become a part of you ever since you had sex with him. You tried to erase me for him. I despise of you, Vanessa. If you said you’re going to love me, then why were you trying to get rid of me? You love me, but you hate me. You love him, but you’re having second thoughts. Make up your mind, Vanessa. I love you and I’m trying to stay apart of you, but you’re becoming heavy stomached and hard headed,” I was becoming lightheaded as Jake was giving me this lecture.
“Were you so caught up in Anthony that you didn’t realize that you’re going to become sick really quick? The reason you have a doctor’s appointment was because I scheduled it for you. All this asshole wants from you is sex. He came just to fuck you. Now what if that never happened and you came home instead of having sex and found me here. This would have been a whole different scenario. You would have replaced him again for me.”
Anthony was speechless. And I couldn’t blame him. Jake knows the truth… and he doesn’t lie either.
“Jake… I love you,” I told him.
“And I’m supposed to believe that. Look at the scar on your back. Examine it for a while. That’s another part of your appointment tomorrow. Everything will be revealed tomorrow. Make sure to bring your asshole, too. He needs to know everything, as well,” and with that he left. Jake just didn’t walk out the door – he disappeared. And as I blinked and looked around for him, Anthony was gone, too.
Jake loves me. Anthony wants to have sex with me. I have a scar on my back. I’m heavy stomached? What? I don’t understand.
I couldn’t get any sleep. I was all alone. Nothing but the sound of the crickets in the backyard and the cars driving past the house. It was 8 A.M., and my appointment was at 9 A.M. I heard the honking of a car in front of my house. It was Anthony.
I locked the door and got in his car.
“I don’t want to hear it from you,” Anthony told me.
I couldn’t even face him.
The drive was long. And it was just an awkward silence.
Jake was at the entrance of the room that I was told to go to. Anthony was by my side, but Jake only focused on me.
“Sit down. And you,” He pointed to Anthony, “stay outside ‘till told to come in.”
I sat down on the pediatric bed and Jake came up to me. “I love you, too,” he mumbled while looking into my eyes. I felt a love rush, but a wave of depression. My heart started racing with anxiety. Everything in the room felt as if it was spinning.
The door started to squeak and someone entered; the doctor.
“Vanessa Ditroia. Good to see you today. Looking at your medical records, you’ve been here many times, all for the same reason. Today is something different, though. We’re going to be running some tests on you, and giving you information about your current condition and what’s expected,” the doctor told me. Jake nodded at him like if it was some sort of message. “I’m going to leave some things on the table with instructions. When you’re done, just come to the front. I’ll be here to give you further instructions.”
On the table was what looked like a metal detector baton and a pregnancy check? Why would I need this? For the metal detector instructions, it states:
In order to use this device, scan it over your body like you would with a metal detector. If the device rings, immediately tell a doctor.
There was also some text too small to even read. I left it alone. And the pregnancy test… well… I don’t think I’m pregnant. Jake stood in the corner with his head down as I inspected the devices. I picked up the metal detector. I gripped the cold metal by the handle and turned it on. It made a weird whirring sound as it turned on. I glanced over to Jake, but he was as still as a statue. I passed it on my face – no noise. I passed it over my torso – no noise, and the same goes for my legs are arms. All that was left was my back and butt.
My back was starting to sting. I quickly passed the metal detector over my back, and it made a sound. The little light on the handle turned green. There was something in me. What the hell was this? I threw the metal detector against the wall… but it just ended up in my hands again.
I was starting to freak out. I placed it back on the table and took out the pregnancy test. After coming out of the bathroom and waiting 10 minutes, my heart dropped.
Jake got up and told the doctor to come back into the room. I was crying on the bed. Jake was still silent and still.
“I know the results, Vanessa. There’s no need to look. I knew from the start. It’s not a metal detector. It indicates special DNA. You and I are very alike. We both hold a very strong trait. And so does my son, Jake,” the doctor told me.
Wait, he just did not say that Jake is his son. If Jake is immortal, then so is the doctor. And if he and I both hold a trait, then…
“Then that means that we’re all immortal. Yes, I too possess the power of mind reading. You are able, too, Vanessa. Life starts now, Vanessa. Here are some facts: When you were brought to the hospital after the representation games, I was the one that treated you. Your back has been hurting you ever since then because I’ve injected you with the DNA of Jake. You were on the brink of dying from blood loss and this was the only way to keep you alive. You have Jake’s DNA in you on your back. From your back, it travels through your blood system to your whole body. When stressed, it stings. When you think about Jake, it rages red. Everything about your life is centered on Jake. You can never get rid of Jake because he is fused with you,” and that’s where I thought I heard it all.
“No, Vanessa. There is more. Let my son explain the rest,” the doctor told me.
Before Jake could explain what he needed to explain, he opened the door and told Anthony to come inside.
“Anthony, she’s pregnant. With your child, and my child,” Jake told him.
Whoa. I thought it was only possible to have one father.
“You see, Anthony, she has my DNA. Don’t worry how, or why, but when you and Vanessa had sex, you impregnated her. And she’s not going to have an ordinary child. Vanessa is going to have a child no other mortal can have. It is fused with immortal DNA and mortal DNA. The growth will be ten times faster than any ordinary growth. And you, Vanessa, have to choose who you want to stay with.”
Choose who to stay with? It was a situation of life… or death. I had nowhere to run. I felt stranded in my own head; I had a decision to make where I knew no solution. I scurried through my thoughts, but nothing was coming to mind. I just wanted both of them to vanish… but that wouldn’t make it any better. It will just make it worse, and I’d be stuck alone with a child that will soon eat me away. Does Jake know about controlling an immortal child? My mind wanted Jake, but there was just something about it.
Nothing compared to the feeling of him leaving me after the survival games, to then come back and tell me that I have to make a life changing decision. And then came Anthony… I couldn’t believe the words that came out of Jake’s mouth when all he told me was that he wanted to have sex. I couldn’t live with such a man who doesn’t love me the same way I love him.
Jake was reading my every thought. I knew he was. But there was no other way to make this decision. The silence in the room grew longer… and the stares began to sink in. They were expecting an answer… and they were expecting it now. Jake’s father knows the right thing to do, but does he know what will happen if I were to make the wrong decision? What lies ahead of me is a quest that no one can ever go through. An immortal with a mortal and immortal child. Two fathers, a split decision.
“Jake,” and the silence was broken.
My shoulders grew tense and my stomach grew weak. I could see the light glow in Jake’s eyes, but the anger just grew into Anthony’s. Was there actually a future in Anthony? Or did it just mean another sex life and being pushed to the side again?
Jake took me by the hand and hugged me tight… but I didn’t know what to feel. A love so powerful for two individuals… but I chose the one who left me. I suddenly heard a beep and the room went dead. No one moved, except Anthony. He was gone in an instance.
Jake exchanged a confused face with me and looked at his father. His father nodded his head and Jake disappeared from the room.
“What’s happening?” I asked the doctor.
“You’ll find out soon enough,” he told me.
Soon enough? Why not now? I need the answers to everything now.
“WHAT happened?” My voice grew louder and my anger inside was rising. I slammed my fist onto the table and the doctor put me down on the pediatric bed immediately. I couldn’t bear to be separated from Jake at this moment.
I felt as if something was eating inside of me. A pain that no person can ever feel. Am I the first ever immortal to have a child? Was there an uprising? What was the beeping sound? What was the point of me even living? Why couldn’t I have just gone with Jake when he actually died in the Games? WHY couldn’t I go instead of him?
“Vanessa. Speak,” I heard a voice. It sounded familiar. I couldn’t make out exactly who it was. My mind was in another world. Something inside me isn’t functioning properly. The room was spinning, my heart was racing, my stomach was aching.
All that I saw was a blurry vision, and all I heard were voices telling me to wake up. This is all just a nightmare, I guess. It’ll all pass over sooner or later. I can wake up from this dream. Everything will soon be…
“She doesn’t have to know about this. No one does. Just keep it between you and I. They are after me and I have no place to go with a child of mine that is in Vanessa. It’s a bad choice. It’s a horrible decision. I was set up,” the first words I’ve heard in so long. Jake was set up. And it was because of me.
I fully woke up from my deep nightmare to find that Jake was shirtless in my house. How we ended up in my house, I guess I won’t find out. I need to find out one thing though, what the fuck we are going to do.
“Where are we going?” I asked as I stood up from the bed.
“Vanessa! You’re awake. Thank god. I was becoming worried sick,” Jake told me.
“Where are we going?” I asked again.
“…What are you talking about?” Jake responded as he looked around the room. He’s avoiding my question like an asshole.
“Why did you leave? I saw you leave, and I heard you talking to your father about being set up. Now if you would nicely tell me, what is going on?”
Jake took a deep sigh and his eyes filled with sadness. “Anthony works for the government. If you were to choose him over me, this whole situation would have blown over. The beeping sound in the clinic was a camera. We were being recorded the whole time. It was just a plot to show to his official to set up another type of games. A game more complex and situated than any other before. And it’s not against a whole bunch of opponents. It’s against two enemies. And I’m one of them.”
My room fell into a deep silence as I looked down towards the floor. The blood stains on the carpet from the first attempt at suicide. The dirt and dust that is stuck between every single crack that the carpet. He can’t go… I… love…
“I love you, too,” Jake said in a low whisper. He looked up at me and placed his hands on my face and gave me a soft kiss. My heart ached at the touch of his lips with mine. It’s been so long. My eyes closed slowly and out came out a tear.
“You can’t go…” I told him.
“I have no choice, Vee,” he responded. He took off his bracelet and asked for my hand. I gave it to him and he put it around me. Do what you love. “Your pity isn’t going to help here. It’s just me protecting you.”
“It’s you leaving me again…” I leaned my head on his shoulder and grabbed his arm really tight. “I don’t know what I’m going to do. I don’t know how to handle this pregnancy without you. Only you know,” I told him.
“You do know. As an immortal, you know everything plus more. Everything lies here,” and he pointed to my heart and my bracelet. “I’m always going to be with you. Just like before. Think hard enough, and you’ll hear me everywhere you go.”
He just came back, and now he’s already leaving. I’m stranded with nowhere to go.
“When do you have to go?” I asked Jake.
“Fuck.” At least I’ll be able to go with him before he goes.
“You can’t come, either…” Jake told me.
My hand closed into a clutched fist, ready to punch something. Everything was just getting worse and my body was becoming weaker as the seconds passed. I don’t know how to handle something like this.
I let go of his arm and I lay down on my bed. I put the pillow over my face to cover the tears that were coming down. I started to sob and that’s when Jake took hold of my hand and started to play with my fingers. I pulled away, not wanting to laugh, but he kept on. He got on top of me and pulled the pillow off of my face and our lips met. Jake’s heartbeat started to beat faster, I could sense it.
Jake started to kiss around my neck, and it felt amazing. My grip on his waist grew tighter and I didn’t want him to let go. As broken as I feel now, I love the feeling. He looked up at me and all I could do was smile. Jake’s eyes had sadness encrypted within them, but a journey lays ahead for him.
I pulled down on his head to draw him closer to me and I whispered, “Don’t leave me here alone.” I placed a kiss on his nose and turned to the side.
“I never intended to,” he told me and put his arms around his waist and held me as I drifted to sleep.
The sun peeks in through the shades and wakes me up. I get up from the bed and go to close the shade. There was a note on my bed.
“Go to the kitchen.
I follow what the note says thinking that I was going to find him
making breakfast… but there was just another note.
“I love you. Look at the time, it’s probably been hours since you’ve realized but I had to go. The government police surrounded the house and they let me write this note to you to say farewell. My love, I will be back. Don’t trace the note, and don’t go to the arena. If you come, they’ll take you into the games and I can’t risk that, no matter how much you love me. I will come out alive, I pinky promise.
I didn’t know what to do. My mind can’t register this. He left. Left without a goodbye to me. I really am stranded here. I look around for the razor that I used when I tried to commit suicide. Maybe this would kill me since my body is in such a weak condition. I look all over for the razor but it’s nowhere to be found. I look in my drawer of books… where I always kept one incase I lost the other ones.
I found a note.
“Think I didn’t know about this spot? Turn on the T.V. my love.
Turn on the T.V.? Why would I want to do that? Watching T.V. is the last thing I do. I turn it on immediately, though, to find the Games on.
“And we welcome you to the first ever Survival Games included just two contestants for a fight of love! The opponents, Jake Spencer and Anthony Jimenez. This complex arena of survival consists of volcanic, swamps, bee hives, arctic deserts, a jungle, and a huge sea dividing the lands. To win: Survive the lands and go on to kill your opponent!” And suddenly the microphone of the guy who was speaking cut off and a smoke bomb was dropped and both opponents were off.
Never in my life have I felt so determined to save a loved one. This is for Vanessa and for my future. My ability to remain immoral in this game has been demolished. I either win or die. My powers do not have this much strength for such an environment. I used my power to my advantage and thought I could get around with life.
This situation will no longer be for my use. Vanessa is the only person who matter rights now. A sweat drops off my face as I pass by the volcanic mountain. The temperatures must be at least over 115 degrees Fahrenheit and there is absolutely no water around for me to drink. I need to run until I reach the first body of water.
I have no clue where Anthony must have gone. Hoping we didn’t go the same way, I take my first rest. I lie against a tree and look up into the sky. How did this turn out to be? Why didn’t I just live and both of us walk out the victors?
I pick up a rock and start scratching it against a tree.
She had sex… with Anthony…
And now she has to carry the child around as it grows rapidly. I take the rock and I throw it up into the sky to try and catch an apple that was hanging on the tree stem. I hit the tree stem, but what fell wasn’t an apple. It was a book bag. I opened the book bag and found just a syringe and a medicine bottle. There was no label on the bottle, just clear liquid.
I start walking and put the supplies back in the book bag and walk away. My walking begins to slow down as I realize my body is severely hurt. My body isn’t used to these extreme temperatures.
The night began to fall. There was no light, not even from the stars. Trees covered the sky. I looked for a safe spot to finally go to sleep. Hopefully my body will be in good enough shape for tomorrow. The hunt for Anthony truly begins.
Motionless he sleeps, just like when he would sleep next to me during the games. Never making a sound, never moving throughout the night. I wish he were next to me at this moment, so I can hold him this time around and he would know that he is not alone. The thought of him being all alone in the games stresses me, and the fact that Anthony is after him gives me a reason to want to let this baby come out.
My stomach is about as big if it were a month… the growth of my stomach advances with the amount of stress I encounter each day. My eyes don’t daze off from the television screen. The camera starts to find where Anthony’s position is. It’s nightfall in the Games. Broad daylight in the city. Hours were always cut in half during the Survival Games. It was a way to speed it up, and a way to mess up someone’s sleep pattern enough to collapse during a fight.
My shoulders grew tense as the camera starts to focus on something that was swimming in the ocean. As I looked for the remote for the T.V. to increase the brightness, the camera catches a focus and starts moving rapidly. I increase the brightness to find that it’s Anthony, swimming in the sea to the next land.
“Think hard enough, and you’ll hear me everywhere you go”
Jake’s words rang in my head, and I began to think as hard as I can. Maybe he can hear me… if I think hard enough.
I blocked out everything from my mind and surrounding and started to think about all the memories with Jake. My tears were coming down as each memory played through my head like a video but with no pause, rewind, or fast forward. From meeting him all the way up to last night, every little moment was captured during my mediation. And for some strange reason… I felt as if Jake heard me.
I opened my eyes to see that Anthony was already in the jungle, exactly the land where Jake was. Jake was asleep; Anthony barely sleeps and he starts racing through the jungle, cutting down the trees and branches that are in his way with a pocket knife that he found.
As I lean in closer to the Games, my hands start to sweat as they are closed tightly. My hands sweat a cold sweat and they start shaking. Jake is in danger… and I can’t do anything about it. The screen then goes into a picture in picture: Jake sleeping with a map on where Anthony is.
This isn’t good. He’s about a mile away. Anthony is running faster. He’s getting closer to Jake. Jake is sleeping. He won’t hear him. He has no powers to stay alive. Jake isn’t immune to anything. He can die right here. My hands start to sweat even more. My adrenaline starts to race. My mind felt dizzier than ever. My stomach grows weak.
I fall on my knees.
My head starts to drop.
JAKE! WAKE UP!
Before I can see anything else that happened on the screen, I woke up on the floor. My stomach was in pain and I couldn’t bare the pain anymore. My head was spinning. There was vomit on the floor and I was craving food more than ever.
There was a commercial on screen so I quickly grabbed a box of cookies from the kitchen. The last thing I remembered was Jake sleeping and me mentally yelling… Did it actually work? My shaking didn’t stop and neither did my adrenaline. My eating became faster. I was staring directly into the T.V. screen when I realized that I had already finished my cookies.
I threw the box at the screen and suddenly Jake appears running. He’s holding a blade in his hand. What had happened?
And I’m running as fast as I can. Something told me to wake up. Some sort of call. Like Vanessa’s voice, I woke up as fast as I could and there stood Anthony. His blade was about to stab me when I kicked him in the groin and quickly took his blade. Anthony’s blade caught a piece of my arm as I took it, which is still bleeding, but I think I can pull through… I’m not used to this stinging pain.
Anthony was right behind me last time I checked. I look back now, and he isn’t there. I then stop to take a breath and realize that I’m next to the water. I take a huge scoop of water with my hands and drink it to reenergize myself. I soak my arm in the water for the salt to quickly close the cut.
My healing process quickly comes to an end as I feel a kendo stick smack me in the back of the head and I fall face first into the water. I quickly grasp for air. Just coming up to the surface, I’m held under water by Anthony. He pulls me back up to the surface to throw volcanic lava in my direction but I quickly dodge it and grab his kendo stick. I swing it across his face to groggy him for a while.
My blade. This can finish him off.
The blade isn’t in my pocket. Anthony is still groggy so I quickly look for it in the water but there’s no trace of it. I quickly dive under and open my eyes despite the burning salt water but it doesn’t help.
When I reach the surface, Anthony is gone. And so is the kendo stick. My one opportunity to kill him off and win is ruined. I get out of the water to find another book bag. Inside of it was the same blade I was going to use. How did this get here? And in a book bag? Under the blade were spare clothes. I wasn’t going to use them so I just threw them in the other book bag with the syringe and medicine.
I. Fucking. Hate. Anthony. He always thinks he can get away with everything he does. I hope he dies. I hope he…
Yep. The baby is getting bigger. More vomit all over the floor and there is no energy to even clean it up. I feel sick, the games aren’t helping one bit. Maybe I need a rest. This unbearable heartache always over powers me, which pushes the baby to grow rapidly. I’m going to call the doctor.
Maybe he can explain how I can slow down the process. I pick up my cell phone and I dial Jake’s dad’s phone number.
“Doctor Spencer speaking,” he answered.
“Hey… it’s Vanessa,” I responded.
“Oh! Vanessa. How are you doing?”
“Horrible,” my voice went into a shudder. “The child is growing faster than I imagined and I don’t know how to control it. I feel like it’s taking control of my body. My depression is sinking me deeper and causing everything to grow wrong. My mind is worried sick on Jake. I can’t do anything right. I’ve already passed out and I’m vomiting more than usual.”
“I’ll be right over,” Doctor Spencer responded.
I lie in my bed thinking of the day Jake will finally come home and we can hold our child in our arms. For the day we can finally live peacefully without interference ever again. Is there ever an option for escape? I placed my hands over my eyes to cover the swelling but all that came out were tears. Holding back any emotion wasn’t an option anymore. The meaning of options no longer exists for me.
Option is an action, and an action always leads to destruction in my case. When can I ever do anything right? When will my time come for the day to actually come?
I hear the doorbell ring and I get up from my bed. I feel myself walking like penguin and realize that my stomach is bigger than it has ever been before. I open the door and my hallucination takes over. The face I saw… wasn’t Doctor Spencer. It was Jake. And I quickly fell into a faint.
I wake to Jake’s dad at my bedside with me on my bed. He must have picked me up and put me to sleep. When he sensed my eyes opening, he turned to me and cracked a weak smile. He realized how big my stomach has gotten and knows that it’s a more serious situation than he had imagined.
“In two days, your anger, depression, and stress has brought you to seven months in just three days. Vee… you can have your child in no time but there are risks. Have the child now; your child will be mortal. Control your stress and the child will be an immortal like you and Jake. Only you can control that,” Doctor Spencer told me. He reached out for my hand and held it tight. “You can do this.”
“So, I can’t watch the games?” I asked.
“I’ll be informing you,” He responded. “Get rest.”
And with those words, I felt safe. I felt as if I can finally get a nights rest without being disrupted. I closed my eyes, and drifted off.
I dive back into the water. My hunt for Anthony won’t end later. And it will not end tomorrow. It’ll end today. I swim rapidly. I can see the next land from here. It’s nothing but ice. Ice and mountains. The ice desert is my next stop. Maybe the clothes did come in handy.
Finding Anthony will be a mission. Unless I get some clue to where he is, there’s going to be no hope in ending him today. The ice desert was the closest to the border between the city and the Games. It was a way to keep the city cool during the summer. Vanessa…
She’s safe. My dad is taking care of her. I have to hurry up to get home. I get to shore and a cold arctic breeze blows through my wet clothes. I quickly undress to change into the new jeans and shirt. No layers, but enough to keep me warm in the time being.
As I’m changing, I look on the ground and I see little stab marks. Like if it was an arrow pointing to somewhere. Could this be the right path? This is bullshit.
I stop following the path but I realize that it’s the only path drawn. I take the blade from my book bag and put it in my belt buckle. It’ll come in handy just in case.
Walking down the path, I think about what I’ve gone through with Vanessa and all the pain I’ve put her through. Killing myself can’t be the right choice. She won’t be able to live with Anthony. Who knows what Anthony would do? I never wanted her pity. I always knew that I could do this on my own, but here is the time where I wished that she was next to me.
Here is the time where I wished she grabbed my arm tight and didn’t let me go. I couldn’t afford letting her go into the Games instead of me. I love her… but sometimes I feel like she would be better off without me. It stops me in my tracks where the need to just leave becomes almost a must. She wouldn’t have to deal with all my drama.
The Games wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for me. Vanessa’s stomach wouldn’t be rapidly growing if I didn’t put so much stress on her. I yelled at the top of my lungs for someone to hear me and just end me. I’m helpless. There would be no way out of this but winning for her… My love.
My pace begins to pick up; the snow behind me creates a whiteout. My path is perfectly carved out for me. Trap or not, I’m here to make it end.
As I make it to the last carved out trail marker, I wait patiently for what’s to come next. From behind the large snow dust I created while walking faster came a figure that I couldn’t make out. It didn’t have the body shape of Anthony at all, but it looked of a person much bigger.
I took out the blade from my belt buckle, prepared for anything. As the figure approached me, I clutched the blade even harder. I met the figure face to face now. Nothing could be made out. The eyes had the same fury as Anthony’s.
“Unmask yourself!” I demanded.
“As you please,” it was Anthony.
As he unmasked himself, he pulled out his own blade. Larger in size, I knew I was going to be up for competition.
“Let’s,” we said in unison.
I took the first strike at him but he deflected it. Anthony took his sword and went for a full force strike but I rolled out of the way; I then went for the back of his legs but he back flipped and we ended up in the same stance we were once in.
My heart suddenly ached and I almost fell to my knees. Vanessa.
Jake. Something was wrong. I knew it. I felt it. I felt his pain. His struggle was growing. He was fighting Anthony once and for-all. I quickly put on my sneakers and slammed the door behind me as I left my room. I looked at the television and there was Jake.
“Vanessa. What are you doing up? Go back to bed. You’re going to end up giving birth faster than you think,” Doctor Spencer exclaimed to me.
I ignored him, grabbed my car keys and left my house as quick as I can. I turned on the car, backed out of the driveway and headed straight towards the arena. Jake’s in the arctic desert, and I can easily reach there. There’s a door towards the back. If I get there fast enough, I can make it before they completely close the door.
For audience purposes, the government worsens the conditions at each fight. I slam on the gas pedal and I hit 100 miles per hour on the speedometer.
I can make it.
The blood… it’s unbearable. I need… medicine.
I exit off the ramp and stop right in front of the arena. I see where the door is and drive as fast as I can over there. The door starts closing… but I’m able to keep it open by hitting the government official with my car. I open the car door and enter in a hurry.
The blood on the white snow stands out. Jake sees me running towards him and tells me to back away. I exchange a look with Anthony… and it wasn’t a pleasant one.
“VANESSA! DON’T DO THIS!” Jake yelled over to me.
That wasn’t going to stop me. I knew what he needed. The medicine was morphine. It would numb him body and he’d be able to finally win. I looked in the book bag for the syringe and the medicine and quickly filled it up.
I ran over Jake with the needle in my hand.
“So this is what it comes down to, right Vanessa?” Anthony told me. He picked up his sword as high as he can.
I quickly inserted the needle into Jake and pushed down so the medicine can flow right through him. Anthony’s sword was coming down, but all felt as if it was in slow motion. I pulled the needle out of Jake and tried to run… It was too late.
Anthony’s sword connected with my stomach. I fell to the floor in pain. The blood was gushing out as fast as it can. It connected with the baby.
“You think you’re going to get away with this, too?!” Anthony said.
All was in a blur. My vision was dying out and so was my hearing. My grip onto Jakes hand was slowly loosening. The only sound left to hear was the sound of Jake’s body connecting with Anthony’s sword. It’s all he wanted.
All he wanted to do was finish us off.
Are we dying here? Or are we just meant to be this way?
The last words I heard were Jake’s.
“I love you.”
I just don’t know where to begin, or even what to think. I’m somewhere I’ve never been before and I can’t remember what pulsed through my head before I ended up here. I get up from the cold floor I was on and looked and myself on the mirror. My body looked completely intact. There’s just this urge inside of me that wants to figure out how I got here.
There’s nothing else in the room but a cold floor and mirrors as walls. I try running to escape, but I just find myself running towards myself and getting nowhere. What can I possibly do in this perplexing situation? Sit down and wait? I feel like I’ve done that my entire life.
I have no other option but to sit down. My legs are becoming sore from just, what it seems like, running in place. I lay my head against the floor and stare up at the ceiling, which is just another reflection of who I am. Something reminds me that who I am today isn’t how I was before. I can’t get my memory back into a single spot. The question rages in my head: Why am I here?
I wake up in a different location. Like a clinic. There’s a pediatric bed, and a table. The silence sickens me as I just lay there motionless. I try to get up to examine the room but my body is frozen. My eyes are my only guide. I look around the room and I see a door. I sense that my arm is lifting. I look over to see if it actually is so I can begin to move the rest of my body, but it’s all just an illusion. My mind is becoming delirious and I’m becoming desperate for an answer.
My eyes are suddenly blinded by a bright light and a different location once again. Instead of being alone, there’s a crowd of people next to me. Each and every single one is staring at me directly and I don’t know what to do. Was I just dreaming the whole time and this is reality?
The light above my head moves away and I hear a big sigh of relief. Confused enough, I sit upright on the bed and someone comes to hug me. Words want to come out of my mouth and just ask what happened, but they’re caught in my throat. Trapped again, I wait for the person to get off of me. I stare with a blank face and everyone is smiling.
“What just happened? Why is everyone here?!” I yelled into the room.
Everyone had on a puzzled look as if I was playing dumb. I seriously do not know what is going on. My illusions and hallucinations are taking over my body. One person looks out of the door into the hallway and runs back in and sits next to me.
“Are you ready?” the person asked me.
“Ready for what?” I questioned.
What’s there to be ready about? To fall back into another illusion or just wake up in reality and someone to tell me that all I’ve been living was a lie. A doctor walks into the room and he has something in his hands that’s wrapped up in a blanket. He comes closer to me and tells everyone in the room to leave. I lean up from my bed a bit more and I see something. With light brown eyes and lips that look exactly like mine.
A baby. My baby? How exactly is this possible? I was never pregnant, nor was I seeing anybody.
“Here is your baby, Vanessa. She was born a week ago but you were in a coma for that entire period of time. Are you okay?”
I was in a coma for a week? What exactly happened to me?
“Doctor, put the baby down, please,” I asked him. He placed the baby down on the bed next to me. I glanced at his nametag and it read “Spencer.”
“Doctor Spencer, can you please tell me what happened?” I asked.
“Vanessa, don’t you remember?” He passed his hand over my back and it stung for a quick second but nothing rang a bell. “You were pregnant before you were in the hospital. You were struck very hard, passed out, and the baby almost died. Jake always told me that you wanted a girl and for her name to be Lila, so I already printed out her birth certificate.”
Oh my god, this isn’t making any sense. I was pregnant, some guy named Jake knew me and I guess impregnated me, knew what I wanted to name my child, and nothing rings a bell? I give the doctor a blank look and his face is in disbelief. But why? Why would his face be in such disbelief if he knows I don’t remember?
Doctor Spencer is still staring at me like if he’s trying to get something out of me. Information from my head. I get up from the bed and look down at the baby, and then at the doctor. I begin to unplug all the wires attached to me and I yank out the I.V. from my vein. I quickly slap my hand on top of it and walk out of the room. I hear the baby cry in the background and I instantly stop walking. I turn back and I suddenly see everything still, like if time had frozen. The only ones that were moving are me and Lila.
Her cries come to a silence as she notices me walking closer to her. I stare down at her and pass my hand over her small cheek and her arm raises and grabs onto my finger with her entire hand. Some sort of connection between her and I suddenly exchanged. It was as if everything was becoming clearer, at least a bit. Was it really my child that I had to take care of? I picked her up and held her in my arms.
As soon as I picked Lila up, it was as if time sped up, but I was still in the same spot – doing the same exact thing. Everyone that was once in the room is gone, except for me, Lila, and the Doctor. The doctor cracked a smile.
“Great wonders will come across you two. And you’ll find out the true meaning of life and your life changing decision,” he told me.
With that, he disappeared from the room. And I was left standing alone. A cold breeze passed through the room and I felt as if my hand locked in with someone else’s. I fell back onto the bed. Lila was gone from my arms.
Here I am in this mysterious location again of a hallucination and an illusion. It’s the same room that I was in, but all the lights are off. It’s like a ghost town. I get up from my bed and begin walking out into the hallway to find someone for help.
In the distance, I hear a baby crying. It has the same kind of cry that Lila has. I start tracing the baby cries and they seem to grow louder with each footstep. I finally reach the room that she’s in, but it’s locked. I try kicking it open, but that won’t even work. Then I look on the floor and key slides from under it. I quickly pick it up and unlock the door.
The only baby inside of the room is Lila. And she’s not alone. Someone else is holding her. I run to the mysterious person and try pushing him off of my baby, but he just looks up at me, smiles, and gives me a kiss.
What is happening?
I wake up delusional again with so many thoughts racing in my head. Someone was holding my child and it wasn’t me. And this… person kissed me. A person I don’t even know or have seen ever in my life. I get up from the bed and go to the bathroom. Something about me wasn’t in place. It was as if my body wasn’t fully there, and belonged somewhere else.
I have all these questions waiting to be answered, but no one will understand my situation. They’ll just think of me as some crazy woman. I heard someone knock on the door so I opened it and it was another patient. I walk out and sit back on my bed.
I turn on the T.V. I turn to the news to see what the temperature was going to be since I was being released today. Before I could, the power went off. And it was like my dream all over again. But instead, I wasn’t all alone. Everyone else witnessed it, too. I looked around my room, but everyone was calm. I was the only one that was nervous and desperate. I wanted an answer, and this doesn’t help.
A doctor came into the room to check if everyone was okay. He walked right past my room, and didn’t bother checking if I was okay while walking back out.
Doctor Spencer then ran into my room with Lila in his hands. He handed her to me.
“Quick, sign these papers and get out as soon as you can. Your car is outside and there’s a car seat in the front desk,” he told me quickly.
I took the pen, still confused, and signed the discharge papers. I didn’t know what was happening. He took the pen from my hand. What now?
I took Lila in my arms and glanced over at her. She had a smile on her face, so maybe this was a good sign. What does she know, though? I ran out of the room and out the front doors. A security guard chased me because he thought I was trying to leave.
I kicked open the door for the staircase and began running down. I get to the first and hit the door open with my shoulder. Lila starts laughing and smiling; meanwhile I’m rushing out of the building. The automatic doors open and I see the car door open. I put Lila in and open the door so I can get in and drive.
Your car seat is on the front desk, I remembered Dr. Spencer’s words.
“Lila, please do not move. We’ll get out of here as quick as we can,” I told her. She stuck her finger in her mouth and didn’t move.
I ran back into the hospital and saw security guards on both sides of the room running towards me. Why exactly are they chasing me? I grab the car seat and run back to the car. I put it in the car and quickly put Lila in it.
Why do I care for her so much if I do not even remember having her? Yeah, she may be a child, but I feel like I have no exact relation to her. I run to the front of the car and slam the door closed. Wait a second; I don’t know how to drive. How am I supposed to escape from all these security guards if I don’t know how to drive?!
I turn the car key that was already inserted and I hear the engine start. I tightly grip the steering wheel and stare at the mirror. Security was approaching and I need to get out of here fast. I place my foot on top of the pedal.
“…Here goes nothing.”
My foot presses down on the acceleration and the car jerks forward. My body slams into the seat. This is my escape. I turn the steering wheel to turn out of the drive through and slam on the acceleration. Where exactly am I supposed to go from here? I don’t know where I am and where my house is from here.
I look for the nearest highway to at least find my way somewhere.
What was that? I stop the car at a stoplight and quickly look around. I open the glove box, but there was no GPS. I look under my car seat; nothing. So what was that? Is it directions to my house?
I decide to follow it, regardless. I take a left. I look at the side view mirrors and I see a police car speeding behind me. All the lights ahead of me are red, and the car is just approaching. I turn back to see if Lila is okay. She has a worried face and points to the right.
Why is she pointing to the right? I look in that direction and I see another police car approaching me. This can’t be the end. I check my surroundings for car that might be in the way. I look back at Lila again, and she nods her head. Does she… know what she is doing? And know what’s right?
I turn back to the road and wipe the sweat off of my face. This is it. I wipe the sweat on my hands on my jeans and press on the gas pedal. The car speeds out of the light. I quickly turn to avoid a car and just continue going straight. My speed goes all the way to 120 miles per hour and rising. I look again at the mirror to see if there are any police cars following me but I see none. I turn back to the road and – OH SHIT!
My car swerves out of the way and I go into the other lane. I slam on the brakes. I jerk forward into the steering wheel and my jaw hits first.
Lila flies to the front of the car, hitting the air vents for the air conditioner. I stop the car completely and pick up Lila and check to see if she’s okay. Her eyes are closed shut and she’s not breathing. I pick her up and put my ear to her chest. I only hear a small heartbeat every 5 seconds. My eyes begin to water and I start to feel dizzy.
I unbuckle her from her car seat and pick her up. I place my ear to her chest again to see if her heart beat increases. I hear more frequent heartbeats and Lila begins to breathe again. I glance at her face and her eyes are open. How is this possible? She extends her arms and puts one behind her head. Her forehead is bleeding, too. My tears are coming down my cheek already and I hug her tightly.
I hold my hand and apply pressure on her bleeding forehead, but she seems perfectly fine. Is Lila really okay? Just to be safe, I take off my shirt and wrap it around her head. It quickly fills with blood, but she smiles at me. She grabs onto my hand. This shows that she is okay.
I open my mouth to spit and all that comes out is blood. My mouth fills with a metallic taste, but nothing is broken. I begin to hear sirens approaching the car closer. My seatbelt is ripped in two pieces, so I have nothing to protect me now.
I spit out more blood from my mouth and settle back into my seat. An undercover police car rounds the corner and stops in front of mine.
My hands start to sweat and lose grip on the steering wheel. A cop comes out from the car with a gun. I slam on the pedal and hit the cop with full speed. He flies over the car and I ram into the undercover car. The car moves out of the way with more speed and I speed out of the scene. My windshield cracks from the impact of the cop and the car that I hit to escape.
The view becomes harder, so my speed is at a more moderate level.
“Take exit to your right onto PL47.”
It’s the GPS voice thing again. I don’t bothering looking where it is coming from again, so I just follow it. I run the red light and drive onto the opposite lane. I take a ramp that leads to Palem 47 and end up on the highway.
Nobody has seen me or followed me yet, so I bring my speed down to around 50 miles per hour. But then another question hits me, why are the police chasing me, and why did the doctor tell me to leave as soon as I can? I don’t understand why I must escape from the police.
I feel as if I am missing something important. Did someone manipulate my mind and erase something?
I’ve seen someone hold Lila in a dark room and kiss me on the lips, and I’ve been all alone, looking for an answer. All I have is Lila for an answer, and even she can’t give me the answer I am looking for. Searching for my own answer isn’t an option if everything I dream of and see is an illusion.
I want to change everything that I could, just to find an answer. Half of me doesn’t want to be here. My mind is clogged with so many thoughts and illusions that I don’t have an answer to. My own, so called, daughter can’t help but give me more questions. I see an exit and something just tells me that I should follow go to it. I look in the mirror to check if any cars are in the lane before I turn and I see a car that’s all black.
I slow down to let it pass by, but it just slows down so I can cross into the lane. Confused enough, I speed into the other lane and go down the ramp. The car behind be seems to be getting closer to mine so I go just a bit faster. The sound of the engine roars and I make a turn to try and get away from the car.
The car continues to follow me. Then suddenly, red and blue lights start blinking. Shit. Another cop. Ahead of me are traffic lights, but instead of the street having multi-lanes, it’s just one. And there is a fuck-load of cars in front of me. I try speeding, but end up slowing down due to car that’s in front of me. I try to cut into the opposite lane, but another car is there.
A police car comes out from the bushes and turns on its sirens and accelerates. With two cars chasing me now, the cars in front of me split and cleared the road. With this advantage, I decided to speed again. I saw a sign that said dead end. Not knowing where exactly the dead end would lead me to, I continue down.
The car chasing me slams into the bumper of my car and my car moves forward, and so does my body. To focus more on the road, I lean up. Cars ahead of me notice that it’s a cop chase so they desperately try to move out of the way. One car is trying to back into his garage.
I check my speedometer. I’m going 106 miles per hour, and the car is about 10 seconds away. Slowing down will mean me getting caught by the cops and god knows that will happen. I decide to go faster so I can cut into the other lane.
My speed ranks up to 117 miles per hour and the car is less than 5 seconds away now. I quickly turn into the other lane and dodge the car. Now that the car is out of the way – HOLY SHIT!
Ahead of me was a railroad crossing. And to add on, the bars were going down. It was either slow down and get caught, or attempt to make it and risk my life and Lila’s. I pressed on the break for a quick second and placed Lila on my lap.
“If this is the last thing you’ll see, just know, I did it for us,” I tell her. I give her a kiss on her forehead and she laughed.
My foot slams so hard on the gas that the pedal breaks, and the speed is not decreasing, it’s increasing. Perfect.
The train that is about to cross starts to honk its horn as it sees me speeding.
I’m 10 feet away.
The car breaks through the safety bars.
The train honks.
All the other cars around me honk.
I close my eyes. The end.
I guess this is what it feels like to be in heaven; A reality with nothing but your body roaming around aimlessly. It questions me, and it reminds me. Have I been here before?
I look straight ahead, and I see my reflection. I walk towards it, but I’m just walking towards myself. Should I run? Maybe running would actually help in this situation.
I begin to run, but the feeling of running dawns upon me again. I stop, and just stare. Staring might be the only thing that I will be doing for the rest of my life, so why not get used to it now?
My eyes are bloodshot red. A cold breeze passes through me and my arms get goose bumps. I look down with a depressing look…
We’re here for a reason. There is so reason why I should be in heaven, if this is heaven at all. I killed myself and my “child.” My hands form a fist and I clutch tighter. Tears run down my cheek. Let them run, I deserve it.
It’s day one. All of the questions will be answered by tomorrow, right? When will tomorrow come?
I glance back up at my reflection, but I’m not alone. Someone is behind me, holding me by my waist. His hair is a light brown, and his eyes are full of sadness. It’s the same person that was holding Lila in my dream. I look behind me to see if the person is actually there, but no one is there. I turn back to look at my reflection, and he’s leaning his head on my shoulder.
His face is beautiful, and his eyes glow a light brown. I wish I knew who he really was. I turn around and try to look for this person, so I can ask him who he actually is.
My hands grow cold; my circulation begins to cut off. He’s my only hope, whoever he may be. I run the opposite direction I was facing. I may be running in place, but maybe running in place will finally get me somewhere. Where ever it may be, let it. Anything to see him again.
I stop to catch my breath, I feel like I’ve been running for hours. I collapse on the floor and lay on the floor. I look up at the ceiling. I want to stand up again and continue my search, but my legs have given up on me.
Take me away from this place. Please.
I wake up and I see two people by my side. I have trouble opening my eyes. My vision is completely blurry. I scatter my hands on the floor and pick myself up to my knees with my hands. I look up and I see the same person as before.
He extends his hand out to help me out and I take it. It was the same exact feeling from when I had another illusion. The same cold feeling on my hand like before. I’m on my feet now, and my vision finally clears. He grabs me by the waist and kisses me.
The same kind of kiss as before. I look down and there’s a little girl holding his hand. She has my lips and she has brown hair. I try to speak, but no words come out.
If you can anything to me, please, just tell me your name.
He smiled at me. “The name is Jake, and this is Lila. What’s your name?”
My heart dropped at the sound of his words. Jake. Something about his name depressed me. I’ve heard it before, but where? It was as if it was a piece put together and an answer was given. If his name is Jake and he’s holding my daughters hand, who would he be?
He can’t be a father, because I don’t know who the father of my child is. And how can that be Lila? She looks like if she’s 5 years old. And I still look 25. I was 25 yesterday. My head begins to spin again, and I collapse on the floor. The situation is real. I’m not in heaven. And I don’t exist. Wake me up.
Let me live. Let me be who I really am.
I don’t know who this Jake person is, and I don’t know if that’s my daughter. I’m dead, so tell if this is really heaven or not.
I try to open my eyes and wake to a reality, but all I see is darkness. The sound of silence sickens me. It hurts my ears. I can’t hear anything at all; I can’t see anything at all. I try to scream out for someone to help me, but not even my mouth opens. I’m trapped in my own body and there is no escape. There has never been a legit escape for me in the world anymore.
My memory refreshes from the last event that happened, and I sense my body hit the floor from the vibration that runs through my body. I can’t get out of this torment that I’ve caused to myself. I can’t remember anything but waking up in the hospital after an illusion.
Jake. The name causes my heart to hurt and my head to drop in my own depression. If I could open my eyes, I would search for you just to destroy you from my world right now. You didn’t help me at all. You made matters worse, and I seek for more answers. Why were you holding me, and why did you tell me the person that was holding your hand was my daughter? Maybe he doesn’t even though that it was my own daughter. She looked extremely happy by his side, but why? She only knows me and Doctor Spencer. And even at her memory, she wouldn’t be able to remember anything.
I try to piece all of this together but it was almost as bad as trying to fit a small piece of a puzzle into a huge piece. It didn’t match, and it didn’t show me a clue for what comes next to the puzzle. All it did was throw another piece into a box of 1000 puzzle pieces, and make it 1001. 1001 clues to put together, 1001 answers to be figured out. With the way that I am handling my situation now, I don’t think I’d get anywhere farther than a single puzzle piece, and that’s if I get lucky.
My eyes begin to burn from forcing them to open, or if they are open, looking for light. All I’ve been doing is sleeping to wake up in another delusional world. What am I supposed to do? I won’t be able to survive another day without an answer.
My back begins to sting again, in the same exact spot as when Dr. Spencer passed over my back. What clue does this give me? Does it just throw another puzzle into the puzzle piece and tell me to go fuck myself? My memory is missing; I can just sense it now. Where am I supposed to find this memory?
It doesn’t come in a box with a pretty bowtie and my name on it. Nothing has restored it to its original piece, if I am in fact missing something. I’ve seen Jake two times, and only two times. I’ve spent two days with Lila to throw it all away. I begin to crawl on the floor like if I’ve lost my glasses. I search for my very answer that should be in my face, but is lost in this eternal darkness. My mind skips and trips in its own world as if its shoe laces are tied. I learned to tie my shoe laces a long time ago, so why can’t it get its act together and start registering something?
My stupid decisions lead me deeper in this black hole, so maybe a right decision will show me light. I continue crawling on the floor with my hands in front of me looking for something to hold onto. My eyes are still blinded with the very darkness. Everything grows cold; it feels like an ice desert. For some reason, I sense the coldness but my body has no reaction to it, as if it’s already used to this kind of environment. If it is, is that a puzzle piece looking for another piece to piece information together.
I then realize that my eyes are in fact open, because the darkness doesn’t illuminate a strange bar over anything anymore. I’m still crawling on the floor, but nothing seems to be on the floor. I feel that my knees are beginning to scratch, so I’m not on regular terrain. Am I on terrain or am I on something rough?
The floor becomes more dense, and cooler than before. The environment that I’m in is changing again, and I’m starting to see light. I stand up from the ground and look down upon my knees. One knee is bloody and the other is severely scratched. I follow the light that lies in my horizon, hoping for an escape.
The pain on my knees just grows, but it doesn’t stop me from finding reality. I need to find an answer to at least one question, no matter how long it takes. Sleep isn’t an option, because the light could die out by the time I wake up. Following in its path will be the only option.
I’ve been walking for what it feels like hours and the light in front of me hasn’t seemed to appear any closer than what it’s been. The burning sensation on my knees stopped. My legs begin to feel lifeless from the walking. The pitch of the light hasn’t change in this time, so I guess I can sleep. I’ll sleep for many an hour at least, but I know I won’t go any further than that. I must continue on my journey.
I lay down on the now ice cold floor and fade away.
I wake up to feel refreshed, more refreshed than I have in a while. Something tells me that I’ve slept for more than an hour, but the fact that the light ahead of me still glows a bright yellow doesn’t change my view. This moment is going to pass me by, one way or another. More light illuminates the floor, but it looks white again, just like my illusion of what heaven was like. I don’t know whether if I really am dead or not.
The memory cripples me on my horrific idea and ending. I try to remember anything after getting hit by the train, but nothing comes to mind. I stand up to my feet once again, but walking is going to be difficult. My legs burn from the extreme walking that I’ve faced. I kick the floor to see if anything will happen, but it was as solid as ever. I walk forward in my journey and the light stays in place.
Is this light all but another illusion, or will it really lead me to an exit. My back stings again, but it doesn’t stop me from walking. I try to ignore it and continue walking, but it stings again, and forces me to stop in my path. I pass my hand over my back to see if I had any cuts or scratches in the spot, but I felt nothing. It was just regular skin.
It rages red with stress and stings with thoughts of him.
Those words ran through my head as if I heard them before. Who is this mysterious “him” and what relation does he have with anything that is going on? So far the Doctor and this “Jake” person have passed over my back in the same spot that stings, but I don’t understand.
“What is it that you don’t understand?” I hear a voice echo.
Who said that? I’m able to open my mouth this time, so I’m hoping that I can yell out back.
“Who’s there?!” I yell and hear my voice echo back at me.
“Are you scared, love?” The voice sounded like if it was right next to me.
I look to my sides but I don’t see anyone there. I look behind me, but no one is following me.
“Don’t bother looking for me, you’ll find me soon enough,” the voice said once again.
“Whoever you are, please tell me. I need an answer. I must know what’s going on and who can save me from this situation that I am in,” I respond… No response in return.
Oh, great. I begin to run towards the light like if it’ll make a difference. Is my mind simply the mountain before me? Or is it really how it seems. Am I so delirious that I’m just pretending all of this is happening to me? Suddenly, my environment changes once again. There is no longer complete darkness, but all I see is snow.
The brightness of the snow illuminates and my body begins to shiver slightly. All I have on is a tank top since I gave my shirt to Lila for her forehead and jeans. My mind goes into a major flashback as if I was once in this situation. I grab a piece of snow from the ground and eat it to hydrate myself from all the running. I walk forward to explore my environment, but it changes once again. The temperature changes to another extreme, and I’m now surrounded by trees. The air is damp and a drizzle begins. I’m in a rainforest.
Walking around aimlessly, I hear something rattle in the trees. I walk more into the forest and a tree branch falls from above right in front of me. It wasn’t any ordinary tree branch. Its shape was different, like if it was carved and used by someone else. A bow to a bow and arrow. My mind feels like it’s in a knot now, trying to untangle itself from the original shoelace.
I hear another rattle above me, and someone appears. The person has the same type of bow and arrow as me and aims it. He looks like he’s going to aim it towards me, so I run and hide behind a tree. I look back to see if he’s gone, but instead of one person, there’s now two. One up in the trees… and me. It didn’t look like me though. My hair was tied back and my shirt was cut up on the sleeves.
This illusion of me hides behind the same tree I was hiding behind to duck. She picks up the bow to the bow and arrow that I left on the floor accidentally and sneaks from behind the tree and takes a wooden arrow and shoots it. The arrow connects with the artery in the persons arm and he falls onto the forest floor. All goes silent, and I can’t believe that… the person is me.
My illusion begins to walk away and I try to stop her, but she walks right through me. This isn’t an illusion. It’s a memory. I can’t seem to piece this memory together, but something tells me that there may be more to it. Hesitant to continue, I stop and sit on the floor and begin to question myself once again. If the person, my illusion, is actually me, then how long ago was that? And why exactly was I killing someone?
The ice desert I was once in and this rainforest must connect in some sort of way. It’s all part of something a lot bigger that involves killing. If I was dressed the way I was, then I might have been doing something similar for a much longer period. Nothing reminds me of being that kind of person, and nothing reminds me of being put into a situation like so. The only memory I have is actually being placed into the ice desert like I appeared in not so long ago.
I just can’t recall what leads up to there. I start to peel the bark off of the tree in front of me in frustration. If there’s an important piece missing to this memory, the only real way to find out is to follow myself. Not myself personally, but the illusion of myself. If I can’t give myself answers, then the illusion can. I know this is just but a big memory, but the big memory has a gap in it. I’ve haven’t gone this far for nothing.
I follow the footsteps that my illusion left and follow her to where she is now. She was washing herself from a mini waterfall. After doing so, she lied down on the floor and I guess she was going for a nap. If she takes a nap, then where does that lead me? I can’t do anything if she is my body. I kneel in front of her and her eyes close. The world that I was in became blurry again. My own illusion was falling into a slumber, which means I should be, too.
Everything was becoming blurrier than before. I lied down right next to my illusion and faded away into some other world. And where to awake, I have yet to know.
I awake a complete different environment. I’m in the position I last left myself but I’m somewhere else. I get on my knees to first situate myself and then look around. Nothing but pipes and a huge boiler. It looks exactly like a basement. Where does this basement connect to? I rise to my feet once again and I feel like I have been sleeping for years. How did I end up here? And is this actually my world, or my illusion? I hear a yawn in the background and I quickly stop moving. I look behind me to see a baby stretch its arms and stare blankly at the ceiling.
I walk over to the baby to see that it’s Lila. Her forehead looks completely healed with a minor scar over it. If she has a minor scar and her forehead was completely healed, how long was I sleeping for? I pick her up and place her in my arms. She gets comfortable and I smile at her. There’s just something about her that makes me feel like she’s advanced a lot more than the last time I’ve actually been awake.
She giggles and points up. Why is she pointing up? I look up and find nothing but pipes and ceiling. Is she telling me that there’s a way out of here? The basement is like a huge hallway, but I can’t seem to find an appropriate exit. I find an exit on one end of the hallway that leads to another hallway, but that’s not the exit I wish. I look at the other end of the hallway and find nothing but another door.
Maybe this door will actually lead to somewhere. I open the door with hesitation as it leads to a much shorter and compressed hallway. It was more of a room for laundry. Looking around the room, I see steps that start going up.
“Lila, you must be a genius,” I tell her. She stares at me with a half blank, half amused face and I just laugh.
I begin walking upstairs, something I haven’t done in so long. I approach a long, wooden door. I touch the doorknob and it sends a shiver up my back from the coldness. It seems as if this doorknob hasn’t been touched for years. When my hand releases the doorknob, it has an ashy feeling to it. I check to see what it is, and blow on my hand. Dust.
I place my hand on the doorknob once again and slowly turn it. It makes a creaky sound as the rust contracts with the other pieces of the doorknob. The creaking sound is the only sound in the room, so I stop just to make sure that nothing else is happening around me.
I hear nothing so I return to the doorknob. I turn it again and the rusting sound pierces my ears. Lila begins to cry and I quickly cover her mouth.
“Shhh, it’s okay. We’re finding a way out of here. Don’t worry,” I whisper in her ear. I then hug her tight and her crying eases.
Just to get it over with, I turn the doorknob really fast. The door creeps open just a bit, but also makes a rusting sound. It’s dark upstairs, so I take caution and open the door a tiny bit more. I slip past the crack I made with the door and begin to tippy toe. I want to find my way out of here as fast as I can. I put a finger over my lips to signal for Lila to stay as quiet as she can in this situation just to be safe.
This section of the basement or whatever the hell I’m in is another hallway. I close the door behind me to show no evidence that I was here. I examine the new location. There’s nothing to my right, so I go to my left. With each tippy toe, the floor made a creek. These were old wood floors, I’m guessing, so I was even more cautious. I didn’t want to make any noise and make someone feel that I’m an invader.
I still don’t understand how I ended up here, and where I’m going. The only objective I have is to find an exit that leads to outside. I can sense Lila thinking heavily and feeling scared at the sound of the creeks from the wood floors. I squeeze her and whisper in her ear, “I love you.”
It was the first time I’ve ever told her that I loved her, and it never felt better. To finally tell someone that I loved them and not feel alone, at least for now, helped my situation a lot. I glanced over at her and she placed her hand on my face, right on top of my nose. I squinted but cracked a smile under her small hand.
“We’ll get through anything together,” I told her.
The hallway isn’t as long as the other one, so I carefully examine this one for any possible exits. I don’t think this is the first floor so I look for a staircase.
Clearing another hallway, I have yet to find a staircase. I think there is one more door before I meet another dead end, so this is my only hope. I approach the final door and open it with ease. This room looks like it was recently remodeled. The walls are painted and the wood floors look almost new. The tenseness of my body lowers, but now that I know that this room has been touched, there is a higher risk of getting caught.
I see a staircase, so I know that an exit is near. My hands start to sweat just knowing that anyone can be on the other side of the door above the stairs. Just to be safe, I close the final door behind me and make my way up the stairs.
“Honey, I’m leaving for work! I have a meeting so I’ll be gone for longer. Are you leaving with me?” a voice screamed from across the house. It sounded like a woman.
I press my body against the wall and stay extremely quiet. Lila recognizes that there’s trouble, so she becomes extremely still.
I hear someone running from across the hall upstairs.
“Yes, I am leaving with you. Let me just get my tie,” the other person, I’m guessing, the husband yells back. The woman walks back towards where the man’s voice came from and the footsteps disappear. I think this is my opportunity.
I try to turn the doorknob, but it doesn’t move. It’s locked from the outside. I try budging the doorknob again, but it still doesn’t open. The footsteps return so I maintain a stealthy profile.
“Okay, let’s go. The kids already went to school and it’s 8:50. We need to leave the house already,” the woman told the man. Their voices started fading as they began to leave the house. The door slammed in the background and nothing else was heard. It was just Lila and I, trying to escape.
I sat down on the steps and began to think of a way to get out of here. Lila was starting to get sleepy, so I put her head to lean on my lap and I started to pass my hand over her face. Her eyes began to close with each pass over, and her breathing became heavier. Should I kick the door open or should I just try and yank the doorknob off?
I take Lila off of my lap and place her on the steps. She’s still sound asleep, so it’s okay. I look around the room that I was in but I don’t see anything available. I open a drawer and I find tools. Perfect. I look for a screwdriver so I can unscrew the doorknob. I move all the nails in the drawer but I don’t find a screwdriver. I see a hammer, so I take it and put it on top of the dresser. I might be able to use that. I look for a box cutter, just in case I need to cut a hole though the door. As stupid as that sounds, it might work. I find a box cutter under a pile of nails and take it with the hammer.
I walk back up the steps, walking over Lila, and going back to the doorknob to examine how exactly I’m going to do this. I can probably lift up the panel where all the screws are held in place with the box cutter so I can yank it out with the hammer, but I don’t think this box cutter can hold for that long under so much pressure.
Maybe if I start to cut around the doorknob, since its wood, I can get to the center of the doorknob and pull it apart with the hammer. I try my second idea first, just to be safe. I start to carve a square around the doorknob, and quickly retrace it to make it deeper. I then focus on one specific line segment of the square and stab the knife into it. The knife sinks in really deep, so I begin to cut away at the wood. It begins to cut away, so I go more towards the edge of the square. That entire section is cut down as deep as I can so far. I go to the opposite side and do the same exact thing. It takes me at least another 5 minutes to finish, and I think the process is going to take too long.
I take the hammer and jam it into the empty space between the cut wood and the rest of the door. I nudge it in, and it fits perfectly. I pull forward on the wood to rip it apart, but it isn’t budging just yet. I nudge the hammer deeper into the door and I feel the end of the cut section. I pull as hard as I can and the hammer flies out, hitting the other wall. The wall vibrates and I freeze instantly. My head immediately turns to Lila to see if she woke up, but she hasn’t.
I slowly nudge the hammer back into the wood and it begins to move more. It starts to crack so I go to the other side and do the same process, this time, more careful. It cracks completely and the interior of the doorknob is exposed. I take the butt of the hammer and bang right into it. It starts to crack, so I hit it another three times. It splits in two and I throw the hammer at the wall across the room and pick Lila up. I wake her up and she starts crying.
“No, don’t cry! Look, I broke the doorknob! We can finally leave” I tell her. Her face is more confused than ever and her eyes begin drooping. I open the door now and walk outside. My eyes glance around the house and the walls are glass. The door is glass; the walls are glass, all except the door that I just opened and the wall that surrounds the basement. I can’t stay here any longer though. I exit the front door.
The house that I just exited is on the dead end, the same dead end I was headed for. All of the cars along the road are tilted over and there’s blood on the floor. All is a mess, and I just can’t seem the find the other puzzle piece to make it complete.
I begin to walk down the road to find at least someone to ask what had happened, but every street is abandoned. It’s another version of Skid Road. My vision suddenly focuses on the object straight ahead of me; the same train that I crashed into is there, derailed and tumbled to the side. My mind can’t seem to understand what happened. Memories just flashback to the illusion I was just in with the ice desert and the rainforest. If that was me in the illusion, how did this come to be? I look about only one year younger, so why can’t I remember it?
The only way I exited my illusion was because it fell asleep. So the only way to enter into that world again would be to fall back asleep, whenever that may be. Lila seems to be moving, so she’s waking up slowly. I walk back towards the house on the dead end and sit on the steps. I put Lila in front of me standing up and I hold her arms up. She tumbles into my arms and I giggle. I pick her up again and go through the process again. Something about her seems different, though. Like if her age on the birth certificate isn’t her real age.
Lila’s intelligence goes farther than a 1 week year olds will go. I’m still holding her up so she can keep her balance and I walk over to the other side of the steps. She follows, stumbling at times, but making it. I pick her up and she points to me.
“Lila,” she says.
That was the first word I’ve ever heard come out of her mouth. My face is in shock, and my eyes begin to water in joy.
“Lila!” She says again and keeps her finger pointed at me.
I kiss her on her nose and her face scrunches up. I hold her by her hand and walk slowly along the porch. She’s going to need how to learn to walk, so this is just a beginning. Every beginning with Lila seems like a lifetime, something I want to treasure forever. Every experience with her is like years, but it’s only a couple of hours. Her growth is rapid, while my mind is stuck on figuring out a stupid puzzle.
Lila’s balance becomes better, but I sense her become tired. I put her on my lap with her back facing me so she can see what I see. I become frustrated at my own thoughts and lack of memory. There are 1000 pieces left in this box of mine, all which are unknown to each other. Only one piece found its way out of the box and onto the table: the mysterious guy’s name. But the piece that connects to the other is still in the large box, waiting to be found and put together. Who exactly is – my back starts to sting again and I place one hand on it. Lila looks back with confusion but I act as if everything is okay.
How does she know what’s wrong and exactly how I feel? I, in no way, made it obvious that I was in pain except for the fact that one arm moved to my back. I begin to rub the spot on my back when I see something glow. Lila’s back was glowing, in the same exact spot as mine. I lift up her shirt to find a tiny scar glowing.
When I pass my hand over her scar, she twitches and breathes faster. I turn her around to see if she’s okay and she is. Her hand passes around my back and touches the stinging spot. Just like her, I start to breathe fast and my body twitches forward with each touch.
Is this a sign? She rubs it again and my breathing becomes a lot heavier. I take my hand that is now shaking uncontrollably and put it on Lila’s back. With the touch, it was as if all of her memories were thrown into mine and I was refreshed with all that’s been happening. Our breathing has calmed down and we’re both staring at each other with amusement.
“I am in fact your daughter, and all your answers lie within me. You just have to believe in me. With every single touch like this, more knowledge will be put into your mind and your memory will become clearer. Your memory is being restored a slower pace, but everyone needs you to save us. All the police that chased you out of the hospital chased you for a reason. The government is after you and I. We pose a threat to them because we are not like them. What we’re doing right now is a power no one else has. We can survive any situation. The next illusion you will have will begin to clear things up with my dad, Jake. And when you wake, we’ll wake somewhere else. I’ll be different. I’ll be older, and grown. And you’ll soon understand your past and what you have to do to defeat everyone.”
It was my own daughter speaking to me. Step back and evaluate what I need to do, it’s the next task I need to do. The scar on my back shows something that no other person possesses. A person that I don’t even know is the father of my child and there’s still more to come. Overcoming the government and defeating it. My next illusion is coming… It’s coming now.
Colors are fading. This is exactly what she warned me about. I wake up to find myself in the same illusion as before. My body is curled up in the same exact position as before. I hear something moving, but it’s my own body awakening. My illusion and I get up at the same time and I wait for it to make a move so I can follow it. She takes out a blade from her pocket and flings it across the field. It hits a rabbit and the blood squirts out of it.
I stare at my own arm and stare back up at my illusion. If my illusion can do that, then that means I can too, right? I pick up an arrow that she left behind and aim it at the bark of the tree. I pull my arm back and then release it, throwing it with full speed. It smacks against the bark and the arrow cracks in two pieces. I walk up to the arrow and try pulling it out. More than half of it is buried into the bark.
I notice that my illusion is leaving so I follow it. I run to catch up but she stops. She examines the area. She looks behind her and stares directly at me. I move out of the way but her eyes follow. I try to hide behind a tree, but it follows me and stares into my eyes.
“Hi?” I said to the illusion.
No words came out of her, and she began walking the way she originally was. Was she actually looking at me or was she looking for someone else? I wait for the illusion to walk more ahead before I could follow just to be safe.
My illusion really hasn’t gotten anywhere, and the night begins to fall. I crowd around the fire that she’s made and try to warm up. My clothes are damp from the random drizzle earlier. My illusion and I react at the same time when we hear someone running. I try to focus on what’s happening in front of her, but I can’t. She takes out her bow and arrow and fires it at the incoming person.
It strikes the person behind the one running, and the other person – Jake. It’s Jake. I know it is. The same hair, eyes, and lips. I recognize it all. This is Jake. He lies next to the fire to catch his breath and I approach him. My world instantly freezes and I take a closer look. I stroke his hair back and try to get a closer picture of him.
My mind flashes back to the white room when Jake helped me up and kissed me. I remember the feeling of his lips and it sends a chill down my spine. I remember Lila’s face and how grown she looked. They were holding hands and even that flashback freezes. I kneel down to look at Lila once more, wondering if this is what she meant by her being grown by the time the illusion comes back.
She looks like me, but with the eyes of Jake. I try to reach out to her, hoping for this illusion to come to life. I take her open hand and try to fit it in mine. Her entire hand fits in the palm of my mine, so I lock in it with mine.
Lila’s hand moved for a quick second and she looked at me. Everything else was frozen but me and her.
“Didn’t I tell you everything was going to get better? Here, I’ll advance you even more,” Lila told me. She nodded and closed her eyes. I closed my eyes, too, and I lost grip in her hand.
I stood alone again, but it wasn’t in the rainforest anymore. It was somewhere completely different. My walls were surrounded with pictures, pictures that explained a story. I walked towards one side of the wall and it was a picture of me. The picture didn’t look too recent; it looked something similar to the way I looked in the rainforest. The representation game probably wasn’t too far away from the picture. I look at the next picture and it’s a picture of me standing next to a body. This picture had to be at the games. I lift it off from the wall and carefully take off the thumbtack.
I slip it into my pocket and look for the next picture. I look at one of the pictures and it was Jake and I, cuddled in a cave during the games. I also take the picture off of the wall and put it in my pocket. My heart drops, though at the next picture.
My hands begin to shake. Did this really happen? The picture was of me on my knees and Jake on the floor with blood coming out of his mouth. How is this possible, then? If he’s the father of Lila, how did that come to be? None of these pictures show sex during the games, or anything related to it. I rip the picture off of the wall, and rip it into two pieces, but it finds its way to the wall in its original form.
I go down the wall and I find a picture of me and someone else. I’m holding a paper, but I can’t quite make out what it says. The next picture, however, shows exactly what the paper is.
Anthony Jimenez, official caretaker of Vanessa Ditroia.
Anthony Jimenez? I rip the picture off the wall and stare at it closely. Who is he? I look at the picture and try to examine it, but something hurts inside. He looks exactly like Jake. So, wait, if Anthony looks like Jake, then is Jake actually Anthony, too? I also put it in my pocket, and examine the rest of the pictures, but I couldn’t find myself. Every picture that was on this wall was of someone else. What is this supposed to mean?
I need to find myself. I need to figure out who Anthony is. And I need to be with Jake. Each time I see him, it’s nothing but an illusion. There was only one wall left to examine before advancing. This wall had fewer photos than the rest. It was pictures of Jake… with another girl. But who was this girl? And what did he mean to him? The first row of pictures was of Jake and this girl holding hands. The first picture in the second row was Jake handing her a letter with her name on it: Emily.
Emily. The name stuck to me. I need to figure out who this girl is. And why she’s no longer in his life and obsessed with me. I took the picture with me and took a picture of Jake. The only wall left in this room was a wall with just two slots; two slots that fit the size of the pictures on the wall.
I insert the picture of Emily into slot one and Jake into the other one. Where this will lead me, I am unsure of. But I need answers. And apparently, this is the only way. The once illuminated room goes black. Ahead of me is a light, but I stay put. These two pictures could bring me to answers, or it can bring me to a deeper demise. So many thoughts run through my head, I do not know where to begin.
The most important question is how I even end up in this situation? If a ghost from my past were to appear in front of me, she’d be pretty ashamed of whom I have become. Disgusted at this drama that has dawned over me. I told myself once that I would refuse to get into a relationship with someone; that I would never involve myself in love. And the exact opposite occurred. I’m stuck in this shit hole of a life. Daring for an escape. What is going to happen when the truth behind all of this is told, if there even is a truth?
I always believed that the concept behind the word “truth” is that there is no such thing. A single person cannot tell the truth without having a slightly different story each time it is told. A truth always has multiple opinions. Where are we supposed to piece all of the opinions together to gather a fact? It’s impossible. Something will be missing, evidence will be wrong somewhere, someone will have to face a sad life for something told improper. If life was a puzzle, then maybe a truth will be found. But even so, a puzzle piece is always lost. A puzzle piece might not know where to go at first. And what do you get from that? An assumption that something cannot be done and you throw it into the dust to never be touched again.
Life is nothing but an expedition. An adventure in which you choose the life you will take, whether you become a leader of society, or a slave. And unfortunately, I have become the slave. I have given in to my surroundings. I have given in to what I always went against.
A slave to society… I think everyone is a victim. The darkness of the room was coming to an end. Someone in front of me was approaching.
“Emily? Is that you?” Someone said.
It sounded like Jake.
“Emily. Speak, my love. It’s me, Jake.”
My heart dropped with his words. Is he delusional?
“Jake, it’s me, Vanessa.”
“Emily, I’ve missed you so much. I’m sorry for everything I’ve done to you. I truly am. I let everything get to me and I regret it. Please, take me back, Emily. Come back.”
What the fuck is going on right now? Is this seriously happening? Jake reached out for my hand and got on one knee.
“Emily, I’ve waited so long for this day. Will you-“
The memory was instantly cut off when the entire room turned into a blinding white light. The scene is changing. Hopefully this is the memory I’ve been waiting for.
The memory begins in a room. Jake slams the door open with full anger and throws his glasses across the room. His face is pure red, his veins popping out. His blood is rushing and his fists are clenched. Emily follows him into the room. Tears are rolling down her cheeks and her mouth is slightly bloody.
“I cannot fucking believe you, Emily. What the fuck is your problem?” Jake yells at Emily.
“I did nothing wrong for you to be this upset at me. Or even be upset with me in the first place. Stop being such an immature fuck,” she proclaims.
Jake steps a step back. “Immature fuck?”
Fear filled the face of Emily as she took a step back, as well. She was still dressed up. I’m assuming they had just finished coming back from a party. She slowly took off her heels in case she needed to run.
“Was I the one grinding up on other guys, feeling on their dicks and kissing their necks? No, I wasn’t. I wasn’t the fucking slut that was ready to do whatever you were ready to do if I wasn’t there,” Jake said to Emily.
“Jake, I am not a slut. I am committed to you and you want to turn this situation around and put the blame on me? You were watching other girls strip to nothing in the other room. Did you ever consider how I felt? Did you ever consider that maybe it hurt me because I wasn’t the one you were giving attention to? What the hell is wrong with you? What have you turned into? You’ve turned into a sick, jealous fuck. I can’t do a single thing without you going ahead and assuming that I’m going with some guy. A slut is all you call me now. I’m surprised you even called me by my name.”
Silence filled the room. Emily stood there as she knew things were crashing.
“Emily… I can’t be with you anymore. I can’t let you live with a person like me. I’m turning into nothing but a beast.” Jake’s voice was full of sadness.
Emily approaches Jake and grabs him by the collar of his shirt and pulls him in. “I want nothing but you, love. Just tell me what I’m doing wrong and I’ll stop. I can’t live a life without you.”
“You don’t understand, Emily. There’s no turning back from this person I have become. And if you don’t leave now, you’ll be hurt even more in the end. So go. Live your life the way you want to live it. Without my drama and emotional pain that I bring upon you, you’ll be the happiest girl in the world.
“I am when I’m around you.”
Jake pushes her off and she stumbles onto the bed. “No, Emily.”
Jake walks out of the room and slams the door shut. He leaves the house and Emily is just left in the room alone. Emotionally traumatized, she doesn’t move from the spot she was left in for 4 hours. Morning comes and her eyes are bloodshot red. Not a single muscle was moved.
Jake comes back home and into the room. He throws his keys on the nightstand and sees that Emily is still in the same spot as he left her.
“Emily? Are you alright” Jake asks.
“Emily, speak to me.”
“Now you want to speak to me,” she says.
“I’m sorry about last night,” he tells her.
“So now you’re sorry about it?”
Jake doesn’t know what to say. He covers his face with his hands and breathes heavily into them.
“I love you, Emily. It’s simply me trying to protect you.”
“Trying to protect me? You did the exact opposite of protecting me. You slapped me in front of everyone at the party. The look in your eyes screamed murder, Jake.”
“I would never do such a thing.”
“Then why did you want me to leave? Why did you call yourself a beast and warn me that if I stay, things will turn out worse than what they are now. I’m trying to keep this together and you keep on throwing it out the window.”
“Shut up, Emily.”
“No, I’m not going to shut up. I’m tired of constantly putting up with your shit. Why are you so insecure? Why are you so jealous, immature, and selfish?”
Jake clenches his fists again and he begins to strike but suddenly, someone breaks open the door. About three armed men come in.
“Take him! He’s the one,” one armed guy says.
“What is going on?!” Jake yells.
Another armed guy grabs Jake and slams him to the ground. They have him and gunpoint and handcuff him. These armed men aren’t cops, though. They have no affiliation with the police of Panem.
“Kill the girl,” one guy says.
“WHAT?!” Jake yells.
Without having any time to move out of the way, the armed guy pulls the trigger and instantly kills Emily.
“EMILY! NO! SOMEONE! HELP!”
The guy that has Jake pinned to the floor points the gun to Jake’s head again. “Speak again, and you’re next.”
Before the memory could continue, everything turns to a bright white again. The blinding light that I always see before entering or coming out of a memory. I shield my eyes and wind up in the picture room again. The wall of Emily’s photos is now covered in blood. The walls aren’t pure white anymore. There are blood stains everywhere. My heart races faster and faster. Jake comes from behind the door where I placed the pictures.
“You weren’t supposed to see any of that,” Jake says.
“Oh, should I be backing away? Are you going to hit me, too?” I respond.
“It’s not what it seemed to be, Vee.”
“Of course not. I mean, you’re not a fucking psycho or anything.”
“Maybe if you actually listened to me for once, you would know what happened,” Jake yells from across the hall.
“Why would I want to know the ugly truth? What other secrets do you have, Jake? Why are you holding this back from me? Why couldn’t you tell me?”
“Because it’s that easy to just say. ‘I used to be a huge jealous and insecure dumbass and almost hit my girlfriend. But don’t worry about that. It’s the past. I’m someone new. I won’t do that to you.’ Do you realize how stupid that would sound? Something like that stays in the back of a girls mind forever. And simply blurting it out to you would’ve made you run away. I’m not stupid, Vanessa. I was in the past, yeah. I say things and half of the time, they don’t even occur. Every person has these dreams and fantasies. They want things to happen, and they never do. Our society is heavily based off of that. I never wanted her to leave. I was always afraid of letting her go. I loved her. She was my first love, my first girlfriend, my first kiss. She was my first everything.”
“I hate listening to sob stories,” I responded. I needed a better defense, but that’s all that came out.
“I hope it all starts coming back to you, Vanessa. The experience here will finally bring your mind back to how it once was before the accident between Anthony and me. I can understand if you never want to hear from me again. And you just want me to walk right out of your life. But just know, I didn’t lie to you. My actions before us have nothing to do with us today. It does not affect who I am today, and it will never affect who I will be in the future. I’m different, and I need you to see that. Seeing things now does not mean that they are that recent. You’re simply going into my past. As much as I didn’t want you to see that, the past can never remain the past. It is always brought up somehow, somewhere, by someone. And don’t you say that this isn’t the truth, because you had practically had a firsthand account on what you just saw. I’m not here to sugarcoat anything for you. I’m here because I love you now.”
Jake pulls out a puzzle piece from his pocket and throws it on the floor.
“Here, you were looking for this. This is one of the last pieces of the puzzle you need. Now you can finally put everything together and unlock everything you wish.”