That horrified scream made her shudder in dread. Who else had been caught?
She looked around scanning the unfamiliar faces surrounding her. The ties on her wrists were tight and uncomfortable but she ignored the pain wondering what was going to happen to her. The community guards were known for their brutality. The plan that had been perfect was ruined. They had known it had been late but they had tried to escape and had almost succeeded. The group had been fairly small so she had become overconfident and overlooked a lot of details and loopholes in their almost perfect plan. She felt a sharp pain at her nape and suddenly everything became blurred. She had made a mistake at the most crucial part of the whole plan and she was now in their hands. The last thought as all went dark was, ‘please let them be safe.
She opened her eyes and lazily stretched as she snuggled deeper into the bed and pulled the comforter up to cover her ears that were a bit cold. She couldn’t remember the last time she had slept so well. She looked around the room taking in the bright interior that seemed to be larger than she expected. A thought suddenly popped into her mind. This wasn’t her room. She tried to think about what that thought meant but she couldn’t seem to remember anything at all. A sudden pain made her wince and her fingers felt around the area on her shoulder bone. She couldn’t feel anything unusual there so she frowned wondering if she was being paranoid.
The door opened and small head popped in looking at her in surprise before it disappeared from sight. She could hear the tiny footsteps while the child ran shouting,
“Daddy! Mommy is up! “
She frowned and looked around wondering who the child was referring to. She looked around in confusion not really understanding what was going. Who was she? And why was she here? Was she the child’s mother? Why couldn’t she remember anything? She got out of bed and started looking around the room. Everything was white. She hated white. She frowned again at the random thought that popped in her mind about the color. She looked at the décor unimpressed wondering if this was truly her room or she had invaded a stranger’s home. She picked up a framed photo on the vanity table and stared at it. She was smiling brightly in the photo holding a little boy in her arms and a man stood behind her hand on her waist while she leaned slightly into him.The best picture-perfect family photo.
She placed the photo down and walked into the bathroom and looked at the products placed neatly in the cabinet. She stared at her reflection marveling at how perfect her hair looked even though she had just woken up. A few moments later, she raised her eyes to her reflection and surprised flashed in her eyes. she looked down at the open tubes and containers of unfamiliar products and various make up brushes all used up then she looked her fully done face. She had no memory of the whole process and she had no idea what any of the products she had used were. She looked down at herself and noticed she was fully dressed and her nightgown was no where to be seen. She looked at her slightly messed up closet behind her and frowned again. How was any of that possible?
it was like her actions were automated and they didn’t follow her thought process. She was already walking out of the room as this thought formed in her mind. She walked down the winding staircase her body familiar with the place while she looked around trying to get her bearings. The unfamiliar house was huge but it seemed she had a map in her body. Her mind and body were acting like two entirely different entities and the confusion was growing. She entered the kitchen and walked straight to the man sitting on one of the stools by the kitchen counters sipping coffee and kissed him on the cheek before she could register what she was doing. Her thoughts became chaotic and panicked but her outward expression remained pleasant as she heard herself say in a mild and affectionate tone,
“Good morning honey.”
She turned and opened a drawer, took out a pristine white apron and put it on skillfully. Another contradicting thought popped up in her head, ‘I don’t know how to cook’. She turned away frowning slightly feeling the control of her expressions slipping again. A moment later she looked at the fully set table in front of her and looked at the clock she had noticed on the wall earlier when she had entered the kitchen. She noticed an hour had passed yet it felt as if she had just been lost in thought for less than a minute. She finally realized something was wrong with the whole scenario but it seemed to be out of her control. She was losing time and it was unexplainable how her body was functioning without her control.
“Alex! Come eat.”
The soft shout had been a surprise. It took her a few moments to realize she had been the one to call out. The man was already sitting on one of the chairs still staring at his phone. The child whom she had seen in the photo came towards her running with an adorable smile on his face. He looked to be around six years old and had a few teeth missing making him look very endearing and cute. He threw his small arms around her and looked up at her. Her first thought was to gently push him off her but her arms snaked around his tiny body hugging him back and ruffling his hair.
“Okay buddy, time for breakfast so that you can go to school. Don’t want you to be late now do we?”
She served both of them before she sat beside the boy. He was talkative and all he talked about was news to her but she seemed to have the appropriate answer for each question. An hour later she took his tiny hand and led him to the door. He looked precious in the school uniform she had dressed him in. he patiently waited for her to pick up her coat and a handbag she has placed on the coffee table? She had not seen it earlier. Was she going somewhere? She could help feel uneasy about the new life she was living. It felt very contradictory to her train of thought.
“Are you going to work mommy? Can you pick me up after school? Daddy will be busy today so he can’t.”
She looked down perplexed but as usual her answer was different. With a smile she couldn’t feel she nodded at the little boy and ruffled his hair before they both stepped out of the house. The lawn was neat and looked like one meant to exist on photos only. She cast looked around as she walked down the path towards the gate noting several people were also leading their children out of similar houses towards their gates. They all stood by their gates and passed polite greeting to those near them and smiles and waves to the rest. The kids were all dressed in similar school uniforms and were of varying ages. The oldest though looked to be around twelve years old.
“Madeline. Hello. How was your night.”
She turned and realized she had been addressed by one of her neighbors. The face looked familiar. Before she could process a thought, she heard herself reply with a smile to the man,
“Rodger. Hello. My night was divine. How about yours?”
They made small talk for a few minutes but were interrupted by a school bus that has driven by to pick up their kids. She waved to the child as he got into the bus. She immediately stepped onto the paved walkway and began walking unsure where she was heading to. She could see the others doing the same and a straight line was soon formed all of them walking with the same pace. As she continued walking a sad thought appeared in her mind,
‘They didn’t escape after all. We are all trapped now’.
Thank you for reading!
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