Below me, my body sat on my bed in my room. I floated just above myself. Someone banged on the door. The me down below ignored it. She was busy writing in a diary. The banging got louder. "Allison, open the fucking door. Why is this locked?" It was a woman's voice. The me down below didn't bother getting up or responding. She turned on the TV and raised the volume up high. The show on TV was a sci-fi show about two teenagers named Ashlyn and Dante working as part of a rebellion against a totalitarian government with the help of an ex-military scientist named Dr. Wei. The details of the show came easily to me, but the antagonist's name escaped me. The me down below put down her diary and was quickly wrapped up in the latest episode. Outside the door, I heard a jingling noise. The doorknob twisted back and forth before the door swung open. In the doorway stood the old woman who had chased me before. She stood in front of the TV. "This is what you're doing in here? Watching stupid cartoons? You're seventeen years old. You'll be starting your senior year in Fall. Why are you like this?" The old woman ranted. She grabbed the diary out of the me down below's hands. "Give it back!" She got a hold of the other end and tugged at it. The old woman was stronger than her. "Let's see what you've really been up to. I know you've been sneaking out at night. We can hear the security noise for the door opening loud and clear from our room." "Give it back! That's mine! You can't read it!" She pulled at it again. The room melted away into the front yard. Both the old man and the old woman were there, yelling at the me down below. I couldn't hear what they were yelling about. The old woman slapped her across the face, spinning her gaze to the road. In that moment, we were one being. I stared out at the road. A blue corvette with white trim was parked across the street on the side of the road. Tamara stared right into my eyes. I closed them tight. My hands held on to something plastic. I peeked my eyes open only slightly. My view was of my hands resting on thick chains covered in translucent glittering blue plastic and my feet dangled just above the ground where I sat. Someone was swinging beside me. I closed my eyes and jumped off the swing. My feet met with metal. With a dying flashlight, I walked through the rusted place trying to find a way out. I opened each door. Most of them were empty, filled with nothing but rust and trash. A few had operating tables with stains on the floor. I got to the final doorway, 4-13B. The door was jammed shut. I twisted the knob as hard as I could. Then I kicked the door several times. With all my strength, I rammed into it. The door flung wide open, sending me falling to the ground. I splashed face first into something dark and wet. I couldn't tell the color. My flashlight rolled away from me into the center of the room. I got up and went to pick it back up. Something shifted in the room. I shined the light around at every direction. A foot in front of me, the body of a girl sat in a rusted chair. She was dressed up in a frilly blue dress. Something about it made me think of being a little girl at a birthday party, though the girl before me was clearly around my age. "Hello, do you know where I am?" I said to her. She didn't respond. I reached out to touch her hand. It was ice cold and the texture was strange. Flies buzzed around my ears. I shined the light on her closer. The flesh was rotting away. Parts of the bone were exposed. One of her legs was completely snapped with the bone protruding out. At the back of her head, her skull was cracked open. I couldn't see her face as her head was tilting downward. Tears started to fall from my eyes. From out in the hallway, I heard a man's voice. "Someone's definitely in here. Look, one of the rooms is open." I turned off the flashlight. Something sticky and cold grabbed hold of my hand so hard I wanted to scream in pain. I quickly turned the light back on. Only an inch from my face, the girl stared at me with a familiar face. She was wearing Aaron's, but his left eye was gouged out and his skin was peeling off. Blood dripped down from his mouth. "Aren't you done with dreaming yet?" Aaron's voice echoed throughout the room, sounding as loud as thunder. I screamed as loudly as I could. Then I was floating again. Tamara was with the me down below. She had on that white coat with the inner cloud lining. Her and that other me were sitting in the backseat of her corvette. She was holding that me's hand and smiling. My hair was done up in a french braid. That look didn't suit me. My hair was ugly and the only proper thing to do with it was to just let it hang. I was wearing nicer clothes too. I floated down to where they were and sat on top of the trunk of the car. They couldn't see me. Up close, I could see Tamara was wearing that little cloud barrette on the left side of her hair. Looking at it closely, it was handmade. In a child's handwriting, I could see the something painted there. 'T+N BBF' Tamara blew a big bubble. I watched her for a moment before looking back at the barrette. The barrette changed to a crowned frog with a belly containing a different combination of letters. 'A&J BF4EVA' The noise of the bubble popping distracted my attention from the barrette. I looked back to see the cloud barrette again. Tamara spit out her gum. "Do you want to go back out there sometimes?" "There's nothing interesting there." The other me said. "But we found that weird tunnel last time. I bet if we go further into it, we'll find something. You know, Noelle is really good at research. I bet if we asked her, she could figure out what that place used to be. There's no way there's that much work done underground there and it not have records on it." Tamara said. The other me turned away from her. "Noelle, always Noelle. Why don't you hang out with her instead? I don't even know why you're hanging out with me." "You don't have to be jealous. I think you'd actually like Noelle if you talked to her. You should talk to other people." "I don't need anybody. This trip was stupid." The other me tried to get out of the car. "Allison, you don't have to see the whole world as your enemy." Tamara grabbed her wrist to stop her. "I'm not here to hurt you." "You're just some dumb blonde bimbo. Leave me alone." Tamara pulled her back down into the car. "Stop making excuses for why you can't face reality. Stop making excuses for not accepting help. Do you really want to stay with them forever? That's why you're talking like this. You're scared." "I'm not scared of anything!" She yelled back, fighting to free herself. "Listen! I talked to my mom about it. She says you can stay over for a while. We're going on vacation in the summer to the Caribbean. She says she wouldn't mind paying for you to go too." The other me stopped fighting and started to cry. The lining of Tamara's coat moved along with the sky on the horizon behind her. She whispered to the other me. "Shh. Calm down. It's going to be okay. Look, I have a present for you." The other me kept on crying as Tamara pulled a tiny box out of her coat pocket. The other me unwrapped the tiny box. Inside was a phone. The other me's eyes widened. "I can't take this." "Yes, you can. I already paid for it. I know your parents won't let you get a job and they don't buy you stuff. I'll pay for the service. It's really not that much more expensive than what I'm already paying a month." "No, I can't do that. My parents will get mad at me if I have this." The other me pushed the box back to her. "Then don't tell them." Tamara smiled at her. The other me looked down at the box again. She turned on the phone. It wasn't a high end one, but it wasn't the cheapest model on the shelves either. She fiddled with it, curious at how it worked. Tamara hugged her. "Do you like it?" The other me was completely calm. Tears dried on her cheeks. "It's nice. I'm...I'm sorry..." "I knew you didn't mean it." Tamara reached down and pulled out a binder of CD's. "Do you want to listen to something?" The other me flipped through the binder until something caught her attention. She picked out the CD and leaned in between the two front seats to put the CD in. She skipped to the sixth track and sat back in the seat. Her face was a bright red as Hole's "Doll Parts" played louder than she was expecting. I watched them sit there, not saying anything to each other in the back of that blue corvette while the sun went down too quickly and faded all of the blue into a deep, dark red. The light was too strong for me. I shielded my eyes from it. When I lowered them, a man with a flashlight called out to me. "This is a restricted zone. Who are you?" "Wake up, wake up, wake up." I repeated to myself as I ran away into the darkness.
Humming | TOC