Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.
For the second day in a row, Will wakes me up with obscure music and bad piano-playing. I sit up and wait a moment, admiring the smooth, sultry voice of the woman as she sings low and soulful.
How can you lose your song?
When you have sung it for so long?
How can you forget your dance, your dance
When that dance is all you ever had?
What do I have? Nothing.
The door creeks open. Will slinks in holding a sunset orange bundle, freezes for a moment when he sees me, apologizes, then quickly retreats, closing the door behind him.
I ignore it. He comes in anyway and takes his seat by the french doors.
The track continues:
You can't separate the two.
It's impossible to do
Just like the salt in the stew
I face the mirror, and search for myself in my reflection. I have a small frame and a deep-brown skin tone. I examine my delicate bone structure and pointed chin, and my wide forehead. I'm not there. My dark, wide-set eyes are lined with thick lashes and wear deep creases that give them the appearance of bulging. I open them wide until I can see their cool tone and inspect my shrinking pupils. I'm not there. The bridge of my nose is short, beginning just at eye-level, and smooths into a downward curve at the point of my broad nose. As I look I notice I have a piercing there, held open by a metal peg. I decide that I want a ring for it.
“Kalani?” Will says, calling me by the name I've given myself. I jump a little, having forgotten that he was still sitting there. “How is your back ?” He always sounds as if he's holding in laughter.
I feel my lower back with my fingertips, never taking my eyes of the mirror. The pain is completely gone and all the bruises are healed. I make a note to myself: five days. Most people would die, or if they hadn't, they would never recover. I've made a complete recovery in five days. “It's fine.”
“And your ankle?”
I jumped out of the window and broke it yesterday, wanting to go for a walk. I obviously could've used the front door, but the window seemed quicker and I thought I would be OK if I landed right. I didn't land right.
I wonder if I've always been this reckless, or if I only am because I know I'll recover. If I'm entirely different person with an entirely different personality who happens to wear the same skin as the old me. If that's true, will the me I am now disappear once I remember the me I used to be? If that's true, do I even want to remember?
I resent myself for thinking this way. This me, if it is separate from who I was before the beating, has only existed for a day, and has no right to even consider such things. Especially since the other me was around for... maybe twenty years?
I observe my ample hips and small, small weighted breasts and try to guess my age.
Will clears his throat dramatically to get my attention. I grunt to let him know I had heard him.“You know, it's normal to check yourself out every know and then, but this might be taking it a little too far,” he says, grinning mischievously.
I raise an eyebrow.
“What do you know from normal?” I say without looking away. I'm wearing a different men's shirt than the day before, but it still has the word 'cheater' written on it a hundred or so times. For the first time, I notice that I'm not wearing any underwear at all. Good thing it's so big – or I'm so small – that the shirt almost passes my knees. I would, however, like to have on real clothes.
“I know that normal people don't stare at themselves for hours at a time, jump out of second story windows for no reason, cut themselves to see how long it would take to heal-”
“-I didn't even do that one.” I lie, hoping that he didn't really know about that..
“But you would though.”
I let out a little sigh of relief. He didn't know.
“You have no way of knowing that.”
He smirks, as if he knows something that I don't. “I know normal people die.”
I finally look him in the face, after noticing that my hair is conformed to the shape of the pillow I slept on last night.
“Normal people don't try to kill people because they’re injured, even if they know they're going to die; especially not unconscious injured people. They call an ambulance.” He opens his mouth to speak but I don't let him. “But I'm grateful for it. If you had called an ambulance, the world would've found out about the way I heal and I probably would have been taken by the government. On top of that you brought me here and cared for me. Normal people don't do that either.”
A silence trickles in. It fills the spacious, sunlit room, surrounding the stained-black vanity table and its stool, filling the scarlet armchairs and the bookshelf, and traps us both in. But, it's not the awkward kind of silence. It's the comforting, clarifying, mind clearing kind of silence that can sooth suffering souls, if only for a moment. I smile to myself, amused by my own flowery thoughts.
The track continues:
And one thing, the one thing that life cannot do
It can´t take your song from you...
“Well, Miss Conceited, when you're done looking at yourself, get dressed and come downstairs so we can go to i-hop or something. I don't know about you but I can't keep living off burnt food and cereal,” he says, as he spreads his orange bundle over his seat. “I'm in the kitchen.”
He leaves me there alone with a summery, orange dress. It has cups built in and two ties around the neck and back to help keep up the alternating layers sheer and thin, poppy printed fabric. It's lovely. Still no panties but much better than his cheater shirts.
I prop my elbow on the door, purse my lips and stair straight ahead at the narrow, two lane road lined with nothing but trees as far as the eye could see. We're already on the way back, to-go boxes getting cold in the backseat.
“I rode in the car for forty-five minutes so, I could sit and wait in the car for you to bring back the food,” I repeat for the third or fourth time.
Will sighs and rolls his head. “The people who attacked you could still be out here somewhere, Kalani. We can't risk them seeing you.”
“In that case, you should have let me stay home.”
“Why, so you can jump out the window again?”
I stare at a the man next to me. I want him to feel my eyes on him till they make him uncomfortable.
“I don't need supervising. I'm perfectly fine,” I say through my teeth.
“That's not what you were saying yesterday when you were hopping around on one foot.”
I want to dive across the seat and wrap my fingers around his throat.
“What did I say, Will.”
“You wanted me to help you.”
“Bullshit. I never asked for your help”
“No, you just need it.”
Then I want to squeeze and ...
I see a man behind the windshield of a pick-up truck approaching on the left. He's dark haired and green-eyed.
I know his face.
“HEY! HEEEY!” I yell, leaning over Will to be closer to the truck. If I could just talk to him, I could remember; I could get myself back.
“What the FUCK ARE YOU DOING!?” Will barks, struggling to see around me.
I roll the window down and wave my free hand, all the while screaming to get green-eyes to see me. He does, green eyes widening with shock. The truck gets closer. It'll pass us soon.
“Stop the car! I know him!”
“What? No you don't!”
The truck is just a few feet away.
“STOP THE CAR!!” I scream, addressing both Will and the green-eyed man.
The truck is adjacent to us. I jump out of the passenger seat, the wrong way, and roll a few feet. There is a crushing pain in my left hand, but I ignore it. Already, low to the ground, I sprint after the truck, inadvertently shouting: “HEY! STOP! WAIT!” He does, but he's not the only one who get's out of the truck.
“Are you mental?” a blonde woman pale blue skirt suit, fusses, stomping her pumps as she approaches me. She stops mid-stride and covers her mouth: “Oh my GOD...”
I step around her. Ignoring the sound of screeching tires, a door slamming, and frantic footsteps behind me. My business is with green eyes “You know me.” I tell him.
“Kalani!” Will yanks me by my arm- and whispers violently in my ear. “Get back in the car.”
The blonde woman continues “...You're hand! Frank, call an ambulance!” she seemingly pulls a handkerchief out of nowhere and approaches me with it.
“No thank you! She's fine I'll take her,” says Will, forcibly polite. He get back in my ear and murmurs “Come ON!”
“Are you sure?” she says.
“Yes, I'll take her, she'll be just fine.”
“She jumped right out of that car-”
“I'll put the child lock on this time,” he says, half growling the words he directed at me.
“I should report this to the police.”
Frank speaks, “No, we should just go. They're fine, and you don't need to bring any extra attention to yourself, Mrs Mayor,” he adds special emphasis to 'Mrs Mayor' as if to say: “You don't know who you're dealing with.” I don't give a damn about who she is.
“Don't leave without TELLING ME WHO I AM!” I shout. Will covers my mouth with his hand.
“I'm sorry about this. We ran out over her medication this morning and just went to get some more. It takes a little while for it to kick in.” He tries to drag me to the car but I wriggle free.
“ I KNOW YOU KNOW ME!” Will puts his arms around my waist and lifts me from behind. “I'M NOT CRAZY!”
“Frank, do you know that psycho?” asks 'Mrs Mayor.'
“I've never seen that woman before in all my living.”
“LIAR!” I screech. “AND I'M NOT CRAZY!”
I repeat these last three words continuously, kicking the air, as I watch them get back into the truck and pull off.
They took all hope with them.
“I know,” says Will, after setting me on the trunk of his car. “You're not crazy, that man probably does know who you are.”
I rest my elbows on my knees and my head in my hands.
He continues, “But you don't know him! He could be one of the people that tried to beat you to death!”
For a moment, neither one of us speaks.
Will sound like an entirely different person with his usual, cheerful tone. “OK, so... lets go find your fingers.” he says eventually.
I don't answer. Instead, I watch the water fall onto my newly ripped, sunset and poppy dress. The lovely one, now stained with mud, blood and tears.