My arm strained from the weight of the small boy as I held on to his jacket hood as tight as possible. I could hear the fabric ripping. I didn’t have many options. If I waited any longer his hood was going to rip and I would lose him. He would fall, and at this distance, he would not survive. I wasn’t sure if I would survive.
The seam of the hoodie was coming apart. I let go of the metal contraption. Flying down through the air I grabbed the boy. As we fell I turned, holding him close, wrapping my legs and arms around his. He didn’t scream, he just held on tighter then I could. It was a fast fall, but yet it all seemed so slow and almost serene as I watched my movements, shielding the child from hitting the ground.
Even the fall felt slow. My back hit the hard dirt first. The impact caused my entire body to tremble. I felt the wind being knocked out of me and the faint trace of lights upon the most foolish ride I had ever seen. My head dropped back causing my eyes to loose their momentum. I felt something tugging at me, it was Kevin. He pried my fingers off the boy who started to scream. When the crowd was ogling at the boy they forgot about the broken, perhaps dead girl on the ground. Kevin picked me up though and started walking, almost running.
“Hey! He’s got that girl.” I heard a high-pitched male voice coming from a noisy crowd.
Kevin didn’t stop. I faded in and out. I saw him resting me in the back seat of his car. I heard a bunch of screaming. He looked panicked. Then I fell back into the blackness. Back into a familiar hallway. The hallway I had recalled trying to escape. Only the lights were on and there were people walking around me, through me. I jumped back until I realized no one saw me. Following a nurse who was pushing a cart full of pills in individual cups I brought into a big room.
Seeing myself sitting on a couch staring at the stitching in a pillow in the corner of the room I became that girl, the girl I once was. There were a bunch of other people wearing the same long white robe that I wore. My hair was unkempt and frizzy; I had bags beneath my eyes. The other people around me weren’t in the best shape. A twitchy old man paced around the room repeating silly words to himself. A middle-aged women was rocking back and forth in a chair repeating that the world was going to end.
The doctor from my last dream, only without a mask, sat upon the chair next to me. I only gave him notice by quick looks through the corners of my eye. I felt nothing but distrust.
“You look better today.” He leaned toward me. I wondered how I could have looked any worse. “When Dr. Halin found you…well…I didn’t think it was possible for someone to survive that trauma. Dr. Halin was right, you are stronger than we can understand. The FBI agrees that you are better placed here for now. While we try to understand why you ran away from your previous assignment. The government worries that you intend to share your intel with others.”
I looked at him blankly.
“Your cover of amnesia was successful in keeping you alive.” He reached out for my hand and I grabbed his wrist. A nurse rushed over with a needle. “Wait Melinda. Agent 98 do you hear me. You are in a safe place for now.”
I looked back down at the pillow, scanning the fabric.
“What are you doing?” The doctor asked.
“Following the pattern.” I pocketed his watch and was slowly inserting it into the bottom of the pillow I had been unthreading..
“This isn’t real.” I sat up, awake, in Kevin’s bed.
“Tell me about it.” Kevin turned on the nightstand light, sitting in a chair. “Looks like your voice is getting louder.”
“Did anyone see me?” I jumped out of the bed. “I have to go.”
“How are you walking right now?” He shook his head and stood up. “Where will you go? You’re safe here, I made sure no one followed us. I mean people definitely saw you at the fair but I don’t think anyone got a real good look.”
For once I actually believed that he meant I was safe, but that didn’t mean he was safe from me. “I can’t put you in harm.”
“Calm down. You don’t have to leave tonight. Do you even know what you are running from?”
“You don’t know what I have done, what I have seen.”
He sighed. “All I know is that anyone else would have died from a fall like that. If it were anyone else they wouldn’t have saved those two kids. Instead of heroic women saves two children from a test of gravity, then vanishes into the night….the news would be saying two children died from a faulty carnival ride.”
“There’s more to me then what we’ve seen. I may not remember much but one day I will and so far I don’t like what I am seeing.”
He grabbed my hand and I gritted my teeth, reminding my nerves not to snap back.
“Tell me what you remember.” His eyes were so gentle. So far my instincts hadn’t been too bad from what I could recall. I sat down on the bed with him. Told him my resurrection on the beach. My confusion about who I was and what anything was. My mistaken identity that I had taken out on a glass window, leading me to him. My realization of natural things like eating, walking, talking… having a connection someone else. It all felt new, like it was for the first time, then later these intense emotions brought out my past life, exploding my thoughts with more confusion.
I worried about other memories I would have if I experienced another emotion. I told Kevin everything I knew, which wasn’t much, but enough to keep us talking till rays of light came through the blinds. Part of me was delirious by the lack of sleep and the semi aching of my bones, no doubt by the fall. Part of me wondered what it would be like at the same time as I felt an aching in my chest, a shuttering in my breathing. His body leaned into mine and I couldn’t help but imagine what his lips would be like against mine.