My eyes grew heavy, these drugs were strong. As Dr. Halin had stated, my body felt heavy and weighed down, darkness became my only consolation to the pain that crawled within my skull. Wanting to scream, to clench my fist, I just failed. Failed to do anything but be overwhelmed by the stinging pain that surged through me.
Inexplicably the darkness disappeared and in place of it I was a child, at a park playing. A young woman in her thirties held her arms out to me, welcoming me to her grasp as I ran toward her. She put me in a swing and I saw to my left Michael, a few years old in a swing that cradled him by a strap. She laughed throwing her auburn curly hair over her shoulders, pushing us in the air and I laughed too. A sound I hadn’t heard come from me in a very long time.
“More mommy more.” Michaels bright eyes sparkled as he squealed, clapping his hands.
The memory was interrupted by another. I was holding Michael’s hand and we were running to an over-packed station wagon from a motel. I was around the age of seven. Michael was silently crying, tears streaming down his face. Quickly I buckled him in and jumped in the car. My mother and father came running behind with a few bags and we drove away in a hurry. A rush of memories similar to these kept coming in. We moved from one motel to the next. Moments lingered as I saw myself sitting in my fathers lap as we did the crossword puzzles or he read stories as I fell asleep against his chest. My brother and I sprawled out laying in between our parents. Watching static cartoons while eating cereal out of the box, no milk.
With each memory I began to feel this sense of love that I hadn’t felt in a long time. Feelings I didn’t know existed until I was reminded by a glimpse of what I had felt when I learned of Michael. A memory, just as others, of us driving in a car, only this time we were being chased. My parents screamed for us to duck, glass was shattering. My father at the wheel, my mother trying to crawl to the back seat as she ducked from bullets.
My father swerved trying to throw them off as my mother fell back. Michael was screaming and I was hiding on the floor of the car holding my knees to my chin. My mother held Michael’s hand. reaching for mine, struggling to pull me toward her.
“Hold tight my dears, I’m going to take us somewhere safe.”
“Papa.” I reached for his shoulder.
“No Kayla, please come here.” She reached for me.
She held my brother tightly and me by my waist as she concentrated. I yanked out of her arms reaching for him and she lost her grip.
“No-“ her scream cut off as she disappeared.
“Papa.” I cried.
He looked at me, panicking, realizing his wife and son were gone, but I was still here. Swerving to avoid hitting a car he grabbed my hand.
“I’m sorry sweetie. I wanted this to be better, I wish I could come with you.”
“No papa leave with me.”
His forehead scrunched up over his brown unkempt hair. “You don’t understand now, and maybe you never will, but its best for everyone if I do this alone.”
Placing his hand on my head, as he struggled to drive, I felt everything tingling and then I was gone and as I left I felt myself coming back together on the side of the road watching as my father’s car was shot at, blowing a tire. He swerved and the car began to roll headed toward several pumps in a small dingy gas station. Running closer to the car, I saw my fathers face, cut up, bleeding. Instead of reaching for the seat belt or the door he stared straight at me, smiling as if this was a good thing. Before I could get any closer, I was thrown away by a blast. Holding myself up on the ground, wide-eyed, watching the consuming fire and the black smoke rise. Stumbling to my feet I struggled, but I found the ground to run on. Running as far away as I could.
Images flickered by as I was found on the streets wandering, taken from one home to the next, there was always something wrong with me. I was too quite, I had night terrors, I didn’t make friends, I wouldn’t accept anyone as my family….. Then there were rumors. The foster care brushing them off as rumors. More images flooded: Being kicked out of one home for disappearing in front of their eyes, then I found myself one time in a tree of a boys house I liked. Then another time on a train. Then he walked in and found me. The General wearing his uniform and all his shiny badges. He bent down and smiled; said that he had just the right place for me.
When I got there I was scared. They took away my clothes and gave me a uniform, then came the testing. The testing that I had just went through here, but more aware. The pain was agonizing as they kept me awake, cutting me open, watching my neurological responses. They planted their own devices. When they didn’t understand me they put me in a box for weeks, allowing a steady flow of a serum. The one used to rid memories.
Waking up to the room with Dr. Halin doing CPR, my eyes blinked open as the blurred room became stable. She was talking to someone but I couldn’t hear what she was saying. Finding the strength to tilt my head to the left I saw an attendant writing on a chart then leaving the room.
She held a light up to my eyes and as she continued to speak I began to hear her over a ringing that stringed through my mind.
“Welcome back Agent 98.”