I really didn’t sleep that well despite the fact this it has been a long time since I slept in a bed this nice. I never had any dreams but I did have the occasional nightmare.
I stared at the small radio clock beside me and the blue numbers read that it was two in the morning. I knew that it would be some time before I fell asleep again and I couldn’t sneak out because I was in too much pain to move. I didn’t know how to turn on the radio and I don’t think Taylor would hear me if I called him. I wasn’t sure if I was hungry or not because I was used to not having any for several days. I knew that I had to eat something because I felt so weak and drained.
I heard the ringing of the chime.
It reminded me of when I was younger and my mother had hung a wind chime outside and it had practically sung me to sleep.
It turned out that this one did too because it was just so calming and made the pain easier to bear. I drifted off and didn’t wake up again until morning.
When I woke up, the first thing I noticed that it was harder to breathe and I could barely get my eyes open. I couldn’t hear the chime anymore. Everything was blurry and I couldn’t make out what was in front of me.
I wasn’t afraid of death.
I had come so close to it before and this wasn’t any different. Seeing that sparkling light. . . I just hoped that Taylor wouldn’t be too hurt if I died on him.
Hell I knew that he’d mind. He thought that I was his girlfriend and if I died here, he’d be depressed and scarred for the rest of life. I did not want to put him through that. He seemed like a nice guy but was a little confused.
I felt so bad.
I almost wished that he had never found me.
But I could start a new life. I could just lie to him and tell him that I was Brinne and I would live a better life. But lying was wrong and I don’t think that I could ever push myself to do it. I just didn’t want to bring him with me on my continuous plummet. He could die too.
My father was reckless and I doubt that he would have any sympathy if he ever saw anyone with me. He would just kill them too.
“Hey you don’t look so good.” Taylor said as he walked into the room.
“I don’t feel too good either.” I noticed that he didn’t respond.
Maybe I had spoken too quietly or maybe he was just thinking, I really didn’t know what was going on. When I looked at him again I saw that he had turned away, but I could see that he was upset.
“I thought you were going to be alright.” He stammered.
I really didn’t know what to say.
Maybe I could tell him that this has nothing to do with him. I just hope that he would be more convinced to believe me this time because despite my efforts, he probably still thought that I was Brinne.
“It’s not you’re fault that I’m like this.” I had somehow managed because the pain crept up again.
“Then who’s is it? I swear I’ll kill them!” He shouted.
“I…really don’t need you looking out for me. I said that I don’t want anyone with me and I don’t understand why you still persist to be with me. I am not Brinne. Get it through your head!”
“Why do you keep saying that? I’m just trying to help-”
“I don’t need any help! The second I know I can stand, I am out of here!”
“But why would you want to leave?” He asked.
“You know why.”
I tried again and again to turn over on my side and I eventually was able to do it, but it had taken too much out of me. Taylor knew by the way I wasn’t looking at him that I just wanted to be left alone.
I heard him sigh as he stood up and left.
I really didn’t want things to get ugly between us but I didn’t like being treated like someone I wasn’t. Besides, it wasn’t my fault that he was being so difficult. But I guess that he must’ve really cared about Brinne.
My thoughts weren’t too clear right now because of how much I was hurting. I really wanted to leave this place. I just didn’t want to interfere with Taylor’s life and cause him pain in the end. I also hated to just leave him here alone without ever knowing what happened to Brinne.
Suddenly all of my thoughts came to a halt when the scent of something good filled the air. I didn’t know what it was, but I knew I wanted it. Even though I’m not a big fan of eating of any sort, I can be a sucker for food when I get hungry enough. I always remember there never being enough food around the house to feed both me and my father but we somehow managed. After that, it got too difficult and I often scavenged elsewhere. I knew that this wasn’t the way to go and I often got sick after not finding anything and sometimes I’d find what I’d eaten had me feeling weird. It was like people were trying to poison me or something and I don’t know why because I never bugged them.
I guess that this is where I have to be truthfully honest. If I was desperate enough and there was no other way out, I sometimes ended up robbing people. Only I couldn’t bear to have them see me and my father would end up knowing, so this had led me to almost kill my target and seize their wallet while they were passed out and probably bleeding to death. I always did feel terrible for what I had done, but I saw it as the only way to survive.
“Hey.” Taylor said as he entered the room.
I didn’t think that I was capable of turning over to face him.
“I think that you’re pretty hungry. I made pancakes, your favorite.”
I could tell by the tone of his voice that he wasn’t upset with me but he did seem a little sad. I guess that I had been too harsh on him.
“Hey are you awake?” He set something down and came over and nudged me.
The very second I saw his hand; I had tensed up and shut my eyes waiting for the pain to come. When I realized that this was Taylor and not my father, I looked up at him, apologetically. I really hoped that he wouldn’t hurt me. I just wasn’t sure if I could trust him.
I couldn’t read the look in his eyes and I didn’t want to stare, so I looked away. I remained tense; waiting for his reaction. I couldn’t bear to imagine what he might do.
“I’m sorry…” He stammered, “did I hurt you?”
I didn’t look at him; I was sill braced for his onslaught.
“Why can’t I do anything right? I messed up when you were here before and I’ve screwed up again. Why don’t you tell me what I’m doing wrong?” He asked.
I felt pangs of shame swell all through me as he kept on beating himself up. I didn’t think that anyone deserved this kind of punishment but, had he really said that he’d messed up when Brinne was here? Did he drive her away?
He was still talking when I interrupted him. I must say, he did look at me in shock.
“You contributed to Brinne’s disappearance?” I asked.
“I thought you were still mad at me.” He stated.
“I’m not, I just not used to being touched like that.”
“But you never had a problem with it before.”
“That’s not what I asked you for. Did you two have a fight or something?”
He didn’t answer. He stood up and went a distance away.
His voice was quiet when he spoke.
“Yeah, we had a little scrap before you went missing. I felt terrible that night.” He mumbled.
“What did you say?” I asked.
“I’m not sure if I want you to remember or not, but one night you came home after being out for a few nights. This happened a lot and apparently I didn’t mind this. I should’ve known that you would eventually find me uninteresting…” His voice trailed off.
I didn’t know what to say. So she had ditched him?
“You were always elsewhere, we never really had time together. You were always busy with your friends.” He sighed sadly, “ I would do anything to make you happy again, like we were in the beginning.”
“So she ditched you?” I asked.
“You still don’t think that you are Brinne, do you?”
“I told you, my name is Jaime.” I said.
He sighed and brought over the foodstuffs he’d hoped to give to me earlier. It was probably cold but I really didn’t care, food was food and this was the only thing I’ve had for days. I admit, I did feel a lot better afterwards.
I couldn’t help but speak up about it.
“Wow, pancakes are great.” I commented.
“You sound like you’ve never had them before.” He stated.
“I haven’t.” I answered.
“But I always made them for you.”
“I won’t argue with you anymore. I am not Brinne and having me here isn’t my choice it’s yours. This means that you could throw me out once you figure it all out.” I said sadly.
He just stared at me.
“I don’t know if I believe you. You really don’t want to be here, do you?”
“You just don’t want to believe me, I guess that you really cared for Brinne and she turned you down. I won’t say that I understand how you feel, but I know the feeling of loosing someone important.” I answered.
“But, I think I like being here though. I’m just nervous about what might happen, that’s all.” I continued.
“But you look so much like Brinne…” His voice trailed off solemnly.
I sighed and attempted to stand up. I found that I could stand but I couldn’t walk very far; Taylor didn’t look at me as I was leaning against the wall. I kind-of had expected him to help me, but I guess that he was letting the thought of me being a complete stranger sink in.
“I always did have this feeling that you were too different…” His voice had a painful edge to it.
“I’m sorry about everything. I only wish that you will somehow find Brinne and be happy again.” Because I know I will never be, I almost said.
Yes, this had been the closest thing to heaven and it probably will be my only encounter.