I couldn’t open the folder before I had left the hospital. Even I knew of that bad decorum.
And the motorway, now less devoid of vehicles than it had been before, meant that I was able to deftly catch a ride by the taxi-park. The Admiral Hotel shot out of the sky in quick time; after seven, the evening rush, even that of London, seemed to slow to nothing.
I was glad to be back in my room, as if the outside world could be there always staring over my shoulder whenever I wanted to open up my trove of secrets.
Not yet, I cautioned myself, not just yet.
But when I was back in that private room, it was just my file and I.
Greedily, I suppose- as the excitement I could no longer compress inside my chest- I tore at the pages of the file, spinning open the thin brown cover to let the pages underneath flutter down to my bedside.
There were only two sheets. One, I could see, was my basic medical information: details about the hospital conditions and the like, my weight, whether there had been any pregnancy or birth complications (beside this was written: ‘emergency caesarean performed due to ill-health of mother and prematurity of baby’); the second piece was my birth certificate. And it was on this that, with a squeal of joy, I pounced.
The white page was stung with ink that caught the light, twinkling. It was a shine that did not last long.
There was little on my birth certificate. There was the presence of life; that I could admit. But there were no names, nothing other than the details that I had already come to know. The time and my weight were of little importance, but I still curled my fists up at how normal they were. I traced the Dr’s name and the name of the midwife who had been present. I even found my own name being tenderly stroked under everything. I was still Lily Highclere, then: the girl without a real past.
However, there was one little item that caught my eye, one baby-step towards a completion of truth. ‘Mother’s name’ had been left blank, and the age was something irrelevant, a typical mid-twenties age that I had already anticipated; but not all her details had been abandoned. The one that had been set out so nicely, like a red X upon a map, was ‘mother’s education’: Sagebrook Senior, followed by private further education ‘unclassified’, in big square brackets.
It was something, at least.
As I stroked the Yellow Pages, making a note to check it in the morning if I found nothing else for myself to do, a yawn split my lips. It was ridiculous to think that I was this tired. I hadn’t even had dinner, but that was the least of my thoughts, having had such a big lunch; in any case, I had never eaten a large dinner in my life. I might have been trying to change my past, but that didn’t mean that I had to change all my old habits.
As seemed to be the case for having worked so hard today- even if breaking into offices and conversing with doctors didn’t seem the hardest of tasks- I drifted from watching the fluttering images that refused to leave my active mind, those of a masked lady running to catch her flight from the helipad, to living the path of the hospital again; I found myself hiding around a morphing hospitals, ever searching for Dr. Aquilus’ stern face. My body twisted itself into mismatched shapes as my eclectic dreams danced on.