Chapter 1.8

Just as we're laughing, Alex's voice bursts in over the intercom, shrewd and demanding.

          "Alright, mop-head. Out. She needs rest." Moments later, the door breezes open and Alex is standing there, his pale blond hair slicked back from his chiselled cheekbones and his broad, bodybuilt shoulders. I'd find him attractive if he wasn't so perverted. "You heard me. Out."

Lisa sighs and slides off of the bed, moving towards the doorway before she spins around and speaks. "It's your birthday soon, right?"

          "Yeah, why?"

          "I'm going to ask Dr. Seymour if you can go outside to celebrate,"

Her ignorance digs into me like shards of glass. "Lisa..." I say sadly,

          "What?" she snaps. "I'm serious. It's your eighteenth, it's a big day. Besides, Seymour loves you like a daughter, and there's bound to be a city nearby somewhere. You can buy yourself a muffin or something." I don't mention how I'm forbidden to stray from my approved diet, or how Vanbrughn constantly reminds me that having my habitat controlled by the doctors was part of the contract I signed. I can't bear to tell her that I protested being shut away for my seventeenth birthday, and had tried to escape before they'd strapped a SickClip to my ankle. But Lisa's eyes have that brightness, that determination, and I decide to let her discover the drawbacks of life here herself.

          "Thanks, Lis," I say, just smiling, feigning a hope that I lost months back. My only glimpse of outside is the facility garden, filled with bright flowers and ornate fountains that try to draw our attention away from the electric fences at the edges. Dr. Seymour once told me that when they'd come to an evaluated hypothesis on my condition and were able to replicate the cells in lab conditions without me, I could leave and never return. But until then...

Lisa smiles at me happily and leaves, escorted by Alex into her room on B wing with the other children, whilst I sit on my bed, the lights dimming as they do routinely at seven o'clock, shading me in darkness, alone with the memories of the Dana who had once looked at everybody with the same kind of light as Lisa.

The End

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