Skye

What started as a short story, I feel is something more. Therefore unfinished, this is a work in progress.

I woke up loving you. Strange thing is I don't remember going to sleep.  Must you have fallen asleep in order to wake?  

Where am I? More importantly, where are you? I can't see you. Come to think of it, I can't see anything. But I have eyes, I can feel them there; why aren't they working? Oh, I have to open them first.

It hurts, oh, how it hurts. Everything changed too fast, I must close them again. My whole world went from black to white. Isn't there anything in between? I open my eyes again, but this time, a strange shape moves into my vision, blocking some of the white. What is this?  It moves when I think about it; it must be a part of me. I turn the whole thing over and over. Branching off are five small appendages which I can bend and curl and --  

A violently vivid flash takes over my vision. It's not happening, it's not going to happen; it happened, once upon a time, before I feel asleep. I see my hand reach out, so very slowly, and eventually, I can touch your glowing face. I brush my knuckles on your stubbled chin, run my thumb along your prominent cheekbone, trace your solid jaw with my finger.  I look up. You tunnel straight into the deepest parts of me with those eyes.

Suddenly, and much too soon, the white comes back. I knew that there was more to it than just black and white. I look at my hand; it was never that white. I need to find my colors again, and I'm not sure how, but I know that you can give them to me. I'll find you. I just don't know how yet.

Glancing around, I notice I'm in the very center of a room with a small set of windows on the left wall near the ceiling.  It's not very big and all white, just like me: white ceiling, white walls, white floor, white door. The door, that's what I need to get out. Decisively, I push myself from soft bed on which I’m laying.  Once sitting up, I try turning, but there's a painful tugging on my right arm. Wires connect my wrist to a machine.  I yank on the wires near the base of the machine; they won't budge. With no other choice, I pull them out of my wrist. Warm crimson blood flows from the holes where the wires were. Pressing my hand firmly over the wound to halt the bleeding, the sight of the color red motivates me. Now to find the rest.

I quickly make my way over to the door, grasp the cold metal doorknob and turn. It unlatches with a click, the door swings open, and I'm greeted by a gust of fresh air. I pause, savoring the sensation as it rushes over my ivory skin.  It smells of hope and tastes of freedom. The hallway, so drastically different from the room I was just, feels like another world. Warm mahogany wood is beneath my feet, and the walls are a crisp green. Even this side of the door is different, rich dark brown, with a comforting texture against my fingertips, in such stark contrast from the sterile environment from which I had just emerged.

In front of me, a woman comes out of a door, the twin of mine. Her body and limbs are long and slender beneath the snowy white gown, her only garments. Platinum-blonde hair flows around her angular shoulders and round face. Soft matte pink blossoms on her lips, but it's her eyes that wash over me, deep turquoise and sparkling as the ocean. And her skin is pure ivory, like mine. I step closer to her, as does she to me. It's then I realize the woman is me; I’m staring into a mirror. But I can't stay here with my reflection my only company. I need to find you. I look down both ways of the hallway, feeling uncertain.

Unexpectedly I’m overtaken by another vision, only this time it starts where I now stand. I’m moving slowly to the right, then turn left into small landing which leads to a spiral staircase. Floating ethereally up the stairs, the bright red doorway at the top immediately swings open and I am greeted by your sanguine, smiling face. Your hand reaches out to touch me when abruptly, the illusion dematerializes. I'm back at the doorway between worlds, and I take the step that brings me fully into yours. Encouraged, I know where to find you.

Barely taking notice of my surroundings in my haste, I rush headlong down the hallway. Turning left, I grasp the railing of the staircase, pulling myself onto the first step. The rest flow beneath my feet as I run to the top. Abruptly I'm confronted by the red door.  I hesitate. Lacking pressure, blood flows unabated from my wrist, collecting briefly on my fingertips before plunging to the floor.  The door doesn't glide open, though, and there's no delighted face to greet me. Inhaling a shaky breath, I tentatively turn the knob with quivering, slippery fingers.

The door swishes open, and my hope, my life, everything comes crashing down. Expectations demolished, heart shattered, I fall, limp and twisted, to the ground.  No. No no no. Oh, you’re there, but lying strangely in the middle of a room lined with overstuffed bookshelves. Agonizingly, with listless arms, I pull myself over to your side. For what seemed both a split-second and an eternity, I stared, disbelieving, at your now-pallid features and vacant eyes.  Tears come, racing in rivulets down my cheeks to drip from my chin and pool in slight shallows above my collarbones. I stroke your chin, your cheek, your jaw, just as I once did, unwittingly smearing my blood wherever my fingers touched. Your skin feels slack and cool. Where had that warm glow gone? I vainly sweep my eyes around the room as though I might find it, and when they return to you I see a piece of paper is clutched in your hand, “Skye” scrawled on it in distinctive, looping handwriting. I pry out the delicate sheet and desperately read what it contains.

“If you're reading this, it means that you are finally awake. All my dreams have at once come true and been destroyed, and it's all of my own doing. I simply cannot forgive myself knowing what I had done to you, things irrevocable, despicable, incredible and unforgivable. Even now, my contemptible, self-serving nature keeps me from telling you the things that I have done. I'm terribly sorry. All I can tell you is that you're different, Skye, different from other people. Always keep that in mind. For everything I did to you, I'm so sorry. Even more so for all I took.  My hope is that, one day, you'll find it again, but know that it isn't me. Keep going, because what you have within you is most extraordinary. All I ever wanted was for you to love me, but I cannot live with how I tried to get it. Live  a life I nearly took from you. Keep going, Skye, just keep going.”

I read it two, three, four times, demanding the words to change. I concentrate on your face, willing the colors back.  But the words stayed the same, and the glow had left for good.  

I couldn't stay here. I had to do the last thing you wanted me to: keep going.  Giving you one last look, I rise to my feet and immediately make my way out the door, down the stairs, then through the hall, past the world where this all started, and just keep going, because, now, it's all I know.

Keep going, Skye, just keep going.

The End

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