The door banged against the wall as it opened. Ewan McGregor was still fresh in my half asleep mind when I realised that I hadn’t been put to sleep, and I hadn’t dreamt of Ali dying again. And standing in front of me was the last person I expected to come after me.
His chiselled features and over-concerned eyes were burning over me. And I jumped out of the bed and hugged him tightly. I let go just as fast.
There were no handcuffs limiting my already limited movement. There was nothing to stop me from scratching the awful itch in my nose. And there was nothing to stop me from running out of this damned terrible place. Except for the three massive padlocks on the door, but for some reason they were all unlocked.
He stood, unmoving and unresponsive to my hug.
“What the hell did you do to get stuck in a mental institution?” He asked me. I looked around.
“Last thing I remember was getting hit by a car and then…. Apparently I was singing in the surgery. I really don’t know.” The door opened again and the ginger nurse came in.
“Little bitch comes from a family of suicides. We have to make sure she doesn’t decide to conk it as well.”
And suddenly he had her by the collar. She looked scared.
“She can make that decision for herself, thanks.” He growled. Then he let go of her, grabbed my arm softly and pushed my hair out of my face. Luckily my suitcase was on the floor next to the bed so he picked that up too before opening the unlocked door and pulling us both out of it.
Somehow he knew which way to go and which way to get out of this insane asylum. He made sure not to touch the cast on my wrist even though I told him that it didn’t hurt at all and I doubted that it was even broken to begin with.
I saw light coming from under a door. We ran out of it and I breathed in the fresh air.
We had made it.
I turned to him before I got into his car.
“Thank you so much, I swear I will never be able to repay you, Luke.”
Luke cracked his knuckles uncomfortably and smiled brightly at me.
“Don’t mention it. Now let’s get out of here!” Luke put on his sunglasses and hopped into the driver’s seat.
And we drove.
“They put me under heaps.” I told him. The scenery here was beautiful. He told me he was taking me to a special lodge that he owned. He was only my age, but he had been working for about three years and could now fully support himself- and me while I needed it.
“Was it better being put to sleep than to wake up and now that you were there?” He asked me. I shook my head profusely.
“No, no frigging way.” I rubbed my eyes and pulled my knees up under my chin. Luke kept one hand on the steering wheel whilst the other lingered on my face. Sure it was uncomfortable since I didn’t really know him- but then, him, Ashton and Carrie where the only friends I had now.
“Why?” Luke asked me. He took his arm out from around me and scratched his beautifully blonde head. I blinked. I blinked again and wondered why I thought he had a beautifully blonde head. I never did before.
“Every time they put me under, I dreamt that Ali died a different way. And it was terrible and I never want to see it again. And then I got called a bitch when I woke up. But being called a bitch when I wake up is better than watching my twin sister die. In front of me- three times.” I sighed. “She fell off a building.” I cried out.
Luke’s arm was around me again.
“Do you want to talk about?” He asked stupidly. I stared at him, he recoiled against my glare and turned is gaze back to the road like he should have been doing from the beginning.
“What the hell does it look like I’m doing?” I snarled. He stopped the car and I frowned. “Hey, what-
“This is it.” He laughed. I leant around him to see and gasped at the beauty of what I was seeing.
It was like a paradise. There was a glistening lake running methodically behind a beautifully preserved wooden lodge. The lodge looked pretty old but with the sun shining down on it, it looked like it had just been built. There was a pretty garden in front of us; it ran around the sides of the lake and around the driveway.
I smiled at Luke and opened my door. Luke got out of his side and waited for me He took my heavy suitcase out of the back and walked me towards the house. And at that moment I didn’t feel so alone. I took Luke’s outstretched hand and let him lead me into the wooden planked light lodge.
“Do you like it? I’ll be staying here too, but sleeping in the extra room…. There’s no air conditioning in that part of the house so you don’t have to sleep in there.”
“And who decided that?” I taunted. I actually wanted to be nearer to him. I didn’t know what was happening, but even though I thought that I liked Ashton, he was further from my mind than anything was right now. “Can I ask you something?” I asked him. He nodded and gestured for me to sit down on one of the beanbags that were placed strategically in front of the huge TV.
Luke smiled at me and I bit my lip.
“Why are you helping me? Why did you bring me here?” I asked him. He almost laughed.
“That’s two things you asked me, not just one.” He smiled cheekily and I shoved him with my left arm. He actually did laugh that time. “No, well, if I told you, you would laugh- that’s for the first question and for the second question….”
He paused and looked away.
“What?” I asked curiously. He made a noise that was a cross between a laugh and a cry.
“Fine, the answer to the first question is….. Just…… wait- please, tell me why you came here with me.”
I heard a phone ringing. It was a Linkin Park song. It was also Luke’s phone. He looked down at his phone and swore.
“I have to take this, it’s Ashton.” He pressed answer just as I shook my head adamantly. “Yo, dude.” He said. I rolled my eyes and bit my tongue this time instead of my lip. I blocked my ears and tried not to listen but I couldn’t help hearing Luke.
“No, Ashton you can’t tell me what to do.” He argued. He stood up and clenched the hand that wasn’t holding the phone. “Fine, I’ll bring her there- you aren’t coming here- I will bring her there and then you can take her home.” They were still talking and I knew what I had to do if I didn’t want to leave.
“Luke!” I cried out. He paused for a moment and I knew that Ashton could hear me on the other side of the phone.
“What?” He asked. I looked around and bit my lip again.
“I came here with you because I love you.” I felt tears come into my eyes. I said it loud and clear and came closer to the phone, trying not to make it obvious that I was trying to get Ashton to hear me. “I knew it since I first saw you, and I’m sorry, but I don’t want to leave without you.” Tears rolled down my cheeks and Luke’s face softened. Luke breathed into the phone hard and stared at me.
I wondered whether or not he could see through my charade.
He closed the phone.
Obviously he didn’t see through it.
“Really, Ari, do you mean it?” He whispered. I nodded desperately. He wiped a tear away from my cheek but it was immediately replaced by a few dozen others. He laughed softly and I looked away. His hand moved onto my chin and pulled my face closer to his. I obliged.
His eyes sparkled and I blinked away the tears. They stopped immediately. For some reason he didn’t find anything strange about this.
“Luke…” I whispered his name and he smiled. The smile reached his eyes and touched my heart, but I couldn’t return it. I knew he had taken his time and rescued me and he had taken me to this place…. But I just couldn’t.
He was even closer to me now. His hair ruffled as a slight breeze ran through the window and hit us. As I was distracted by the wind, he took his chance and kissed me. I frowned against him and pulled away. I stared at him, confused.
“It’s ok, Ali, it really is.” Luke breathed. I pulled away from him quickly. I shook my head and the tears fell again.
“It’s Ari. You dick! I thought you…. I thought you liked me, or was I getting mixed messages? I thought I could trust you….” I yelled.
“Ariel, I…. I’m sorry, I didn’t mean-
“That’s just it, hey? You didn’t mean it. Well I am sorry too. Sorry I trusted you with my mentally incapable self. I’m going to bed.” I crossed my arms.
“Ariel, its midday…” Luke said. He didn’t fight with me. He knew he had made a mistake. I trudged past him towards what I thought was the bedroom. Luke called my name one last time. I turned, ready to throw some verbal diarrhoea but all he did was point down the hallway.
I hated to play him like this, but it was necessary if I was going to end my plan the way I wanted to.
I closed the door, but before I did, I saw Luke’s face one last time. It seemed like he was crying.
I dropped to my knees and put my head in my hands.
And then I fell asleep just like that.