Chapter 3

My first thought was that he had to be blind. The way his eyes were such a cloudy white… but the two ashen orbs were centered directly on me. The stare was so intense that there was no way it was from unseeing eyes.

A blink later and I was staring into naturally brown eyes.

My lungs were barely working inside my chest. My thoughts were still—a paralyzed wasteland, void of reason or logic. He only held my gaze a moment longer, before turning his head away to stare at the wall. Without the continual grimace I was used to seeing, he had a sort of boyish, durable air to him.

I manage to break free of my paralysis, gaining enough wits to stop staring. The monitors that once held vital signs were blank, no doubt because their sensors were no longer in place. No one liked to feel like a science experiment… But for all I knew, he was.

I knew my presence bothered him. It was obvious in the hard set of his shoulders and the slight tremor in his forearms. Heat suddenly rose to my cheeks as I realized I’d been staring. Of course, I’d stared before, but it’d been different while he was unconscious.

He was a person. For the first time I thought of him truly as a person, and not an anomaly or a mystery to unravel. My embarrassment doubled as I looked away. Of course he was real. There was no denying that, but I was finally able to meet him. I was finally able to ask the questions that had pestered me. I was finally able to start figuring things out.

I wondered if I should.

I wasn’t really sure how much time passed, maybe a minute, five, thirty, it was all the same. Finally, I managed to take a few steps forward and pull the security pass from my pocket. With a beep the electronic locking system recognize the barcoded pass. The door opened with a hiss.
I didn’t have any expectations, but I didn’t have a plan either. I stood, rigid, for a moment more, letting the sound of air fill the small room. Finally I let a “hi” escape my lips, but it met with the air awkwardly, seeming shallow and renewing my embarrassment.

“Are you here to continue my torture?” I was surprised at first by the voice, which was so strong, yet flat of emotion. It took another moment to realize why it didn’t seem to fit—it was void of any accent, at least, of the Mexican variety.

“No… I don’t want to hurt you.” I managed, letting the door hiss shut behind me. I took a few tentative steps forward, my hands clenched in an uneasy clamminess. “I’m Scarlett.”

His only response was a grunt, his frame held coldly still.

“I… I don’t want to hurt. Not at all. I mean, I don’t even know what’s going on, or who you are, or why you’re here, or anything,” I rambled. “And I get that you probably don’t trust me, I mean, why would you? I’m just some random girl, but I’m not gonna hurt you, honest. I just feel like I should help-“

“I know.” With an apparent reluctance he broke his stare with the wall and twisted his head in my direction. I was initially stunned by the cool decisiveness in his voice. I didn’t know how he could know—I wasn’t lying, of course—but I wasn’t going to argue either.

His calculating brown eyes scanned over me, pausing to meet my stare periodically. I was immediately self-conscious, fingering the tips of my wavy muddy-colored hair. I wasn’t obese or disfigured or anything of the sort, but I’d never thought of myself as especially attractive. My waistline fit a size eight with no hips to speak of, and what bit of figure I had was lost between a “petite” chest and muscular thighs.

But he didn’t linger on those things—not visually, at least.

Before I could form any sort of response, he averted his gaze, opting this time to stare foggily ahead.

“What’s your name?” I asked tentatively.
The immediate hard set of his jaw made it clear that he wasn’t willing to part with that piece of information.

“Why are you here? I mean… do you know?” I continued, with exceedingly less grace.

“To satisfy the ever-hungry curiosity of powerful men.” He growled, a response he’d evidently rehearsed.


I stood a minute longer, staring half into space myself, before letting myself slide to the ground against the wall. I pulled my legs up close to my chest, wrapping my arms around them. We sat in silence for a time, although it was more contemplative than awkward. I finally ventured a glance towards the boy, goose bumps clearly visible from the yard that separated us.

“You’re cold.” I stated blandly, watching as slight shivers rand across his limbs. He didn’t offer a response, but that didn’t stop me from pulling my hoodie off and tossing it towards him. He let it sit a moment at his feet, obviously pondering the gift, before gingerly pulling it around his shoulders.

We sat for a time. There were moments I was quite aware of him—whether it was exhaustion or a foggy confusion, I wasn’t sure. Finally, I glanced down at my watch, blink to try and make sense of the digital display. Quarter past three.

“I should go…” I whispered, unwinding my legs.

“I know.”

“Well…. Uhm…”

“You feel like you should help, but you don’t think you really can,” he said evenly, staring at the ceiling. His eyes were back to the foggy white… a swirling pale.

“Yeah… How’d you know?” I climbed to my feet, rubbing a partially numb thigh.

“I just do.”

“But… your eyes…” I muttered. Just as I watched, they transformed back to brown, as human and normal as any I’d seen.

“Don’t worry about it.” His voice was courser, colder, like I’d found a touchy subject.

“Okay…” I edged towards the door, sliding my keycard in the lock.


I turned back cautiously. The boy was climbing to his feet, sliding off my hoodie.

“It’d be best if they didn’t find me with this.”

“Yeah,” I muttered sheepishly. I took the gray lump of fabric from his hand and turned back to open the heavy metal door.

As I walked away I couldn’t help feeling like I was missing something.      

The End

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