Day 24, I have not seen that smile for a while. Adelaide, her smile, the warmth and fuzzy feeling that came with it. She was the embodiment of genuine care and hospitality. Damn I miss that smile. I miss our brief conversations, her interjections that made me laugh nervously. I can already picture her confidently touching my hands, looking straight into my eyes saying “you are mine
Adelaide, sweet sweet Adelaide I am drifting away you know. I’m slowly drowning in this ocean, and the last face I am to see is yours.
I hear the door open, and two men overly dressed in white (apron and face mask) approach my bed. They are carrying a metal plate, with a syringe. I feel tense. My skin becomes stiff. I am not used to needles.
“It’s injection time Brody,” one of the men says with enthusiasm. I should point out that my name is not Brody.
“Now hold still,” the other bloke says fastening my right hand on a belt by the bed side. I am fidgeting and sweating a lot. The needle pricks my skin first time, I almost jump. “We’ll have to do it again, the other bloke says.
It’s finally over. I am rubbing the injected part of my skin. The pain is slowly fading away and so is the face of Adelaide. Sweet Adelaide don’t go. It’s been far too long without you. Please.
Wait there she is in my room. I am in my room. This feels like a memory. She is lying on my bed, pestering me to get out of my computer desk.
“You work too hard muff,” she says. “Yes I do, ” my clueless voice. I was always slow to her advances. She gets out of bed a little broody and comes to lean her head towards my chair. I know she is pretending to take interest in my work.
“You are writing another alien abduction story, are you?” She asks with a sarcastic tone. “Yes Sherlock, I am, ” I reply and for a moment we look into each other and I get lost in the gaze.
Day 48. There is something I need to remember. A truth I once held dear, but my head can’t wrap around it. I know it is something important. Hopefully it will come back to me.
At this moment though, I can hear footsteps across the hallway. Ah yes, it is time again for the daily injection. Yesterday I was able to hold it together. Today I think I will do so too.
Wait my wall has a picture of a woman scraped onto it. I think I know that woman. I touch it. I believe I was the one who drew it. Perhaps this is truth I was supposed to remember.
The door is opened, and once more like clockwork, the two blokes are here to give me my injection. I do not tense. I barely fidget. I stretch my right arm, ready for the needle to prick my skin. Suddenly a name hits my mind. Adelaide, I whisper as my tongue goes numb and my head becomes drowsy.
There she is from a distance. We are in a place of nothingness. Dark and desolate is how I would describe it.
“Adelaide! It’s me! Can you hear me?” I shout. She turns and smiles. Yes, that smile. I remember now. I remember the warmth it came with.
She keeps fading away, and I keep trying to reach out. Adelaide! Adelaide, please. Please don’t go!”
Day 72. I don’t know why I feel miserable today. They’ve been painting over the wall in my room for a while now because they don’t like me scraping on it. They want me to forget something and honestly I think I have.
I don’t know what my name is. Don’t remember if I ever had a family. I always had this feeling that there was someone special in my life, but I can’t remember. It is the drugs. They make me forget. That’s the only explanation.
The door opens, and the It’s the injection routine once more. At this moment I am immune to the needle. I barely feel it in and out my vein. I am staring at the blank white wall all along, waiting for the effects to kick in.
Darkness. I am finding myself in a familiar place. Is this a memory that has held on for this long? I hear sounds of children laughing. Two of them run past my legs and I almost trip.
Im faster than you Ade, ” a young boy says after beating this young girl in a race. This is a happy memory, but I barely seem to recognise it.
The boy trips after another round of racing. He starts crying. The girl stretches her hand out and says, “Hold on to me as tight as you can. I’m here and I won’t let go”
Day 96. Something is different. It is past the daily routine for my injection. It is awfully still and quiet.
Wait, I hear footsteps but for single person. The door opens and for the first time I get to see a face.
“Brody, the procedure is near completion. The injection and re-orientation procedures were just part of phase one of leaving the past behind. You still want to join the organization yes?” It’s a lady. She is fairly plump and is wearing spectacles. She has a doctor kind of vibe.
“Yes I guess. But I am not Brody, that’s not my name,” I answer. She takes a moment before replying, But you barely remember who you are. You don’t even remember how you got here. Everyone who comes here seeking for our help will always be a Brody. You did something bad Brody. You wanted a fresh start. And now that you are getting it, you have to pay us. A favour for a favour.
“What do you mean? What did I do? What favour?” I ask. “Now, Brody we talked about this. Fresh start means no back pages. On the side of your bed is a file and a watch. It is time you shaped this world into what it is meant to be
As she spoke, the two blokes who used to administer medicine to me walked in wheeling in a sort of device on a trolley.
“One more thing, we did slight adjustments to your face she says. I reach out for a mirror that was above the file and the watch. I do not recognise this face. But again I don’t remember how I looked.
Here I am slowly internalising this moment when the device starts growling. There’s a blue light. I feel this moment of isolation as I slowly fade. The room starts to disintegrate. There is excessive white light. I briefly see this beautiful face, she smiles at me. Adelaide, I whisper.