Riches to Rags

Chapter 18 (Asami)

As I wake up, the first thing I notice is that I don’t have the usual numb ache in my back, which is peculiar. The surface I’m resting on is soft, I’m comfortable to the point where I don’t want to move, and I’m warm. It takes a while for any of this to make sense.

I open my eyes and feel suddenly disorientated. I’m in a room… an actual room, in an actual house, surrounding by four walls painted in what I can now see is a pastel-yellow. Daylight is streaming in through cracks in the blind, and I sit up, shielding my eyes whilst looking around the room.

It seems Korra has an interesting taste in décor. There’s movie posters all over the walls, some of which have her name on, others which don’t. There’s definitely a common theme – women who are kicking ass in one way or another. For the first time I wonder if Korra has a thing for women, she certainly seemed flustered when she saw me in my robe yesterday.

I glance down at the coffee table next to me, on which there’s a bottle of water, with a yellow post it note underneath. Korra’s handwriting is… well, it’s pretty bad. I hold the note up and try to read it at several different angles, squinting.

For you. Drink up! :)

I smile whilst doing as commanded, the moisture welcome against my dry lips. My heart is pounding a little, and though I’m trying my best not to, I end up feeling anxious. This all feels so… alien to me. I remember snippets from yesterday and last night, including how haunted Korra had looked as she began her tale. I probably shouldn’t press her on that any more, though I can’t deny that I’m curious.

There’s another note on the table, guarded by a ferocious looking t-rex tranformatron; I used to have those when I was a kid – little dinosaurs and cars that turn into robots. Not seen this one before, though. I pick him up and start to work out how he transforms, bending his little dinosaur arms back and finding hidden flaps to tuck them into, when I remember there was another note.

TV Remote is in the drawer. Go nuts.

I then notice another piece of paper stuck beneath it

p.s. I sleep like a rock. Wake me up!

I’m in two minds about that one. I barely know the girl, and it’d feel a little awkward just knocking on her door. I put Mr. dino-robot back on the table and find the TV remote in the table’s drawer, switching it on and grimacing as the way-too-high volume blares out. I quickly turn it down to about four bars.

What I wasn’t expecting to see was my father, looking like a… like a fucking felon. There’s a photo of him on the upper-right of the screen, whilst a well-groomed black-haired man reads from his newsreel.

“Investigations are still underway as to the depth of Future Industries involvement in the arms scandal…”

I hit the mute button. I didn’t need to see this, never mind hear it. I don’t need to remember this. And then I see a picture of myself, and I can’t help but push the volume back up, covering my hand to my mouth.

“…abouts of miss Sato are still unknown. Police advise caution on approaching her; the extent of her involvement in Futuregate, if any, is still to be determined.”

And then they switch to a story about polar bears. Fucking polar bears. I hold back a laugh at the absurdity of the tone-switch.

I’m never going to escape my past, the scandals I’m guilty of through mere association. I hold my head in my hands, trying not to cry. Thoughts blur through my mind, and none of them good.

I don’t belong here… I don’t deserve this... I should have just died…

The anxiety from earlier returns with an almost physical force, like an invisible beast clawing at me from inside; I’m scared, I’m terrified and I don’t even know what of. The back of my skull burns, and everything seems more vivid, too vivid. I grab my jacket, well, Korra’s jacket from the chair and head for the door. I need air. I need the outdoors. I need my spot, or a spot. Any spot.

I need to disappear. But I stop mid-stride, my inner terror momentarily quietening when I see that there are four notes attached to the door, drawing my attention.

I know it’s strange being off the street. :(

“No shit,” I mutter, surprised at how shaky my voice is.

Don’t panic! Don’t go. I have bacon. :)

Seriously, it’s good bacon. I’m a great cook. ;)

My tummy growls reading those two. Damn her.

p.s. You haven’t heard the best part of my story.

I wrap my arms around myself and exhale loudly, trying to expel the ball of anxiousness swirling in my gut. My hand hovers over the door handle, trembling a little. I can hear the wind whistling out there, threatening to bluster into another snowstorm, no doubt.

“Fine, you win this one,” I grumble, returning to the sofa, switching off the TV and playing with Mr dino-robot. I think I shall name him Rex.


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