“The feeling… It’s indescribable.” Riley, a scruffy young adult mutters as he recalls falling through a void as the empty space surrounding him ripples with devastation. The powerful wind causes his clothes to rapidly flail around as if even the inanimate items are aware of the impossibility going on around them. Blind to his surroundings, he falls unwillingly, expecting nothing more than a handshake from Death himself. Immediately after this thought, he sees a winged female figure reach her hand out to him, but the blinding light grows stronger until everything becomes silent. As he screams, wishing for it to be over, Riley falls front first onto a grassy meadow, the impact immediately renders him unconscious.
“It was frightening. If I had to explain how it felt, I would say I felt like I was born again.” He mutters once more, reliving the traumatising and unforgiving nightmare he endured. As the long grass is gently touched by the slow wind, the tips of the grass stroke along the skin of the unconscious figure. Riley gasps with a groan following immediately after. He tries to move and makes an almost repressed shout of pain as he reaches for his back, breathing heavily until the pain fades away. His eyes jitter from side to side whilst he attempts to make audible sounds that grow louder with each increment.
“Hello!?” Riley checks his ears for any sign of blood or injury. He realises that he cannot hear a single sound that escapes his mouth. Riley stumbles to get up, checking his clothing for any signs of documentation and realises that he has no idea who he is. Upon looking at his wrist, he sees an automatic watch which has seemingly met its demise at 1:33. As Riley spins around in panic, it appears that the meadow goes on forever with no end in sight. He turns around again and sees a well-hidden mansion and a small residential area nearby. With nowhere else to turn to, with no other choice to make, he walks as quickly as he can to this potential haven. As Riley gets closer to the building in the distance, he sees a male figure walking out towards his direction. Immediately, Riley panics, paranoia sets in.
“What if they’re dangerous? What if I’m dangerous?” he thinks in rapid succession as his current form of vulnerability causes him to think hastily. With no other choice, he breathes steadily, calming himself down and accepting that he must take the one singular path provided to him. Riley carries on walking up to the figure until they come face to face. He stares at the well-dressed man who has a welcoming smile on his somewhat friendly looking face.
“Looks can deceive. I don’t know this man yet.” Riley thinks to himself.
The lips of the stranger begin to move, but not a single sound can be heard by Riley. Unable to hear in any form, Riley expresses loudly that he cannot hear. He lets the man know by gesturing and pointing to both of his ears and shaking his head. The stranger nods with a polite smile and proceeds to point his hand in the direction of the building, implying that Riley should follow him. With no choice, he obliges. Riley strokes the long grass as he walks towards the mansion, experiencing the wonders of nature for the first time. The two strangers walk side by side, approaching the manor and entering the building through two large wooden doors. The stranger points above the doors to a plaque which reveals one name, ‘Petrelli Manor’. As Riley is led into the building, faint and muffled sounds begin to become audible, the gentle groans of tree branches and the faint singing of nearby birds, a delightful reminder that the world is well and truly alive.
“I can hear, I think…” he mutters to himself, despite still suffering from a constant muffled tone, a possible consequence of whatever had happened to Riley moments ago.
“That’s good. I imagine that your hearing should improve quickly.” The stranger nods and smiles towards Riley.
Riley and the stranger walk into a small room with soundproofed walls and dim lighting. It almost looks similar to that of an interrogation room, with no memory of his life, the anxiety attempts to overwhelm him as he successfully remains calm.
“Please, sit down. I’d like to ask you some questions.” The stranger states with an almost hushed tone.
“I… I want to know what’s going on. I don’t know who I am, I don’t know where I am. I woke up and I felt like all my bones were broken, and then all of a sudden it felt like they were… fixed.” Riley attempts to explain, with a hint of confusion in his voice.
“This is a place for gifted individuals. A haven, if you like. After a certain incident last year, some members of society have been casting people like us out from the general population. You are one of those people. As am I. Observe.” The stranger explains in detail, before speaking without moving his lips.
“My name is Frank Bowman, at its most basic form, my ability allows me to harness the power to read minds and relay my thoughts through the minds of others.” Frank smiles whilst Riley reacts in shock, thinking to himself that this must surely be a dream.
“I can assure you that this is no dream.” Frank answers Riley’s thoughts.
“I find it remarkable that a person with little to no memory of their own life, or life itself, can somehow still grasp and understand the concept of what humanity perceives to be… normal. It could be due to the underlying instinct that we have, as to what should be allowed in this physical world. Regardless, I am here to help you to learn about who you truly are and to get you settled into this place.” Frank remarks and reassures Riley whilst walking to a desk with a computer and opens a drawer that contains a blood removal kit.
“In order to find out who you may be and what your abilities are, I’ll need to extract your blood. Do I have your permission?” Frank requests.
“Um… Yes, I don’t know. Wait. How do you know that I’m one of these… people… with abilities?” Riley stammers with a severe tone of doubt and confusion.
“You found yourself here, did you not? Of all the places in the world to end up at, I think arriving outside one of our havens has a purpose, a deeper meaning. I’ll have you know that you are not the first to suddenly appear nearby.” Frank states with certainty.
“What’s that sound?” Riley exclaims in discomfort. “It’s getting louder.” He raises his voice in a concerned tone.
“It’s moderately silent in this room, Riley. With the soundproofing on these walls, there are no sounds other than our own voices.” Frank answers Riley whilst trying to read his mind, hearing the very same noise Riley is so very desperately attempting to explain.
“It’s really loud, like a constant high pitched tone.” Riley explains as he continues reacting negatively to the ever-growing sound building up in his head.
“I think you’ve developed tinnitus, after whatever it is you went through.” Frank explains, refusing to notify Riley that he can no longer read his mind, for the tinnitus is blocking his thoughts.
“The weirdest thing is that I feel like I know you, almost as if I recognise you. Do we know each other?” Riley asks with a tone of doubt in his voice.
“I can’t say we’ve ever met before. Perhaps in your current state, you’re trying to remember certain things and you may be associating some of those things with me.” Frank erases Riley’s doubts. Riley stares at Frank as he sterilises a needle for usage in the blood test.
“This place is perfect. We have our own school, residences, farm, and medical facilities. This is a place for people who are all in the same boat as each other. Including you.” Frank carries on attempting to reassure Riley as he draws blood from his arm. He takes a sample of the blood and places it under a digital microscope and links it to the computer, followed by turning the monitor away from Riley.
“What is it?” Riley questions.
“Your name is Riley. Riley Stenson. You’re in our database, but your abilities aren’t listed. It seems to show in your blood that your abilities are… somehow inactive, which is extremely odd. Fortunately and almost ever so conveniently for us, there’s an eclipse tomorrow. I imagine that should kick-start your abilities once it’s over. I must say, your timing is impeccable, Mr. Stenson. Almost as if it were meant to be.” Frank remarks as he types information into the computer. “I’d like to get you settled into this place. Meet people, go to some lessons and get used to Petrelli Manor so you can feel comfortable finding your abilities again. And then we can help you remember who you are.” He continues speaking, as he shuts down the computer.
“The name doesn’t even feel familiar to me. I… I, uh… It doesn’t feel right.” Riley groans in confusion.
“It’s alright, Riley. This is to be expected. You may be suffering from retrograde amnesia. Your memories need to work their way back before it’ll begin to feel normal again. You’ll rediscover little things about yourself as you go along, but you might not remember absolutely everything. We’ll help you to remember who you truly are.” Frank comforts Riley, guiding him outside of the room and leading him into the main section of the Manor.
“There are around forty-five people here. It’s one of the smallest out of all of the havens around the world. There are four here in the United Kingdom. After an event last year, humanity became aware of us. Some started hunting us. Others even expected the world to become a better place, but they got scared. Just like people falsely believed that modern day humans wiped out the Neanderthals, they were expecting us to wipe them out, so they cast us all away. The sad thing is we actually co-existed with our predecessors, whilst the majority today don’t seem too happy to do so. The Petrelli Foundation then set up these havens all around the world in order to protect those in need. In large focus groups around the world, thirteen percent of people who were tested have abilities. Sixty years ago, it was only four percent. Now, this could be due to the lack of documentation back then, or it could be that more and more people are developing abilities today. They can be as little as mine, or as large as being able to move oceans and destroy mountains. I’m curious to see what your abilities are, Riley.” Frank explains, as the two walk down into the school, passing several classrooms.
“What do you teach here?” Riley asks.
“What do I teach, or what does the school teach?” Frank requests for clarification.
“Both, I suppose.” Riley answers.
“Well, I teach history. We teach many things here, including essential subjects, such as English, science and maths. We also cover subjects in relation to our abilities, both theoretical and practical.” Frank responds as the two stop and look through a window into a classroom.
“Why does this feel normal to me? Why am I getting used to this so quickly?” Riley looks towards Frank.
“If I’m right about you having retrograde amnesia, this means that your parietal lobe hasn’t been compromised. You may not have any memories at this current time, but some part of you must know that this is an element of your life, of our lives.” Frank attempts to explain whilst a girl looks towards Riley from inside the classroom. She gasps quietly, immediately placing her hand over her mouth, looking away and trying to avoid being noticed.
“Did my blood… did my blood give you any indication as to what my powers might be?” Riley asks with a tone of hesitation in his voice, reluctant to know how gentle or dangerous his abilities may be.
“No, it didn’t. The only thing we can detect is the presence of an alternate structure in their DNA through their white blood cells, which would confirm whether or not a person has any abilities. However different an ability is, we all share the same alternate structure in our DNA.” Frank discusses as Riley nods nervously, whilst appearing to be distracted by a figure in the classroom.
“I don’t mean to be rude, but who is that girl in the classroom, right there? She was following us earlier on, I saw her.” Riley points.
“Oh, that’s Lily Cooper. She only turned up last week, a new resident. Do you know her?” Frank asks, looking towards Riley. “No, but she just looked at me a moment ago and it looked as if she recognised me.” Riley responds sharply.
“Well, the chances seem slim, but if you want to speak to her, you’re more than welcome to. It’s nearly four in the afternoon, so school will be over shortly. I’d like to introduce you to everybody in Roberts Hall, where everybody goes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You see, this really is a place to live in. We’re all family here.” Frank smiles and leads Riley to Roberts Hall.
Frank instructs Riley to sit down at a table near the front along with some other teachers.
“This is Riley, he’ll be joining us today.” Frank introduces Riley to the teachers on the table.
“I’ll be back shortly, I just have some business to attend to.” Frank places his hand on Riley’s shoulder firmly, before walking away. Residents of the haven begin entering Roberts Hall and queuing up to get their dinner.
“So, Riley, is it? My name is Kevin Bisley, or Mr. Bisley, if I’m to be teaching you! What’s your power, or powers, young man?” Sitting next to Riley is Kevin, a skinny young teacher with combed glossy hair and a tucked in shirt He asks Riley whilst hardly being able to contain his own excitement.
“Um… Frank couldn’t identify what my abilities were, something about them currently being disabled at the moment. I… I don’t quite know why.” Riley stammers.
“I’m sure we’ll find out! I study and teach the way powers work in people and how different our DNA is from those without powers.” Kevin explains.
“Oh yeah, Frank had mentioned something like that to me, about how our… white blood cells contain DNA? I… I don’t know enough about this, in fact, I don’t remember anything. I just ended up outside the field today and found myself here. I don’t remember anything at all. Frank identified me through my blood and I’m in the system already. He’s trying hard to make me feel as welcome as I can possibly feel.” Riley stutters.
One male teacher immediately pushes their chair back, the legs screech harshly on the solid floor beneath it. The teacher gets off the chair and he proceeds to walk away quickly, revealing that the lower half of his left arm is missing.
“Did I do something wrong?” Riley looks around for an answer.
“He’s understandably… paranoid. His name is Mitchell Jacobs. We’ve had other people appear in the field before, about five or six. Not together, of course. One of those was really dangerous, horribly dangerous. We didn’t know his real name, but one of the teachers dubbed him as The Consumer. His power… it’s fuelled by human flesh. Everything seemed so normal at first, then a couple of students went missing. Mitchell found our new guest… consuming them. He ran away, that’s when he discovered The Consumer’s powers. He had the ability to suspend people in motion, to paralyse them. The more flesh he had consumed, the stronger his powers were. It’s horrible. Mitchell lost his arm, and Frank discovered him lying down on the floor. As The Consumer was about to cut his other arm off, Frank shut him down…” Kevin abruptly finishes the story as another teacher intervenes.
“That’s enough, I think. No need to scare our new guest any further, that’s far too much information. We don’t need to relive any more of that.” Another teacher groans.
“No, it’s okay, thank you, but I’d like to listen. What do you mean Frank shut him down?” Riley nods towards Kevin.
“Frank might not have told you about his abilities, he can hear thoughts and send thoughts to others, but he can also harness the power of other people’s minds. This is something he doesn’t like to use. At that moment, Frank immediately… well, the easiest way to describe it is that he hit an ‘off switch’ in the Consumer’s brain, effectively killing him, albeit only temporarily until Frank hit the ‘on switch’ once he was imprisoned. He could have killed him, but Frank chose to arrest him instead. We keep a prison underground that only he accesses. That’s why Mitchell only has one arm and why he fears new residents.” Kevin concludes.
“We seldom see dark figures showing up on our doorstep, so I’d rather we keep the discussion to a minimum. It’s nice to meet you Riley, I’m sure we’ll do our utmost best to help you rediscover your powers. My name is Amelia Hale, I teach English.”Amelia, a middle-aged woman with white blonde hair, a sharp pinstripe suit and leopard patterned glasses introduces herself. She reaches her hand out to shake Riley’s hand.
“Sorry, I just… I wanted to be transparent.” Kevin explains.
Riley shakes Amelia’s hand and shakes his head as he looks towards Kevin.
“No, no, it’s okay. I appreciate the explanation, I hope I can prove to Mitchell that I’m a good person. At least, I think I am.” Riley remarks, as he finishes shaking Amelia’s hand.
“The most important thing to remember is that Hope Never Dies.” Kevin whispers into Riley’s ear.
Elsewhere, Mitchell hastily walks down a corridor, and knocks on a dark wooden door, and proceeds to open it.
“You should wait until I say you can come in, that’s customary.” Frank speaks sharply.
“I’m sorry, but I’m not happy with how openly you’ve allowed our new guest to just walk on the premises. After… this… you should be introducing a probationary period where new arrivals prove their worth.” Mitchell speaks angrily as he points to his missing arm.
“Mitchell, we’ve had our fair share of… broken characters show up on our premises, and all but one have been handled exceptionally well. Nothing like that will ever happen again, I assure you. No… Riley is fine.” Frank attempts to reassure Mitchell, whilst clenching his fist to hold himself back from harsher comments.
“You can leave, now. I will join you shortly.” Frank raises his arm towards the door as a gesture to show Mitchell out. Mitchell nods his head hesitatingly, and leaves, closing the door behind him. Frank turns around again, facing a monitor and pressing a few keys on his keyboard.
“Apologies for that, I had a feeling he’d turn up. Again, all is going well. Riley is in complete control like you predicted. I took him outside Lily’s classroom and she recognised him. Like you said, she may very well be the catalyst required to aid Riley further. The Eclipse should slowly turn the tide. I’ll send you a sample of his blood in the morning for you to go over as planned, he should still be absolutely fine to operate The Godsend Device.” Frank talks to a mysterious figure on the screen.
“Good. Be prepared for the eclipse, it may kick-start what I interrupted. This will be a rude awakening for him. Thank you for your efforts, Frank. They are forever appreciated.” The mysterious figure responds and signs off.
Frank shuts down the monitor, before steadily walking out of his room. Mitchell reluctantly re-enters Roberts Hall and sits back down at the table, giving a small, albeit forced smile towards Riley. Unsure of how to reciprocate, Riley smiles back politely. A wave of students and residents begin to enter the hall as dinner hour starts. Riley turns around to face the influx of people and he notices a heavily nervous Lily do a double-take towards him. Riley stares at her and slowly attempts to get up from his seat with every intention of speaking to her, but Frank returns and places his hand on Riley’s shoulder, sitting him back down.
“So, how are you settling in, Riley? Are the teachers being nice to you?” Frank chuckles as he takes a seat next to Riley.
“Um, yes, they’ve been helpful. I’ve spoken to Kevin and Amelia. I feel like I can tell what my personality is, if that makes sense. I think I’m rediscovering certain traits, likes and dislikes.” Riley explains.
“That’s good, Riley, keep at it.” Frank remarks with encouragement and a pleased smile.
“Please can I have a look around for a moment?” Riley requests politely.
“Of course you may.” Frank agrees.
Riley nods at Kevin, Amelia and Mitchell before leaving his seat and heading towards a table that Lily is sitting down at.
“Hi, um, may we talk?” Riley asks as he looks towards Lily in the eyes. She stares back towards Riley, her eyes shifting constantly as she analyses his face.
“Are you okay?” Riley asks.
“Hey, she doesn’t want to speak to you, can’t you tell?” A student on the same table speaks sharply towards Riley.
“No, I do, Michael. Thanks.” Lily looks towards Michael and back towards Riley. “Let’s go and sit at that empty table over there and talk.” She points to a nearby table and gets up from her seat, carrying her food tray with her. With a half-eaten sandwich and an untouched bottle of squash on her tray, she hesitates and stammers whilst trying to speak to Riley. “A… are you… Are you hungry?” As she fights herself, she manages to get out a clear enough sentence.
“No, I’m okay, thank you, I don’t feel hungry at all, actually.” Riley replies with a small smile whilst the two walk over towards the empty table. With no logical reason, Riley suddenly feels nervous as if his stomach isn’t settling properly. The two sit down at the empty table and stare at each other, one set of eyes appearing emotional, the other visibly blank. The moment seems to have paused in time, both Lily and Riley in synch with one another.
“Riley?” Lily mutters sadly.
“Yes. Do I know you?” Riley whispers.
Lily gasps and stares, her lips trembling and her voice breaking. “Yes.” She answers slowly.
“I’m sorry, my memory is... I don’t know much at the moment. What can you tell me?” Riley shakes his head as he tries to unravel any memories about himself.
“We were… We were together. We were in a relationship for a while. Then something happened, Riley. Something changed you.” Lily answers with an extremely hesitant tone.
“Something changed me?” Riley quotes Lily.
“I can’t go into details about it, Riley. Not right now, it’s too dangerous. The point is, somehow, you’re here. I missed you. It’s difficult, but you’re here now.” Lily responds.
“I’m sorry, Lily. I can’t remember you, I can’t remember us. But I know that when we were walking to this table, I felt inexplicably nervous. Perhaps that’s why. Maybe a part of me knows, somehow.” Riley explains, as he reaches out for Lily’s hand, resting flat on the table, beside her food tray. She reacts in shock, immediately pulling her hand away from his.
“I… I… I’m sorry.” Riley apologises with sincerity.
“I just wasn’t… I’m not prepared for this.” Lily answers with a frightened look on her face, her eyes terrified. “It’s strange, even after what’s happened to you, I… I look into your eyes, and I somehow still see you in there.” She holds back her tears and tightens her hand into a fist. “How did you get here? How did you know?” Lily tries even harder to hold back any tears.
“I… I don’t know how I got here, Lily. What happened to me,
well, the feeling… It’s indescribable. It was frightening. If I had to explain
how it felt, I would say I felt like I was born
again. Everything was ripping and shredding around me, lights strobing
heavily. I thought I saw an angel. I wish I knew what happened before that, and
why, especially why. Then I just fell onto the field, right outside.” Riley
attempts to explain whilst racking his brain.
“Listen, Riley. People here only think I have one ability. The ability to control the emotions of others. But you, well, the version of you that knows me knows that I have another ability, something nobody else here knows about. And I’m going to keep my promise for you.” Lily reaches for his hand, picking it up, and holding it against her cheek. “Remember.” She looks sharply into Riley’s eyes.
Riley suddenly gasps quietly and closes his eyes. He sees rapid firing images of memories inside of his mind. Memories of him and Lily, these blurred images embed themselves into his mind, his face blurred in these seemingly welcome memories. The colours, the sounds and the emotions, all traversing through his entire brain. He opens his eyes again and breathes heavily as the emotions overwhelm him. Riley sees himself lying on a field next to Lily as they watch the night sky together, the emotions of happiness and love begin to engross him.
“Lily. I… I… I couldn’t see my face in those memories.” Riley gasps with confusion.
“Well… maybe… it’s probably because of your memory loss, Riley. Have you even looked in a mirror since you got here? You probably don’t even remember what you look like.” Lily explains.
“That’s a good point. Your power… I remember. I remember us.” Riley speaks, as he tries to get an impression of his face by touching it with his hands, feeling the shape of his eyes, nose and lips.
“I have a couple of powers. I can control the emotions people feel, as well as access shared memories. Because of that, I can only access memories that we have shared together.” Lily explains.
“Those are incredible powers. That explanation makes me wonder, what if you just made me feel love for you here and now?” Riley theorises with a tone of sarcasm in his voice.
“No, no, I promise. I only showed you our shared memories. I can only make you remember us, what we had together.” Lily responds quickly, oblivious to Riley’s sarcasm.
“I believe you.” Riley whispers.
“When did we last see each other then? I mean, I don’t even know what year it is. I don’t know how old we are.” He questions Lily.
“It’s 2011, December at the moment. We’re both seventeen. Your birthday is on the 13th October 1994, and mine is on the 12th October 1994. You’re the baby.” Lily smiles briefly.
“A day apart, huh?” Riley mutters quietly. “Oh, of course, would you know what my powers are?” He asks, desperate for an answer. Lily looks downwards.
“I’m sorry, Riley, I don’t know what they are. All you’ve told me is that they change based on certain factors, both emotional and environmental. You’ve never used them around me.” She answers.
Riley looks around, desperate for a faint memory to come to mind, just hoping for a hint regarding what abilities he may hold.
“Oh well, we’ll find out tomorrow, I suppose. Frank reckons the eclipse will restart my abilities.” He explains.
Lily carries on eating her food, finishing off the last few bites whilst her hands still shake slightly from the shock of seeing Riley once again.
“As for when we last saw each other, it feels like it’s been a really long time, but it hasn’t. I’m just glad you’re remembering… Hopefully we can find a way to bring you back to your old self in no time.” Lily smiles reassuringly.
“What about family? Do I have any?” Riley asks.
“You have parents, but I’ve never met them, you always spoke about your Dad, but I’ve heard nothing about your Mum. You have, or had a brother, I don’t quite know exactly, you never introduced me to them.” Lily informs Riley.
Riley shakes his head as this pertinent information brings about no memories at all. He looks longingly at Lily in her eyes, struggling to deal with the overpowering emotions he just felt.
“So, how does this place work?” Riley asks.
“Well, what do you mean in particular? The residential zones are split up into four sections, everybody has a job here, unless you’re a student, then you study. Some people here have families, some don’t. In a way, everybody here is a family. I’m just hoping that one day, the outside world will be used to people like us. The thing is… I could make it out there. I could actually make it out there. If you have a minor power, you’re less likely to be noticed. If you have a more visible power, it’s difficult. So many people have been murdered, even people without powers. It’s unfair.” Lily exclaims.
“I don’t even remember anything about that. The things I can remember now are just feelings and emotions between you and me, blurred memories. I feel like I know you so well all of a sudden, but I don’t remember anything. To know that this world seems like a horrible place, it feels uncomfortable.” Riley mutters.
“It’s not all bad. A lot of people are more aware, more understanding these days, I’ve met a lot of nice people who have sheltered those at risk. This place is just a haven for those who don’t have anywhere else to go. You’ll remember things eventually.” Lily tries to reassure Riley.
“One thing is bothering me, though… How is it that you’re here in this place too?” Riley questions Lily, who stutters with difficulty to try and come up with a feasible answer.
“After you went missing, I… I, uh, I went from place to place, I had nowhere to go. I tried checking all the havens for you, but… but, I couldn’t find you. This was the last one I came to, so I… I stayed here. I guess maybe somehow, you knew I was at this one? Either it’s a great coincidence, or time will tell.” She stutters. “I thought you were dead.” Lily spoke sternly.
“I’m sorry.” Riley, shocked by Lily’s tone, responds apologetically as Lily wipes her eyes.
“Heads up.” Lily nods as she looks behind Riley, indicating that somebody is coming. “She’s the head of the dormitories.” She states.
“Hi there, Riley! Frank just filled me in, welcome to Petrelli Manor! My name is Caroline Hamilton, I’m the head of the residential facilities. My role involves looking after the dormitories and the people within it. We’ve got some space at the moment, so you do have a choice as to where you’d like to stay, if you want to have a look.” Caroline informs Riley.
“Is there room in Harker?” Lily asks.
“There are a few rooms going in Harker Building, including one a couple of doors down from your room.” Caroline answers.
“You could take that room if you like, Riley? Harker is a good building, the rooms are nice, and I’m a couple of doors down if you need my help for anything?” Lily tries to persuade Riley to take the room.
“I don’t think I’ll be staying here long.” Riley looks towards Caroline.
“Well, whilst you’re here, room 83 is yours. Come by to the office after dinner, and I can give you your key. Lily can show you where the office is.” Caroline writes determinedly onto a piece of paper resting on a clipboard whilst walking away.
“Thanks, Caroline.” Lily speaks with appreciation. “We should go to the office now, and get you settled in. I’m sure Frank might want you to take part in the lessons tomorrow and see how you find them.” She suggests.
“I don’t want to sound blunt or harsh, but lessons aren’t important to me right now. I’ve appeared here with no memories whatsoever, the important thing is to discover who I am, and why all this happened. Somebody out there must know. Everybody is acting too relaxed about me, even I’m behaving far too relaxed.” Riley explains quickly.
“But you need to stay here until the eclipse anyway so Frank can help you adjust to your powers? You’ve at least agreed to that, so why not check out some lessons whilst you’re here?” Lily tries to reason with Riley.
“Fine, fine. Maybe one lesson.” Riley agrees.
The two begin to walk out of Roberts Hall and Lily throws away the food waste on her plate and positions her dinner tray onto other trays before walking out with Riley.
“Hold on a minute!” Frank calls. Riley turns around and walks back to Frank.
“Making a friend already, I see?” Frank smiles.
“Somewhat, just trying to see if any personality traits will click, or help me to remember anything. Best way to do that is to try to bond with people, right?” Riley answers.
“You make a good point. Of course. Listen, I’d like you to sit in on my lesson tomorrow morning, and see how you find it, you don’t have to attend others if you wouldn’t like to. It’s a small lesson since we’re finishing early for the eclipse.” Frank requests.
“Well, I kind of promised Lily that I’d at least take part in one lesson, so, okay, I’ll join in. Maybe it’ll distract me from being nervous about the eclipse.” Riley accepts.
“Great, I’ll see you there. Lily’s in that class so she can show you where it is. See you tomorrow!” Frank responds as he walks back to his table. Riley waves to the rest of the teachers on the table and walks back to Lily, following her out of Roberts Hall.
“This place is remarkably idyllic.” Riley states.
“They’re perfect havens.” Lily responds.
“Nothing is perfect. I heard about… The Consumer or whatever his name is, that’s a great example.” Riley argues. The two stare at one another and Lily shakes her head. The two walk side by side towards the dormitories and retrieve the key for room 83. Lily quickly leads Riley to their dorm and guides him to his bedroom door. Riley shakily tries to insert the key into the door handle, missing a couple of times before succeeding. He places his hand on the door handle, and slowly turns it clockwise and pushes, opening the door into his room.
“I’m just going to sort out some things in my room, I’ll come back in a second. You have some bedding, towels and a desk, you can borrow a laptop from the office if you need to. I promise I’ll be back in a bit.” Lily informs Riley as she leaves to go to her room. She opens her bedroom door, slowly closing and locking it as quietly as she can. Lily quickly sits on her chair by her desk, letting out a trembling sigh whilst she adjusts her dark hair. She reaches for her notepad and tears a piece of paper from it. Lily gently places the piece of paper in front of her, taking a pen to it and begins writing a heartfelt note.
“Dear Riley. I’ve written this message for you to read when the time comes…” She finishes writing the note and neatly folds the piece of paper and places it in her jacket pocket. Lily walks back into Riley’s room and sees him standing by the window, staring at his reflection as he attempts to get accustomed to his appearance.
“Riley?” Lily speaks with a worrisome in her voice.
“I don’t know what’s happened, but I can feel it. I can feel the repercussions of what happened in the form of numbing emotions. Something horrible happened, and I don’t even know what it is. I can see it in my own eyes.” Riley confides in Lily.
“We’ll work through it together, I promise. We’ll find out what happened to you. We’ll fix it all.” Lily explains.
“This just seems too perfect. I’ve ended up outside a safe haven, where I’m welcomed with open arms. I shouldn’t be sitting around doing nothing, I need to find out who I am.” Riley admits and argues.
“Good things happen to people. Maybe you’ve had so much bad that this is the one good that you’ve been granted? The one good thing that you deserve? Perhaps we should call it a night. You look knackered. We have our lesson in the morning and it’s finishing early so we can go and see the eclipse.” Lily states and Riley nods in agreement.
“Thanks, Lily. I’ll see you in the morning, yeah?” Riley speaks softly.
“I’ll be your wake up call, be prepared for some loud knocking!” Lily jokes.
“Not too loud, please.” Riley shakes his head with seriousness. “I might not have my memory yet, but I’m very tired.” He smirks.