You know those mornings where you can’t remember anything? Well that was this morning. I can’t remember the morning before, or in fact, any morning in my life. It is gone. Annihilated. I know that word fits, but I don’t remember anything about that word.
I know things though. I know that in ten minutes a bowl of porridge will come through a little slot in the door of my cell. For that matter, I know I am in a cell, and that I have lived in a cell my whole life. But what life is that? I try, searching for the memories behind this knowledge, but nothing comes to me.
Well, if that door is going to open, and I am going to get food, I need to be near the door. I roll myself off of the mattress I am lying and crawl toward the door.
The entire door is shoved open, narrowly missing me. A brown haired girl, maybe thirteen years old is thrown into my cell followed by a blond haired guy about my age. However old that is. I’m not exactly sure. And I don’t know how I can estimate these two’s ages, I just can.
Why can’t I remember anything! It’s so frustrating. The door slams shut, but I don’t see any food on the cement floor of my cell.
“Food?” I croak. I hear a thump against the door and then nothing. I turn and glare at my two new roommates. They are already bringing me trouble. Hopefully they will be gone soon. No one lasts long around here, except for me.
Wait, how do I know that? Did I have previous roommates? Nothing comes to mind. I can feel a barrier in my mind. It’s that barrier that is blocking my memories. It has to be. I press against it. No. I don’t want my previous memories. If I can’t access them, they must not be good. I am locked away in a cell after all.
I focus in on my new roommates. The guy is tall, much taller than the girl, and he is looking straight at me with really brilliant blue eyes and just staring at me. He must already be broken. The broken ones do that. They stare sightlessly at things for hours. His eyes remind me of something, but I can’t recall what it is.
I turn away to look at the girl with curly brown hair who is beating on the door, screaming at it. I guess she doesn’t realize that is a waste of her time and energy.
“Give up,” I call out to her.
She stops to turn and glare at me, “I will never give up, unlike you pathetic little creature. Crawling on the floor like some whipped dog.” She turns back to the door, and continues her abusive treatment of it.
She’ll give up eventually. They all do. You’ve seen it too. You probably remember better than me. You are, after all, my constant companion.
“Lily?” The guy asks. Is he talking to me or the girl?
Whoever he is talking to, I don’t care. They will be taken to the Xatron one day, and I will still be here, in this cell. I know life. I know my daily routine. Porridge in the morning, a chunk of moldy bread for midday, and soup in the evening. Time is told by meals. I sleep after soup. I wake up before porridge. And apparently I sometimes get intruders.
I crawl back to my mattress. The guy brushes silky blonde locks away from his eyes, and walks toward me. What does he want? Has he never seen another human being before?
He leans down, and touches my oddly bent ankle. “What did they do to you, Lily?”
“Umm, I don’t know who you are, but this is my cell. Rule number one, don’t bother me. Rule, number two, stay on the other side of the cell, and rule number three.” I pause.
What is rule number three? And why do I need a rule three? It feels necessary. It’s as if since I am listing off rules, I have to have a rule three. Should I say don’t talk to me? No, that was basically rule number one. Hmm, maybe I don’t care about you and your sad life. No that was covered by rule number one too. Well, I started it. Have to finish it now. “No, I am not lonely. So stay the hell away from me. Got it? Good.”
I turned toward the wall and began my meditation routine. I focused on my breathing, and focused on quieting my thoughts. Making my mind blank. It’s a great way to pass the time, you should try it someday. I know you like to always be in motion, but it can make hours seem like minutes.
“What are you doing?” I jump. It’s the annoying girl. She’s standing over me, her hands on her hips.
“I am meditating. It passes the time. Did you not hear my rule number one?” Gar. She’d messed up my meditative state, and now she is bothering me.
“I don’t care about your silly rules. How long have you been in this cell?” Her voice has a really annoying twang to it. Can’t she see that I don’t want to talk to her? I won’t answer her. Yes. Maybe if I don’t talk to her she will go away.
She continues talking anyway, “I was captured and brought here just yesterday, with my brother over there. He used to date the girl that started the rebellion. It was my first mission, and it turned out to be a trap. Our people will come though. They will get us all out.” She is way too cheerful. No one in a prison has a right to be that perky.
I close my eyes and focus on calming myself. You have to be patient to. You look like you are about to blow a fuse, but you have to remember, she is young. She doesn’t know this place like we do. “You will never leave. They will feed you to the Xatron, like all the others past.” I am proud of how level and serene my voice sounds, like some sort of wise sage.
“The Xatron? Never heard of that before. What is it? And if they send everyone there, why haven’t you been there?”
Why must she remind me of my loss of memory? I open my eyes and scowl at her curious look. She shouldn’t be curious about the Xatron. I don’t know why, but I know it is where they take all the prisoners. “I-I don’t know. It’s the machine they take all the prisoners to.” I fiddle with the hem of my black prisoner pants. I hate not actually understanding what I am talking about. If I had my memories, I would know because I would understand it. It would be a part of me; like it is a part of you. But you won’t tell me anything will you? No, that’s what I thought. You are always silent. Do you not remember anything either? If only I could remember.
I push at the barrier a little. No, I wouldn’t let a teenage girl’s questions bug me enough to break the barrier.
She frowns at me, as if unsure how to respond to me.
The guy walks up to his sister, and pats her shoulder. “I bet they haven’t taken her to this machine she is talking about because she is Lily. They obviously tortured her or something, but she is most definitely Lily,” He says.
The girl smiles, “Are you Lily? The Lily? As in the girl who started the rebellion? My memories of you are so vague and distant I had no idea.”
I shrug. “I really don’t know who this Lily is you are talking about. I have lived in this cell for as long as I can remember.” Meaning as far back as the long ago time of this morning. “I am no one. Nothing. Just a prisoner surviving in a cell.”
“Can we call you Lily then? You need a name. Everyone needs a name. I am Lizzie, and this is my brother Nathan.”
Nathan is staring at me again. I feel as if he is trying to unlock my past with his eyes, which is nonsense of course. I am a crazy person. You probably figured that out though, seeing as you are my constant companion; a part of me.
I shake my head. I don’t want to remind these people of their rebellion leader, whoever she was. I am not her. “No, don’t call me by some other person’s name. Just forget me, and I will do you the courtesy of doing the same.”
“Forget?” Nathan asks in an angry voice. He storms across the cell and drops to the floor staring at the other wall. He will learn, if he survives.
Lizzie shakes her head making her brown curls bounce around her face. “He sometimes has temper issues. You know, we need something to call you by…”
“Don’t call me anything. You will be gone soon enough,” I interrupt her.
“No, everyone needs a name. I’ll call you Hope. You give hope of surviving because you have lived here a long time.” Her voice is stern, and I can tell that nothing I say will change her mind.
I sigh. Well, it seems I have a name, at least until these newest roommates leave. Does that mean you need a name too? Nah. You can just continue to be, well, you.