Chapter 17 "Outsmarted the Game"
As I’m running down the hall, I think I hear your voice - Your crying voice begging for help, for someone to let you out, to let you go- Nooo NOOO - Let ME GO, LET ME GO! You’re scared, alone, angry and confused. I know you’re near. Or are you really? I don’t feel you, I don’t smell you - the memory of your taste, I can’t taste you!
I slow down halfway to the opening of the white room and though I hear you screaming, after all I’ve been through now, I know you are just an illusion. I get closer to it and as soon as I step inside, the surroundings suddenly change into an operating room and you’re in the middle of it, strapped to a bed, writhing and refusing those black straps tightly holding you down. My senses go over the edge and I feel my blood starting to boil. Your belly is exposed. Little hands are pushing around inside; Reuben’s creation is eager to pry its way out. This is not real. It can’t be real. I place my finger over my lips, shaking my head, “Hush now...” I look up and around me, “Quiet now Addison...” Your eyebrows come together. I take a step forward. You watch me like I am your only hope. And I keep my eyes on you too. Another step. Another...
Come on, there must be a catch.
I stop at your side and you can’t wait for me to let you out of those straps. It isn’t this easy.
I lean close to your head and softly say, “This is not how it’s supposed to go... I’m not a savior. I’m tired of fixing what is wrong in people...” I tap my temple, “...I know you’re just an illusion. ...You’re not my Addison.” I close my eyes and take a step back, turning around.
When I open my eyes again, I see I’m back in the solitary confinement room. The clean, silent, white room. The opening is gone. It’s just a wall. Of course it is. I understand this game now. Yes, I understand it well...
Am I starting to smirk now? Am I smirking because, I am entertained at the idea I may have just been trapped in here and there is no escaping Reuben, or am I smirking because I am in a place safe and quiet enough to make the best plan to defeat him and get you back...? Was that really Jack I was talking to?
I sit in the center of the room almost completely certain it’s both. If it was Jack... he said I should outsmart whatever is thrown at me. Why would anything having to do with Reuben tell me that?
With the situation I’m in now, I think over our conversation, and I’m really beginning to realize that I have been a little more bullheaded than I should be. I hate to admit it. As long as I behave this way, I will remain trapped in this annoying place and I will never find you. I will never kill that prick unless I change my ways a little. I must speak less, act less and observe more. This will be somewhat of a challenge since Jack has been my biggest influence practically all my life. I must try my best.
Focusing on the wall ahead with an emotionless wide-eyed stare, I then lift my chin and close my eyes at the ceiling again, breathing in deeply through my nose as if savoring the stale air. I will wait. I do wait. I wait for hours without moving a muscle, hardly even blinking, fantasizing about you and I. What fun we would have...
Then, a passage opens. I don’t move, nor do I blink. I feel you’re here, but I really know... by the way things have happened so far, I know it’s not you.
“NO! STOP!” You struggle as you’re thrown into the room. “NO, NO!” You slam into the fast-closing passage and bang your fists on it. Then, you turn around to me. I know it! I know it’s not you!
I turn my head slightly to the right as I listen to you say; “You...” and your pumping, juicy heartbeat and breathing. Ohh, so much fright...
“Are- are you Gabriel?”
I look ahead.
The temptation is so hard to resist. I want to snatch you and finally do what I’ve wanted all this time, then I could heal you and do it all over again. My fingers are twitching, my nerves are on edge and my teeth are starting to have that same ache as before. I slide my hands down into my lap under my legs. And I smile, again.
“Why yes darling... I am Gabriel.”
“I... think I know you.”
“Do you now?”
“I feel like it.” You rub your shoulders, “Do you know the way out of here?”
“No my dear, I do not. Sorry to disappoint you.” Don’t look, Gabriel. “I do wonder though, what is it you feel about me?” I ask.
“Safety, a way out... home.”
What are you thinking, Addison...
You’re remembering when you watched the shadows of us on the wall, embracing each other as I drank from you. You felt protected, anxious, fearful, and even... thrilled. You experienced a mixture of emotions. I’m able to read your thoughts. How can you remember that? I wiped that from your mind. How am I able to see what you’re thinking? Why can I feel you-and now as I think of it-why can I taste you? What trickery is this? If I were Reuben, what would I do to... me? He must be trying to confuse me again.
“Please say something. Look at me. Do something!”
My eye twitches to your sudden outburst. Now, gently, I rise from the floor and face you, still having the same piercing stare. “Yes Addison?” I suddenly smile, the kindest of smiles. But just as I do, I see your pregnant belly and my eyes briefly light up, then I flick them back up to your face, the smile quickly returning. You don’t know what to say now. You’re nervous and unsure as you look over my face and watch my actions.
“Who brought you to this room?” I ask.
“I... I don’t know her name. I didn’t get a chance to see her name-tag. She’s a nurse.”
“Oh... I see.” I nod down at the floor, then look past you at where you came in. “When is the baby due?”
You swallow a bit hard. “I don’t know.”
I look back to you. “You don’t...? You don’t seem too worried about it either. Say, would you mind if I felt, or listened to him, or her?”
“I just want to feel your stomach.”
“Uh- ...Well... No, I wouldn’t mind. Just be quick.” you say. I walk up to you in just a few smooth steps, reaching and gently placing my hand on the baby. Looking deep into your eyes, I watch closely, reading and studying everything about them. I see Reuben in there. I see him laughing at me. And you’re his shell. I don’t feel the baby.
Raising my hand off you, I hum and say, “Life is beautiful, isn’t it? But today,” I grab your arm tightly, causing you to jump, and I wrinkle my nose in hate, “today, it means nothing.” I tear it off and throw it across the room. You look at the blood gushing from your shoulder, belting out a glass-shattering scream. I lean in close to your ear, smoothing your hair back, “Much better now sweetheart... Tell me, will you plead for death?” You push me away and run to the passage. I suddenly flash a quick wolfish smile and chase you.
The moment we run through, you vanish and I hear a loud male scream mixed with an alien-like screech. It’s a dark hall, there are sounds of walls crashing down and bowing in, and the floor is shaking. I become mist and speed through, soon seeing a room with a black figure standing at a window. It looks like Jack. I only see that room. I bare my fangs, hissing and shouting as I race to it.
The figure turns around as I shoot inside and manifest my body in front of him. “FATHER!” He looks at me with large fiery eyes. Breathing fast, I look around the room for Reuben but he’s not here.
“Gabriel... I’m almost gone.”
“Where is Reuben?” I growl, repeatedly looking back where I came from. The hall is gone; I’m just in this room now.
He glances over at the door. I follow his gaze and see through the window, an empty hall with flickering lights. “...In his office... I’m surprised you’ve returned. But, I know you won’t stop until he’s gone. Come, lad... I will show you the way.” He walks to the door and opens it, letting the smell of corpses in. He breathes that in like it’s something delicious. “When Reuben came, he stripped me of my power.” he goes and opens the door. As he starts walking out into the hall, he waves at me, “Follow me.” I look left and right and go with him, “All you will do is linger here?”
“What more could I possibly do?”
I stay quiet.
“How did you escape?” He asks.
“I outsmarted him.”