Chapter 7 "Unexpected Guest"
“Keep your head down.” I whisper to you through gritted teeth as asshole walks toward us. “Gabriel Penn...” I thin my eyes at him for how he addresses me. “May I sit by you?” He smiles, stopping next to you. I snap my head up at him, “Reuben... stay away from her.” The veins in my head and neck stress. You’re watching me, horrified—just like the waitress back in the kitchen with the tired and frustrated cook. Reuben flicks his hand at you, “Scoot over dear... I will only be here a moment.” You begin to feel fidgety in your seat. I watch closely. There’s a certain pull on you just as he sits down. I don’t see anything different in your thoughts though. “Addison,” I say, and you look at me. I put another scene in your head; one where you’re with me at home, sitting on the couch watching TV. You turn your head toward the window and stare out at nothing. Though, as I peer in to see what you’re seeing, I’m shocked to find you’re back at the hospital—sitting on the side of a large hill, watching the employees wander around in their own little worlds. You can’t figure out if they’re dead or not. They sure behave like it.
‘Oh god,’ you think to yourself, ‘not this place again!’ Then you realize someone is next to you climbing up the hill. You quickly look over and see a bigger Asian man about in his 20′s. He appears to be normal like you. “Wait!” You say. He waves his hand at you, “Shh! Be quiet! They don’t know I’m here!”
“You’re like me! Wait! How are you going to stop them?! Do you know a way out!?”
He shakes his head, “Like you? Lady, I’m just trying to get out of here so I can get back to my family! Those messed up people you see out there—they’re influenced by him!”
You’re stunned and tons of questions start flooding your mind. “Influenced by him? What do you mean?! I’m not like them. I need to find a way out just like you do!” you say.
He shakes his head again, “No, you need to stay away from me! I know what you’re about.” He starts climbing farther up the hill. You panic and grab his leg, “Please, I don’t belong here! I really need to get out!” He looks back at you with big eyes. “Please help me,” you tell him. He makes an expression as if he’s trying to figure out if what he’s seeing is real or not. And then, a sign of realization dawns on his face. He looks past you, then he quietly says, “I only have an idea on where the way out is. Maybe you could help me, but just- just be very careful and stay right behind me. Do you understand?” You don’t talk right away as you try to put this together in your head. “Yes, yes I understand.” You nod. “Can you tell me who you were talking about?”
“There’s no time for that! I’m Jo!” He reaches for your hand. You look at it and take it with a quick dip of the head, “I’m Addison.”
“Alright Addison,” he shakes your hand and then pulls you along, “Come on!” He helps you farther up the hill.
When you meet the top of the hill, you see another wing of the hospital that seems fully functional and normal with everyday people and cars going in and out of the place. “What... the... fuck...?” You say.
“Yes, yes exactly! That’s what I’m talking about. Watch!” He points to the other side of the hill at the dilapidated hospital wing. Everyone is messed up there, but over on this side, everything is normal... “This part here has the most recent people thrown into this place! They come out of there when he’s influenced them to a certain point they don’t know who they are anymore and go over to that hellish place!” he exclaims. You suddenly feel your leg squeezed and a hand ride across your thigh, moving closer to your sensitive area. You quickly reach to stop it but nothing is there. You’re touched there just then; a gasp escapes you. Jo looks at you in a puzzled way. You feel warmth down there and like energy is shooting into you, rising into your abdominal area. But suddenly it stops and you hear a bang on a table and feel some forceful movement around you. You give Jo a worried “what is happening to me?” look and then you’re back at the diner.
You see Reuben tripping over himself out the door and I am taking you by the hand, yanking you away from the table as the diner staff stands around with weapons in their hands. They’re extremely pissed off. “Wha- where-” You throw up on the floor. I growl deeply and yank you again.
We get out to my truck and I sling the door open, “Get in. I’m taking you back to your apartment.” You jump when I slam the door shut. Wiping your mouth, you try to gather all this information you’ve just learned and what I just said. I get in my side and immediately start the truck.
“Back to my apartment? No, I can’t be alone!” You say.
While I’m backing out of the parking space, you realize Reuben is standing in the shadows of the trees at the side of the lot watching us with strong interest. I hit the gas pedal and speed away from the diner.
“Why do you keep confusing the shit out of me?!” You snap, “I feel like I’m losing my god damned mind and you’re the cause of it all!”
I squeeze the wheel, “Don’t test me!”
“I’m seeing things you wouldn’t believe, and it feels as real as I am to you! I think I need to go to the hospital!”
I shoot you a look. “You’re not going to any hospital.” I say, even though I saw the same things you did. You turn your head down and tears run down your cheeks. “Something’s wrong with me. Something very wrong.”
“Which is another reason why I’m taking you home.”
“I don’t know if that’s going to help anything. I feel really vulnerable right now. You couldn’t imagine how this feels.” You sniffle and wipe your face, then look out the window.
We arrive at the apartments and I tell you, “Go ahead home.” You blink at me in a pleading way and grab my hand, “Don’t- don’t leave me. Please! Stay with me and tell me everything is going to be ok. Please.” You say.
I lean closer; close enough to touch your lips, “Addison... I know things are only going to get worse. I’ll tell you that now. But you need to let me handle this and you need to stay home when I do it.” I can sense you stiffening.
I back away and wave at you. “Tomorrow is another day. Go on–get out.” You grimace at me and nearly break the handle on exiting the vehicle. When you slam the door it shakes everything.
As you leave my sight, I lower my head with a dark, concentrated stare.