Chapter 4: A Story From Outside
Arrow and I sat on my bed, passing the time with a game of Rock, Paper, Scissors. He had insisted on playing it with me, so I complied. Though I kept my distance, as if the finger scissors he used would surely slice my throat open.
"I win again." He smiled, but sounded bored. "That's the third time you've used paper."
"I know." I sighed, dropping my chin into the palm of my hand. We really had run out of ideas, there was only so much we could do here. And I wasn't willing to take anything a step further. I was even surprised at how inattentive Arrow was. Perhaps the original excitement of my new arrival had worn out.
"Karen. Stand by at the door." The gruff voice of one of the many so called guards of the asylum ordered. I stood, and waited. The door opened, and instead of the tall, frightening people I'd normally see, an short, Asian girl with equally precise jet black hair, with a skin tight tee and skirt that were as pitch as her hair came instead.
"Karen?" She squeaked, hardly daring to speak. She looked almost... Terrified.
"Yes?" I spoke indifferently.
"Oh my god," She scuttled closer to me. "You don't remember." I was starting to get a bit uncomfortable.
"Uh, who are you?"
"Alexia," she had tears in her eyes. "My name is Alexia. And I'm your best friend."
There was a deafening silence, in which I resisted each temptation to speak. Friend? I had no friends. At least, not that I had any recollection of.
"So this is Arrow?" Alexia inquired.
"Yes." I stated, still suspicious of the strange girl. Looking around me, I could see two of the guards stationed barely out of sight. If you weren't looking for them, you wouldn't find them. I knew that they would leap from their spots at once if they thought either me or Arrow did something they didn't think too fondly of. Their presence was enough to put me on edge.
"Karen? Karen!" I snapped back to reality, giving Alexia a contemplating look. "You're more out of it than normal."
"Normal? What am I normally like?" I asked.
"Well, you've always been an outgoing sort of person. Kind to those close to you, loyal, friendly, happy..." She gazed at me forlornly. "But it seems that's not the case anymore."
"No, it's not."
"I just wanted to check up on you, but I never expected you'd change so much. What happened to you back there?" The concern in her eyes made me twitch. I had no idea who this girl was or what she wanted from me. Sure, she says she's my friend, but how do I know she isn't a liar? I narrowed my eyes, trying to scan her every movement, like anything could be a sign.
"Back there? As in with Mr. Mad Scientist? He cut me open- twice. Not exactly a good first impression." Alexia gazed at me with utterly shocked eyes. "S-seriously?!" She stammered. I nodded. "Yes. I have the scars to prove it." I lifted my shirt up enough to show her the chunk of flesh that was missing, and the cut. Upon looking at them a worried look caressed her thin face.
"They did this to you?" She whispered.
"I already answered that question." I stated. Alexia closed her eyes, and let out a heavy sigh.
"I need to tell you a long story."
"You won't remember, but we used to go to church together." Arrow stifled a laugh in the background. I threw him an aggravating look and motioned for Alexia to continue. "Well, um, one day during the sermon you seemed a bit in edge. I asked you if anything was wrong a few times, but you just gave me this confused look as your nose crinkled and said you were okay." I gave her a look. "When you're confused your nose crinkles. I thought you'd know that by now, even with... Never mind. Anyway, you just excused yourself to go to the washroom out of the blue. Of course I didn't suspect anything. How could I? It was just the washroom. A couple minutes passed, a-and then I heard a scream. Your scream. Apparently the rest of the church did, too, but I got there first. You- you were holding a large shard of glass a-and was pressing it against your throat. I- I didn't know what to think! I somehow managed to comfort you and help you drop the glass, but you passed out. When I saw you- Karen, your eyes were completely black. I saw ivory veins stretching onto the side of your face, connecting with your eyes. Y-your wrist was bleeding too, from slicing yourself with the glass. The a-ambulance came and took you to the hospital, and I f-found out you had been transferred to the asylum yesterday. So, h-here I am." Alexia's speech was filled with sobs by this point, her face stained with tears.
"So your saying I used to go to church." I stated stiffly.
"Karen! I'm serious!" Alexia fumed between tears.
"Okay, okay I believe you. Just- stop crying. Please." I watched as Alexia took in deep breaths. In, out, in, out. Finally she calmed herself down enough so that she could manage a smile.
"It was nice seeing you again. I should go- I'll be late for work at this rate."
"Bye." I waved. She gave me a quick hug, which took me by surprise, so I stiffed up pretty quickly. After, she left.
"So, you're a church girl, huh?" Arrow smiled during dinner that night- which was the same as breakfast.
"The past is in the past. Do you think I could ever be a church girl?"
"Pfft, you? You're as stubborn as a bull, and stiff like a rock. I can't picture you like that." He snorted.
"Good. I can't either." I took a sip of water, washing down the dry bread.
"Do you still believe what that Alexia said? About the entire glass thing?" Arrow surveyed me over a miniature mountain of bread.
"Yes." I said immediately. Arrow caught on quickly. "Why?" He asked. I stared him dead in the eye, and spoke firmly: "I have no reason not to." There was a pause, in which Arrow swallowed his mouthful, looked at me, and started to laugh. Hard. I waited until he calmed down and addressed me before speaking again.
"No reason not to? She's a complete stranger who just popped in to say this possibly made up story about you, and how you supposedly ended up in this hellhole! That's a perfect reason not to!" This was the first time I'd heard Arrow raise his voice, to anyone. It didn't come so much as a shocker to me. But I did have something to use against him.
"I know what your problem is." I started.
"Then enlighten me." Arrow growled. I gave him an odd sort of smile, allowing my lip to curl. "You have a schoolboy crush on me." His face turned a bright red.
"A- a what?!" He recoiled back in shock.
"You heard me."
"A-all right, so maybe I do like you. Are you suggesting something?" His gaze turned to me, though I could still see Arrow was blushing furiously.
"No. I don't like you like that. Besides, I don't like guys."
"Huh?" Arrow looked mildly confused, trying to put two and two together. "So you're a lesbian?"
"Not exactly." I finished my last bite of food and stood up. "I'm going to bed. Good night."
"Wait! Are you asexual? Bisexual? I'm really curious now."
"You'll have to hold out until morning. I'm tired. Good night, Arrow." I heard him grunt in frustration, and hastily eat the rest of his food. Soon he too climbed into his bed. I could hear him tossing and turning. Pleased with myself, I snuggled into my stone pillow and fell asleep shorter than I would've liked.