Midori bit her lip harshly, punched the ground and then clenched her hand near her heart. She couldn’t breath. She was completely agitated. Her nerves were consuming her and to put the cherry on top, she looked like a tomato by how red her face was.
Right then, she wakes up in the hospital. She touches her chest again, feeling how her heart was still beating a million per second. Her other hand was trembling.
— Did… did I fall in love with someone who doesn’t exists…?
She laughed at herself for having that thought. She knew that was not possible. It was impossible to fall in love with someone that only existed in dreams. It took her a few seconds to calm down and stabilize her breathing.
After she calmed down, a smell invaded her room. When she paid close attention to it, she deduced it came from that day’s lunch, which laid on the table next to her. It was, once again, a rice bowl accompanied with noodle soup. She grimaced, she didn’t want to eat that, but she was hungry and it was the only thing available. So, she took the tray and put it on the table that hovered over her bed. Just before she could take a bite, the image of Atlas getting closer to her appeared again in her mind. She lowered the spoon she was holding.
Shaking her head, she slapped her cheeks. “Stop thinking about it, Midori. It’s not real”, she repeated to herself over and over again. She tried to take back the spoon but it was impossible. Atlas’ face wouldn’t go away. After a few failed attempts, she gave up on eating. Her nerves wouldn’t let her as much as she wanted
In that moment, she once again heard screaming in the hallway. It didn’t seem to come from the same person as before.
— GET ME OUT OF HERE PLEASE!! THEY ARE TORTURING US!!
— Inject him the dose right now! Quickly!
After that, all that was heard was the noise of a body falling to the floor. The nurses were still whispering between them. After a few seconds, another person went out of their room and started to scream.
— PLEASE! THEY ARE KILLING US!!
Midori took her pillow and covered her head with it, trying to escape from the reality she was in. She didn’t want to hear them anymore. She tightly closed her eyes, trying to force herself to sleep. A few seconds later, she could fall asleep.
A ray of light woke her up. She slowly y opened up her eyes, using her hand to cover the light. She blinked a few times to adjust her sight, noticing she was still in the same cushion as before. She caressed the cushion that was besides her, looking at it with sadness. She took a deep breath and stood up as much as she could thanks to the low roof the house had. She approached the door, that was on the floor, and opened it up. She looked down and got scared by the height of the place.
Trying not to look down, Midori started to climb down the stairs, being even more careful than the first time, so as not to make another table break down. When she finally reached the bottom, she cleaned up her clothes a little. “Where should I go today?” she asked to herself. She felt there were places she still hasn’t gone to. Unknowingly, she started to make her way to the neighborhood. When she arrived there, she decided to take another path.
After walking for a while, she noticed a small local in the distance with many lights surrounding it. The big sign on it said “ARCADE”. Midori opened up her eyes in surprise. She’s always wanted to go to an arcade, but was never able to. She started to walk a little faster towards it until she ended up fully running to the place.
The closer she got, the wider was the smile on her face. She felt like a little girl once again. When she arrived, she stood right in front of the door. She was breathing heavily after running all the way there. Besides the door was a big window, she walked up to it and leaned her hands on it, getting closer to the crystal so she could see what was inside. There were many machines, all of them were on. From where she was, she could see a claw machine, air hockey, and some more.
The excitement was too much, and without wasting one more second, she opened up the doors and went inside. A singular aroma greeted her, she closed her eyes and enjoyed it for a few seconds, trying to commit it to her memory. She then looked around; she didn’t know where to start.
She ran to the claw machine, and pressed a small red button, the machine then started to work. She carefully moved the claw that was inside and tried to catch a stuffed animal she liked. She lowered down the claw and caught the animal, but unfortunately, it slipped from it and fell back down to the pile of stuffed animals. Midori threw a small tantrum; she really wanted that stuffed animal. She tried to get it a few more times until she finally got it. She crouched down to take it from the cabin it fell into. The moment she had it in her hands, she hugged it while jumping in a small circle in excitement.
Right then, she heard how the arcade’s door opened. The expression on her face banished and quickly turned around to where the entrance was. It was him. Midori started to feel the nerves taking hold of her body again. She gulped down. Butterflies fluttering on her stomach. Atlas approached her.
— I haven’t seen this place. —he said, looking around the arcade—.
— I-I found it just a few hours ago… —she let out a nervous laugh— Do you want to play with me?
— Of course. —he smiled and nodded—.
Atlas and Midori spent hours playing. They didn’t stop until they tried all the machines that were in there. Midori was genuinely happy. Atlas was the same. It was the perfect way to simply enjoy a good time and forget about anything else. Both leaned against a wall and slowly slid down to the floor, exhausted.
— Oof, that was a lot for one day, huh? —said Atlas, panting a little and cleaning the sweat that had accumulated on his forehead—.
— It was, but it was really fun. —she said while giggling—.
They stayed a few moments in silence. Midori turned around to look at Atlas.
— Do you…
Atlas looked back at her.
— Do you want to have a picnic in the mansion’s garden?
TO BE CONTINUED.