— We have taken care of them, sir. They’re separated.
— Excellent. Thanks for you work.
Midori was still there sitting on the blanked. Tears stared to stream down her face, she couldn’t control it. She knew perfectly well that in that moment Atlas didn’t disappear because he wanted. “They did something to him…” Midori thought over and over again.
She stood up quickly and screamed as loud as she could. Feeling how her vocal cords were about to give out after a while, but she kept screaming until she wasn’t able to make a single sound anymore. In that moment, she felt how her head was starting to spin; she closed her eyes tightly and brought her hand to her head, trying to regain balance. The dizziness stopped almost immediately.
— What… what was that?
She questioned to herself. But then she remembered how Atlas was suffering from dizzy spells too.
— But this one wasn’t as strong as his.
Anxiety started to take over her again. She was too worried about Atlas, and as much as she tried, she wasn’t able to wake up in the real world. She took the blanket in one hand and the basket in the other, cleaned the space they were using. After a long sigh she went back to the mansion. She left everything in the kitchen table and supported her hands on it. She was trying to think on something to do, she couldn’t stay with her arms crossed.
— What should I do…?
Hours went by and Midori was still stuck. She clicked her tongue and stood up from where she was.
— Atlas should be somewhere already… right?
She laughed nervously, trying to fool herself. She exited the mansion, with the objective to see if Atlas was already in there, although she didn’t have much hope.
While she was walking through the woods, she could only listen to the birds chirping and the breeze against the trees. With every step, Midori could hear how leaves and branches were breaking below her. The distant noise of the waterfall was slowly getting closer.
After a few more minutes, she arrived at the oasis, and she confirmed in seconds that Atlas wasn’t there. She sighed and went to the rocks, sitting down in one of them. She supported her elbows on her knees and her head in her hands, looking at the oasis with nostalgia.
— I’m really sorry, did I scare you? —he tilted his head to the side—.
Those were the first words she heard from Atlas. She goofily smiled at the memory. It truly seemed like they had known each other for months now.
— My name is Atlas. —he said looking up, observing the place— I’ve never seen you around here. —he looked down to her—.
— I-I am… ah… —she sighed— M-Midori. —she looked at him— My name is Midori.
— Pleasure to meet you, Midori.
Remembering their first conversation, she couldn’t help but let some more tears escape. She missed him so much it was painful to just think about it. She was sobbing uncontrollably, contrasting against the nice and bright weather of that day. She wiped her tears with her arms and took a deep breath. She tried to center on the sounds of the waterfall, the calm breeze of the oasis, until she could finally calm down.
She quickly stood up from the rock, feeling more confident in herself. Clenching her fists, she promised herself she wouldn’t cry anymore. Since in the real world she couldn’t do a lot because of her visual incapacity, there should be something she could do in that world where she could at least see clearly.
She decided to go to the places Atlas frequented. The first stop was the amusement park, which seemed more somber than the last time they went. All the rides were off, the lights were turned off too. The music was total silence. Feeling a little scared, she searched in all the attractions, ending with the Ferris Wheel.
— He’s not here…
There were only two places left. She first went to the aquarium that was near the theater. When she went inside, she could notice how there weren’t any fishes on the tanks. Midori started to feel depressed, every place was empty, devoid of life, as if they had been abandoned. She went back to the woods until she arrived to the treehouse, it was her last hope. She carelessly climbed up the stairs, she didn’t give a damn at this point.
She confirmed what she didn’t want to accept: Atlas was nowhere to be found. She punched the wall, making her knuckles turn red with the impact.
— I have only one thing left to do…
She ran to the mansion and made her way to the master bedroom. She lay on the bed and closed her eyes tightly.
— Please, please…
After a few seconds, she falls asleep. Then, she opens her eyes quickly. The fact that she could see was enough to know that she was still trapped, and, besides her, the bed was still intact.
TO BE CONTINUED.