Midori was laying on her bed. There wasn’t much she could do with the bandages still over her eyes. Every so often she thought back to the Oasis and, more specifically, about Atlas. The creaking of the metal of the doors made Midori get out of her little bubble. It was her designated nurse. Midori now recognized her peculiar aroma. It was like roses, or that’s what she though, at least, since she didn’t know much about flowers.
The nurse put down an mp3 over her legs. Midori could lightly feel it and took it in her hands. After analyzing what was this new object, she started to feel furious. She tightly crushed it between her hands and started to breath rapidly. Clenching her jaw, she took a deep breath before talking.
— What… what is this? —she asked, trying to maintain her composure—.
— I-it’s a mp3-
— I KNOW IT’S A MP3! ARE YOU KIDDING ME?
— M-Miss Midori…
— DON’T YOU UNDERSTAND THIS ISN’T WHAT I WANT? WHERE’S MY PHONE? HUH?
— I-I’ve already told you I don’t know where it is, Miss Midori.
— You’re lying!
A knot started to form in her throat.
— You’re… you’re lying…
With nothing else to say, the nurse silently made her way out of the room. Midori threw the mp3 to the floor. She brought her hands to her eyes, as if she were trying to not let her tears flow down. Every time the nurse passed through the door Midori was reminded of the situation she was in. The worst of it all is that she couldn’t cry even if she wanted to, but at least she could take out her frustration. All she could do was cream. And just like that, that was exactly what she did. She creamed as hard as she could, feeling how all that rage was going out of her body through her screams.
Her body relaxed. Midori stayed in the same position for a few minutes, feeling completely empty. She didn’t know what to feel. She just wanted to go back home, even if she knew her mom wouldn’t be there waiting for her. “Who could even be waiting for me, anyways?” she thought. No one had visited her in the hospital, not even Aoi. Loneliness was becoming her best friend. She didn’t have anyone to talk to or spend some time with, just Atlas in her dreams.
Midori gave up. With a deep sigh she decided to take the mp3 that the nurse brought. She felt as if her body was about to collapse at any moment. She wasn’t even sure if it was because she wasn’t properly eating or because she was slowly becoming more and more depressed. With some effort she put her hands at the edge of the bed, and with a quick movement, she stood up. Since it was a sudden movement, she started to feel a little dizzy. She brought her hand to her head and after a few more seconds she started to feel fine.
She crouched down and started to look for the mp3 on the floor. She touched everywhere until she got it. She took it and felt how the earphones were tangled. Of course. With a few movements of her fingers she finally could untangle them. She sat down at the edge of the bed. The nurse had given her one of those mp3 that had no screens, just a few buttons for easier handling. She took each earbud and put them on.
She pressed the biggest button, assuming this was the one that will start to play the songs. Effectively, the mp3 started to play. In that moment, Midori couldn’t believe what she was listening to. It was her favorite band. She gasped in surprised. “What is this?” It was too good to be true. That band was also Aoi’s favorite. She remembers how she would always go to her house to listen to them on the radio. They had posters of every member on their rooms. It was one of those small things that made Midori feel a little bit of happiness.
She was feeling very nostalgic. She wanted to cry again but it wasn’t possible. She was starting to feel overwhelmed by her feelings.
— I want to go back to the old times…. When… everything was simpler… when… you were here, dad…
Midori brought her legs to the bed, laying down to get more comfortable. She took her sheets and completely cuddle below them, never stopping listening to the mp3. It seemed like inside was the entire discography of the band. Without noticing, she fell asleep with the earphones on.
Again, there was that warm sensation that was nonexistent in the hospital. Even before opening her eyes, Midori knew where she was. She opened her eyes slowly and looked around, analyzing the place. It was starting to become a routine, having the same dream. Midori didn’t care in the slightest. She felt like in her dreams she was escaping the hell she was in out there in the real life. In that pace, she could relax, she could be herself, and most importantly, she could see with her own eyes.
She stood up from the same tree she always wakes on. Around her, there were many flowers. She didn’t remember seeing them there the last time she was there. She crouched down and, seeing them up close, she assumed they were roses. She smelled them and they smelled exactly like her nurse. Midori chuckled.
— It’s incredible how even she affects my dreams…
She stood up again and stretched. She felt good even though she knew it was a dream. In the hospital she didn’t had the energy to move like that. She started to walk around and casually arrived at the waterfall again. She looked around, but Atlas wasn’t here. She walked closer to the rocks and noticed how there were a few towels and a basket with food. It was a few apples and sandwiches. She decided to take an apple and started to eat it.
In that moment, she heard a noise coming from the woods. She quickly turned around to that direction. She couldn’t identify what was the cause of the noise. She started to feel a little nervous. She left the apple back in the basket and with the forearm she cleaned the mouth. She stood up and looked around again just in case Atlas appeared. She gulped down.
— You can do it… Midori… you can do it…
She clenched her fists and took a deep breath. She was set on entering the woods, so she took the first step but another terrifying noise came out of the woods. Midori stood petrified where she was, feeling goosebumps all over her body. She shook her head. She wouldn’t let a few noises to stop her from entering the woods. This time, she started to walk with more determination. “This is a dream, what could happen to me?” she thought. And with that, she entered the woods.
It was pitch black; things were barely distinguishable. Midori kept walking forward, although, with the surrounding darkness, she had no sense of orientation. She wasn’t able to identify if she was walking in circle or a straight line. She kept walking and walking and couldn’t see anything out of normal, not even a possible cause for the strange noises. She crouched down to take a breather; she was starting to feel a little tired.
— I think I should go back.
In that moment, she spotted a familiar figure in the distance. She squinted her eyes and there she saw him. Atlas was close to the cabin that she saw the first time she went to the Oasis.
TO BE CONTINUED.