I was looking at dorm rooms, or something. Somewhere between a dorm room and a cell is a more accurate description. The room wasn’t too big, the floors made of dark colored wooden planks. A trap door with a latch was built into the floor, I didn’t notice it the first time I looked at the room.
I was looking for a room that would be mine. The lighting was dim. The whole building seemed dingy. I had seen a few rooms before settling on the one with the trap door. I feel like there was someone with me, helping me make my choice, but she was never seen at this time.
It was time to move into the room. I don’t remember moving anything, but suddenly the move was over. There was a bed, a chair and a table, and a small television.
Most of this is fairly unimportant and hard for me to describe, but if I was an artist I could paint everything for you in perfect detail. If you could somehow hook your brain into mine, you could see every nuance of the room, the building, the furniture, everything. You could even feel it.
So, I’m moved in.
Anne is suddenly now with me. I’m shocked and surprised, everyone is. That’s right, suddenly there is an everyone. Her father was there, but his face wasn’t his. He was sitting in the chair by the TV. It seemed like there was some sort of media circus going on. Everyone had questions. Everyone wanted to talk to Anne.
We were laying on the bed. She was smiling so big at me. Such a beautiful smile. I was so astounded at her presence.
“Where have you been!?” I asked her. “It’s been so long, it’s so good to see you!”
She smiled and answered, “It’s good to see you too.”
She never said much more than this. To every question, that I or anyone else might ask, she would smile and maybe laugh a little then give a very short answer. Her smile was one of someone who had a delightful secret, and couldn’t tell you exactly what it was. Like someone that was about to give a surprise party or something, and just could barely hold it all in.
What seemed like reporters were all trying to get a sound bite or something from her.
“Miss, Miss, would you care to make a comment?” “Anne! Anne! Over here! What have you been doing for nearly two years?”
Suddenly I hear the TV, then turn to look.
“…after a magnitude 5.1 earthquake the ground in front of her opened up and she was thought to have been lost forever…” The announcer was saying.
The image on the television was that of a suburban driveway, white concrete, spilt in two after an earthquake, leaving a gaping hole in the ground that seemed to go on forever.
I look back at Anne, who is smiling, and continue to listen to the TV as now they are interviewing a witness.
“…The ground was shaking something fierce, the sound was awful, twisting, turning. A big gaping hole opened up and I could see cars and people just tossed around like they were nothing. Surely she had fallen in to that hole…”
I looked at Anne again, even more astounded, because I don’t remember an earthquake.
“Is that what happened to you!? Oh my god! I’m so happy that your ok, I missed you so, so much, I, I…” I trailed off.
She just smiled and said, “well, haha, you know…”
Suddenly I’m not on the bed anymore. Things have changed suddenly. There is still some sort of media circus, and people around. But I seem to go unnoticed. Suddenly Anne seems far away. I’m on the floor by the bed. I notice that the bed is covering the trap door. I open the door. Its a small storage space. I’m talking to someone, faceless, anonymous, asking her if she noticed this door before.
“Yes of course, didn’t you?” is the answer that finds me.
“Well I suppose I did.” I said, mostly to myself.
What were we going to keep down here? Our stash? What? Whats the deal with this secret space?”
I close the trap door and think of Anne. While I’m thinking about her, its like I’m back in the bed again, with her smiling at me. But I’m not.
I suddenly realize I want out of this room. So I leave.
I go up the stairs to the top floor and into a restroom. Its a large school-like restroom, with a big community sink, and an old style towel wringer. There is a girl by the towel ringer. She has a bucket sitting by her feet.
“Would you like anything to smoke or drink?” She asks.
I’m perplexed by her question. I look at her face.
She has bluish colored eyes, she’s about 5 foot 5, short, dark, messy hair. She has scabs and marks on her face and lips. Her eyes are a bit sunken in, she looks dirty, creepy even.
“What did you say?” I asked
She starts to tell me again when a large guy burst out of a bathroom stall. He was taller than me, blonde hair, balding. Blue eyes, also sunken in. He is dirty, shirtless and sweaty. He wipes his brow as if he is exhausted, says something, then stumbles out of the bathroom.
There is another guy there, but he just seems to be reinforcing the presence of the girl. Her name was Katie or Crystal or something like that.
“Do you want some of this? To drink or to smoke?” She repeated.
She nudged the bucket by her foot.
“Drink or smoke?” She repeated.
“What?” I replied, confused.
“No I mean What is it?” I asked her, cutting her off.
“What!?” I asked.
She looked at me as if to say, not exactly. Sort of like, I was supposed to know what she meant. As if she spoke another language, and was wanting me to understand but I couldn’t.
I had to get out of there. I ran out of the bathroom. But the girl was following me. I hit the stairs running, and I felt as if I floated down each flight. My hand was on the hand rail, but my feet barely touched the stairs. She was right behind me.
I got to the bottom and ran down the hall and into a locker room where I felt like I lost her. There was a maze of shower stalls in the dimly lit locker room. I could hear and feel the presence of many people. I run into Ellen, who is there for some reason.
“What are you doing here?” I asked her.
She just shrugged as if to say “I dunno”
“Can I kiss you?” she asked.
“Well, I hadn’t really thought about it, but sure. Although, I may have bad breath.” I answered.
“I don’t care if you don’t.” She replied.