I came to with the feeling that I was being watched. My flesh itched from the stares — I was certain it was more than one.
Overcoming the urge to keep my eyes closed, I looked into a pair of glass eyes. Frightened, I sat up quickly and winced when pain exploded from all over my body. I felt slightly weak and my vision was distorted for a few seconds before everything took shape accompanied by a dull throb at a side of my head.
'She's up,' the-man-with-glass-eyes said.
I frowned as another glass eyes came into view, then the older man and two other strange people.
'How do you feel?' the-man-with-huge-glass-eyes asked.
I looked at their faces one by one. I must be wrong but they all had their faces contorted in trepidation, fear, as though they were waiting to hear the worst from me. Suddenly I felt like a specimen undergoing diagnostic analysis.
'Do you remember anything?' someone asked.
I didn't say anything, confused by the situation. Did I remember anything? Yes. I remembered, without being told that I was still am amnesiac the last time I checked. And I remembered the day before when something stung my flesh and I slipped into oblivion.
I looked up at the-man-with-huge-glass-eyes and nodded mutely. I could see my reflection in the eyes; my hair defied the law of gravity — even I knew the law. My eyes were dazzling pools of violet. I wondered what he'd done to his eyes to make them do the colour trick. It threatened to evoke a memory but the memory remained flittering on the verge, refusing to come.
'What do you remember? Do you know your name? Say something.' The-man-with-huge-glass-eyes bombarded me with question after question.
I frowned and sat up on the sitting place, looking away from his eyes as they reflected something disturbing.
'I remember everything —' A gasp escaped from someone and I stopped talking abruptly.
The-man-with-huge-glass-eyes turned to the back and I heard someone mumble an apology.
I frowned again and asked, 'What's going on? Is something wrong with me? Am I — ?'
'Relax, everything is okay,' he said. 'I hope,' he muttered but I heard. 'Do continue your earlier statement.'
'Everything from after my amnesia. I'm never gonna get my memories back, am I?'
'We don't know.' The older man came into view with a strange expression on his face.
'Dad,' I said. 'Where's Mom? And . . . ' I tried to remember the names ' . . . Howard and the girl?' I finally said. 'Who're these people?'
'Chill, Tiana, no cause for alarm.'
I shut my eyes and expelled a breath. The pounding in my head seemed to pick up. Why was he saying chill? It was entirely unrelated to the matter at hand.
He pointed to the-man-with-huge-glass-eyes. 'This is Professor Matterson, my bo—'
Professor Matterson coughed politely.
'Um,' said the older man, 'a friend.'
'Pleased to meet you, Tatiana,' he said and I nodded.
'You already know Dr Schraeder.' He nodded to the-man-with-glass-eyes (I'm a doctor, said he) who smiled at me, his glass eyes reflecting the light fixture above.'The rest are . . . family friends.'
'Hi,' said a woman. 'I'm Arizona. I used to take you violin lessons.'
The woman frowned slightly, a sweet smile still plastered on her face. 'What's what, sweetie?'
She chuckled. 'Vi-o-lin,' she pronounced. 'Know what? Never mind.'
'I'll suggest you all leave so she can rest,' said the doctor. 'Tatiana, do you want anything?'
'Bearclaws, please,' I said remembering the pastry the older woman made that day. 'I've also got my head pounding on one side.'
'Now, now, you guys, shoo.' They started to leave. 'Damian, tell your wife to make as many of that pastry as can be put in the oven. I feel like eating some myself.'
'Now to you,' he said, turning to me. 'Let's see what drug you need.'
• • •
I didn't know what time of the day it was. Everything was extremely quiet. It felt like eons ago I'd woken up. I didn't know where everyone was. I was supposed to be asleep but sleep continued to elude me.
The last person I'd seen was the older woman and Marilla — I now remember her name — when they brought me meal. Lunch in bed, Marilla had called it. I'm still trying to understand the reason it was given such a long name as per it was really delicious green stuff.
I stood from the sitting place and winced. I'd forgotten about its ability to make my butt sore.
I pulled open the cover and peered down the hallway. Soft music was coming from Marilla's box and I went that way.
I didn't know what I was going to do but the quiet was getting to me and I needed someone to talk to.
I pushed open her cover and went in silently. She was looking at something intensely so I peered down to have a look.
It was a looking glass and seeing my reflection she gasped and quickly shoved it in the funny-looking large piece of cloth she put on when going to the school.
'Ti, you scared me!' she said turning around to me.
I smiled. 'The sorry.' She really looked scared and afraid. 'Let me see.'
'No.' she shoved her hand deeper into the piece of cloth. 'Did you see anything?'
'No, I did not.'
'You're not gonna tell Mom, right? That I was using the mirror? She kinda banned me from it.' she laughed nervously and carefully removed her hand from the piece of cloth.
'No,' I said. 'Can I have one, too?'
'No,' she said. 'Whatcha doing here?'
'I was bored,' I said and sat on the edge of her sleeping place.
'Oh, poor you. Do you want me to tell you jokes?'
'No.' I didn't know what jokes were but I knew they sounded boring. 'What's that music, I like it.'
'Unfaithful by Rihanna.'
I blinked. Why did I bother to ask?
'You liked her songs a lot,' she said, smiling.
'How old are you?' I said for change of topic.
She touched her chest and laughed. 'Me?'
'Welp, seventeen,' she said.
'What of Howard and Dad and Mom?'
She laughed again. A rich tinkling sound. I should ask her to teach me how to laugh like that.
'Howard . . . I think eleven or twelve. I don't make stuff like that my priority. Dad and Mom? I don't know. Apparently kids aren't supposed to know stuff like that.'
'What of me? How old am I?'
'Fifteen,' she said after a pause. 'I can't be too sure. I just know you're supposed to be about two years younger than me.'