03 | gone girl

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FURROWING MY EYEBROWS, I TOOK a closer look at the bronze-skinned girl — lean build, highlighted dark hair, and toned body — yet nothing appeared out of the ordinary. I slipped my blade back into its sheath on my belt. "No, I don't think we've met before."

"That's so weird," she mused, frowning, "Well, anyway. Who are you two?"

"I'm Xander." He had no qualms introducing himself, that was for sure.

The boy beside Leilani had eyes like bitter coffee, which became a tad bit unsettling as he watched my every movement. She turned towards me, but I shook my head. I couldn't reveal my identity with such little information. "How did you get here?"

She tucked her hands into her pockets. "You see, that's a funny story. I don't really know."

"Don't know or don't remember?"

"Why does it even matter?" the brown-haired boy interrupted, "She doesn't have to tell you anything."

Rolling her eyes, Leilani wiped her blood-stained hands onto her cargo pants. "Fuck off, you don't get to speak for me. I don't remember anything that happened recently. Even worse, I can't pinpoint the exact time frame."

I bit my lip as dread rolled over me. Our experiences added up, which exacerbated our horrible situation. Could I even trust them?

She continued. "There's like a hole in my sophomore year of college. By the way, the uptight guy next to me is—"

"Zachary Keyer," he interjected once again, "You know what I think is suspicious?"

Well, that was a bit rude considering I was the one with the knife.

"Do tell," I responded drily, "Is it your shitty personality, by any chance?"

Xander peered up at the tumultuous sky, exhaling sharply through his nose and cursing none too softly. "This isn't the time, guys. We have major problems to deal with. Can—"

"—we move on and figure out why the four of us are here?" I finished.

Unwilling to relent, Zachary still pushed on. "After all this time, you still haven't told us anything about you."

I sighed. "I'm Angelina."

If Leilani was disappointed at my lack of a response, her face didn't betray her true emotions. Zachary absently cracked his knuckles, not looking reassured, but for the sake of peace, he held his other questions back, thankfully.

Xander crushed a stray leaf underneath his sneakers. "I'm going to take a wild guess and infer that all of us don't remember the same period of time."

"Some of us do have more severe short-term memory loss than the rest." My low voice carried through the forest. "The most plausible scenario is that we all suffered a head injury before waking up here."

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