"Let me show you that room I promised," Number One says to me, bright and early, the moment he enters my cell room.
We depart soon after and step into the hallway. "Is it in your sector?" I quickly wonder, afraid that I'll have to use the tile platform to get there every time.
"Sort of. It resides at the end, almost adjacent to the Center. It is on the complete opposite side of mine. You will have privacy."
Privacy? How come I don't believe him?
"Will there be cameras?" I press.
He nods, but keeps his face forward. He hardly meets my eyes when I ask questions. "Yes, but they are for emergencies only. Plus, only certain people can view the room videos, even fewer have access to the sound. They require a password, so you should not let that bother you."
So I don't have privacy. I'm sure has full control over the videos and I wouldn't put it past him to spy on me, not that I'd be doing anything crazy.
We reach a door with no window to peer into, so I get no preview of the room from the outside. It appears to be the same type of door as my cell, but with less restrictions, so hopefully this means I can enter and leave at my own will.
He removes his blue glove and scans his hand before entering a four-digit code. There is no card slot. Before he clicks the button to open the door, he states, "It is your turn."
One of my eyebrows shoot up in confusion. Does he mean I am to scan my hand?
"You must scan your hand so the computer can verify your prints. The code for your room is simple. It is the word 'Five.' Understood?"
I nod and look to where my hand should be placed. He takes my palm into his and guides it to the correct scanning position. A shiver involuntarily slithers up my spine when his bare hand touches mine. I don't enjoy it.
Lights behind each finger illuminate as the device analyzes each of my fingerprints. "There. Now click the button." He moves my hand for me and I poke the green button with my forefinger, causing the door to slide open.
I'm engulfed in a sea of red. Four red walls surround me on all sides. The color almost hurts. I never did like my hair color, and I certainly never embraced it like they do with their colors here. I can practically feel my eyes strain as I glance around the room, hoping to see something positive come about. There's an all-white bed with multiple decorative pillows on top, all in varying designs and shades of red. Some are furry while others contain shimmering sequins. I never had décor like this at my house. My mom sewed most of my stuff, or she just bought what was necessary. We never spent much money on material things.
I miss her.
A metal side table sits next to the bed with a glass vase full of red wildflowers on top. I can smell them the deeper I get into the room. They remind me of home, too. I stroke the petals of one of them and sigh.
"Those change out every few days," he states, as if I'm disappointed with these.
My eyes shift from the flowers to Number One. "They're great," I say slowly.
"Stella picked them out. They're from her garden."
My lips form a partial smile. "Thank you for this," I say as sincerely as I can. He's still a jackass, but his sensitivity has been striking me hard lately.
He doesn't smile, but I can tell he wants to. "I'll see you in an hour."
After he leaves, I lay on my back on the bed and stare at the ceiling of my red room. As much as I hate knowing that things are getting better here, it's nice to have a sense of satisfaction every now and again. I'm sick of being depressed and full of pity. I have to somehow learn to accept that things aren't going to change, whether I want them to or not. Sometimes, I almost wish there was a way I could truly forget everything. As of now, I can only rely on distracting myself, which involves going to the Training Center.
YOU ARE READING
OTHERS (Formerly The Scarlet Effect)Science Fiction
The pandemic was just the beginning. After an unknown virus sweeps across the globe, Aurora and two other survivors seek out safety in a bomb shelter with enough supplies to last a few years. Just as she starts to adapt to her new way of life, she i...