28 - The Name

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Pace.

It's what I do all night long in my room. I go back and forth until I'm too dizzy to stand upright. Ultimately, I crash on my bed—but I don't sleep. I stay up thinking. Considering my options. I can't escape. I can't leave. I sure as hell don't want to stay, but there's no way they'll take me back home. I don't see why, but they need me. They wouldn't go through all this trouble if I wasn't important to them, would they?

As I battle out my thoughts about this place, I can't help but think about how horrifying Travis appeared on the screen. He was emaciated. Tired. Filthy. His eyes were sunken, his face haggard, his body weak and broken, and he was certainly not at the shelter anymore.

I hate the new image of him in my head. I wish it could disappear.

Weirder yet, is the fact that these people are tracing him. How did they find him? Why are they doing this? What could they possibly want from Travis, when he has nothing to do with any of this number superpower crap?

I'm too frustrated to cry. Plus, I'd expended most of my tears thinking about Katie's death.

Part of me thought Katie and Travis were both..gone, and I had nothing left to hold on to. Now that I see he's there, alive and hurting with no one, I...I'll do anything to get back.

A beep at my doorway makes my ears perk up. A triple beep follows it. What is that, some kind of doorbell?

As I get to my feet, a voice comes in through a small speaker. "May I enter?" Number One asks, his tone even and calm again. When has he ever asked to come in, ever?

I'm suddenly confronted with a new problem: how do I respond? I glance down at the buttons next to the door and analyze them. There's one large white one, a small red one, and a medium-sized green one with the word OPEN stamped on top of it. On a whim, I click and hold the red one and talk through a tiny speaker like a walkie-talkie. At first, I want to deny his entry, but I feel like he'll barge in here either way.

"Yes...you can." I reach for the open button, but before I hit it, the door glides open. He must've clicked it from the outside. Just when I thought he was being polite.

He saunters in, one hand carrying a white case similar to the one my nurse brings me, and the other holding a dozen luscious, red roses. I can't take my eyes off of them. Why the hell does he have those?

After staring at them for a solid minute without receiving an explanation, I finally pipe up, "Do I really have to ask?"

"I have concocted a serum in the lab that I hope will better serve your body than the liquids you have been given previously," he explains.

I frown at his mention of the word I. He hopes nothing. He doesn't care.

"You know that's not what I was talking about," I say. Still, what he says does throw me off of the rose situation briefly. I guess I'll ask about them after he informs me of all the other stuff.

Number One pulls open the case, revealing its inner contents. Two syringes and multiple vials of liquid with a hue similar to blood, sit within it--seven red, and one that is completely clear. I can't help but ask about the oddball.

I point to it. "What is that one?" It's slightly smaller than the others, too.

"Well, before you transition to the red, your body will require a detoxification shot first," he clarifies. I don't like the idea of more injections, but I understand why it is necessary.

"Fair enough," I say shortly. We're still not on good terms. Perhaps that is why he came waltzing in here with roses in his hand. To offer a truce. To say sorry. Something stupid and meaningless like that. Who knows? "So am I going to get it now or what?"

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