"This is your room, I hope you like it." Hannah stepped inside the pale-lilac suite. In the centre was positioned a large, wrought iron bed, with pure white bedding and sumptuous cushions piled on top. The bed was the biggest she had ever seen. She looked at her fingers to make sure they were clean, then slowly stroked the top sheet. It felt soft and cool. No rough, holed blankets to keep out the icy cold here, she thought. The air was heady with the scent of the freshly cut lavender, presented in crystal vase on the dressing table. Hannah didn't like the smell of Lavender. She never had and neither had mother.
"What do you think?" Diana asked.
"It's very nice," she replied.
"Good, good, I'm glad. I'll leave you to settle in for a bit then. Come and find me downstairs when you are ready."
Diana stood looking at Hannah for a moment longer. The silence was deafening, their unspoken words seemed so loud in the absence of noise. Diana turned on her pointed, heeled shoes and closed the door behind her. Hannah slowly sat down on the bed and removed her boots. She then lifted her legs and lay down. The pillows and cushions seemed to swallow her up. Slowly she exhaled and looked up at the ceiling above- ice-white and recently painted, without the familiar water stains and crumbling plaster she was so used to seeing.
She turned her head to the left and saw two doors in addition to the one Diana had just left through and wondered where they went to. Forcing herself to stand, she walked over to the first door and turned the handle. It opened onto a bathroom, larger than her parent's bedroom. Inside saw a free-standing, roll-top bath, next to a large shower cubicle that had four shower heads positioned at assorted angles. The clinically white tiled room, was accessorised with hot-pink fluffy towels, bath mat and matching robe was hung on a hook. A mirrored cabinet occupied a corner of the room. Inside she discovered a vast array of make-up, creams, cleansers and vitamin supplements. Hannah looked at the make-up. Having only ever her used her mother's lipstick once or twice. She didn't have a clue what any of the items were for. Shane used to joke and tell her that you couldn't improve on perfection and that she didn't need make-up as she was a 'natural beauty'.
Shane. His name and the memory of his face haunted her and yet it hadn't been even twenty-four hours since she had last seen him, had last kissed him. The same boy, who would, in a couple of days, be buried alone, at an undisclosed location which was the norm for Flawed burials. Her legs crumpled beneath her and she fell to the marble floor and fell apart.
Several hours later, Hannah woke up shivering, with a crick in her neck. Next door was the most comfortable bed she had ever seen and yet she'd fallen asleep in the most uncomfortable place in the house. She picked herself up gingerly and walked over to the sink and set about washing her face and hands. Yet she still felt grimy. Hannah longed for a hot shower to warm herself up, but what would she wear. Straight after the meeting with General Briggs, she had been ushered into a car and spirited back to this house with her 'parents". Briggs had assured them all that they could still have visits with their adopted families, which came as both a surprise and a relief, but they were told, that for the time being, they needed to bond with their new families first. He had also said that their new families would provide for all their needs. She would have to ask Diana for a few clothing items to tide her over.
Back in the bedroom, she opened the third door in the room and gasped. Not only did she have a huge bed and a ridiculously large bathroom, she also had a walk-in wardrobe twice the size of the bathroom back home. But it wasn't the size of the room that made her gasp, it was the fact it was filled with new clothes and not just any clothes. Jeans and t-shirts, her normal choice of attire, were stacked on a large rack of shelves, sorted out by colour. Next to them, and running around the room, were rails holding an assortment evening gowns, sharp tailored suits, beach wear, day wear..., the list went on. Beneath them, were the shoes- dozens of pairs of shoes in every style imaginable each stored in clear plastic cases with lids. They looked like valuable museum artefacts. Surely these weren't all for her? She knew most girls in her situation would be giddy with excitement right about now, but Hannah just felt nauseous. This was a display of pure unbridled, brazen wealth and it disgusted her. She doubted now whether a shower would make her feel any cleaner.
YOU ARE READING
The NumberedScience Fiction
Imagine the second you're born, a consultant removes you from your mother's grasp and runs a battery of genetic and physiological tests on you. Thirty minutes later they give you a score out of one hundred which denotes your level of perfection. If...