Chapter Twenty-Five Part One ~Maddie~

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7:00am 

One by one the lights flicker on, pulling the entire floor and all of the rooms on it from complete darkness.

I've already been awake though...thinking. I can't quiet the commotion inside my head, the thoughts that continuously swirl through my mind.

It's been three days. Three days and no sign of Travis. Where the hell is he? He asked me to trust him, and I do, but where the hell has he gone?

7:15am

Heavy footsteps make their way across the floor, keys jingling at someone's side...A Hunter doing room checks. It could be Travis. I pull myself up from the bed and into a seated position, waiting anxiously. I pick at my nails, biting my lip, waiting as the footsteps draw closer and closer.

Holding my breath, I watch as the Hunter comes into view, only to let out my breath in disappointment. It's not Travis. It's the exact opposite of who I'd want to see...Lieutenant Jenkins.

He taps the glass of the window as he passes, narrowing his eyes at me, and an evil smirk plays across his face just as he disappears from sight.

Chills immediately overtake my body, causing me to shiver in place. What is that guy's problem?

7:30am

The wheels of the breakfast cart squeak their way down the halls, and my stomach grumbles in response. It's the only decent thing about this place, the one thing I actually look forward to. You'd think with the way we're treated, that they would lack in this department too, but they don't. It's some of the best food I've ever had, including the meals my mom used to make back home.

Home.

I wonder if they'll ever let me see them again or if that rumor, like most of the others, is true too. I'd do anything to see my mom and dad just one more time.

7:45am

The door clicks open, bringing my attention to the orderly carrying in my food. She quietly sets the tray on the table and makes her way back out of the room, never looking at me.

It's odd, but there seem to be two types of people working here- The ones who look right at you or worse, through you, like you're not a person at all, just an object or possession to be toyed with, and the ones who can't seem to bear looking at you, never meeting your eyes. It's as if they're afraid, afraid that when they do, they'll be forced to face the reality of what they're really doing here. I'm not sure which of them are worse.

I slide off the bed and onto my feet, walking the short distance to the table. They only give us thirty minutes to eat before they come back around and collect the trays, so I don't want to waste any more time.

Pulling the chair out, I take a seat and scoot myself in. It's oatmeal, yogurt, a bowl of fruit, orange juice, and milk for breakfast today. I empty the yogurt container onto the oatmeal and scrape the bowl of fruit on top of that. It tastes really good this way. Taking a bite, I close my eyes. This place thoroughly sucks, but not having that constant feeling of hunger clawing me has been nice.

As I swallow another bite, I take in the silence. No screaming, no crying, no sounds of agony or pain echoing down the halls. It's the first morning I've woken up in such silence, and it's a relief.

I quickly learned that more you comply, the better you're treated. Once I stopped struggling and trying to fight the nurses off every time they came into the room, the cuffs finally came off. I only shoved the food tray off the table once, learning that lesson the hard way after being cuffed and strapped back down to the bed so they could shove a small tube down my throat and force feed me some kind of thick brown liquid. The thought of it still makes my skin crawl.

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