Chapter 8 - "We have to go back."

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Chapter 8 "We have to go back." 

My eyes opened slightly, light grey light slowly creeping upon me. I sat up and groggily wipe my eyes, remembering the dream I had the night before. Escaping the prison, Robert becoming one of the Lab Coats… It wasn’t a dream, it was a nightmare. I slowly talked myself into opening my eyes and waking up, getting ready for the day…

Sand and small plants sticking out of the ground all surrounded me. The sun was slowly rising, and so the sky was still dark. I looked around, shocked and confused. Lying next to me on the ground was Justin, also known as Dr. Sean, snoring lightly, his head resting on his arms. I thought about waking him up, and seeing what was going to happen today, but then I stopped myself.

What if he rethought all of this? What if he takes me back to the prison, and tries to use me as a bargaining tool? I slowly slid on the sand away from him, trying to be as quiet as possible. I had to get away; I had to leave while he was still asleep. I had to figure this out on my own – I had to do everything on my own now. I stood up slowly, watching Justin as I did so, then turned and began running.

The sand under my feet made it hard to run; I was stumbling and falling every two feet, not getting very far. I had made enough noise to wake up Justin as well, and before I knew it, a strong hand grabbed my arm and threw me to the ground. “Where are you going?” He asked.

I didn’t answer, but only tried to get back up again and leave.

Justin sat me back down, this time a little more forceful. “You’re not going anywhere, Rhylee. We need to sit down and make a plan, okay?” With that, he sat down next to me, rubbing the sleep from his eyes. He was tired, and hadn’t gotten the proper chance to wake up; neither did I. I watched the horizon as the sun slid up a little more, peaking over the many hills that surrounded us. Where in the world would we go? Were we anywhere near civilization? …My family?

Justin and I stayed quiet, sitting on the sand and watching the sun rise. It was an experience I’ll never forget; my first sunrise. All these years I’ve been locked up in a cell, slowly forgetting what it feels like to let the wind crawl across my skin, what colors the sun made when it rose and fell, how many stars there were… I watched all the colors and felt all the sensations.

“My first sunrise…” I said out loud. Justin turned to me, almost surprised I was still here, and smiled. “That’s nice.” He said then continued to look deep in thought about something. I decided not to break his concentration and so I kept silent, watching the sun now rise fully into the sky. Light spread over us both now, showing every plant, every creature, and every stone that was out here.

I wondered what Robert was doing, and if he regretted the choices he made. I remembered what he said before I ran away… ‘I love you’. I didn’t believe him, and now I’m not so sure, but it seems to be changing with time. What if he had bought the car for us to leave in? What if he was going to break me out that day?

I looked down at the red stain on my medical gown; my blood from the incision Dr. Allen made. The memory sent chills down my spine.

I tucked my hair behind my ear, wishing I could just stop thinking for a minute. I knew that was impossible though; there was too much that’s happened to simply ‘not think’. I closed my eyes and tried to remember the lyrics to a song I would listen to when I was thirteen. That kept me busy.

“I suppose we should just start walking.” Justin sighed, standing up from the sand and looking down at me expectantly.

I frowned, looking up at him. “Seriously…it took you an hour to think of that?

“Do you have a better plan?”

“Plan? That’s not even a plan! Walking aimlessly around for hours, possibly days, doesn’t really count as a plan.” I stumbled up from the sand, now face to face with him. He was shorter than Robert, about my height. He had green eyes that seemed almost muddy, but still lit up in the sunlight. He didn’t have the crow’s feet beginning at the side of his eyes either; he was much younger than Robert, too.

“What do you propose we do, then?” He asked, folding his arms.

“I’ve got an idea, but you’ll think I’m insane for it.”

He shrugged. “Try me.”

“We have to go back.”

Justin watched me for a minute before snorting and turning away, beginning his original ‘plan’ and just walking. “You’re right; I officially think you’re insane.” He said.

I ran after him, quickly catching up to him. “No, listen to me; we need transportation, and where can we find that?”

“Are you sure this isn’t just about stealing Robert’s new car?” He raised an eyebrow at me.

I shrugged, “It’s a win-win scenario for both of us. We both get a car to get us out of here and I get to smash the thing to pieces when we’re done.”

Justin groaned as we stood there, thinking my plan over. While he must have been thinking about all the things that could go wrong, I only thought of the things that could go right. I imagined running his precious car into a lake, maybe taking a baseball bat to it. A small, evil, smile spread across my face as I did so.

“Fine,” Justin said, snapping me out of my thoughts.

“Wait, you’re serious? I thought you’d protest…”

“Well you’re plan is a lot smarter than mine, even though I went to a year of college and you barely finished middle school…”

“I could have gone to college…” I muttered. Silence fell over us as we stood there; both regretting what started this conversation. I shook my head, “I don’t know how we’re going to get inside.”

Justin nodded, “It’ll be tricky. When they see me they’ll probably kill me…and you, I bet they’ll dissect you.”

“Thanks for that image,”

“And Robert probably keeps his car in the garage, so it won’t be easy.”

“I didn’t expect it to be.”

His eyes met mine and he took a step closer to me. “Rhylee, are you sure you want to go through this? It’ll be dangerous, and if we get caught…it’s the end, we’ll never see the light of day again.”

My answer was a simple nod.

It was sunset now and once again we were eating random berries and other things we could find for ‘dinner’. I was starving, but I never complained; knowing there was nothing we could do about it. I watched as Justin drew maps in the sand, maps of the prison, maps to the garage, then rub them away and start all over again, saying that wouldn’t work. I stayed quiet, interjecting when needed, but for the most part kept to myself. My stomach was cramping, making it impossible for me to sit up straight. I felt like I may throw up at any moment; throw up the small bit of edible items in my stomach.

I was beginning to sweat, but was cold at the same time, trembling all over. I tried to hold still, not wanting Justin to break his train of thought. It was a feeble attempt though and soon he was watching me, his brow furrowed. “What’s the matter?”

“I don’t know.” I shook my head. “Probably ate some bad berries or something…”

Justin slid over, feeling my forehead and looking into my eyes. “You’re detoxing… We’ll need to get you more Gold when we’re inside.”

“If we get inside,” I added.

Justin nodded, then when back to his sketches of the prison while I shook and tried to ignore the pain in my stomach…

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