Chapter 2

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Anne's Pov 

I tried to navigate around the myraids of people in the street, trying to find my way to a musuem of some sorts, apprently this was where I could find my way out of New York.  Alleyways and intersections intertwined as I attempted to find this place. A regular customer had dropped off a small slip of paper at the café, telling me everything I needed to know about this gentleman who supposedly would be able to get me out of New York as soon as possible.

It was a bizarre building, nothing like I had expected it to be. It had objects of all sorts, stuffed creatures and wax figurines. I could see in the centre of the large room was a small circular stage, it wasn't raised or anything like that, but on it where three women who were chatting and across from them, two men conversing quietly.  I hid behind who knows what, I think It may of been a stuffed giraffe but it was extremely hard to tell with the white sheet covering it. I was looking at the girls in front of the men, they looked so elegant in their gowns and studded jewellery. While here I was, an oversized coat which the orphanage gave me, a man's belt which was far to big, a pair of brown boots, some fingerless gloves, large out of date black skirt and a simple plain white top. The only thing which was remotely elegant about my outfit was the small golden chain around my neck, a butterfly. But in comparison to the ladies there, I looked like nothing. I was almost tempted to turn back, leave before I would get disappointing news but something in me told me to stay, be brave. 

"That was a theatrical aside, you didn't hear it." The older of the two men told the ladies, as they began to storm out of the museum. I ducked behind the giraffe, or whatever it was, and waited until the girls were out of the room before walking out.

"Hello?" I yelled out, the darkness of the room guiding me towards the small section of coloured lights. "I'm looking for Phillip Carlyle." I state once I stood face to face with the older mam.

"So are the police." He replied causing himself to laugh at his own joke, I simply raised my eyebrow waiting for an answer. "That would be Phillip there with a chair over his head." He gestured behind me to a man with icy blue eyes and a mop of brown hair.

"I need to get to France. Paris more preciously."

"That will be expensive." Phillip rebuffs, placing the chair back onto the ground as he walks away, joining the man who I assume to be his partner.

"I have saved up some money. And I cooked in New Orleans and cleaned in Chicago, so I always do that here." I admitted, trying to convince them to help me.

"New Orleans? Chicago?" Phillip began to question, "that's along way from here. What are you running from?" I thought for a split second I saw something in his eyes, intrigue? Bewilderment maybe?  But it quickly disappeared a few moments later. 

"I'm not running from anything." I assured, taking a breath to calm myself before continuing. "I am running to someone. In Paris." 

He scoffed. "You don't need us to get to Paris. There is an ocean only minutes away, jump in and start swimming." 

I walked right up to him, well more like stomped. "You don't need to be so rude!" I exclaimed, Phillip about to bite back with another witty remark before the other man stepped in. 

"Phillip, how about you go get our guess some cheese and a glass of water?" He asked, but it was more as if he was telling him to go and take a breath but in doing so he was virtually telling me to do the same. 

"I didn't know we were running a soup kitchen." Phillip grumbled as he left the room, going behind stage. There was something about him that, I don't really know, I found fascinating but I shook off the feeling when the other man, gave me a chair.

"Names P .T .Barnum." He extended his hand which I cautiously accepted and shook.  

"You seem to be a gentleman, even if your friend it not." This man, Barnum, seemed kinder than his partner. But something I don't understand is why, I mean they are both living in this museum of sorts. 

"Life has not been easy for Phillip." He stated, almost like he was reading my exact thoughts . 

"Life has not been easy for any of us." 

Phillip re-entered, handing me some cheese and a glass of water - which I thanked him for of course.

"Tell us what your name is dear." Barnum called, realizing that he had yet to ask for my name.

"I don't know."

"How do you not know your own name?" Phillip questioned, his snarkiness  evident in his voice as his eye brows raised and he crossed his arms across his chest, almost as if he was putting up a imaginary wall. In contrast to this, Barnum moved closer and placed a hand onto my shoulder it a sort of heartening manner, his brow furrowed in concern. 

"They gave me a name at the hospital. Anne." I told the pair, ignoring Phillip's question and his attitude in general.  "They said I had amnesia, there is nothing they can do about it."

It always dampened my spirits when I taken about my amnesia, I mean I have no clue who I was before I woke up in the hospital ten years ago. I was found on the side of the road, almost buried an inch into the snow. I was a girl with no name and no memories.

I travelled back and forth in America, taking the back roads as I was never allowed to walk upon the main road for two reasons. One of them being for my personal safety and the other being for the safety of society's rules and expectations. I slept in the woods, taking what I needed and working whenever I could. Mostly the job of a maid or the "help", although I hated that term, it was what I had come to realize I was wherever I would go. But despite all this I kept up my courage, foolish as it seems.

I explained to Barnum, telling him what I did remember an my life since I woke up in the hospital. How I could always hear a voice in my head, telling me to join them in Paris. 

"You don't know what it like, not to know who you are," I begun, looking at Phillip who seemed to have little empathy towards my story as I heard him roll his eyes while I was speaking. "I remember flashes of fire and I can hear the echo of screams, you don't know what it was like travelling this far alone and staying in the shadows.

But I have this little dream, this little light, that one day my memories will return and I will be able to find my family once again" Barnum gave my shoulder a little re-assuring squeeze before pulling Phillip over in the corner, they seemed to be arguing for a couple of minutes before Barnum tapped the side of Phillip's head, probably telling him to come to his sense. I mean that is what they do in my books when they try to get someone to think rationally again. 

"Hey, Anne wasn't it?" Phillip began, "Have you heard the rumours of the missing Lady Annaliese Wheeler?" 

"Yes, but that's all they are. Rumours." I said. "Aren't they?" 

"Maybe we can help you out, Anne" Phillip said, cocking his head to the side to the slightest bit, "It just so happens that we are going to Paris ourselves." 

I am one hundred percent sure that my face lit up in excited, I looked to Barnum for conformation, to which he gave a small nod as he begun to lead me out of the museum. Phillip following behind us. 

"We just need somewhere to talk, somewhere nobody can hear us." Phillip stated to nobody particular. 

"We can go to my apartment if you would like?" I offered, I know they were suggesting that I  could be the missing Annaliese, but how could I, an ordinary lonely girl, think or even believe that I was the equivalent  of a princess? 

It would be something that would only ever occur in my dreams, yet they made it sound so convincing that I couldn't help my self to listen to what they would have to say. And hey, it gets me to Paris and one step closer to finding out who I am. 



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