Chapter Twelve

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It was in the morning when I was doing my yoga that I finally saw the cat's underneath region. It was a boy, so I named him Kevin.

All night long, Kevin couldn't keep still. He would lay at the foot of my cot, then try and play with my curtain wall then go chasing after what looks like a mouse but I hoped it wasn't. And now when I was doing my morning yoga, he was in the corner eating the few crackers I crumbled up for him that he seemed to enjoy.

Just like clockwork, once it was firmly morning and the sun was up, I heard the basement door open and Kayla came down the stairs.

She was groggy like she usually was in the morning but then she saw Kevin and stopped in her tracks. "Where did you get a cat?"

I shrugged and sat down on my cat. "I don't know. He just appeared down here." She didn't seem convinced so I pointed up at the window. "He first showed up over there. Then he somehow came down here."

She clearly didn't believe me, but there wasn't much of a logical explanation for how a cat got in a basement with only a locked door leading to it.

"Whatever, let's get this show on the road." She stepped up to the cell and waited for me to stick my arm through. I got up from my cot and held it out for her. After only two weeks my forearms were scarred with bite marks from her fangs.

She opened her mouth and I turned away before she bit down.

***

When I woke up, I was on my cot. Kayla did always make sure I woke up not slumped on the floor.

While I waited for my body to wake up, Kevin kept circling me and eventually laid down on my chest. I wanted to reach up and pet him.

"You're waking up faster," Kayla said. I looked over at her and saw that she was sitting against the far wall with my gift sitting next to her. This time, I had a special request.

"And you're still here. Why?" She usually doesn't stay after her work is done.

She stood up and grabbed my backpack that I asked her to get for me and brought it over to my cell. "I was curious why you would want your backpack when it only had your school books in it."

"I told you. There's something special in it."

"Yes, but you didn't tell me what it was."

"That's because it's personal."

Neither of us said anything while we waited for my body to wake up. The only benefit to this being what felt like the umpteenth time was that my body no longer needed an hour to sober up. Only about twenty minutes.

Once I was able to move, I stood up and walked over to the door of the cell. Kayla unlocked it and handed my backpack through, then closed the door and locked it again. It was too big to fit through the bars because of all the textbooks and I specifically told her not to take anything out.

"You can go now," I told you.

"No way. I want to see what special thing you couldn't live without from your old life." She smirked at me.

I rolled my eyes and crouched down to go through my bag. It was hidden in a secret pouch that some girl probably used to keep tampons in, but I used to keep this. I pulled out a photo of a woman with white-blonde hair holding a baby and showed Kayla.

"That's me and my mother, okay. I just wanted something to remember my old life with." 

Kayla nodded and almost looked like she was embarrassed. "Okay." Then she turned and went back up the stairs.

I sat down on my cot and looked at the picture. The woman was beautiful and smiling a big goofy smile at the camera, almost like she was trying to make a silly face. And there I was as a baby just sleeping.

I flipped the picture over and looked at the back. And there it was.

Lora & Mia

I remember when I found this picture when I was rifling through the attic. It was in a box full of other photos of this woman with the white-blonde hair and crystal blue eyes. A woman with the same hair as me. A woman with the same eyes as me. A woman I had never met before.

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