By: Sarah Ruth
Last Updated on: November 28, 2021
Image by: BEA
My eyes snap open, and I look back and forth. Where am I? I look down at my hands. Have they always looked like that? I wrack my brain searching for an answer to this question, but nothing is coming to my mind. Why can’t I remember anything? Panic climbs up my throat and begins to suffocate me.
I stand, my legs feel weak, and I shake slightly. I stumble into the wall beside me. Using the wall to support me, I look around at the room around me. How I got here was a mystery, there was no way back and no way forward, just a dingy empty room. Tears well up in my eyes, and I place my hand on my chest, calming myself down like my mother used to do. My mother! A wave of relief passed over me as a memory returned. It was small, possibly insignificant, but it was there.
I look back up to see the room changed- or had I just missed it? A piece of paper lay on the corner of the floor. I pick it up and stare at the page, a series of numbers: 84-31-20. Was it a lock combination? It looked familiar.
“Is this some messed up escape room?” I murmur.
I try to focus on the numbers, but I can’t seem to force a memory. I’m going to be trapped here forever, aren’t I?
I close my eyes and rub my hands over my face, “I just want out,” I whimper.
Distant yelling fills my head. 84-31-20, 84-31-20, 84-31-20. I take a deep breath and remember.
I look to the other side of the room and see a safe sitting on the ground. What sort of nightmare is this? I kneel in front of the safe and turn the nob 84… 31… 20- click.
I open the safe and feel around inside. I slide out a single piece of paper. This time there is a picture of what I assume is a family.
“Is that my family?” I ask quietly, tracing my fingers over the smiling people.
“I have a sister? Or a brother? Which one am I?”
My eyes wander from the page; I see a mirror on the safe. I pick it up and stare at it. So this is how I look. I raise my hand to my face and trace my cheekbones, lips, and nose.
I look back at the picture and feel my heart begin to ache.
“I have my mom’s nose,” I say, looking down at the photo.
How was I going to get out? Was there an out to find? I begin to pace the length of the room. Was it even a good idea to follow these clues? Maybe I forgot for a reason.
A slip of paper fell in front of me.
“Where did you fall from?” I whisper, but I know there is no answer.
Papers start falling all around me, faster and faster. I grab a handful and stare at them,
NUO, WAKE UP
My head begins to ache, and I grab it tightly.
My eyes snap open, and I look back and forth. Where am I? This is eerily familiar; I look down at my hands. Those are my hands. They have always looked that way, maybe fewer burn marks from baking at one point. Someone grabs my hand and says something, I look up.
It’s my mom, and she has my nose.