Quarantine has become a time where everything seems uncertain and the future appears bleak. It may be because of the media reporting mostly on daily casualties and also the difficulties doctors have to overcome to maintain the healthcare system as efficient as possible to save the most lives. However, we tend to forget that happiness is neither a physical object nor a person who may be lost or disappear in time and never to return. Happiness is a state of being; a moment where you find true fulfillment in what you do or what you’ve achieved. Tt can even become that time when a special someone can make you feel completely satisfied and full, because you know that, so long as that person remains with you, you won’t need anything else to feel content. Being quarantined may take away the physical connection with some of the people I love the most, especially my friends, whom are miles away from my home country and I have to communicate with via Whatsapp or videocall. Of course, I can’t complain too much given that these advances in technology at least give us the chance to stay connected throughout these difficult times, and yet I have started using it to distract myself from the outside world every now and then, when things get particularly heavy.
Thousand eyes are staring at me. I don't know what to do. Should I step forward and call them, make them notice me? They have already seen me enter and I'm scared I won't be able to turn back. I don't say anything for a while, everything seems surrounded by a cloud of silence that is impossible to break, and it makes me uncomfortable. The eyes don't blink, they simply watch me quietly, undecided. Am I an enemy, an intruder? Or am I a trustworthy individual? So as to not cause any undesired response, I remain as still and quiet as possible and my breathing seems to be the only thing betraying the silence. However, standing there for several minutes without moving proves to be a harder task than I had anticipated. I finally decide to go ahead and call them out. Why are you here and should I be here?
When I wake up, I find myself in the same room, dark and cold. Lonely. Nausea hits me almost instantly, so I remain tucked in bed for a longer while, wondering, thinking. My head cannot think too clearly but I know what I saw and, thankfully, I remember all of it. Max is not Max and my dad isn't who he was before The End. Images of past events over the last 24 hours run through my mind as if they were a marathon, trying to see which one would ingrain itself better inside my confused and disturbed head. I hear a soft knock and I don't answer. I'd rather stay sound asleep. It doesn't work. A guard comes in my room probably to check that I am still there. He sounds astounded that the rebellious teenager hasn't escaped or attempted to and that she's peacefully sleeping, unaware of her surroundings. He doesn't try to do much else other than check the cubicle, to ensure himself that it's not a trap. They are scared. The guards are beginning to fear me. I feel mighty all of a sudden. I have become a bigger threat than they or even I expected. I could use a bit of that power to my advantage. He leaves and closes the door. That's how I know he's a man. The way he locks my room, banging the door, without caring whether the patient is in need of rest. His walking manner is rather violent, his feet stepping on the ground noisily. I get out of bed and search for my bag. I can't find it. They must have taken it. I need to figure out a way to escape but the switch won't turn on, leaving me in darkness. I sit down on the cold tiled floor, waiting for an idea to hit my brain, but I'm so weak at the moment I can barely think straight. Silence is all that accompanies me. And suddenly, a dim light bulb appears over my head. I hear wind, a gentle passing of air from someplace above me. I look up and I see an air duct, almost indistinguishable in this pitch black room yet still standing out thanks to its metallic tones. Determined, I push my bed above it and try to figure out how to open it. Is it toxic to go through it? I don't know. I'm not one to try to sneak through air ducts during my free time, but there is always a first time for everything. It's too tight for me to break it, and so a rather strange idea comes to mind. I barely have any strength but I'm lucky exercise was something that was pushed for in this ship. Even though my body is exhausted, it somehow finds the strength to lift up the metal bed and push one of its legs into the entrance to the duct. The lid falls off, a metallic "bang" is heard, and I start worrying that a noise like that can alert unwanted visitors. I speed up the process, carefully dropping the bed back on the floor and bouncing lightly on the mattress, willing to escape this cell of a room once and for all. My feeble arms are able to push one last time and get me inside, my thin frame able to fit into the small hole that I hope won't allow for guards to pass given that they are much more muscular than me.
His saliva continues to impregnate my face and his arms have grasped my wrists tightly, while his knees are on my feet. I am immobile. Trapped under a man who I can't consider to be my father, but rather a lunatic, a creation of this villainous government in order to kill me or render me even crazier than I already am.