“I’ve been taking care of you—you’ve been asleep for a long time. Look.” He gestured around my room excitedly before turning back to me with the sparkling eyes of an American child on Christmas morning. I looked down at the fuzzy blanket that covered my body and moved my feet underneath it to confirm I was actually here and alive.
“I’ve got to be dreaming,” I thought. Stubbornly, they moved, much to my dismay, and I turned back to the vaguely familiar boy in my room, who was cocking his head at me questioningly.
“I’m sorry, but who are you?” I asked, simultaneously drawing back in shock at the sound of my own voice. It was a bit deeper than I remembered it being, and I cleared my throat, raising a fist to cover my mouth. I stopped midway at the sight of a white bracelet around my wrist that I had never seen before and raised my other hand to touch it, realizing there was a matching one encircling this arm as well. When I pressed my fingers to the bracelet, I couldn’t feel anything, and it became apparent that it wasn’t a bracelet at all, but some kind of marker or pen. After a few unsuccessful attempts to rub it away, I sat up, and took a moment to decide whether it was more unusual that I woke up with white circles tattooed around my wrists or that there was a vaguely familiar, but still unfamiliar boy in my room.
When I finally looked back up at him I remembered that I’d asked him a question, and he appeared to have answered it while I was in my stupor. “I’m sorry, again please. Do you know when I got these tattoos, or when I got dressed in these clothes? Did I go to a rager last night that I don’t remember? Did we…?” My voice, which remained unchanged, tapered off, and I watched his facial expression contort to mild horror, to match my own.
“Uh... No. We didn’t. And no you didn’t go to a rager last night. Those aren’t tattoos they’re your intensity, and those clothes are all I could find.” I guess he could see the embarrassed rage spreading across my face because he quickly interjected, “NO. I did not dress you, I had a floater do it. They can do things without having to see or touch. You have a lot to learn.” He grinned knowingly and I tilted my head, still a bit angry and confused about who might’ve undressed me in order to dress me. “Come on,” he said, “everyone’s waiting,” and with that he turned around and gracefully exited my bedroom. Before I could take a breath he poked his head back in and chirped, “Oh, by the way, I’m Axis. It’s really good to see you again, M.”
As he disappeared again I felt my brow furrow and frown deepen. “Again?” I thought, while looking around my room and noticing that there was something very wrong. There was none of my art on the wall, and no pictures of me and my dad. No dirty laundry on the floor, nothing in the closet, and no string lights around the perimeter of the ceiling. It was empty except for equally empty furniture, save the bed which had plain indigo bedding and me sitting atop it, and a pair of dirty brown boots at the foot of the bed. I stood up and gazed down at the plain black t-shirt, black jeans and slightly-too-big black denim jacket with copper buttons. “Dark,” I mused out loud, smiling, because whoever chose my outfit must’ve known what I liked. “Dark,” I repeated in a more condescending tone at my negative thinking. “I’ve got nothing to lose.” I shrugged and plopped back down on the bed, pulling the boots over and consequently leaving a trail of dried dirt which cracked and fell from the boots. After lacing and tying them I stood again and wiggled my toes, they fit like I’d been wearing them for months. I reveled in this as I moved slowly through the doorway of my room, marveling at the empty house which used to be filled with pictures and all of our junk. “It’s as bare and empty as you,” my subconscious vocalized.
“Come on, you’re gonna want to see this,” he said with a promise in his voice, pulling me along by the words he wove into a verbal rope. It constricted around me in a threatening, but strangely comforting way. I was entranced by him, but something in my subconscious told me to tread lightly. This was not my home.
Taking my hand, he nodded slightly in reassurance and turned his gaze to the front door of my little townhouse. He then pushed it open, causing it to swing wide and shed fresh afternoon light onto the dusty floor. I imagined if I was barefoot, it would warm my toes—I gazed down curiously at the dirty brown combat boots that adorned my feet, then back up at him and gave a nod back, feeling the blush rise over my neck and cheeks.
He squeezed my hand and gave a toothy, adorable smile, before pulling me through the door frame into the light, which caused me to raise an arm to shield my eyes. I heard a collective gasp by a very large crowd, and lowered my hand slowly, catching the soft glistening of the rings around my wrists in the light—they were almost transparent. What I saw next nearly took my breath.
Tell me what you think? Should I keep writing it?