Sai's POV of Glass Cage Project (more Americanized)
So it begins..
The sky was blue. I stretched out my hand and my finger made circular motions towards the clouds, in attempt to move them. My other hand blocked the sun's beams shining into my eyes. A smile was planted on my face. I love days when I have no school. One of my favorite things to do is lay in the grass and watch the sky. A breeze passes my body and the grass sways in delight. Its fine tips tickle my exposed legs.
I lay there until the sun is behind a nearby tree, the shade slowly reaching out to me. I have to go home now. I will come back tomorrow. I promise.
I sit up and stretch out my arms and legs. My bike is still resting against the giant rock near the dirt road. I sit up and wipe off my shorts, which have grass stains now. I lazily walk over to my bike, its handle bars turned at an angle to hold it up against the rock. I lift my bike up and swing my right leg over the seat and adjust myself to a comfortable posture on the cushion.
The streets are quieting down, and streetlights begin to light up as the sun begins to descent beyond the horizon. I peddle at a steady pace, hurrying to reach home before the sun is completely settled, but I want to watch the sun set, the sight so beautiful.
I turn a corner of the deserted street at a fast rate and I barely have time to slow down when I almost run into a man dressed in white. "Watch out!" I yell but he barely jumps out of the way in time. The bike stops suddenly by hitting the curb and my body barely flies off. "I'm so sorry. Are you okay?" I brush the hair out of my eyes to see the man is standing up and wiping off his suit.
"Yes, yes. I'm sorry I was in your way, but you should really watch where you're going." He says, but a grin is planted on his face. Papers have fallen out of his suitcase. "Uhm, here let me help you." I say as I get off my bike and reach down to grab a few of the papers that have scattered over the now dark sidewalk.
"Thank you. You have a good heart to help me." He says to me as he puts the papers back into their designated spots. "You're welcome, sir. I'm sorry for running into you. It's the least I could've done." I smile back to him.
"What is your name, by chance?" He pulls out a piece of paper and a pen.
I hesitate a while, I don't know this man, not enough to give him my name. " Can I ask why you need my name?"
His eyes twinkle at me as he smiles and his lips start moving. "I am from a scientist who is working on the Glass Cage Project. I am sure you have heard of it?"
The Glass Cage Project. I've seen things about that on TV. All I know about it is that the scientists want to combine thought entities of humans. So that the people of Earth can understand one another better by feeling what the other feels. They believe it will end the war that is going on and create peace. "Sai." I blurt out.
"Great. Nice to meet you Sai. My name is Ruota. Here's my card. If you're interested in the project. We could use a volunteer." His smile comes off a little eerie, but I smile back anyways. "Thanks. I'll keep that in mind." I reply as I grab my bike and get adjusted on it. "Well I have to go home now, sorry bout before. Nice meeting you, Ruota." I'm already a few feet down the road when I wave my arm his direction.
I arrive at home and lock up my bicycle in the small shed next to the house. The porch light is on but the windows are dark. I open the front door and step foot into the house. I take off my shows and head straight into the kitchen. "Sorry I was late, Mom. I ran into someone today." I sit down on a cushion next to my father at the table.
"Someone from school, Sai?"
"No, I litterally ran into him. I was on my bike and-"
"Sai! You have to be careful! Was he hurt? You stopped to make sure he was okay right?"
"Yes, Mom. He even said I was kind hearted. He gave me a card with his name. Apparently he's working on that Glass Cage Project."
My mother and father both stop what they're doing and glance at me. "You can't be serious. Why would someone working on a project as big as the Glass Cage be walking around our small town?" My father says.
"'Dunno, but the idea sounds pretty neat. He asked me if I wanted to be a volunteer. I almost wanted to say yes!" I smile.
"Hm, I don't know. They havn't leaked out much information on this. I don't know if it's safe." Says my mother.
"Sai is almost 19, Yuri. I think she is old enough to make her own decisions." My father says. He takes a drink of his sake and wipes his mouth afterwards. " I think this would be a great opportunity for Sai. She can learn something from these guys. Not to mention, if this project succeeds, the scientists will become famous and Sai might even be famous herself. Think about it." My father smiles at me and I know he means everything he's saying.
"Thank you, Daddy!" I say and crawl on my knees over to him and give him a hug. "I'll go call Ruota right now and tell him I'll be a volunteer and stuff." I jump off of the floor and run to the telephone. I dial the number that is on the card and the phone starts to ring. I stand impatient and fidget with the cord until a voice answers on the other side. " Hello?" The voice is deep but I know it has to be Ruota.
"Ruota? This is Sai. I wanted to let you know that I want to volunteer for the Glass Cage Project."
"Ah, Sai! I'm so glad to hear that. We will begin tomorrow afternoon. I will come by your house to pick you up. Where exactly do you live?" He says.
I tell him my address and he says a final "Thank you." and hangs up.
I barely have slept, I've been excited about seeing what this project of theirs will really do. I've packed up all my belongings. Just like Ruota told me on the phone last night. I can hardly eat anything, adrenaline and excitement runs through my body. I sit by the front window and watch for any cars to pull up to the front of our house. It's about 2 in the afternoon when I see a simple black car pull up into our driveway. I grab my stuff and call to my parents to come meet Ruota.
"Hello, Sai. Are you ready to come visit the science lab?" Ruota gives my family and me a simple handshake. My father and Ruota exchange a few words before I hug both my parents goodbye. "Call us when you're not too busy!" My mother cries out to me.
"I won't! Don't worry. I'll miss you!" I say to them as I lower myself into the front seat of the car.
The car ride is only 20 minutes long, but it's not the city that takes my breath away. It's the science lab. It looks to be 8 stories high and very wide. There's barely any windows on the building. The lab is a few miles out from the main city. A small concrete road connects the city limit to the entrance of the lab. "Well, we are here." Ruota smiles at me and I open the door of the car and step outside. The air seems a little dirtier here than what I'm used to in my small town.
We walk up to the main doors, and Ruota slides a blue card in a slot and puts in a type of pass-code. The doors slide open and I follow Ruota inside. The walls are white and the main hallway smells like a doctors office. "I'll show you to the other scientists then I'll show you the room you will be occupying." He doesn't glance at me as he says this.
I follow him into a room that has 8 to 10 scientists busily looking at whatever it is they are working on. "Attention everyone. Our volunteer catalyst has shown up." Ruota steps over and the scientists all look over at me. I try not to look them in the eyes, but one of them catches my eyes. His white hair stands out amongst the others. I stare into his eyes until he looks away and Ruota begins to talk again. "I will be showing her where she will be staying. She is to be left alone until we are ready to begin examining her." The other scientists nod in agreement and turn back to what they were doing before the interruption.
"Sai, if you would. I'll show you your room." He walks back out into the smelly hallway and I follow him, my footsteps echoing in the hall.
We come to a white door with the number 4589 in gold on the door. "This is your room for the time being. It's not much, but it should work." He opens the door. I step in and it's no larger than possibly a large walk in closet. One small window perches above a small single bed. "It's… kinda small don't you think?" I turn around but I see the doorway is empty. I set my bag on my new bed and stand on my tiptoes to look outside the window. All I see is another white wall on the other side. No green anywhere. I'm starting to feel isolated. I hope I can get a new room eventually or at least this will be worth something later on.
I'm woken up at what feels like the crack of dawn and I am led by one of the scientists to a locked room with a dark blue door. "This way." He says and I follow his hand gesture into the room. The room is dimly lit and a table is laid out in the middle of the room and machines of all sizes are set up around the table. A giant screen resides at the northernmost part of the room.
"Ah, Sai. Welcome to the smaller lab. We will be doing a few tests. Are you ready to begin?" Ruota says to me. I nod half reluctant. He grabs a dark purple robe for me to put on. "Is there a bathroom I can use?" I ask. "No, no. No need. You will be undressed for most of the tests. It's a lot easier for us." He grabs a check board and begins marking things on a piece of paper. "You can begin undressing now, Sai." He points the pen at my red jacket and I hesitantly take it off.
I've fully stripped down to my bra and underwear and my body feels exposed and cold. I wrap my arms around me to keep me warm but they do nothing. I am escorted over to the table and I'm told to lay down. Four scientists examine me. They start marking my body with arrows and dots. I don't know what for. I lay there motionless. Wondering what I got myself into. I want to go home. I want to be in my bed. I want to lay on my grassy hill and watch the clouds again.
I am tested for a few days and on one of the days one of the scientists drew blood from my left leg. I have a white bandage on it now, but on occasion I still feel the pain from the needle and the soreness and tender skin wake me up and return me to the reality set out before me. I lay in my small bed at night, holding my plushie octopus, and sometimes tears fall from my eyes. I wonder if I will wake up and find it all to be a dream. A nightmare. Will I be able to leave this place? I haven't been able to call my parents. Ruota has prohibited it. He says I can't tell anyone about what's going on here at the lab. He said it's confidential. I close my eyes and cry into the stiff piece of cloth they call a pillow. The moonlight leaves a small square shape on the floor from whatever light can get through. I stare at it while the hot tears start to subside. The moon reminds me that life still goes on outside this small dark room. That there is hope I, too, will rejoin the real world once again. I wipe the tears from my cheeks and smile softly to myself. I sit up in the bed and move over to sit in the middle of the moonlight. I look up and see the crescent moon smiling down on me through my tiny little window. I hold up my thumb to see that it is the same size when held out. I think of home and the smell of the hot tea my mother usually makes before she would go to bed. The huffing and gruffing my father would make while reading his books or the newspaper. I close my eyes and picture my grassy hill, sleeping flowers sway in the night breeze and the trees dance in the moons soft glow.
A clicking sound brings my hazy mind back into the real world and I turn my head to find the door to my small room cracked open. The white haired scientist I saw my first day here takes slow and small steps into my room. He closes the door behind him and holds out his hand. A few pieces of taffy rest in the small of his palm. " Take them. Please." He holds his hand out farther and I can't help but accept his small gifts.
"I don't understand… Why are you giving this to me?" I whisper to him. He puts a finger to his lips and turns back towards the door and makes his exit quiet. I stand there confused but I don't know if I should trust this candy he handed to me. I don't know if it really is taffy or some type of creation they want me to take. I hide the candy under my pillow and lay back down on the bed and stare up at the ceiling, until the thoughts of my hill slowly take me back to the darkness.
Today the doctors are going to be testing my brain waves by putting wires to my head. I lay on the table as they cut off pieces of my hair and apply some sticky substance to the bald spots so the wires will stick to my skull. The goop is cold and sends chills down my spine down to my toes. I'm in nothing but a purple hospital type robe. The room feels colder than it had the last few days. I close my eyes, tired from the previous nights lack of sleep. My eyes feel tender from my crying episode that I had in my room.
The test lasts only a few hours but once I'm done I am excused to my quarters until the results show up. They said I am free to do whatever I want, but I don't have much to do. I sit on the edge of my bed and stare down at my violated body. I feel no longer human. I only feel as though I am a test subject. A guinea pig. I am no longer Sai. I am someone I don't know. If I looked in a mirror I wouldn't be able to identify the girl I am looking at. My hair is cut short. Half of it hangs in my face. My head is still covered with the icky goop and I have no way of washing it out. Ruota showed me that there is a bathroom down the hall from my room, and a security guard will escort me from my room to there. I am not allowed to be unsupervised. I don't understand why. Do they think I will try to escape? If I knew how, I would've tried already. I stare down at the white bandage on my leg. It's still pretty clean. The doctors have been changing it every time they draw more blood. It still feels tender, I'm sure a bruise covers the area where the needle stabbed into my flesh. I don't know what to do anymore. I feel as though I no longer can control my own body. Or take care of it. I can not shower and I barely get anything good to eat. I'm fed this terrible oatmeal like stuff that tastes like water and grain. I feel terrible. I feel sickly. I want to go home and eat proper food. I miss the meals my mother would cook. She made the best steamed white rice with teriyaki chicken on top mixed with vegetables of all kinds.
My stomach growls at the thought of real food. My hand finds it's way to my abdomen and rests there. I try to think of something else, but my mind always finds a way back to food. I hear mumbled voices outside the door and I sit up in full alert.
"… Results. ….. Yes.." I hear a voice I don't recognize. One of the scientists must be talking to the guard that he is going to tell me the results of the testing today. The white haired man walks into the room and closes the door. He holds a brown box and walks over to me. He sets the box on the bed and takes off the lid. Inside sits dozens of different chocolates. He holds the box up with his free hand and holds it out to me. I hesitate, but the sweet sugary smell possesses me to grab one of the smaller chocolates.
"I thought you might be hungry. I found these in town today, while I was supposed to be getting more lab supplies and medical equipment." He grabs a chocolate himself and I watch him take the first bite. He chews on his for a while and points at the uneaten candy in my hand. "It's not going to hurt you. I promise." He grabs another piece and pops it into his mouth. I follow his action and put my own piece into my mouth. My taste buds rejoice at the taste of something other than plain grain and water. I close my eyes as I grab one piece of chocolate after another. My body is ecstatic to have such deliciousness make its way into my system.
"I better be going." He stands up and walks over to the door. "My name is Shin. I want to thank you for being the catalyst, Sai. I'm sure you will do a great job. I'm sorry you have to put up with this. If I could run things, I would make it more pleasant for you. Sadly I can not. You won't have to put up with anymore soon. You're really strong. It's people like you that make me feel happy to be alive." Shin smiles at me and I open my mouth to say something, but my mind goes blank as soon as my mouth is fully wide. Shin is already out the door.
"Thank you, Shin, for being so kind." I mumble to the door.
Tomorrow is supposed to be the launch day of the Glass Cage Project. Ruota is excited to see that his theory of humans being able to understand each other through each other's thoughts really will work. I'm not sure what I will be doing. Shin hasn't come since the other day when he brought me chocolates. I hope he is doing okay. I could hardly sleep. Ruota told me that I am to rest today so that I can be fully charged up for the big even tomorrow. I don't get how he can think I will be able to sleep when my body is exhausted and in so much pain. Locked up in this room they want me to call home for the time being. I hate it here. I absolutely hate it.
A lot of my clothes from home have been cut with scissors due to some out of the lab examinations. All I am left with is shorts and one of my favorite jackets. I try not to wear the jacket just in case one of the doctors have to come in and I have no time to take it off. It's my only dear thing that keeps me close to home. Home… I wonder how my mother and father are doing. Have they tried to contact me at all? Are they worried? Do they miss me?
I'm sure they do. They have to. I'm their only daughter. Only child. I hope my mother hasn't cried yet. I know she is strong. I think I have most of her bravery in me. I hope my father is there to comfort my mother when she does cry. I'll be home soon to hug you both. Don't worry. I promise I won't leave you.
Night comes along and I can't sleep. I can't stop thinking about Shin. I wonder if he's busy setting up for tomorrow or if he doesn't want to be near me. I must smell from the lack of showers. Not to mention my hair is disgusting and my body feels greasy and grody. I rub my dry hands over my arms hoping to clean off some of the dead skin that rests upon me. No use. My hands feel so weak and my body feels as though I could collapse at any second. I have to be strong. I'm sure the event may be televised tomorrow. I can't show that I am a mess.
I lay down on my uncomfortable bed and close my eyes tight, hoping I can fall asleep. A brisk knock opens my eyes. I stare at the door, hoping that it's Shin. Thankfully, he walks in the door, all quiet like always, and sits on the edge of my bed. "Hello, Sai." he says. His eyes show sadness. The room is dark, but it looks as though he is crying. "I'm so sorry, Sai. I wish this wasn't happening. The way you've been treated. They want me to move you to another room, to prepare you for what's to come. I came in here to tell you, that you most likely won't like it." He stares down at his palms and his hands sit motionless on his lap. He raises them up to his face and sobs into his palms. "It's terrible. How can they treat a human like this? I don't understand. How can these scientists be so selfish. I joined the team thinking we would help humankind, not help them in the way they abuse another one to gain the satisfaction of a project that might not even work out. I don't understand any of it." He turns his head to mine and I sit there motionless, watching this stranger cry in front of me. Yet, he doesn't feel like a stranger. He feels more like a friend, a friend I've lost but have now found.
My right hand rises on its own and my thumb brushes away the hot tears that have left trails on his cheeks. His mouth opens up in disbelief that I am touching him, in the state that he is in. "It's okay. I know you're a good person, Shin. I can tell that you, too, have a good heart." I smile to him. He grabs my hand and folds his around it. The warmth and softness almost make me flinch. My hands are so dry and cold I am not used to any warmth at all. He kisses the top of my hand and stares into my eyes. "Sai…" He whimpers. I put a finger up to his lips and I lean in and rest my forehead against his.
"Don't say anything." I put my left hand on his other cheek and lean in and my lips brush softly against his. His hand folds his fingers between mine and my body feels chills as the warmth connects to my very cold veins. He kisses me deeper and I don't bother to fight against him. I am happy. For once in a long time, I feel happy. I still feel empty, but I no longer feel like crying. I no longer feel as though I will die here. Hope has begun to fill my mind once again.
One of his hands touches my bandages and I pull away and bite my lip. "I'm sorry, Sai. I didn't know there was something there." His hands go up in an apologetic manner and I shake my head and giggle. "What?" He chuckles. " Nothing. Kiss me. Again." I say, my voice trailing off with every word. He kisses me, this time longer. "I have to go, Sai. I've been in here too long. I will see you tomorrow. If I can I will try to get you out of here." At once he gets up and leaves the room, without even letting me say a goodbye.
Gray light peeps into my room and I open my eyes. I don't know how long I've been asleep, but I don't think I was very long. My dreams were filled with thoughts of my grassy hill, but I am not alone there. Shin is lying next to me, our hands tangled together. "I will try to get you out of here." His words float around in my head. I touch my lips with my fingers, the soft feeling of his lips still linger on them.
A hard knock breaks the silence of my room and a different scientist enters my room. " Sai, you are to be moved to a different location for preparation of the Cage Glass Project. Please, follow me." I grab whatever I have left in my small room and follow the scientist to my new room. This scientist isn't very tall. He seems to have a hunch back and as he walks he holds both his hands behind his back. His hair is starting to bald on the top of his head, and a few gray hairs are starting to show. I giggle when I think about the time my father found a gray hair on his head and how he made it into a big deal. My mother had to calm him down before she could even have a normal conversation with the old man.
We arrive at double doors at the end of a dim hallway. The scientist opens the doors and I can only see a red glow coming from inside. He rests his hand on my back and lightly pushes me into the room. I assume it is a large laboratory due to all the computers and monitors spread out around the room. Only a few of the scientists are in the room, each one setting up for the big event taking place today. I almost forgot I am a part of it. The main part.
"Oh, hello, Sai. Our main star has arrived!" Ruota clasps his hands together and smiles down at me. I don't buy his cheerful attitude anymore. I feel as though he is putting on a fake presentation. "Our catalyst has arrived. Put her in the chamber for detox."
A woman in all white grabs my elbow and ushers me into a glass container. She strips me of all my clothing, so I am left bare naked. All the marks they put on me are at full display. I hear hissing sounds coming from above me and I barely have time to look away before hot water falls down over me. The steam of the water clouds the glass, and I stand there dancing, trying to find a way out from under this boiling water. The whole container is covered with showerheads shooting out the same temperature of water. The shower is finished after 5 minutes, and my body is red and irritated from the heat. The woman comes in with a brush and bucket. She puts some weird green clear liquid on the brush and begins to rub my body. The marks stay there, but my body feels as though it is being cleansed. When she is finished, I am given a purple robe that is open on the sides. The woman puts it on and ties the ends together. I am then led into a small room that has no windows and told to sit down and wait. One chair is in the room. I sit in the chair, it's a folding chair. Not exactly comfortable.
Ten or so minutes pass and the door opens up and Shin walks in. I almost want to stand up and run over to him and hug him, but his face shows that it isn't a good idea. My eyes start to feel steamy, but I hold back the tears. I will not cry, not in front of Shin, and not in front of the other scientists. I will show them I am strong, that they did not break me. Shin comes over and applies a few stickers to my body. Two on my torso, one on my neck, three on my abdomen, and two on the sides of my head. "I'm sorry I couldn't get to you in time." He says as he begins his exit out of the room. I am left sitting alone, in the dim lighting of this empty room, and I start to feel lonely again.
"Glass Cage will now commence. Please report to your stations." A man's voice announces over loudspeakers. "Glass Cage will now begin."
I stand up and walk over to the door to find it unlocked. I open it to find three of the scientists standing and awaiting their duties. They do a once over of my body and when they see it fit to their standards, they lead me over to a giant machine that is connected to a glass tube. I take a seat inside the open tube and lay my head down on the cold surface. The scientists connect the wires to my stickers that Shin had applied earlier. The cords run up and connect to the machine near my head. I lay there, frightened, yet curious as to what's going to happen.
The glass closes around me and I can't help but gasp at the sudden feeling that I am trapped. I feel paralyzed, like I can't move. No matter how much I try to get my arms to rise and bang on the glass, my body doesn't respond. I close my eyes and try to find a happier place to be. The machine behind me begins to hum as it turns on and warms up. The glass drowns out the loud ringing sound it is creating. I feel suddenly sleepy, yet I do not want to close my eyes.
A silver sheet of metal closes over the top of the glass, and I am left to sit in complete darkness. The only thing I am able to hear is the humming of machines. I have no choice but to close my eyes.
"SUCCESS! IT REALLY WORKED!" Ruota exclaims. A day has passed since my time inside the machine. I was let free from it, but I do not know how many exact hours I was asleep inside of that horrible encasement. Shin glances over and me and smiles. He gives me a thumbs up and a few other scientists follow his lead and give me a small pat on the shoulder. "Good job, Sai. Without you this wouldn't have been able to happen." I can't hear anyone's thoughts, so I assume I wasn't affected. The room is silent and a few of the scientists all smile at each other and do a few handshakes in congratulatory manners. I stand there watching them, all happy. I do not feel happy. I feel like I have been used for selfish reasons.
"When can I go back home." I say.
"Eventually, Sai. Don't worry. You will be able to celebrate this with your family once we announce that we have succeeded in our theory." Ruota smiles down at me but I do not return the favor.
I am led back into my empty and cold room, and I grab the pillow and throw it at the door. I start to cry and my body is so tired from this, that I collapse on the floor. My head stares down at my legs, hardly able to move anymore. I feel as though I am dying.
Night falls but I am in no hurry to move from my position on the floor. My whole body is lying against the cold tiles. My eyes are too tired to let any tears fall from them. My mind is blank. I am thinking of nothing. I lay there, motionless and to awake to sleep, that I just stare down at the small square of moonlight that seeps into my room. The only light I can depend on. I no longer feel full of hope. I start to believe this is the end for me. That once I'm used, they will throw me out of keep me. But I don't know how my parents will react to the state I am in.
The creak of the door doesn't startle me, I continue staring at the moonlight, watching the dust speckles floating around, free, and careless. If only I could join them, how I miss being so free. Doing what I want whenever I want. To eat anything I can get my hands on. To skip around in a field of flowers and dance in the rain. How badly I dread to feel that way once again.
"Sai…" It's Shin's voice. "Sai, we need to leave now. Something's gone wrong." His voice is hysterical.
I turn my aching body towards his voice and he is leaning over me. His hands reach down and he slides them under me. I don't make a sound as he carries me out the door. The halls are empty and half the lights are off. "Shin… Shin, what's going on?" I croak out. "Don't worry. I'll explain when we're away from this place." He says.
My weak hand finds the collar of his coat and I use what's left of my strength and willpower to hold onto it. I close my eyes, as my ears listen to the beating of his frantic heart.
My eyes open at the sound of a gentle breeze blowing through trees. TREES! I sit up quickly to capture my surroundings. Everything is blurry at first but it comes into focus after a while. I am surrounded by trees and grass and flowers. I smile and lay down and roll around on the soft earth beneath me. "Oh, grass, how I have missed you!" I chime. I hum to myself as I run my fingers in the grass, no longer feeling tired. I stand up and dance beneath the tree and leap around in the flowers. I stop for a moment to see that it is mid afternoon of the next day. Was I passed out for that long of a time?
I squint my eyes to look for any sign of Shin, but all I see is my jacket resting against the tree trunk, a long with my stuffed octopus. I recognize where I am. I am in the abandoned field behind my town's park. Why did he leave me here? Could he not go any farther? Did he think I'd be able to find my way back to my home on my own? A small feeling of pain shoots up my arm and I see a small band-aid taped across the crease of my elbow. I must've been given a shot. What kind? I don't feel so tired and I don't feel so thirsty or hungry. Did he give me a shot that would help me out on getting home? Oh, Shin. If only I could thank you personally. I will have to find you someday.
I grab my jacket and quickly put it on and grab my plushy as I dart off towards my house. I run past the empty playground, which is weird, usually there are a few kids here and there. Specially on a nice day like today. My chest starts to hurt from pushing myself so hard to run when I've been in bad shape the past few days. I don't stop. I keep pushing myself, I wont be satisfied till I am at home and in my parent's arms. I finally see my street coming into view and I run faster. Tears sting my eyes as I make my way around the turn and I see my house only a few yards away. I keep running and I finally reach the front door. It's locked.
I knock on the door a couple of times, but no one answers. I remember my mother hiding a spare key under the placemat just in case I lost my key. I look under the mat, the potted plants, and above the door frame, but nothing is there. I sigh and decide to try the back door. I hastily climb the fence and leap over. Our garden never looked more beautiful than I had last seen it. "I'll come back and look at all of you!" I manage to say after I catch my breath at the back door. The door leads to the hall way between my room and my parent's. It's unlocked. I open it up quickly and I run inside. My eyes are heavily flowing with hot tears, my parents have no idea how much I've missed them.
I run to their door, to find it closed. They can't be sleeping still, I don't think the televised airing of the Glass Cage's success ran so late last night. I fiddle with the door handle, eager to get inside, to hug my parents. "MOM! DAD! I'm home! I missed you guys!" I yell as I burst through the door. Two bodies lie together in the bed. "Mom?" I loudly say. The lump doesn't move. "Mom, wake up, didn't you miss me? I'm home… Daddy?" I manage to get out after a few sobs start to escape my throat. "Please wake up, your little girl is home… wa- wake u-up." My hands rise to my eyes and I squat down on the floor of my parent's bedroom and sob into my hands.
I decide I have to see what's wrong. I stand up and linger over to the side my mother is sleeping on. Her dark brown hair is laying on her pillow, her eyes are closed.
I pull down the sheets to examine the rest of her. Her body is in one piece, but one thing causes a sob to escape. One hand covers my mouth, to hold back a scream, the other reaches out to my no longer breathing mother. "Mom-mmy." I mumble through my quivering lip. I collapse on her motionless body and I hold her hand in mine. It's cold. I wipe the loose hair from her face, and kiss her cheek, one last time. Why is she dead? Why is my father dead also? What happened while I was unconscious? I need to find Shin. He can explain.
I tuck my father and mother into the bed, kissing each of them on the cheek.. I say my goodbyes and decide to make my way back to the field.
I reach the field and as I thought, I find Shin sitting beneath the trunk of the tree.
"Shin, I need answers. What happened last night?" I ask.
"The project was a success, but something wasn't quite right. Ruota televised that his idea was a success and that we should be able to sense what our friends and families are thinking, without even communicating by words. People lined up outside, excited that the project was truly remarkable and that the idea in the first place was pretty eccentric. Ruota told everyone that the risks were high in the process of testing the whole thing out, but he was glad he kept going. He not once mentioned you. Nor any of us scientists. I think this whole thing was just so Ruota could become a rich bastard." He clenches his fists around a small seed. "But… Ruota was wrong about one thing. Apparently the ability to communicate with everyone was through sleeping. So eager as everyone was, they went to bed as soon as the airing was over. I stayed awake long enough to find you and rescue you from that horrible place. I was lazily minding my own business when one of the doctors came into the room and was yelling "He died! He died!" I was able to calm the man down long enough for him to tell me that he was examining the process using Ruota as a subject, and his heart started to slow. The dr. was trying all he could to figure out what was causing this reaction, but he tried to wake up Ruota, but he couldn't. Ruota died in his sleep.
"Many of the other scientists have also passed away in an attempt to test out the their own creation." I sit next to him and hold onto his clenched fish and lay my head against his shoulder. "I went home today." I say. He doesn't say anything so I continue. " I was so excited to tell my parents I was home… But I guess they too passed away in their sleep." Tears start to fog my eyesight but I won't let them fall. "I'm sorry, Sai. I wish there was something I could've done to stop all of this." He says. His eyes show pity and I can't bare to look into them. I stand up and he stays sitting.
"What now, Sai?" He asks me.
"I think it's time I wonder around on my own for a bit." I say. He nods at me and I walk away from that spot. Hoping I can find somewhere I can be alone.
A few years have passed since then. I sit in an abandoned hotel room. Tree roots have corroded the floor and the walls. The bed smells of mildew and moss. It doesn't bother me.
It glistens in the sunlight that peaks in through the tree's canvas. Only it can end my loneliness. It will make the pain go away. It will end all my troubles and fear. I am alone. I may always be alone.
It pierces my skin. I feel the cool liquid enter my veins, the scars of my past, slowly coming back, but quickly leaving my brain. My eyes go fuzzy and I can't help but feel tired. My body is numb. I have to close my eyes. I must escape this. I feel no other way to cope with the painful memories. It will all end soon…
The last thing I think about before I pass on… is the image of Shin and I, hand in hand, laying on that small hill…