The walls in the office were blue. That was part of the reason she liked going there. Throughout the rest of The Facility the walls were white. Even in her private living quarters there were nothing but white walls and concrete floors. Each inhabitant had the same furnishings for their rooms: a solid oak bed fitted with white linens, a bedside table with a drawer that contained a note pad and a pen, and a dresser that sat opposite the bed in which to keep their clothing. Everyone had the same clothing. Three pairs of jeans, a pair of khakis, four shirts and five sets of underclothes. Shoes were not necessary as no one was allowed to go outside. The inhabitants wore only white cotton slippers. Jewelry was forbidden, as were all forms of media, including print that was not specifically sanctioned by The Leader.
However, some inhabitants were allowed extra privileges. They were those who rose within The Facility to a second or third tier status by earning the trust of The Leader. They were allowed to help with managing the day to day activities of the inhabitants. The Leader had long ago found that this was required in order to successfully manage the group.
George was such a member. Hester had befriended him years ago and this had provided her with benefits that the other inhabitants did not have. Small things, such as television (although only news programs were allowed), a handful of books and magazines, and blue walls. He allowed her to come into his office whenever she wanted and join him as he worked on the daily business of The Facility. This morning she had spent hours pouring over copies of People Magazine. It reminded her of her time on the outside, before the breakdown. Her memories from that time were few and for the most part, they were too painful to recall. George worked on his spreadsheets while Hester read each article word for word. Often stopping and re-reading passages or questioning him on subjects such as, "What happened to the twin towers?" and "What exactly is a Kardashian?"
"I don't quite understand," Hester said in response to his attempt to answer the latter question.
"That's okay no one on the outside understands it either." George shared a laugh with his favorite of the inhabitants.
But Hester's laughter abruptly stopped as she turned the page of the magazine. George watched as she brought the paper closer to her face, as if trying to draw the information into herself.
"Hester, what's wrong?"
"That's my son." She held the magazine for George to see for himself.
George examined the page. It was an article about a bestselling author and her family. The instant he saw the name on the page, George knew that he had made a fatal miscalculation. "No Hester, your son is dead. Both your sons are dead. You've told me that many times. That's why you're here."
"That's what my husband told me but this is him." She shuddered as she brought the magazine back into her lap, staring at the man in the picture. "This is my Seeley."