They told me that the cure would remove these feelings. Feelings of guilt, loneliness and wishing I could change the past.
After Lena and Alex tried to cross to the Wilds, Mrs Tiddle said that I wouldn't remember them – or even care anymore, but she was wrong. It was 6 years ago when they planned their move; but as Carol told me, Alex was caught and thrown in the Crypts. Lena got over but I know her. She'll have died by now.
Just a rotting corpse lying in her own dried tears.
I was snapped out of these crippling thoughts by the sound of Grace running in the room above me. I named her after Lena's cousin. She was meant to be called Lena but Fred disagreed, after reading all the stories in the paper about her escape. I remember him saying "Our daughter's blood will be tainted by the name. She will grow to...to love" he said the word with so much hate and poison. Of course he is the mayor and a large part of the DFA so the deliria is disgusting to him. I'm not supposed to like it either and I don't, but I tolerate the disease by remembering the way that Lena and Alex looked at each other – like everything was possible.
The floorboards creaked as Grace slowly walked towards me. "Mum?" she asked quietly. I did not turn to her. I just kept looking out of the window backing onto Back Cove. The waves of electricity flowed through the wired wall on the hill-top. It hadn't been turned off since their escape because there had been many other unsuccessful escapes. Marie Cumberland tried to cross two years ago. I had once seen her at one of the music parties. Yes she was 4 years younger than me but that's probably why she was so impressionable. Like me, her cure didn't properly work, except when i can feel loneliness and sadness, she could feel love. She got diseased by a Invalid like Lena and they both got fried by the electric fence. While he died straight away she lived for another 2 weeks, writhing in pain.
But that what they say about amor deliria nervosa; it kills you when you have it and when you don't.
I answered Grace softly "Yes, dear?" her big brown-green eyes stared up at me.
"Tell me the story. The story of Lena." I had once told Grace the story of what happened to Lena and Alex. I did it against Fred's back though and he grilled me for it. Telling a 5 year old a beautiful 'Romeo and Juliet' type story that was real is stupid, especially when you live in a society when you will be imprisoned or murdered for loving someone.
"No." I said simply. She took it and walked away with her shoulders slumped and making sad puppy dog noises.
So there I was. Sat in the bay window looking out at memories that cloud my dreams. Looking out at the ghosts of my two best friends.