Please let him already remember me a bit…
“Constance’s woken up,” Evan reminded me for the second time in an hour as I tried to calmly carry myself and the memory machine I needed to test down to where he’d told me that Constance had been undergoing assimilation therapy ever since the whole group of runaways had been captured. “They put the little port behind his ear like they did with Emma and her little seeing ball- which, by the way, soon won’t be necessary as we’ve been working ’round the clock to completely restore her vision- and we’re now ready to-”
Hands clenching and a sweating back are signs of nervousness, right?
“Thank you for what you’ve done, Evan. Please just go work on your own things now; I need to do this alone.” I waved him off, and he reluctantly turned around, heading to whoever he was checking on now. “Alright, Yasmin, the time’s come to do this now…”
I turned the doorknob with one profusely sweaty palm and entered Constance’s room, where he was still slightly dazed and confused from the cocktail of drugs we’d given everybody we’d taken in order to make sure that they wouldn’t start breaking through the air system or knocking out personnel or some other whacked-out crap like that. But he was still conscious enough in order for my presence to register in his mind, and when I was by his side, he whispered, “so you’re the one I’ve seen in my dreams.”
“Yeah, Constance. It’s me.” I brushed a few locks of his hair out of his eyes, remembering how I used to do that every day only… what, eight months ago? Nine? How long had it been since everything at least felt like it was under my control? “My name’s-”
“Yasmin. I remember that.” He lazily knocked my hand away from his face, his arm dangling over the side of the slab that he’d been situated on. “Why are you in here? And why does my head hurt like someone swung a sledgehammer into the side of it?”
“Oh, good, you’re capable of forming complex sentences.” I ignored his question, locating the wire I would have to plug into the… the port… on the side of his head. Nope, nothing Matrix-esque here, no sirree. “Constance, can I have you stay really still for a moment?”
“Sure.” He immediately stiffened, and I felt around his ear and plugged in the slim wire. “You didn’t feel that, okay?”
“That’s a good Constance.” He was just laying there limply with his arms across his chest, awaiting my next move even under the fog of the drugs, and I almost felt guilt at what I was about to do. “Please don’t scream. I forgot to close the door.”
“Oka-” and then it was like the scream of the mortally wounded all around me as I flipped the switch, Constance still refusing to move under my command to stiffen even under what was undoubtedly pure, unadulterated pain at having old mental pathways reburned in with the memories he’d lost…
“Yes, Yasmin?” he replied, pulling the blankets over us. Mom had said that it would probably be a good idea to have an early night in case staying up was the reason that we had been having the nightmares about the Lab 2.0 recently. Algeria seemed to be the most affected of all of us, stopping what she was doing at seemingly random times and having what we assumed were flashbacks.
I paused. “I don’t want to go back to the Lab.”
“Me neither.” I could feel him moving behind me, trying to find the most comfortable position to sleep in beside me.
“No, I mean, just remembering the place makes my body hurt. I still have the scars from where they cut me open, and those are never going to completely heal. Keep me from ever going back there.”
“Yasmin? Yasmin!” He’d gained a death grip on the hand I’d plugged the wire in. “What- why-”
“Maybe you shouldn’t have fallen in love with someone else, aye?“