nowhere near prepared

“Miranda? I need you mentally here with me, not just physically. I’m trying to ask you a few questions to determine your current state of sanity, but your insistence on dozing off makes it hard to get any answers from you.”

He lifted up his groggy head, locks of matted brunette hair keeping him from fully seeing Giles’ impatient face. Truly, a faint indicator of annoyance was the most emotion that he’d ever seen from the patchwork figure, but he was in no rush to test the limits of Giles’ good graces. “Well, considering the fact that you woke me up a few hours before I normally do, I would think a little sleepiness is justified…” A yawn interrupted him, and he sat up straight in the swivel chair he’d been given. “Why are you always so uptight? Did your brain get impacted by whatever accidents happen to you, or are you just normally that repressed?”

“Personally, I don’t think Master Shew should be this lenient with you compared to the other wards until after you’re married, However, he has more authority than me and is the only person who could ever employ me, so I have to stay ‘repressed’ as you put it on order to keep a job.” He roughly brushed the hair out of Miranda’s face, tucking it behind an ear. “Are you going to answer my questions now?”

“Yeah, sure.”

“Alright.” Giles shuffled the papers in his hands and pulled out a pen from the compartment under the table, positioning to fill in all the fields in the various forms that the admins above Anders required for a legal regression in memory. “First off, what’s the first thing that came to your mind when you were initially brought to a sentient state?”

Miranda pulled on a hem of his sky-blue pajamas that Anders had implored for him to wear since they’d been delivered custom-made yesterday. He answered distantly, “My seventh-grade biology classroom. We spent a week walking around with a worksheet and a pencil, identifying dead animals that had been preserved in amber liquid for nearly decades. Heck, my parents could have looked upon the same corpses for how old and faded they were.”

He brought his focus back to find Giles scribbling sentences that were illegible from his position in the room. “And you say that full well knowing that you, in this body, have never come into contact with the state schooling system.”

“Well, that’s what my brain brings up when I try to think about the past, anyways. Why do you bring that up? Are they false too?”

“We’re trying to figure out the approximate time frame of the memories that need to be removed, Miranda. Everything that your brain says happened before you woke up happened to somebody else. Are there any other details about that particular memory that you can recall?”

Miranda rested his head back on the table, trying to ignore the knot of pain that was forming at the back of his head. “I was drawn to the scarlet tanager. I was going t write a book about some human mix of the two, but Argentina said that it’d be a bit too close to fan fiction of some obscure book series for comfort.”

“Uh huh… And are there any other instances where Argentina kept you from doing something because she felt it to be unsafe?”

She coerced me into staying under Anders’ care when I wanted to go home and give myself up to the other researchers who wanted my body… because she thought it’d be the end of the human race? Something to that degree.” He lazily stood up, feeling the back of his head that was threatening to scream if he didn’t go lay down in a quiet place now. “I have to go, Giles. I think I’m going to puke.”

“These questions are required before you can be authorized-”

“I don’t care. Break the rules if needed. Anders has enough money to do whatever he likes, doesn’t he?” And with that, Miranda flitted through the open doorway to the bathroom on the other side of the hallway, immediately locking the door and holing up around the toilet. An imagined rock in his stomach kept sloshing about, threatening to spill if he invaded the depths of his own brain… and he bent soundlessly over the toilet bowl as Anders forcibly unlocked the door and burst in.

“Miranda, honey, are you okay?” He slid next to his partner and held his hair back as Miranda unleashed the contents of last night’s dinner into the toilet. Among all the heavy gasping, he helped his partner up as he washed his face and then was helped a few hallways over to a clean bed in the recovery suite. “I’m sorry about the blue pill. I should have thought the issue through more before giving the rest of your memories back.”

“Easy for you to say. You’ve always had all of your memories.” Miranda rolled over in bed and buried himself in the sheets, his organs feeling like they were writhing from the inside. “If I have to be married to a murderer, Anders, I’d rather be unaware of it so I didn’t carry that guilt around with me everywhere.”


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