Test- Part 9: The End…For Now
Coming out of surgery was hard, but harder than the PTSD? Nope. I haven’t been able to sleep, properly, since I came out of my–it’s still hard to say–coma. Dreams of the other contestants dying either a slow or very fast death hurt my chest. It’s been a few days since my 5th and FINAL surgery which means it’s time to see the house.
They had to:
A: put me in a wheel chair
B: blindfold me
C: get me in the car
And trust me that was no easy task. They told me they had to blindfold me so I “couldn’t tell anyone where I was” I don’t even know how I would get there. What seemed like an eight hour drive with no AC or music or anything. Was taking me to a place I’d never been. I wouldn’t know anyone unless the hope that my dad had somehow won wasn’t just hope.
When we got there an overwhelming sent of wood covered me. There were birds chirping, and that’s something I haven’t heard in a while. It was nice to hear a bit of normal in the chaos going on around me. The lady who drove me took off my blindfold which I now see is a dirty old rag.
The house wasn’t even a house: it was a mansion. So many different windows to so many different rooms. Different building being swallowed by the trees–trees–we were in a forest completely excluded from society. I see ten different people on the front porch to what looks like the main house. Yeah that’s right, the MAIN house.
An old woman in a wheelchair who has silvery-blue hair was spaced out. She looked like she was listening to an amazing song, but only she could hear it. Behind her was a man who couldn’t have been older than thirty with short, curly blonde hair. The other people didn’t look important. People between the age of 30-60 either looking like they wanted to kill me, or looking like they wanted to run up and hug me, but one man caught my eye. He looked about the age of 45, the same as my mom, and he was praying in the corner. He wouldn’t look at me.
The lady left in the rusty old pickup-truck with me standing there like a deer in headlights. I walked right pass the people on the porch, they lady in the wheel chair, the man behind her, and walked up to the praying man.
“Why are you praying” I asked as I sat down next to him. The man never responded, but he started to cry, and he still wouldn’t look at me.
“My daughter was there, with you,” he finally said through gritted teeth, “well…honestly she could be you, but I don’t want to know. I don’t want to face the facts that she could be dead, or that you killed her.”
“Mine or her’s?” he chuckled.
“Lilly,” was all he said.
“Well, I met Lilly in the arena. She said she was hoping to win so she could see her father if he was still alive. It kept her going.”
“And then you killed her. Like most people would do.” He still didn’t look at me.
“No, I never killed her, and actually I think she won,” I said smiling. He looked at me with tears streaming down his face.
“Lilly?” he said starting to look up. I smiled and hugged him. We both sat there crying with what once was sadness, but was now the most wonderful feeling in the world.
Everyone started to pile back into the main house while my dad gave me the tour. We talked about the arena, the other people with me, the tasks, yet we were both quiet. The Test wasn’t something people talked about later, and if I had talked for another minute about it I would have started to cry.
“Um…where am I going to sleep. I’m exhausted and just want to go to bed and forget the day.” I said looking down. A feeling of guilt came over me because I wasn’t staying with my newly found father, but I don’t want to remember the pain I felt.
“Oh…uh…yeah. You’re going to be living in that house over there.” He said pointing to a red brick house with a brown wooden roof.
“Thank you…I’ll…see you soon.” I said practically running to the house.
It started to rain on my way, so I had to start running. I got into the dark house and I smell of dust and bleach washed over me. The living area had a couch, TV, coffee table. There was a door on the wall that led to a small office area with a computer, a fairly new one too. Then I got into the kitchen. The fridge was stocked with food of all kinds. Everything you can imagine was packed into the large sterling silver fridge. I was walking around on the tile when my mind slipped.
Running. Running from a little girl. A rock in hand. Glass beneath my feet. Panick. The glass broke out from under me.
Now I’m back in the kitchen crying. I knew the PTSD was bad, but I never thought it would be like this. Something told me to look down. I saw where the black smell came in. This house used to belong to someone else, but they couldn’t handle the PTSD. A blood stain laid on the floor. I got more bleach out from under the sink and set it next to the stain. I would clean it, but not now.
I ran up to the bedroom and got into bed. I sat there crying for a good 20 minutes. The rain seemed in sync with my tears falling from my face. I started to fall asleep.
Then the nightmares began.