Thursday, December 29, 2011

Chapter 23

(EDIT: As you can see, the date is a long time ago, but that's actually when I started writing it, but I never finished until today: February first).

OMG everyone!  I'm so sorry for the long break.  I hope I still have some readers!  I guess I needed a breather form finishing this story, so now it's done!  I will be starting up a new story blog soon, and I think it will be my last story blog I'll ever make since I'll put all my stories on there.  I can just have multiple table of Contents, if need be, for my story, for easy access.

The next story I'm writing is called Life As You Don't Know It, which is actually an anthology.  Every short story will be closely linked, and I'm sure you'll like it if you like this.  Every one will be about a different person... I needed to do something different for a change.  So I hope you'll still continue to read my stuff, even without the pictures.  I feel so free without them!  I am no longer handicapped.

EDIT:  My new blog


I looked around at where I was.  Mia didn't teleport us to my house... she had teleported us to Trish's place!  Oh my damn, was the only thing I could think.
The sun was shining inside, but its heat was hollow, because there was about a foot of snow on the ground.
I inhaled, because Trish just may be home.  She could be taking a nap, and got woken up simply from our presence.  Any second now, she could appear, stunned...
 Mia could see the panic in my eyes, "TJ, it's going to be alright.  You no longer have anything to worry about... Brianna isn't here, and the person that changed her isn't going to do anything to you."
Wow, to think I haven't thought of Brianna in so long... "What's up with Brianna, anyway?"  I asked vaguely.
Mia cooed to me, "she doesn't matter right now.  What matters is apologizing to everyone you have hurt...."
Of course she was right.  I didn't have anything to hide any longer, I am done living in my shell.  

Finally, what mattered at the moment struck me: Mia left her world in order to be with me when I've only known her for a little over a month.
"Mia, don't you think you don't belong here?"
She simply shrugged it off.  "We should talk about this later."
I really wanted to talk about it now, but I let her win.

Then, I heard footsteps and I swallowed hard.  
Trish stopped, staring at us with a look of surprise, just like how a baby is surprised when he's playing peek-a-boo.
For the longest time, she didn't say anything, but shifted her gaze from Mia to me.  We weren't saying anything, either.  When I looked at Mia, she was smiling lightly, as if she was expecting this encounter so soon.  It seemed to me that she was just waiting for the right moment to speak.

I was right, "Hello Trish, nice to finally meet you.  TJ here has told me a lot about you."
She blinked, like she was gazing on a unicorn.  "Wh-wh-who are y-y-you?"  Clearly, she was amazed that we were suddenly in her house, and I was with a stranger, because she never ever stutters.  Never ever.
She smiled lightly.  "I believe that is for TJ to tell you, not me."
For a brief moment, Trish looked at me, and I could see recognition click in her eyes: I'm back to my old self.

"TJ-you're you're..."  Back, I corrected her in my thoughts.  Back- but better than ever.  You, my sista, are lookin' at a new and improved man.
"Yes, I know."
Trish did what she always does when she's tense, and has no answers to her many questions, "Where the fuck have you been?  Why did you leave?  What secrets have you been keeping from me?  Why didn't you even call?"  Her voice didn't crack at all, her tone was angry and sharp, as were her features.  When I didn't answer, right after she asked, she said, "I think I deserve some fucking answers!"  If her eyes were a laser, I'd be sizzling right now.

When I looked for Mia, I realized that she was no longer in the room.  At first, I reverted to panic.  She must have left to go back to her world because she's decided that this isn't the right place for her after all...

I didn't have time to think over it more than that, because I reverted my attention back to Trish who was enraged, though I could tell the pot was past its boiling point.
"Why don't we sit down, Trish?"  I motioned toward the couch in her living room.
She obeyed, though there was a pause.

She sat on the couch without saying a word, and when we were settled, she gave me that same laser-eyed glare that said, 'start talkin', mister'.

I started my whole long story and it probably took me a good few hours to go through every detail (since Trish really wanted to hear it all).  I started from the beginning: how in middle school, my friends started to shun me so that made me shun myself and question what others may think of me.  Glares from people turned to not only people simply walking past looking at everyone, but went to the eyes of people that were judging me negatively.  My self esteem became so poor, that I couldn't get any friends.

Then I fast forwarded to about four months ago, when I got that note.  She never seemed to understand that I acted on that note and went to meet the person who wrote it, but now I made that clear.  Worry had creased her forehead when I said that, and all her anger was already gone from her face.  She said she hadn't realized that I had all these feelings of such intense self-hatred, but I assured her that I really felt all these things.  Her mouth hit the floor when she heard what she had done to me.

After that, I had asked, "are you ready for the real kicker?  You have to agree that you'll at least try to believe it..."  She gave me a quizzical look, but I just shrugged at her to let her know that she has to go with it.

"Alright..." She said with a great pause.
I took a deep breath, and let it come out.  "Well... I met this guy..."  I decided to skip the part of how he seems extremely supernatural, and that stretching the truth would be the best way here.
"Oh really?  I've never met a guy in my life," she said sarcastically.
I gave her an annoyed look.  "...And he.... took me to an... 'advanced hospital' that... changed me back..."
She was giving me a look like I was an insane freakazoid.
"I'm not kidding, Trish.  Would I ever kid a... you?"
She crossed her arms.  "Why should I trust you?  Why should I believe you?"
"Fair enough.  I don't blame you for feeling this way.  Funny you should say trust:  turns out, that my... surgery involved changing my mind to cease caring about others..."
"Yeah, right."
"Whatever, Trish.  Believe what you want, but I'm not lying.  So I was changed back because that was determined to be the only way."

My heart sank, even though she had every right to think that.
"Well... maybe you want to accompany me when I ..." my words trailed off when I realized that the big push to get me to tell Bailey off was gone.  Mia was no longer with me...  I frowned, and Trish gave me a look.  I pretended like I never changed my expression.
"What are you talking about, Teej?"  She was polite enough to not mention my expression change.

"Can you just trust me... and we can go there?"
"Go... where exactly?"  Before I could answer, she quickly said, "oh, alright.  I don't know why I'm trusting you... but I feel I owe you this much... kinda."
When she answered like she did, I realized I was quite lucky that she was taking this so well.  It's not like I can drag her to Bailey... because if she just sees... this.... well, then maybe she can believe me, at least a little.

"So, your car, Trish?"
She looked at me and nodded slowly.
As we left the house, I looked back at the dining room and living room, feeling my heart break.  Mia really was gone, but where could she have gone?  She teleported back home, of course, that much was obvious.  She was done with me... she decided this time isn't her time, the 'sorta future' suits her better.  Frankly, I don't blame her.  I'm sincerely going to miss the VR glasses the most.

As I walked to the car (after I forced myself to stop searching for her vainly), my memories of Mia started to take control of my thoughts.  I remembered when I met her, when I couldn't stand myself when I was changed back to my albino self.  The soothing words she bestowed, her calm looks (not to mention her good looks), helped me calm down.  She fixed me, if it wasn't for her, I'd still be an insecure freak... no, I wasn't a freak.  I was just uncomfortable in my own skin.  Literally.

In no time, I was sitting in the car as I continued to think about Mia and all that we did together that would happen no more, and Trish didn't bug me during the whole ride.

When we got to her house, I stomped to the door.  I had enough.  After I realized what scum she was... I just wanted to tell her off, I don't know.  And now that I was actually walking to her door... I felt so empowered, I couldn't take it anymore.  I knew all my emotions would come tumbling out at once, and I was okay with that.  In fact, that's what I wanted.

I knocked hard on the door, and I could see her through it, since her front door does consist of a lot of glass.  Because of that fact, she couldn't avoid me.  I could already see her reaction to my albino self.  She was going into shock, and was even shaking.  This is just what I wanted!  I hadn't even done anything yet, and it felt awesome to see her like that!

"Hey, Bailey," I said mockingly.
"Um... TJ... hey.  What's up?"  She was straining, trying her best to ignore that she noticed the difference in me, and was also probably gauging the situation: fight or flight?
"Oh... um.  Just bye.  We're done."
Then, how she was really feeling started to show through.  Fire reflected in her eyes.
"You're kidding me. So now you're back to your fuckingly hideous albino self, and you don't want to stay with me!  But you love me, don't you?  Don't you!?"
I cringed at her true self.  She was a monster.
I rolled my eyes.  "Yeah, surprising, huh?  Well, good bye.  I have nothing else to say."
I was already walking away.  "Yeah, you go!  Get off my lawn!  I never want to see you again, I never liked you in the first place!"  Bullets hit my heart at her last words even though I knew now that she was no good. I was sure that she had fallen for me, at least a little, even after finding out what she really was.  Maybe she was just saying that in the heat of the moment?  Plus, I suppose I was making her lose out on whatever her 'reward' would have been- if there ever was going to be one.

When I made it back into the car, Trish smiled at me.
"Way to go for being the bigger person!  I'm surprised you didn't slap her.  I would have...."  Yes Trish, I'm sure you would have.  I looked around outside back at her house, but then through the corner of my eye I saw someone.  I turned around, and there she was.  In the back seat of the car sat Mia.  My eyes glimmered with happiness- and surprise.

"You think I would have left you?"  She asked.
"Um- y-yes?"
"Well, that's not going to happen.  You're stuck with me."
I looked at the driver seat to see Trish's reaction, but she wasn't there.  She was out of the car walking on the sidewalk.  I guess she was giving us our space.  I opened up my window.  "You can come back in Trish."  She nodded and walked back over.  I looked at Mia again, and climbed back to sit by her in the backseat.  I put my arm around her and she snuggled against my chest.
"Now this horrible part of your life can come to a close, after you apologize to your family."
I nodded, and a serious look crossed my face.  It was going to be hard to conjure up the correct words to tell everyone how sorry I am, but it'll be okay.  If I can overcome my image issues, than what's so bad about apologizing?

I guess life can be good as an albino, after all.  Maybe even better.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Chapter 22

A few weeks later
At the moment, I'm in Mia's office.  After the first few days of counseling, I decided that we could discuss my countless issues in her office.  I guess it doesn't matter, really, but I've begun to get antsy just being in my room all the time.  The first time I decided this, she touched my hand and had teleported me there, which struck me as strange.  When in her office, she told me she was one of those that were lucky enough to get surgery to become a better person, and that involved the ability to teleport, amongst other things.  "What did they do to you?"  I had asked.  "Oh, well, they gave me the ability to teleport, changed me to be able to look younger for longer..."  The list went on and on.  "Wow, that's amazing."  She had nodded.

I sat in a metal chair with just one leg- which was somehow both comfortable and in no way unsteady.  She was sitting in the same chair but behind a metal desk.  She doesn't have a computer, but a device that tapes our conversations in order to assess how I've been reacting to our sessions later on, in case she's missed anything.  There was also a bird in the room- a bright macaw of some kind, that often repeated the same phrases, such as, "believe in yourself!"  "That's not how other's feel about you!", and other bullshit like that.  It was as if he was programmed to say those things, like a macaw could change my outlook on life.

"So, what have you been doing to reach your goal?"
At the beginning of every counseling session, this is the first question she asks.
"Just what you've told me to do..." I shrugged.  She always insisted that I pretty much repeat what she's already said.
"I've been grinning at the people that give me strange looks, smiling at myself at the mirror, told myself the positive qualities of myself, been getting to know others to be reassured that I still am a good person despite my condition..."  The last part of my statement was only have true.  I don't talk to anyone, really, I'm always on my VR glasses when I'm not here.  Mia is the person I'm talking about, she's the only one I'm interested in.  I'm not going to talk to some random sick patient and get to know him.  Why would I want to do that?
She nodded approvingly.  "So, what is your status?"

"I think I'm almost there...."  It's true.  Her exercises have been working very well for me.  After all, it's just the color of my skin that is different, otherwise I am a perfectly normal guy, with normal thoughts and aspirations.  I find myself smiling more, and I know I'll be able to live with myself.  Her being the one to help me through it makes it all the better.  "...but there is something that will certainly make me feel better."

"Yeah?  And what is that?"
I decided to answer her indirectly, "Mia, you're stunning."  It was as if the combination of my past dating experience of Bailey (even if it was fake), and the self esteem exercies Mia and I have been going through, made me very confident of my...half professing my love for her.  I smiled, I've been waiting to tell her that forever.  It didn't matter if the feelings were reciprocated, just that I got it out in the open.

As if we were on the same wavelength, she answered with what I wanted her to, "why thank you, handsome TJ."  I beamed at her.  From the beginning, I thought that she couldn't think I was good looking, there was no way.  How could she find an albino good looking?

But now- now it doesn't seem quite as unbelievable.  My skin doesn't define me.  Sure that's what people first notice, but it won't inhibit my ability to get relationships and what's important in life.  I'm not some lunatic.  My skin is simply a pigment, not a feature.

I inched closer to her.  She just told me exactly what I wanted to hear- if a woman as beautiful as her thinks that I'm handsome, then it must be true.  And I know she's not lying in order to raise my self esteem- the looks she's given me, the way she's dealt with my issues, it didn't seem like it was all professional.  As if there was a degree of warmth to her words that surpassed that of a counselor.

For a moment, I saw her hesitate, like she was thinking, should I really follow through with this?  Then, she turned her gaze to the machine that records everything, and flipped it off manually versus commanding it to turn off through words.  It was as if talking would stop what we were doing.

For a second, my stomach sank while she got off her seat, and started to walk slowly to me.  But, she only started to come to me slowly.  She couldn't stop herself, she rushed to me, so I got up, and at the last second, closed her eyes, and I had to catch her so she wouldn't ram into me.

She opened her eyes and started leaning in, looking up at me.  I knew this was my time.  I leaned down, and our lips met.  I put all my confidence in that kiss, and it really showed.  I have never kissed anyone so well- and yes, I mean Bailey.  But now, her name is just a distant memory.  She was scum and used me for money.  She thought I was despicable in high school.  But here is a woman that never knew me in high school, didn't have the opportunity to hate me.

I pulled away first and reveled in the memory of the kiss, even though it just happened a moment ago.  We leer at each other.

Despite my cool demeanor, I say, "isn't this unprofessional for you?"
She frowns, but I can still tell her eyes are dancing, "it doesn't really matter... no one knows, right?"
I give her a nervous look.  Like no one would be able to find out!
She nodded, like she was saying 'don't worry about it.'  "TJ, no one cares if we get into a relationship.  It really isn't unprofessional.  Especially since I'm trying to help your self esteem- is dating you going to change that?  No!"  Apparently she was thinking we could be in a relationship.  I cheered internally.  This is what I have been wanting!

She paused for a second, and I assumed that she had nothing else left to say, "alright, I'd say that we're done for today."  She touched my hand and we teleported.  I had no time to question why she thought it was necessary we teleport.
Then, we were standing in my room.  She went over to the keypad that controls everything in my room, and pressed a few buttons.  At first I wasn't sure what she did, but then, it clicked.  She didn't want anyone to see...  
She threw her arms around me and started kissing me fervently, and I let her willingly, and between kissing she squealed with delight.

Mia and I were sitting together after eating our lunch as I leaned back, relishing in the memory of the food I had just eaten.  I ate garlic lobster with garlic mashed potatoes, peas, and the most amazing roll ever.  Ever had hospital food?  Sure you have, but have you ever had five star quality hospital food?  I didn't think so.

"You know that your counseling is over, right?"  She said it as if she's talking about the weather, like it isn't the most pressing statement ever.
"Um... what?"  Right as she said it, it seemed to make sense.  For the past couple of weeks, we have been hanging together nearly all the time.  We ate together and went into VR together, pretty much.  She hasn't been counseling me at all.  I don't need it anymore.  Me being with her was my last step to finally overcome my self-shunning.

"I have been signing you off as uncured, or you would be gone by now."
"Now what?"
"Well what?"
"I could come home with you...."
I gawked at her.  "Are you fucking crazy?!"
Her expression stayed the same, which just made my bones fill more with wonder.
"No one would care that you'd be gone?"  I asked.
She looked around at the other people near.  I hushed when I realized that some people near me were staring.  Lucky for us, it was obvious that they had no clue what we were talking about.
"It's not a matter of that," she answered quietly, "just that no one would know that I'm gone."
"Have you given this thought?!"  It's not natural for someone in a conversation to casually suggest that he moves to another's... time and place, pretty much.
"Yes TJ.  I just can't bare for you to go... without me."
I nodded slowly.  I was starting to warm to the idea, however crazy.
"So, let me get this straight.  You'd be willing to leave your whole advanced city for my twenty first century... modest era?"
"Yes, if it means being with you."  I ignored the cliche nature of her statement and just let the happy butterflies swim in my stomach.  This could mean I really have a future... with her!

"So, how about we think this through?  Sleep on it?"  I asked.
She giggled, probably about my latter statement.  Sayings sure do come and go...  "No, with your outburst, it's plausible that someone heard exactly what you said and is reporting me on it..."
I gasped.  "Oh no!"
"Don't worry about it..."  For a mili-second, I didn't understand why I shouldn't worry, but then she touched my hand and we teleported... While I was in the black, between places, I thought, what about Merlin?

Chapter 21

So, long story short, my game wasn't working so I updated it.  Then, it said that I don't have the proper graphics card to play this game anymore.  So, I only have 6 pictures and I'm afraid the rest is a lot of text at the bottom.  To finish this story and for my future stories, I won't be using pictures.  Instead of seeing this as a bad thing, I like to think of it as a positive.  Now, I'll be advancing in my writing and will not rely on pictures to tell the story.  I hope this won't make you stop reading my stories.

I breathed deeply as I looked at the door.  It felt like it took forever for Aaron to come.  Right away, Mia had called him and he was on speaker phone (can it even be called a 'phone?'), and he said- "just swing there a second longer."  I raised my eyebrow at that statement- I guess it was a new way of saying 'hang on for a minute", though saying 'swing' makes it sound like the opposite.

Finally, I saw the door swivel open on its own- you think that we have to open the door our self?  Why no- of course not.  The door is heavy as lead!
I got up as if I was being pulled by a string.  I'm sure I was looking at him, and I guess my expression was weird, because he smiled at me.

Slowly, he made his way to my bed and sat on it.  He took a few minutes to get himself comfortable- never mind that I am dying for an answer here.  He ended sitting very casually.  Like, unprofessionally casual.  I just must be behind on the times, I assumed, because when I looked at Mia she showed no sign of seeing anything wrong.
"So what did you want to know again, TJ?"  I looked at him annoyed.  I had just asked him, and it's the most pressing question a person could have!  I was changed back to an albino, and he has no idea that that's part of my question!
"Why was I changed back to an albino?  I was cured before!  I was normal."  I spoke as calm as I could, but my voice still cracked on the second sentence.
"You were changed back for your own good, you understand TJ?"
I nodded, but rolled my eyes.  Yes, that's what it sounded like, but that doesn't answer my question.  I've always hated it when people stalled and didn't answer your question, but backhandedly mention something that you already knew and is unimportant, in your mind, to the question's answer.
"Alright then.  Merlin wanted you changed back because he suspected that your chromosome with the mutation was not only changed back to make you a non-albino, but somehow your brain was messed with as well, which was connected to that chromosome where your mutation was.  Turns out, that he was right.  God knows how that's possible."  He breathed.  "So, the best way to change your brain back to how it should be was to take out the part of your DNA that changed you to be a non-albino, which in turn would make your brain right again."

I tried my best to sink in what he was saying, but it only half made sense to me.  As far as I was concerned, he hadn't answered my question.  "What was so bad about my mind?"
He sighed.  "Merlin had a theory that you stopped caring about others after your procedure, that somehow your mind was tampered with to make you act this way.  And the more you stopped caring about others- which would happen since it was ingrained in your mind- the harder it would be to change you back.  The extra part added to your chromosome kept becoming more and more apart of you, which was tied in with your mind.  We were able to get that out, but it was harder than it would've been if we tried this weeks ago."
"But, why would it matter if I didn't care about anyone else if that means I get to stay normal?"

"TJ, you want to have positive relationships, don't you?"
I shrugged, knowing that it was dumb for me asking in the first place.

Then he got up, and was leaving without saying anything else.  I called after him, "but why couldn't you have changed my mind to being okay with my condition?"
He left without saying anything, but shook his head, looking at the ground.

For a minute, neither Mia or I said anything.  She just stared at me smiling, and I glowed from her gaze, but I was also humiliated that she had to see me this way.  Why couldn't she have seen me when I looked good?

Then, she broke the silence and started many pointless exercises in the hopes of raising my self esteem.  She didn't help much, but I think I was starting the journey to accepting myself.

Eventually, she left, and I watched her go with sadness.  I didn't want to be alone again, though I was fine earlier with it being just me and my virtual reality glasses.  After seeing her, I didn't think I'd be satisfied with spending a moment without her again.  It didn't matter that she was seeing the sorry me, it just mattered that I was seeing beautiful her.  But maybe if she told me I was handsome- and not a shadow of a human being- then I may just be okay.  That's what she didn't get- that would be all it would take.  It doesn't matter what I think of myself, it's what others think, and everyone has always looked at me differently like this.  If she- just one person- told me that they are wrong, that I really am handsome... then I wouldn't need any of this counseling.  But honestly, the counseling can't be so bad if seeing her is part of what it entails.

After a long afternoon and evening of messing with virtual reality, I went to sleep.  My adventures using the glasses just weren't the same after all that has happened today.  No matter which thing I chose to do, nothing quite satisfied me like it had earlier.  My mind kept going back to Mia.

I woke up with a memory of a dream I had which was about Mia.  First, I was in what I thought was my room, and Mia was with me, and we were sitting on two seats with a table in the middle of us, just like we really did yesterday, but they looked different.  They were all wood, as if we really weren't 'in the future'.  She was smiling at me and said, "wow TJ, you look so handsome.  Just check out your tan skin!"  She touched my skin soothingly.
Then, I was back at my house which was a mirror image of the house I used to live at- Trish's, and Mia was still with me.  She gave me a disgusted look.  "TJ, what ever happened to your glorious tan skin?  Now you're so white that you're brighter than a piece of paper!  You are a mere image of a human being!"  After she spoke, I started balling and she left me with disgust, as if I were a fly.  She said, "oh god, that thing is so despicable!"  The sadness and despair I felt in my chest was indescribable.  I just wanted to curl up and die, because if she thought of me like this, how could I think that anyone would be okay with me as I am?

The dream left me with a bitter taste in my mouth, and my chest still sagged with despair.  I got up and changed for the day to get ready to leave my room.  I didn't want any food sent to me, I needed to get my... condition out of my mind.That would be the only thing that would keep me sane.  Surely she doesn't think of me how she thought of me in my dream?  I nodded to reassure myself that she didn't, and I pictured her smiling at me.  If she thought I was despicable, she sure didn't show it on her face.

I walked through the halls, and passed many doctors and nurses (I didn't see any patients, I supposed because it was still on the early side).  Some of them gave me long glances when they noticed what I am.  Albino.  That's all one needs to describe me.  I put my head up and smiled at them in response- that's what Mia said I should do when someone stares at me a moment too long, that it should help make me feel better.  I was surprised that it did.  Really, though, I was doing that just in hopes that I would see Mia walking down the hall, because if she saw me doing that, she'd be proud of me and give me one of her superstar smiles.

At first, I had to force my head up and my smiles were weak, but eventually my smiles became... cocky, as if it's a good thing to be albino- you should be jealous of me.  After all, who stands out more in a crowd than the white guy?  No one.  I had to start thinking of my condition as something that makes me unique and interesting.

But I was still far away from that point.  Behind my cocky smiles and overall confident appearance- I was still a mess, even though I tried to banter with myself otherwise.  My self esteem has been diminished for too long for a day of counseling and implementing the advice to make me better.   

Finally, I made it to the elevators.  On seeing the elevators, I laughed.  They just looked like ordinary elevators.  Sure they were all glass and everything- but other than that, they were your ordinary elevators.  I was expecting more from future technology.  But hey, I suppose that technology isn't advanced everywhere.  Maybe elevators are a perfectly okay way to move up and down and there's no immediate need to upgrade them like versions of a computer are (as they are so vital to life).

Mid laugh, I heard someone else starting to laugh as well.  The laugh was feminine.  I turned my head, and was surprised to see Mia standing a few feet away from me.  I spoke to her immediately, "shouldn't you be counseling someone?"  She noticed me and laughed harder.    
"My bad, I didn't know it would be so strange for a counselor to counsel."  She.  Continued.  To.  Laugh!                                                             
"You're so funny TJ.  I'm just going up to get some breakfast is all."

A grin spread across my face.  "Is that so?  That's exactly what I was going to do!"
"Well then, let's go."  Without either of us pressing the button for the elevator, it opened.  I watched as a few people got on the elevator, and Mia and I went in last.
We found a table by one of the windows after we got our food.  Strangely, all of the windows were covered by heavy, thick drapes.  It was impossible to see anything outside.  I realized that this was true for all the windows in this hospital.
I was going to ask about them, but Mia started talking.  And when she starts talking, all memory of what I'm just thinking fades.  "So, how has it been going?"  I didn't answer her, giving her the sign that I didn't know what she was talking about.  But, I knew exactly what she meant.
"You know, how are you feeling about yourself?"
"You don't think I could change how I feel about myself in one day, do you?"
"Of course not!  If you feel the smallest bit better about yourself, then I've done my job.  If you still hate yourself, then I just know I have work to do."
The latter part of her statement offended me!  "I'm not a science experiment!"
She touched my arm.  "Of course you're not.  You're TJ Evans."  The words in and of them self were not especially profound, but I still took comfort.  Not in her words, but of the way she looked at me.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Chapter 20

I smiled widely and grabbed one of the VRG (virtual reality glasses, of course.  Everyone calls them that!).

I have only been here since yesterday, but I've been having the time of my life.  No, I haven't left the hospital, and no I'm not sure of what's going to happen to me.  But whatever it is, I can deal with it, because the amount of fun I've been having surpasses all the fun I've ever had in my life combined.

I get room service.  Later, I found out that the button to get something is not actually by my bed.  Maybe it's because I'm not in fatal condition, but I couldn't be sure.  I can get any food I want.  There were even a few dishes that I've never even heard of- I don't think they were exotic either.  Maybe there was some new science to make a new food, like cheese was.  My restroom is fully equipped with everything I've ever needed.  My favorite thing in there is this awesome toothpaste- one use and it makes your teeth blindingly bright!  It just takes the two minute brushing time to notice a huge difference!

But, my favorite part by far is the experience of being in virtual reality...

Happily, I put on the glasses for only, like, the fourth time of the day, which were just for very short breaks, but only for the necessities of eating and going to the bathroom, really.

As I have been each time, I was greeted by Mr. Humphrey.  He was the tool used in the glasses to determine what I wanted to do.  I would ask if it had something, and it would tell me if they had anything like it.  The first time, he told me the categories for things I could do and the specifics since I had no idea what it could do.
There is An Adventure in the Wild West, Chase in Metropolis (it's this cool futuristic giant city in which you chase different types of criminals, and though they shoot, they never can kill you though it is negative to your score), certain board games gone 'real world' (Monopoly is my favorite.  You go around to different places depending on how much you roll.  If you buy a property, you literally go into a building and buy it with credit.  Hotels and houses are really built by real looking people and means- but it's fast forwarded thousands of times to only take two minutes.  It's so awesome!).  Those are the ones I've tried so far, and though it doesn't seem like many, it takes a lot of time to go through them.  Though, Mr. Humphrey did tell me time is scewed here, so less time is actually going by in the real world.  I still can't believe this is possible!

This time I told Mr. Humphrey I wanted to try one of the real world experiences.  I decided to go to a dessert buffet.  It tastes just like real dessert, but since it's VR, it's with none of the calories!

I was interrupted by a beeping at my door right before I was going to take a bite of chocolate cream pie.  And someone had to come now!

I didn't do anything for a minute, and just before I went to the door it said, "alright, since it's confirmed you're not doing anything private right now, I'll come in on my own."  I wasn't quite sure where the mechanical voice was coming from, but it made my bones shiver.  Not to mention that it knows I'm not doing anything 'private.'  Am I being taped?!  And, I've never heard furniture talk before yesterday.  Though, whenever I called for room service, a machine came and gave me my food.  But... I still haven't been able to get over it.

I backed away to allow for it to come in.  It was a hospital bed of some sort.  I just blinked at it, wondering what it wanted from me.  But, it didn't take long for it to tell me.
"Put this gown on," it demanded.  The bottom compartment opened revealing a robotic arm, and it held it out for me.  When it noticed I didn't do anything (how could it even know?), it repeated.  "Sir, you must put this on."  Then, it threw it on the bed.  "You will put this on one way or another."  I stood cold.  Why did it want me to put this gown on?  I knew the answer, but I wasn't willing to believe it.

"Alright, so we'll do this the hard way."
It took the gown from the bed, and another robotic arm came out of the same compartment.  It touched my arm and pulled me gently but forcefully.  It took off all my clothes the same way (even my socks) and slid it over me.  Though it was just a robot-bed, it still creeped me out that it saw me butt naked.  I mean... it talks!

Then it started rolling me away while the doors opened for it.  This wasn't as surprising as how it talked, and deep down I knew where it was taking me.  To a room to get surgery for llama knows what.

Soon, it took me to a big room which is obviously for surgery.
Once I got there, I didn't dare move, but I had no choice when it gently lifted me up so I was on my feet.  Then, it got out of the room and rolled away.
I stood looking at three men wearing bright colors.  Including my ugly hospital gown, there were only two colors form the rainbow missing: orange and purple.  Two of the men were clearly my surgeons, and the other was wearing scrubs, so I figured he was simply the helper.
"Lie down, TJ," the one in red told me.

I blinked and did as he told me.
"What are you going to do to me exactly?"
This is the first time the whole day that I've seen a real human face, though the people in the virtual reality were quite convincing.
He gave me a nervous look, and I realized that this was the same doctor who greeted me when I was with Brianna and Merlin.
"Um... we're not allowed to tell you."
Confusion and terror came to my eyes.  "Why the hell not?!  Aren't those in hospitals supposed to tell their patients what's going to happen them?  Don't I have a say in this!?"
"TJ, all that I can tell you is that this is for your health.  Usually, we have no choice but to tell our patients what's going on if he doesn't know, but we are under different terms with Merlin.  He brings in special... cases, and if..."
I knew exactly what he was saying.  Merlin would be given exceptions like this.  Maybe if I were told I'd back out, but it would be hazardous to my health.  I sighed, knowing I didn't have much of a choice.

I smirked.  "Okay... bring it on...."
Then, the man in green scrubs took out a needle which startled me.  But then he put it in a vain, and it didn't hurt at all.  Like acupuncture, it actually made me feel better.  The medicine in it made me drowsy, and the last thing I saw when I closed my eyes was the face of Mr. Humphrey, asking me what I wanted to do.

I woke up in my room fully clothed, and I was even wearing black socks.  Those weren't mine.  It kind of freaked me out when I realized that I had my operation, and I wake up fully clothed, without my blankets on.  I got grossed out that someone had clothed me, but then I figured that some robot must have clothed me, and I sighed with relief.  I was also relieved that I didn't have any equipment still attached anywhere on my body.  What was done to me anyway, I thought?  I felt fine.  
I turned my thoughts away from what had happened, and relayed my dreams which were about adventures going bad, all derived from my playing experiences using the virtual reality glasses. 
I looked over my foot and saw one of the glasses, and I attempted to kick it away, but it just moved away before I touched it at all.

Then, I got up and went into the bathroom.  I turned on the faucet to get some warm water to wash my face, but when I saw myself in the mirror I backed away.  My heart stopped pumping.  It was as if I was in a car crash, because I wasn't freaked out when it happened- or in this case noticed... until after.
Bright red eyes stared back at me in shock, with my pale white skin and hair.

"No!  It can't be!"  I looked at myself in the mirror with an unsatisfactory smile.

I got out of the bathroom, and went to look at the Womrat in its cage.  I didn't see it at first, it was hiding in the little wood thing.  I took it out and it squirmed in my hand, and I cupped my hand around it, but I wouldn't let it go.
"I understand little buddy, you are misunderstood too!  Maybe you were human in another life and this isn't who you're supposed to be.  You poor little thing, with your existence being that in a small cage with few commodities!"  I didn't care that the rodent couldn't understand me, but it was living, and a great way to get out my emotions.

I lowered it and opened the door.  Then, I put it down and let it scurry out of the room. he needed freedom, there's more to life than living in a cage!

I watched it scurry out the door and away into the hallway, and shut my door.

Now my frustration was starting to come out in a storm.  I didn't want to cry at all, I wanted to hit someone. But instead, I held onto my head and breathed deeply.  No, this isn't who I am anymore... I can't be the loser albino anymore!  I thought this was over...
Deep down I knew this was what Merlin wanted to have happen in my surgery, but I couldn't let myself consciously believe it, for my sanity!

Before I started to have a meltdown, I heard the door ring.  I screamed in fury, "go the hell away!  I don't need anymore damn machines coming in here!"
But the voice I heard wasn't that of a machine, "I am not a machine," a woman's soothing voice came from the door, and suddenly, I felt the tension in my bones loosen, and let my shoulders fall.  "I am Mia, could you please let me in?"
At hearing her voice, I smiled widely, and said, "yes, come in..." 
She came in and my eyes widened with amazement.  She was beautiful.  She wore a rather short black skirt and golden shirt.  I supposed that modesty has been loosened even more in this time.  Her hair was in a side ponytail, partially on her back and the other on her front.  Before it was tied up,  it was sort of twisted together.   But, what I truly couldn't stop looking at was her face.

She had soft soothing features, and she smiled, looking at me with baby blue eyes which was surrounded in a neon green and yellow eyeliner, which I supposed was a new sort of fashion. Her cheeks shined in a light orange blush, and she wore a soft pink gloss.  She smiled at me.
"Hello TJ, I am going to be your counselor for your duration here."
After a long pause of gazing at her, I said, "what, so I haven't endured enough torture already?"  I mentally slapped myself.  Talking to her wouldn't be so bad, not bad at all.
"Do you want to chat here, or would you like to come into my office?"
I nodded, but she raised a delicate eyebrow when I did so.  Oh yeah, I didn't say which one...  "Um, here would be fine...."

So we both walked over to the chairs in my room as we chatted about my problems with being the way that I now am, how I was born.
"TJ, you know why I'm here, don't you?"
I stiffened.  "Because my normal life was taken away from me!"
"No, TJ, you just can't accept your true self." She said soothingly.
"Why did I even have to be changed back anyway?!"
"She smiled at me.  "I am not sure of the answer to that.  If you'd like, I can page Aaron, the surgeon that was in the yellow."
I nodded.  "Hell yeah I want to know why!"  I guess now I can know the answer, since it's all over.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Chapter 19

"TJ, it's not just that you will stay in your current 'normal' body forever."
"Well, that's good!"  I couldn't see the problem here.  This is the opposite of a problem!
There was silence, and for anyone else, he would have sighed.
"Well, I'll be right back."
This time, his eyes didn't roll back into his head when he teleported.  This time, I was able to see it occur without being apart of it.  The way I saw it, it was simpler than I thought teleportation should be.  He simply was there one minute, gone another.  There was no artificial light, or 'time winds' or anything.  It was as if he was never there.

I held onto my arm and moved up in my seat, staring at the ceiling.  I didn't know how I was supposed to feel.  Alone.  Sure I've been alone before, that's a given, but I've never been this alone.  I was in an enormous room with two living chairs and a table.  That was all.  There wasn't even any lights in the room, yet the white was rather blinding.  My heart started pounding, panic ensued in my veins.  What would happen if he never came back?  Is it true I could be trapped here and not die since I don't age here?  Surely I would starve first- but if there was no time...
There was no sound emanating what-so-ever in the entire room.  At home, even if there was no one else around, I'd hear the hum of the fridge and the heater or AC.  Maybe the occasional bird chirping, and cars going by.  There was always some type of noise.  But not in here.  What would make the noise? 

I started hearing a constant beeping in my ears that I don't remember hearing in such a long time, just from the lack of noise.  I started to close my eyes and hum to myself.  Any tune I could think of, it didn't matter.  Anything would be better than this white room of nothing.

Just a few minutes later (though it seemed like hours), Merlin came back, but he wasn't alone.  Brianna accompanied him.  When they teleported in, he still had his same blank face while she was the opposite.  Her mouth was wide open and her hands were over her face.  
Right when she got in, she said, "oh my llama, why did you even take me here?  What do you want from me!?"
He simply nodded to a seat over near me.
That's when I realized: now there was a third seat.  I looked at it with wide eyes, I knew it wasn't here before.  And yet, I leaned over to touch it, and of course it was real.
I simply brushed the thought away, since overly thinking it over wasn't going to help my situation.  This guy is clearly not normal, so couldn't he have teleported in the same seat from somewhere?
I shrugged my thoughts off, thinking that was the best solution.

Brianna was willing to cooperate- what else could she do, anyway- and she sat in her seat.  Our conversation began the same way it initially had with him and I.  'Where am I?', 'what are you?', 'how is this possible?', were all asked but given insufficient responses, besides the first one.

"So, now for why I brought you here-".  I was expecting his response... "you are not the Brianna.. you once were," he said vaguely.

She raised an eyebrow.  "Yeah, you're right."  I was surprised that she agreed.  "Now, I support... someone who has the right idea to make our dreams come true."
I chuckled to myself.  Here goes her crazy brain damage talk.
"This 'someone' makes your dreams come true?" He tested.
"Oh certainly!  I agree with her dream fully and completely, therefore it is my dream as well."
"What if I told you that these aren't your true feelings, and that this 'someone' is just using you?"
Rage came across her face and she got up.

That was the last straw for her.  She got up and rushed to Merlin who looked not scared of the animistic expression on her face.  She went over to him and breathed down his neck, "you take that back."
"I will not take back what is true."  She put her hands around his neck.
"You better fucking take it back, or you'll be sorry!"  He still didn't look very concerned.  When she started to constrict him, he seemed unaffected.  She tried with all her might to suffocate him, but he still looked fine.  He showed no signs of fighting back.
But then I thought that I was wrong, he was dying before my eyes since his eyes were rolling into the back of his head.  But when I saw my reality changing before my eyes, I knew that, no, he wasn't dying, he was just teleporting us somewhere.

When we got to our destination, I grinned since I was just so happy I was away from that creepy place.
But then, I had a moment to look around at my new surroundings, and I simply blinked a few times, unbelieving.  The first strange thing I noticed about the room was that it was all metal.  Then, I noticed these weird glasses floating around everywhere.  Three people were wearing them.  One was standing up and looked rather excited.  I had no idea where we were.  At all.
"Um... Merlin, where are we?"  Brianna was the first to be broken out of her confused and amazed trance.
"We are in a hospital."
Brianna and I exchanged looks and I shivered simply looking at her like this.  This was the lady who didn't want me to tell anyone how I was able to become like this, she didn't want me to tell anyone who she was, or anything...  It was strange to have something... can I say 'in common', with her?  We were both totally clueless.

I looked around the whole room, and turned my head.
"And this is the front area?"
"It is indeed."
"What are you talking about?"  Brianna was addressing me.  "Of course this is the front area!  See, there's the check in machine right there!"
Sure enough, Merlin was walking over to it.

He pressed a button on it and said, "this is Merlin, and I'm here with two new patients."
'Names?' The machine said.
"Brianna Meyer and TJ Evans."
'Listing confirmed.'
Question marks went up in my head.  Why did I need to be here?  How could that... thing know who I am?
'Please wait a few minutes, Merlin.'
I sincerely wondered why he simply referred to himself as Merlin and how the... computer thing... understood him and didn't specify a last name.
'Please wait a few moments for someone to assist you.'

While we waited, I stared in wonder at the glasses.
"Um, what are those?"  I automatically asked Merlin since it seemed like he had all the answers (even if he wasn't always willing to share them), but he didn't say anything.
Brianna rolled her eyes at him and looked at me.  "Those are virtual reality glasses.  They're in waiting rooms all the time."
Then I noticed that some of the glasses were moving in the air.
"But...?"  I pointed to one pair of glasses that was moving away from someone walking.
"They move away when someone is coming...."  Like I was supposed to know!
"But they're floating..."
"Oh, right!  That happens from high power magnets repelling.  The floor is a big magnet."
"Then, why are they at different heights?"  I looked at the dozen or so glasses in the room with continued wonder.
"Oh, they're all at different settings, depending on when they were last moved, and the general air flow of the room."

Soon enough, a doctor showed up to greet us.  When I first saw him come into the room, I thought, 'surely he wasn't coming to see us?'  Since, don't doctors have better things to do?  Why wasn't someone else going to greet us?
"Ah, Merlin!  It's great to see you again.  Who do you have this time?"
"TJ Evans and Brianna Meyer."
"Ah," he said nodding.  "Nice to meet you folks.  The way he talked to Merlin, it was like they were old friends.  Now, I just want to be told where we are... and why!  And when he nodded- it was as if he was expecting our names to come up. Why...?
"Now, let me take you to your rooms."  The doctor started to swivel around for us to follow.
"No, allow me."  I saw the whites of his eyes and knew he was planning to teleport us somewhere.

He teleported us into a hallway and the doctor took us first to my room.
"This is where you'll be staying for the durration of your time, TJ.  We'll come when you need us."
He walked out of the room and I could hear him say, "alright, let me show you to your room, Brianna..."

I looked around the room with stunned amazement.  It was so... pretty.  And this was a hospital!?
With the doctor gone, I looked at Merlin who was surprisingly still with me.
"Well, we're in Pulver."  Recognition instantly fell.  That was the futuristic town in the present day that people of the future inhabited...
"For what reason?"
He gave me an unsatisfactory response, "you will find out soon enough."

I rolled my eyes and settled onto the bed.  It was extremely comfortable.  I held my body up with my arms and looked at the head of the bed to find the button.  I could really use some futuristic drink!  Man, had this strange day made me parched!

But when I clicked it, I noticed the clock from the wall was drifting off the wall and coming toward me.  I smiled with delight.  A clock that comes to you when you want to see it, I don't even have to strain myself to see the numbers!  That would be quite handy in the morning.  I wouldn't doubt if it glowed in the dark too!

And then Merlin looked at me and started to speak.  With my attention turned toward him, I noticed for the first time there were two of those glasses floating around in my room.  I'd have to play around with those later!
"Well, bye for now TJ.  I will be back when your operation is complete.
"Hey, wait!  What operation?  How can I possibly be here alone?"
"You'll be fine, the doctors and nurses know just what is on the agenda.  I'll be back as soon as you're healed.  You don't even have a single idea of what the operation could be?"
Then, he was gone in the blink of an eye.  My questions would just have to wait.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Chapter 18

Yes, here is another chapter already.  Another long one with many answers!
"Alright, so you can't keep living like this, TJ.  We have to figure out what 'point' Brianna is talking about."
I gulped.  We would never figure it out.  "What point?"
"I'm not sure yet, but we'll figure it out."
"How so?"
He glared at me.  "What do you think I can't do?"
I shivered at his implications and nodded.  How could I think he wouldn't figure it out?  Somehow, he took us to this 'inter dimensional space' and into the past and put us (or was it just me?) in the body of my sister and my mom.  Shouldn't figuring out something like this be a lot easier to do?

"Okay, so how are we going to start this out?"   But it was too late for me to ask.  His eyes were going back into his head again.  I cringed.  It was so disturbing.
I wasn't expecting to be able to figure it out this way again.  But, I guess, how else would we figure it out?  I must just not have a good imagination, because if these things are possible surely other means could help as well?

Then, I felt myself melting away and starting to see a new scene, just like when you fall asleep.  Except, I remembered the whole thing from the beginning, I remember entering 'the dream' from start as I had before. Just like a WILD!  Here I go again with Rachelle's lessons...

[A WILD stands for Wake Induced Lucid Dreaming, which means you instantly know in your dream that you're dreaming with no waiting period.  You kind of remember the point where you fell asleep and see black for a little bit!  It's true, since I've had a few before.  Usually these occur for naps.  Enough of me blabbing...]

I open my eyes, and see right away that I wasn't at the bar anymore.  I look around, stunned.  I am in some sort of strange, historical home.  There were no overhead doors, holographs, or anything... The floors were some ancient stone, and the walls were old fashioned wood, not high grade plastic!
I touched my face and massaged it for a second.  Then I look in front of me.  That.... that lady was with me!  I saw her making eyes at me at the bar, but I just thought she was a lesbian.  And somehow, she's here with me.

My anger built up in me and I started to scream.  "You brought me here, bitch!  Why the hell did you do that?  I didn't do anything to you!"
I knew exactly what she was!  She was one of those legendary vampires that... our health professionals created!  A few years ago, a breakthrough treatment was made that promised to make humans live longer and look better.  No longer did we have to be fat and ugly!  The secrets of our minds would be unlocked as well.  That was the gist of it, though I may have missed some things.

But, you see, this procedure went haywire on all the patients, and made their skin off colored, and took the pigments out of their eyes.  Of course, this was stopped pronto after we discovered what we had created.  Now, one can get genetic modifications without the side effects and minus the change of the human life span (because it was decided that that could be a very, very bad thing), but few people can afford it.  I wish I could!

At my outburst, she shriveled back.  But I knew it was just an act, as her outward appearance is.  She doesn't look like a vampire, I know it.  But these genetic modifications gave them abilities as well as the health change aspects.  They are able to take the form of other bodies.  The scary thing is, with vampires, they either have to get new DNA from the person they're posing as every 24 hours, or kill them so they can change forms whenever they want.  I had no idea what she had done, but I didn't doubt the latter was a possibility.
Along with transforming into other people, they can travel in time simply through... I'm not sure how they are able to do it, but it doesn't take much.  I've heard that it just takes a deep glance from a vampire for them to be able to take you with them, but I never thought it was true.  I didn't even think we had vampires still around!  Most of them went into the past to cause havoc, and special people went into the past to get them and bring them back to the future and take their genetic modifications away from them, so taking away their being vampire.  I thought we had cured them all, but here I was, standing face to face with one.  She looked so innocent with her preppy girl attire and long side braid.  But it was all just a mask to cover her true, horrible self.

And then, by the time I noticed she was giving me a long, hard stare again, I was in another room in the dark.  She glared at me evilly, with her eyes squinted and an evil smile blossoming on her face.

 And then, right before my eyes, she transformed into her true self. Now she was wearing a black, low cut dress. She wasn't glaring at me with squinted eyes and a smiling face anymore.  She looked at me evenly with no expression.  Her fangs weren't showing, but it still made me jump up in alarm.  Her red eyes pierced through my very being, and somehow lit up the whole black room.  I shrieked, and started to panic.  I'm alone with a vampire in an unknown place.  It's a well known fact that vampires have no blood and drink the blood of humans.  But, since they transform into humans a lot of the times (at least, that's what I've heard), they usually just eat regular human food when they are humans, because most vampires choose to be human a lot of the times.  Of course, this is because their skin cannot see the light of day, or it will sear on contact and become black and wrinkly.  So having the ability to become human during the day makes them extremely powerful beings.
There is something I haven't mentioned about them: their brains seem to be messed up.  That is, all of the ones that have been retrieved and tested.  Obviously, the promise of unlocking the potentials of the brain didn't go as planned!  They become animalistic and do violent things just for the sake of violence.  That is part of the reason why they're so dangerous.  They are quite unpredictable and will do anything- and yet, they are smart in their evil, cunning ways.

I thought quickly, I had to do something.  I reached into my pocket for my special sack that holds anything up to fifteen feet by fifteen feet.  I don't understand the science behind it, but somehow some scientist figured out how to dig into the space time thing, and made small storage units implanted into small fabric.  I don't understand it at all, but it's quite a cool science.  I have loads of emergency stuff in there!  I reached in, and when I touched something, a yellow light was triggered in the bag.  I sighed, and touched something else.  This time, it blinked blue and I smiled.  Just what I was looking for: my flashlight!

I took it out and turned it on, pointing it at her.  I could clearly see her roll her eyes in the pitch black.
As if I was playing a joke on her, she said, "yeah, artificial light isn't going to make me burn."
Then I started to move the flashlight around, and I saw a door.  I smiled with glee.  I was almost thinking this was some room she lured prey into to drink from, but with the door, it made it seem more like a real... room, if you know what I mean.

And then, I found myself back in the white room of nothingness, staring at Merlin again.  Now, he was beginning to seem normal!
"Um... what the hell?!"
"Yes, 'what the hell'."  He repeated my words without the emphasis I used, so him saying it made it seem especially humorous.  It doesn't seem like he has an amusing bone in his body.
"So... what's the answer?  What point is Brianna talking about?"
"I don't know yet."
"What?... How are we going to find out, then?"
"It will happen, don't worry.  Remember, we have all the time in the world."

"Right... So, I don't see how Brianna could be behind this.  When I was seeing her memories in her point of view, she seemed sweet and innocent.... Is the thing about vampires true?"
He simply nodded.  It had to be the truth, Brianna surely made it sound convincing.
"Yes I agree, and the thing about the vampires is indeed true."
"What about you?  How did you acquire your abilities?"
He looked at me blankly.
"Tell me about you!  How could you take us here?  How were you able to have me see these people's memories as they happened?"
"My abilities are none of your concern."
I rolled my eyes, but he didn't see me, as his eyes were already rolling into his head again.

I opened my eyes, and the first thing I noticed was that I was in a purely white room with bright florescent lights beating down on me.  Then I noticed my attire.  I was wearing an ugly, cheap hospital gown of some kind.  It had a tacky pattern of ducks and sailboats on it.
Through my peripheral vision, I noticed that my head was encompassed in a strange machine of some sort.  I was laying on a crude, uncomfortable 'bed', if it could even be called that.  I had no idea why I was here.  I didn't feel sick at all.

And then, an attractive lady was walking toward me.  She was wearing orange scrubs which made me giggle.  She looked like she was from a jail.
She made no response to my giggle, but shut the machine over my head.  Then, she said to me, "well, since you'll never remember I told you this: "have a nice life serving Leonora, bitch!  You will no longer have a life for yourself, you'll just be doing Leonora's bidding!"
I had no time to process what she was saying, and then I went into dream land.

(Back to TJ's point of view)
The woman was standing there, watching Brianna in her sleep.  She started tapping on the metal and smiled to herself.

Then I opened my eyes, and I was back into the other white room, the one I was truly in.  It was strange, my mind drifted above Brianna and the woman in scrubs a brief moment before I came back.  It was as if I had just eyes looking at it, but not a mind to comprehend it.
"Wow... that was weird.  What even happened?"
Merlin sighed.  "Wow, so it is true..."
"What's true?!"
"I am pretty sure that the place we just saw through Brianna's eyes was in one of the underground hospitals in Pulver.  Pulver is... well, it's this island in the middle of the ocean in your present day.  Before man even started to search for land in the ocean, the people of the future were occupying the island for... research, and important government projects.  They were able to put up a barrier, a shield, to deter anyone from the area. Sometimes things go wrong, but you will never find it without teleporting there.  It's in the Bermuda triangle."
I simply smiled slightly, it still felt like I was dreaming.
"So... why would the hospital be underground?  What could they have done to her?"
"There are some vampires and their... let's say 'minions' that have been able to set up these hospitals for their own... needs."
"I don't get it.  Why couldn't someone rat them out, then?"
"Because there are limits to teleportation.  We have to know precisely where we want to teleport in order for it to work.  The problem is- if you were to teleport into something solid, just by a few milimeters- then you'd die.  Teleportation isn't something to mess around with, the moving of atoms is a very delicate thing.  And no trace of these hospitals has ever been found..."
I nodded.  I was so listening to a storyteller right now.

I put my hand to my heart, and breathed in deeply.  "So, what do you think happened to Brianna?"
He looked at the ground.  "I have no doubt from hearing what the woman in scrubs said that her mind was tampered with."
I gasped.  "How the fuck is that possible?"
"Oh, it is.  If we can change humans to become vampires- if only on accident, certainly it's possible to tamper with their minds.
"So... she is a minion for Leonora."
"You could call her that I suppose, yes."

"So... what does this mean for me?"  I crossed my fingers, though I had no idea what I was hoping for.
He almost sighed, "I believe Leonora tampered with your mind as well.  She must have changed your looks and something with your mind."
"But what?  I feel fine."
"I believe it has to do with you not caring how others feel.  You only care about yourself, TJ.  You never cared about Alicia when she said her ex wouldn't take her back.  You did try to comfort her, I'll give you that.  But you only did it because you had underlying sexual desires for her."
"Psh", I said in response to that.  No I didn't.
"You did, TJ, I have no doubts about that.  You also didn't want to help her out to get back with her ex by pretending to be her girlfriend.  In no way am I saying you should have done that, but you weren't willing to at all until it affected you directly."
I shrugged.  "Yeah, so?  I hate pretending I'm someone I'm not."
"Yes, that's true.  But you left your family with hardly a guilty bone in your body.  You were too worried that you'd get your secret out and that you'd be dead meat.  You didn't even think about how they would feel!"
I shrugged.  Seemed to me like he wanted me to be dead meat!

"Okay, look.  The bottom line: once you stop caring about everyone but yourself, this may become irreversible."
"What will?  My albinism?  Gee, I hope so!"