Whenever I wake up in the morning, there are exactly three seconds before I open my eyes, when I’m certain I have died in my sleep.
But then I open my eyes, and the walls of the room surround me. Familiar and I’m not dead. At least not yet.
Then I hear footsteps in the corridor outside. I have never been there so I’m not actually sure it is a corridor outside the room. But I often hear their footsteps draw closer, as if they came from far away. So I’m guessing it’s some kind of corridor out there.
Today, it’s the red-haired that brings me breakfast. He never smiles, but he’s gentle. He pats my head and talks to me in a soothing voice. He came in and closed the door behind him. He walked over to the table at the end of the room and put down the plate with eggs, pancakes and a glass of orange juice and then proceeded to put away yesterday’s play things. I look at his back as he picks up color pens and toys and flower covered paper boxes, puts them in their right place; shelves, bigger boxes and drawers, then he turns around to look back at me.
His eyes glitter, he looks happy to see I’m awake. Something tells me he has the same feeling as I do in the mornings. You never know when you can wake up dead.
He walks up to the bed and offers a hand to help me out. I take it and he simply grabs me around my waist and heaves me out of the fluffy sheets. I squeak and I feel his shoulder shudder against my lower stomach as he holds me still over his back while making the bed. I giggle and hold on to his stretched out arm. Then he just let me go and I fall back into the bed.
I laugh and kicks him. He leans over me to grab my nightgown and pulls it off me. I cover my insignificant chest with my arms and kick him some more. A black dress is put on me and with his strong but slim hands, he button up and creates a beautiful fall around my body. He draw back to look at me, standing on the bed and lifting my arms for him to see the whole thing. Then he nods and takes my hand to help me down.
When we eat breakfast, the light haired one joins us. He, on the contrary, smiles a lot. And his movements are always fast but a little uncontrolled. He likes to hug, a lot. He picks me up and spins me around in the air, then catches me in his big arms and holds me still for several minutes while repeatedly calling me cute or loveable or such things. When he finally puts me down, he won’t let go of my hand. He sits close and feeds me the syrup dripping pancakes then licks of what spilled onto my chin.
It´s only when he thinks I’m not looking when he hugs the red-haired, it’s also only at those times when his not smiling.
After we ate, they both took turns in cleaning and tidying the room. They open the big window, the only one in the room and there is where I sit. I casually read a book or draws something, sometimes I throw glances their way. They don’t interact; they are so focused on the dusts of the room that they barely see the walls.
I look outside. It’s approximately fifty meters or more to the ground. A wall empty of windows throws itself downwards straight into a sea of flowers and blooming trees. Rights outside the window, a garden is put down, like a whale in the middle of a city. It’s in the wrong place. But it’s beautiful.
The garden is my only outlook on the rest of the world, though; sometimes I’m not that sure even the garden is real.
That day, I saw someone in the garden. Her back and long brown hair. She was talking to someone, who was not there, I could not hear her, but I could feel what she said. I knew instantly, she was searching for me. When the two guardians finally announced that they were done, I hurried to ask them about it.
Suddenly, both of them looked scared and the red-haired one hurried to close the window while the light haired one held me back and told me, that it was nothing I should bother with.
I love my guardians and I trust them, but sometimes they do things that I don’t understand. I won’t ask, but deep inside I know that I missed something, something important, and something that was my right to know about.
The rest of the day, they spend keeping me busy. We play all kinds of games; only those you can play inside and they come up with new rules each time we play them. Nothing is old, I can’t get bored. When it´s time for lunch the red-haired leave through the door and comes back with pasta in tomato soup and bread. I get a big glass of something yellowish and sweet. They say it´s apple juice, but it doesn’t taste like it.
I’m the only one who eats. They just sit and watch me quietly when I eat, like it’s something foreign to them and it’s interesting to study. I’m used to it by now, I think it’s funny. Two grown men sitting like captured on a photograph, starring at a little girl eating her food. I smile and when they ask why I tell them the truth: I’m happy. They are happy to hear that.
Then it’s my turn to decide what to play.
First I want to draw, the red-haired is really good at realistic drawings and he can draw anything as long as it’s in front of him. The light haired can’t draw at all, all his drawings look like color splashes in the ocean. But it’s pretty. We sit down in a ring on the floor with a paper pile in the middle and pens all around us.
I brought down some of the plush toys from my bed; he Alpaca and the three bears and a penguin.
We don’t have a clock in the room, so I don’t know what time it is when I feel the need for tea, but it probably something around five.
The red-haired hurries out.
The light haired rolls around on the floor and talks about things that doesn’t matter, but I answer kindly like I know what he means.
When the red-haired doesn’t come back, the light haired tells me to stay here so he can go fetch him. I nod and start picking up all the things from the floor. He closes the door after him. I take the plush toys and jump onto the bed. I burry my hands and head in the big pile of animals at the end of it, they fall over me and I disappear into a multicolored mountain of toys. I reach out and hit something soft and… blue. I pick it up and sit up, it’s a penguin. It doesn’t look like the one I usually sleep with. That one is happy with light pink eyes and a bow on its head. This one looks sad and has dark red eyes. I put it beside the happy penguin. Then I dive back in, when the guardians come back I found a whole pack of new penguins. One has black eyes and a weird swirl on its head. The other has blue eyes with markings underneath, and a third has dark but happy eyes and a hat. The guardians call me back to the floor. I take the swirl headed one and the blue-eyed penguin with me as I sit down between them.
My guardians only drink tea. Three cups is ready on the floor, tea, sugar, milk and cookies. We sit there, and talk until the sun sets. Then I get to eat a sandwich with funny things on it and a glass of milk.
It’s the light haired one who tucks me to bed. He reads to me, a love story for grownups and even if I don’t understand that much, I really like it.
When the lights are out and the only thing I can see are the small rays of light shining through the curtains, I often lay awake while looking at the dark faces of the plush toys at the end of the bed, they stare back at me with endlessly black eyes.
I once asked the light haired one about those feelings I get when I’m supposed to sleep. He said it is normal for a girl my age to feel a little, unorganized in the end of the day. He said not to be worried, because tomorrow will always come and the guardians will always make sure I’m forever safe.
When the lights are out and the only thing I can see are the small rays of light shining through the curtains, that’s when brother come to me. He doesn’t come through the door like the guardians do, nether doesn’t he come through the window like the savior do. It’s like he appear in the middle of nothing, he’s just suddenly there. And Al is with him. In the beginning, I thought they came to bring me back home, I thought it were my brother and my Al that visited me. But after a while I noticed, they were different. My brother had grown old, he was and adult with broad shoulders and sad eyes and Al, he didn’t look the same at all.
I realized that they were not mine, they came from somewhere else. Where they came from, I did not exist. But they still missed me, so when I was alone, they came to me to mourn. They felt me in their loss. They never talked. But they sat by my side and helped me with the dark thoughts.
In contrary to the guardians, alternative brother and Al never lied to me and they always told me what I wanted to hear. They told me the truth. Without words, they slowly told me the tale of the past and the present. Sometimes I asked them about the future, but then they said that the future was not my responsibility, but someone else’s
They talked until I fell asleep. And they stayed by me until I was safe inside my dreams.
I dreamt about my brother and my Al. I dreamt about the flowers in the garden where we used to live, it was nothing compared to the garden here but it felt like, home.
When I am as deep asleep as I can, I dream about the savior.
I dream about the moment when she will release me from this room, when she will offer her hand to me and I will take it, and together we will leave this place. She will be the person to lead me to the end of the world, I can feel it. And even if ether the guardians or alternative Al and brother said so, I know, the end of the world, there is where I need to go. Because the savior showed me that. She was the one who let me open the window so I can see her in the garden, she was the one that made a way for brother and Al to talk to me and I know, she will make a way to me that will lead us out of here.
When I wake up the next morning, there is exactly three seconds before I open my eyes, when I’m certain I have died in my sleep.