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The lights were blinding, like laser beams cutting into her eyes, making them fuzzy and red, though once blinked her vision cleared leaving tiny purple dots that popped up along the scenery. The room was a small with posters covering every inch of the wall that looked as if the posters were actually the wallpaper. Two Hello Kitty speakers blared music that was so loud it seemed to shake the room in an earthquake of sound. A pizza box lay at her feet, as a skinny boy with a silver ring at the corner of his lip picked at pieces in the box. He leaned over and kissed her cheek, then went back to picking at pieces in the box. A girl with part of her hair in dread locks was laughing and dancing around the room, a joint in hand, even though she was completely stoned, she danced like a trained ballerina. Finally a voice broke through a mist all the action happening around her, “ Ready Lina?’ asked a girl with a piercing gun, gripped tightly in her hand, as if it were a weapon.
“Duh”, she replied.
“All right, it may hurt a little,” the girl said as she dabbed numbing cream on the inside of Lina’s nose. “Okay now, relax all your muscles.” Lina took in a deep breath, closing her eyes tight, as if it would ease the pain.
“Okay, just relax,” cooed the girl as she eased the gun in Lina’s nose.
Lina shook as If she had just been electrocuted. “Oh my god,” she screamed, dancing around like a maniac.
“Calm down sister,” the girl directed, “let me actually put in the ring.” The girl pulled out a shining silver ring and eased it through her now bleeding nose that she was dabbing at frantically with a tissue. She fell on the floor, laughing, and moving as if she were having a seisure, her blonde-streaked hair falling into her face. “It looks cute,” the boy with the lip ring touched it and smiled, grabbing her to kiss heR again, but this time on the lips. The kiss felt awkward for her lips were extremely chapped and her breath smelled as if it would knock someone out, but she didn’t care. The music and lights began to fade out.
“Allison, what the h*** are you dosing off for? We have this project due on Friday and we’re not going to get anything done if you keep sleeping on me!” Kerri’s high-pitched voice shot through Allison’s ears like bullets.
“Sorry,” Allison grumbled, rubbing her chocolate brown hair, “I just had one of them again.” Allison sat up on Kerri’s bed, her long legs dangling over the edge (she was sizably taller than Kerri).
“Fix my sheets,” was all Kerri could respond. Her head was wound up as if she was taught from a Martha Stewart magazine when she was younger, instead of learning her ABC’s. “Wait, what do you mean?” she asked looking up from her laptop.
“You know those ones that I keep on getting with this random girl named Lina,” Allison replied, as she began tinkering with the model city they had made.
“Well, what was Lina up to today? I’d really love to know,” Kerri asked, her sarcasm slapping Allison in the face.
“Well,” Allison began,” she was in a room with posters all along the walls and super messy and she was getting her nose pierced.”
“Ewww, tacky much,” Kerri interrupted.
“Yeah, so anyway, she was with a bunch of friends and there was this boy there who Lina kissed a lot. But, the weird thing is is that the first two times I had this, vision type thing, he was there. I think he might be Lina’s boyfriend.”
“And I care because,” Kerri shot back again, this conversation was almost like a soot off and so far Kerri was winning.
“Well, the weird thing is is that Lina looks like me, and not just by a few vague features; like pretty much exactly like me.” Allison began to shiver, “What if she’s like my twin or me or something. That would be so scary,”
“Yeah,” Kerri hissed, “but you know what would be more scary? If we fail this project, so start gluing before you screw up yours and my straight A’s.”
And like a flower petal, crumpled, under Kerri’s hard fist, Allison gave in.
“I guess so,” sighed Allison as she went back to gluing.
She tried to keep her mind on the project, though her mind kept on retreating back to the image of Lina that sat clearly in her mind’s eye a prefect picture. In her later memories, she didn’t know if she could even call those strange images that, Lina was almost her complete opposite it seemed. In one Lina was skipping class and it had seemed as if she had mastered it like some master playing the piano, which totally wasn’t like Allison at all. Lina had probably the worst relationship with her step-father and Allison loved her dad. Also, Lina and Allison were in completely different groups at school, Allison had her small “study clique” where all her friends got together to study and played soccer on the same team; and Lina seemed to hang out with different people all the time or would just sit alone with one, an odd social butterfly. She felt as though all the things that Lina did were strangely familiar in a way, but she didn’t know it.
The sky was black velvet, sprinkled with sparkles here and there. The moon was a sliver of silver, not upstaging the nights captivating brightness. The city’s sounds sat as background music, but were drained out by the radio she was playing with.
“Alex, help me find a station.” she whined, passing him the radio.
“You don’t wanna listen to free form Jazz?” he joked, turning up the volume on the current station that was droning jazz music that’s sound seemed to drain out her brain waves. She playfully punched him, giggling. “How about Oasis marathon on 9.30?”
“All right,” she whispered, burrowing deeper into his arms. She pulled his oversized jacket over her head as if to hide in the red-striped fabric. The song “Wonder wall” came on, and seemed to melt through the air, drowning out every other possible sound that could be ruining the moment.
“Because, maybe you’re going to be the one that saves me,” they coroused, “and after all, you’re my wonder wall,” they sang. The song seemed endless as it danced out of the radio, Alex and Lina , screaming the whole thing.
“I freakin’ love that song,” Lina screamed, excitement bursting out of her words like sudden fireworks of sound.
“Me too,” Alex whispered, his words so soft they were almost devoured by the night. He bit on his lip ring, making small clicking sounds as he did so.
“You know,” Lina stretched out her arms, which were scribbled on with pen from an hour before, “If the world were to end right now, I wouldn’t care, because I think my life would’ve already been complete. I don’t know that might sound crazy.”
“Of course not,” Alex reassured, “that’s pretty intense in kinda a cool way, I guess.”
Lina ran her spider-leg-like fingers on Alex’s cheek. “You’re too amazing,” she smiled.
“You are too,” he laughed, tweaking her nose, which made her nose ring move.
“This is so cheesy,” she laughed, grabbing for the radio’s pink knobs, white noise blurted here and there until Black Flag’s “Nervous Breakdown” blared through the speakers. Lina rose up from her comfortable spot and began bobbing her head and dancing as if she was actually back in the eighties. “Now that’s what I’m talking about,” she screamed, clearing the hair from her face. Alex quickly got up and joined her, “I’m crazy and I’m hurt,” they screamed the lyrics until an unexpected sound broke their fun,
“Shut up you stupid kids, don’t you ever sleep?” the raspy voice of eighty-year old Ms. Pegg complained.
“Sorry Ms. Peg,” Lina apologized, “and the curlers are a great look for you by the way.”
Ms. Pegg, put her hand to the three large, purple curlers holding up her grey hair, “Oh, you two can go to h***,” she moaned, closing the window .
“Thanks we will,” Lina yelled back, “that old hag.” She laughed. “Shut up you stupid kids,” she mocked waving her fist in the air, “ I bet she went through menopause when she was thirty.”
“Or twenty,” Alex added, drawing Lina close and whispered softy, “I want you to know that you are the prettiest, coolest, funniest, craziest, and greatest girl in the world, “ his voice fading out into the night wind.
Allison woke up to the smell of cheap black coffee filling her nose. The smell made her shoot up, to see the school’s “special counselor” (basically the school’s crazy officer) and after one sip she was able to settle into her surroundings. Small rays of light escaped through what space the cat-covered window shades let it the counselor was an extreme cat fanatic, for small figurines and pictures of cats littered the tiny room.
“So,” she began in that everything-is-going-to-be-okay kind of a voice, “the teacher said you were sleeping in class.”
“Yes,” Allison trembled, she wasn’t sure if this was some way the dean was trying to cover up the fact that she was in trouble for sleeping in class or that Kerri had dropped a word about Lina to the dean and he sent her here.
“Do you know why you were?” she asked, her voice monotone almost like a robot.
“Not completely,” Allison saw the plaque that read Dr. Calvert in bold letters that was covered with cat stickers, “Dr.” she added to sound more mature.
“Some teachers of yours said that you’ve been doing this often, but you don’t really know that you are.”
“Yes, a friend of mine has told me so,” Allison replied.
“Well, are you just tired, or”
“No, I get eight to ten hours of sleep a night.”
“Okay then, are you having any dreams, visions, or anything when you,” she clicked her red-fake nails in search for a word, “doze off, let’s say.”
“Well,” would you like to tell me what you see?” she asked, her voice slightly rising out of her plain tone.
“Well,’ Allison tried to hold back, “I have these weird visions of this one girl named Lina and all her friends and I don’t even know her.” The words shot out like bullets that she couldn’t control, shooting the counselor with puzzling questions that appeared on her pale face.
“Memories?” she asked, trying to keep that no-your-not-crazy-at-all voice, but failed.
“Well, just like visions. But the visions seem like memories.” Allison replied in a quiet, embarrassed voice.
“Is this girl, Lina, you say anything like you?”
“Personality wise, no, but we look exactly alike except for a few acceptations. But she doesn’t live in the same place or have the same friends or anything and she has a boyfriend and I’m not allowed to date yet.” The words tumbled out again.
“And you say you’ve never met her?
“Never in my life.”
The counselor began to take down notes for what seemed like an hour, without speaking. “Well,” she finally spoke, “there’s really no diagnoses for this kind of thing, but may I ask you a question Ms. Ross?”
“Sure,” Allison yawned.
“Do you have a squiggly scar on your forehead?” She asked.
“Yes,” Allison replied, “why?”
“Do you mind if I see it?” she asked, as she awkwardly touched the scar on her forehead, which her bangs conviniently covered. “Okay, I think it’s time you go home,” she concluded, “I’ll write you a slip to get you out of class.”
“Hey, Hun,” Allison’s mom greeted as she walked through the door, “how was school?”
“All right,” Allison sighed, seating herself on the table, “I was sent to the school counselor today.”
“Oh, for what?”
“Well, I’ve been having these weird visions of this girl Lina that looks exactly like me, but she said there was nothing wrong with me so I guess everything’s fine.” Allison admitted.
“Of a girl named Lina,” her mom looked up, wearing a look on her face as if she had just been told that the world was going to end. “Yeah,” Allison sauntered.
“Did she ask to see your scar, as well?” Her mother walked away from her work and over to where Allison was sitting.
“Yes, why?” Allison, got up, getting uncomfortable with her mother’s closeness.
“Just wondering,” her mother answered back. “Why don’t you go take a nap or something?” she instructed.
“I think, I’m gonna go for a walk,” she pulled on her mother’s large, red Princeton jacket and some shorts.
Allison walked out the door, the night breeze making goose bumps across her
skin. The leaves made a chorus of crunching noises under her feet that stood as a good soundtrack for her racing mind.
“I’ll always love you no matter what these kooks do to me,” screamed Lina gripping on to Alex’s hand, so hard it almost seemed she would break his frail bones. Two people in white suits were gripping onto her arms, she squirmed like a captured animal trying to free herself as they pushed her into a white truck. “You can’t do this to me!” she screamed managing to kick one of her capturers in the face. But, in no time they managed to get her into the truck and drove off. Her cries fading off into the sound of shrieking car wheels.
Allison blinked herself awake, the foliage covering her face like a veil of leaves. She had had another Lina vision, she was about to push herself up when a pale drawn-on hand reached out to her. Taking it she looked up to see a face that was all too familiar to her now. “Alex,” she began, stunned but, stopped herself, but by the way his grey eyes fixated into hers like sharp knives, she had a feeling it was too late.
“Lina,” he gasped, putting his arms around her, she stood still, “I missed you.”
“Um, I’m sorry, but I think you have the wrong girl.”
“Oh, “ he laughed nervously, “nice joke. Hey, but wait, what happened to your hair? When did you take out your streaks? And your piercing? And make-up?”
“I really don’t know, what you’re talking about,” Allison pushed him away, why did he think she was Lina, if he went out with her... her mind was spinning out in a tornado of questions.
“Wait,” he held her back, “they really did it.”
“Did what?” Allison asked, trying to squirm out of his surprisingly tight grasp.
“Erased your memory”, he whispered.
“What?” Allison, shook her head, thinking that if she did she would wake up from this odd dream.
“There’s this new, weird magnetic thing that basically erases the part of your brain that stores memories. It must destroy the cells in that part of your brain or something. I’m not really sure how it works, but your parents did it to you after your step dad blamed your rape on me.”
“Stop,” Allison pushed his skinny body away from her, “I don’t even know what you’re talking about. I don’t even know who you are, or who Lina is, and how I don’t know why you’d say that about my dad, I don’t even have a step-dad!. And I don’t mean to be rude, but I have to go and I really don’t want to talk.”
Alex looked up at her with a wounded-puppy kind of look, “I’m sorry,” he said, “but, if you ever figure out what happened,” he took out a small pen and began writing on her free hand, “my number’s there.”
” Um, ehh, thanks?” Allison stuttered as she began to run off.
What was Alex telling her? Why did he think she was Lina? Was Lina even a real person? The questions pounded at Lina’s brain making it hard for her to think on a straight path. She ran into the house and fell right onto her bed.
Her eyes were hard to adjust to the pitch black of the room, though once she opened her eyes wide like a cats she seemed to have what felt lie perfect night vision. The early winter moon hid slightly behind a small cloud that kept moving as if it were playing a game of hide and go seek with the night sky. The small light slit through the utter darkness, a small razor, cutting into Lina’s pupils. A quiet creaking sound came from the door.
“Hey Lina,” a man dressed in nice business attire walked in.
“Hey Carl,” Lina replied in a slightly pissed off voice.
“Want your blinds closed?” He asked, walking over toward the window.
“Sure,” Lina grumbled, “no offense, eh, Carl, but why are you in here?”
“Just wanted to have some father, daughter bonding time,” he brushed off closing the blinds, the room was pitch black. Lina strained4 to see his figure though she could only hear the hoarse wheeze of his voice that was developed from years of smoking god knows what; Lina thought. Suddenly she felt, something fall on in a sudden motion as if someone had dropped a sack of rocks on her. She looked up and made out Carl’s beak of a nose, “What the fr” she was cut off, a baseball mitt-like hand covering her mouth; and at that moment the world went black.
Allison rubbed her throbbing head, her heart speeding up, as if she was running a marathon. She grabbed her laptop off the desk and quickly typed in the internet “Search” box “memory erasing” she shifted through pages and pages of sites the glare from the computer making her eyes hurt, then she stumbled unto a page that held her answers to conviently in front of her, and in a matter of minutes the realization that the last year and a half of her life had been a lie, hit her in all the parts of her body, making her shiver. She picked up the phone staring at her arm that had a phone-number scribbled on it,
“Hey Alex,” she began, “Can I meet you somewhere? Like maybe at a record store or something? You can? Cool. I think it’d be nice if we could talk and maybe you can catch me up on some new, good music too. See you soon.”