Author's note: This started as an assignment for one of my college classes. The assignment was, take the story... Show full author's note »
2It was 9:30 in the morning, and that meant Mother was long gone. She always left at the same time every morning, and that was before I was awake. But what did it matter? I wouldn’t have been able to see her leave anyway. She always keeps me locked in my room until the last minute.
I rolled over to face the lone window in my room, and came face to face with a white cat.
“Good morning beautiful.” I liked this cat. She was my friend. But I had to be careful because if Mother ever found her, she’d be dead.
But she was my only friend, and I was determined to keep her. You could say I was a little jealous of her and her freedom.
That and she reminded me of myself. Oddly enough, her eyes were the same metallic blue that mine were. If I could have ever gotten up close to anyone else, I’d bet no one had the same color eyes as mine. Mother said that made me special.
“You hungry?” She meowed in response. “Good.”
About an hour later, I was full of pancakes. And my floor was full of pancake batter. And so was my wall.
I was laying on the couch with my cat when I heard it.
Someone was walking around outside. That was odd. Mother came home at the same time every day. And this building was abandoned except for us. I listened closer.
Oh God… they were a man’s footprints. As soon as I realized this, I scooped up my cat and a kitchen knife and bolted to my room, slamming the door behind me.
Mother had always told me stories about men; how vile and cruel they were. She said they were heartless and would steal anything and everything from you. I gripped my cat closer.
THUMP. THUMP. THUMP.
It sounded like he was… Banging on my door? Oh God he knew I was in here and he was going to break in and steal my cat and…
And the door flew open, sending the chain lock flying into pieces.
I held my breath.
Oh my God. Oh my God… Oh my…
My door flew open and I closed my eyes not wanting to see what happened next.
I felt warmth beside me, and I heard his breaths. Then I heard his heart. Strong. Steady. I opened one eye. Then the next.
“Are you, uh. Are you okay?” The voice that spoke was strong and deep, but its owner looked more like a boy. Sure he was tall; the guy was crouching and still had three feet on me, and he probably had more muscle in his pinky than I had in my entire body, but it was his face. He looked like he never needed a razor in his entire life, and he had huge bright green eyes that sparkled more than any star I’d ever seen.
And his heart…
But a tilt of his head reminded me that I still hadn’t answered his question.
“Yes. I… I’m alright. I’m fine.” I tried to steady my voice, but it couldn’t have shaken more if I was being tossed around in a blender.
“I’m sorry about your um, about your door. Doors. It’s just, this building looked so old, and I didn’t think anyone lived here anymore.”
“We do. We live here.” I didn’t really know why, but I felt like I could trust him. This stranger that just burst into my house.
“We? You and your… you and your cat?”
I couldn’t help but laugh. I didn’t really laugh often. Mother says its useless. “No. I meant me and my mother.” He looked around, causing his blonde hair to fall into his eyes. “No, she’s not here. She’s working. I guess. She usually comes home at 4:45.”
“How old are you?”
“And she still keeps you locked up while she’s gone?” his green eyes seemed to darken.
“Mother says the world is bad. She says I’m not safe.” I almost whispered.
“I wont hurt you.” He held out his hand to me. “As long as you don’t stab me with that thing.” I hadn’t realized till now that I was still clutching the knife. With a shaky laugh, I out the knife on my table, and graciously accepted his hand. My cat lept from my grasp and curled around his legs, purring.
“She likes you.”
“I like her.” He looked at me. I’ve never had a guy look at me before. I could feel the heat in my face, so I turned.
“Who are you anyway?”
He seemed a little caught off guard by my question, because now he was the one looking around nervously.
“I’m uh.” He hesitated. “I’m Staff Officer 6-oh-2, at your service.”
A number. Not a name. I hadn’t realized, but I was kind of hoping he didn’t have a name.
“What are you doing here?”
“To be honest, I’m not really sure. I was just…” he cleared his throat. “I was just training with my squadron and got separated.”
“And ended up here.”
“Yeah. Hey, does anyone else know you live here?”
“Just the people Mother works with I guess.”
His eyes lit up. “Does your mother have a um. You know. A name?”
“NO!” I yelled. “ No she doesn’t! How dare you! Who do you think you are? Even if she did it wouldn’t be any of y…”
“hey look that’s not what I meant. I’m sorry, okay? I just thought, big building like this, someone’s gotta know its here. I mean, it’s practically a tower.”
“Mother likes her privacy.” My voice was icy, which was unusual for me. But I didn’t like him insinuating that my Mother had a name. I mean, she was against the rebels, but she wasn’t part of the Important Ones.
“Yeah, I can see that. I better go. Sorry for intruding.” He turned to leave, and I realized I didn’t want him to leave. This was the first actual human contact ive had other than Mother, probably since I was born.
“Yeah. Don’t wanna piss off your mother.”
“But. But she wont be home for six more hours. I don’t really… I don’t want to be alone.”