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The Girl with the Lips
I got inspiration from many books I read and movies I watched
“You are perfect to me, dear,” my mother, Katy, said.
“You’re my mother. You have to say that!” I yelled.
“Honey, I just think you need to go out more. You know…go and hang out with some people your own age. You cannot hide out here your whole life.”
“Mum, I really do not care, okay? People don’t like me, so I am not going to risk it,” I yelled again, slamming my hand down on the polished wooden kitchen table.
“And I wonder why…” she said sarcastically.
“Gees, Mum. Great moral support. Can you get any more supportive?” I knocked her favourite blue and red floral vase from the bench.
It shattered into pieces on the floor.
“Sienna! How the hell could you? If you want respect, you give it to people. I am only trying to help,” she said, gritting her teeth.
“No, you are not. Ever since Dad died, all you have ever done was put pressure on me. I don’t like that. Why can we not go back to the way it was?” I cried.
“We cannot, honey. You are twenty-six now. You need to figure out what you are going to do with your life. You only live once, you know,” she said calmly.
“Yeah… well, maybe you should check yourself out in the mirror and figure out your future. You only live once, you know,” I said cheekily.
“How disgusting, Sienna. I am horrified that you would back chat me like that,” she said, her face burning red.
“You calling me a hypocrite? You are not supposed to teach me this crap, and you think it is my fault. I learnt from you, not others.” I ran to the front door of my mother’s house.
“Just leave. I don’t want to see you ever again,” she screamed.
“Far out. I thought you were better than this. I guess I was wrong.” I grabbed my handbag which was sitting or the corner bench in the kitchen.
I walked out the door, slamming it shut behind me.
Tears began streaming down my face. I had no idea what to do next. I’ve never had any friends. Not even during primary or high school. I was always the loner, the medium-figured, freckly, brown-haired freak who had nothing better to do than work. I could see my mother was worried about me, but I liked the independence. Hanging out with people would just be drama. I didn’t need any drama in my life. I practically had everything I needed. I had a job as a journalist, and I was always travelling. My mother’s house was where I lived when I was on holidays. Usually I just rented out apartments every two to three weeks depending on what story my boss told me I to cover.
I was still angry though. I had only seen Mum for two days, and I was already being kicked out. I guessed that was what happened when you hadn’t seen each other for two years. She got the idea that I was shutting her out of my life. I wasn’t. I was just too busy writing my story for the cover of a newspaper and now I had the next few weeks off to relax.
I know, writing a story for two years seems a long time, but it had to be. I wanted the story to be perfect. I went undercover, too, as a secondary school student. People say that my complexion of a twenty-six-year old resembles one of a fifteen-year-old. I guess this could be helpful in the long run when I am fifty. I don’t think I would look so old compared to all of the other fifty-year-old women.
My mother also, I believe, was comparing herself with me. Most mothers want their daughters to be exactly like them, and I can understand that… but not everything in life happens to everyone, we are all quite different.
She was married at the age of twenty when she met my father for the first time. I guess years past, he passed away and my mother began expecting a lot more from me. Dad never expected a lot from me.
He always said, “As long as you are happy, I happy and that is all that matters.”
I miss him and so does Mum. This is the reason we keep fighting.
I walked for about fifteen minutes to the park. Forest Range Park was always a peaceful place, large and formal. It had a large pond filled with goldfish and lily pads on one side of the park. On the other side sat the children’s playground and a water fountain. Stone pebbled paths led all the way to the gloriously sweet, fresh smelling gardens filled with roses and other types of flowers and plants. This was always my favourite spot as a child to come and visit. It always calmed me down, especially on a cool summer day like today.
Usually the park would be crowded at this time of day in the afternoon. But the park was deserted. The one thing that caught my eye was a desk placed in the middle of the large grassy oval. Behind this desk stood a tallish woman with red frizzy hair. She looked very plump. Her double chin could have been seen from a block away and the visible rolls under her colourful, floral dress made me want to feel sick. She was also wearing high, large, red heels. I wondered how she managed walking in them in her condition. She caught me looking at her.
“Hey, Miss. Come over here,” she called.
Who knows what she was doing over there. At this point of time, the world looked as if it were a blur. For some reason that I couldn’t explain, I was scared to go near her, so I began to back away slowly.
Within seconds of beginning to walk away, I figured out that the lady was following me. I heard footsteps behind me. I believed she was desperate. “Excuse me. No offense or anything, but you are creeping me out. Could you just leave me alone?” I said.
“Hi, I am Kiara Lauren. You seem like you are in some sort of trouble. Want to talk about it?” she asked.
I faced her with my eyes wide opened and my head tilted.
“I beg your pardon?” I said.
“Oh, it’s all in the cards, honey,” she said calmly, smiling away.
“What are you talking about? I think I should go. Nice meeting you,” I said, turning my back and beginning to walk away.
I walked about three metres before she spoke again.
“Oh no. Poor child. You are in trouble,” Kiara said, dropping her tone as if she were worried.
I walked back to the woman as the voice-dropping thing came to me as another scare. I looked at her. I felt my face burning. My arms tensed up. It felt like I was just about to join a wrestling match. I wanted to fry the lady who was standing in front of me. How dare she speak to me like that? She doesn’t know my life story.
“You have a problem with me?” I said rudely.
“Sienna, it is all in the cards. I don’t have a problem with you, the cards do,” she said, holding up a pack of cards that were in her hands.
“I never told you my name. Are you some psycho? Who the hell are you?” I said.
“No, I am not a psycho, miss. I am a fortune teller. I can see your future from a pack of cards, and it isn’t good.” She smirked.
“This is a joke. I don’t believe in your stupid cards. If you would excuse me, I need to go. I’m late for something.”
“You are running away. You just had a fight with your mother. You are going nowhere.” She laughed under her breath.
“How do you know that I am running away due to a fight?”
“The cards, dear. You don’t have to believe me, but I will warn you for later.”
Kiara began to walk away towards a stoned path which I had not noticed before.
“Wait. I am sorry. I know you sound stupid, but you’re freaking me out. What else do you know about me,” I said quickly.
She turned around.
She gave me a card. It had a picture of cracked, red lips on it right in the centre.
“It’s a curse, my dear. I cannot explain it now, but it is bad. This is a devilish card. I suggest you stay away from a lot of people.”
I laughed under my breath. “Seriously. This is just a piece of cardboard.”
“It isn’t, honey,” she said, handing me another card.
The second card was a picture of a girl behind bars.
“Let me guess. I am going to go to jail one day. What a load of crap,” I said.
“You are only making it worse.” She put her hand on my shoulder.
“No, I am serious. Sienna, you need to stop,” she snapped.
She handed me another card.
“This card I like. This is your future.”
“It is just a picture of a broken heart in some clouds. What does this mean?” I said.
“This is the card that breaks your curse.”
“You are freaking me out. You should go and see a doctor or something,” I said, handing her back the cards and walking away.
I turned around about thirty seconds later to see if Kiara was gone. She had disappeared and so had the table. My jaw dropped. The park was full of children running around and people were laying out picnic blankets. Shivers ran down my spine, and my legs felt like jelly. I pinched my arm to see if I was dreaming. I was awake because the pinch hurt. I decided to keep walking. What had happened? Had I imagined Kiara? No, I didn’t think so.
In the next few moments, my head started to spin and I got a sharp, throbbing pain in my skull. I felt like I was going to puke. Then I saw swirls forming around my head. That was the last thing I remembered.
I woke up in a bed, but not in my room where my mother lives. I was in a hospital room. Everything was different shades of white. The curtains, the covers, the walls… everything was white. My head still throbbed. I looked around. The toilet was in my view. I really needed to go to the toilet. However, no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t get up. My body ached too much. I felt like I had been hit by a truck. I didn’t remember anything. I couldn’t even remember my own name or what day I was born on. What was I doing in here?
I decided lying in bed wasn’t going to make me feel any better when I was busting to go to the toilet. So I decided to do what every little girl or boy would have done. I peed in the bed. It felt so wrong, but I couldn’t help it. I couldn’t smell anything. My nose was stuffy. I seemed to have a cold.
Seconds later, a tall guy—possibly the size of a basketball player—with a long tattoo down his right arm and greasy, black hair came into the room. He sat beside me on the bed. I began to feel nervous. I felt like jelly.
“It’s okay, honey, I am here. You don’t need to worry anymore. I will keep you safe,” he said sweetly, grabbing my hand.
I yanked my hand away and scooted away from him, toward the edge of the bed.
“Who are you?” I asked, my eyebrows furrowed.
“The doctors knew you were going to say that. What do you know, she doesn’t even remember her boyfriend,” he said sarcastically.
“What! I don’t understand. No, that cannot be right.” I panted, falling off the bed.
The guy stood up. He helped me back onto the bed carefully by picking me up in his arms.
“You have suffered amnesia, Sienna. I am your boyfriend, Gregory Strummer. I’m not offended if you don’t remember me.”
“No, I don’t remember you. How do you know my name?”
“I went through your wallet when I found you, the day we met, years ago, remember?” he said calmly.
I slapped Greg hard on his arm. I didn’t know about this ever. I couldn’t even remember this happening. How dare someone go through my wallet? He could have been a robber for all I knew.
“No, I’m sorry. I don’t think looking through someone’s wallet is the right thing to do. You need to leave me alone. I don’t know you and I want you to get out of my life,” I screamed at him.
He hurried quickly out the door. A group of nurses and doctors came into the room and stuck a sharp needle into my arm. I went into a deep sleep.
I woke up in a small room. I was not in the hospital anymore. There was a swinging chair to the left of me, a small rotted bench, and I was lying on a fold up bed. There were no windows to look outside, except for the small window on the door to enter the room. I was in no pain at all, so it wasn’t a difficult task to get out of bed and peek through the window. Outside were hallways of doors. No one was around. I tried to open the door, but it was locked. My heart raced. I had butterflies in my stomach, and my face was burning up. I was pretty sure I was not in jail, but I was stuck in here.
I started to bang on the door.
“Hello? Is anyone out there? I think you have made a mistake. I’m not a criminal,” I called.
A medium figured woman approached my door. She had long, straight, blonde hair tied back in a neat ponytail. She wore a blue knee-length dress with a nametag. Her name was Penelope Jonas.
Penelope opened the door and scampered in, locking it behind her.
“Hi Sienna. Welcome to the Mental Institution. How are you feeling today? My name is Penelope,” she said.
“Well, I am trying to get out. I didn’t do anything, I swear,” I stuttered.
“We know. You’ve been hallucinating about a guy for about two days while you were in a coma. You were knocked out pretty bad. Do you remember what happened?”
“This guy was making me mad. His name was Gregory Stunner,” I said.
“Your mother is here to see you. Do you want to see her? She’s waiting in the lobby.”
“I don’t have a mother,” I snapped.
“You do have a mother. She wants you to forgive her for apparently being an appalling mother and making you run out like that.”
Penelope was creeping me out. What did she mean I was hallucinating? Gregory had been there.
I walked into the large room, which then led me onto another small room. A woman with tanned skin and a pixie cut was sat in front of a large steel table. She stared at me. I didn’t recognise her. I sat down in a chair in front of the woman while Penelope walked to the side of the room and watched over us.
“Hi Sienna. It’s your mother. You seem puzzled,” said the woman who claimed to be my mother, with a tear running down her face.
“I don’t know who you are. I’m sorry,” I said rudely, turning my head.
“You do, darling. I just want to say sorry. This is all my fault. I should have never put pressure on you to have a social life.”
“What is your problem? Seriously, I have no idea who you are,” I yelled.
I heard someone laughing. I turned around. It was Greg.
“Excuse me, lady, Greg is right over there. See, I wasn’t lying. He followed us in,” I said, pointing him out to Penelope.
Her face dropped a little with utter sadness and confusion. Penelope just sat there and watched, also confused.
“I’m sorry, honey bun. As your mother, I believe you are going insane.”
“You are just saying that because you think he is ugly,” I snapped at her.
“You think I’m ugly?” Greg said.
“Shut up, Greg. You are not ugly. Just creepy,” I said, looking at him.
“What is going on, Sienna? There is no one else here,” my mum said.
Penelope spoke up. “Mrs. Lawson, I think we might need to give some time for Sienna to recover. It might take about seventy-two hours with medication and treatment. It might be best if you leave,” Penelope said, putting her hand on my mother’s shoulder.
Katy and Penelope left the room, locking the doors behind both Greg and I.
“That was rude. They didn’t even consider your existence,” I told Greg, still considering whether I liked him or not.
“I know. It’s a bit weird. I am a bit of a Ninja, though. I can sneak around like this all the time. Maybe your mother didn’t like the sight of me.”
“Yeah, that’s right. But that wasn’t my mother. You are real,” I said, touching his arm. “If you weren’t real, you would be a ghost and I could put my whole hand through your body.”
“Don’t worry about them. I know you are suffering from amnesia, not hallucinations. This is why I am a good boyfriend.”
“I’m glad at least someone who believes me. So, what are we even going to do in this jail cell? Do you have the keys to get out by any chance?” I asked.
“No keys.” He sighed.
“I’m sorry that you got stuck in here with me. I still have no idea what I did.”
“I just remember you lying there peacefully on the ground in the park.”
“I don’t remember being in a park, remember?” I said under my breath.
“I’m sorry. I know. We will find out how you lost your memory one day.”
Penelope walked back into the room.
“Who were you talking to?” she said.
“Penelope, this is Greg,” I said, placing a hand on his shoulder.
“I don’t see anyone. Come with me and I’ll take you back to your room now as your mother has gone. I think you need a long rest—”
“But you said I was in a coma all day. I’ve had plenty of sleep,” I said.
She didn’t reply. Greg and I followed her back to my room, and then she left again, locking us in. Greg had a worried look on his face. He had gone pale.
“Gees… Something is wrong with these people, hey? No respect for me,” he said softly.
“I like you. Don’t worry about what others think of you. Remember the motto to never judge a book by its cover.”
“You’re so right. That is why I love you.”
“So, what are we going to do for the next seventy-two hours to ensure that you get out of this institution in one piece?” Greg asked.
“There is really nothing we can do in here but talk. It is going to be a long three days, though.”
“I’m sure we will figure out something to do. We can break this table apart and make a drum stick,” he joked.
“I like your thinking, but I’m sure that will only make our problems worse. Where are you going to sleep?”
“In bed with you. Isn’t that what boyfriends and girlfriends do?”
“I guess. You know, we could try to get out of here. Break out or something…”
“That’s impossible. Do you not want to be with me for three days or something?” he said with a small smile.
“Of course I do. But I think if we try hard at something, we can succeed.”
Greg looked at me with his eyes wide and his head tilted. He held both of my hands.
“Let’s just face the fact that unless you have a key, you and I are going to be staying together in love, passion, and solidarity for the next few days and nothing can change that,” he said pleasantly.
He let go of my hands and looked deeply into my eyes.
Greg was right. But I was sure we could find something in this room to pick the lock. Maybe breaking the table was a good idea after all. We could get a small wood chip and use it as a key.
“We will do it tonight,” I said excitedly with a smile on my face.
“What? What are we doing tonight?” he said, blinking.
“We’re going to get out of here by making a key.”
Greg fake-coughed two times in a row.
“Maybe they did send you in here for a good reason. Sienna, you are not going to be able to fix everything in this world,” he said with a little anger in his voice.
“Have you never read up on how to pick a lock before? We just need some sharp tool, like a wood chip from this table,” I said enthusiastically.
He blinked. “Oh. I might not have a brain or two, but that does sound like a fantastic idea. It still might not work, though.” He paused. “I’m sorry for getting angry with you.”
“No problems. And you know, with your negative attitude, you might never succeed in life,” I joked.
Greg gave me a small nudge to my shoulders. I nudged him back.
“You are the most incredible person I have ever met, Sienna. You have no idea how much you inspire me to live my life like you. I cannot wait to grow old with you.”
“But we aren’t married yet…”
“I know that, but it will happen one day… you’ll see.”
“I don’t know. We might never get out of this place.” I sighed.
I was being pessimistic at this point of time. I couldn’t help myself, and I didn’t know why I was in the first place.
“See, now you are being negative. Where’s that bubbly, positive, hardworking personality you just had a few minutes ago…”
“Maybe we should stop judging each other. Sorry, Greg. I can’t help myself. We are locked in a room together in a mental institution. I just keep thinking about all these scenarios, but now they are all screwing with my head.”
“I see that as a gift, my dear. We can get to know each other more this way. We have only known each other for about a year, and I am still dying to know the rest of your story.”
“You will get it one day, I promise. Same goes for you. I still can’t quite grasp every little detail about you. I have forgotten everything. You were the only thing I could remember about my past right now from that very moment in that hospital.”
“That is why we are going to start new. I will tell you everything about me, and then when you get your memory back, you will do the same.”
I smiled at Greg. He smiled back.
“You are the most beautiful woman I have ever met in this world. I am so lucky I have met you.”
“Thanks…” I said, blushing.
“You are so cute when you blush. Gosh, I wish I could just kiss you now,” he said happily.
“Well, I wouldn’t do that if I were you.”
“Why is that?”
“Because, I have this feeling that you’re the only guy who has said that to me. I don’t want to rush into things.”
“But we are not rushing. We’ve known each other for about a year and still haven’t kissed or anything.” He sighed, looking at the floor in front of his feet.
Penelope came back into the room and urged me to follow her into a room with a large television screen and leather couches in it. Greg followed us out.
“Sienna, we have security cameras all around this institution, and we have been watching you very carefully. I have decided to show you some of the footage we have just received from your room. We can hear every word and see every move you make. Darling, you are in a critical stage of your hallucinations, and I just want you to be aware of what is going on,” she said, pressing play on the television remote.
The video was just of me in my room from the past hour. Greg wasn’t even in the video. It was as if I were talking to myself or a ghost. I didn’t understand a bit of what was going on.
“See, Sienna, you have been talking to someone who we cannot see, but you can. It is called a hallucination. I’m afraid you won’t be able to leave this institution after seventy-two hours if you are still talking to this Gregory guy. We are also going to isolate you in a room with just a mattress and blanket in front of the watch tower room. Guards walk up and down the halls night and day to check if everyone in each room is safe and secure,” she said.
Greg sat beside me. He grabbed my hand and held it tightly.
I was getting scared. I was trembling all over. Penelope stuck a large needle in my arm. I hoped that this would stop me from at least shaking. It made me incredibly tired. Once again, I drifted off into a deep sleep.
Three Days later… I had been confronted by Penelope who told me that I had been in a coma.
“You were in another coma, dear? How are you? If you are feeling better, I can let you go,” Penelope said, standing tall beside my bed in the mental institution.
“I’m fine. Why do I keep going into a coma?” I asked, puzzled.
“We don’t know, honey. We gave you a needle to release the pain and stress, but it always seems to take the opposite effects. We have never had a patient like you before. It is really quite strange,” she said, kneeling beside the bed.
“What... wow…”I stumbled.
“It’s okay, honey. Is Greg here with you today?”
I looked around the small room. There was no sign of Greg at all. However, I felt so tired, I could barely leave my eyes open for a second.
Penelope stood up and led me to the outside room, which was still locked up. It was a grass patch with a water fountain and fake plants. It was surrounded by a clear dome, which let sun shine through, but never got very hot in there. I had never been outside to the room before. It was so peaceful and beautiful. It reminded me of a favourite place I used to visit, but I couldn’t grasp what this place was called.
“Do you like it out here, Sienna? It’s a beautiful scene, isn’t it?” Penelope asked, smiling.
“It is,” I said.
“So, your mother has booked a taxi for you to go home today in about fifteen minutes She wanted you to get some fresh air and see if you could live like a normal woman again. She actually bought you your own little apartment to stay in whenever you are having a bad day with her.”
“I don’t have a mother, remember?”
“I know you think that. It’s okay to think like that. Anyway, this lady offered you a place, and you can stay there for as long as you want to.”
“Was it that Katy lady that came in the other day?” I asked curiously.
“Yes. She felt quite sorry for you. Don’t worry about her bothering you either. She said she will only visit under your permission,” she explained sweetly.
“Tell her I said thanks.”
“No problems at all. Hurry, you mustn’t be late,” she said, forcing me gently down the hall and out to the front gate where the taxi man was waiting for me.
“Thank you,” I called to Penelope as the taxi drove away.
The ride only lasted for about ten minutes. I sat silent the whole time, as there was a black grate separating the front part of the taxi from the back.
“Excuse me, sir, how much do I owe you for the trip?” I asked the Indian man as I got out of the car.
“It’s already been paid for. Have a good day. Here are your keys for the house,” he said, handing me a set of keys.
“Thanks,” I said.
He drove off.
I stood in front of a row of small apartments, which were situated in a small town area. Outside each was a small garden full of flowers. The wooden door had a buzzer on the side. From the front view, the apartment’s front had no windows.
I put the key into the key hole and opened up the door. You could see everything that was in the apartment from the front door.
Inside, it was very spacious. There was a run of wooden cabinets with soft beach wood and bright white décor covering every wall. There were vases of indoor plants, a small chandelier, a table, and a single bed. I couldn’t see a kitchen, bathroom, or laundry. I hoped this wasn’t a joke and this apartment contained all of these rooms for my own sake.
I began to open some of the cabinets. The first one was a small opening into the bathroom with a small shower and toilet. The floor was made up of shiny white tiles, and the walls were marble. There was a small kitchen sink with a mirror above it. I believed that each of these cabinets might be a new room or have items stored in them.
I went around to every cabinet and opened them all up. I found fold up chairs and an ironing board and iron in one cabinet. There was an entertainment cabinet as well which contained a television, stereo, and DVD player.
In another cabinet was a small washing machine with a dryer hanging above. Another cabinet contained several compartments and room for hanging up clothes. In this cabinet, many hangers were supplied and hung from the metal bar inside neatly. Laundry, bathroom, and linen supplies were placed neatly inside.
I found the fridge, pantry, stove, and then the microwave and oven last. They were all in separate compartments above each of the other larger cabinets. Thank goodness, they were in reach so I wouldn’t have to use a chair to climb up to use them.
The largest cabinet I left to last. It was a sliding cabinet, which turned out to be a large window that looked out onto a beautiful, luscious green garden and a pond. The cabinet must be acting as a curtain for the days that were incredibly sunny and hot.
I sat down on the bed. It was incredibly soft.
I had only been in the room for about ten minutes when I heard a knock on the door.
It was Greg.
“Hi...” I said.
“Can I come in?” Greg asked, worried.
“Yes, of course,” I said, moving out of the doorway. “Are you okay?”
“The question is are you okay?” he joked.
“Yes, I am fine. What are you doing here?”
“I cannot explain it to you, but you are in a lot of trouble,” he said, dropping his head down.
My breath hitched. “What do you mean? I didn’t escape out of the mental hospital. They drove me home. What could I have possibly done?”
“You didn’t do anything. That’s the point. It is what you are going to do in the next few seconds that will change everything.” He sighed.
“You’re talking nonsense. What is going on?” I snapped.
“I have to leave you. The next time you see me, I will be on the floor.”
“What are you talking about?” I said, nearly bursting into tears.
I wasn’t expecting to do anything in the next few seconds. And the fact that Greg couldn’t even explain what he was saying also made me angry. My face flushed.
“We have to do it,” he said. “I have no choice. You were cursed once. I was sent to help you on your journey,” Greg explained.
“I have no idea what you’re—”
Greg kissed me.
In the next few seconds, my head began to belt with pain. The kiss was perfect and there was no doubt about that. It was also my first I had ever had. Greg pulled a tablet from his pocket and handed it to me.
“I love you. I will never forget you,” he said, with tears dripping down his face.
I took the tablet, and then he was gone and so was my headache.
I had no idea what had just happened. I began to cry. Large, wet tears dripped down my face. My body felt like it had been hit by a car.
I decided to turn on the news channel just in case I had missed something in this crazy world.
The television went black and then an image of a card flashing in bright red and yellow lights appeared on the screen. Then the image formed a picture of broken lips. The image lingered for about a minute and then disappeared. The news came on.
On the screen was Greg lying on the ground in the park. Blood covered him. I tried to turn off the television to remove the pain and memories of Greg, but I couldn’t. I couldn’t believe any of this catastrophe was happening. It felt like I was in a dream, however, it was just plain old reality. Greg, although looked peaceful, looked incredibly sickening. None of the buttons worked on the remote or the television. A second later, the television blew up.
I screamed so loudly that it made my head sore. The next second, I fell to the floor, my vision blurring until all I saw was darkness.