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I can already feel the scorching heat and thick texture of the school soup pouring down from my hair to my chest as I hear their despicable chuckles behind me. My eyes close. The soup feels like a slithering snail slowly moving from my face to the inside of my shirt. Its revolting smell makes my stomach turn in disgust. I wipe it off my face, their laughter becoming more deafening by the second. Something violently smashes against my head. Their crooked fingers point at me and their wide mouths open in evil laughters, making me want to close my eyes and never open them again. I can’t. I seek refuge by looking at the teachers in the distance. All of them are frozen. Their hypnotizing soulless eyes shoot bullets into my brain. All of them have a robotic yet wicked smile painted on their faces, spreading wider as the volume of laughter increases. I can’t seem to remember anything from the past. Who I am. Why I am here. I've lost track of time just as I’ve lost track of identity.
I run to the bathroom. Immediately, I turn on the water and splash it against my face. I cannot hear their sounds anymore, the roaring noise has turned into a deafening silence that causes my ears to ring. I look in the mirror. My face is a blur. It’s like an object moving back and forth in a high-speed motion. Empty. I now look down on my hands, twisting and turning them and trying to see if anything looks off. As I look at the mirror again, I spot blood dripping down the sides of my face, pieces of broken ceramic decorating my head. I can’t seem to remember anyone from my life. Who do I know? Who knows me? I feel as though I am not alive, just an empty entity viewing events from below.
I steadily walk to the nurse’s office, which is two floors above. I knock twice, and she opens the door eleven seconds later, completely avoiding eye contact with me. After she walks over to her desk and sits down, she waits… as if the prior interaction never occurred. On her desk there is a grey computer and a framed photo of her family. Their faces look blurred.
“I’m bleeding,” I say.
In a heartbeat, she swiftly turns around in an irritated face, as though I had just offended her.
“A syringe will do.”
As the hot sensation of the syringe pierces my skin, she starts staring at my face and shows a vile grin. It’s beginning to feel as though the syringe has been there for hours. It burns. She pulls it away.
“Thank you,” I say.
Her smile quickly morphs into a genuine one. The expression in her eyes has changed drastically. She looks more humane. I keep looking at her eyes and I can tell that she is trying to communicate with me. Her expression shifts again. The expression of warmth and affection begins turning into some nerve-racking realization and a cry for help. I don’t know how I can help her. A slightly red tear races down her right cheek.
“You’re welcome,” she says, wiping her tear, a sinister look steals her face once again, “close the door on the way out.”
I like going to the nurse. Her syringes make me feel relaxed. I love this place.
I still have a lot of unanswered questions.
But I choose to ignore them. Not every question needs an answer. I belong here.
I step into my classroom, the door making a loud screeching sound. They all turn around. Eyeing every single movement that I make. I sit at the front alone in one of the corners. It is dead silent. All the students are waiting for the teacher to wake up. He holds a glass of whiskey in his left hand, and a gun in his right. There is a letter on the desk and jell-o scattered next to his head. After realizing that he won’t wake up for some time, I walk over to his desk to check on him. My eyes immediately focus on the lined paper sitting next to him. It reads MIRRORS in bright red ink.
It all hits me at once.
I reach for his gun and look behind me. All of the students have their eyes closed, as though they had always been sleeping. I grab it and run straight to the bathroom again.
I enter and look at myself in the mirror.
Once inside, I slowly reach for the gun and carefully aim at my face. My blurry, empty, face. And I shoot.
I move back as the glass of the mirror turns into shards, releasing a loud ear-splitting noise. I finally have answers. There is a slightly tinted window filled with people. A group of scientists stands behind. It’s a bright white room with several people strapped into hospital beds which are positioned at a vertical angle. I knew them. All of them. The students. The teacher. The nurse. The scientists are examining each one and taking notes. Once the scientists see me, they start looking at one another, their alarmed eyes filled with fear and a million questions. An alarm suddenly goes off, illuminating the room with a blood-red color. And then I see him. The teacher. His letter and glass of whiskey are at a small desk next to his bed. He was the only patient with his eyes opened: eyes which were staring right at me. My questions were answered. All but one.
Who am I?