"German father, American mother."
"None. I am a single child."
The cold eyes of the gray coated man rest on my face, his pen hesitating on the paper. I shrink under that gaze, fearing it for some reason and yet . . . I still want to pass this test. This simple little test and I don't know why it's so important. In fact, now that I think about it, I don't even know where I am . . . who was this man again? He taps the pen on his tablet, sighs, and scribbles something down before continuing.
"Um . . ."
Those sharp eyes return and he lowers his pad and pen, gazing at me curiously. My heart races and I gaze down at my legs . . . bare legs . . . I come to realize I'm not wearing anything and then remember with fleeting panic that I think I answered the question wrong.
"Are you feeling drowsy, Amber?"
My brain quits working at the word "drowsy" and without really understanding the question, I nod. He sighs.
"Are you hungry?"
My stomach grumbles and I tighten my fist to portray the feeling in my stomach. Hungry. I roll the word around in my head. Hunger . . . my stomach needs something in it.
I nod and say, "Yes, I am thirsty."
My heart races . . . this was the wrong answer.
"What does thirsty feel like?"
I clench my fist, raise my hand and clench my fist in his face, showing him the feeling.
"I'm cold . . ." I mutter, pointing to my bare skin. "Cold!"
"Would you like some cloths?"
Close . . . closing doors, dark places, screams, hollow terror . . .
"No . . ." I whimper.
Suddenly my head is buzzing . . . I can't make sense of anything. I bring my hands up to cover my ears and close my eyes but the bright white lights of the room continue to penetrate my vision. Is the man still talking? Are there more questions? I think there are more questions but I just don't know and if I don't answer them, are they still wrong?
Someone forcefully grabs my arms, bringing them down to my sides but its not the man in the gray coat, he's still their looking at me, his eyes sharp, colorless . . . I tremble at the sight of him. He continues to hold eye contact with me as I struggle against the person who is restraining me. I just want to cover my ears and close my eyes but I can't and its driving me insane . . .
"What is your name?" the man asks softly, calmly.
I shake my head back and forth vigorously. If I don't answer, its not wrong . . . if I don't answer it's not wrong . . .
"Sedate her." says the man, turning his back to me.
My heart flies in my throat. I don't know what it means, but I know that word and the feelings that go with it and I struggle harder. I fear this man but he is the only one that can help me and now he's walking away . . . because I answered wrong. I answered wrong, this is my fault, this has everything to do with me . . . I yelp in surprise as something sticks into my arm, something sharp and needle like. My veins burn for a minute and then suddenly its over. Suddenly I don't care.
I close my eyes and even the lights of the room fade against my eyelids.
A blanket has been tied securely around me and slowly, I peel it back. The room is warm, my body is relaxed and my stomach is full. I cautiously open my eyes and realize, I am in my apartment. I take a deep breath. I must be sick, I think, because I should be at work. At least I think I work . . . I gaze around the small living room. There's a red door there, at the end of the hallway. I think it goes outside. I get to my feet, just to see where this door goes and then I hesitate.
Something bad will happen if I open that door. Something bad will happen if I touch the handle.
A sudden crackling sound catches my attention and I turn to see the T.V. has come on. Strangely fascinated, I stumble back to the couch, scratching at a sore spot on my arm. The T.V. flashes once, green, then blue, and then face of a woman fades in on the screen. I blink at her, she blinks at me. She smiles and I smile back. I like this woman, she is kind, she only ever tries to help me.
"Would you like to know who you are?" asks the woman kindly and I nod excitedly, suddenly realizing that I can't remember my name. Is this normal?
"Your name is Amber Clare." she begins and I nod excitedly.
"You are a female, you are American, your father was German, and your mother was American. Those are called nationalities."
I repeat the word to myself and the woman smiles again.
"You are a single child, you have no siblings, and you are twenty-three years old."
For some reason I feel guilt over the age. I'm not sure why, maybe it's because the woman gives me a stern look when she says it. This is important. It is important to know I am twenty-three. I nod and repeat the age until the woman smiles again.
"You are not married." she says, smiling again. I smile back. This is a good thing.
"You have one child." she tells me this sternly and I cower in front of the screen. I nod and she holds up a picture of an infant in a blue cotton gown. "He is the reason why you are here. You have one child, and it is all his fault that you are locked away . . . Do you know where he is? If you tell us . . . You can go home."
I do know where he is . . . I do know . . . I want to tell her. She's so kind, this woman . . . she lets me know the answers. I don't know what I need to know them for but they are nice to know . . .
"Tell the doctor where he is, Amber . . . and you can go home."
Suddenly I freeze, I blink at the T.V. and notice the woman's eyes. They are sharp, colorless and I feel like my mind comes to a screeching halt and I push the last part of the information out. I shake my head back and forth. It feels like another entity has clawed it's way into my skull, but I trust this entity, even though she confuses me and gives me these strange pictures . . . memories . . . and as the T.V. fades to black, I find myself standing up defiantly, fists clenched, eyes blazing . . .
Like hell I will tell them where I hid my son.