“I’m sorry to bother you so late, but I have lost my way and need some medical assistance. Wasn’t quite sure where to go and your farmhouse seemed the closest to my immediate location,” I croaked as I lamely tried to explain my presence.
Then that feeling of shakiness and dizziness was returning, my eyes fogging over and my thoughts muddling within themselves. I collapsed in a heap on this man’s doorstep, giving myself over to weakness and the pull of unconsciousness. It seemed blissful compared to the terror of the past few hours.
“It’s impossible, I can’t believe I’m even considering it. But calling anybody at The Center would only alert any enemies to our location as well as his – if it really is him,” were the whispered words I overheard as I pulled myself up out of the darkness of sweet oblivion. My body ached, my throat was dry with thirst and my eyes gritty with sand. I must have moaned aloud as I tried to reposition my limbs, struggling to sit upright because suddenly the conversation stopped.
“How are you feeling?” asked a shy, thin woman with hair that almost made me forget to answer her. It was vibrant purple and full of corkscrew curls. I don’t know why but I had an immediate impulse to pull on one and watch it boing and bounce back into place. Her eyes were bright green and a smattering of freckles covered her cheeks. Thin lips belied many sentiments she may have felt as she pursed them together, giving her a rather severe look. She also looked frightened and had that same disbelieving look the farmer had had. “And what kind of farmer married someone who had purple hair anyway?!” was just one of the crazy thoughts that raced through my mind as I began to wonder who she was.
“Where am I? And who are you?” I replied, easily evading her query. The last thing I wanted was to admit any weaknesses considering I knew nothing about my situation otherwise. Why was I suddenly so suspicious?
“I’m Amy and you’re at my family’s farm in New Mexico. Do you remember anything about before you got here?” The words seemed to spill from her before she could hold them back, her curiosity more than just idle interest. It seemed more intense, more raw, more personal somehow. And her eyes, why did they look so sad and yet hopeful at the same time?
Rather than admit to any frailties, I tried to sit up and learn more about my surroundings. I was in a bedroom that looked like something my grandmother might have decorated. Roosters and cows were hung in pastel pink and blue frames and placed prominently throughout the room; the bedding resembled window treatments more than something one would sleep in. There was an old fashioned pitcher and bowl on a daintily stitched doily on the dresser nearby and I idly wondered if that was where I was to shave and if they would require me to use a straight-blade and lather from powder as well. The furniture was well worn but sturdy and throw rugs around the room promised to keep one’s toes warm when a run to the loo was necessary even on colder nights. Of course they were decorated with roosters cock-a-doodle-doing or colorful cows surrounded by fields of grass and tulips. For some reason the room made my insides feel warm and gooey, an odd feeling given my current state of affairs.
“I’m thirsty, might I trouble you for something to drink? Or somewhere to clean up? I’m afraid I’ve made an awful mess here with my…” my voice trailed off as I noticed my clean clothes, my arms that looked and smelled as if they’d been freshly scrubbed with lemon and mint and other fresh herbs. My face was clean as well although my eyes must have been hard to clean what with them being shut with sleep. Suddenly I felt exposed, wondering what they had seen. They now knew me better than I did, as I still did not remember who I was, never-mind what I might look like under all my clothing. Do I have telling scars or embarrassing tattoos? Do I have all my toes; is my back covered with hair? Embarrassment flooded my face and I couldn’t contain the flush of heat from spreading from my cheeks to my ears and down the back of my neck.
At that, the small purple haired woman shrieked, grabbed me and held me fiercely, whispering, “Jack, I knew it. I just knew it. I knew they were all wrong. I just knew you weren’t dead!”
Check back tomorrow to learn more about who Jack is!