True Memoirs of A Liar 2: Sacrifice
Author: C Lawson

Chapter 7
Allergic To People

I decided to get up and wander.  So I did.  I rolled my IV out with me as I walked aimlessly through the halls.  I passed waiting room after waiting room, full of tired-looking family members.  Doctors walked past me and regarded me with familiarity.  Did I pass out and lose my memory often or something?  A nurse asked me how Thomas was doing.  I recognized the name as my dead best friend.  I told her what I’d been told and she gave my shoulder a sympathetic pat before rushing off to tend to someone else.  Before I knew it, I was actually peering into every room I passed, my hair swinging pitifully.  I saw a boy playing an imaginary violin.  I stopped and leaned in the door frame to his room.

            “Whoever you are, get out,” he mumbled with his eyes closed, still moving the invisible bow back and forth.  I admit, I was fairly amused.  He was ordering me around?

            “No, thanks,” I replied in my sweetest voice.  He stopped playing his violin and looked over at me. “Hi.  I’m Camille.  I have amnesia.”  His interest seemed to have been perked.

            “Hey.  I’m Donald.  I’m allergic to everything.”

            “You can’t be allergic to everything,” I insisted.  Donald snorted.

            “Yes I can.  I’m allergic to nuts, flour, milk, cheese, soy products, pollen, dust, antibiotics, alcoholic beverages, wool, silk, acrylic fibers and nylon.  Also, shellfish, fish that eat shellfish, fish that eat other fish, and all forms of fowl.  Which means, chicken, duck, turkey, eggs, goose, and definitely down feathers.” He took a breath. “Beans, which includes, lima, black, pinto, and kidney.  I’m allergic to tomatoes and any root vegetable in the nightshade family.  Also, spelt, pasta, bread—”

            “Okay!  Goodness.  I got it.  You really are allergic to everything.  Why don’t they just put you in some sort of plastic bubble or something?” I asked.

            “I’m allergic to plastic,” Donald noted solemnly.  His expression brightened after a moment. “So, you don’t remember anything about yourself?”

            “Not a thing,” I answered truthfully.

            “Cool,” he responded. “How old are you?” I shrugged in response. “Oh, right.  Sorry.  They haven’t told you?”

            “No.” I paused. “You play the violin?”

            “Nah.  Just one song.  I saw someone play it once.” He lifted a shoulder and dropped it in an indifferent shrug.

            “You saw someone play it?  And you know it?  Do you have a photographic memory or something?” I wondered.  I walked into the room completely now, pulling my hair over my shoulder.  He nodded. “You’ve definitely got my amnesia beat.  You know, I have a violin in my room; apparently, I play.  You could try it out if you want.”

            Before he could answer, he went into a coughing fit and gave me an apologetic look.  I smiled weakly and backed a little out of the room.

            “So, are you allergic to people?” I wondered, scratching my elbow lightly.  Donald shrugged and scratched his head.  He was a sickly-looking boy.  His eyes were sunken as well as his cheeks.  The shadows underneath his eyes were near bruise-color. Donald was thin and pale but he didn’t look breakable to me.  A mop of scraggly brown-red hair sat atop his small head.  I cocked my head to the side.

            “If you had to guess, what would you say your age was?” Donald wondered after he had gotten himself under control.

            “Probably around twenty.  What do you think?”

            “I’m seventeen.  You look about two years older than me.  So I’m going to go with nineteen.  Man, your boyfriend must be extremely happy,” he inferred, standing up and walking over to me.  He scanned my form, which wasn’t very accentuated in the hospital gown, and smiled.

            “Why is that?” I asked.

            “You’re what my little brother would call a super-hottie.” We both laughed and Donald leaned over and smelled me. “I think it’s your perfume that I’m allergic to.  What are you wearing?”

            “Hell if I know,” I answered lamely, sniffing my arm briefly. “How much you want to bet that my favorite color is blue?”

            “I’ll bet five bucks that your favorite color is purple or red,” Donald challenged boldly.  I smiled and we shook hands without touching each other. “I’m surprised you haven’t gotten your memory back.”

            “I’m surprised you’ve made it to seventeen, seeing as how you can’t eat anything,” I jested, rolling my eyes.

            “—Faith.” Without thinking I turned my head and looked out of the door.

            “Yes?” I answered.  I saw Serenity and Alex walking towards me.  I blinked and realized what I had just done.  I thought my name was Camille?  How could I have just reacted like that?

            “Faith?” Serenity repeated, throwing a look over to Alex who had his eyes wide.  I nodded, thinking that I recognized this name more than Camille. “I was just telling Alex to have faith.  I wasn’t calling you.”

            “Oh.  I’m sorry.  It just sounded familiar.” I instantly shrunk back into my shell and bowed my head.  I ran my fingers through my hair. “Um, Alex, Serenity this is Donald.  He belongs in a bubble.  Donald this is Alex and Serenity.  My fiancé and my best friend.” Donald waved timidly; I could barely see him because I held my head so low.  Alex wrapped his arms around me and brushed a lock of my hair behind my ear.

            “Nice to meet you,” Alex said in a monotone.

            “Likewise,” Donald mumbled.  He went back to his bed and asked us to leave.  Alex turned first and then Serenity soon followed.  I didn’t understand where all of the tension came from.  Serenity said she was going to head home and she’d see me in the morning.

            “Donald?” I called uncertainly.  He turned over and glared at me. “Would it be alright with you if I came over here tomorrow?  I don’t really feel all that comfortable with Alex and Serenity as of yet.  That sounds bad but I’ve already taken a liking to you.  So you’re just going to have to deal with it.” I whispered in a hurried voice.

            “See you tomorrow then,” Donald whispered back.  Then he turned right back over as if we had never spoken to each other.  I whirled on my heels and trotted after Alex.  I tried to catch up to them, but someone grabbed my shoulders.

            I don’t know what happened, but the next thing I knew I had begun to attack my attacker.  I spun around so quickly I don’t know how my eyes focused in time to see anyone.  But they did, and I snatched the attacker’s arm and twisted it, making them turn so that their back was against my chest.  I thought I heard Alex somewhere behind me.  I kicked the person’s shin hard, sending them screaming in pain to the floor.

            Before I could do anything else, Alex had grabbed my arms from behind me and pulled me into him.  I turned into his embrace and curled up my arms.  I couldn’t bring myself to cry.  Alex stroked my hair and my back.

            The man groaned and I turned out of Alex’s embrace.  I knelt by him and turned him over.  At first, my mind flashed to a moment of recognition.  Then, I realized how stupid I must sound to myself.  You don’t know anybody here.  You’re in a hospital for crying out loud.

            I looked at the young man.  His black hair matched his black business suit perfectly.  I wondered what time it was.  He was fairly gorgeous and I checked his pulse to see if his heart was beating normally.  It was.  I breathed a quick sigh of relief and the man opened his eyes.  He squinted at me, then his eyes widened.

            “Alana?” the man asked uncertainly. “I thought you were someone else.” Alex quickly strode to my side and lifted me up by my shoulders.  I was tucked underneath Alex’s left arm like a child.

            “That’s Kyle Rainey,” Alex whispered in my ear.  When Alex had pulled me up, Kyle had propped himself up by his arms in a stunned attempt to follow me.  He was still gaping at me. “He was your neighbor in Virginia.”

            “What are you doing here?” Kyle asked, as if becoming aware of our surroundings for the very first time. “Are you alright?” He stood up now, brushing off his pants and shirt. “You must be, to beat me up like that.” Kyle looked over at Alex and then took a cautious step forward.  He extended his hand. “And you’re Alana’s friend…”

            “Alex,” Alex interjected.  Kyle looked more confused than ever.

            “I thought it was something that started with a ‘j’,” Kyle wondered, shaking Alex’s hand and then looking at me. “You look absolutely breathtaking,” he directed to me.

            “Thank you,” I replied graciously, though I didn’t understand how he could confuse me for breathtaking when I was wearing a hospital gown.  It was hardly designer. “I’m sorry I don’t remember you.  I’ve just been diagnosed with amnesia.” Kyle’s eyes widened again.

            “I’m so sorry.  I’m just here to see my cousin.  I live not too far from here.  So, I figured he must get pretty lonely at night.” He shrugged and blushed.  I had the sudden urge to hug him.  But Alex’s viselike grip wasn’t agreeing with me on that notion. “I better go see him.”

            Kyle excused himself to go and check on his cousin and promised to visit me soon.  He wished me well and went on his way.  Alex snorted after him and turned to me.

            “You and he were kind of close.  He has four brothers.  They moved into your complex after their parents split custody.” Alex led me to my room, talking the whole way there.  When we reached my room, Alex turned me to face him.  He held my upper arms protectively.

            “Would you feel completely awkward if I kissed you?” he asked quietly, already taking my face in his hands.  His hands were warm.

            “Alex—” I started, trying to stall the moment.  Alex pressed his lips to mine softly.  He smiled when I froze.

            “Calm down.  You’re not going to be bad at this.  Trust me,” Alex assured me with another charming smile.  I still wasn’t convinced.

            “How do you know?” I wondered, my insecurity showing.  Alex kissed me again and afterwards I was once again captured by his blue-gray stare.  That was at least the thousandth time that night.

            “I’ve had a lot of opportunities to judge,” Alex remarked with another charming smile.  Alex slipped a lock of my hair behind my ear and stared at me lovingly. “Jesus, I love you.”

            I smiled because I knew he meant it and I knew that he belonged to me.  I wrapped my arms around his neck and hugged him.  At the moment, I didn’t care if he was telling me everything about my life or not.  I felt so lucky and loved that it nearly made me invincible.  There were still so many questions.

 

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