Here’s a link to Part 1 of Safe in case you missed it.
I woke in my room, curled up on the lovely big bed covered with pillows and sheets that felt like satin. After a few hard blinks, I propped myself up on one elbow and activated the touch screen which was built into the top of my nightstand.
The lights in the room turned on with the push of a button. A pleasant female voice told me the time as I began to scroll through the daily news, at least those headlines I was allowed to read.
I’d discovered very early in my stay that a great deal of the net was no longer accessible to me. When I’d asked about it I’d been told it was deliberate, to reduce my stress, to keep the baby healthy. I’d accepted the explanation happily. I would do anything I needed to do to protect my child.
Flashes of conversation came back to me, something about stopping my labor, the parents coming to get their child. It didn’t feel like a dream.
Panic welled up in my chest and I slowly rolled my way out of bed. My bare feet padded across the thin, warm carpet as I walked over to my bedroom door and touched the button to activate the release. The doors zipped apart and I entered my living room.
A long white couch stretched out in front of a flat screen built into the opposite wall. I passed by without turning it on for once and went instead to stand in front of the windows. The panels of transparent material stretched from floor to ceiling, giving me a view of the surrounding forest.
The woodland was not a real forest of course, there were few wild trees left in the world. These were synthetics, spongy things programmed to absorb carbon dioxide and expel oxygen at regular intervals.
Having never seen a real forest, it looked the same to me.
How far does it go? I wondered. Is there a city just beyond those trees? Somewhere that I could go?
Before that moment, I’d never thought about leaving. I had previously had no desire, no reason to leave. They were taking care of me here, feeding me three times a day with real food. I didn’t want to go back to the street, digging for discarded meal pouches, sleeping in a different alleyway each night.
Ammon had found me somehow, and it hadn’t taken much talking on his part to convince me to come here, but I’d fallen asleep on the trip. I didn’t remember how far we’d traveled.
Even if I did get out, what would I eat? And what about my baby?
If only I could talk to someone. This all must be some kind of misunderstanding.
I paced the room, my thoughts swirling in a tangle of questions as I waited for my morning meal.
A plate of food appeared in the tiny window in my kitchen at precisely eight a.m. I slid open the door and removed the tray. After closing the door I pushed the button that sent the empty receptacle back down to, well, I had no idea.
I placed my tray on the spotless silver table and slid into the elegantly curved silver chair. My jaw chewed mechanically as I stared out the windows of my luxurious prison worrying over endless what if’s until my mind was exhausted.
What choice do I have?