Becoming The Badass
Chapter 4 - Between Too Late and Too Early
I awoke to darkness. From an open window, Luna looked like a lonely beacon in the night sky, the only light that hadn't been permanently flickered out from the growing industry. I tested the pain on my hip and found that I could move if I really tried.
I sat up with a start and focused on the open window, wincing slightly at the sudden movement. Why would they leave it open? Aren't they afraid I'd wake up and escape? I slipped out of the queen-sized bed and limped toward the window. I peered out into the cold night and stared at the large expanse of woods that covered a majority of my line of vision. They would be great cover, especially in the dead of night.
It was looking down that dismayed me. I had at least twenty feet of air in between me and the hard asphalt of the driveway. Cursing quietly, I stepped away from the ledge and wiped my grimy hair from my face. I was an idiot to think that they'd leave me, of all people, with any kind of escape route, whether of not they thought I'd be asleep or not.
If there was the one thing I regretted about sleeping for days it was the fact that I still felt dead. I felt unclean and unfamiliar, like I was in the wrong body.
I sought out the adjourned bathroom and turned on the shower. I hadn't set it right and it was too hot but I didn't care. I stripped out of the cotton clothing someone had changed me into and stepped under the scalding heat, barely gasping as it burned my skin.
I let the shower head run over my hair, removing some of the grime that had collected since I was out. My mind slowly numbed and I welcomed the details that blurred as water droplets ran over my eyes, becoming a veil between me and the outside world. I turned the water off a few minutes after it became unbearable. My skin felt raw but purer than before. At least in the physical sense of the word. I had already been tainted beyond repair.
I didn't bother with a towel, finding one was more trouble than it was worth. I went into the bedroom's closet and put on clean undergarments before settling on a black oversized sweater.
Still trapped in a darkness only penetrated by Luna, I stumbled over something before reaching the bed. It was a large book with something scraped into the leather it was bound in. Instantly entranced, I hurriedly turned on the bedside lamp and climbed in between the covers, laying the book on my lap. I had seen books before but I'd never been permitted to touch one. Books were for people who got educated. People who could afford to go to school. People who were born entitled everything.
This injustice made me angry and daring enough to flip open the cover. Everything inside of it looked like a mass of ink shapes. They were organized into groups. Some small, some large. I didn't understand any of them but it was interesting to look at. They had no order and some of the groups were repeated over and over again. I touched the paper and my lip twitched into a small smile at the rough feel of it.
It was at that moment between too late and too early that the notion of learning how to read flew into my mind. Someday I would memorize every page of this book. And so that notion grew into a yearning. And in a world like mine it was dangerous to yearn for anything.
Finished at 2:40 a.m. :')