some things are worth forgetting."A pretty girl like you should be out on a Friday night on a date, or at least at some crazy Berkeley party," Brooke quipped. Anna made no reply, her fingers busy with the comfortable pattern of knitting, her mind pleasantly blank of any intricate thoughts that didn't revolve around her fingers and the scarf she was making for her caring and often nosy neighbor, who was being more nosy than caring now. "I mean, really, Anna," she said insistently once she realized Anna had no intention of replying, "don't you at least try to have any friends, other than me? I'm four years older than you, and let's not forget that I am a single, desperate, unattractive and overweight locksmith - I feel like the girl you let hang around you out of pity." Her tone was full of complaint, not only of Anna's social decisions, but also around her own insecurities. Anna nearly smiled at Brooke's transparencies. She was always looking for a comforting ear, and Anna was always glad to be of service.
"Oh, Brooke, you know that's not true," she clicked her tongue softly, like the old woman she was at heart, "I think you're the most honest, unselfish person I've ever met. Who else spends their Friday night holding a spool of yarn for a loner like me? You and I both know you're gorgeous enough to pick up any man off the street. Now hush, stop buying into your own lies, and take this time to think about what you like about yourself."
Brooke smirked at her, unwinding the yarn at a steady place. They had done this before, spent many Friday nights together working on this beauty of a scarf - they were accustomed to the ritual, and even to the recycled conversations. But neither of them minded, the pattern was comforting for both of them, for reasons unknown to each other, though much speculated. Anna thought Brooke was just being selfless, and Brooke thought Anna was creating a scarf for the landlord of her house, and if that was the case, she wanted to be able to say she was a part of the scarf - hey, the landowner was pretty cute, not that Anna had noticed. She was always just out of reach, that one. "It's just like you to go all teacher on me, Anna."
"And don't forget, I'm going all sister/counselor on you, too," Anna replied cheerfully. She finished the scarf quickly, as Brooke set the yarn down and stretched lazily, yawning and murmuring something about working hard to get this done for the landlord. At those words, Anna lifted her head sharply in surprise. "For the landlord? That silly Mr. Green? Oh, Brooke, he would look atrocious in this scarf. Blue is not his color, and-"
"I think he would look great in blue."
"You're too kind, Brooke. Besides, if I was making him a scarf, I would make it green, out of spite. The rent is too expensive. This is for you. As a thank you, for sticking around as I made it. It was meant for you originally, I don't have anyone else to give it to, but I found plenty of reasons to give it to you the longer we spent these nights together." Anna smiled modestly and handed it to Brooke, whose cheeks were flushed with the shame Anna mistook for shy gratitude. She smiled inwardly, pleased with the result, and clapped her hands. "Wow! What are we going to start doing on Friday nights now, Brooke? Should we start knitting a green scarf for Mr. Green, after all?"
"Uh, well," Brooke stammered, hesitating in response. In truth, despite her eagerness to give something to that cute landlord who Anna had so insulted, she had found the nights dreadfully boring, though comforting. She was 26, and she was spending her nights with a woman barely old enough to get drunk. Even worse, she was pretty sure Anna had never even been drunk, much less in the situation to get drunk. As nice as she was, as soothing for her ego as she was, she was... well, a little distant. Most of the nights were spent in silence, little small talk, and occasionally a little sisterly as she had mentioned - but Brooke wasn't looking for a sister. She was looking for a wing-woman. She had been excited to get the little project over with. And instead of a conversation with Mr. Green about how fetching he had looked in the scarf, she had gotten the scarf out of it. Blue wasn't even her color, it was on her never-wear list. She couldn't wait to leave and give it to Mr. Green herself, somehow. Thus the hesitation. "Well, Anna, there's been a flood of new clients at work, and-"
"Really?! Wow, that's great! I'm happy for you!"
"Ah, thanks." Brooke was stumbling over her lies now, in a rush to get them out of her system, as she rarely got into this sort of situation. "But anyway, I'm going to have to work my ass off to keep up, and... well... Overtime, most nights, and... Well..." Anna was watching her patiently, the understanding glint in her eyes gleaming even before she knew what she was being understanding of. The damn fool. "I won't be around as often anymore," Brooke nearly spat out.
"Oh! Well, that's okay. I'll knit him a scarf myself."
"N-no!" What if he figured out her deception when Brooke told him she had made it herself? Things could get messy, and he would jump to Anna's side, no doubt. "I actually made him one myself, so..."
"Oh, really? Oh, you sweet! Alright, then. I'll see you around Brooke!"
"Oh, uh, okay." She exited and after a quick goodbye, she began to drive off, a little insulted. To be honest, Brooke had expected a little more sadness on Anna's part. A reaction, at least, other than the dismissive pat on the back and "Good job!" that a teacher gives to the student. But she was training to become a teacher, and it was her nature to not give a shit about the people around her, her 'friends.' But still. She thought she was a little more important than that, after all of Anna's talk about her being beautiful and selfless and awesome. She made a right turn at the next intersection with a little pout on her face, only to be cheered up at the sight of the deep blue scarf. Oh well, Mr. Green was the next stop. Well, after she dropped by her own house to beautify herself up. Suddenly, she was doubting Anna's proclamations of how stunning she looked that night.
Anna, on the other hand, was still in the same contentment she always felt. She settled down in her couch and held the pillow to her chest, smiling, sleepy and ready to drift off into a deep sleep. She was alone, but that didn't have to mean she was lonely. I'm glad Brooke and I are such good friends, she thought as sleep settled in and encompassed her.
[x] [x] [x]
[x] [x] [x]
"This one's going to be the easiest yet," was what woke her up. A deep voice that resembled a bass guitar more than an actual male, was speaking over her, and Anna drowsily moaned in protest and turned over. "Look, she isn't even reacting to our presence." He reached out and placed a hand on her shoulder. "Miss, could you come with us please?"
"What are you doing? You're just going to ask her like that?"
"Maybe she's so sleepy she won't even notice. Besides, she's not one of the major powers. She's not so violent, and seems almost compliant. Submissive. My kind of woman."
"You're a pervert. Look, she's awake."
Yes, she was. Anna had been startled the moment she heard the word 'powers.' How did they know? She clutched the blankets tighter. Could she reach out and touch them...? No, she couldn't. They would notice, and were tense, she could tell that much. So she feigned ignorance. "Mm, wha... who are you guys?" She gaped at them, hoping they would fall for it. Please oh please oh please don't turn me into a lab rat I want to teach children not have children taught about me in the far distant future, the freak girl who could erase memories and was a danger to society-
Her thoughts were interrupted by the owner of the first voice's cackle. "Trying to outsmart us. My kind of woman. Look here, toots, we found you first. We decide how to play." He smirked and nodded to the man beside him. "You can go now."
The man looked down at her and shook his head at the first man. "You are so dramatic." He flicked his hand towards Anna, like a wave, and she felt rather than heard or thought the word: Mover. A Mover, what did that.... what did.... wha.....
And all was black.
[x] [x] [x]
Anna was still dazed and groggy when she awoke, but the unending white, brighter than the deep beige color of her walls at home, blinded her, and she moaned and covered her eyes with her hands. "Oh, holy cow!" She remained in that position until her memory came to her, suddenly, in vivid scenes, as if the past was a movie. Oh, holy cow. Holy cow times fifty. She moaned louder, completely upset by how her life was turning out. As if having an unpredictable power wasn't enough - she had to get abducted, too. Great. This was great. In her moment of distress, Anna realized she had ignored the presence of others, which she could... well, sense, from her strong intuition. She looked around, showing mild surprise and veiling her shock and confusion and upset state. So she wasn't alone, thank God.