"Honey, be careful. Remember to mail us every two days, alright?"
The girl smiled at the older woman. "Yes, Ma," she said. Feeling a tug on her arm, she looked to her right to see a dark-haired woman frowning at her. "Jaldi karo, Kiran," she said as she started walking away.
The girl nodded, clutching her suitcase tighter. Waving goodbye at her mother, she started following the other woman down the hallway...
013 woke up abruptly, her eyes snapping open as soon as the dream had ended. Kiran...is that my name? she wondered as she sat up on her bed, looking around at the plain room that she had been occupying for months. Setting her bare feet down on the cold, tiled floor, she walked up to the mirror on the wall. Brown hair...hazel eyes...the girl in my dream sure looked like me... she thought, frowning at her reflection.
"Kiran..." she said aloud, rolling her tongue around the word. "Kiran," she said it again more firmly as she stared at her reflection. Yes...yes, it fits me! She grinned, but it soon wore away as she realized that she had no one she could share her happiness with. The woman in her dream was of course her mother and Kiran wondered if she missed her. Was she even alive?
No, no, I mustn't lose hope, thought Kiran. Her hand flitted to her collar and she tugged the metal as she did every morning, hoping it would come off. She sighed as it stayed firmly around her neck, the green light blinking every few seconds to show that she wasn't contaminated by radiation.
Freshening up, she walked out of her room to get breakfast. The masked guards at the end of every hall didn't so much as acknowledge her presence and she tried not to let it bother her. She found it strange how they silently watched everyone behind their masks. She couldn't even see where their eyes were currently looking at. It was really creepy. Shivering slightly, Kiran walked into the mess hall, which had few people this early in the morning. She glanced at the door, wondering if she'd see anyone she knew. She wasn't very close with the others, but she wanted to tell at least someone she knew that she had remembered her name. She wondered if any of their memories were coming back too.
"Good morning, 013. Would you like some pancakes today?" asked the lunch lady when she approached the food line.
Kiran opened her mouth to tell the lady her real name but closed it quickly. She had a feeling that she shouldn't. She didn't really trust the staff in the facility. Instead, Kiran smiled at the lady and nodded yes. Taking her food, she chose a table at one end of the mess hall, eating slowly as she thought over all the things she could remember - a ritual she did every morning to jog up her memory.
1. My name is Kiran.
2. I was born in... I'm not sure where. But I know that I'm Indian. Was I born in India?
3. I'm probably in my twenties.
4. I have a brother and...a sister? Yes, that other woman looked a lot like me, so she must be my sister or some relative of mine.
5. My mother has green eyes, but I have hazel. Probably from my father.
She sighed, putting her fork down. Is that all? How disappointing. She looked up when she spotted someone she knew walking by her table. "Hey, 089, over here," she called, waving to the blonde-haired teenage girl. 089 first frowned but slowly came over. "Do I know you?" she asked, tilting her head at her.
Kiran looked at her with surprise. 089 and her had been friends ever since they came to the facility. Just yesterday she had been telling Kiran about how her memories were slowly recovering. "Yes, we're friends...don't you remember?" Kiran asked cautiously.
089 shook her head. "No," she replied. She took a seat and stared at the table, her eyes looking completely lost. "The doctor said my memory will take time to come back..."
"But you were remembering - wait, you went to the laboratory today?" Kiran asked, looking at 089 with wide eyes.
"Yes, I did. I'm sorry I don't remember you."
Kiran felt a shiver run down her spine. They weren't scheduled for medication for two more weeks. Something wasn't right. 089 had seemed so excited yesterday that she could remember what her younger brother looked like. She had happily told the doctors that she was getting her memories back and they seemed rather...interested to know more.
Wait a second... Laboratory. Drugs. Memories lost again...
Glancing at the lunch lady, Kiran was glad that she hadn't let it slip that she had remembered her name.
(('Jaldi Karo' - Hurry up))