You've just woken up, and you've found this. You've got a welt on the back of your head and vague memories of a chaotic dream - people yelling, panic, blurs of motion, gunshots maybe. You were in and out. Your throat is dry, and you feel like shit, but you're alive and, trust me, that's worth more than you'll ever know.

I'll say it again: trust me. You think you have no reason to, but you must. There's a circular capsule hidden in a bag under the mattress. It will help with the pain. Don't chew or swallow it, just let it dissolve in your mouth.

There, you feel better? Now comes the hard part. You hear those footsteps outside your door? Whose are they? You're mother's - are you sure? Think about it. Do you know what she looks like? What's her favorite color? How old is she?

Let me help you out - you don't know. You can't know. It's called Passive Instinct Replacement, a bullshit term for screwing with people's heads. It's flawed, but it works. So let me tell you what you think, and you see if I'm wrong. You think that you love the woman in the kitchen, and you think that this place is your home. You hear the footsteps, and your brain reacts by releasing serotonin - your brain is replacing love with a hormone, because they've wired it that way. They've taught your brain what to feel, and you've got to believe me when I tell you that if you stay in this house, they will kill you. You have little reason to trust me, I know, but I'll do my best to convince you. I know more about this little "life" of yours than you do.

The woman in the kitchen is 38 years old and wearing a blue apron. She is playing a role, and right now that role involves making your breakfast, whatever foods you like best. As soon as she sees you, she'll greet you and ask how you slept. They sedated you last night, so it will be in your best interests to answer accordingly. She will offer you breakfast and, when you are almost finished eating, will casually mention that someone will be arriving soon. It will be a male name, and you will recognize that person as a relative or close friend. Again, you will have no memories of this person, but your brain will tell you to react with enthusiasm. It won't be hard, it's already in you, but you must not raise suspicion. The woman will suggest that you get dressed immediately. Go to your room and close the door and do as she says.

In your closet you will find a grey long-sleeved shirt. Be sure to wear it, and dress warmly. We have quite a distance to travel.

As you read this, you are no doubt questioning my instructions. When you go out into the kitchen, you just see if what happens doesn't exactly match what I've said. When you see that I'm right, you'll believe this: the man who is coming will take you away from the apartment. If this happens, you will be out of our reach entirely, so this is literally your last chance. We have tried to reach you before, without success. Our attempt last night resulted in your bruised head. You have me to personally thank for that, but I'm trying to make up for it now. There is nothing more important to me than your safety.

Once you're dressed, tell the woman that you're feeling dizzy and return to your room. You will never see her again.

Your window is painted shut, but there is a knife in a brown shoebox in the closet. I know the fire escape doesn't look very sturdy, but it will hold you. Try not to look down unnecessarily - your fear of heights was added as a safeguard against escape. Head down to the street below. The fire escape only goes to the 2nd floor, but there's a dumpster conveniently positioned directly below, and it's filled with bags of packing pellets. Don't worry, I've made the jump myself with no problem.

When you make it to the street, put the sun behind you and walk three blocks to the nearest subway entrance. Do not run and do not look back. Go down the stairs into the station and turn right. Walk past the information desk. I will be wearing a denim coat and a baseball cap, waiting for you.

I know this is confusing, and I know you have questions, and they will all be answered as soon as you are safe.

This is it - you have a choice. There's a lighter on the dresser. You can burn this and believe your "memories" and be dead within days, or you can do as I've said. You wouldn't believe how much work has gone into engineering your escape. If you trust me, you will come out of this unharmed.

The footsteps in the kitchen are growing restless - your "mother" is wondering when the sedatives will wear off. You must get up and greet her soon. If she catches you with this, I have no doubt that she will kill you immediately.

I apologize for your headache, and I hope to see you soon. Your family is out there, and we will help you find them. Now get moving.

Best of luck,

Ezra