The next day at some totally unreasonable time, lights and my consciousness flicked on simultaneously. I rose unsteadily to my feet, rubbing my neck which was stiff from sleeping in the corner. Note to self: Don't do that anymore. You know when people wake up and they're not real sure where they are? Yeah, that was not a problem for me. I looked around my little pillow room when my eyes caught sight of a tray covered in food, lying on the floor. Only then did I realize how ravenous I was. What an animal I must have looked like as I sat hunched over, shoveling food into my mouth. Well when the food was gone, I sat back, content for about three minutes until I became bored. All I could think of was Serena, that stupid twin sister of mine. She was the reason I was here. The thought depressed me to the point I just went and sat in my corner with my legs tucked up under my chest. Maybe an hour later that crazy Leila girl waltzed into my room.
"You ready to come out of confinement?" I think she was trying to be funny, but she failed miserably. I just stood and walked to door. She smiled, turned around and danced out my door. I followed lightly and silently behind her. Leila reminded me of Serena before she had gotten mixed up in a gang. The thought that another person could be like Serena pissed me off, but I kept walking, memorizing all of the twists and turns that we took.
Finally Leila led me into a big room containing around twenty people, all milling around, playing games or reading or talking. Great, this is what I had been reduced to. I was going to sit here and play these mind-numbing games until I meant crazy. Oh the irony of that statement. I felt like the new kid in class, everyone stared openly at me. I sure didn't look like most of the people in the room. I'm pale or lanky or gaunt looking. I'm tan, tall, and buff, compared to these people I looked like I was steroids or something.
Leila, oblivious to everyone's stares, clapped her hands together and called for group time. Like robots, everybody grabbed a chair and sat in a circle. A very short woman with short silvery hair walked around the circle, making people stand up so that she could move the chairs into a perfect circle. Leila walked over to her, whispered something in the woman's ear then gestured to a chair. The lady sat in the chair, head down, wringing her hands in her lap. Note to self: Old Silver Hair's an OCD. Leila sat in her own chair and sat, smiling at everyone.
"Well, how is everyone today?" Everyone chorused with goods and oks, "Well that's wonderful, as you can all see; we have a new member of our group. Please welcome Stephanie," lots of hellos, "Stephanie would you like to tell us about yourself?"
I was suddenly, very aware of everyone in the room, my brain went into over drive, checking each person, trying to find a threat, looking for an escape. Adrenaline pumped through my veins, the urge to run rampaged through my mind. I put my feet on my chair and rested my head between my knees, anything to make it stop. I murmured my name and allowed Leila to proceed. She talked for a while, but I didn't listen, I was trying to relax, trying to dull my senses and get my heart to stop pumping so hard. Jeez, I must have really looked crazy. Eventually I tuned in to Leila's speech, it was about siblings. Great, the one thing I didn't want to talk about. Finally she asked us to talk about our siblings. People ranted on and on about how there siblings were mean or neglecting towards them. One by one, people talked and then became silent and we moved on until it was my turn. I looked up from my fetal position.
"She's dead," I said in a depressed monotone. "She was murdered six months ago."
And that pretty much ended group time with the crazies. I was walking over to a couch to sit and think when Leila pulled me to the side. "Stephanie, would you step into my office please?" She pulled open a door and gestured for me to go inside. Having no other option, I complied with her wish.