A/N This is my second time rewriting this chapter (this time with the help from , an amazing editing site you should try out) and that will be the case with other chapters too. I wrote all of them like two years ago and have since greatly improved, thus re-uploading better versions although I could still use a lot of practice. Since I've been focused on other stories, it's been really nice to revisit my old characters (Last Illusion was one of my first serious stories) and improve or completely re work them. I will rewrite and reupload each chapter (It is reuploaded if the chapter has a name rather than 'Chapter One, Chapter Two') before releasing the last chapter which could possibly have two parts of it since I don't want to write the end unless I'm completely sure of how my characters would act. I have also changed several scenes in order to make them more realistic. Thank you for taking the time to read this and I hope I don't disappoint.
CHAPTER 1- TAYLOR'S MEMORIES
A siren pierced though the otherwise quiet alley way. The teenage girl ignored it, her focus solely on the boy in front of her.
She was biting back sobs, clutching her wounded side though she knew it was no use; The poison was already in her system. Even if she magically stopped the bleeding, she would die soon enough.
Even though she had already accepted her fate, she couldn't help it when her voice cracked as she asked the only question on her mind.
"Why?" The girl asked, voice void of emotion.
He didn't respond, at least not before it was too late. Even if he did say something, she wouldn't have heard it. She was already falling.
'Memory is the diary we all carry about with us' -Oscar Wilde
There were too many different sounds around her, echoing so much that none of it made any sense. She mumbled something to herself as she woke, head rolling from side to side. Her eyelids didn't want to open, too heavy to do anything.
So for a long few moments the girl just listened, trying to distinguish sound from sound to understand what was happening.
"She's waking up." A voice said, being the first thing she understood.
"Someone get Agent Bell."
Her eyes finally opened, only staying that way for a moment before they closed again from the sudden unavoidable brightness. That was when the pain started to register, making it near impossible for her to move.
Even before having opened her eyes, the girl had already figured out she was lying on her back somewhere. And judging from the voices, at least two different people had been watching her, tracking each movement she made.
Stimuli swarmed her senses, her whole body was in so much pain she could do nothing but curl into a protective ball. The bright lights from above making her eyes water. The sounds from all around echoing so loudly it made her sore head even worse. The smell of disinfectant overpowering everything else that could smell good. All this added up made her want to faint.
Sensing one people by her side leaving, she tried focusing on the one remaining. They were trying to talk to her soothingly though she couldn't understand what they physically were saying.
"Get away." The teenage girl rasped, trying to push the stranger away, eyes still shut from the too bright world.
They didn't listen, coming even closer. They were still talking gibberish, making her head pound with pain.
"Get away get away get away!" She screamed, her volume increasing with each cry.
She was scared, terrified even. Why wouldn't the stranger just leave her alone? Despite the mind numbing pain, the girl's whole body jolted up suddenly. She vomited vigorously, draining her energy even more, eyes shooting open as she did so.
"It's okay, Taylor, you're okay, just calm down." A voice spoke softly next to her.
She ignored them as her body heaved again.
As the vomiting slowed to a stop, she took a few breathes of fresh air, noticing how much it hurt to do even that much. Her mouth tasted rancid, if anything making her want to throw up again.
The blanket she hadn't even noticed on her lap was replaced promptly, same with the bucket she finally registered she had. Apparently, the new bucket was 'just in case' she had to vomit again. They said it as if it would definitely happen.
The girl (Taylor?) let herself fall back into the bed, feeling completely wasted. She heard the adults mumbling to themselves but didn't pay much heed to them, too busy trying not to cry.
She regretted waking up at all, wanting nothing but to sleep. Even dying sounded better than the way she was feeling. Eyes scrunched closed again, she willed herself to fall asleep. After a long while of just laying there, her consciousness finally slipped away into nothingness.
She woke up again, unsure how long it had been, noticing the nausea was gone although her whole body felt like it had been crushed.
Her eyelids opened slowly, not blinded this time, and she slowly adjusted to the annoying brightness.
The strangers had long since left, replaced by a middle aged man, sitting comfortably on a chair next to the bed. She realised he had been watching her. Was still watching her. For a while, it seemed.
"Morning, Taylor. How do you feel?" The man asked, smiling politely.
"Who are you?" She mumbled, throat raw. "Do I know you?" She didn't want to admit it, but the man scared her.
His smile faltered, but only for a moment.
He stood, towering over the bed. He was quite tall, at least six foot, short messy brown hair matching his bright eyes of the same colour. He was in a formal suit, though there was an obvious absence of a tie.
"Taylor, who do you think I am?"
"I don't know," she whined irritably, "and stop calling me Taylor too!"
"But that is your name." He replied, "Can't you remember your own name?"
With a sudden shock, she realised he was right. She had no idea who she was. It was terrifying. She knew things, yet, at the same time, she didn't.
The girl clenched her fists tightly, only now figuring out she knew nothing. She was nothing.
"My name is Rowan Bell and I work for-"
With a sudden jolt, the nausea returned but she had nothing left to throw up but bile.
"It's okay, don't worry, you're safe." Rowan said gently, putting a comforting hand on her shaking shoulder. He waited patiently for the wave to pass and Taylor calmed down enough to listen to him again.
"Your name is Taylor Grant," he began, retracting from her side. "you're thirteen years old. You were injured last night so was taken to the hospital." Rowan was about to continue but 'Taylor' interrupted.
"What happened to me? Why does everything hurt?" Her chest ached with every word, making it hard to breath.
Rowan gave her a sweet smile and picked something up from the small bedside table.
It was a book of some sort, the cover being a plain purple material, a dark purple band keeping the book closed. Taylor stayed silent, eying Rowan cautiously.
"It's a diary," He explained, holding it out to her. "Your diary actually."
Taylor hesitantly took the purple book, feeling on edge around the stranger. The diary dropped from her shaky hand, the weight surprisingly heavy in her tired arms. She wanted to cry.
"It's okay." Rowan said softly, picking it up from her lap and passing it to her patiently. "There is plenty of people willing to help you, if you need it."
Clutching the diary to her chest, mainly to stop her heart from pounding, Taylor lent her head back, breathing heavily.
Rowan was tempted to offer her an oxygen mask, but if her personality remained even without her memories, she'd refuse. Refuse and probably laugh at him.
Slowly, Taylor brought the diary down from her chest, opening it to the first page.
"I met you about six months ago," Rowan said, interrupting her before she could start."When you agreed to work for the Masafien government as an agent."
She looked at him blankly, focusing on breathing. Why was it so hard to do?
"You know, Masafia?"
She shook her head.
"Masafia is our country. At the moment we're in the capital city," Rowan was about to continue but Taylor didn't seem interested, her glassy gaze turning back to her diary.
It took several blinks for Taylor's vision to clear enough to see the writing on the page.
"Is this me?" Taylor asked, pointing to a small photo of a smiling girl.
"Yes, you bought this exact diary the day I met you and specifically got a friend to take a photo."
"I don't remember..." Taylor mumbled, mind muddled. Vision blurring again, she struggled to stay awake. "It couldn't be six months ago." She said. "I look like a kid! Why would you hire a kid?"
"Well, technically, you aren't officially part of the government. You know the gist, the division doesn't 'exist'. And you're thirteen, so yeah, most people your age prefer 'teenager' over 'kid'."
Taylor grimaced, a spasm going though her body.
"Those will subside." Rowan pitched in. "Hopefully. Maybe, actually,"
"Not helping!" Taylor growled, wondering why they would allow such an idiot be in charge of a military division. Maybe it was all just a sick joke.
"What is happening?" She demanded, tired of his games.
"Ah, about that," Rowan said, smiling weakly, "you should probably just read the diary entries, I don't quite know how to explain your certain situation."
Taylor came to a sudden realisation that made her want to vomit again.
"Oh god, am I dying?!"
"Hopefully not…" He sounded way too happy.
"What is wrong with you?! Why can't you just tell me what's wrong?"
"Because, Taylor," Rowan said calmly, losing the up beat attitude, "this will be a lot to absorb. If I say anything, you wouldn't believe me and rightly so. If you figured it out from your perspective-"
"Just stop!" Taylor barked, flinging out her hand in his direction, feeling like she was suddenly choking. "I-I'll read it!" She gritted out, watching as her hand shook before it dropped back down to her lap. Taking a deep breath, she considered the diary for a second.
"This, thing, the reason why I feel like this... Do you promise reading this will explain everything?"
Rowan hesitated for a beat.
"I can't promise you that but it's the best we've got. I know you must be scared, you're in a strange place with no memory, but I need you to remain calm."
Taylor blinked slowly, deciding that she would finish this diary and get back her memories, even if it killed her. She needed to. So she started with her own profile, the information next to a photo of a stranger. Her photo.
Before reading the information, she took in the photo with great interest. This was what she looked like? With those large hazel eyes and the straight brown hair? Was her style really like that, the simple top with faded jeans, her hair tied up in a high pony tail. And that smile! That broad, genuine smile. It was obvious that when this photo was taken, 'Taylor' was content. What could have possibly happened to change her from this happy thirteen year old to one who didn't even know who she was, possibly dying in a mysterious hospital?
Taking a calming breath, Taylor glanced over at the written information. She didn't even know if it were her own handwriting.
Name- Taylor Lee Grant
Likes- Drawing, writing, athletics, chocolate
Dislikes- Storms, chili ice cream
Relationship status- Jacob Marsh 3
Taylor noted the name 'Jacob Marsh' was crossed out. Several times too.
"Who's this?" She pointed, her head swarming for a second before calming.
Rowen hesitated for a long while, his eyes contemplative and mysterious.
"Jacob Marsh is a criminal and that's all there is to it." The adult said with what seemed like no emotion.
Taylor doubted that that was it, after all it seemed that they had at least been dating at some point. But she was getting tired as time bore on and so decided she would ask further into it at a later date. She flicked though many pages with similar profiles about people she had never heard of, or at least didn't remember meeting. She finally reached the first entry and looked at it. It was dated from early March, making it currently September considering what Rowan had said.
What has happened to my life? Seriously, can't a teenage girl just have a few years of being lazy instead of running around everywhere on errands? 'Taylor, do this' or 'Taylor, file this report.' and even 'Taylor, make me some lunch.' It's gone too far. Don't get me wrong, at first I was thrilled that my mother got a job working as a government agent but she could at least spend time with me when she's not bossing me around. I guess being a General could do that to you... But enough about my Mum, I decided to write this diary to try to work out my life, not to go on and on about my controlling mother. So let me explain from the beginning. I was running an errand for my Mum by going down to the shops to buy the weeks groceries. That's where I met him. So that's where I'll start.
Taylor Grant glanced past the crowd in line to buy their items, wondering why it was taking so long. She had been in line for quite a while now, most of which in her current position. Giving up, she decided to abandon the line and instead went to explore the grocery store.
She was instantly drawn to the confectionary section, lips playing into a smile. She would easily have enough money from what her mother had given her to buy both what she came here to get and a couple of sweets. Chocolate it is then.
She reached for her third bar when she felt someone tap her shoulder.
Taylor squeaked both jumping and dropping her food on impulse. She spun around to who had touched her.
It was a cool looking boy, hands in his pockets, looking straight at her.
"Can I help you?" She asked, slightly shocked with the boys, who must have been about her age, sudden appearance.
"You're Taylor, right? Taylor Grant?" The boy looked like he already knew the answer, cocky smile spreading on his lips.
Taylor backed off slightly, not recognising him in the slightest.
"Who's asking?" She said tentatively, not liking where this was going. Years of stranger danger would finally come into play.
"The name's Jacob Marsh and your mother said I could find you here."
Taylor took a double take.
"My mother? Why would she tell you? I don't even know you!" Taylor started walking away, ignoring when the boy started following her.
"I work with her boss. Kind of her boss." Jacob said, lining up next to Taylor who busied herself with picking up her bounty.
Taylor sighed, turning around.
"You couldn't be older than 15, meaning you wouldn't be in the work force yet. So why would you say that you work for her boss?" She asked, surprised the kid was so interested in playing with her. She was one of those people who tended to be ignored.
Jacob cracked a smile that turned to a proud grin.
Taylor rolled her eyes. So he was one of those guys, the ones who think they own the world at thirteen.
"What do you want?" She demanded, stepping away from him only for him to take a step closer again.
"I want to take you to my Boss. Actually, I have to, not want to. You see, he was expecting you nearly an hour ago. But I had a little trouble finding you." He seemed quite sure she was going to follow him.
Despite all the years of warnings about not speaking to strangers (let alone following them), Taylor thought about it.
She laughed, took out her phone and called the police.
"Hi, my name is Taylor Grant and this creepy guy won't stop following me." Taylor held up her hand when Jacob went to object. 'I'm on the phone' She mouthed. "I'm at the General Store on Seller Street. Can you please hurry? This guy is starting to scare me… Thank you." She hung up, gazing at Jacob silently.
Jacob rolled his eyes, leaning on one leg lazily.
"You really didn't have to do that." He stated unenthusiastically.
Taylor raised an eyebrow.
"Serves you right for following me around."
People started watching the two, unsure if Taylor was being harassed or not.
All previous attraction to the cute boy had evaporated. All and all, this Jacob guy seemed lazy, his black hair and eyes for some reason giving off a 'lazy' vibe. Yet he also seemed to have the muscles of a basketball player.
Sirens broke Taylor from her musings and two policemen entered the General Store. They looked all official like but as soon as one of the them, a man, spotted Jacob he grinned, dropping the 'official' look.
"How you doing kid? I haven't seen you in ages!"
Taylor glared at Jacob and then at the Policeman and back to Jacob.
"You know each other." She stated coldly.
"Very perceptive of you, Ms Taylor Grant. Now, will you come with me please? My Boss doesn't enjoy waiting." Jacob turned to leave.
The second Police Officer, a woman, stepped forward.
"Are you the one who called in a stalker?" The adult asked.
Taylor nodded, once again glaring at Jacob. The lady closed her eyes as if frustrated.
"Again, Jacob? Really? God, Rowan really should tell you to not sound all creepy and stalkerish when recruiting. Now, like always, you'll have to come with us to the station. Again." She slipped out a pair of hand cuffs and Jacob sighed and put out his hands as if used to being detained.
Taylor was struggling to read this stranger.
"Please come with us Ma'am, to give a statement at the station." She addressed Taylor, who nodded mournfully. She just wanted to get away from Jacob and whatever practical joke he planned to pull off.
The two thirteen year olds, Jacob with his arms now restrained behind his back, followed the woman with the man pulling up behind them. They got in the Police Cruiser, albeit Taylor grudgingly, and within a few minutes they were at the local station.
Taylor wasn't even surprised the receptionist greeted Jacob by name, who responded by asking about his wife and children. A teenage girl stalked out of the offices, her glare strong enough to curdle butter.
"You're an idiot!" She growled, her arms crossed, glare not waning. She didn't so much as glance at Taylor. "I have better things to do then help your sorry-"
"Primrose, shut up." Jacob said rudely, motioning to Taylor. "I got her, what more could you want?"
"Oh, I don't know," Primrose said with fake sweetness, flicking her purple streaked hair from her face. "I want a more competent leader? One with better hair would be nice too."
Finally, Primrose turned to Taylor as if just noticing her.
"Hi. New Girl. Let's go."
"Ah, hi?" Taylor replied before she realised what Primrose had said. "I'm not following you."
"What? Why not?" For all her worth, Primrose couldn't have sounded more confused.
"I don't even know you or what you're talking about."
"Didn't Jacob tell you about Boss?"
Taylor's lip flicked up to a smile.
"I was kind of too busy getting arrested to convince her to come." Jacob said helpfully, glancing at his hands behind him. "Speaking of which, can you let me go?"
The woman who had brought him here sighed, unlocking the restraints with practiced ease.
Primrose sighed, fully turning back to face Taylor and Jacob.
"You had one job!" Primrose whined, obviously not wanting to have come in the first place. "Okay, you, New Girl, join us. We have cookies and cream. If you don't like cookies and cream, then too bad."
"I like cookies and cream." Taylor said tentatively, giving a questioning gaze to the adults who nodded their affirmative. Surely if they worked with the police, it couldn't be that bad, could it? Besides, Primrose seemed fun.
"Excellent. See, that's how you do it. Jacob, you should take notes. New Girl, you're coming to my super cool ninja lab. We can leave this idiot here." Primrose turned again, now grinning, as if she had been not glaring daggers at Jacob the whole time.
Taylor stood there for a few moments, rubbing her arm nervously. She finally decided to follow Primrose, leaving the 'idiot' there.
Six months later and Taylor stopped reading the diary, glancing up at Rowan. Her vision danced for a several moments before focusing on him.
"I don't remember any of this." She mumbled, shoulders dropping. A painful cramp shot though her body, sprouting new tears.
The door swung open, revealing a girl on a wheelchair, whose grin seemed fake.
"Morning Tay, how ya feeling?"
Taylor stared at the girl, noting especially the beautiful purple streaks in her otherwise brown hair.
While watching her, she didn't realise that the strangers flickering gaze was absorbing every medical item as if it were dangerous, if not terrifying.
"You don't have to be here." Rowan mumbled softly, standing to retrieve the girls gift of purple primroses.
The girl bit her lip, but only for a second, before the fake smile returned.
"I wanted to come. So, Tay, is the food really bad this time too? If so, I'll bring some later."
"I- I'm sorry, but who are you?"
The girl's fake grin faltered for a second.
"What?" She asked sweetly, cocking her head as if she hadn't heard what was said.
"I don't know you… I don't remember…"
"I'm your friend, you know, Primi? Primrose White?"
Taylor stared at the paraplegic, feeling even more sick then before.
"You're not joking, are you?" Primrose's shoulders slouched. "You really don't know who I am, do you?"