A siren pierced though the otherwise quiet alley way. The teenage girl ignored it, all her focus 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 while asking the only question on her mind.
He didn't answer, or at least not until after it was too late. She fell.
'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 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 fully understood.
"Someone get Agent Bell." Who?
Her eyes finally flickered open, only staying that way for a moment before they tightly closed again, her head pounding from the sudden unavoidable brightness. That was when the pain started to register, making it 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 made her eyes water, the sounds from all around echoing so loudly it made her sore head even worse and the smell of disinfectant overpowering everything else. All of this added up made her want to faint.
Sensing now only one person by her side, the girl could tell they were trying to talk to her soothingly though she couldn't understand what was being said.
"Get away." The teenage girl rasped, trying to push the stranger away, eyes still tightly shut.
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 and 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 the voice as her body heaved again. She hadn't even registered that someone had given her a bucket, her senses still absorbing too much for her exhausted mind to make sense of it.
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. The blanket she hadn't noticed on her lap was replaced promptly, same with the bucket she finally found she had. Apparently, the new bucket was 'just in case' she had to throw up 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, her consciousness eventually slipping away into nothingness.
Waking up again, either hours or moments later, the teenager noticed the nausea was gone though her whole body felt like it had been crushed by a building. Her eyelids opening slowly, instantly glad her eyes were not completely blinded by the over head lights again, slowly adjusting to the still annoying brightness.
The strangers had long since left, replaced by a middle aged man, sitting comfortably on a chair next to the bed. She quickly realised he had been watching her. For a while, it seemed.
"Morning, Taylor. How do you feel?" The man asked, smiling politely.
"Who are you?" She mumbled quietly. "Do I know you?" Her voice was raw, probably from being so violently ill.
The mans smile faltered, but only for a moment. He stood, towering over the bed. He was quite tall, easily 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.
"Can't you remember anything? My name is Rowan Bell and I work for the Masafien Government. Do you know your own name?"
With a sudden shock, she realised 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.
With a sudden jolt, the nausea returned but she had nothing to throw up.
"It's okay, don't worry, you're safe." Rowan said gently, smiling sadly.
"Your name is Taylor Grant," he began, "you're thirteen years old. You were hurt last night so you were 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 another sweet smile and picked something up from the small bedside table that Taylor hadn't even noticed was there. It seemed to be a recurring feeling, things only appearing when they were needed.
It was a book of some sort, the cover being a plain scaly 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 hands. 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 if her memories didn't, she'd bluntly refuse.
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 capitol 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 winced, a spasm of pain going though her body.
"They 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, sick 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?!"
"What is wrong with you?! Why can't you just tell me what's wrong?"
"Because, Taylor," Rowan said calmly, "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.
"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 into it at a later date.
Flicking though multiple pages with similar profiles about people she had never heard of, or at least didn't remember meeting, finally coming to the start of the diary entries, the first of which dated in 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 the time in her current position so she decided to abandon the line, noticing the others were similar and decided instead 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 but felt someone tap her shoulder. Jumping 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 playing 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 now 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. Actually, her equivalent of a boss..." Jacob said, lining up next to Taylor who busied herself with choosing a packet of chips.
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 her. She was one of those people who tended to be ignored.
Jacob cracked a smile turned to a proud grin.
Taylor rolled her eyes.
"What do you want?" She demanded, stepping away from him only for him to take a step forward.
"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 but that didn't change the fact he was pretty good looking, lazy black hair fitting his lazy black eyes. All and all, this Jacob guy seemed lazy. Yet he also seemed to have the muscles of a basketball player.
Sirens broke Taylor from her musings, two policemen entering the General Store looking all official. One of the them, a man, spotted Jacob and grinned, striding over.
"How you doing kid? I haven't seen you in ages!"
Taylor glared at Jacob and then at the Policeman and then 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, as you know, 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 arrested. 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 now with his arms 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, before 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, 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 said awkwardly 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 uncaring.
"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, before she decided to follow Primrose, leaving the 'idiot' there.
Six months later and Taylor stopped reading the diary, glancing up at Rowan, her vision dancing for a few moments before focusing.
"I don't remember any of this." She mumbled, shoulders dropping. A painful cramp went though her body, sprouting new tears.
The door suddenly swung open, revealing a girl on a wheelchair, who's grin seemed off.
"Morning Tay, how ya feeling?"
Taylor stared at the seated teenager, 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, or at least 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 grin returned.
"I wanted to come. So, Tay, is the food ratchet? 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.