The darkness engulfs me when I wake, when I sleep, when I eat, and when I walk. It surrounds me like a blanket. Many writers have called it “The Void,” but I call it my friend.
“Hon, are you doing alright?” I hear the concern in my mother’s voice.
“Yes, I was just thinking.”
“Thinking?” I could hear the worry in my mother’s voice. She associated thinking as bad ever since the accident that took my eyesight. She always feared that I’ll become depressed.
“Yes, I was thinking about what I need to get done today, mom.” I could hear my mom visibly relax next to me.
I heard the doctor walk into the room. “How are you doing Patricia?” The doctor drew closer to me. “Are you settling in with your Guide Dog, Kip?”
“Yes sir.” I smiled up at the doctor. “He is the best thing that has happened to me in a long time.”
“That’s good.” The doctor coughed awkwardly. “Have you had any nightmares?”
I frowned. “No, should I have?”
My mom stiffened next to me. “That’s enough!” Mom’s voice pitched higher. “We don’t need to go into that.”
I was puzzled even more. What was my mom afraid of? “I don’t remember anything.” I touched my mother on the arm. I could feel her shake and smelled the sweat. I drew my hand away.
“Are you sure, Patricia?” The doctor asked. He didn’t sound convinced.
My mother stood up. “I told you that we do not need to discuss this. If she doesn’t remember, why should we make her remember?”
The doctor’s voice was calm and collected. “Mrs. Rose, why don’t you leave the room? I can make sure Patricia can find her way out.”
“No, I will not leave my daughter.” My mom sat back down. “I’ll let you interrogate her all you want.”
“Mom? Aren’t we at the doctor’s office?” I felt my alarm rise.
“Don’t be afraid honey. They are going to ask you some questions?” My mom’s voice sounded forced like she was clenching her teeth.
Alarm shot through me. “I don’t know anything!” I nearly shouted. Kip realized my distress and snuggled closer to my feet.
“Patricia, we believe that the accident was a cover up.”
“Cover up?” I whispered. I couldn’t remember anything from that night. My mom always referred to it as the “accident,” nothing else. She was close-lipped about the whole thing. I had been in the hospital for months after the incident and I still could not remember anything. It had been swallowed by the void that I lived in.
“Yes, your uncle was not all that he seemed.” I felt the pain lance through me. My uncle had been everything to me–everything. All I knew was that I had been driving during that fateful day. The nurses told me the facts, but I couldn’t remember anything myself.
“All I know is what the nurses told me. I’ll live with the guilt forever.” My mother’s touched my arm. I could feel her comfort, but the tears still fell from my eyes.
“We need that information that your uncle had.”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” I whispered. “I see nothing. All I see is the blackness that surrounds me.”
I felt the doctor lean forward. Frustration was evident in his voice. “You must remember something.”
“I’ve racked my brains every day trying to remember. I asked the Lord to restore my memory, but he has deemed to not allow it.” I yanked my hair in frustration. “All I want to know is the answers too, doctor. Why was I driving, not my uncle? Why were we on a back road going 80 mph? Why? Why? Why?” I screeched the last words.
I got up. Kip stood up and nudged me. Dead silence reigned in the room. I thought cynically how they did not know what to do with a deranged teenager that had just lost her uncle, the one source of light in the deep void that now surrounded her. Could they see how lost I was? Or where they clinically trying to see if I was telling the truth?
The doctor touched my arm. “Patricia, we want to help you. You need to help us first.”
His hand felt cold, clinical, and calculated on my arm. I felt the shiver run up my spine.
“What do I need to do?” I felt the desperation in my voice. I knew that I was begging for help out of this void that surrounded me.
“You can become one of us.” I drew away from him and towards my mother. I could feel the tension in her as I stood next to her.
“Please don’t.” My mom seemed to plead. “Don’t take her too. You’ve already taken my brother.”
“Mrs. Rose.” The doctors voice made my mom reconsider her begging. She remained silent.
“Who are you?” I asked cautiously.
“We are a spy group.”
My mom groaned. “I’ve lost her.” she muttered.