The Runner – Part Three

Here’s the next part to the Runner story I’ve been working on. If you enjoyed this, follow my blog or my twitter @ElloFrancis97! Enjoy guys!

“Here we have the alphabet. All I want you to do for me is pick a letter, any letter.” Dr. Preen speaks softly. Sitting in front of me is a piece of paper with the alphabet printed onto it. I slowly scan each letter as If one will just jump out at me. I’m nearly to the end when the letter W suddenly looks familiar. I mean, more familiar than the rest of the alphabet. “W” I say instantly. Dr. Preen raises her eyebrows as if surprised by this answer and begins scribbling more notes. “Does that mean anything?” I ask after a brief period of silence. Dr. Preen glances up and folds her hands in her lap. “Usually, in cases of amnesia, patients tend to be drawn to a particular letter. This letter will more than likely be in your name. For example, I had a patient a few years ago who couldn’t remember his name and when I asked him to choose a letter, he chose R. His name is Ranen.”
“So, you think my name starts with a W?”
“It’s a very plausible possibility, yes.” She continues writing. I try to think of any names that start with W but all I can think of is William which doesn’t ring a bell. “Okay, now what we’re going to do is a quick answer exercise. I’ll say a word and you say the first thing that pops into your head. Don’t think about it or consider it, just say it.” I nod in agreement.
“House,”
“Home,”
“Love,”
“Intimacy,”
“Age,”
“Old,”
“School,”
“Learn,”
“Body,”
“Insecure,”
“Pain,”
“Fear,”
“Fear,”
“The Unknown,”
“One last one, honesty,”
“Secrets,”
“Okay, that’s enough for now. Why don’t we take a break for a bit? Would you like to go for a walk?” Dr. Preen looks flustered. Again, I find myself wondering if I’ve said something wrong. “Ah, yeah, sure. I might go and thank Joe for breakfast. Thank you.” I offer a shy smile at her as I stand to leave. “Of course,” Dr.Preen glances up at me, “I’m here to help in any way I can.” She smiles at me and I feel a chill run up my spine. I smile once more, trying to hide my unease. I close the door behind me as I again attempt to maneuver my way through the labyrinth of hallways in the police station. Eventually, after many wrong turns and frustrating dead ends, I find the front of the station where I had stumbled through last night, out of breath and out of energy. I still feel shaky from the whole situation. How could this happen? How does someone suddenly forget their entire life?  I wander over to the desk and awkwardly tuck my knotty and manky hair behind my ears. “Hi, um, is Joe still on duty?” I ask the old guy nervously. He looks like he should have retired 20 years ago. He looks at me with distaste in his eyes and grumbles something as he stands to leave. I’m about to ask again when he holds a hand up as to hush me. I stop myself and look at my boots again. God, why do I have to be so awkwardly unlikable. I decide to go for a walk outside as it seems the old guy has just ditched me, but as soon as I turn around to leave I hear the sweet voice of Joe. “Hey, Light said you were asking for me?” His eyes were so droopy I was sure he’d be asleep as soon as he could. “Oh yeah, I just wanted to thank you for breakfast this morning. Also, Light? What kind of name is that?”
“Oh, haha, we call him the Light because when he falls asleep on duty he’s out like a light. Get it? Haha and hey no worries.”
“Haha well that is certainly original at least,” I try to stop myself from giggling like a little girl.
“So how’d you go with Dr. Preen? Get any answers yet?”
“Mmm, no, not yet. Actually, I was wondering, what do you know about her?”
“Just that she’s one of the best shrinks around. She moved here about 6 months ago I think to open a research centre. Not sure what to research but hey, it’s gotta be something good to get an International expert.”
“Yeah I guess so, I just get a weird vibe from her is all. I don’t know.”
“She does seem a little stand offish I guess. Anyway, I better get back to it, I finish at 9 and back at 10 so I guess I might see you then? Have a good one.”
“Yeah, thanks, you too.” He smiles again and walks back over to the counter. Yeah, nothing to worry about. I’m just being weirdly paranoid. Everything’s fine. I decide to go back to Dr. Preen and continue the session so I make my way back through the tangled halls which are becoming easier to navigate. Just as I approach the door, I hear a muffled voice; Dr. Preen’s voice. She sounds angry, very angry. A slowly move closer to the doorway and lean towards the door.

“I told you, she doesn’t remember. If she did she would have recognised my face,” She pauses. “Of course I was prepared for that situation. If she did remember, she wouldn’t have had a chance to tell anyone about it, I assure you.” Something inside me strikes and tells me to run. Run. Run. RUN.

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