by Brianna G. Harte
I turned to either side, but no one stood behind me. “You . . . you can see me?”
The entire room blurred from my vision. Every detail disappeared, except those of this one woman’s face. The blonde hairs falling out of her once-neat bun stood out. Wrinkles on her blouse seemed far more important than the sirens nearing the building. Even when the squadron came, my eyes never left her.
“You’re not real. You can’t be.”
Delighted surprise washed away from my face. What is one supposed to say when the one person who believes in you denies that you exist? Now I knew what it was like for the tooth fairy these humans tell their kids about. “Don’t say that. Please don’t say that,” I begged her.
While she rubbed her eyes, I backed away slowly. Men and women in pants equipped with scissors, tape, and various other devices, juxtaposing the simple navy collared shirt reading EMT, rushed into the room as I reached its edge. They passed through me quickly and without hesitation, yet took great care of that one person. One that everyone else could see. Once the thought struck, my legs flew far. I didn’t even bother trying to open the library door when I had the option to. It wasn’t like it would stop me from passing through just like the people in the building.
I climbed upon the nearest vehicle and sat there, not desiring to have even more reminders of my inexistence if possible. “If even people who see me don’t acknowledge me, what’s the point? Am I destined to live without companions?”
The woman was brought out of the building on a large flat board with holes along the outer rim and carefully placed into the vehicle I was sitting on. I followed her in, rage displacing distraught.
“Get away from me!” she hissed as I entered. “They will think I am psychotic!”
“You are horrible! Do you realize that no one could see me before? I don’t need you telling me I’m not real just as you don’t need them thinking you are crazy,” I said bitterly.
“But you are fake. I swear, you were not there before I fell.” Then she paused. “That’s it! You’re just a hallucination!”
“You and Wallace should really get together, both of you believing in the same rubbish,” I snorted. “I’m real.”
“Are you a ghost then? Come to torment me?” she asked, rolling her eyes. “Have you seen my grandmother, perhaps?”
“Now you’re just teasing me,” I concluded. “If there are others like me, they’re real. I am a living being.” As I said this, I wondered if I was stating this for her . . . or myself.
“You’ve never seen others like you? You think you’re alone?” she asked, her voice almost a breathless whisper. “Those in psychiatric hospitals would say otherwise, if you are as real as you state.”
“Are you feeling alright ma’am?” the EMT sitting at her side asked. I had nearly forgotten that he was there.
Odessa, as her name turned out to be, allowed me to keep her company while she lay in the quiet emergency room. Hardly anyone was there, even staff. I suppose it helped her have some kind of social connection, though I could swear that the nurses stole glances at her and seeing her only talking to an empty space.
“What’s your name?” Odessa asked me.
I cocked my head to the side.
“You do not know? Well, do you know why you have scrapes across your arms? If no one can touch you, you must have seen someone from whatever world you belong to,” she speculated.
The problem was, I could not remember. “My farthest memory was of me standing on an empty docked boat. It was probably having its grand opening or something because there was a lot of yellow ribbon around it. Many humans stood nearby, looking very curious.”
Copyright © 2015 Brianna G. Harte. All rights reserved.