“On the Other Side, 11”

by Brianna G. Harte

I turned around and found the nurse walking in through the doors that said “EXIT” in large red letters with a hard-hatted man in a t-shirt and denim jeans. I shrugged it off, certainly not amused by the man who seemed too curious about lights and wiring. However, I could not completely ignore it. If the nurse was there, things might go sour for Odessa.

Phasing through the double doors close by, where Odessa and my mom had been standing only a minute or so ago, I exclaimed, “She’s back!”

“Who? The nurse?”

I nodded.
“Suzanne, do you know another way out?” Odessa asked my mom.

“Through the walls.”

“You know that’s not what I mean. For me to get out. I don’t want to end up in an a mental hospital if I know I’m not going insane. I know you two are real.”

“There’s always the question of if we really are real,” Mommy said.

“Mommy!” I rolled my eyes. “We are real, okay?”

“I’m sorry, Harrison,” she said nonapologetically. “As for an actual exit, just follow me.”

As she floated off, Odessa and I followed, unsure of where she was going. There was a series of hallways and doors we passed through that looked nearly the same. All doors were wooden. All hallways painted white. All floors tiled with fake granite. Boring. Eventually, we got to an exit that opened up to a somewhat loaded parking lot. I didn’t remember seeing any patients, but it hardly mattered. We rushed through them fast enough that the doors could have been closed or opened and it wouldn’t have made a difference.

“Where would you like to go now, Odessa?” my mom asked.

“It’s night time right now. I’d better go back home and get some rest. On Monday, I’ll ask my friend to look for some documents.”

“Where do you live? We can find you on Monday,” my mom explained.

“Whittleville on Adams Street. Find the yellow hummer and that would be my house. I shall leave around nine for my friend and be back before three,” Odessa said. “That should give me enough time.”

My mom went in front of Odessa before she could leave. “Don’t you have a job?”

“Since I was indeed in the hospital and possibly could be concussed, or rather I am concussed, I can call in.” A slight smile grew on Odessa’s face. “Well, I’d better go. See you Monday.”

As she left our sights, I tugged on my mama’s clothes. “What do we do now?”

“Maybe I should show you our house. Would you like that?” she asked sweetly.

“Not if daddy’s there,” I said. “You said he was mean.”

“But he’s not there anymore, Harrison. It will be safe. I promise.”

She began to turn toward the forest, and I let her pull me along. As we flew through the air, I could not be sure of what to think of the house.

Copyright © 2015 Brianna G. Harte. All rights reserved.

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