A Sentinel named Jay has come to collect me from my last mission. Don’t ask me what the mission was because my memory was wiped clean and I prefer it that way. He is absurdly tall, bulky, and pea green skinned. By all accounts repulsive… except for his eyes. He has the warmest honey hazel eyes I have ever seen. Something about staring into them is like staring into a photo file of my life without being able to see the images. I feel like I know him somehow, or did in a past life. This feeling makes all of his flawed appearance properties disappear and makes him beautiful, if only to me.
He catches me staring at him from time to time. Probably thinking that I’m judging him or planning my escape. Not too far from the truth. But, if I were to escape I would want to take him with me. I hate that I am a shell of a person, a Dollface that cannot control what memories I keep or the will to override my Administrator Controller.
I want to say so much to him, but nothing but dry air ever comes out. I wish things were different and that I had the liberty to offer him more than a companion in a car on the way back to the rabbit hole. I wish….
“Something on your mind Abigail?” Jay asks.
I find myself blushing. I expected his voice to be gruff and irritated, but he sounds hopeful and concerned. “I,” I begin. My heart pounds through my cobalt rib cage and I want to blurt out every teenage impulsed love sonnet on file.
He looks at me expectantly waiting.
“I just wish I could be more than a passenger in your car right now.” I say.
“Most Dollfaces do. You all want a real life.” He says, not so much dismissively as ruefully.
“Yeah, that too.” I mumble.
“What else?” he presses.
“I wish we could just be two people going for a ride somewhere and not… this.” I say.
“We can always pretend. Do you remember anything about your past lives that could steer our daydream?” he asks suddenly uncomfortable.
I wonder if it’s me making him tense up. “Not really. Just a feeling that I hold on to when I’m with you. Like I know you from before somehow and that you are not a stranger to me like the other Sentinels are.”
“That’s good enough for me.” He says somehow happy with himself and my response. “So, let’s pretend we are driving to my house on the beach waiting for a transport to pick us up and take us out of the country.”
“That sounds lovely!” I nearly shout at the excitement of knowing he would run away with me if he could.
I keep my eyes glued to the road ahead, but gently lay my hand on top of his for just a moment. The corners of his mouth lift slightly into a smile and today that is enough for me. A small gesture of kindness, a crush that isn’t rejecting me, a daydream of escape, and a small human gesture amongst all of this metal.
We pull into the parking lot of the Dollhouse and a sense of dread fills me. Not because there is probably a horrible mission waiting for me, but because I have to let this moment go. It hurts in ways I can’t explain as I exit the car and watch him drive away. He’s only parking in the back of the building so I can enter through the front door and check in for duty. But, watching him turn the corner feels like I lost a dream of a life time. I feel alone. I feel sick to my stomach and like the world will never be right again.
I check in and am instructed to wait in the lobby for my next guest. I feel like I am betraying my daydream to wander off with this ghost of a man. He looks like he needs new skin, and everything else. I dare not imagine what I’m being rented out for today.