You should leave.
At least, that’s what you’ve been telling yourself all this while. You sit in the car, the wipers lazily swiping at the windscreen as drizzle flutters down to obscure the view in front of you. Even with the low visibility of the evening light, you can very well make out the building that sits just metres away from you. You gaze at it and wonder why it looks so… boxy. The edges give it a utilitarian look, and considering what the building is used for you can’t help but wonder if that was the intention of the architect all along.
You should leave.
Again, you tell yourself. And again, you sit there, staring at the building and asking yourself why you went through the trouble. Was there anything you were hoping to gain? Even your best friend asked you that, though not with the same words. But the sentiment was the same.
You couldn’t answer the question then, and you can’t answer the question now. You know you won’t be able to answer the question. But maybe you don’t want to answer the question. Maybe you just want to get this done without considering what would come after.
So… you should step out of the car, shouldn’t you?
You consider this for a while, the pitter patter of raindrops on the roof giving you an odd sense of calm.
You know you’re going to either have to get out of the car or drive back home and forget about the whole thing, right? Plus, the rain might pick up any time. So…
You take a deep breath, and make a decision. You crawl closer to the building, into what you believe is a parking space. You turn off the ignition, get out of the car, lock the doors and make a quick trot to the entrance of the building. A shiver moves through you, and you can’t tell if it’s because of the rain’s cold or what you’re about to do. Nevertheless, you open the door and step in.
The reception is almost whitewashed; someone had the idea to add some softer colours to the paint, but you can’t help but feel the sterile air of the place. Someone behind the counter looks up at the sounds of your feet hitting the tiled floors, and waves you over with a smile. You cross to meet and offer your own smile before stating your business. Recollection flashes through the receptionist’s eyes and you’re asked to follow behind as you hear the jingle of keys.
You walk with the person through a hallway, and yet again question why you’re doing this. The question flits around your mind, but you decide not to give it much thought. You spent a long time trying to find what you were looking for. And you’re already here, so before long you’ll be confronted with what you expected.
What you expected… are you really expecting anything?
Maybe… maybe not.
Your guide stops at a door and inserts a key, then asks you if you’re certain about what you want to do. You nod in the affirmative, and your guide twists the key until there’s a click. Pushing the door ajar, your guide warns you to shout in case you need any help, and to be prepared to defend yourself at any point. You nod again, and show that you want to enter. Your guide offers a sincere smile, and opens the door wide. The door is locked behind you, and you settle into the chair situated close to a corner of the small room.
The floors are padded, as well as the walls, and it’s all white. There’s only one person in the room, and the occupant looks at you with wide eyes, gibberish flowing out before concrete words are formed.
“You… you’re from the devil! You’ve come to take me again, haven’t you!? I won’t follow you! Oh no! Not this time! Never!!! You’ll never take me the way you took my child!!!!”
Your eyes get blurry, and you let the tears fall. The occupant of the room is wearing a straitjacket, and trying to bounce off the padded walls in a bid to create injury.
You sniff as a sad smile slips on your lips.
“Hey mum…” you voice out, wiping some of the tears away. “It’s been a while…”