I opened my eyes and then closed them again quickly as the bright lights blinded me.
Blooming In The Sunset.
Yes, that was my name. I'll shorten it to Bloom. And... I was from the Flowers. Maybe I could stick to my host's name. Lily. Such a pretty name. It applies to my former name too. Lily. It felt good on my tongue. It was... familiar. From the three life terms I have spent with the Dolphins, I have learned how to understand my hosts. It makes me feel আরো pity for them than what would be considered normal, but right then, it didn't matter. I could tell that my host liked making friends.
Yes. That was it. Lily had a lot of friends. বন্ধু who cared. বন্ধু she had lost.
Maybe I could find their names and location. That was what she was supposed to do. And a pang of hurt shot through my veins. Why were they hunting down the humans? This was their world. They should at least live in peace. It was wrong.
I shook her head. This was no time to be feeling sorry for the humans. This world was better in the Souls' hands.
For the first time, I looked at her surroundings. The walls were painted blue. the বিছানা wasn't very comfortable, but it did its job and that was what matters. A large glass-plate window was covered with a thin curtain. Sunlight filtered through the thin fabric, and I could see the roads and buildings, the cars speeding on the dark asphalt, her fellows milling on the sidewalk. The rest of the room looked like a normal hospital room. Lily's memories supplied the term.
I heard footsteps patter right outside the white doors.
"...thinks that there are others." A gruff voice, possibly her Seeker, said.
"Let's save that for later. This is her room."
The doors opened and a man and a woman walked in. The man had dark জলপাই skin, muscular arms and brown hair cropped close. He had a hard face, but the lines at the corners of his eyes suggested that he smiles often. The woman was tall, with blond hair pulled up in a ponytail, and she had kind look on her face.
"Good morning, Blooming In The Sunset. My name is Anna, your Healer and this is Wilson. He is the Seeker we have assigned to you. Are আপনি alright? Did আপনি sleep good?" the blond woman ব্যক্ত with a soft tone. The Seeker smiled at me.
"Good. Before we ask আপনি any questions, what would আপনি like us to call you? Sunset? Bloom?"
I shook my head.
"Lily." I whispered.
For a few minutes, the Seeker grilled me about my host's past.
"Her name was Lily Robins. She is thirty years old. She has been human for six years before we came. She lives in... Somewhere in Arizona. Phoenix, maybe?" I couldn't remember more. It was like waking up from a dream and, try as আপনি can, আপনি couldn't remember it.
"Do আপনি remember anything else?" he asked me, mild frustation entering his tone.
"I-I can't. Did she hit her head when আপনি got her? Because... I can't find anything else." I ব্যক্ত timidly.
Out of nowhere, an image of a man with dark hair and a smiling face entered my mind like a poke from a needle. Sharp, precise and short. But it was enough.
No! Please don't tell them!
I jumped. Was that Lily? That couldn't be possible. Lily had been erased. There's nobody in here with me.
"Wait. She-she was with a man. About twenty. She lived with him. His name is Wes." I said.
The Seeker smiled. "You are making good progress, dear. What else do আপনি remember?"
Little snippets of her life came at me together at once. A child cradled on her lap. Playing ফুটবল with Wes. Baking bread. Planting tomatoes. Tripping on a rock and skinning her knee. And then a rather unusual and terrifying image.
A woman clad in black holding a gun aloft and shooting randomly at a flailing mass of panic. She was tiny, but her shots made up for it. A cry of pain was heard through the yells of alarm and fear. It was all so vivid. It was like I was in her place. She was with Wes, though knew that without looking at him. But the arm around her waist was enough assurance. Then the woman turned in their direction.
And I could see the silver glinting in them.
But what was surprising was that I didn't feel horrified at that fact. The fact that one of them was being so violent, so murderously violent. I was horrified at the fact that she was aiming her weapon at them, and the bullet was slicing through the air seemingly at slow motion. And the bullet passed through Wes's forehead, blood, his blood splattering her face. He fell on the ground. It was a gruesome sight, and I felt like throwing up right there, but her host just slumped down on her knees and wept, পরবর্তি to her lover, now motionless and broken on the floor.
The Seeker was alarmed. He jumped up and said, "What? What's wrong?"
"N-nothing. Just a bad memory. Some time alone and fresh air might help me remember, though." I muttered, my own scream still ringing in my ears, the freshly inflicted mental wounds still making me shake.
I sat on the edge of the flat roof of the healing facility. The building was only five stories tall, but the view made me feel so tiny. I could see all the souls, ones, tens, hundreds of them. I was sitting in a covered part of the roof, so I wasn't getting baked. A cool breeze blew my hair back. It was brown, and the wispy strands felt nice whipping against my face
I hope you're happy.
Calm down, this isn't as bad as আপনি think. As I'm still stuck here, it won't do any harm to talk for a while.
But আপনি shouldn't be talking to me! You're dead!
No I'm not. Sometimes people survive when they share with a soul. It happened to a friend of mine.
I hate you, but I know it isn't your fault that I was caught. It isn't your fault that I was প্রদত্ত to you.
What do আপনি think of a name change? I won't call আপনি Lily.
Sure. Call me Bloom, then.
Lily was being so nice and reassuring to me. Why was she so friendly all of a sudden? I should request a new body. Lily was talking to me. Soon, she might take over and control me. But I couldn't do it. I wasn't weak. I could handle her. She'll shut up soon.
I'm being nice because I want to give আপনি a chance. You're not evil. We can be friends. A soul and a human. Do আপনি want to know about my life?
I silently hissed in my mind. আপনি can read my thoughts?
Do আপনি want to know about my thoughts?
God, she was insistent.
Uh, I guess it wouldn't hurt.
So for a few hours, she told me her story. It touched me. I bet every life story of a human was like that. They were individuals, different from each other, unlike us souls. Lily told me about her life as a child, when she swallowed her own tooth, about her teenage years, when she rebelled and fell in love, about her twenties, when she started living independently, and then she told me of her years after we took over. Lily travelled with her little brothers for a while until they হারিয়ে গেছে each other. She went on alone and found a man named Jebediah Stryder, a man who everybody thought was crazy. She had lived in the caves that Jeb had found and improved. She turned, planted and watered the fields, fed her fellow humans who in turn took helped her.
It was getting dark, and the moon and stars were starting to appear.
I grunted, annoyed. I was hungry. I have been in a cryotank just five hours ago, true, but I need nourishment. Right now.
So what planets have আপনি been on?
Her প্রশ্ন caught me off guard. My stomach shut up and kept still, as if even my insides wanted to know. She was asking about my life? It would be a boring story to tell. And isn't she starving as well?
Yeah, I'll eat the door if I can.
I hissed in surprise. I was expecting her to repeat-
So where did আপনি live? Which is your পছন্দ so far? What did they call আপনি there?
Two life terms on the Origin, three life terms with the Dolphins and one with the flowers. The Dolphins. Lucky Charms.
You're kidding, right?
Nothing. But what...
Then we continued like that for an ঘন্টা অথবা so, taking much less time than it did for her being the storyteller. She had already learned the details from her, uh, traitorous, friend, Wanderer. I heard that name so many times on TV. A disappearance that led to death. Though it was আরো of suicide than death via বৃশ্চিক venom. My life in the other planets was, well, tedious. The souls' stories share so much likeness it would be like what the average human would call Ctrl+C/Ctrl+V. But with humans, emotion were so much আরো complicated. They have a wider range of good and bad. They were individuals, not lumped together like us souls. Because of the fact that they have poor living conditions, they learn how the mistrust others and প্রশ্ন their loyalty. But with that comes an emotion foreign to me: unrequited love.
Bloom? What's on আপনি mind?
You, I grumbled at her mentally. The hunger was coming back doubled with thirst. And that made me grumpy. Really grumpy for a soul.
I'm going to eat, whether আপনি want to অথবা not.
I want to. But we'll continue this later, okay?
But I didn't turn to the door. Instead, my feet made my tired body turn around and face the Chicago skyline. The horizon was dotted with pinpricks of light, the nearby sky glowing yellow from the রাস্তা lights. But the tiny lights weren't stars. They were from buildings and cellphone towers. But my mind wasn't on the polluted view.
Lily, this is nice and all, but my stomach is about to digest itself.
That's just silly. Stomachs can't digest themselves because of the mucus linings. And I'm pretty sure that I kept the slime on my insides before I went on a raid.
আপনি can't digest stomachs, she translated.
But what if আপনি eat a stomach? Urgh. I want to stop at Wendy's before they close down. Get myself a Baconator. Yum.
Baconators? But that's really unhealthy! Wait... Oh, I guess it wouldn't matter.
Well, one of those stupidly named Son of Baconator things then. But why wouldn't they just call it Baconator Mini like those iPads? অথবা Pigletinator? And why wouldn't it matter? I want something unhealthy anyway.
আপনি know, had I met আপনি on the Internet, I would be begging to meet আপনি in person. But let me enjoy my last view.
Last view? What last view?
Bloom, you're a great person. Even if I've only known আপনি for six hours.
What are আপনি talking about?
She didn't reply. I wouldn't have heard her anyway. I was shrieking wordlessly as the sidewalk careened towards me at shocking speed.