Chapter 6 - The Preacher
Nia is such a wonderful sister. I know she would rather be somewhere else but she stays with me anyway. Dad stopped by on his way to work to see if I needed anything. Mom also stopped by but I could tell she was 'high' from her dopamine hits.
"You know mom is going to burn out all the synapsis in her brain" I tell Nia after mom leaves.
"Well, at least she feels good." Nia offered in response.
"But when that happens she won't feel good at all, ever!" I shoot back.
"Well, maybe she won’t" Nia says weakly.
"In that other place, mom actually cooks food and it tastes incredible. I had bacon and eggs and waffles with real maple syrup and for dinner one night we had meat loaf." I tell Nia.
"How many days did you spend in this other place?" Nia asks.
"I think it's been 3 or 4 now." I say not really sure.
"I'm really worried about you." Nia confesses.
"So what did you want to talk about?" The preacher asks in a kind encouraging voice. In the blink of an eye Nia isn't there anymore and I'm back in the game. It takes me a moment and I just stare at the preacher. I don't remember making the appointment or anything else that has happened that morning.
"It's really hard to talk about." I tell him. I look into his eyes and there's something odd about them but I can't quite place my finger on it. "I don't want to get my sister in trouble but I think she needs help." I continue.
"It's okay." He tells me trying to be reassuring. "Whatever it is, I promise your sister will get the help she needs."
"Okay" I say in a quivering voice, "I saw my sister kissing Lidia after the dance on Friday night."
"I see. Well you did the right thing by telling me. I promise that your sister is not in trouble and we will make sure they both get help." The preacher assures me.
"Okay." I say as I start crying.
"You are a good sister." The preacher tells me, "You should be proud of yourself." I'm not proud. I don't like being sneaky like this but I have to get the other player out of the game. The preacher excuses me and I go back to class. There is something about the preacher that doesn't make sense. I think about it all day and that night I finally realize what it is. His eye's looked real but they weren't. Even though there are no computers here, I think the preacher is a machine. I wonder who built him and what he is going to do about Nia.
"Katy? Katy? Are you alright?" I hear and suddenly I'm back in the hospital.
"Yeah, I just went away for a while." I told her.
"The doctor said it would start happening more frequently." Nia states.
"Do they know when it is going to stop?" I ask her.
"No, they don't even know what is causing it." She says.
"I just want to go home and sleep in my own bed." I tell her.
"I'll see what I can do about that." Nia assures me. Nia gets up and leaves and I'm by myself. It's boring and there's nothing to do. At home at least I could stare at the constellations on my ceiling. It seems like a long time before Nia comes back with the Doctor.
"Katy," The doctor says, "We've been monitoring you for the last couple days and we don't see any reason why you can't go home as long as you don't go anywhere. We don't know what would happen if you suddenly had an episode out on the street."
"What do you mean episode?" I ask.
"Well, we've detected some unusual brain activity a few times which we believe is the same time that you experience the strange memories." the doctor said.
"Oh, well how am I going to get home then?" I ask.
"You sister can push you in a hover chair." The doctor answered.
"Oh, okay" I said. I forgot those existed. How could I forget something like that? I get in the hover chair and Nia pushes me home. It's really nice to be in my own room again.