Polarity #7

final

Every attempt at departure was met with resistance. Performance might not have been mandatory but attendance was nonnegotiable. He’d arrived in the deep end of an Olympic-sized swimming pool, that remained the most obvious route home. The first attempt was promising, a shimmer of light dancing on the floor of the pool, a vague otherworldly image that imbued him with a sense of hope. Two boys had drug him thrashing from the depths and deposited him roughly on the concrete deck, foiling his plans. Defeat and a week long quarantine in a white room had been his punishment. He’d been forbidden from using the pool. She had returned armed with propaganda but her charisma left him contrary. After her visit he gave up trying, did his best to earn some leeway, it wasn’t his nature to deceive but his words were dismissed as delirium.

*

“Where do you think you’re going?” The deep voice belonged to his roommate as did the strong grip accosting his descent.

“I’m going home…” He muttered voice violently wrenched from the pit of his stomach where it lay entombed.

“You seriously want to leave over some histrionic chit?” Turning around he faced his former mate head on. The face that greeted him was not the one his imagination conceived. He’d expected a hollow-eyed anger, a mutilated mouth cut into a vicious sneer but the eyes on him were clear and poignant.

“Why did you do it? You knew I liked her…” He said the question falling inelegantly from a pensive mouth. In the days following the breakup he had never sought his roommate’s story, could not even look at the other boy for it pained him to do so.

“She was mine before she was yours…” He could feel the other’s dark eyes burning through layers of protective dermis but it was not a malignant stare but a beseeching one.

“Why didn’t you say anything?” He asked if this was true then wasn’t he also to blame? Perhaps there had been signs?

“We were broken up you seemed like a good guy…I didn’t count on getting jealous…” The admission was coupled with a distraught smile. “She approached me…I missed her you get me?” He did get it and maybe he could even forgive it.

“I am not leaving because of her or you…I don’t belong here…this place is a prison…I might have had to live by certain standards in the past but I knew what they were and the rationale behind them….everyone here spends so much time faking freedom….” He said noting the change in his roommate’s expression and the sudden chill of the water around them.

“I am not like the rest of you…I was born here…my old man used to beat me up…when she offered me a place I accepted…turns out she is a real fucking psycho….you’re lucky she’s not been around much…I used to run away every opportunity I got but she always found me…she owns the whole city…” Though the words were whispered the venom and fear behind them was apparent.

“Why didn’t you take one of the portals?” He asked all rivalry at the moment forgotten.

“You don’t think I’ve tried that? Every portal has a key…she keeps the keys with her…that’s not a problem for you…since you’re a resident…all you have to do is approach the right portal with the intention of returning…” The thought of leaving the other youth here felt cruel though he knew not the depth of their self-proclaimed savior’s tyranny. He didn’t even know if he would be allowed to pass. His roommate was brutishly strong and 6’3 if the other adolescent denied him there was little he could do.

“Seeing as you’re the only one that she hasn’t managed to brainwash…I think I’ll let you go after all…” Relief was overshadowed by concern. No matter what resentment existed between them they had been friends, he could not in good conscious abandon.

“Why don’t you come with me?” His roommate looked surprised by the proposition, apparently the story have been more warning than entreaty.

“I should think you’d be glad to be rid of me…” The laugh that followed was wry but uneasy. “Are you serious?” The other residents were approaching rapidly there was no time for details or disputes they had to act.

“I am totally serious…” To illustrate his point he grabbed his roommate’s wrist and jerked him under the abnormally blue water.

(There is one more installment after this my dreams are monstrous lol)

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