Author's Note: New Chapter Up! Tell me what you think. I apologize for the lateness of updating it. I've gotten really busy this past month or so; I won't bore you with details. Anyway's here's the next chapter, and please Review!
Adam's green eyes flickered against the burning flames before him. The rush of the vibrant and scorching heat caressed his face, which caused him to back up against metal railing behind him. He narrowed his eyes, trying to focus his vision, but the images around him remained incoherent and garbled; all he could make out was the bright orange flames that seemed to surround him endlessly and the scent of smoke and ash that flared in his nostrils.
Where was he? What was going on?
Adam continued to turn his head, trying to figure out an escape from the flames and the smoke that was causing his throat and lungs to burn. He made a tentative step forward on the metal railway that he discovered himself to be on; his destination as muggy as his vision. His eyes continued to burn, light droplets formed in the corner of his eyes, as he scanned the blurred images before him. He tried calling out, but his mouth wouldn't open.
What was going on? He again repeated to himself. A loud metal-like screech was heard in front of him and his body tensed considerably. A warning flashed through his mind. His opponent was coming.
Opponent? Why did he think of that word? He felt his right hand fly across his chest toward his left side and grip something. Before he could whip out the object, he heard a garbled hum. His head snapped to his right toward the sound. He barely could make out a shadow across the distorted vision of flame and smoke. The shadowy figure seemed to be speaking to him, but Adam couldn't make out the words.
What? Who are you? Can you help me get out of here? Alex tried to shout out, but his mouth wouldn't open again. The figure seemed to approach him, but it was still difficult to make out. Why was his vision so blurry? He squinted, but still could only make out a small flicker of movement. He felt his mouth open as if to speak, but what came out was a soft, but static hum. He then heard a loud bang come from the dark figure followed by a searing pain in his left shoulder. Alex wanted to scream in pain! It hurt so badly! What had just happened to him? He heard another loud bang…
Adam jerked awake in his bed with a panic breath. He felt a phantom pain in his left shoulder and his hand darted toward the bandaged wound he had received a month ago. His eyes frantically searched around him for the figure that had somehow harmed him. After a moment, his eyes caught sight of his dresser and bookcase. He was in his room. There were no bright orange flames, no screeching noise, and no blurry vision. A sigh of relief escaped his mouth.
It was just a dream. He thought to himself as he lay his head back onto his pillow and tried to sleep the remainder of the night. However, tried as he might, an uneasy feeling settled in the pit of his stomach, ending any chance of the Sandman visiting him tonight.
The sound of padding footsteps echoed throughout the house as Adam wandered into the kitchen. He glanced around and spotted a covered plate of food on the table, along with a yellow sticky note attached to it. Curious, Adam went over to read the note.
"Adam," the young boy smiled as he began to read the note; it was left by Sarah, "Good morning! I'm sorry I couldn't be here to share breakfast. I got an early shift! Curse the man who thought starting work at 4 in the morning was a good idea – anyway, here's a plate of eggs, bacon, and pancakes. Enjoy! Just heat it up in the microwave. I'll be back around 5 pm to take you shopping and to see Kyle, I mean, Sheriff Kent! So, eat up and feel free to wander about and explore the house. See you soon, Sarah."
Adam finished reading the note and carefully placed it aside. He stared at the plate of food that was covered by plastic wrap. "Thank you, Sarah." Adam voiced his appreciation as he placed the plate into the microwave.
As he waited the designated 3 minutes for his breakfast, Adam quietly walked into the living room, glanced around the bookshelves and other pictures that Sarah had placed out. Tranquility was felt within him as he stared at a picture of Sarah's family on a side table. Sarah was so kind and generous to him. She treated him like he was somebody to her, like family. The young boy wondered who his family was and if they were just as angelic as Sarah.
The beeping of the microwave alerted Adam that his food was heated and he hurried over to procure it. Setting the hot food done, Adam dug in hungrily, quite surprised at his own appetite, as he thought about what he wanted to do today. His mind soon lingered over his dream. In silent contemplation, he wondered what it meant and why it had felt so real. He hadn't had a dream like that before. The vision was still blurry, but he had an aching feeling in his stomach that told him that it was not meant to be disregarded. Perhaps Sarah could help him decipher it. He'll bring it up to her later.
Finished with his meal, Adam quickly cleaned it and began exploring the outside of the house, eager to feel the sun on his face and escape the confines of walls.
The soft lingering smell of dew traveled to Adam as he exited the house, signifying the early hours of the day. The sun slowly crept over the mountains, igniting a red hue across the soft fluffy clouds above the young man as he took in the wonder before him; just the sheer vastness of the sky amazed him. Again, that peaceful feeling surrounded him. Staring outward, Adam had never felt so…free. It was as if this day was celebrating his new start here. A tender smile formed on his lips as he took a step off the porch. Following the path out of the fenced yard, Adam carefully opened the gated fence and began his exploration.
The path led to the dirt road and toward a small garden off to the right of the house. Leaning over a wooden post, Adam observed the different flowers and plants that lived there; they were quite beautiful. Mindlessly scratching his left shoulder, Adam proceeded to explore as he wandered further away from the home and toward the fields that were just pass the gardens. His keen eyes easily spotted a large fenced ring where some horses were located. Next to the ring, not more than thirty feet away, was a red barn and stable. Adam wondered if Sarah owned all of this since it was near her home. He approached the ring to watch the horses; he had never seen a horse so close before, or at least not that he could remember. He placed his forearms on the wooden fence, watching them peacefully.
"Beautiful, aren't they?" A low, gruff voice interrupted Adam's reverie, making him tense from the sudden intrusion. Adam twisted his head to the right, toward the stable, where the voice had originated from.
"Yes, they are; I've never seen them so close before." Adam commented, analyzing the middle aged man. He was about the same height as Adam, if only slightly taller, wearing a flannel shirt and jeans. Adam figured this was what an authentic cowboy rancher would look like, minus the baseball cap that donned his head.
"You're new here?" The man asked as he adjusted the bridle equipment that was slung on his shoulder. His tone was anything but friendly, which made Adam's body tense in anticipation for a fight, but relaxed enough to seem calm and natural to the man approaching him.
"Yes, sir. I just moved in with Sarah." Adam glanced over to Sarah's house.
"Sarah, eh?" The man seemed to process Sarah's name and a kinder tone followed. "I didn't know she had any friends visiting." He narrowed his eyes at Adam as if sizing him up.
"Yes, I was…just passing through and she offered to let me stay with her for a while." Adam didn't want to elaborate anymore on his situation as he was unsure of the man's intentions, especially when the man gave out a violent aura.
"I see, well, my name's John Garrison. I maintain the ranch here and I'm a good friend of Sarah's too." Adam nodded politely and extended his hand.
"My name's Adam." John's dusty gloved hand shook Adam's outstretched one. "I'm sorry if I wasn't supposed to be here; I wasn't sure where I could and couldn't go." Adam explained, wondering if the man's gruffness was from his trespass.
"Nah, it's okay. Just wasn't sure who you were, is all – can't be too careful these days. Besides, this is Sarah's property; we just rent the stables and maintain it, since she can't." John explained as he leaned against the ring post, his eyes darting to the horses for a moment. "She's a good woman – been through a lot. The whole town considers her family, and won't hesitate to protect her from anything, you catch my drift?" John's piercing brown eyes locked onto Adam's green ones.
Adam took a moment to assess the situation. Was John threatening him in case he harmed Sarah? Oddly enough, Adam knew that this man was intimidating, but somehow, Adam wasn't afraid of him. He nodded, not wanting to cause trouble. "Sarah has been very kind to me; I would never harm her intentionally." Adam explained.
"Good. See that you don't." John drawled out as he then heard approaching footsteps behind them.
"Geez, Dad, scare off everyone why don't you?" A feminine voice reached Adam's ears as he looked over John's shoulder to see a young woman head toward them. Adam noted the amused smirk on the girl's face as she brushed a strand of her raven hair behind her ear.
"I'm not scaring anyone; just saying 'Hi' to the new neighbor." John replied innocently to his daughter as she finally stopped beside her father.
"And who's this new neighbor that you're chasing away?" She asked as she placed a hand on her hip as she turned to look at Adam.
"My name is Adam." Adam smiled at the new presence. She was by far giving out a more friendly aura that her father.
"Evy." She introduced herself and padded her father's arm. "Don't mind him. So you're new in town?" She asked as a light blush donned her cheeks as she returned his smile.
"Yes." Adam replied, feeling something stir in his chest at the sight of her smile.
"Cool. Dad, Mom wants you to call her. She said she forgot something at home and needs you to get it to her." She glanced briefly at John before turning her eyes back onto Adam.
"Must be her briefcase…your mother always forgets it…" John mumbled tenderly, "I suppose I'll go and play the delivery boy…again." He let out a sigh. "Well, enjoy your stay, Adam. Evelyn, don't forget to polish the saddles…"
"I won't, Dad." An exasperated sigh escaped Evy's lips as she watched her Dad head back into the barn, and then to his truck.
Adam watched the father and daughter interact with curiosity and intrigue; interested in how a family would normally act around one another. He too, watched as John left to help his wife.
"Sorry about my Dad. He's pretty protective of Sarah; they've been friends for years." Evelyn apologized.
"It's okay. It wasn't too bad and it makes me happy that Sarah has good friends that care about her." Adam's eyes followed Evy as she went to lean against the post, her attention toward the horses in the ring.
"So, where are you from, Adam?" Evy asked as one of the horses came trotting over to her.
"Um, I'm not sure how I can answer that question." Adam honestly replied as he watched the black beast come over and nudge Evy's hand. The young man felt hesitate in divulging his story to a person he had just met; this situation felt completely different than his time at the hospital; the nurses and doctors already knew his situation and he wasn't sure how Evelyn would react to his lack of identity.
He glanced over at Evy, noting her curious and perplexed look. "Okay…" Evy just shrugged, not caring to push the issue as she began to stroke the horse.
An awkward silence ensued quickly, making Adam wonder if he should reply. "Um, its, just, well, I don't remember where I'm from." He finally whispered as he gently touched the horse once it was in reach.
"You don't remember?" Evy's perplexed look was back.
"Yes. I don't remember a lot of things. Sarah found me on the road about a month ago." He barely whispered as he continued to pet the horse; finding the action comforting.
"Oh. OH!" A sudden recognition streaked within Evy's eyes. "So you're the one that has amnesia!"
"Huh? How do you know about that?" It was Adam's turn to look perplexed.
"My mom told me. She works at the hospital as an Administrative assistant. She said someone came into the hospital that didn't know who he was…I just…wow…I guess that was you." She explained with a look of sympathy in her eyes.
"I figured you to be a lot older." Evy commented.
"Um, I think I'm seventeen or eighteen…" Adam replied, misunderstanding her comment.
"What? No, I meant when my mom told me. She made it sound like you were…oh never mind." She stopped explaining when she noticed Adam's continuing puzzled stare. "So, you're going to school here, then?" She asked, and Adam couldn't help but notice her tone seemed a bit…hopeful.
"Yes. Sarah and Sheriff Kent want me to go." Adam sighed and leaned his head onto the fence. The horse neighed and then walked off to the trough.
"You seem like you don't want to go." Evelyn folded her hands onto the wooden fence, watching Adam carefully.
"I'm not quite sure what it will be like. I guess I'm afraid that I won't fit in and I don't want people to know that I don't know anything." He confided to her.
"It's not too bad, besides, if it makes you feel better, everyone in high school feels like that." The raven hair girl attempted to comfort her new found friend.
"Really? You mean they have amnesia like me?" Adam asked innocently. The comment caused Evelyn to laugh.
"No. I mean, no one knows what they're doing. I mean, we're just seventeen. We're all just trying to figure out our lives, you know. So, I wouldn't worry too much about going to school. Besides, it's easier when you have friends to endure the torture of teachers and drama that go on…"
"I don't have any friends beside Sarah, and I doubt she can go with me." Adam frowned at the thought of enduring high school by himself.
"Well, you have me there. You're going to be a Senior, right? We're probably going to get some of the same classes." She told him, tilting her head away from him slightly as if hiding something.
"Really, you'll be my friend?"
"Well yeah, you've already been intimated by my Dad and survived. That definitely qualifies you to be my friend." She laughed and Adam couldn't help but laugh with her too.
"Thank you. That means a lot."
"Anytime." She replied as she glanced at her watch. She groaned. "Sorry, I forgot the time…I have to finish some chores. I'll see you at school then?" She finally gazed at him fully, causing Adam to feel some heat in his cheeks.
"Yeah, I'll see you at school." He replied, trying to figure out this strange feeling he now felt.
"See you, then." Evy pushed herself away from the fence and walked off, leaving Adam to contemplate their new friendship. Adam smiled soon after, grateful to have met Evy.
Well now, the prospect of high school didn't seem too bad.
"What do you mean you have no idea where his stuff went?" Sarah's frustrated voice was not hard to miss as she and Adam sat across from Sheriff Kent's desk.
"It's exactly what I said: they've been misplaced." Kyle's right cheek twitched which after seeing it a lot during this meeting, Adam deduced that the Sheriff was annoyed and frustrated whenever he did that.
"The hospital doesn't just misplace things, Kyle – I should know, I work there!" Sarah was leaning forward on her chair, pointing at Kyle with an accusing finger.
"I know, Sarah. You don't need to remind me, all right? I'm doing the best I can to figure out Adam's origins."
"Did you check out the military?"
"Yes, and they have no record of Adam's fingerprints; he's not military." Kyle confirmed.
"Then how do you explain what he was wearing that night?"
"I can't. The only one that can, is Adam, and I doubt he really can, right?" Kyle glanced over at Adam, who shook his head. "Sarah," Kyle returned his eyes to the woman in the room, "we're doing the best we can. If I find anything more, I'll let you know."
Sarah grumbled something unintelligible.
"It's okay, Sarah, I'm sure Sheriff Kent is doing everything." Adam's tone signified that he was trying to convince himself as well. He had been rather hopeful that Sheriff Kent had found something about himself, but realized that pointing and screaming weren't useless; Sarah as the prime example.
"Fine." Sarah seethed out, though her anger was directed at no one in particular. "Let's go home."
Adam nodded and stood up and the two soon exited into Sarah's borrowed convertible. She had loaned it from one of Sheriff Kent's deputies until they could find a more suitable way of transportation. Adam had attempted to assure Sarah that he preferred walking, but Sarah assured him that she did not. So, they called Sheriff Kent and were gifted with a Lebaron right before she had taken Adam shopping.
Shopping. It was one of Adam's most disliked activities. Sarah had dragged him store after store to find clothes and school supplies for him. Honestly, Adam thought they were shopping for her by the way she would shout out in glee when she found something suitable for him. Needless to say, Adam was glad when they went home, well, right after they had visited Sheriff Kent and Sarah's rampage of anger when she discovered that they still had no information about Adam. Home was definitely a welcomed placed in his life.
The moment Sarah's borrowed Lebaron left the parking lot, Sheriff Kent picked up his phone and dialed the needed number.
"Hello?" Sheriff Kent called out into the receiver when he heard the designated click.
"Sheriff Kent." A male voice answered.
"They just left." Kent rubbed the back of his neck. "She's not too happy about the results."
"That's to be expected; she's beginning to care for the boy, after all."
"Yeah, she's pretty stubborn too." Kent made a light chuckle, recalling Sarah's reaction.
"She'll be fine."
"Are you sure this is the right thing to do? I don't like keeping her in the dark, especially Adam."
"Adam?" Kyle could hear confusion and uncertainty on the other line.
"Oh, right, the boy. He wants to be called Adam."
"Really now? That's…surprising…"
"Why is that?"
"Nothing. Don't worry about it, Sheriff Kent. I assure you, this is the best solution we have. You're doing your town a favor."
"I hope so. This whole situation is making me nervous."
"Relax. It'll be over soon enough. I just want to confirm a few more things."
"Right, which is another reason why I called. I got the paper work all sorted out. He is officially a registered student at Riverwood High School now."
"Perfect. It's the best place for everything."
"Just make sure no one gets hurt, all right?"
"Don't worry, Sheriff Kent. It'll be quick and painless." The voice replied and soon Sheriff Kent heard the dial tone, leaving him to ponder his thoughts and the severity of the situation. No matter what this man told him, he had a gut feeling that there was more to what was being told to him. And worse of all, he hated lying to Sarah.