The Man in Room 2b

by Adam Steele

Preface

The sense in every word is an event that happens to a woman that is in dire need of help. Where she finds it is at the end of the hall.


She didn't know what she was living for. She feared of death ever since she was diagnosed with the one thing that is eating her brain away. She lived in a small apartment in the middle of the city when she heard about the man in room 2B that can provide what she was looking for. Her mind has been going away for so long when she couldn't remember her own sweetheart that died in an accident over five years ago. She remembered the scene little and little to the point that she cannot remember anymore when she sat in her chair, looking at the idiot box for a reason to exist.

A knock came upon the door when she looked at the closed door and wondered who it is.

"Who is it?" Kylie spoke with her speech getting slurred and her headaches close to the point that they are almost unbearable.

The knocks kept rupturing her to the point that her teeth are to the point of snapping from their sockets when she got up from the chair, wavering a little bit with her hand upon the armrest before standing straight up and going to the door to open it.

"What do you want?" Kylie asked the boy with his fedora hat in his hands.

"I'm here to spruce up the place Ms. Howard." He had the look of something bothersome in his face, like he just got speared in the heart with the biggest sword ever forged in the black cesspit of hell that it was ever created.

"Do you want money, is that it?"

"No, it's me. Noah." The kid clung onto his hat that is within his hands.

"I'm here to clean up. I know that you are sick and you don't remember me but please let me help you."

Kylie kept the door open for a spell when she tried to remember that name, Noah...Noah...Noah, who in the name of god is Noah?

"Come in but I'm watching you every step." Kylie opened the door, welcoming the boy in her home when she closed it behind him when he went to the kitchen with haste, diving into the dishes that have piled up considerable on the counter.

"How long have you been helping me...?" Kylie tried to remember his name again when he turned to the sight of his voice.

"I've been helping you for the past two months now." Noah turned his head and smiled weakly, pushing something out of his pocket to show something that is in her hand.

"You gave this to me. Remember?" Noah opened his hand and revealed a timepiece with the lid on it closed. Kylie looked at the description on the lid when her fury thrilled to full bore.

"Where did you get that watch mister?" Kylie voice went down three octaves.

"You gave to me on Valentine's Day. Yes, you did."

"I don't know of such thing! You better give that back to me or I'll call the cops for being a filthy thief that you are!" Kylie grabbed it out of Noah's hand when Noah started to gleam tears into his eyes.

"Please try to remember Ms. Howard!" Noah tried to fight back the tears when he is chaperoned to the door rather violently.

"You gave it to me. You know that!"

"I don't know anyone with the likes of you! Now go away!" Kylie closed the door against him when she looked at the door then looked at the watch that is in her hand before looking at the closed door again.

What is happening to me? What is happening? She placed her hands upon her eyes and cried for the longest time.

That very same night she came to the man in room 2B with her balance being a little out of sorts, remembering if she had changed her clothes for the day when it took all of her energy to knock on the door. When she did she heard nothing on the other side of it, placing her ear against the door when she moved her head back and knocked on the door again. Nothing still happened when she gave up, going back to her room when the door clicked behind her and opened very slowly. Kylie put her back against the wall when the man appeared, wearing a flannel shirt, khaki pants and Moccasins on his feet. He didn't look fearful at all when the man said something that is quite odd in invitation.

"I've been waiting for you Ms. Howard." He spoke like a man that has gone through this before.

I never met him in my life? How does he know my name? Kylie thought with her back killing her and her mind feeling close towards the point of brittle glass breaking in her lobes, diving in to the point that she felt like screaming to let the pain out of her head.

"Come in before you fall on the floor and make a terrible mess for the landlord." He led away from the door, back into the darkness of his room when Kylie Howard felt like her knees are about to buckle.

She looked at the banister that is across from her when she went over and grabbed it, giving all her strength to give as she led her dying body to the door and inside the room of 2B. When she closed the door behind her, she felt a hot draft of wind upon her face while the door closed, wondering where the warm draft was when she looked down at the welcome mat that is inside the room and noticed there is no word upon it.

"Would you sit down before you fall down?" The man spoke through the beads that are lining the door when she took all of her strength to go past those beads that are rattling like glassy cages that is rupturing her mind to scream it out almost a second time.

Inside the room are the groupings of candles around the room, all lit and flickering light while the table decked out in red stood in front of her. She thought about those many palm reading places that are all across America looking like this when she almost laughed at the quality of the skulls on the nooks and the many trinkets that are on the buffet table that is poised behind the man that looks so out of the ordinary to be here.

The room otherwise is cloven in black like the dark abyss of the world that she cannot reflect back from when she got to the chair and sat down, waiting for an answer from the man that is on the other side of the table.

"Don't be scared. We've done this before." The man smiled when he knelt down beside him, coming up with peace pipe that looks to be as old as the hills.

"We've done what before?" Kylie asked when the man act like he didn't hear her, lighting up the pipe when he knelt his head back and exhaled the smoke that was in his lungs when he passed the peace pipe to her.

"No, I don't smoke."

"Please, it will make you feel better." He swayed the peace pipe in his hand when she shrugged and took it from his grasp, sucking in the smoke that is rancid that anything she had injected into her body in her entire life.

"Oh-my-god," She coughed up a storm.

"Yes, I suspect as much. You've never lived too much in your life." The man chuckled when he took the peace pipe from her and continued to smoke like nothing happened.

"What do you mean?"

"You've been living in a life where you accuse and judge everyone to the point that they are uninteresting. You've been had and this could be your punishment that you seem fit not to control."

The man continued to toke the peace pipe when he let it out of his mouth, gesturing the sweet scent of the air with an atrocious odor that Kylie has never smelled before ever in her life.

"Will you look behind you please?" The man in the flannel shirt cocked his hand behind her shoulder when Kylie slowly turned, seeing the figure that wasn't before behind her when she gulped and wondered what the shadow is. She never seen the likes of it before as the smoke dwindled around the shadow, infecting the shape of it in some way that she could see the smoke morph into the shadow like a spell out of the phase of some other reality that is dipping through.

"What is that?" Kylie spoke like her jaw is about to become unhinged.

"This is your other you. This is the other life that you do not know." The man placed the pipe into his mouth again when he took his one foot and placed it on the support of his chair. It wasn't a rocker but a simple chair that is rather comfortable indeed.

"Her name is Kylie Howard from another dimension. The dimension of what you do not know. It is similar in nature with the exception of that being that the politicians are different and the people are different in this reality in their sense of naturalism."

"What do you mean, 'naturalism'?"

The man only looked at her when he turned his head to the woman that is still cloaked in shadow, unable to move when the man continued to smoke and smoke heartily. The smoke billowed more and more when the shadow became complete, so complete that the figure started to resemble clothes by the sight of it.

"What is it that you see on your left hand?" The man saw the glint upon her hand when Kylie brightened to the feel of the ring that she can still remember.

"It's my engagement ring. I've had it for as long as I can remember." She moved her hand to her eyes and was shocked of what she couldn't see. There was no ring there anymore, no ring on her ring finger when she opened her eyes as far as they go in pure shock.

"Where is my ring? Is it that Noah kid that stole from me again? I'll call the cops about this, yes I will."

"No need to worry about Noah. Noah is the best person ever that has helped you. How do you remember him when you and he first met?" The man cocked his head to the side, showing that same expression when she wondered in here on his invitation.

"I don't remember. I don't remember a child name Noah until now."

The man flicked the end of the peace pipe on his lips in deep thought.

"I see. Then you are in it for the worst." He stammered a little when the form is complete, looking at the backside of the figure when the man felt glad for this figure to be here.

"Kylie in black, come," He spoke to the figure behind Light Kylie when Dark Kylie moved her eyes to the other, showing the same color of her eyes when Light Kylie saw this.

"She does look like you, does she not?" The man placed the peace pipe into the cradle that is in the middle of the table, getting up and walking around the table ever so slowly.

"So looks like you, acts like you, and probably sounds like you. Speak Dark Kylie."

Dark Kylie spoke when Light Kylie dropped her jaw so that a metaphorical fly could swoop in.

"She is the perfect resemblance of you and I say that I have great tastes in her real dimension." The man placed his hands upon Dark Kylie when Dark Kylie smiled ever so graciously.

"What does that accomplish? Why is she here?"

"She is here in your stead until you get better."

"Then," Light Kylie stopped when she felt the world waiver in her senses. The world is spinning around the room when she could reflection on the realism for so long.

"Where will I go? No wait, who are you?" Kylie narrowed her eyes to the man when the man smiled with the pipe still burning in the middle of the table.

"I'm everything and I'm nothing."

"Then you're god." Light Kylie felt the chill on her arms when the man laughed.

"God is something that cannot be seen. I'm embodied and still living. I will die in time but I am a person that has multiplied my own self through the space time continuum in all dimensions. You could say that I'm a dimensional traveler that knows more than knowledge for one lifetime."

"Where did you come from originally?" The Light Kylie asked when the man tried to think for the longest time.

"I can't remember but I do remember that it ended in pain before I left. I lost someone but I cannot remember. My mind is tearing itself apart and I cannot pick up the pieces. I'm not insane for my mind is transfixed with an artificial brain from another dimension. I'm sure that you can understand my circumstances."

"What circumstances. Where will I be going?"

"Just to a place with light and people that will save you; we've been waiting for you Kylie Howard. They will be waiting for you in the light."

She stifled back the tears when Dark Kylie started looking around the place, sensing the other world that is so in mirror reflection of her own when the man ceased touching her shoulders and went to the woman that is so tortured in memory for so long.

"What is your name?" Kylie asked him when the man told her, causing her to cease this world in madness that is making her ask questions into the darkness some more.

She will know his name and she will cry for it into another world that so will be unfamiliar with.

***

Three days later, Noah came into the apartment complex with his head hanging a little. He failed the geometry test that he had today when he stumbled up the stairs, almost falling upon his face when he saw the old lady that is standing at the top of the stairs with a handkerchief around her neck.

"My lord, dear," The elderly woman gasped when she waddled down the stairs in her chain.

"What is it? Have you had anything to eat?"

"No, tough week; nothing major," Noah felt his heart go lower through his shoes. He felt like a child that has been whipped by punishment for so long.

"Where are you going, child?"

"I'm going up to room 4B to check up on someone." Noah didn't want to say her name when he remembered her last encounter being worse than death, like dirks being stabbed in the center of his heart.

"I have to see if she is okay."

"Did you break anything?"

"No, I'm fine." Noah got up from the stairs when he brushed himself off.

He left the elderly lady alone when he went up the stairs, trying to be happy, trying to be serene. He is her nephew after all. He is the only one that clung onto her. When he got to the landing of where she is it took him all the energy to get down to the stoop of her door that is beaten and battered when he looked at it, seeing the old fashioned wounds of baseball bats and fists that enacted upon the door that Noah will never know in time that will never be repeated by the same people ever again.

He knocked on the door and waited. The door opened and revealed Kylie Howard completely cured from her doomed ailment that Noah could never conclude with nothing short of a miracle. He went in and conversed with her with another feeling for the rest of the night in some place that is far from the likes of home.

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