Farnsworth had spent over an hour pacing up and down the hallway before giving up and facing me. I could smell his fear, or discomfort over the stench of the hospital sanitizer. He stood there as if he went to his own funeral. “Morning. Please, take a seat,” I spoke gently and gestured to the long table. Pale and troubled he studied his feet. Finally, he and his resignation came in.
I kept myself in the furthest corner. Funny, how I found myself searching for the darkness. I stood in the shadows, like any good villain. Ha! Adam Lake, Professor, and villain. Sounded like something from a cheap action movie, from the 90ties. Also, I haven’t slept much for the last two days. I needed to match my looks with Farnsworth’s. That came handy later, I hoped. Just to make a point.
The muffled drumming of his heartbeat filled the air around him, as he moved. Yes, I heard the kinetic energy of his muscles. I could nearly see it too. The most peculiar things I perceived since my miraculous recovery. If you believed Farnsworth’s feverish nightmares, I came back from the dead. Ridiculous idea. In my first month in the hospital, he even insisted on it. Nothing I said could change his mind. He defended it with the desperation of a trapped animal.
But he sat down.
I couldn’t understand why Farnsworth wouldn’t talk. I needed to know. Why did he keep bits of the event to himself? Did he guard them, or did he try to forget them?
I had promised to wait for that special nurse. “Please.” I broke the nervous silence. “Tell me.” I pressed record on my dictaphone. The click rang loudly, like the firing of a shotgun. The little nurse, who loved Farnsworth, rushed in and sat down next to him. I saw their fingers interlock. She looked curiously at me and had her notepad and a biro, ready to go.
I moved across the room and Farnsworth flinched. I put down my old dictaphone unto the table and sat down. It was like the other side of the world. I felt shut out like I got stuck on the other side of the mirror.
Those awful little secrets he kept to himself would be essential data for my research.
“Tell me,” I looked miserable, which was easy for once. Worn out, my face was all hot and dry. That was why I hadn’t slept. “What happened to me?” I gave him the chance and the time to pity me. He avoided my gaze. “I know this must be hard for you, Farnswor-”
“- PETER!” What was this outburst? His eyes burnt with some kind of passion.
I stared. Was he changed too? Was he different? I haven’t paid much attention, to anyone. He looked like the same nervous assistant as ever, but he held himself upright. Did he discover his spine? “I-What?” Was this a challenge? “Who’s Peter?” I asked, and tried to remember anybody by that name.
“I’m Peter, Lake!”
But something else too. Such a surprise to hit me with. I had to be careful. Catching me off guard like that, how elegantly played. But did he plan it?
“Why won’t you call me by my name, Adam?” This wasn’t what I expected. “Did you really forget it all?” Those bright eyes beamed at my confusion. Was this real hurt?
Or was I dissociating? It didn’t feel like it, but who knew… Trauma could be a bitch, even if I didn’t remember it. What did really happened to me? “Peter, help me understand.” He turned his head abruptly, to hide tears. Tears. The nurse looked shocked. Composure won over the tides of emotion, and he got the overhand again.