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I made it today. Thank god, otherwise I’d have to endure endless worried lecturing and the dreadful question that everyone seems to want to ask me. ‘Are you okay?’ In all honesty, I’m not sure if I am. I just know that I need to find my father as soon as I can. When I do, I’ll deal with everything else. I hadn’t even wanted to consider what it would mean if I really had a half-sister. I took advantage of the time in the elevator to try and straighten out my clothes. I had actually tried to look presentable today so that Cameron would stop acting like an old worried hen. Cameron. I want to talk to him so badly, it almost physically hurts not to. He’s the one I turn to, but now he has Nina. Perfect Nina, I could never begin to give him what she can offer him. I’m messed up in so many ways that even I wouldn’t be able to count them. Only then I realise that the elevator doors had been open for a while now, judging by everyone’s looks. ‘Good morning guys, what do we have today?’ I walked up to Linus and Camille but Linus gave Camille a pointed look and swiftly walked away. What was up with that? I voiced my thoughts to Camille but she just shrugged it off and tried to subtly change the subject. ‘Nothing, just moodiness I guess. Anyywaayyyy, where is Cameron? Fishy and Maggie say it’s an urgent case.’ Hmm, so Cameron is late yet again. That really shouldn’t surprise nor hurt me anymore, yet it always did. I tried to maintain my poker face and shrugged, ‘Probably still with Nina I guess.’ At that Camille gave me a look that often preceded her interrogation mode. ‘Are you sure you’re okay with that?’ And there it was once again, I felt like an answering machine stuck on repeat. ‘Yes, I’m fine.’

Just then the doors of the elevators opened and no one other than Cameron walked in. ‘You indeed look fine today Stretch, smile more. It won’t hurt you.’ He threw in a free smirk in my direction for good measure. Just wonderful, a happy, smitten and in love Cameron. I guess he’s not in love with me anymore now. I’m too cranky, not like Nina. ‘I smile more than enough, not all of us can be that jumpy in the wee hours of the morning Cameron.’ I sensed Camille slowly inching away, probably trying to give us some privacy even though we’re standing in the middle of a very open lab. ‘The wee hours of the morning? It’s 9am princess.’ Damn me, he hadn’t called me that in a while. I hate to admit it to myself but I had really missed it. ‘Well, just like I said then. The wee hours of the morning’, I said crossing my arms. At that he smiled, it had been so terribly awkward between us for a while but apparently I could still make him smile. That felt better than it should. We just stood there in a comfortable silence, just enjoying each other’s company, just like we used to before. It felt good to have a sliver of that easy connection back this morning.

‘Good, everyone’s finally here. Listen up people.’ Maggie quickly drew everyone’s attention and continued. ‘Today we have a very urgent case so there’s no time for a proper briefing. Today’s victim suffered blunt force head trauma and we’re afraid her memories will be lost forever if we wait too long. The victim is a mid-twenty Jane Doe found dead in an alley this morning. She suffered significant trauma and it’s up to us to figure out her identity, and even her killer if we’re lucky. Everyone to their stations, we’ll stitch as soon as possible. Thank you for your attention, off to work.’ At that Maggie walked back into her office. I guess my moment with Cameron was over. I turned back to him, ‘Well, I have a slightly badass catwoman suit I have to put on, see you on the other side.’ Cameron started walking too his station as well but turned to mutter back one last cheeky retort. ‘I happen to find your catwoman suit very badass, I wonder which genius designed that marvellous thing?’’ With that he gave me a smirk and a little pirouette and I couldn’t help but smile.

I went to my dressing room and started taking off my clothes to put on the actually quite figure-hugging suit. When we had these little moments I wanted to tell him everything. The crazy hallucinations or hacks or whatever they were during my stitches, my possible half-sister, and the search for my father that remained fruitless. I wanted to talk to Cameron like before, but I don’t know how to do that anymore. The reestablishment of my feelings, him dying for me and his feelings for me had blurred all the lines and everything had just gotten so complicated. It seems as if we lost what made us inherently us, and that hurt. But for now I have to put this aside, it’s almost stitch-time. I start to walk back to the main lab, longing for the warm water because the cold floor was actually making me shiver. In the lab everything seemed set and ready to go, I put in my earpiece and got in the water.

‘Com check 1, 2, Kirsten can you hear me?’ I answered with my usual ‘all clear Cameron.’ ‘Kirsten, we’re on a private channel. Listen, this woman suffered blunt force head trauma and there have been this weird anomalies in your latest stitches. Just please be careful okay, if something feels off just make the bounce. ‘And there it was, typical Cameron. Overly caring and too good for his own good Cameron. ‘Yeah Cam, I’ll be careful.’ I doubted whether I should finish my thought out loud but today had been a good day for us so I dared to say it. ‘Cameron, I’ll be fine. I trust you fully.’ I heard him take a deep breath but then he carried on and switched off the private channel.
‘Lights to 30%, induce neurosync in 3, 2, 1. Go. ’ At that I felt my consciousness move away. Everything in here was blurry and dark and I couldn’t quite make out anything. It was quite unnerving to be honest. ‘Uhh guys, everything is dark and blurry, this is weird, and I can’t really see anything. ‘I heard some typing but Linus just sighed, ‘This is the best I can do Kirsten, her memories are just a mess. I’m working on it.’ Okay then, I started to feel a bit uncomfortable. ‘Stretch, you okay in there?’ Cameron suddenly sounded so far away. ‘Yeah, it’s just different in here.’ It was kind of making my head but they didn’t need to know that. It’s probably the insomnia. ‘I almost have it Kirsten’, Linus said. ‘Guys, the weird anomaly is starting to show up in my map again.’ Damn, weird child Cameron was apparently planning to crash my party. He possibly had information about my father but he/it still made me uncomfortable. Whenever he entered my stitches I felt like I was being hacked.
‘Stretch talk to me, is everything still the same?’ I opened my mouth to answer Cameron but then an area in the stitch began to lose its form. It started to form an outline of child Cameron but something was wrong. My headache is getting worse. ‘BP is quickly dropping, her stats are all over the place.’ Ayo called. The headache was getting to unbearable levels and I felt like clawing my brain out. Everything in this black universe hurts. It hurts. Bounce. I need to bounce but I can’t move. I’m paralyzed by the pain. I can’t take this, make it stop. I need this to stop. ‘help, please help me’, it was all I managed to say and I doubted someone heard me because I don’t have the power to raise my voice. Cameron heard me I think. I don’t know, thinking hurts. I am living in a world of pain and I’m all alone. Oh my god, I am going to die in here. I managed to catch glimpses of what was going on in a world I didn’t even feel remotely connected to. Ayo was yelling uncomprehensive terms, Cameron was screaming my name in a full-blown panic and I heard Linus yelling something back but nothing registered. I don’t know what they’re saying, the pain had built up to a crescendo and I lost the will the fight. Then a tug, a jarring, forced and violent one and then the only thing I felt was oblivious bliss.