I watch the bumper cars and listen to the 80s tune that blares out of the cheap speakers, distorting the words so you have no idea what’s being sung unless you happen to know the song. The sound is so loud that it makes conversation impossible. The music mixes and blends in with the screams of hysterical girls in the distance as they loop round the roller coaster for the third time.
We jump into a bumper car and I squeal as people ram into us and us into them. I can smell your scent. Taste the toffee apple you just ate on your lips when you kiss me. It all feels so real.
Later, I see you standing there throwing rings around goldfish bowls.
You win two fish that you proudly hand over to me as a gift. I love the gift but I am tired now and I want to go home. My body is aching and I am hungry.
I have a strong feeling that I can’t go home, not yet, but I don’t know why. I ask you to take me home but you don’t reply.
As we walk around the fairground your face takes on a serious look and it makes me nervous. Scared. I’m always here for you, you tell me, whenever you need to get away. When you need to escape from it all I’ll be right here waiting.
I don’t understand. My stomach flips over like a fish on land and desperate for water. The hairs on the back of my neck stand to attention and my thoughts dart round my head uncontrollably making it difficult for me to think straight. The fear is palpable as it pours out of me filling the space between us. I don’t want to leave you. If I can’t go home then I want to go back to the bumper cars but I can’t.
I can feel it is time to go because he’s kicking me and it hurts. The pain is a signal that it is time to leave. I watch you fade as consciousness dawns on me and the fear growing inside me increases.
‘Get up NOW,’ he screams and throws down a plate in front of me. It contains nothing but plain, dry, stale bread. My eyes adjust and my mind reminds me that what I left behind was a dream and my reality is here. I am back between my four stone walls, splattered with the pain and blood of prisoners past. These walls and those bars keep me away from everyone I love.
‘Get up NOW,’ he screams again. I feel a wave of pain flow through my stomach as he kicks me again and despite the pain I drag myself off the floor and sit against the wall so the kicking will stop.
‘EAT.’ His voice demands and I do as I am told.
I can’t believe I have to endure another day in this hell. I came here to help, to assist those who need it and yet I am seen by the rebels as a trouble maker, a nuisance, a way to get demands met, so they took me and four others. The sounds of their screams, these others that I have never met, have become a constant daytime distraction and I fear for the long term damage to my mental health.
I have been taken and all I can do is wait, and dream.