Her pace was quick, yet each step she took was firm and decided. Even her intense, brown eyes were those of a woman who had come to accept a decision she may regret. Following directly behind her was a taller woman, Julia, dressed in an open, navy blue trench coat that lightly flowed behind her as she kept up to the pace of the person in front of her. Their footsteps echoed throughout the underground, cement hallway.
"Is this really necessary?" Julia asked. Each word carried a heavy amount of worry and guilt, and her eyes expressed the same sentiments.
The woman didn't respond and stopped in front of a large, metallic door locked by a keypad and hand scanner. Julia still waited for an answer as she watched the woman input an eight-digit code and scan the palm of her hand. Metallic clinks of gears resonated as they turned to open the heavy door and reveal the contents of the room: a bed, mini fridge, night table with a lamp, bathroom, closet, and a dumbwaiter. It almost resembled a college student's dorm room before they moved in.
Julia frowned at the sight of the room as the gravity of the situation finally set in.
"Is it... Is it really that bad?" She asked, clenching her fists.
The woman melancholically patted Julia on the shoulder then entered the room. She turned on the light and the ceiling fan then made her way to the bed where she sat crossed-legged in the middle. Once comfortable, she motioned to Julia to come inside.
Reluctant at first, Julia stepped into the room and approached the bedside.
The woman turned herself towards Julia. "Come on, don't look like that. This was bound to happen at some point even if it wasn't now."
Julia glanced away.
"Now, listen carefully, Julia. I may look calm right now, but it's chaos in here," the woman said and tapped her finger on her temple. "I don't know how much longer I can keep myself in this current state. So, I need to do this, but I don't know what will happen once I do."
"This isn't fair! You've given too much of yourself to end up like this!" Julia yelled. The strength and bitterness in her voice carried across the empty hallway.
The woman cracked a weak smile. "I can't disagree with you there... I've recently wondered if this was worth it; if I'd do it all over again without changing anything. I'd like to think so..." Suddenly the woman let out a loud grunt as she clenched her head in pain.
Julia hastily leaned towards her to see what she could do to help, but was fiercely rejected. "Go! Get out of here now and do what I said!"
Julia didn't even bother to object since she knew it'd be pointless. Therefore, without any other options available, Julia ran outside of the room while the woman winced in pain on the bed. She input the door's code again, and the door began to close.
"Julia! Remember, if I'm not myself, no matter how you or any of the others feel, don't open that door!"
With that said the door sealed shut, and Julia slammed the side of her fist against it in anger.
Inside, the woman lied down face up, enduring the pain. She took in a deep breath and let out a long exhale. She then focused on the ceiling fan that dangled above her and watched as it slowly spun.
"Please work..." She whispered before closing her eyes.