“Would you like a bottle of water or anything?” Said the detective.
“No thank you, I’m alright” I said.
“Okay, I’ll be right back, so just relax for now and we’ll talk shortly”
I flinch when the door closes, and it’s followed by the sound of the lock.
Why am I here?
I sit at the end of a table with empty chairs on either side. I don’t like the feeling of being trapped in a room the size of a large cubicle. There’s nothing but a clock and some form of security camera in the corner to look at, so I sit here fidgeting with my hands. The chairs are metal and being rather skinny makes them uncomfortable to sit on. The air tastes and smells kind of stale. I notice one of those one-way mirrors from the cop shows my parents love. I wonder if they’re behind there talking about me? I think to myself.
After what feels like an eternity I hear the lock unclick, and the door opens.
“Hey Zoe, I’m Detective Johnson and this is Detective Lee.”
I notice a folder he had tucked under his arm.
“Hi there, I’m just here to observe this interview and Detective Johnson will be the ones asking the questions, so if all goes well I’ll just be sitting here quietly,” said Lee as he took the seat on my right.
Johnson takes his seat. “Now if I’m being honest, I’m not entirely sure where to begin. I’m sure you have a lot of questions as to why you’re here, and let me tell you we may be just as confused as you are.”
“What’s that supposed to mean? I mean you guys called me down here, and I came willingly thinking there would be a reason,” I said.
“Let’s start with this.” Johnson opens the folder, and slides one of many pieces of paper over to me. “Tell me what you see there?” Said Johnson.
I rotate the paper straight, and it takes me more than a moment to comprehend exactly what it is I’m seeing. “I-is that me?”
This photograph, it’s black and white but the subject is very clear, and they look exactly like me. My mind is racing. It can’t be me, so it must be a relative or something right? Why would they ask me to be here then show me this?
“We were hoping you could tell us. There are more too,” he says as he passed over two more photographs.
As I examine them I start to feel sweaty, nauseous even. “Why are you showing me this? I mean what exactly are you asking me?” I said.
“We’ve done our research. These are not the same person. They were all born years apart and across the planet. They lived separate lives never coming into contact as far as we know. We haven’t been able to identify anyone that knows them personally, and we don’t even have their names. Well, except for one,” said Johnson.
He passed another photograph printed out on paper.
This one is colored. It’s like my eyes can’t communicate with my mind properly. They’re screaming “that’s me!” but my brain refuses to believe it. In what seems like slow motion, I notice the same mole at the corner of my mouth, and the eyes, they’re the same as mine. The left being brown, and the right being blue.
I had to wipe the sweat rolling down my forehead. “I’m sorry, I’m so hot right now. Could you actually get me that bottle of water please?” I asked.
“Of course. Lee, could you grab the test as well?” Asked Johnson.
“I sure can,” said Lee as he stood up and walked out the door.
As he leaves, my first thought is to follow him and run out of here. Though, I’d probably get shot if I did that.
“This sure does seem to be having an effect on you. Tell me, what’s going through your mind right now?”
“I-I don’t know what is happening right now. I mean is this a dream, or a joke? You haven’t asked me anything. Other than showing me these photos, of someone who looks exactly like me might I add, you haven’t done anything either!” I almost yell.
An awkward silence falls on the room.
“Sorry, I’m kind of freaking out right now and I don’t know why. Since you’ve passed that first photo I’ve been feeling super hot and now I’m all sweaty and I just want to go home and—”
The door opened, followed by Detective Lee. “Here you are Zoe, and the test you asked for Detective Johnson.”
This water had been refrigerated, as soon as I saw the condensation I realized exactly how much I needed it. I felt like I was sick and had those chilly hots as I call them. You don’t know if you need a blanket or a fan, but water always helps.
“This here is a DNA sample from that girl in the colored photograph. To the best of our knowledge, she was at the hospital for some blood sampling as she wanted to find out who her father was. It turned out that she wasn’t related to either of them, in fact, she wasn’t even related to her woman who birthed her. But when tested with your DNA, it came back as an exact duplicate.”
I have to hold back from puking.
“All I have to ask is this, who are you Zoe, and why are you present throughout our history?”
Hot. Excruciatingly hot.
I felt searing pain across my entire body. Almost like a leg, it was asleep and now after being woken up is being stabbed with needles. Through the pain I can see the room get brighter.
“What’s happening? Ow, close your eyes Johnson!” Yelled Lee
I rose out of my seat, now floating in the air.
I said, “I am eternal.”
Cameron DePatto is an emerging writer from Lancaster, Pennsylvania. He spends his free time indulging in expansive worlds found in novels and video games. Follow him on Twitter @CJDePatto_