“And who would you be?”
“Oh, I’m new… Here’s my ID.”
“You’re the person working with that butterfly… One… one four… five something, right? Feeding duty or something of the like? Down the stairs, second hallway.”
“1457. Yes, I believe I am.”
“Good luck. As far as I know, it doesn’t bite, spit fire, snap necks, eat people whole, create—”
“Well, that’s—good to know, I guess. Also, if you don’t mind me asking,”
“Counseling is available.”
“…can I contact anyone outside of the Site? Phone calls, emails, or something like that?”
“Not sure. Might be able to send memos or something. What, to family?”
“Actually, I pretty much have one person in mind. They can contact my family for me. Would that be too much trouble?”
“I’ll ask around. You probably won’t be able to discuss your research with anyone besides staff, though.”
It’s been awhile. I can’t thank you enough for seeing me off last month—I know it was abrupt, and I’ll miss being able to talk with you as often as before. Really, we’re still at the same college; I’ll just be away for research. I promise I’ll visit as often as I can.
“Well, what memory did you receive today? Divorce again? The butterfly seems full of divorce stories.”
“No, it was… well, something worse. A lot worse. I really wonder where the butterfly traveled since I didn’t recognize the setting.”
“Something like that. Dead bodies.”
“There are a lot of dead bodies found here too.”
“I try to be. I’ve heard about that butterfly of yours, you know. A few others have too. It’s not an easy task. You’re not breaking bones, but there’s always the chance that you’ll be breaking your heart many times over.”
“Thanks for understanding?”
“Welcome. “The Foundation is cold, not cruel”, you know. You’re new, but others here will help you out if you need anything. We understand.”
I heard about Mr. ███. As it is, and I’m very sorry, but I can’t attend the funeral. I know we’ve both known him for so many years, and it’s thanks to him that we met, but the past few days have been really stressful for me, and truth be told I don’t think I’d be able to keep myself together during the funeral. Tell ██████ I’m sorry and I’ll help her out any way I can, once I finish up the work here.
Is that why you didn’t reply to my last letter?
“You doing alright? It’s been what, two months? Those daily doses of loneliness can’t be good for you.”
“I’ll be okay. I mean, I know these things happen every day to people all over the world, right? It’s not like they’re anything new to the human race.”
“Suit yourself. The Foundation is depending on you. And really, if you need help or someone to talk to—”
“I’ll be alright.”
I just found out that you won’t be able to write back to me. Foundation protocol or something. Again, I’m sorry—I didn’t know. I assure you though, once we meet up again, I’ll listen to everything you have to say and we’ll catch up over coffee at your favorite place. The staff here have been nice, but they can't compare to you. They don’t understand, I guess.
“Researcher, I’m sorry, but medication cannot be prescribed at this point in time. The experiments have not been concluded. Counseling is available, though; I believe you have been informed of the hours…?”
“I’d prefer to speak to someone I know well.”
“I’m sorry, that cannot be arranged at this moment. I’d advise you to wait for a few more days. There was a containment breach last night, and besides, 1457 seems to have taken a liking to you.”
“Can’t you find someone else?”
“The fact of the matter stands that you scored proficiently in the EI test administered at the beginning of your employment, and thus you are the best candidate to deal with this particular SCP.”
“I asked… But no one… no one else bothered…”
I really thought I’d be able to meet up with you this month. If I had known it would be like this… I wouldn’t have bothered. I’ll see what I can do. I miss you more than ever. I miss you and everyone and everything else at home. I can’t speak about my research, but apparently it’s going well, so there’s nothing to worry about.
“So, who do you keep writing to anyway?”
“Someone at home. Waiting for me, I guess.”
“Must be pretty patient. It’s been almost a year. And you’re the only one who can write, since the Foundation doesn’t want your mental state compromised.”
“It’s for your own good. Everyone can see that you’re getting stressed out, so why bother forcing more strain on you? Also, on the off chance that someone working against the Foundation finds out about who you’re writing to, it’s best that… never mind. Did you make any promises before you left?”
“…we both did.”
“Then I’d say you don’t have anything to worry about. Cheer up. From what I hear, your research is going quite well.”
Just thought I’d let you know that I’m still alive, if tired, and I just found an old picture of us in one of my desk drawers. Made my day. Remember that first concert? The height difference was so obvious even then.
“I understand that the latest memory was particularly jarring to you?”
“Yes. Normally I wouldn’t bother asking for counseling… no offense intended… but for some reason, the containment unit seemed so—empty. There were people less than five feet away, walking around outside the containment unit, but I felt… well, I needed someone to talk to. Before was different, but now… the Foundation staff have been nice, but maybe if someone could share the memories I’ve been receiving—?”
“Your request will be noted.”
“I know medicine is out of the question now, someone explained to me about experimental procedures, but I just… don’t know what to do, really. I have all these stories in my head, but I feel like it’s impossible for anyone else to really understand, because no one else has seen these images or felt all these years and years of… everything.”
Good news! I think I’ll be able to visit in about a week. Until then, I will continue to think obsessively, incessantly, ever only, of you.
“Holding up alright?”
“Not getting enough sleep. But I’ll manage. Somehow.”
“The whole “living day to day” approach, is it?”
“Sort of. There’s just one thing I’m waiting for, and things will be alright after that.”
“That person, huh? Are we Foundation staff not the best conversationalists or something?”
“It’s not that.”
I’m really looking forward to being able to speak with you again, face to face. No more of these memos. And you’ll be able to see if my humor has improved at all—remember how we used to joke about that every Friday? Or rather you would, and I would just make sarcastic comments. Of course, it’s better than when we were kids and I didn’t talk to you at all, right? I miss those times, growing up. And to think, in about two days, we’ll have known each other for ten years! Amazing, isn’t it?
"Finally got that break, huh? So, what happened? Did you meet up? Talk about your lives and how everything has been?"
"Please don't ask.”
“Did you talk at all?”
“Just… leave me alone."
I understand. Thanks for bearing with me all this time and telling █████ to let me know what happened. Wish I could have said goodbye at least.
My best wishes to you two.