I’m not sure what it is about the second floor of the mansion, but I always feel like I shouldn’t be there. I spend pretty much all of my time on the first floor in the library and kitchen. Even my room—I mean the room I’m staying in—is on the ground floor. So when Eli told me to go upstairs to have a second visit with his wife Sonja, I felt like I was breaking some sort of rule.
Sonja is so cool, and Eli is really happy we are spending time together because she doesn’t leave her room and never wants visitors. Even Dr. Gabor said that “Socialization is an important part of her treatment.” I knew he secretly liked me, ha ha.
I thought she was getting better because I wasn’t hearing her screaming at night anymore, but when I came to Sonja’s room there was a new door handle with a keypad on it. She said that her and Eli decided to keep her door locked at night so she doesn’t wander. “It doesn’t stop the night terrors, but at least I’m not keeping everyone up at night with my screaming or accidentally falling down the stairs.”
“You’re locked in at night? What if you want to get a snack?” I asked her.
“Oh, I know the key code. It’s a simple mathematical equation based on the date. The lock is just to keep me from getting out when I’m asleep or having a night terror. But I never leave anyways, I have my bathroom here and meals are left outside my door. And now you’re here too.”
I noticed that some of the furniture was different and the giant expressionist landscape painting had been replaced by a more realistic painting of ballerinas. I guess when you are always in the same room it’s nice to change it up sometimes.
I opened up to her about how I fell in love with Steve over the internet and when all of the drama back home happened he said I could live with him. Sonja asked about what happened, and I told her it was a long story.
We talked about the breakup too. She said that it sounded like Steve and I were good for each other in another place and time, but we aren’t right for each other here and now. It made a lot of sense somehow.
“Do you and Eli ever fight?” I asked.
“Of course. But when we do it’s always about something stupid, like whether Minimalism is fascist or if the Multiverse is a hologram.”
Her Mona Lisa smile faded and she turned to me with a stoney-face, “It is a hologram. Anyone who tells you anything different is foolish.”
“That’s what I told Steve too!”
She said her and Eli used to make films together. She started out acting for him but they soon became collaborators. So freaking romantic.
“We would make the most weirdly wonderful films, silly but serious, sacred but profane, horrific yet beautiful. But all good things end. Eli moved on to more lucrative projects and I started doing television commercials. Then I got sick. I spend most of my time reading or playing games on my iPad now.”
I asked her about her illness and how she got sick and she said, “Let’s make a deal. I’ll tell you about my illness if you tell me about this mysterious dramatic event you keep referring to. You obviously want to talk about it.”
Well… we’ll see.
She asked me about how the library was coming together and I almost accidentally told her about the occult section. Eli said to keep it a secret from her. He’s afraid that hearing about it might make her night terrors worse. Worse than they are now? That’s kind of hard to imagine.