When Annie took the invisibility pills, she thought it would just be a few days of totally screwing with people, sneaking up on those she wanted to hear with out being noticed… the usual idea people tend to have.The added side effect of being noiseless would only up the hilarity. She thought it would be a romp, some fun, some stealth… enjoy being unseen for a few days then it would wear off and life would go back to normal.
But she was wrong. The experimental pills did NOT wear off, and after weeks of being lost by the eyes of everyone… she became depressed. When she tried to move things to make noise or write notes to reach out for help, people panicked and thought it was a trick, or something supernatural. No one ever came to the conclusion is was her asking to be recognized.
It was her own fault. The day she had popped the pills she “cleverly” wrote a note to be found saying she was going on a trip, returning days later. Only she never returned as far as anyone was concerned, and she had told no one of the experimental pill trail she had joined to get some extra cash.
Thinking of her previously wanting the extra money and how she thought it’d be so much fun made her ache. She had become lost in being invisible, and was sure the drug (whatever it was) was starting to have side effects. She couldn’t even contact the drug company for help, since the building was motion accessed and she couldn’t make a call with no voice to be heard.
Despair began to sink in. This was the worst kind of isolation. Her thoughts became circular, spinning on what happened if the faulty medication never wore off. What would she do? She couldn’t go to work, so she’d run out of money. And she couldn’t go to the grocery store without completely freaking out anyone who saw her not there, and a floating basket or self-propelled cart moving through the store, random things coming up off the shelves of their own volition. Not that she was eating much anyway. Her sadness had swallowed her appetite. She felt as the weeks went on that surely she was shrinking away into nothingness, but had no way of really knowing with no reflection.
Shouldn’t the drug company have sent someone around at this point? Didn’t someone have enough concern for her absence to come searching for her? Did anyone care or notice that she had been gone at least two months with no (noticed) contact?
Annie knew she would have to accept this new state of living somehow, or sink into a sadness so deep it would be the end of her. She tried to form a plan.
She started doing surveys and things online that required only typing to earn money. It wasn’t much, but it was income. She found a grocery delivery service and always left the door unlocked with a note saying “Just stepped out, please leave the food inside the door.” And she forced herself to get out. She went for walks in places she knew, but avoided them at times she might see someone she knew. Seeing anyone who she knew would look right through her was too painful.
She occasionally walked past the office of the drug company, hoping to happen to be there right as someone else was entering and shimmy past them to gain entry. But she never saw anyone.
Until one day, fed up with being in her house, she went by again. No one was trying to gain access to the building, but there were two men who looked vaguely familiar talking in the parking lot. When she overheard a snip of their conversation, she moved closer and listened in horror.
The two men discussed, in rising panic, how none of the trail participants had ever returned to report on the experience. They seemed concerned about the trouble they themselves, and the company would be in if anyone found out and one mentioned the possibility of the company shutting down or simply relocating to begin again. They spoke about how only after the fact did the scientists involved realize that a gene found in humans, not found in the lab animals they previously tested on, attached to the drug, possibly permanently preventing it wearing off. As if the human body adapted to the chemicals and made them apart of it’s biology.
Annie felt sick, and couldn’t take hearing anymore. She ran away, barely seeing through her tears. She shoved confused people on the sidewalks out of the way, no longer caring who she effected. Her anguish was so great, it overwhelmed her. She ran, and ran, so lost in the darkness that was filling her she never realized she had ran out into the street and was hit by an oncoming truck who of course, never saw her.
The accident baffled the police until one officer tripped and fell over her invisible body. Annie’s death was the beginning of the saving everyone else who took the drug. It was weeks before it was even put together enough to investigate the drug company, but it did happen. After days of confusion, eventually someone figured to try and print the seemingly unseeable person that wrecked a truck and caused a pileup.
Her prints revealed her identity, and after the police found her home, slowly the pieces began to come together. Sadly, by this time the company had relocated, and became in the not so literal sense invisible as well. But word was sent out to the masses for any other people also stranded in invisibility to come forward. They were offered help, and a facility to stay in where they could be monitored and at least seen by heat sensors while a cure was developed.
Those people eventually got their visibility back. And despite that, they knew it would have never happened if not for Annie. Her death, the situation that lead to it, and her story were shared all over the world, in hopes that if that drug company ever surfaced again, the story would never repeat itself.
Of the news, and the memorial for her, and the person to person talk to fluttered around, one thing was always the most important to be shared.
You never know when is the last time you’ll see someone.