That sunny day in the middle of Freedom Park, as we fed the animals, Detective Arc told me as much as she could. She told me my mother was looking for me. She told me they had been looking for me for months. She told me that what I was a part of was called a cult and that cult’s could be dangerous, even deadly. She explained how The Darius was brainwashing everyone at Freedom House and that if I stayed it was my death sentence. She also explained that she had to try and save the people of Freedom House before something horrible happened. Lastly, she asked for my help. “I’m not sure how I can help but I will try. There is something. The Red Room.” I said. “The red door that’s always locked?” the detective asked. “Yeah. That’s where they send members who haven’t obeyed their rules. My mentor, Miles, he was sent there about a week ago. I haven’t seen him. A girl was sent there a month ago, Jody, and she’s never been seen again.” “Have you ever been inside?” Detective Arc asked. “No, never. But I have to get in. I have to find Miles.” I said. “It might be too dangerous for you to go in Samantha. I can get in and –“ “I will help you but only if I can go too. I owe it to Miles. He tried to tell me about this place and I didn’t listen at the time. He is in there because of me,” I said. “Alright.” Sophia Arc stared into my eyes. “So when do you we go?” I asked. “Do you know who has the key?” Sophia asked. “The Darius has one. Penelope has one too, the chef,” I said. “It’ll be easier to get it from Penelope. Where does she keep it?” “I can get it. I will handle Penelope,” I said. “Okay. You get the key tonight and we will go into the Red Room tomorrow night. Are you sure you can get it without getting caught?” Sophia asked. “I am sure,” I said. --- I had heard of females mentoring other females. I heard that Skye and Penelope went into The Love Room more than once together. I knew it was possible. I waited until it was near bedtime. Penelope was in the kitchen in her usual white apron, nothing underneath except her panties. She was sharpening her knives, one by one. “Hey Penelope,” I gave her an innocent smile. “Ivy, how goes?” she asked, as she sharpened a large cutting knife. The high pitch singing sound of each side being sharpened was in the background as we spoke. “Pretty good. That camping trip was amazing, don’t you think?” I asked. “It was more than amazing. My insides felt so free. I bet you feel pretty great. You spent the night with The Darius. That’s always so exciting. How’d it go?” Penelope stopped sharpening her knife, placing it down onto the counter but still held onto the handle and looked at me. “Actually, he talked a lot about you,” I said, keeping eye contact with Penelope. Her expression softened, content rippled down her face. “He did?” “Oh yes, you’re really one of his favorites. He told me I should consider asking you to be my mentor. My mentor in The Love Room. He said if you agree then he would be sure to spend the night with both of us,” I spoke every word clear and concise. A seductive smile appeared on Penelope’s face, “Well, I’m not sure what we’re waiting for. When The Darius suggests something, we do it.” I mirrored her smile back at her and she had no idea what hit her. “Let me finish up here and I’ll meet you in The Love Room,” Penelope said. She turned around and bent far down to put away a large pot into a bottom cabinet, her white apron exposed her back and butt cheeks, the string tied around her waist. I waited on the fluffy white comforter and held an orange pillow adorned with silver and blue sequins. I stared at each tiny orifice with thread running in and out and moved the pillow back and forth, watching the reflection of the sequins against the wall. My thigh was being lightly brush by something and it gave me an instant tickle that had to be scratched. I flipped the pillow over. It was the pillow tag. I looked at it and read it: Pottery Barn. Are you fucking kidding me? The load of bullshit that this place smelt of made me nauseous, that familiar warm, burning of bubble vomit in my throat. The door opened abruptly. Penelope walked in and closed the door behind her. As I sat on the bed, she walked up to me, still standing. She moved her leg in between my knees and stood over me, her apron was right in front of my face. She placed her hands behind her back and fiddled for a moment, then her apron dropped to the floor and now her belly button was in front of my face. She stood there as I sat on the bed and she caressed my hair with her small, delicate hand. Then she grabbed the back of my hair into her fist and pulled my head back to face her as she leaned over me to meet my eyes and she asked, “Are you ready to truly be free?” --- If I didn’t know it after camping, I definitely knew I had to escape Freedom House after spending the night with Penelope. She was as rough and brutal as The Darius. The disturbing glee in Penelope’s eyes as she inflicted pain was far beyond human, it was animalistic. I waited until she fell asleep. Her apron was still on the floor where she had dropped it. I got down on the floor and stayed there while I picked up her apron and felt inside the front pocket. Bingo. I pulled out my hand and there lay the key to The Red Room on my palm, simple and silver but the one thing that would help me to freedom. The one thing that would help Miles be free. I slid the key into my bikini top but my flat, immature chest didn’t lend me a hand, so I moved it into my underwear. I just needed to get it to Detective Arc. I only hoped Penelope wouldn’t immediately check her apron pocket when she woke up. Please God, don’t let her check. I got back into bed, slowly moving my legs under the white blanket and bringing my back down onto the pillow. I stared up at the sunroof and looked at the night sky, the stars seemed closer, brighter. I couldn’t help but smile. I tried to fall asleep but was too anxious, so I just laid there looking up into the dark sky creeping through the sunroof with all my hopes, all my fears, and all my freedom in the hands of Detective Sophia Arc.