By: Crystal Weaver
Things had been different for years now. Not the same as they used to be it the past. I guess it's better. In a way. It's 2035 now. Presidents are only reelected when they die. Crime has gone down, population has gone down, life is better in a way. But there are reasons behind it. Population is down because you can only have up to three kids, if you qualify you may have four. But that's if you're extremly lucky. Crime is down for a totally different reason. If you ever have a reason to be mad, you can hire someone. To kill. I know it sounds terrible. But, it makes sense. If you feel mad, you call the town center. They wait one day, to make sure you mean it. Then, they send a volunteer, and you kill them. You can begin to volunteer at 15, with parent permission. After 18, you can choose yourself. It keeps the society clean and calm. Anytime, anyday, you can hire a person to kill. The catch is, you can only hire 5 in your life. Anymore than that, you become a volunteer, no choice. It's severe, but like I said, it works.
Just like everyday, I have work. I hate it. Same people, same paperwork, same stupid boss, everyday. Somedays I feel like quitting. But, I need the money. I wish I had a job with more meaning, like a doctor or maybe even a volunteer. Maybe. The thing is, I don't want to die. Not really.
"ROBERT!!!!!" My boss screamed from his office. Oh no. Did he find out about me being late the last few days? Oh shit. I walked towards his office, all of my coworkers staring. Sara, my ex, smirked at me. She must have been the one to tell. I hate her, but why does she do stuff like this. I walked into his office, where my sat, looking pissed.
"So, I hear you've been late to work lately." He said, his face beat red. Oh no, he knew.
"Sorry sir, I've been having car problems lately." I said, feeling myself start to blush. Oh god. I hope he doesn't see that.
"I know you're lying Robert, Sara told me." Mr. Fredricks said, staring at me with hatred. What was it in his life that made him so mean? So uncaring and hateful? I braced myself for screaming, for more stares from my coworkers.
"YOU'RE FIRED ROBERT!" He screamed, his face a deep red with veins sticking out. I clenched my fists, ready to explode. No, I thought. Not here, not now. I can hire someone later.
I finally got home after lunch hour traffic. Why does today have to suck so badly? I know exactly what I'm doing when I get home. Calling downtown to hire someone. I'd never done it before, but there's a first for everything, right? My friends have all told me it helps. Frank has already used four of his five volunteers. I don't see why, other than the fact he loves it so much. He feels like he's doing them a favor. If they signed up, why not kill them? I don't think it makes him a good person. I haven't done it all these years, becasue I think I'll feel bad. I probably will, but it will help with my anger. It's proven to help with anger issues. Not that I have them, but I am angry right now. To the point where I could actually hurt someone or something. I don't want to, at least not someone I didn't hire. Maybe I could hunt instead. Except the fact I'd need to get a permit and that takes a few months. I can not wait that long. This is the only way I guess.
When I got to my house near LA, I settled in. I sat on the couch, turned on the TV, grabbed a beer, the usual after work routine. Except, this time it wasn't after work. I would never work at that place again. I guess an upside is that I won't have to see Sara anymore. After our break up, work has been even more hellish. She's always watching, tattleing on my every move. It gets quite annoying. She's so sneaky, you don't know until you're already in trouble. Like today, with Mr. Fredricks. I know they're together. I know he's married, but she was cheating on me our entire realationship. With him. She said she wanted a promotion and she got it. She didn't care that I knew or that everyone knew. She liked the attention I guess. I can't blame her. In our society, you have to do a lot to get attention. Helping an old woman with her groceries doesn't cut it anymore. Hundreds sacrafice their lives everyday, so everything else just dulls in comparison. It understandable, if you look at it in a certain way. Enough with all this deep thinking, it's time to call.
"Hello, my name is Robert Stant, I'd like to hire a volunteer."
"Hello Robert, my name is Judy, I'm sorry but we can't do that."
"What are you talking about?!"
"We don't get new volunteer's until Wenesday."
"I'm supposed to wait two days!!"
"Yes sir, but the upside is you don't have to wait a day when they are brought in."
After a while more of boring, mindless chat, I hung up. I couldn't get a volunteer until Wenesday. I can't wait that long. I'll snap. Hopefully, I can. Hopefully I can bottle it all up for two days. I mean, it can't be that long of a wait. Two days isn't that long. It's only a day more than usual. Maybe if I go out tonight that'll help.
My friend Aaron is always with a different girl. I get that, he's what most girls want. Tall, tan, muscular, shaggy blonde hair, blue eyes, everything girls go crazy for. For two years older than me, he only looks 20. I, on the other hand look 19. Not in a good way, even though most 23 years olds would kill to look 19. Compared to Aaron, I'm garbage. I'm gawky, 6 foot 5, deep brown eyes, shaggy brown hair. Just an average guy. But thinner and taller. Although it looks okay on girls, it's ugly on guys. At least, according to Sara. Even when we were together, she would talk about how she wanted someone thick. Not fat, but thick with nice curves. I never understood why. It just made me feel bad. Sara only felt bad because she weighed ten lbs more than me. She was so mad. It was kind of funny, now that I think of it. I'm not saying she's fat, because she is no where near fat. I'm just what people refer to as anoerxic looking. Tiny, scrawny. gawky, etc are names I have been called my entire life. Aaron helps a lot, because he's so big, people don't mess with us. Take tonight as an example. A guy at this party we were at bumped us and spilled my drink. First, he turned to yell at me. Then, he saw Aaron. He walked away. I laughed and Aaron went back to flirting with whatever broad he was going to screw tonight. I feel bad for the girls he sleeps with. Most never get a call back and if they do, it's to hook up again. Poor, poor girl.
It's been about an hour since I've seen Aaron around. Everyone says he's with some chick in the coat room. I was ready to leave, even though I was the one who didn't work tomorrow. As I went in to grab my coat quick, I saw who it was. Sara. With Aaron. At first, I was so shocked I couldn't breathe. Couldnt't move. Nothing. Aaron got up to try and talk but just fell back in a drunken heap. Sara gave me a wide smirk, showing me she was totally sober. She grabbed her coat, threw it on, and left. Didn't take her other clothes, just the coat. I picked up Aaron's pants from the floor. Designer. Of course. I threw them in his face before slamming the door closed. I stormed out of the party, into the street. I got in the car, and drove off. I was glad I hadn't already killed someone, because right now, I needed it. In only a day, I would have it. Just one more day til freedom.
I woke up the next morning to my phone buzzing. Aaron. Of course, he calls me. He knows I'm asleep, why the hell wouldn't he call now? Ass. I sent him to voicemail before getting up and walking to the home phone. Time to call the center. One more day and my anger will be gone. Thank god.
"Hello, this is Robert, I called the other day?"
"Oh hello Robert! How can I help you?'
"I would still like to hire a volunteer tomorrow, if that's okay"
"Okay sir, I'll set it up."
Thank god I finally get to kill tomorrow. I know how bad that sounds. I really do. I just can't think of a better, faster way to release my anger. I suck at emotions and letting things go. It's a blessing and a curse. I've never gotten really into a good realationship because of it. That's what happened with Sara. I was never emotionally involved. She dumped me a day before I could dump her. I dated her a year and she's the second longest realationship I've ever had. The longest was years ago, but I can't think of that right now. Too hurtful, too depressing. I plopped back down on the couch, grabbing the remote. Nothing much to do without work. I'm not complaining but I have no idea what to do today. I could forgive Aaron and get him to call out of work. No, I'm not ready to forgive him. He knows how I feel about Sara. He knows what I found out after we broke up. She was cheating on me with like eight different guys. Including our boss. Sure, we weren't in love, but she could've been faithful. Maybe that would've helped. Maybe we could've been happy and married if it weren't for that. Or maybe it was our lack of comunication and passion. That usually seems like a factor in bad breakups. I just wish I could find someone who understands that I love without showing it. I wish I could show it, but it's hard. Ever since Elaine...
Finally, today's the day. My volunteer is arriving today. I'm not as scared as I thought I'd be. Just a little nervous, maybe excited. It would be a few hours before they arrived, so I had to decide what I'd be doing. Maybe I should buy a gun. Maybe a bat or a knife. What's easier? What helps? What is least painful to the volunteer? I don't want them to feel pain. It's just if I don't do it to them I'll do it to Aaron or Sara or maybe even myself. I can't go down that path again. No, it took long enough to recover from the last time. It had to be this way, no matter how bad it felt. It couldn't be me this time. It had to be someone, a stranger. Someone I'd never seen before. Someone that I would never see again. Well, obviously, they'd be dead. Why can't I get my head straight? Why am I thinking so much? Hundreds of people do this everyday, it can't be that bad. Otherwise, no one would. Then, the world would be over populated again. That wouldn't be good. The government would start random killings, like last time. Sure, it was eleven years ago, but it was horrible. They hired people to be murderers and kill people, to lower the population. That's when the laws changed. When those facts where released. That's when everything changed.
It was finally time. Mere minutes until they arrived, bringing the volunteers. Only minutes before I could finally be happy again. Well, happier. How much happier can you be when you're unemployed, single, basiclly all alone. I don't mind being alone, but does anyone really like being all alone? I know I don't. I wish my life was different, but what can you do? It'll be like this until I find someone who can deal with me. Who I can deal with. Someone who accepts me and I accept them. I haven't had anything like that in years. Other than Aaron, but he's just a friend. Not the same kind of realationship, not the kind I want. Obviously, he doesn't get me either. If he did, he wouldn't have slept with Sara, no matter how drunk he was. I heard a knock on the door. Finally, it's time.
I opened my door to see two officials from downtown. One was older, 30's or 40's, graying hair, lifeless blue eyes. He looked dead inside. Maybe that's what that job does to you. The other was younger, newer. Same eyes though. Between them, stood the volunteer. A girl in her early 20's, taller than most woman I knew, dark brunette hair, and the brightest green eyes I'd ever seen. Absolutly beautiful. She looked sad, like she'd been crying. That's understandable, judging by why she's here. She looked me in the eye and I saw they were filled with tears. One escaped and slipped down her cheek. A part of me wanted to wipe it off, give her a hug. Something about her made me want to hug her, protect her. Why? Why do I care now?
After the offcials left, I showed her into the living room. She sat down and stared up at me.
"What's your name?" She asked, wiping her tears on her coat sleeve. I stared back. Why does she care, I'm about to kill her!
"Rob, what's your's?" I said, sitting beside her. She looked at her feet for a second, looking sad and cold. "I'm Ellie." She said, holding out her hand. Should I shake it? Kiss it? What does she want me to do? I want to kiss it, I do. But, wouldn't that be weird? I pulled her hand up and kissed it. She smiled a little and I smiled back. Good choice, I thought. She looked like she'd been through a lot recently, judging by the cuts on her wrists. The burns on her face and neck. What happend in the facility she'd been in? Did they burn her? Did she do it herself?
"I cut okay?" She said looking me in the eye.
"Stop staring at me like I'm a freak." She added, looking back at her feet. I was shocked. Was I really staring that much?
"I'm sorry, I used to cut." I said, pulling up my sleeves. She glanced up and her eyes widened as she saw the rows of cuts. So many cuts.
"What happened?" She asked, rubbing her fingers along each scar, as if it would help. I sighed and itched my arm.
"I don't like to talk about it." I said. She pulled her hand away and lifted her sleeves all the way up, along with her pant legs. They were covered in cuts and burns. I felt the urge to rub them, kiss them, to make her feel better. Why did I feel like this? She was here for me to kill her, not for love, not for support. Maybe this is why she's here. To finish what she's been trying to do. Kill herself, without the sin of her doing it.
Don't do that anymore." She said, pointing to my scars. I stared at her again, wondering if she was serious. "Promise me you won't!" She said, raising her voice. I looked her in the eyes, those beautiful green emeralds.
"I promise, I guess." I said.
She smiled and asked "Where's the bathroom?" I pointed toward the bathroom and she walked out. How could I kill her? I had to, it's illegal not to! I should've done it before all this. Before I knew more.
When she got out of the bathroom, I was in my room. I wandered out about an hour later, to find her asleep on the couch. It was freezing, probably because I left the window open all day. I took a blanket from the basket in the corner and layed it on top of her. She sighed and rolled over. I crept back into my room before she could wake up. I turned on the TV and watched it randomly for about two hours. Then, she came in. Her eyes were red and her wrist was dripping. I got up and walked over to her. I turned on the light and looked at the wound. Three deep cuts across her wrists, deep enough for a lot of blood. I lead her into the bathroom and washed her wrist. She winced a few times, other than that she was silent. I wiped her eyes with tissues and left to get a bandage for her wrist. When I got back, she was crying even more.
"What's wrong?" I asked her, wiping her tears.
She sobbed some more before saying "My brother.. I miss him." I didn't know what to say to that. I don't think you can say anything. I pulled her close and hugged her. She hugged back and sobbed harder, tears soaking my shirt. I didn't care. I hugged her until her tears stopped. When she was finally calm again, she took a breath. "He was at the facility with me, waiting to die with me" She said, "We were both orphans, abandoned at birth." She continued her story. Telling more about her older brother, Stephen. How Stephen was all she had. How much she missed him. She never met her parents, they left her and Stephen at the doorstep of an orphanage. Orphan kids automaticly become volunteers at 16, unless they have special skills that could help benifit the world. Ellie and Stephen didn't. They were moved to a facility. Not a nice one, no where near nice. She was also abused daily from the time she was eight to the time she turned nineteen. She was diagnosed with depression at age seventeen. The facility wouldn't give her meds, no therapy. Nothing. I cried a little with her. Maybe I could trust her with my story. She'll be dead soon anyways. Right?
When I woke up the next morning, I was confused. Who was this girl next to me? Then, I remembered. Ellie. I felt so bad I let her sleep in my bed with me last night. Nothing more than sleep happened, which I was fine with. I told her that I would tell her what happened to me tomorrow.
"What, before you kill me?" She asked.
I looked down and said "I don't think I can kill you anymore." She looked up, a look in her eyes that was a mix of joy and fear. We both knew what would happen if she didn't die. They would take her and torture her to death. I would be punished. Never allowed to hire someone again. It would be harder to get jobs. Everyone would hate me. Expecially if it was because I fell in love. I had to go through with it. No matter how hard it was for me. It would be worse for both of us if I didn't.
I took her down into the basement. It was time. First, I would tell her my story. Then, I'd have to kill her. I told her why and she understood. I asked her how she wanted to go. She said a gunshot to the head. Quick and painless. For everyone. It would be hard, I knew that. It would also be hard telling my story. My pain and sorrow of the past 23 years. Ellie should understand most of it, she's only a year younger. We both sat down on the couch in the basement. And I started explaining it. How my mother and father commited suicide in front of me and my older sister, who was twelve at the time and I was ten. Our aunt and uncle took us in. Which was worse. They were drunks who hated eachother and us. Uncle Stan molested Kate, my sister and abused both of us. Aunt Sandra was always beating us for not using correct manners, or bad grades, or things like that. Once for breaking a lamp on accident I got hit with a hot iron five times. It was horrible. At sixteen, Kate got pregnant with her boyfriend Greg's baby. He left her, but before he did he shot her in the leg and me in the arm. She had to get half her leg removed. She had a miscarriage shortly after when Uncle Stan pushed her down the stairs. She commited suicide on my fifteenth birthday. I started cutting right after. I almost commited suicide when I was almost seventeen. But then, I met Elaine. We dated for so long, we were so in love. I proposed when I was almost nineteen. The next day, she was in a car accident. Her body was found ten feet out of the windshield, on the ground. I started cutting again and attempted suicide three times. I told her about Sara and Aaron. How much I'd improved in the last year. After I was done, she leaned over and hugged me. She was crying and so was I. We stayed that way for quite a bit before she said "So, is it time?" I sighed. The thing I'd been dreading since I'd seen her cuts. Since I knew more about her life. She stood against the concrete wall, waiting. I pulled the gun off the table. I put the bullet in and cocked it. I aimed it at her head. A tear streamed down her face. I couldn't ignore it. She closed her eyes and breathed in. She held it and I knew I couldn't do this. I should've known I couldn't. That I wouldn't. I set the gun down and walked toward her. Right as she opened her eyes, I kissed her.
Her lips tasted of strawberries and salt, probably from her tears.
When I finally pulled away, she frowned. "Why didn't you just do it?" she asked, her eyes wide.
"I couldn't" I said kissing her again.
Between my kisses she managed to say "But, how can we both live without me dead?" I hadn't figured it out yet, but she would be mine and I would protect us both. I had to keep her safe at least. It was going to be hard, of course. We had the government and the rest of the world against us. Who where we to stand up to billions of people? Just the two of us messed up people? I don't know how we're going to do it, but we kind of have to.
It's been a week since Ellie first arrived. We've been planning what to do, where to go. We have to leave soon, in a few days they'll come looking for the body. Ellie's body. When they come here and don't find a body or me, they'll come after us. Looking everywhere, asking everyone. We will probably have to leave the country. I hope it doesn't have to come to that. I hope we can find somewhere nice to hide here. Here in the US here where we belong. I know it's really soon, really really soon, but I think I love Ellie. She seem so open, so sad, she understands me. She seems to feel the same way. She still cries everynight, so she sleeps with me. I calm her down sometimes when she has a nighmare. I wish it could be like this forever. Not too serious, but going somewhere good. Hopefully, if we can get away with it.
We've gotten three missed calls from town center. It's time to leave. They're coming for Ellie in a few days, we have to move fast. I bought her a few outfit the other day, so they wouldn't know what she was wearing. We were all ready. Now we just needed to go. Somewhere far. I knew just the place. Florida, far far away from California. Far Far away from everyone who would soon want us dead.
During times like this I'm glad I don't have a family. I don't have to think of anyone. I don't have to bring anyone or tell anyone where I'm going. No one can tell you not to do something and no one can tell on you for it. Sara won't be able to mess up my life if she can't find me. Aaron is still trying to call me. Probably to apologize. But I checked Sara and Aaron's Facebook walls. They're dating. I wouldn't be suprised if she was cheating on me with him the whole time. I wouldn't be suprised, she was with everyone. Everyone but me.
Ellie and I are on the news. We've just gotten to Nevada, taking a rental car from a place three miles away from my house. We walked there. Ellie seems distant lately. I think she misses her brother. I wish I knew where he was so we could find him. So she could see him.
I walked toward Ellie, standing over by the drink dispenser at McDonald's. "Ellie, is something wrong?" I asked.
She turned toward me, looking sad "I wish we didn't have to drive everynight, I barely get any sleep." She said, rubbing her eyes. Just then I noticed the deep black circles under her eyes. Her eyes looked bloodshot, evidence she hadn't had a good nights sleep in weeks. I felt bad, I was the one putting her through this pain. I pulled her close and gave her a kiss.
When we stopped, I whispered "Tonight, we'll get a hotel." Her smile grew and she hugged me. I wish everyday was like this one. I wish I could stay with her forever.
When we got to the hotel I made Ellie put in color contacts and change the part of her hair. I also put in contacts and changed my outfit. We walked in and checked it. We got a small room near the pool and the vending machines. As soon as we get to our room, Ellie quickly opens the door. When she see's the bed, the TV, the bathroom, her eyes lit up. She squeaked a little and turned to hug me. I smiled and hugged back. She's so cute. We put down our bags and leapt into bed. We were together for the first time. It was perfect. Sure, it could have been better, but this is how our life has to be. We have to be runaways, running away from everyone and everything.
Ellie has been happy ever since we arrived at the hotel. She's been full of life, which makes me happy. We're getting along so well, I'm suprised. It's almost like with Elanie. Nothing like with Sara. I know soon we will have to leave, that soon we will be tired again. Hopefully we can have more times like this. Hopefully we don't have to run our whole lives. Someday I want a family and we can't have that on the road. But, that's not right now. Right now, this is what we have to do to stay alive. At least, to keep Ellie alive. If she dies, my heart will die. I'll go down that path again and I'll be dead in weeks. I can't deal with death twice, not after all my recovery. Not after all my problems are being solved. I just want to be with Ellie and be happy. I think she wants the same.
Today on the news, we saw our faces. So did a few people, because we've been getting weird looks. Suspisious looks. I told Ellie and she packed our things as I check out up front. A few hours later, our hotel was on the news. They knew we'd been there. Ellie began crying and I had to pull over to comfort her. She told me to keep driving, it's all we could do.
We pulled into a truck stop around eleven PM. Ellie had been crying the whole ride. She really missed Stephen. I turned off the car and caressed her face. She smiled and I leaned in to kiss her. She kissed back, hard. I felt her tears pour onto my face. I didn't care. She was beautiful with or without tears. She started running her hair through my hair. I pulled her coat off. She was taking my shirt off when we heard a knock on the window. I turned to face whoever was there. The officials from LA. The one's who'd brought Ellie to me. She gasped and screamed. I pulled out the keys, my fingers slippery. I almost dropped them before putting them in the ignition. Just as the started banging on the windows and hood, we drove off. They raced to their cars, ready to chase us. Oh no, the moment we'd been dreading this whole time.
Ellie was still crying and screaming when we pulled back onto the highway. I was going as fast as I could. We had to get away from the officers. I grabbed Ellie's hand and squeezed it. She stopped screaming and squeezed back. I made a left turn, getting off the highway. We had to lose the officers, who were still behind us. I was scared but I couldn't show it. I couldn't show Ellie how terrified I was that I would lose her. She was still crying, staring off into the distance ahead of us. She looked distant again, like she didn't care anymore.
"Rob, let me go, I can fix this all." She said, turning to me.
"What are you talking about Ellie!?" I asked her, my voice rising. She looked down, diddling her thumbs.
"I can fix this all, if I just die." She said, rubbing her scars. I was shocked, why would she want this? Why does she want to die?
"No, I can't let you do that!" I said, turning to her. She looked back up and screamed "Why, why can't you?" She pasused before adding
"You barely know me, why would you sacrafice your life for me!?" She sighed before turning to the window.
"Ellie, I love you, I would do anything to protect you, even die." I said, taking her hand again. She looked back at me, a smile on her face and tears in her eyes.
"Do you mean that?" She asked. I nodded, smiling. "You're the first person to say that, other than Stephen." She said, wiping away her tears. I looked her in the eyes
"I will always love you, no matter what." I told her, rubbing her hand with my thumb. She smiled and said "I love you too Robert." She said. I smiled and turned back to the road. We'd finally lost the officer's. For now.
We pulled into a campsite and turned off the car. I turned and saw Ellie, asleep. Good, she hasn't slept good since the hotel. Even then she'd wake up in the middle of the night. I tucked her hair behind her ear and looked at her beautiful face. She looked so peaceful when she sleeped. I leaned my seat back, and started to fall asleep. Hopefully, we could sleep good tonight.
I woke up to Ellie screaming. She'd been doing that a lot. She'd been having terrible nightmares about the facility, about what they'd do to her if they found her. I pulled her close and she cried. I rubbed her back, letting her get it all out. She was so scared. She had a dream they caught us and murdered me. Then, they took her back to the facility and made her watch my death, over and over again. Eventually, they killed her slowly and painfully. I felt bad that I couldn't stop these dreams. Nothing could. Except maybe Stephen. I had to find out where he was. I had to, to help her.
The next day we found a library in a small town. We went in and I had Ellie hide in the bathroom. I went to a computer and searched Stephen Grant, hoping for orphanage records. Instead, I found a missing status. On the volunteer site, it showed he went missing after being hired. It happened about a week after Ellie and I ran away. He was hired and never collected. Officers are searching for him too. He could be anywhere. I don't know how we could ever find him. He could be across the world by now.
When I found Ellie again, I thought about showing her the computer. But, would it help at all? I decided not to. We both stole a few books, to read if we ever had the time. I decided we should get another hotel. We were running low on money, but Ellie needed it. I could find a way to get money. I needed to. Ellie knew we needed money. She was thinking of getting a job. A certain job I didn't approve of. A stripper. I didn't like the idea of her dressing like that in front of men, even if it made lots of money. She was still trying to talk me into it.
Ellie starts work tonight, I'm terrified. What if someone recognizes her? What if someone touches her? I don't know what it'd do, but it wouldn't be good. I would just have to grit my teeth and watch. She wants me to wait in the car, not tourture myself. But, I need to watch. I will feel better if I watch. I'll feel better if I know what's going on. Not if I'm sitting in the car, guessing and worrying. She's about to go on and my heart can't stop beating. Why am I letting her do this to herself?
After Ellie was done, we left. We kept driving. She had enough money to get us far enough. She said she'll do it again when she has to. I said no. I can't let her do that again. Too many strange men looking at her skinny, fragile body. Her burns and scars. Too many eyes burning into her. I could barely stand it. It took everything in me not to yank her off stage and hold her tight. To wrap a coat around her and take her away. She was amazing at it, but I hated to watch it. It was too hard to deal with someone I love being in pain, but seeing others notice it? Everyone saw her scars. Everyone.
Ellie's still getting over the expierence. She's having more nightmares than before. I'm considering telling her about Stephen, maybe it would help if she knew he wasn't dead. At least, he wasn't last time I checked. Maybe we could search for him, where ever he was. Maybe he was on the road too. Maybe he was in some far off country, like we plan to someday. Maybe Ellie needs something like that. Maybe Ellie needs the optimism of knowing that Stephen is somewhere alive. Hopefully.
I'm thinking of checking in at a nice resort. Something with a jacuzzi in the room, with a king sized bed. Somewhere nice and quiet. Ellie deserved it. She needed somewhere nice, where she could relax. Where we could spend some time together. Well, nice time together, other than on the road. We haven't run into any officers in awhile, but we still have to move around a lot. She deserves to get a massage, to sit in a jacuzzi, to drink martini's, to not have any worries.
We had the best night ever. As I walked out of the bathroom and into the room, Ellie was watching the news. On the screen, was her brother's picture. It showed library footage of me researching him. Ellie turned to me, tears on her face.
"Why the hell didn't you tell me about Stephen?!" She screamed, pointing at the TV. It showed his picture, along with a description. He was still missing.
"I.. I.." I said, stuttering. I had no idea what to say. Why hadn't I told her? It was her brother, she deserved to know.
"Why would you hide something like that!?" She screamed, standing up from the bed. She walked to me, looking me in the eye. I didn't want her mad at me, I really didn't like seeing her hurt like this. Tears still in her eyes and down her cheek. I had hurt her and I didn't know how to fix it.
Ellie packed her bags and locked herself in the bathroom. After three hours, she came out. Her wrists were marked with blood and red burns. I gasped and walked over to her. I grabbed a towel from the bathroom and put it on her cuts. It bled through in minutes, making me scared. I grabbed another towel and got it wet. I washed her cuts. She winced some more.
After I wrapped her cuts, I looked her in the eyes and said "Don't ever do this again, please?" She looked at me like I was crazy "Ellie, I understand you're mad, and I'm sorry, but please stop hurting yourself!" I said, feeling myself start to cry. I hate seeing her hurt. I feel terrible, knowing I caused this. All of it.
She sighed and wiped away my tears "I know you're sorry, but I want to know stuff like that, no matter what." She said, tearing up. I smiled and nodded. She took her razors and lighter from her bag and threw them in the garabage. I smiled and kissed her. She kissed back and just like that it was perfect again.
"Rob, what was that?" Ellie said, shaking me awake. We'd done it and fallen asleep right after. I sat up in bed, listening for a second. There was a bang on our door. I grabbed my pants and put them on. I walked over to the door, carefully. When I looked through the hole, it was officers. Five or six, all with their guns drawn.
"Ellie, grab the bags, we have to go, now." I whispered, just loud enough for her to hear. She sat up, scared. She put her clothes on fast and grabbed her bags. I finished getting dressed and grabbed mine.
"What are we going to do, they're outside!?" She said, absolutley terrified. I looked around for another exit. All I saw, was the window. I walked toward it and opened it. I looked out and saw a ten foot drop. I grabbed my bags and threw them out. I took her bags and threw them too. I climbed out the window and held onto the ledge. It was about four feet down, give or take. I let go. I landed on my feet and called up to Ellie, "Jump out, just like I did."
"Are you sure it's safe?" She asked, looking scared. I nodded and she climbed out. She stretched out, hands on the ledge. I held my arms open to catch her. She let go and I caught her, just barely. We grabbed our bags and ran to the car. We got in and I started the car. Off we went, further into the night.
"That was too close." Ellie said. I nodded and she continued with "We need to leave the country."
"I know, but how can we get the money?" I asked her. She looked at me and I knew the answer. She was suggesting her old job, stripper. I didn't want that. But, we had to. We had to leave the country, to be safe.
We drove until the next day, when she found a club. This time, I stayed outside. I didn't need to see it this time. "I love you Ellie, I'm sorry everything sucks." I said, hoping she still felt the same.
She turned and smiled, "I love you too, and nothing sucks, you just have to make the best of it babe." She said, walking out of the car. Oh god, what kind of person let's there girlfriend strip to get money? I mean, some guys do, but not guys like me. Why was I letting her do this?
Later that night, she came back and I was asleep. She got in the driver's seat and the turned the car on. It woke me up and she smiled. She'd made enough to get across the country. Now we just needed to find out where.
"I say Paris." She said looking ahead. I looked down at all the money, hoping this was enough.
"Sure, let's go to Paris babe." I said with a smile. I leaned over and kissed her cheek.
We arrived at the airport the next day. We were ready to move on. Ready for a fresh start. A chance to be with eachother without being scared. We got our tickets and got on the plane. We were safe. Finally, we could be ourselfs with out fear. I grabbed Ellie's hand and squeezed it. She turned to me and kissed me. I could not wait till Paris.
"Babe, we're here." Ellie said, waking me up. I looked up and saw I'd fallen asleep on her shoulder.
"We are?" I said, looking out the window. Sure enough, we were on the ground. We stood up and got off the plane with all the other passangers. We got our luggage and got a car. We were already starting a better life. "Babe, what made you choose Paris?" I asked Ellie, looking at her.
"Well, it's romantic," she said. "And I always promised Stephen we'd go here one day together and go shopping." She said with a laugh. I pulled her close and she rested her head on my shoulder. We got to the hotel and as she was checking in I heard Ellie gasp. I turned around, prepared to run.
"Stephen?!" Ellie yelled, running over to her brother
"Ellie, oh my god!" Stephen yelled, hugging his sister. When they finally let go of each other, Ellie pointed to me.
"This is my boyfriend, Robert." Ellie said, pulling me over. I smiled and shook Stephens hand.
"Well, this is my fiancee, Rachel." Stephen said, pointing to a woman next to him. Her belly was bloated, showing she was obviously pregnant.
"Hi, it's great to finally meet you, he talks about you all the time!" said Rachel, hugging Ellie.
Ellie hugged back and asked, "Hi, how far along are you?!" Ellie looked shocked, but happy.
"Oh, I'm six months pregnant." Rachel said, rubbing her belly.
"Want to know a secret Rachel?" Ellie said, smiling and grabbing my hand.
"What Ellie?" Rachel said, a smile on her face.
"I'm pregnant too!" Ellie said, squeezing my hand.
I stared at Ellie, wondering what she was talking about. Stephen and Rachel said congratulations and asked us to hang out later. They told us their room number and we told them ours.
As we walked into our room, I looked at Ellie and asked "You're pregnant?"
She smiled and shook her head, and I smiled. I hugged her and asked "When did you find out?"
"A few weeks ago, at the hotel." She said, tears of joys coming out of her eyes.
"Is that why you cut yourself?" I asked her sitting down on the bed. She nodded and I asked "Why?"
"I was afraid you wouldn't want it or that we'd have it on the run." She said, sitting beside me.
I hugged her and said "Of course I want it, I love you and I love any kids we'll ever have." She cried even more and I said "Now let's call your brother and go have some fun." She giggled and we called Stephen. He didn't answer. She started looking worried, but he answered the second time. We agreed to meet at the hotel resterant in an hour. Ellie and I had an hour to kill, so we did it.
"So, how did you guys meet?" Ellie asked Rachel. Rachel then began the story. The story of how she broke up with her boyfriend when she found out her got both her sisters pregnant. That same day, her mom died. So, she hired Stephen. When she opened the door, he was crying and looking at a picture of Ellie. They talked about his childhood and Rachel talked about why she'd hired him. They went outside so she could stab him, but she couldn't do it. They kissed later that night and did it. The next morning, they ran away, knowing they might be caught if they didn't. They arrived in Paris about a month before and had been going from hotel to hotel, just incase they were still being followed. Ellie was crying by the end of the story and so was Rachel. Stephen later asked me the same question and the story made him cry. I'm truely happy now, here with Ellie and her brother. This is how life should be.
"So, what do you think of Stephen?" Ellie asked me when we got back upstairs later.
I smiled and said, "He is everything I thought he'd be, I like him." Ellie smiled and I went over to lay on the bed. She layed next to me and I started rubbing her belly. "Soon, we'll have a beautiful baby." I said, smiling.
She smiled too and asked "Do you want a boy or a girl?"
"I don't care, as long it's from you, it'll be perfect." I said. And I meant it too. I loved her and that baby more than I could put into words. More than I could ever express. That's why I said "Ellie, will you marry me?"
She looked up at me and started to cry "Of course I will!" She said kissing me. I kissed her and hugged her. When we finished kissing, we cuddled until we fell asleep.
The next morning, we ate breakfast with Stephen and Rachel. Ellie told them the news and the congratulated us. After breakfast, we all went out to find a ring. A beautiful ring that was almost as beautiful as Ellie. She deserved the biggest ring in the world, but I was going to get her the best I could. We found the perfect ring after three hours of searching. It was beautiful, with emeralds that matched her eyes and diamonds. All on a beautiful silver band. Ellie loved it and Stephen said it was perfect too. I don't think anyone is happier than us right now.
Ellie and I decided to go to the doctor, to see how far along she is. Rachel and Stephen went too, to find out the gender. When the appointment was over we met outside. It turns out Ellie is two months pregnant and Rachel is having a boy. They also announced they're buying a duplex, and we can move in with them. They got an amazing deal on the whole duplex, so we get the upstairs, and they get the downstairs. Our life is going to be perfect.
When we got back to the hotel, Rachel and Ellie were tired, so Stephen and I decided to hang out. We went down to the bar and got some beers.
"So, how old are you Rob?" Stephen asked, sipping his beer after.
"I'm turning 24 in a few months." I replied, peeling the label on my beer.
He nodded and said "Oh, well so am I, except my birthday is in a week."
"Oh, well happy birthday in advance I guess." I said, wondering what his point was.
"Do you really love my sister?" He asked, looking me in the eyes. He looked serious, very serious.
I nodded my head before saying "More than anyone I've ever known."
He nodded and said "You seem like a good guy, so I'm going to tell you something, but not now."
I thought that was weird, but I wanted to get along with him so I said okay. We had a few more beers before seperating to our rooms. When I got upstairs, Ellie was in the shower. I turned the TV on and saw something. Police had found Aaron's body near Sara's house a few days ago. I don't know why it was on the news here, in Paris, but it hit me. I'd never forgiven him. I hadn't seen or talked to him since that night when he was with Sara. What if Sara killed him?
I was laying in bed, staring at the ceiling, when Ellie came in. She was wearing one of my shirts. I smiled and she came over to me. She held out her hand and examined her ring.
"This is the prettiest thing I've ever seen." She said, turning her finger to get a better view.
I smiled and said "You're the prettiest thing I've ever seen." I said putting my arm around her.
She laughed and said "That's the sweetest thing I've ever heard." She kissed me on the cheek and cuddled up closer to me on the bed.
I turned the lights off and said "I love you Ellie."
"I love you Robert." She said. That's the last thing I heard before I fell asleep.
The next morning, we all went shopping. Rachel, Stephen, Ellie, and I. Just like Ellie and Stephen had always planned, just with some extra people. They really looked alike. They seemed to get along so well. It made me miss my sister. Why did Kate have to kill herself? She could've had such a good life, she would've ended up so happy. Why'd she have to hang herself? I never saw the body, but Uncle and Aunt were the ones who told me. She never had a funeral, they didn't have money for one. Last time I saw her was that morning, the morning of my fifteenth birthday. She gave me a kiss on the forehead and left to go out with Uncle and Aunt. Later, they came home and said she went somewhere with friends. Then, when they went looking, they came back saying she was dead. I remember that night too well.
"Are you okay?" Rachel asked me.
I looked up and said "No, I was thinking of my sister."
She looked at me and asked "What happened to her?"
I told her the story and she said something I never thought of. What if she wasn't dead? What if she never had a miscarriage or was pregnant again? What if they sent her away? Everything she said gave me new hope. Hope that I'd one day meet Kate again.
A few days later, there was a knock at the door. Ellie looked at me, terrified. Were they back? How did they find us? I looked through the hole and there was Sara. She was
"Who is it?" Ellie asked, walking toward me.
"My ex, the one I told you about." I said, grabbing Ellie's hand.
"Sara? Why the hell is she here?" Ellie said, pushing me aside to look.
That was a good question. I had no idea why she was here. I really did not want to know. I was about to suggest we turn all the lights off and hide in the bathroom, when Ellie opened the door. I hid in the closet, afraid of why Sara was here.
"Who are you?" Ellie asked Sara.
"I'm here to talk to Robert, I have something to tell him." Sara replied, stepping into the room.
"What do you want Sara?" I asked her, stepping out of the closet.
"I need to tell you something." She said. She sat on the bed and patted a place next to her, asking me to sit. I sat down and she began to tell me a story.
Sara was an undercover agent from London. She was hired by my other Aunt to find Kate and I. She moved to the US and got a job where I worked. She dated me, to find out more information. Turns out, Aaron was Kate's ex, Greg. He was using me to find Kate, who is still alive. She also gave birth to his daughter, Fiona. They both live in New Zealand now. Kate knows all about me now and wants to see me. She's downstairs.
"Are you telling the truth?" I asked Sara.
"The only way to tell is if you go downstairs." Sara said.
I looked at Ellie and she nodded. I grabbed her hand and we all walked downstairs. There was my sister and my niece. I started to cry and I ran over to Kate. She smiled and started crying too. I hugged her and she hugged back.
"Mom, is this him?" The girl, who I assume is Fiona asked.
"Yes honey, that's him." She said, patting Fiona's head.
Then, a man carrying a little boy walked in. He wrapped his arm around Kate.
"Rob, this is my husband Eric and our son, Robert." Kate said, smiling.
"Is..is he named after me?" I said, tears rushing down my face. She nodded and I gestured for Ellie to come over.
"Hi, I'm Ellie, his fiancee." Ellie said, holding her hand out. Kate knocked her hand aside and gave her a hug. Ellie laughed and hugged back.
"Are you pregnant?" Kate asked Ellie.
"Actually yes, how'd you know?" Ellie said, looking confused.
"I don't know, I just know things like that, I guess it's a gift." Kate said, wiping away her tears. I invited everyone upstairs. We all talked for hours. Eventually, Kate and her family got their own room and left. I told Sara she could sleep on the couch. It was perfect. My sister was alive. I had a niece and a nephew. My life was finally being completed.
"I'm sorry I wasn't around for you." Kate said the next day. Eric and Kate offered to take us to breakfast. All of us, Ellie, Stephen, Rachel, Sara, and I. Ellie's been looking at Sara weird the whole time.
"It's fine, I understand." I said back. And it was, she didn't have a choice. She was forced to be sent to a home for unwed mothers. I have no idea where Aunt and Uncle found one of those, but they did. Kate's been really upset about it, saying she's sorry every few minutes.
"No, it's not, you harmed yourself because of me." She said, her eyes welling up with tears. I couldn't let her feel bad. It would've happened anyways, because of Elaine. I loved Elaine, like I love Ellie now. If Ellie died, I would have to try my absolute hardest not to cut, because I promised her. I wouldn't break a promise to her, even if she was dead.
"Rob, could I talk to you for a second?" Stephen asked. I nodded and stood up. We walked to the back of the resteraunt, near the restrooms. I had no idea what was going on.
"Rob, I still think we're being followed." Stephen said. I was confused, what did he mean? Still?
"What do you mean?" I asked, still confused.
"Guys, we have a serious problem." She said. She then filled us in. Aaron wasn't dead. We'd all forgotten about his brother, Alan. He was only a year older than Aaron, but they looked exactly alike. Sara and her team had killed Alan on accident. Aaron was secretly part of the officials, the government. He had found a way to find where we'd gone. He was coming for us. We had to move, fast. Kate walked over .
"What's going on?" Kate said, looking more confused than I was. Sara explained everything.
"Does he know I'm alive?" Kate asked, looking at all of us.
"Not that I know of." Sara said, "Why?"
Sara looked at Stephen and I and we both nodded. We called
Rachel and Ellie over. We explained everything. Kate and Rachel
left to pack everyones things. Ellie and I went to our rooms.
Stephen and Sara went to the store and the library. They had to
get supplies and research where Aaron was at. It was hectic and
we had to get going. Fast.
"Sara, are we all ready?" Kate asked. Sara nodded and we all drove off. Off to the airport. I looked over to Ellie. She had that distant look in her eyes again, like she was going to cry. She was just starting to show, about three or four months along by now. Rachel was about to pop, so we all prayed she'd last the flight to Australia. Sara and Stephen were sure she would. So was Kate and I trusted her. She still blames herself for the way I turned out. The way I selfharmed, the way I tried to kill myself, the way I fell for a volunteer. But, it's not her fault, it's not anyone's.
"I really missed you while I was gone." Kate said to me as we were in line for our flight.
"I missed you too." I said, smiling at her. I hugged her and she started crying. We got our tickets and eventually we got on the plane. Ellie and I sat next to eachother. I hadn't seen her look this sad since the last time she cut. I grabbed her hand and squeezed it. She looked at me and smiled. I leaned in and kissed her. She smiled the whole time.
"I love you so much." Ellie said, her eyes shining.
I smiled and said, "I love you even more." before kissing her again.
We were about to get into the "I love you more" thing, but Sara kicked my seat from behind. Ellie and I laughed and kissed again. Eventually, she fell asleep on my shoulder and I just watched her sleep.
When we finally got off the airplane, Ellie clung to my arm tight. She was terrified Aaron would be there, waiting for us. Kate and Sara went ahead, just to make sure. When she was convinced the coast was clear, we went on. We got into a bus and got to Kate's house within a few hours. Ellie was still absolutley terrified Aaron would come for us. I was just hoping she was wrong.
When we got to Kate's, Rachel went to take a bath. About fifteen minutes later, we heard a scream. Stephen ran upstairs to her and came down to say,
"She's in labor."
Kate knew what to do. By the time we knew she was in labor, she was too far along to get her to a hospitial in time. Eric was a doctor and Kate had already had two kids. She got one of the spare bedrooms ready and they brought Rachel in there. She was ready to have a baby.
After 52 hours of labor, Rachel gave birth to a beautiful baby boy named Sam. When Ellie held him, she cried. When I held him, I started to cry too. He was perfect. I knew Ellie's baby would be just as beautiful.
5 Months Later
"The baby's kicking a lot right now." Ellie said, grabbing my hand and placing it on her belly. It was kicking so much, I could see it's feet through her belly. It was so cute, but disturbing.
"Ellie, I think today might be the day." Kate said as she walked into the kitchen. She grabbed a bottle out of the fridge and turned the hot water on. She loved taking care of Sam, expecially now that she was pregnant. Ellie smiled and so did I. Eric walked in after and nodded in agreement.
Later that day, Ellie did go into labor. Kate and I led her into the room Rachel gave birth in. Eric and Kate got ready to deliver the baby.
72 hours later, we had two beautiful baby girls. It was a tough labor. There was lots of bleeding and they almost had to do a C-Section.
"Babe, did you hear that?" Ellie asked as she handed one of the babies to Sara. We all got quiet and listened. I heard a bang and some thuds. I looked to Sara who was still holding one of my daughters, crying. She handed the baby to Ellie and pulled out her gun. She walked downstairs and told me to lock the door behind me. We sat there in complete silence and waited. I heard three gunshots, two thuds, then silence. After a second, I heard a scream. Sara. I opened the door and ran downstairs. I told Kate to lock the door again and she did. When I got to the front door, Sara was on the floor, bleeding. Beside her, dead, was Aaron. Sara tried sitting up and moaned in agony. I put my hand over my mouth, the site of all this blood too much. There was so much blood. She had a shot in her stomache and her leg. She was going to die. I started crying and Sara laughed.
"That's more emotion than you showed our entire relationship." She said with a smirk. I laughed a little, causing more tears. I touched her wound, seeing how deep it was. She winced and I pulled my arm back. My hand was covered in blood.
"Sara, you can't die." I said, crying even more.
"Why not, I'm not the one with the family." She said with a smile.
"You were going to be the God Mother." I said, smiling back.
She smiled and said "Those babies are better of not knowing me." She said, turning away from me.
I shook my head, "I am going to tell my kids all about you when they grow up." I said,
She smiled and grabbed my hand "I really did love you Rob." She said.
"I loved you too, but it wasn't right." I said, rubbing her hand with my thumb.
She nodded in agreement before she passed. I brought her hand up to my mouth and kissed it. I really lost it then. I burst into heavy tears, loud sobs. I eventually went upstairs, my hands covered in blood. Ellie gasped and I told her everything. She started sobbing. I went to clean up. When I came back, she told me her name ideas. She wanted to name them Elaine and Sara. I started crying all over again. I agreed to the names and hugged Ellie close. This was so hard, I wanted to cut. I wanted to cut so bad.
Ellie and I were quiet for days. Avoiding everyone but eachother and the babies. Stephen tried to comfort her and Kate tried the same with me, but we just needed time. Sara was my ex and she helped Ellie and I through so much. She sacraficed her whole life for us. We never thanked her. The only thing she has to show for her life is our lives and a baby named after her. I wished we could do more for her. But, we can't. Nothing can compare to all she's done for us.
Rachel and Stephen got married about a month later. We attended, but we were distant. We barely talked and we cried a lot. Ellie and I talked about when we should get married. We decided we'd wait a month or two, so it wasn't too close to Stephen and Rachel's wedding or Sara's death. Elaine and Sara have been quiet babies so far, not needing much work. I guess that's good, judging the things we'd just been through. I just want to be happy with Ellie, to have someone to help me through this. The other night I almost cut and she came in and stopped me. She said, we have babies now, I can't do that. I cried and she hugged me. I'm glad I have someone as loving and understanding as Ellie.
Ellie and I decided on a date. It's just going to be all of us, the people in the house. We're going to talk about Sara during the reception, which we're just renting a bar for. Ellie and I just need our outfits and we'll be ready. I can't wait to marry her, she's the love of my life.
Today's the day. Today's the day Ellie and I get married. I got the perfect suit and an emerald tie to go with it. I know Ellie will look beautiful in her dress, no matter what it looks like. Elaine and Sara are the flower girls. Kate, Rachel, and Fiona are maids of honor. Sam and Robert are the ringbearer's. Stephen and Eric are the men of honor. It is going to be a perfect day with the perfect girl and our pefect family. I get to the front of the room and stand at the alter. It feels like hours when finally, Ellie walks out. She is wearing a beautiful white dress with a thin emerald band across the waist. It ties in the back and goes down her back and into the long train. Her hair is held into an updo by emerald clips and she has an emerald necklace on with matching earrings. She wasn't wearing any makeup except some eyeliner and bright red lipstick. She was stunning. She slowly walked toward me, rose petals carefully placed in front of her. I smiled just looking at her. She was so beautiful. I thought back to the first time I layed eyes on her. Standing in my doorway, tears running down her cheeks. Those beautiful eyes shining against her pale skin. I loved her so much, it took everything in me not to run to her and kiss her right there. When she finally reached me, the priest began. We wrote our own vows. Mine consisted of talking about her captivating eyes, her kissable strawberry and salt lips, how I was happy to finally call her my wife. She was crying by the end of my vows. I promised to love her forever, that I would keep all my promises to her, that I would always protect her. After my vows, she said her's. They were absolutly beautiful, just like her. They talked about how broken she was until she met me, how she was ready to die until she met me. She said she loved being with me, even when we were on the run. She promised to never self harm again, to always be there for me, to always be my wife and my love. I was crying at the end of her vows. She smiled, tears still on her cheeks. We said our "I do's." and then it was time for the kiss. The perfect kiss leading us to the rest of our lives.
"You may kiss the bride." The priest said, shutting the bible.
We both leaned in, smiles on our faces, and kissed. It was everything I hoped for and more. Absolutly perfect. When we pulled away, she smiled. I pushed her bangs behind her ear, showing even more of her gorgeous earrings. She smiled and leapt into my arms. I carried her out to the limo that everyone would ride to our reception. We had wanted to wait till the reception, but we opened a bottle of champain for the adults and sparkling grape juice for the kids. It was so nice to be with everyone, all dressed up and drinking fancy drinks.
I looked at Ellie and said, "I'm so happy you're my wife."
She smiled and said "I'm so happy you're my husband." Then, she pulled my face toward her and kissed me. A kiss almost as perfect as our wedding kiss. The one that sealed our vows. We were an imperfect group of people, sharing a perfect moment.