Chapter 10: This Time He Believed Her

“Why are you waiting for me?”

“I don’t exactly know that I’m waiting for you. John sent me here, told me to set this apartment up, enjoy myself a little. But he said to be home this week. And to wait.” He looked at her expectantly.

“Well, don’t look at me. I don’t know what you’re supposed to do.” She thought for a moment before the answer came to her. Begrudgingly, she responded, “I guess maybe he means for you to come back with me and help.”

“Probably. He warned me this place wouldn’t be very permanent.”

She looked around at the dilapidated apartment. “It’s a good thing.”

This illicited a smile from Ethan, which made Mykah realize how tense the whole interaction had been. She hadn’t even told him she was happy to see him. But am I happy to see him? I thought I’d never see him again, I’d just accepted that.

Mykah decided the introspection would be best saved for another time and gave Ethan the smile that he loved. She shyly and slowly moved to look at him and only slightly curved the corners of her mouth up into a smile.

This made Ethan happy, and she could tell. He moved forward and brushed a loose hair out of her face. “Your hair is so different. Clean.”

They chuckled softly to themselves. As Ethan bent down to kiss her, Mykah’s mind was racing. What if it’s not the same? What if he kisses me and knows that I’m unsure? We’ve been through enough, I’ve put him through enough, I don’t want to hurt him any more than I already have. I wish I hadn’t hurt him at all.

As the space between them closed, and Mykah could feel Ethan’s lips on hers, all thought left her mind.

Charley’s dead. Another person dead because of me. John remembered Derek’s words from days before “We all die for you.” Then what’s the point? If everyone dies for me, then why are we fighting? I’ll be alone. Except Cameron. She’ll always be there. This comforted John, but scared him as well. Do I love Cameron only because I know she'll never leave me, or at least that she's more likely to never leave me or die? And "love"? Where did that come from? I'm not even sure if I can trust her. I'm not even sure who she really is. Or maybe subconsciously I just mean that I'm supposed to love her. That eventually I do. In the future, I do.

I wish she was here. The thought surprised John. He hadn’t expected to feel that way. He picked up his phone and dialed Cameron’s number. She answered after two rings and he punched the correct code in, as did she.

“John?” The sound of her voice comforted him immediately. What is that? he thought briefly, but her voice distracted him from that line of thought.

“John? Is everything all right?”


“What is it?” Worry coated her voice.

“It’s Charley. Mom and I stopped by to visit him.” He paused for a moment, hesitating to actually say it aloud. “He’s dead.”

“What happened? Are you okay? Who was it? Where are you?”

“This guy found us. We ran to escape by boat, but Charley wanted to try to stop him. He succeeded, but not before being shot. I didn’t know if anyone else would come, so I took the boat and left. My mom called me when she got back to the house and found Charley. The coast was clear, so I came back. And now we’re at some random gas station on Highway 85. “

“How’d he find you? What did he want?”

“I don’t know what he wanted, but we’re pretty sure he was working with Keleba. Mom found a transmitter. Winston had put it in her body when he had abducted her. Once she realized this, she shocked herself and disabled the transmitter. But it was too late, they had already tracked us.”

“Well, we got a visit from what I now assume is Keleba too. They shot out one of our tires, then tasered Derek and took him to a warehouse. They tried to electrocute me and knock me out, but they were ineffective. The man was talking to someone on the phone, though. They’re taking orders from someone. Or something.”

“Great. Another complication.”

There was a pause as they both processed the information.

John was the first to break the silence. “Cameron?”

“Yes, John?”

John choked back tears “Charley’s dead.”

When Cameron spoke, John could hear the difference in what she had been before. “I know. I’m sorry.” And this time he believed her.

Sarah and John sat in the truck, waiting for Derek and Cameron. Neither of them had said anything to the other since being reunited. Neither knew what to say.

He’s lost too much in his life. He’s lost too much in a week. I just wish he could be happy. Even if it was just for one day. Just forget that the weight of the world is on his shoulders and be happy.

But Sarah knew that would never happen. She had made sure it wouldn’t. She had trained him since he could talk to treat life like a survival experience. He will never actually live life. He will fight for everyone else to live life. But even if we stop Skynet, who’s to say it won’t pop up again? Who’s to say he’ll ever be able to stop fighting?

“John,” Sarah started, not fully knowing what she was going to say after that, but it turns out it didn’t matter.

“No. Not yet.”

Mykah had just gotten off the phone with Cameron. When she had called last week to say she’d be back soon, they had informed her that they would be leaving. She knew where the safe house was--after all, she had set it up--but after speaking with Cameron it was starting to look like they may never make it to the safe house. John will want to find these people. Once he gets over the shock, all he’ll want is revenge.

She turned to Ethan, who was packing the few things he had. “Change of plans.”



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