How I met hope - Chapter 2

(Continued from Chapter 1)

She loves me and I love her...

As I was seeing her playing with Kyle, I knew she wasn't just mimicking everything. After 23 years since I've met her for the first time...I still had some doubts. Maybe she's doing this to keep herself alive. No!, I said to myself, she proved too many times to me that it isn't true. She gently let go of Kyle, placed his cubes on our bed. As she was approaching us, she brushed past Kate, none of the three of us knowing of her intentions.

- You have a high level of stress, she said blankly after cupping my face with her right hand.

- I'm fine, I was just talking with John about our past...

- Maybe we should go, Andy isn't feeling so well, Kate said in a dissapointing tone.

- I'm sorry I just...I don't know, I guess all of this is getting to me, all the fighting and hiding we had to endure...after I let out a deep sigh, Cameron let go of the side of my face and sat next to me, taking my hand into hers, giving it a reassuring gentle squeeze.

Kate turned her back onto us and went to Kyle. After packing his cubes she took his hand and signaled John that they should go. After letting them out through the door I excused myself to Kate. I was wishing they would have stayed more, little Kyle always enjoying her company. As he was calling her...auntie Cammie.

- Hey, it's okay, we were all affected by the war and not many of us have the guts to show it. We understand...Kate was always kind with us, John's soldiers. John shook my hand and they were both lost in the stretched hallway of our bunker.

Cameron was sitting there, silently studying me again with her childish curiosity that always brings me a smile to my lips. I removed my left glove, revealing the metal endo-skeleton hand that replaced my real hand after a shrapnel flying from the grenade that put out a rogue triple eight tore into my hand, rendering it unusable.

- I'll never get used to this, I exclaimed, stretching the metal fingers in the dim light, breaking the silence between us at the same time.

- We should resume with our journal, I always liked to replay memories from our past.

As I turned to her, I lowered myself onto the bed next to her, taking her left hand and lowering both of us, facing each other as I was holding my right arm beneath her head. She slowly closed the space between us and placed her right hand round my mid-section, her innocent eyes locked with mine, her petite fingers stroking my left cheek, reminding me how safe I feel into her embrace. Seconds turned into minutes, minutes felt like an eternity, both of us enraptured by the magic behind each others eyes.

- It was one of the days in which I didn't had to go to work, the shop being closed for monthly inspection. I heard a knock at the door, it was John, my new neighbor. After I opened the door, the spiky haired boy that lives next door greeted me.

- Morning, Andy right? He said, looking a bit embarassed.

- Yeah, morning, what...happened?

- You said you work at a hardware shop, right? Do you have some TV cable? Kacy wants her TV linked to the cable network and I was thinking maybe I should help her, my house is wired.

- Yeah, sure, come in, I just woke up and made an attempt at fried eggs, want some? I was almost proud I didn't burn the eggs. I was probably thinking myself at the time that my cooking triumph should be shared.

- Well as long as they're not pancakes, it's fine with me, I really couldn't eat in the morning anyway.

Shouting from the closet, I was trying to make some conversation, don't act like a freak. - What's wrong with pancakes? I never ate like those you guys make, with chocolate sirup and stuff, right? We make them another way at home, much simpler and probably not as tasty.

- You should say this to Mom, it's practically the only thing she can cook without screwing up. He was amused at our talk, he probably never talked to someone that enjoyed pancakes like his Mom makes.

- I don't know, I shouldn't come by again at your guys place, she gave me some strange looks when you guys moved in. Actually everyone did.

- It''s complicated. He said to me, his figure suddenly becoming dark.

- I understand, they were just being precautious I think. Oh, here it is, do you think this would be enough? I asked, showing him the roll of cable.

We finally got to Kacy's and after she greeted us we put everything in order, stretching the cable and setting it, John did some fixing to the cable box behind the TV. Kacy opened the TV on a news program and they were broadcasting about an unemployed actor who killed 20 FBI agents after they broke into his apartment to take him into custody. John seemed pretty affected by the news, I was assuming at the time that some friend of his family or something died during the raid. Little did I knew at the time about who or what killed those agents.

- The movies were great, especially the one with those robots transforming into different vehicles. Cameron watched it without pause, bugging me with how effective their design was for about an hour after the movie ended.

- How is she by the way? I haven't seen her ever since you guys moved in. I said, hoping he'll invite me by to see her.

- We're getting ready to go and buy some new computers, I'll probably need your help later. He answered me with a slightly repulsive frown which I managed to catch with the corner of my eye.

- Yeah, if I don't have anything else to do...why not? I'm not sure thought, as I said before, everyone is looking at me kind of suspiciously, especially your mom. I shook his hand after our ways departed, his path ending a bit more further than mine.

After I closed the door behind me I went in the kitchen to the left, savoring what was left of my cold cooking triumph from earlier this morning. As I was sitting on the chair next to the window, relaxing myself at the sight of the birds flying through the branches of the few trees that were placed on one side of the road that led to the Baum's home, I saw a light green jeep with a soft top almost speeding out of our alley. It was Sarah and that other man, at least that I managed to catch in the quick glance I gave to the speeding jeep. "Maybe they're late for work" I thought..."This was about the third time since they moved I see her leaving the house in this manner...maybe I shouldn't give so much attention to this, curiosity killed the cat" I concluded and decided to walk to the living room, see if there's anything interesting through the dozens of TV stations. "It's the same thing as home. Too many TV stations and nothing to see." I closed the TV and placed the remote on the couch, heading to the bedroom, deciding to spend my free time gaming as I didn't had anything better to do. I could have went to the park but then I would have probably lost myself in the big city. I was never good at orientating. Not even home, the big town I lived in still holding secrets from me.

I heard the pickup leaving our yard, after about two-hours the sound of the Dodge's powerful V8 almost shaking my windows. I went out to help John and Cameron to unload the boxes knowing Sarah and the man with which she left weren't home. As I approached their house John was nowhere to be seen, only Cameron already finishing unloading. After I stopped trying to figure how she unloaded all of those huge boxes from the pick-up and seeing her visibly hurt figure, I decided to make a little conversation.

- Hey. Is it something wrong? You look sad. And where is John? I couldn't even finish my words for Cameron was already opening her mouth to speak.

- He ran from me. He went to see Riley. She's a bitch-whore. She answered me in a blank expression, her innocent and hurt eyes betraying her feelings. If she could have feelings back then. After digesting her choice of words about Riley I managed to speak, the only words that could leave my mouth being "Wait, what?". "I have to find him. Wait here, I'll be back in 2 minutes and 47 seconds." I couldn't even answer her almost commanding tone. I just sat there, waiting for her to come back. Out of curiosity, I decided to start my cell-phone chronometer right after she disappeared behind her front door. After about 2 minutes and a half she was back, making me smile involuntarily at her precision. "Do you want to take a ride? John said you haven't seen the whole town yet." Almost enthusiastically she asked me to go with her to spy on her brother. I didn't really had a choice, her persuasive demeanor taking control of me in an instant. "How do you know where he is?" I asked after snapping back to reality from her spell.

- I tracked his phone online.

- Does that thing really work? And why do you have to find him? I'm sure he's with Riley...she's not like..going to eat him you know... She slowly turned her head to my side when we stopped in an intersection while waiting for the green light and gave me a slightly ironic look. The only words that came out of her mouth were meant to explain her need to find him. After I managed to process her words and explain to her that spying on her brother is kind of creepy, the car slowly stopped near a food court and she suggested we should sit down at one of the tables. I decided not to say anything, her looks never meeting mine. She was studying the environment around us as if she was looking for something, after about two minutes I saw her locking her eyes on something...or someone. It was John, he was on the other side of the street with that Riley girl, the same as the first time I exchanged words with him.

- I thought you were joking when you said that you know where your brother is. Are you sure he won't get mad? You guys are practically the only persons I know in this town. As I was trying to look for her reassurance that no one will get pissed for our little stalking session, Riley's look suddenly locked on us, her finger pointing at us as if we were from a different planet. John's look upon his face when he saw me standing next to Cameron at the table made me think a bit at what I was doing and I decided to leave the table. "I don't need any troubles." I thought to myself. "Not from someone who is practically my only friend."

As I was leaving the table, with the corner of my eye I managed to catch John's visibly hurt figure and Riley almost hurling him with her hand as a few other people were preparing to occupy the free table that was standing between ours and the rebellious couple. I was expecting Cameron to follow me but instead she was just sitting at the table, the same hurt expression I saw in John's figure was mirroring in Cameron. I decided I should go back, as I did not knew no one else besides her and the couple that just ran away from us in all that crowded food court and city.

- Are you okay? Maybe you should just leave him be...brothers do stupid things, especially when blondes are involved. Besides, I have no idea where I am and how to get home. I tried to use my kindest words to persuade her of letting him go. Instead, she kept pressing with her now blank expression that "WE" should follow him. I didn't really had much of a choice, it was either this either I was trying to get home...sometime. After we climbed back in the pick-up, Cameron opened and powered on the laptop that was sitting on the back seat, found a steady wireless Internet connection from the mall Wi-Fi hub and once again tracked his phone online, this time his signal going down a boulevard and after two or three minutes stopping at what I later found out it was a clothing store. John was nowhere to be found so we stopped the pick-up in a parking-lot that was near the clothes shop. Cameron told me to stay in the truck and wait for her. She got out of the truck and I followed her in the rear-view mirror and saw her approaching Riley (?) with a threatening posture. I decided not to listen of Cameron's suggestion and I went to them, hearing Cameron's question as I was approaching them. Riley seemed to ignore Cameron's attempt to find out where John is and simply walked past her trying to get to her car. I managed to catch Cameron's hand before she could walk on Riley. "Let me handle this" I said in a reassuring and proud tone at the same time. With my voice a bit higher then usual I asked Riley where John is, this time ignoring me too. I managed to get a grip of her arm and explained to her almost aggressively "Listen...LISTEN to me. I want to get the moment I have no idea how, I don't even know where I am. I came along with Cameron and I want to leave with her. Now why don't you just tell me where is John since he isn't answering his phone and we're all going home, ok?" I tried as much as I could to resolve it peacefully, avoiding a confrontation between the two...that was the only way to find out. After I let Riley go, Cameron drove me home and went for John, the whole family arriving after about 3 hours back at their house. I decided not to greet them that day, as I tried to figure what was up with Cameron and her devotion to John...

- What happened? Cameron asked me, her gaze still locked into mine. My eyes were feeling heavier then the rest of the day, her embrace and her tender strokes on the side of my face keeping me awake and giving me the energy to go on with my journal. "I think we should stop for today, it's been a long day and I could use some rest." As tired as my body felt and my eyes heavy from not being able to sleep for some nights, I decided it would be best to try and rest. I slowly closed the space between us and placed a kiss on her petal lips, her embrace keeping my heart warm and my mind at peace allowing me to fall into the place where dreams are born...

Chapter 3

A happy new year and best wishes to all of those who read my fics and everyone on this fantastic Wiki. Your Romanian friend, Claude.

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