How I met hope - Chapter 3

(Continued from Chapter 2)

It was a spring's day, we were sitting on a small blanket in a valley surrounded by tall trees. I couldn't see anything behind their thick branches, only a small river peacefully making it's way through them and going past the large tree in the middle of our valley. We were laying on our backs on the small blanket, she was at my left, holding my now normal hand and squeezing it involuntarily when she was laughing at my humor attempts regarding the strange-shaped clouds above our heads. Her laughter suddenly came to an end as she shifted so she could lay on her side facing me. "What if the war would have never started? Would you still loved me the way you do now? After I saved your life?" She started to squeeze my hand very hard, her questions still going, her blank voice sending shivers down my spine. "Would have still loved me the same even if you knew I was a machine? A failed try at creating life from a spark of metal? The replica of a dead girl? WOULD YOU STILL LOVE ME ANDY?" As I tried to release my hand from her grip, I could almost hear my bones crushing under her small fingers, after finally getting my hand free, crying out in pain, I could see the small river that was so peaceful moments before was now turning into a fiery red, the trees through which it was flowing starting to burn. Everything was turning to ashes and scorched surfaces, only she was still serene, still perfect, slowly approaching me. The white dress she was wearing catched on fire and slowly diminishing along with her beautiful outer shell, her chrome innards revealing to me. I was reaching for the burning trees as I was trying to get away from her, never turning my back. There was nowhere left to go, I was trapped, the only thing coming closer to me was her. As I felt on my knees, crying in pain from my hand and seeing the most beautiful thing that ever happened to me shifting to how she looked the first time she saw the world was too much for me. She reached her hand to me, her chrome fingers glowing in the fiery red..."Would you still love me?"

YES! I cried out as I regained consciousness. She was still holding me in her embrace, never changing ever since I fell asleep. "What happened?" The concern in her voice reminding of the nightmare I just had...was it really a nightmare? "I had a bad dream...I'm...I'm sorry." In a strange way, I was looking for her forgiveness, for her solace... She didn't say a thing, she knew what I dreamed about yet somehow she never said anything...she knew that my love for her is unconditional. I shifted in an upright position to get a closer look at the clock, it was 5 AM in the morning. I couldn't sleep very much that night, only 5 hours and 32 minutes as Cameron later informed me. She sat with her head on my chest all the time while I was asleep, listening to the beatings of my heart as she once said to me that it brings her pleasure to listen to the steady feel how my chest travels up and down so it can breathe. This way she felt human, she confessed to me the very same heart becoming breathing becoming hers...I complete her and she completes me.

Enthusiastically she broke the silence between us. "Today we will be able to see the sun setting again, the purifying machines almost completed their process." I decided to respond in kind as this was going to be the first time after a long time when we'll be able to watch the sun set again. "I'm eager to watch it...I miss the way you look into the golden aura of the setting sun."

It was almost 7 AM when I finally decided to climb out of the bed, the time till then being consumed showing our affection towards eachother. She was special, she had choice, her choice of saving me from Judgment Day and the assassination attempts, her choice of loving me unconditionally, her choice of telling me what she was for John in the future she came from. She is a marvel, she is different, she loves me...

As I was putting my jumpsuit and preparing to leave the small room we called home I informed her of my desire to get some vegetables for breakfast. As she was sitting on our bed wih only the sheets to keep her modest, she gave me a small nodd followed by a beaming smile and the reassurance that she won't go anywhere.

Kacy was checking her mail when I noticed through my kitchen's windows that she isn't feeling so well. I went out to her, see if everything's alright and to offer my help. The dark blue Jeep stopped near us and Sarah opened her door to see if everything's alright. From Kacy's words I could tell it's only her pregnancy pains so I just decided it's better to leave this matter to the girls as I did not knew much about it. "Give me a call if there's anything wrong." It's all I managed to tell them before Kacy shut the door from Sarah's Jeep and headed down to the hospital. I went inside, my cooking skills were getting better with the time as I expanded my knowledge of recipes beyond fried eggs with bacon. A sudden, desperate knocking at my door made me jump in my seat as I was reading a recipe book. I opened the door and John was looking desperate.

"She's gone"

"What do you mean she's gone? *Who* is gone?"

After stepping through the front door and going straight to the couch in my living room, John informed me of what happened.

"Cameron. I was supposed to get some things from Radio World and meet her in a half hour near a supermarket."

His voice was starting to sound more desperate as we were speaking.

"And? Did you went at the supermarket? Maybe she's still there, maybe she met with a friend or I don't know..."

"She doesn't have any friends...and she never did anything like this. I have to find her, Mom would kill me...she might actually kill her."

I went looking for my sneakers, still trying to understand why he said she has no friends. After finding my sneakers, John and I climbed into his pick-up with apparently no destination.

"Where should we look first?"

I turned my head over to John and with an ironic tone I replied to him.

"Well at the supermarket! Hell of a brother you are..." I could almost see him smile at my remark yet there still was something more to the bond he had with her.

We entered the supermarket in an effort to find her or any sign of her. I saw an employee putting some watermellons back into their stand and a curious, bald man waiting for him to finish so he could pass by. John was still in my back, studying the surroundings. "John." I called for him in a whispering tone, as if we were two little kids snooping around in the wrong place. I didn't even managed to turn back to see if he's still there as he brushed past me, rushing to the bald, curious man from seconds ago.

"What happened here?"

Almost laughing, the bald man decided to reply.

"Some girl totally wigged out."

"What do you mean wigged out?"

"She was on drugs or something...she couldn't even remember her own name."

John's face almost brighten up as he seemed to know this was a sign of her.

"What did she look like?"

"I guess like 16 or 17, brown hair maybe like 5'6"."

"Where is she now?"

"Cops took her."

He didn't need any other words from him, he knew where she was. He signaled me and we both headed for the front door, the curious man now watching us in a suspicious manner as we left . We got into the pick-up, heading for the police precinct. On the way there we spent about 30 minutes in traffic, John's face filling with sorrow more and more as we approached the precinct. No words could leave my mouth during our little trip, I knew there was something going on with her and they apparently meant a lot more to eachother rather than just brother and sister.

I decided to stay outside and wait for John to go in and find or ask about Cameron, I couldn't see John like this, somehow, somewhere...deep inside of me I was feeling the same way as he did only difference between us being that I wasn't showing it. I wasn't knowing her for a long time, only a few weeks, casually exchanging heart pumping everytime she looked in my direction...and the ride she gave me through town to find her brother. Why is it that everytime I get to see the town I'm searching for one of them? If only my bond with my sister would have been this strong and she wouldn't have left me all alone...

Almost releaved, John told me she left with some Jody girl.

"Is that it? Won't help us very much I guess..."

"He also said she usually hangs out on the boulevard."

"What boulevard?"

"Van Nuys"

"Where would that be?"

Being a bit amused by my questions, John started to laugh at me and decided to tease me further.

"Do you even get out of your house?"

I let him go further with his questions, he was amused by my knowledge I had about LA...or I didn't had. A small joke here and there won't hurt nobody, especially after he was visibly concerned the whole day about his sister.

"Well, I go to work, I come home, I often go to Kacy and to you guys. Actually I only came by two times at you guys, one time everyone looked at me like I wasn't from Earth and the other time I had to look for you through half of the town. Oh and Trevor took me twice at the shooting range."

John was starting to be interested by my explanation and asked me what weapons I aimed down the range with.

"Don't you think we should have this talk some other time? When we're not looking for your sister?"

Suddenly, John's face turned from the amused grin he had moments ago to a concerned look as he turned the keys that brought the pick-up's engine back to life only this time heading back to the boulevard we came from in the first place.

We were walking down the boulevard as we were trying to find someone who knew this...Jody. John was asking every person that was near us if they knew Jody...his frustration visibly increasing with every person we asked till his phone suddenly beeped. It was Sarah, his mom.

"Hey...nothing...Cameron and I are she okay?...Listen Mom, I have to go...I love you too."

I didn't asked him why he lied to his Mom, that would have probably piss him off even more then he already was. As we passed by a food court I suggested we should ask there too.

Desperation took over John as he almost shouted in the middle of the food court.

"Anybody here know a Jody?"

I was a bit shocked when someone finally answered us.

"Yeah yeah, I know her." We both turned to the african-american teenager as he finally gave John a bit of hope. "Yeah, she was here earlier with some other chick." John leaned over the teenager's table aggressively.

"Do you know where she went?"

"No. But she often hangs out at this halfway house on Yucca."

As John sat back from the table he was leaning on and thanking the youth we took the pick-up and headed for the halfway house. We had to ask a few pedestrians for guidance to the house but we managed to finally park our pick-up next to it.

"You should go alone, she's your sister, I just came with you cause you asked and frankly, I really needed a ride through the town. But as I said, she's your sister and your issue. Come on, just go, I'll be here."

John got out of the car with saying anything, he was probably grateful that I was somehow understanding his frustration. A few months ago my sister left me too...the only difference between she and Cameron being the fact that she left me consciously and without any breadcrumbs to follow. As John was preparing to enter through the opened door of the halfway house, his body came to a halt, he sat there for a few good seconds before finally entering just to be escorted back a few minutes later by a guard.

He slammed the door hard before grabbing the steering wheel as if he was about to rip it out from it's socket and placed his forehead in a resting position on it.

"She didn't even know who I am and what she is..."

His voice was barely more then a whisper, as if he was talking only to himself.

"I don't...I..."

I couldn't say anything. I had experience with painful events as I had my share but this was different...she was different...

"Do you want to go home?" John probably assumed this was too much for me but I reassured him.

"What? No, I'll stay here, it's okay. She means..." I suddenly stopped thinking out loud as John was looking at me with surprise and hurt in his eyes.

"She means what?"

"I...I kind of..." I couldn't say it, this wasn't the right time nor place.

" her?" John finished my sentence with his own question but I couldn't say anything, I was just looking at him, wondering how did he figured it so fast.

"How can you like her after this? After she dragged you for hours in the search for me? How can you still think you like her after I just said she didn't even knew who I am." His voice was rising with every word he spoke, his tone almost threatening.

"John I...I don't...we can't have this talk, not now"

I pointed my finger for him to see Cameron as she was leaving the halfway house together with Jody.

"We'll talk about this later, we have to follow her, I don't want to search for her on countless boulevards and food courts and you probably think the same."

I didn't had to say anything else as he started the engine and started to follow the bus in which the two girls climbed into.

The sun was setting down when they finally got down from the bus near a suburb. We followed them at a good distance so they won't take notice of our presence. They stopped at a house painted in a pale-yellow and so did we. The blonde girl named Jody was searching in different places as if looking for a key. How can they leave their keys like this beats me, I thought, no one had this habit at home, probably because we didn't really had so many safe suburbs. I could almost hear the crack that door made when Cameron forcely opened it.

"What the hell?!" I still couldn't figure how she opened the door like that...and so easy. I quickly opened the door and jumped out of the car, heading towards them when John grabbed my arm and stopped my steps.

"What are YOU doing? They're BREAKING-IN! Let me go...let me go damn it, do you want to see your sister again in the next few months? Probably years?!" I shouted at him, trying to make him realize what he was doing.

"JUST the car, I'll handle it....get in the car...please."

"Fine, just don't expect to find her me here if the police shows up."

He made sure I climbed back in the pick-up and took the keys. After closing my door and his, he activated the alarm from the remote on his key, locking the doors at the same time. I bashed my fist into the window and tried to shout at him. He couldn't hear me nor see me as he already turned his back on me and entered the house.

"What the wrong with these people? What...why..."

I couldn't finish the sentence that was leaving my mouth and Cameron suddenly got out followed by a rushing John. He pressed a button and the doors opened again. Cameron climbed onto the back seat and placed herself in the middle after John got on the driver seat and started the engine.

I turned to John and shouted at him seeing Cameron with the corner of my eye.

"What the hell was that and where's that blonde? AND WHY DID YOU LOCKED THE DOORS?"

John turned at me as he was almost preparing to punch me but Cameron intrerupted our fight.

"She ran away, she wanted to leave me there."

I didn't said anything, I didn't wanted to risk another argument, I just silently turned my look in front and John started the engine...heading for home.

We were back on the boulevard. John decided to take this way as the traffic was lighter thus allowing us to get home faster...none of us said a word ever since we left the suburbs, our silence only to be disturbed by Cameron whilst our pick-up stopped in an intersection, waiting for the green-light.

"That was my last get out of jail-free."

John didn't said anything, only turned his look towards me...his rage from earlier gone. We both turned to see Cameron as she was sitting there like she didn't said anything, blankly.


I could almost feel the frustration and fury in his words, it was understandable, she gave us quite the headache that day. After turning back to the road we saw the green-light and John throttled the engine as the pick-up started to move again.

I was watching her in the rearview mirror...she was watching me at the same time. I was thankful that her innocence hasn't left her just as her memory did for some time today.

"Where did you get that necklace?"

"I got it at this awesome thrash store in Eco-Park."

"It's pretty..."

I turned my eyes towards the road ahead of us again, the pick-up arriving at the small road which led into our yard a few moments later. John didn't stopped the car at my house, instead he parked it in front of his home. I climbed down the truck and headed to open Cameron's door, John's eyes never watching anywhere except of me.

After Cameron climbed down and closed the door, I turned my back to leave, the only words leaving my mouth were for John.

"We have a lot to talk about, John."

I didn't said goodbye or good night, instead I just headed for my home.

"Close journal entry AF No. 2, auto-biography."

"It's almost the time."

"Should I take the camera?"

"There will be other occasions, let's just enjoy ourselves, shall we?"

I placed a tender kiss on her brow and we both left the quarters and headed down the hallway to reach the HK pad. John managed to get us an HK modified to fit passengers. It's engines were already heating up as we climbed through the rear hatch and strapped ourselves in. Cam entered the coordinates in the board console and the HK's rudimentary and metallic voice confirmed it. The flight to Griffith Park didn't last more then 10 minutes...we ordered the HK to power down and wait for us as we headed towards a small parking lot. We could see the whole west side of Los Angeles...or what was left from it. There were only two things that didn't changed from the last time we were here, the sun and she. She looked perfect into the golden light, enhancing every beautiful feature of her figure. We were both locked into each others embrace, no words were needed to express the feelings I have for her, she knew them only by looking into my eyes. The gap between us faded and our lips met, her petite fingers playing with my hair as we kissed. She suddenly stopped as if something was bothering her...her gaze locked at the necklace she gave me before the war.

"What is it? What happened? Tell me, please."

"What if the war would have never started? Would you still loved me the way you do now? After I saved your life?"

""Would have still loved me the same even if you knew I was a machine?"

Her words were the same as in my dream, only her sweet voice was changed, it was merely a whisper. I cupped her cheeks with both of my hands and lifted her look so she could face me..."I love you not because you saved my life, I love you because of what you become, you are more then a machine my love, you are a are diffe..." I couldn't finish my words as she gently placed a finger on my lips and with her other hand she grabbed my hair and pulled me into another kiss..."Thank you..." were the only words she whispered to me that day. We both faced the setting sun as it disappeared, only a few stars could be seen shining through the thick clouds that remained to remember of the war.

(Chapter 4)

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