“Miss Anna, you need to run.” Anna whipped around to see the woman nicknamed “Grandmother,” Anna’s genetic identical from two attempts ago, now in her early fifties and an interesting insight into Anna’s own future.
“Oh, Grandmother, you startled me.” Anna smiled, putting her coat down on the back of her desk chair, “Was I supposed to be expecting you?”
“No,” Grandmother crossed the room and closed the door tight, “And no one can know I was here. You and Timothy have been determined a success, and I know what’s coming now. You need to run before it does.” It took Anna a second to process that Grandmother was serious. She noticed the bag in the older woman’s hand. She’d already packed for Anna.
“I don’t understand,” Anna replied, but she was already reaching to put back on her coat.
“I know, and I’m sorry, but there isn’t time to make you understand. I’ve written out as much as I can for you.” She indicated to the bag as she slid it into Anna’s free hand.
“But, Timothy…”Anna started, but Grandmother was already shaking her head.
“He was given his choice. He turned your mother in. She’s dead because Timothy chose them over a woman who is your genetic identical, a woman who carried you both to full term. Do you think that is unlike him?”
Anna wanted to deny it. She wanted to swear loyalty to her brother the way they had trained her to do and to insist that he couldn’t have done that. But she knew better. “Are you coming with me?”
“I can’t. I’ll just slow you down. Besides, I can do you more good by staying here, helping to cover your tracks, and buying you as much time as possible.” Anna understood that too, so she just stepped forward and kissed Grandmother on the cheek. Anna knew she’d never see her again. Grandmother held her tightly by the upper arms for a second. It was the closest they’d ever gotten to a proper hug in this place. “Your mother wanted to call you Lydia. Of course they wouldn’t let her, we’ll all Annas. But if you need to change your name out there…”
“Lydia,” Anna smiled, “I can work with that.” Grandmother let her go, and Anna opened the door and disappeared down the dark hall, wondering what she was going to do next.