Fiction: Did He Know? (907 words)

23 Feb

Aurora sat alone in her room. She was always alone in her room—or almost always anyways—at least since her parents died. No that she minded too terribly much. She did have some access to the internet, and her father’s large collection of classic television, so she had plenty to amuse her time. The workers were nice enough to her, often bring her games or new movies to watch. And sometimes, when she was really lucky, John would come by.

John had been visiting Aurora since she was about six years old, even when her parents were still alive. He came because he figured that Aurora might like someone to call a friend who she wasn’t directly related to, and she wasn’t likely to meet a lot of people as long as she was under “observation” here—which was very likely to be for the rest of natural life. On top of that, he was the only international member of the team here, and he figured he was Aurora’s only chance to meet someone who wasn’t American. When she was young, she was enthralled by is accent, and would often come up with ridiculous things for him to say, just so she could giggle at the difference between the way they would say it.

When her parents died, he was the only one who actually went in to  her room to comfort her, rather than just offering condolences. To hold her tightly and let her cry and treat her like the mourning twelve-year-old she was. And when she started to develop her “moods,” they always called John in to talk to her, and get her into a better mood.  He had been a good friend to her. And a surrogate father in the last seven years since she lost her real family.

But she had never asked for him to be brought to her before. Today, though, she needed to know if he knew. She needed to know if she had been so thoroughly betrayed. And if she hadn’t, if he didn’t know, she needed to warn him.

She went to the wall where she knew the door was, and knocked against it sharply. “Excuse me. I would like to see John please. If someone could get him, I’d appreciate it.” She called out.  There was no response.  She waited a few minutes to see if someone would answer her, but she didn’t expect them too. Finally, she crossed back to her bed and sat down. She’d give them a little while to bring him, and if they didn’t, she knew how to fake a hissy fit and get them to fetch him themselves.

Luckily, she didn’t have to resort to that measure. About an hour after she had knocked on the door, it opened just a crack, just enough to see a brown eye peeking in at her. She laughed in spite of herself, and John came into the room, all wide smiles. If they knew she’d figured it out—they hadn’t warned him. “You wanted to see me?” He questioned dropping into the chair that was meant for her desk.

“Yeah,” She scooted to the end of her bed so that she could look him in the eye, “Do you know?”

She saw his confusion, still amused, wondering what kind of game she was playing now. “Do I know what?”

“About my parents. Do you know?”

He didn’t stiffen, or panic. But the amusement was gone. He knew she didn’t like to talk about her parents. He didn’t understand what she was playing at. “What are you going on about?”

He didn’t know. She’d never felt so relieved in his life. She closed her eyes and counted to three, before opening them to look at John. He looked at her quizzically before his eyes widened. “You’re getting stronger, aren’t you?” He asked quickly, “Stronger than you’re letting them believe.”

“Yes,” she answered simply, “But that’s not what I needed to know if you knew.”

“What then?”

“My parents died in a car crash. But it was not an accident. My parents wanted to pull me out of here, thinking these people were going to do me more harm than good. And they died because of it.” She informed him blankly. “I am stronger than they know, and they are going to suffer for that.”

“Aurora. No. Don’t do anything rash.” John said softly. She believed that he actually had her best interest at heart—he wasn’t just trying to save this company—he cared for her. But—she’d made up her mind, and that was that.

“Leave, John. Get out of here before breakfast. After all this is said and done, maybe I’ll come find you. But if you stay.” She gave a little shrug like saying it wasn’t her fault what happened.

John nodded slowly. She’d been out of control her whole life. It was time for her to be in charge. He hadn’t known about he parents, but he wasn’t surprised. “I’ll leave,” he said quietly, “If you promise that you’ll come and find me. Promise me.”

Aurora didn’t even have to consider it. After all, who else did she have? “I promise.”

John stood to leave and Aurora closed her eyes again. No one would know they had this conversation. Now, he just had to act normal until he got out of the building. Aurora would take care of the rest.

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Posted by on February 23, 2017 in Stories


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