Chased by the Past
Part VI: Voices in My Head
It was still raining a bit so by the time I got to the house my clothes were soggy. I’d yanked up my hood but it didn’t make much difference. It night time so everyone was probably asleep, which meant I could sneak back inside and not have to deal with the Allen fallout until the morning. I opened and closed the door carefully and walked into the kitchen to grab some water. Someone was already in the room though. Sanjay turned, immediately letting out a sigh of relief when he saw me.
“Midnight snack?” I asked.
“I stayed up waiting for you,” he replied, crossing his arms. He was obviously still annoyed at me. “Tried to look for you before dinner, but couldn’t find you.”
“I’m fine,” I shrugged.
“You’re really going to stick to that line?” he sighed.
“I just needed to get out of the house, get some fresh air,” I lied, walking over to the sink to pour a glass of water. Although I would’ve preferred alcohol at this point.
“Thanks to you we almost had a live radiation bomb go off. Caroline and Sage got Allen calmed down though,” Sanjay explained.
“Wait, what?” I said, turning to look at him.
“Allen’s power is radiation based,” Sanjay replied.
“Shit,” I muttered. “Well, he was asking for it, what he did-”
“What exactly did he do? Sage said they were just arguing,” Sanjay said, frowning. I hesitated, Sage hadn’t told any of them? I guess they would do that, they were far nicer than I was.
“It’s not important,” I said, taking a drink. “Sorry,” I repeated, looking at Sanjay. “For earlier,” I clarified.
“What happened Jaeger?” he asked, his tone practically pleading with me to open up.
“It’s not important,” I gritted my teeth.
“It clearly was,” he murmured.
“I just-” I cut myself off and muttered a curse. “Look, you’re better off not knowing anything about me. That’s why I’ve not told you or anyone else anything.”
“That’s a terrible excuse.” He hesitated and reached a hand, placing it on my shoulder. “You can trust me.” I pulled away from him, because I could hear truth in the words – but I could never return that trust.
“It’s late, we should get some sleep.” And like that I pushed him away again. I left the kitchen and went to our bedroom, not hanging around to hear any objections. I could tell we were both struggling to fall asleep but eventually sleep arrived, and with it the same nightmares I’d been struggling with since I was thirteen.
The white hallways felt tighter somehow. I could feel the weight of a gun in my young hand. Gunfire sounded nearby and I dived into echo. I couldn’t do anything though, there was interference that made it seem like I was in a vast open space one second and cramped hole another. I yanked myself out. I took deep steadying breaths.
“Time’s almost up Julie,” a voice murmured in my brain. “You know what you need to do. It’s you or them.”
“No,” I whispered but my arm was lifted on it’s own. The boy ran towards me first, eye wide. I felt the pressure give slowly as I pressed down on the trigger. Then with a loud bang it released.
“Well done Julie, you’re showing potential.” The voice laughed, making me shudder. “So much potential,” he whispered, his tone changing. I turned but I was no longer in the white corridors. It was a hotel room, plush carpets and curtains. Satin red bed covers.
“My name’s Jaeger,” I whispered.
“Right, of course. How old are you again, Jaeger?” a male voice asked right being me. I could feel a hand brushing along my back, slowly reaching round to my front.
“Fifteen,” I murmured. I screamed at myself to run, keep running and never look back. He had me locked in place though, his powers freezing my nerve circuits before I could attempt to leave.
“You’re old enough then.”
“No,” I yelled, forcing myself awake. My body was soaked with sweat, as were the sheets. My body shivered from the cold air. The Darkness inside felt cloying so I stood up and left, going out to the garden. The automatic lights came on as I walked to the poolside. I heard footsteps behind me and for a moment I thought he had somehow followed me into the waking world. When I turned however it was Sanjay. I quickly turned away, not wanting him to see me like this. Shaking, scared, almost goddamn crying. Why did I remember that now? Was it because of my time spent with Harley? No, that was consensual. Perhaps seeing Kellen again was bringing back all sorts of things I’d kept locked away.
“Jaeger, what’s wrong?” he asked, walking towards me.
“Nothing I can’t handle,” I threw back, annoyed by his persistence. His footsteps paused and I glanced over my shoulder. I could see he was lost in thought, deciding what to do next. I faced the swimming pool again.
“You were talking in your sleep,” he murmured behind me. I spun, eyes wide, what had I said?
“Just forget whatever you heard,” I said.
“Who’s Ace?” Sanjay asked, frowning. I gripped my hands into fists. Sanjay didn’t know who he was but if he were to go digging he’d soon enough find an answer.
“He’s no one,” I lied. I immediately bit my lower lip; I’d just revealed he was a man and made it easier to find out who he was. “Just some dick I knew,” I said through gritted teeth, keeping my head down.
“I need to go shower,” I said, breaking the tension and walking back into the house. Sanjay didn’t follow me, maybe he’d finally given up.