“Who are you?”
The words blinked back at him on the screen. Jake dropped the phone onto the table, leaned back in his chair and rubbed his eyes. Three little words, that’s all they were, a simple question and yet he had no idea how to respond.
Where would he even begin? What could he say that wouldn’t send her running for the hills? He had to continue with the deception that he had been reluctant to begin in the first place. It had been necessary hadn’t it? At least that’s what he had been told. She couldn’t know straight away who he was, she wouldn’t understand, wouldn’t believe him. How could she? She hadn’t lived the life he had; she didn’t know what it was like. She’d been taken before she was old enough to remember.
He hadn’t lied to her; just let her assumptions about him go uncorrected. He knew though, that he wouldn’t lie to her, if she asked he would tell her. Because he couldn’t lie to her, or to anyone for that matter, he hadn’t been made that way. That alone made him wonder why he had been picked for this, deception was an alien concept to him, they had made certain of that.
Jake picked up the phone. “Meet me later. Usual place. Same time.” he typed and sent the message.
He would know what to do when he saw her. He always knew how it would go as soon as he laid eyes on her, it would appear in his head like a story board, just as they had told him it would. He’d watch her arrive from across the road as always and he would know as soon as he saw her how he was meant to continue. He had no choice, he had to do what he saw, another drawback of the programme he had agreed to be part of. He would leave if it was meant to be, it would be hard, he’d grown to love her in his own way, but if that’s what he was shown and it was what he had to do to protect her then he would do it. He’d always known there was a possibility he wouldn’t be allowed to see this through. He wondered briefly if there was any way he could fight it, but brushed the thought aside as he knew if there was surely they would have told him, it was paramount to her safety.
What if the others had already found her? Then what? Why else would she suddenly be asking who he was? Because “Who are you?” was a question she should be asking herself. If the others had her they would have told her about him and about herself. She had no idea who she really was and it was up to him to protect her from that knowledge for as long as he could. If the others got to her first and told her why she was so important it could be catastrophic!