“Who made you?”
Elijah still hesitated. A little bit of fear began to seep in, the realization that he was trapped. Tell him? Only a hint.
“Unknown,” Elijah said. The man tilted his head up.
“Clarify,” he asked.
“If you have any ideas, suspicions, you can tell me.”
“You’ve been studying biochemistry since college, you’re head of one of the largest chemical manufacturers, and you have no suspicions, no guesses?”
Elijah scratched the back of his neck. He shook his head. Don was right.
“What’s your end game here?” he asked.
“We’re on our way stateside. When we get there, I hope to send you on your way to Wilmington, of course only with the assurance this will all remain confidential.”
“Are you -,” Elijah paused. “Are you telling me you are going to let me go?”
“For the time being.”
Elijah shifted. “Ok.”
“Tell me everything you know about your…capability.”
Six hours later he was walking from the airport. And it had not been 48 hours before when he had been sitting in LaGuardia, on the phone with his lawyer, Don. He hadn’t been happy about Elijah’s trip to India. Not well timed, he claimed.
“Yeah, you’ve told me this all before,” Elijah had said. He shook his head as he listened. “Don, Don, listen, you’re paranoid. There are three people in my life who know, and two of them are dead.”
“Is that a fact?” Don asked.
“It’s not fantasy.”
“You know what’s not fantasy? You taking a public plane. You have a jet. It would be a lot safer.”
“I’m not going to get kidnapped.”
“It would be the best place for the Correlation to do it, better than in the States.”
“If they even know I exist.”
“They most likely do.”
“Will you do something for me, Don?”
“Yeah, what is it?”
“Take a sedative.”
Then Elijah had hung up. If. If. It wasn’t that any longer. Now Elijah zipped up his hoody as he walked outside; it wasn’t chilly, it was a late summer evening. The sun had just fallen over the cusp of the horizon. There were stars out. He hailed a cab easily, and they started on a twenty minute drive to the city.
He leant his head back and closed his eyes, as the dark and the quiet of the car settled in. He felt himself starting to doze, only the soreness in his arms and back kept him from falling asleep. But still his mind drifted, as streetlights drifted past them on the highway.
You’ll be hearing from us soon. That’s what they told him. And he had told them everything in return. Everything he knew about himself. All those years, no one knew, just Done. But that was only out of necessity when he accidentally found out one day.
You never told me. He could hear Adrian’s voice in his head, the first figment of a dream. He found himself answering too. I’ve wanted to tell you. All the time I tell you. I just…I can never…
“Did you hear that? I’m sure your glad you’re not flying now.” Elijah jerked up when the taxi driver spoke. He hadn’t noticed, but the radio had been droning on quietly.
“What?” Elijah asked. “I – I didn’t hear it.”
“A plane went down over Africa, or somewhere over there,” he answered. He continued, but as he did Elijah didn’t listen. He leaned back again.
Everyone I know thinks I’m dead. The Correlation knows that, and that’s why they let me go. I am dead.
Elijah didn’t speak and didn’t sleep the rest of the way. Soon after they entered the city, the taxi pulled up along the apartment building. City lights and city noise formed a mad backdrop around them. Elijah hardly noticed. He paid the man his tip and hurried up to the doors.
The taxi drove away and Elijah hesitated. He could see that the front lobby was empty, except the clerk at the desk and the janitor mopping down the already immaculate floors. Elijah knew them both by name. Do they think I’m dead? I hope not.
He walked up and opened the doors. He greeted the janitor who nodded and Elijah continued to the desk. He said that he had lost his key, which was true enough. She gave him a supplement, and he managed to give an excuse why he was back so soon.
They don’t know I’m dead.