Waking Up

After issues that were never resolved during The Cold War, and all nuclear bombs are detonated across the globe, only four teenagers are left alive-or so they think. Secrets that the US government wished to keep hidden are unearthed as these four travel across the country to save the world. When all is said and done, will there be peace-or will a war be raged on these heroes?

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5. Trauma in the Hyatt

 

People S A Maxwell. Colonel Denton. Owen. Suzanne. Corey.

Relation: Federal Agent, Federal Employee, and Friends.

Location: New York, New York. Hyatt Hotel

When: 15 days after Cure distribution.

 

Special Agent Maxwell POV

As they walked away from Mae-Lynn and her friend, I made my excuses to Colonel Denton that I wanted to coordinate with local police over security issues, instead I turned and headed back towards the Hyatt Hotel I wanted to see Owen while I had the chance, I had a few things to tell him and a question I hoped the young lad would say yes to.

 

Corey's POV

I ran after Mae when I saw her leave so quickly, I realized that something must be wrong she wouldn't just leave like that in the middle of delivering the vaccine. 

 

In the hours I'd spent watching her do that; she had been the happiest I've seen her in the short time I've known her.

 

I had her in sight the whole time I was running trying to catch up, I even called out to her, but she didn't answer, did that mean she hadn't heard him or was she ignoring me?

 

I lost track of her all of a sudden, she was there and then she wasn't- I didn't know what to do next, should I let her go, maybe she would rather be by herself. 

 

No! I had to keep going I thought to myself, when I caught up with her I'd ask her what she wanted to do if she did want to be alone I'd respect that but I had to find her first.

 

As I turned the corner I saw her enter the hotel and ran into the lobby after her I couldn't see her so I assumed she was already on an elevator up to her floor so I got on the next one when I got to her room he knocked, but there was no answer then I remembered I had been holding on to her room key while she was working.

 

I considered whether or not to just let myself in, I decided to just pop my head round the door and have a quick look I was surprised to find no one was there so I called her name thinking she might be in the bathroom, but after several calls, still I got no answer. 

 

I stepped inside and called out to her again, still no answer. I was starting to worry, I'd seen her get on the elevator, so where did she go.

 

I thought to myself that I was probably worrying too much, ok so I don't know what upset her but if I had to guess I'd say it would be something to do with her mom.

 

It occurred to him that maybe Mae had realized that she didn't have her room key so she'd gone down to reception or maybe gone to my room to wait for me.

 

As I came out of Mae's room I saw Owen and Suzanne walking towards me. They were looking at me and Anne had that look on her face she always got when she was trying to keep a secret, she had been better at hiding it from their mom and dad, than she ever was from me.

 

I could always tell, just like I can never lie to her or keep a secret from her just one of those unique twin things we shared.

 

I looked at them and remembered that I had intended to make amends with Owen, I woke up in the morning definitely going to do that but somehow hadn't gotten round to it. I met them in the middle of the hallway, Owen stepped away from Anne when they came to a stop, and ran his hand through his hair.

 

"Hey have you guys seen Mae?" I said ignoring Owen's off putting body language. He was nervous, that much was obvious but what about?

 

"I thought she was with you?" Owen accused. "What happened?"

 

"I don't know. She was giving out the vaccine, showing a nurse how to prepare it and then she bolted. I followed her here and lost her in the elevator."

 

"How the hell do you lose someone in an elevator?" Anne asked.

 

"I don't know."

 

"What do you mean you don't know, did you lose her in the tiny room with only one way in or not." Owen asked sarcastically.

 

"Look smart ass. I didn't actually lose her in the elevator, I just assumed she got on the elevator when she came in, but if she did she didn't go straight to her room so I'm not sure where to look."

 

"Uh, guys what are you talking about? I hope it's nothing about me." I turned and saw Mae a key in hand. I let out a nervous laugh,

 

"You had me worried. Are you okay?"

 

"The nurse looked like my mom. I'm sorry if I worried you Corey. Oh I ran into SA Maxwell. I said I lived here on the tenth floor. He wants to speak with Owen."

 

"Me? Why?"

 

"I don't know. He said he's staying in room 1045A on the tenth floor. Just give him a visit, he sounds like a nice man."

 

"Alright, then I will see you all later." Owen waved goodbye to Anne and Mae and entered an elevator.

 

"Mae, are you sure you're okay?"

 

"Corey, I'm fine, honest. I just want to be left alone for a bit." Mae walked into her room and closed and locked the door.

 

"Hey I'm sure she's fine." Anne tried to comfort me.

 

"Yea, I'm sure she is." I said not even really convincing myself but I didn't really want to discuss it especially with Anne while I felt there was something she wasn't telling me, so I just turned and walked off towards my own room. 

 

Anne called out to me as I walked away.

 

"Hey bro, err can we get something to eat in your room there's something I need to tell you and I know you, you'll take, what I'm sure you're going think is bad news or a bad idea and I know you take bad news better on a full stomach and I want you to hear it from me and I really want you to be okay with it."

 

"Err, okay 'sis' but when did you start calling me bro."

 

"Oh I don't know the words just fell out of my mouth, anyway shut up, who made you the grammar police?" Anne replied with a sigh at her brothers usual habit of turning something she said around to have a little fun at her expense. 

 

"No one, I appointed myself."

 

I answered with a smile on my face, feeling the most at ease with my sister I'd felt since she got back from being a mutant zombie thing.

 

Hopefully it means the reluctance I've felt about being near her has started to lift that thought ran through my mind and I further thought I need to make it go as I can't bear the thought of not having little Suzy in my life. 

 

"Look sure It would be great to have dinner together, I don't really understand it but I think I've been avoiding you since you came back and it doesn't make sense. I should have been so excited to get you back you're the only family I've got left and we're a lot closer than a lot of brothers and sisters.I was scared to be around you and I kinda hate myself for feeling that."

 

"I know what it is Cor, you feel some kind of guilt about what happened to me, but I don't understand why."

 

Anne moved in closer to take her brother's hand as she said to him.

 

"It's silly you didn't do anything wrong I was gone, or at least I was turning and there was no way you could have helped me and I wouldn't have wanted to hurt you.You're right we're close and sure it's not like we don't ever fight or just get on each others nerves from time to time, but you're my brother and I love you I'm glad you left, if you'd stayed and I had hurt you or Owen or Mae-Lynn and then I had gotten back to normal I wouldn't have wanted that on my conscience."

 

I hugged my sister tighter than I've done in a long time probably ever and tears began to well up in my eyes.

 

"Thanks sis, okay can we eat now all that emotional stuff has left me hungry."

 

"Gee, what doesn't make you hungry?"

 

As they finished eating, as ever I stole the fries off of Suzy's plate when she wasn't looking.

 

We'd talked a lot in that time mostly about old times and mom and dad and school and growing up, but neither of us talking about the thing that was weighing on our minds.

 

Until Suzy was finally about to start telling me about her and Owen, but I interrupted her at the mention of his name I got angry I know it doesn't make sense after all I had woken up all set to forgive him for what happened but now I hated him again, well at least I think I did.

 

"I just don't get it how you can let it go. What Owen did was unforgivable."

 

"Really you think it was unforgivable, well if I can forgive him then you should be able to as well. I know you Corey you're not usually one to hold a grudge," Suzanne said while popping a fry into her mouth.

 

"Yeah well, no one's ever killed my sister before so this is all new territory for me," I replied. With an angry tone to my voice.

 

"Do you think you'll ever be able to forgive him?"

 

"Oh I don't know, maybe one day I could who knows, but why do you care it's not like we're going to be joined at the hip forever so why do you care if I ever forgive him or not."

 

"Because I have I talked to him a lot today so I know at heart he's a good guy what he did was to save the three of you and it could have driven him crazy trying to cope with it."

"Sorry am I suppose to sympathize with him and how bravely he overcame the trauma of having left you to die?"

 

 

I acknowledged the feelings that were brought up about my feelings toward my sister since she was brought back from the dead, or the undead whatever you call what she was.

 

"I just can't get the image of Owen getting Mae-Lynn to put the gun down that doomed you to being attacked and turned into one of those creatures. "

 

I saw out of the corner of my eye that Suzy was getting angry and upset as I was calling Owen a coward and a loser and a creep. Going on and on about how I wanted to leave him and get away from him for at least a little while.

 

I stopped ranting and apologized, but it was too late whatever she wanted to tell me, Suzy had decided she couldn't do it now, so she stood up and walked out of my room without saying another word.

 

With Suzy gone off angry at me I found I'd lost my appetite, I hated fighting with her and decided this was was all Owen's fault as well.

 

Still I didn't want to leave things between me and my sister like that so I went after her I went to her room and knocked but I wasn't that surprised to find that she wasn't answering.

 

This was beginning to feel like old times me outside Suzy's room trying to talk to her through the door to make up for whatever l'd done to upset her.

 

I sat down with my back to the door like I done at home many a time as were growing up and I just started talking.

 

By the time I stopped I was pouring my heart out and had started to cry as I talked about when I thought I'd lost my sister how I hadn't even begun to deal with that when she came back. As I tried to talk about Owen and promising to be nicer to him and that I would try to put that incident behind me and at the very least be civil towards him, I finally let go of something that I had been holding on to since the incident my own guilt and anger towards myself that I had just given up on my sister, that I should have known better than the others that she would survive.

 

As I was the one who had been there as a kid and seen her overcome meningitis and the fall from a tree that should have left her paralyzed from the waist down but after a lot of surgeries and months of physical therapy she was not only walking again but in training to get back on her schools athletics team.

 

"I was ashamed that I had just given up on you I should have known better that was part of the reason I couldn't really face you when you came back." As I finished I swore I wouldn't give up on her so easily again.

 

I was surprised that she had not opened the door by now it never usually took that long to get her to forgive me thanks to mom and dad who raised us to be more forgiving of others.

 

They had always taught us that was what our faith in God was about, that peace forgiveness and generosity of the spirit toward your fellow was the message we should take from the bible when they had us studying it.

 

They taught us to always focus on the acts of kindness and love that those were the aspects that would serve us best and make us better people.

 

Which was why I was surprised it had taken her more than the usual 10 minutes it took her to calm down and come out so then we'd go and eat ice cream or I would do something nice for her to prove I loved her and that I was sorry without actually having to say the word's I love you, which I had never been very good at.

 

Which she always teased me about, calling my inability to express emotion properly macho nonsense teasing me that I could never even write it in a birthday card for her or mom always putting an X or multiple X's as kisses or drawing a heart shape on the inside.

 

So I shouldn't have been surprised when the elevator door opened and Suzy stepped off finishing an ice cream cone. 

 

She were surprised and at first slightly puzzled as I burst out laughing at seeing her, until she figured out that I had spent the whole time opening up to an empty room. Then Suzy joined in and I felt better about how ridiculous that I felt about talking to the room door.

 

When we both finished laughing she invited me in and told me you'd just been for a walk around outside where she'd run into Mae and the two of them had gone to the reopening of a local ice cream shop.

 

That you left Mae at her room where she was going to go to bed.

 

I began to tell Suzy as I called her in private where she preferred to be called Anne in public believing it made her sound more grown up, but she was always Suzy to me. 

 

I had told her everything I had revealed to the door and she was about to open up to me when there was a knock on the door and Suzy answered it after seeing through the spy hole that it was Owen and he had Mae with him. 

 

Suzy and I went out into the hallway to see what he wanted, and it seemed despite my best intentions and everything I had promised to Suzy and her hotel room door, again I found that I was annoyed with Owen for interrupting my time with my sister.

 

A few hours earlier ------*-------

Owen exited the elevator and went in search for room 1045A. I found it and knocked three times. The door opened to reveal the man who had interrogated him earlier that morning. 

 

"Seriously. What the hell man." Owen cried. "You already shot me in the ass. What else do you want?" SA Maxwell eyed him curiously. His torso was bare and a towel was wrapped around his hips. He was perfectly sculpted and something that Mae would call 'Hot'. 

 

"Oh, hello to you to Owen." Maxwell turned so Owen could enter. "Thank you for coming. I didn't know Mae would find you so quickly, excuse me."

 

"You're  excused." Owen walked around the suite, it was relatively bare, something that I had come to expect from a guy who interrogated people under the damn Statue of Liberty for God's sake. Not even a picture of a mother, a father, or any siblings that Owen could tell. No friends. The guy didn't even have a gaming console. It was like being in a room of a robot.

 

"Sorry to keep you waiting. Have a seat. I was just about to make some tea, would you like some?"

 

"What kind you got?"

 

"Earl Grey, and Green."

 

"Earl Grey. So what is it that you wanted to ask me?"

 

"Oh uh yes, do you know what happened to Daniel Vargas?"

 

"Why do you want to know? And why did I have to be the one to give you the gory details? Mae was there too."

 

"Daniel was my cousin. He was Mae's boyfriend was he not? Don't you think it would be painful for Mae to retell what she knew?"

 

"He was my best friend. He died in the school because he had detention along with my girlfriend Nikki, but does anyone care about her? Does anyone ask how she died? NO they don't. It is always about Danny." Owen said bitterly.

 

"Alright what happened to Nikki?"

 

"She died! She fucking died because of the fucking nuclear apocalypse. I had to run her over to escape the only home I've ever known! The same with Danny! We didn't run him over but hey maybe he was eaten first!" Owen slammed the tea cup down and stormed out of the apartment suite. Special Agent Tyler Maxwell stood flabbergasted in his kitchen. He sat on the bar stool and picked up the only picture he had of his cousin, dead because of the damn war. I'd help Mae get her mom back, and I'd search for Daniel. I never left family behind, or not permanently. His phone rang and he picked up knowing it was Colonel Denton.

 

"Yes, sir?"

 

"Maxwell, where the hell are you?"

 

"Following a lead. Why?"

 

"You didn't report back to Command. I was worried."

 

"Sir I'm not your son. I'm fine I'll be in first thing in the morning."

 

"I hope this lead has nothing to do with Daniel Vargas." Maxwell looked up and saw Owen creep back into the suite, probably to apologize for his outburst. Owen sat in the seat he vacated and sipped his tea.

 

"Don't worry sir. Daniel Vargas is dead." Owen looked at Maxwell in shock, I showed no remorse in delivering the news of his cousin's demise. Maxwell ended the call and the tears came. "Danny is dead? Another victim of this cursed war."

 

"I'm sorry if I'd known what he did would land him in detention, I would've stopped him."

 

"What did I do?"

 

"Let's not soil his good name." Owen smiled at the memory of how Nikki and Danny had received their detentions.

 

 

'It was a sunny afternoon in Fort Meyers, like it always was. It was about two days before the apocalypse the four of them were gathered around the lunch table, two tables from the door, and five from the robots that patrolled during their lunch period. Daniel had shushed them and leaned in closer to the table;

 

"Okay the end of the year is comin' up, we need to prank the seniors!"

 

"The seniors, man are you crazy or just plain stupid?" Owen had asked,

 

"I don't know, I'm not stupid, I'm currently on the path to becoming valedictorian. Do you want to hear my plan or not?"

 

The three of them stared at Daniel as if I was actually crazy and conceded in listening to him.

 

 "Alright here's what we do," Owen had to admit, the plan was amazing, only something Daniel could come up with. The girls weren't thrilled about it, but Nikki agreed to help. The next day they had set up the prank. They had locked all the senior's lockers with alarm clocks inside. The clocks would go off in between periods. They weren't expecting to be caught, Daniel took the blame for all of them, but Nikki was too good to leave all the blame on Daniel so she coughed up her side of the prank.

 

They were assigned two months of Saturday detentions.'

 

"Do you know why I asked for you and not one of your friends?"

 

"Yes, because you thought it'd be too painful for Mae to retell."

 

"No, because I want to help Mae find her mother, and I want to find Daniel without my boss knowing."

 

"That Colonel dude with the stick up his ass?"

 

"Uh yes." So Owen buried his past hatred of the man in front of him and helped him plan the rescue mission. A mission that would involve his friends going into Mutant territory...again.

 

 

Two Hours Later:

 

"Uh, so I'll talk to my friends and I'll talk to you tomorrow."

 

"That you will. See you later Owen."

 

"Now that I think about, you do look like Daniel."

 

"Thanks."

 

"Daniel was cuter though." Owen laughed and entered the elevator. Owen mentally slapped himself for coming off as being gay and having a thing for not only Daniel but for Maxwell as well. "I'm so stupid!" The doors opened and Mae Lynn stood there laughing with Corey who had emerged from his room, I entered the suite from the elevator and sat on a bar stool that was connected to the kitchenette. 

 

"Hey cutie." Anne greeted him.

 

"Hey yourself." Owen smiled. I looked over at the laughing pair on the couch and admitted to himself that it was time to let Mae go, I took Suzanne's hand and guided her over to the couches. Corey looked up and smiled at the both of them until I saw their entwined hands.

 

"Anne, what are you doing?"

 

"Holding his hand, is that against the law?" Anne's eyes glittered with mischief and Owen smiled again, the way she egged on Corey's anger was funny, but Corey's short fuse was nothing to joke about. 

 

"Corey, we have something to tell you, but I have news from Maxwell."

 

"The Special Agent from like five floors up?"

 

"The very same. Anyway we came up with a plan to rescue Mae's mom and Daniel." Mae smiled and then the smile faded at the thought of Daniel.

 

"But, why Daniel?"

 

"Apparently Danny's his cousin and he doesn't leave family behind, dead, undead, or alive."

 

"Oh, Corey are you alright with this?"

 

"What saving your mom and boyfriend who happens to be a Mutant; nah, no problem what so ever!" Corey said without a smile. Owen looked at Corey when he said.

 

"We'll be returning to Mutant Territory, I want to redeem myself, I know that Nikki's gone, and I know that there's no possible way of getting her back. I'm not selfish there's only so much of the vaccine left. Nikki was a great person but she deserves to die peacefully. I want to be the one to do that. I want to put her out of her misery."

 

"Owen, we'll go; we will help you with whatever plan you and Maxwell came up with." Anne said quietly. "Corey, are you coming?"

 

"I gotta protect your ass Anne, if I don't who will?"

 

Owen stiffened at Corey's comment, "I will."

 

"You sure about that?" Corey's eyes narrowed, "Say what was the other news you had?" Owen looked at Anne and Anne looked at Corey.

 

"Corey, uh Owen and I have been spending a lot of time together, you know being kidnapped by the government, him trying to save me but I got shot in the ass instead, and he is a really great guy."

 

"What? You were kidnapped?"

 

"Oh yeah and then interrogated all night and returned here in the morning."

 

"That's why you didn't answer your door, or Owen."

 

"Why were you at my door?"

 

"I was coming to apologize and you did protect her didn't you? You tried to save her and ended up getting shot because of it. So what else happened today."

 

"Owen and I decided to become a couple, and I promised myself that if he screws up I can personally shoot him."

 

"What?!" Corey lunged at Owen who ducked out of the way. "You-you have the nerve to ask my sister out after you got her killed?"

 

"I wasn't killed, I was turned into a Mutant. Big difference."

 

"And you! You said yes to this little weasel?"

 

"Weasel! Oh come on I'm no spy!"

 

"Really? 'Mae put down the gun, there's no hope now.' Sound familiar?"

 

"I never said that!"

 

"Oh you didn't have to!" Corey yelled getting in Owen's face.

 

"Mae!" Owen looked at Mae expectantly hoping she'd say something to help him out.

 

"Owen you did hold my arm down, and that could have saved Anne's life if my arm was not being held down by my best friend." Mae whispered.

 

"Well I forgave him, and so should you all! How absolutely disappointing that my brother and by boyfriend's oldest friend are saying all these horrid things about him when the one who should be angry at him is me! Am I hurt that he did it, yes. But I understand why he did it. Now buck up and move on. I did, and you should. Stop making him feel worse than I already is! That and if I hadn't pulled over in the first place it wouldn't have happened."

 

"Thank you Anne." Owen reached for her and she came into his arms willingly. "Thank you. Mae showed her true colors today."

 

"Oh." Anne's eyes filled with the realization that Owen finally let go of Mae-figuratively speaking. She reached up and planted a kiss on his lips. Mae gasped, and Corey snarled but he didn't attack, Anne pulled away and smiled.

 

"I'm happy, he's happy. Now Mae and Corey you two better figure something out because Daniel will remember one thing. His love for Mae Lynn."

 

Anne grabbed Owen's hand and they disappeared into the elevators. Leaving a shocked Mae Lynn, and an angry Corey behind. 

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The next morning Owen woke up and went in search of Max. I left Anne where she was, sleeping on the couch where they had fallen asleep watching a really bad movie about vampires and humans. She had insisted it was popular in 2006-2012 or something. Owen couldn't remember the title of the film, just that I didn't particularly enjoy it. I went up in the elevator and returned to suite 1045A I found a note taped to the door over the spy hole and it read,

 

'Owen, 

 

           Went to the office early, let yourself in, I'll be there shortly after noon. Hope you find a way to entertain yourself, help yourself to breakfast.

 

                        SA M. Vargas'

 

Owen walked into the suite and sat on the same stool I did the night before. He saw to his amazement a vast array of food. I helped myself to muffins, pancakes, yogurts, and juices. I must've dozed off because the next thing I knew Max was shaking me awake. 

 

"Oh hey man."

 

"Hey yourself. So what did your friends say?"

 

"They'll do it. When do we leave?"

 

"Tonight. Pack your things. You're going home." Owen smiled and waved good bye. He had to tell his friends they were going on a road trip.

 

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