The Days Before

My name is Lilian Tracy. I was born in Boston, years before the war. Back then, I was just like anyone else. Young, pretty, wealthy and, most of all, stubborn. But not stubborn enough. Back then I made one mistake, a mistake that rippled through my life, tearing everything apart. I fell in love. This time, I'm not making that mistake again. I'll die first.


6. Five Words


 Micah would be my fifth handler, I knew. It was always one of the Jamesons, ever since that first man. He’d given me to his son, who’d given me to his son, who’d passed me along as well. They never seemed to live long, only just enough to have a child to continue my torment. Each Jameson acted the same, smelled the same, even looked the same for the most part. So what was one more?
 “What the hell is this?”
 Five words to change my mind. Five words to break all the walls I’d built. Five words to make me curious. So I turned around, and I saw Micah for the first time.
 I suppose he was ordinary looking, almost extraordinarily so. Brown hair just a little too long, face just a little too young to be attractive. The boy looked almost like a child, a few years younger than I’d been when I was Changed.
 His mouth hung open in astonishment and, I almost believed, horror. But why should he care? What was the matter? Didn’t he understand anything?
 No. No he didn’t. He didn’t know I was a monster, didn’t realize what I’d done and how many people I’d killed. He couldn’t know the good things I’d done either, trapped here. My blood had been used to produce vaccines. It had saved lives. A caged monster was useful, after all.
 But, in that moment, I loved Micah Jameson for his innocence. And, of course, for those five words that gave me hope for humanity.

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