Little British Girl...

- Decide where you belong -

In a world split into two zones, north and south live separately. The sole-superpower, America in the north, and every other country lives in the south. Trespassing is punishable by death.
When Elia, a British citizen, wakes up in the northern zone she is forced to trust local cop Daniel to keep her safe. With no memory of how Elia came to the north, and no recollection of why, she and Daniel decide to try and figure it all out. But along the way secrets are uncovered, allies are made, and Elia begins to play dangerous games, with tragic costs.

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5. Chapter 5

The only thing I hear is the sound of Daniel typing and clicking, as he tries to find out more. I just sit there, completely still. I’m staring at an empty mug, but it could just as well be the window or the cupboard, because it’s not the object, it’s me. It’s like I’ve gone into rest mode. I can’t think straight, or really do anything at all. I’m as useless in this situation as the mug I’m gazing at.

I am half American.

My dad was a northerner.

Everything I thought I knew about him was a lie.

“Your father was my blind spot. We all have at least one. He was the person who I’d lose all my morals for, how I’d ignore all my common sense for, he was the one person I’d forgive time and time again. No matter what he did, I forgave him. That was until he left us...I still haven’t forgiven him for that.”

That was how my mother described him, the day I finally gathered up the courage to ask her about him, ‘her blind spot’. I think I now finally understand what she meant. She didn’t care that he was American, and that their relationship was illegal, she didn’t see how wrong and endangering it was to be with him...a blind spot in the way she viewed the world. Then he left, and reality showed her who he really was. He was an infatuation, and a mistake...but she realised that all too late. She was left with me, her second blind spot, to serve as a reminder of their time together.

“...Elia? Elia? Elia can you hear me? Are you okay?” Daniel’s hand is on my shoulder, I jolt slightly, and turn to him, back in the room.

“I’m...I’m,” I’m contemplating the entirety of my existence. I don’t know what to say, I can hardly say I’m fine, I’m obviously just fine, I just found out that I break the law each time my heart beats.

“It’s okay, It’s going to be okay.” I can’t tell if he’s lying or not, I don’t think he can either. “Elia, we’ll get through this.”

“We?” I pick up on one word in particular. I meet his eyes, and his shoulders shrug.

“Yeah, we.” He nods, but he doesn’t stop there. He leans in slightly closer, but not so we’re at all intimate or uncomfortable. “I never meant to get attached to you, Elia Jubilee Watson-Smith, but I did, I suppose we were never going to be anything less than close acquaintances anyway. Whether you go by the name Elia or Ellie, you're my friend either way, and friends stick together. I won’t let you do this alone. We’re going to find out why you were sent, we’re going to find out how you woke up here, and we’re going to get you back home.” He’s placing his hand on top of mine, as a sign on unity and trust, “I’ll always be there by your side guiding you, right up to the moment you send me away. You have my word”. My breath is cut short again, this time out of a more positive kind of amazement. I had no idea he was so attached to me, his little british girl, I knew I cared for him, but I was oblivious to the fact that this was a mutual feeling. I’m going to miss this friendship when I leave.

“So, what next?” I try to stay focused, turning away from him so I face the computer screen instead.

“Yes. Well, next we try to find out more about how and why you came to the north. Essentially, we find the people who sent you here, and we get them to send you back.” I’m glad for once that he’s using his business tone, it casts a comforting wave of assurance over me.

“How do we do that?” I pursue, not wanting to lose the enthusiasm.

“Well...that’s where we hit a block in the road. The only thing I can think of is to continue researching your dad and hope it leads us somewhere. I mean, what else can we do?” I think, but my mind is no more creative than his. We have no information except my dad’s nationality, and no way of finding out more, so it really is our only option.

“But he’s unknown, how can we find out more about him?” I suddenly remember.

‘Unknown’ is just police slang for classified. If I can get Level 3 access to the file, I can find out more about him. Searching that database would take longer though, up to 72 hours.” Daniel informs me. I nod despite my confusion, how exactly is he going to jump to level three? “I’d also need more information to help narrow it down. Hair and eye colour, blood type, that sort of thing.” He adds on, still not clarifying the how, “Do you know if your family’s ever-?”

“How are you going to get Level 3 clearance Daniel?” I interrupt him, tired of listening to questions with answers that are only useful if by some chance we can access the database.

“I’ll talk to my boss, pull a few strings...I’ll just ask for clearance on a few files, nothing major.” He doesn’t look at me whilst he speaks. This could be due to his preoccupation with his computer, but he’s not typing right now, so I have to assume it’s because he’s only telling me half of what I wanted to know.

“What if you can’t get your boss to give you access?” I pester him for a better plan, still not convinced.

“He’ll give me access-”

“But what if he doesn’t?”

“He will…probably, I don’t you.”

“You don’t know? What will you do if he doesn’t?”

“I’ll, I’ll find a way.”

How?”

“I’ll hack into my boss’s laptop!” Daniel shouts, losing his temper more with himself than with me, “There. Happy now?” His anger somehow makes the room feel different, and I don’t like it.

“I am quite content thank you.” I get up from my seat and walk away, bitterness leaking into my voice without my permission. I hear him sigh, and mutter curse words under his breath. I ignore him, and go to the sofa, lying down and trying to pretend like I’m alone. I’m not sure why I feel so irritated and hurt, he did exactly what I asked him to do...maybe it was the way he said it? Or maybe, just maybe, it was the unexpected realisation that he would go that far for me. Either way my stomach was a tight knot of stubborn emotion.

We don’t talk for the next few hours of the evening. I switch between napping and watching TV, whilst he does whatever he can to avoid me (which is difficult in such a small apartment). He replies to a few emails, cleans out the dishwasher, and even reduces the ironing pile. That’s how I know he’s avoiding me, Daniel hates housework. Eventually the sun sets and Daniel retreats into his bedroom, I try not to look up as he shuts the door, but I cannot help myself. He doesn’t notice this small gesture, which is a good thing I think, and the door is quickly slammed. I rest my head against the cushion, and reluctantly shut my eyes. I’ve never had an argument like this before, it’s the sort of argument with an unknown source, fill of inexplicable silent rage. I feels wrong to end the day like this, it was only a couple of hours ago that he gave me a pep talk on being a team, but alas, neither one of us are prepared to make the first move.

Ten minutes or so later, I hear the door to the bedroom creak open. I don’t react, I lie still, assuming Daniel is only fetching a glass of water or something. In fact, he doesn’t head to the sink, the sound of his footsteps echo towards me. He doesn't speak, but I do hear the rustling of paper. Once the bedroom door creaks again, and I am sure he is gone, I open my eyes. There is a note on the side table beside me. Not much is written, but no more needed to be wrote.

We’re a team, and teammates look out for eachother. I’m doing this not only because I know it’s the right thing to do, but because I know you’d do it for me.

Whatever it takes, I’ll do it.

-Daniel.

I smile a small half-smile, and the knot in my stomach disappears. I fall asleep easily after that, my lips curved up at the edges.

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