May 23rd, 2016
I looked over to my wardrobe, where One’s old clothes sat hidden in a compartment. Sometimes my fingers would go to type something out on the laptop, but despite my deepest intrigue, I just couldn’t do it. This time, I thought, Screw it. My ‘mission’ had to be carried out sooner or later.
I cracked my knuckles, and I let my fingers type in the name:
I found his Facebook account. His privacy settings meant that I could only see the odd photo, and a few of his personal details. I saw the Add Friend button clearly, as if was highlighted. As if I should press it.
But then I knew that it was an idiotic idea. Too many alarms would be raised. Plus, I was not here to flick through his statuses - I was here to see if I could find out where he lived.
“Jesus H. Christ.” I sighed.
Five-hundred miles away. In the city of Presley.
I had to think everything through, because I was expecting him to live a little closer, but I could see that he really left Bluebeach and made a new life elsewhere. From what I could see, he was single. Divorced, no longer with his high school sweetheart, Sofia Francis. I remembered her from the photos in the attic; where there were some photos with Bret, there were some with him and another girl. I remembered Jamie flagging up her name. I couldn’t see everything on his profile anyway, but anything I could see were an archive of photos from years back, as if he seldom uploaded much recently. The only way I really knew he was no longer with Sofia was by checking his relationship status, seeing divorced flash in front of me. Though I could still see photos of his wedding from years back.
I looked at Bret’s features; he didn’t look as old as I would have suspected. His hair had grown a lot since the photos in the attic. Not by much, though. He definitely looked older…but he still looked the same. Just like a thirty-five year old version of himself, I guess.
I scrolled down a little further, distracted by any the idea of any more possible photos. I saw him playing with a young boy; maybe three or four years of age. Time of upload: 2008. He would be around twelve by now. I knew for a fact that it’s his son, and I began to feel nauseous. This won’t work out, I thought. I should just drop it. Then I thought about the effect I…Jennifer-Rose… could still have on him. I wanted to how he would react. I wanted to know if he would still miss me. Her. Me.
I didn’t want to do anything too drastic – I would just take one trip, and then vanish off of his radar. I wouldn’t leave any traces. I wouldn’t tell him where I live, or who I was. This was just an experiment; to test the viability of connections. To know if when someone dies, you always miss them. I wanted to know if he would cope with Jennifer-Rose’s return. It’s quite risky, not to mention cruel, and also probably illegal somehow. But I was bored of living, knowing that Jennifer One had an unfinished life and she left with unfinished questions and answers, and sometimes I felt like was not here to replace her. I was here to close all of her doors. To seal up any gaps.
We always want to know what the dead would tell us if they could tell us anything at all. We invent ghosts. Ouija boards. We make mediums and psychics stinking rich, getting them to talk to those who aren’t around anymore. I could just play that game. I could play the messenger of Death. Even if just for a while; I could make something out of the miracle that I am.
July 27th, 1999
“Nobody is to ever know that this took place. Nobody is to ever know that we agreed to do something like this. You will keep it completely under wraps. Correct?” Farrow looks up.
“Yes, Sir,” Jeff nods, squeezing Roseanna’s hand under the table. “We promise we’ll never let anybody know. We’ll move to another town if we need to.”
“Do whatever you can to keep this between you and me.” He says, filling out forms on his office desk. “I have a laboratory around forty miles north. You are to attend appointments three days a week.”
“Three days? I don’t have the time-”
“This is your demand, not mine.” He cuts Roseanna off. “If you want this to go as planned, you need to cooperate. I need three full days a week, from the morning until the evening.”
“What will we tell our children?” Jeff asks. “What do we tell our employers? How long will this take?”
“It could take a few days. Months. Maybe even a year,” Farrow takes off his glasses, wiping them clear with a lens cloth. “But this needs ultimate commitment and effort. If you have to work your way around your daily routines, do it. Or else I will end it all, right here, right now.”
“We’ll do it.” Jeff says. “We’re ready.”
“Alright,” Farrow sighs. “But I’m telling you – you’ve made the worst decision of your lives. And I have done wrong in choosing to help you. There will be future implications for this – some that we may not be able to predict. We don’t know the long-term effects.”
“We’re willing to take this risk.”
“No,” Farrow says. “You are making a big mistake. One day you might regret it. No. you will regret it.”