Here is the final installment of chapter one. Please be sure to go back and read parts one and two via the links.
(c) All material is copywrited by the author please do not reproduce or use without the express written consent of the author.
“Jacob” said Sierra, “Don’t worry I’ll take care of this.” Sitting up I said, Thank you beautiful but I’m ok. Gregory’s just angry. I made a mistake in mentioning Helen. He blames me for what happened to her and I’m sure he is right. It is my fault.”
“My mother knows what she is doing and makes her own decision. Gregory just doesn’t understand. He’s been so confused since Guillermo died trying to kill Malachi. He has put so much hope and confidence in Malachi and in Teleios.”
“I know and I’m sorry that’s my fault too. I sent him! I was so foolish. Why didn’t I realize sooner that the means do matter? Why didn’t I realize that you can’t set things right that way.” “Shh” she said, “We’ve all done so many things that we were trained for without worrying about what it was doing to us. Guillermo believed in what you two were doing. He did what we’ve always done. He tried to solve the problem the way we have been trained”
“But it wouldn’t have changed anything.” I said. “Someone else would have just taken Malachi’s place or maybe another stupid war would have started and we would end up in the same place.”
“Jacob, I don’t want to talk about this… I just came here from your hearing and they reached a decision” Sierra’s mood quieted so quickly as she stammered trying to get the words out. I knew what she was going to say my sentence is to die. The question was just how long and what kind of spectacle are they going to make of me.
“Jacob they are giving you a public execution in – in – 72 hours.” Sierra finally said. “Oh, I knew they would. We’ve both been expecting it. After all I admitted everything I was accused of and even all that I had done.”
“Jacob there is a chance”
“A chance what for me to repent and pledge allegiance to Teleios. To say they are right and everything they do is for the greater good. Sierra you know I can’t do that.”
“Can’t or won’t Jacob.”
“Does it matter this has to stop and I won’t let them lie to everyone and continue this manipulation and oppression. I won’t be a symbol of their own making. Someone has to take a stand and show them that there is another way.”
“Jacob stop it. I can’t stand this messiah-complex of yours. I’m sure you have some great inspiring speech planned. A speech to rally another generation to take up your noble mantle. All this talk about not being a symbol. What are you going to be if you die? You’ll just be a symbol for someone else. Why do you want to inspire another generation of kids to destroy and mar themselves in your name? Do you want to end up like Uncle Eric? Do you want Sissy and Mara’s girls, to follow you and me down this path? Do you want me to die too? If you die I won’t fight for you. I can’t if you die I can’t go on.”
Sierra’s words stung worse than the baton swing from Gregory. “I don’t want to be martyr. I don’t want don’t want anyone to die because of me.” Thinking of my sisters and their girls sitting in a darkened living room watching me die was like another kick in the ribs. The thought of my nieces trained to kill, marred from battles, strung out to escape the memories and then finally sitting in a cell awaiting death all in my name is more than I want. “I don’t want anyone else to lose their life because of me.” The thought of Sierra hurting and then killing herself because of me is too much.
“I deserve to die. I’ve done all the things I confessed to. I tried to kill Malachi and because of it Guillermo my friend, your brother died. God, I’ve killed so many innocent people. I killed Elder Ezra because Teleios decided he was dangerous. He didn’t do anything wrong. He was a man of peace. He did what we should have been doing all along. He did what Uncle Eric wanted. You know what I’ve done. You know what I’ve become and what it’s done to me.
“Yes, Jacob I know what this has done to you. I remember finding you in that dingy motel room, half-dead and passed out with your arm infected. You still had that stupid rubber strap tied around your arm and a needle full of crap laying on the bed next to you. I remember how sick you made yourself just becuase you tried to escape the reality of what this war has made us.”
“I’m sorry I didn’t want you to find me there. I just wanted it to be over.”
“I almost lost you then but I wouldn’t let you go. Just like you didn’t let me go when I was strung out. God, we were supposed to be in the right and winning has cost us so much.”
“Sierra, we weren’t right. We started off so noble but what we did – it’s been killing and corrupting us. I don’t know how we’ve held it together so long. I was so worried about you when you were using. Do you remember those months we spent away at your mom’s beach house in the Channel Islands while you got yourself cleaned up? I wish we would have stayed there and never come back.”
“I do remember. Those days were the best days of my life. That’s why I took you there when I found you. Jacob as I tried to tell you there is a chance – Malachi said that if you admit to what you’ve done and promise not to cause anymore insurrections he would be willing to let us go back to the Channel Islands. We could be together.”
“You know they won’t let me just slip away. You know that all this won’t stop if we run away. I can’t escape this. Things have to change. I can’t forget what is happening. I want to fix things. I need to do something to make it right.”
“Jacob, I can’t lose you again. Every time I look in the mirror and see the scars that I hide behind makeup I know what this has done to me. When I get out of the shower and see the tattooed flowers for Uncle Eric, for Marnie, for my dad, for your dad, and for Guillermo I’m reminded of what I’ve lost. Jacob if you die I can’t go on. I don’t have room for a flower big enough to keep me together if you die. Jacob, I need you to love me. I need you help me live. If you stay with me I know we can find a way to live differently. I know we can change things. Jacob I can’t lose you.”