Well, it's Friday night and I'm just hanging around at home. There's nothing on TV. Usually Ellie and I have something interesting planned for Friday nights. Maybe a dinner theater, a party with friends, drinks downtown at some chic club, a drive up the coast, and art walk, or just a quiet evening alone. I feel so crappy about taking her for granted. I think that's the worst mistake of my life. Well, second worst. I wish I could just drive out her and see her, but her life is so dangerous and precarious right now that I don't dare.
I'm still trying to come to grips with what I've found out about her. I now know she could kill me with her bare hands. I've always known she was strong, and I knew she helped train kids at the local karate school. I felt proud of her for being able to share that gift, I never thought she would use it to hurt people. I feel like this huge veil has been lifted from between us, but the new image isn't as pretty as before. I've seen scars on her, I thought they might be from chicken pox or from a mountain biking accident. Now I think they're from combat or training. She's always been as tough as nails, and could really push herself. The rock climbing incident was crazy. She could climb the damn rocks with her fingers, jump between holds, everything. I got about 15 feet off the ground and nearly peed myself.
I don't know what's going to happen. I know we're not going to live together again, and we need to go our separate ways at some point. She's a wanted person in this country, and Marcia's people would throw her out in a second. At this moment, I don't know if I'm ever going to see her again. I know our whole life together had been a lie. Not a lie as much as an illusion. Ellie just wanted to escape the horrible reality of her life, and I guess I was someone she could do that with. I don't blame her for what she did to me. I guess if I was one of those guys over in Iraq killing people, when I got out I'd probably get as far away from that as possible. I'd want nothing to do with that life.
Carrie and Marcia have made a lot of accusations about her. Listen. She works with kids as a volunteer. She's the first to someone's side if they're hurt in her class or when we're on some outdoor adventure. She cares about people. She makes small gifts for me and her friends. I've done my share of crappy stuff to her, like forgetting dates (never important ones) or the dry cleaning. She gets a little miffed, but she doesn't plot revenge or sabotage me. I've had girlfriends who have done this. I mean, she doesn't let me off the hook, and she holds me to my word. She doesn't get into a rage or anything, even a suppressed rage like some people do. Carrie, on the other hand, sometimes looks like she's going to explode. Ellie just talks it out, but lets me know that she's upset. She's a contradiction I guess.
Well I'm back. After I write that last sentence, I here a loud banging on my door. My heart jumps through my throat. I have no idea who it could be, and I hope it's not bad guys. Ellie mentioned that I should get a gun, but it's not something I'd really consider. I peer through the shades, and see Carrie knocking on the door with her crutch. Shit. I open the door, intending on chasing her away, but I see that her face and lips are bruised, and she's been crying.
"Shit, Carrie, come in, what happened?"
She limps in, her hands shaking so hard she can barely operate her crutches. She collapses on the couch, and buries her head in her hands after taking off her glasses. I notice that they are bent.
"Damn. Can I get you anything? Water?"
"I need a shot. Or two."
I bring over a bourbon and and two glasses. I pour us both one, and she gulps her down in a second. She points down and I throw her another one which she greedily gulps down. She wraps her arms around herself.
"Now what happened? Carrie. Were you in a wreck?"
She shivers. "No. It was Ellie. Your stupid bitch girlfriend."
I down my drink. "What? Ellie? Where?"
"In my fucking room," Carrie practically screams. "A psycho killer right in there!"
I sit down opposite her. "God. I didn't know. What happened?"
"I came home a little early today. I guess I'm feeling a little tired from all this. Anyways, from the street, I see some lights in my place. I thought I might have left something on. When I open the door, everything's off. I fumble for the light, and when it turns on the door slams behind me. I scream when I see someone. It's her. It's Ellie standing right there.
"'Well, hi there, Carrie,' she says. 'I'm finally glad we got this chance to meet. If you don't know already, I'm Elena, or Ellie, and I'm here to ask you some questions. Please have a seat. Don't make me ask again.'
"I can clearly see that she's armed. What is wrong with her, Alex? She's completely crazy."
I'm a little taken aback myself. "So Ellie came to your place. What did she ask you?"
"Well, first of all, you know I'm not really well organized. My place is a little...you know...cluttered. But when I looked around, I saw that the place had been trashed. Everything had been gone through. Papers, books, drawers, everything. She must have been there all day. So I sit down...what choice do I have? She pulls up a chair opposite me and starts asking me all kinds of questions about Infinitae and the plot. I don't know what to do. I try lying to her, but then she starts hitting me. She's all like accusing me of stuff, like I have anything to do with it. I don't know what to do, Alex. She's a monster!"
I pour out another drink for both of us.
"But wait, there's more. She starts threatening, telling me to stay away from you. She says that I'd better not been seen anywhere near you or she would gut me."
"Then why'd you come here?"
"Where else can I go? I'm afraid to go home now. Please, just let me stay here, Alex, that woman scares the crap out of me."
I shake my head. "You can't stay here. I'm sorry about Ellie, if I ever see her again, I'll talk to her about it."
"Please Alex. That woman is one of them. She's totally on to us."
"Carrie. I've told her everything. I just don't think she's involved."
"Aggh! Alex! She's using you! She--"
I stand up, suddenly feeling used. "Carrie, I don't want to hear about it. I'm sorry she gave you a hard time. Her life is in danger as well. But she's not involved. I'm sure of it. She's just trying to find answers like the rest of us are. Now I'm going to have to ask you to leave."
"What?? You're kicking me out on the street? Alex, how could you?"
"If you're afraid to go home, there are plenty of hotel rooms available." I go over and hold the door open. She opens her mouth to protest, but then angrily crutches her way out.
"I don't need any fucking hotel," she breaths as she passes me. "Thanks for nothing. And tell that fucking bitch to stay the fuck away from me. I'm getting a gun. Fuck. I thought we were friends."
I watch her limp down the street and then close the door. I don't know if Ellie went over there, and at this point I don't care much. I'm just tired of all of it. If Ellie went over there she had a good reason, and frankly I'm getting tired of Carrie hanging on me.
OK, now I've had some time to relax. Geez. I think it's time I did some of my own investigating. Carrie just seems to be getting nowhere, as smart as she is. We've hit a dead end, and haven't uncovered anything in two days. Maybe it's time I go into Building Four. I need to find out what's in there. We just need to go with the direct approach. I'm not even going to tell Carrie about it, I'm just going to break in and find out for myself. I'm not even sure I trust Carrie any more. First thing tomorrow, I'm going in there.