I Am Chapter FOUR


Okay, just when I thought things could not get any worse, it does. I thought once the FBI was done interviewing… uh, I mean INTERROGATING me, they might leave me alone. WRONG! I don’t think they’re ever going to leave. Not only are they going through everything in town, but I have a bad feeling that they think you might actually come back here. I would really love to see you again, John, but it is absolutely NOT safe for you here. There are FBI agents everywhere!


Anyway, back to what I was saying… I don’t think the FBI is going to leave me alone. And to prove it, they (or should I say Special Agent-in-Charge Nathan Hecht!) decided to assign an agent to me. Meaning… there is going to be a guy that follows me EVERYWHERE I go. When I go outside, go to the store, go to school, and probably when I go to the bathroom… he’ll be there following me. They say it’s for my protection. I told them “I don’t need protection. No one is coming after me!” They insisted it was for protection, but I’m sure it’s for surveillance. Besides, that’s what Mark’s dad said when he picked me up.


Yeah, let me tell you about that. I was walking around in town the other day trying to get away from all the craziness going on, and Mark’s dad pulls up in his police car… lights flashing and everything. He brings me back to the house and Hecht is waiting for me… waiting to drop the wonderful news on me.


He sits me down on the couch next to mom and dad and goes on this whole spiel about how things are dangerous for me, how people may come looking for me (I don’t know who these “people” could be, but I don’t dare interrupt), how my safety is of the utmost importance, and that in the interest of my family (and the FBI) they will be assigning an agent to me.


This is so unnecessary.


Hecht introduces me to Agent Tatum, the guy who’s going to be following me around.


I try not to pass judgment on people too quickly before I get to know them, but this Tatum guy really creeps me out. He’s about an average height and hardly has any hair on top of his head (I don’t know if he cuts it that way of if the hair just doesn’t grow). No facial hair except for his thick, light-brown eyebrow. Yes, that’s “eyebrow” in the singular form. If there’s any separation in between them, you can’t tell because they’re fused together so well. An upturned mouth, slightly sagging cheeks, and creased forehead complete the permanent scowl look on his face. Not to mention the unibrow that is pushed so low it acts like eyelids over his eyes. Oh, and then there’s the eyes…. shifty, beady, dark-brown eyes that are almost black. They’re always jumping here and there as if he’s always suspicious of something until he’s deep in thought, like he’s visualizing something when he’s staring at you… or should I say staring at me.  I get this very uncomfortable feeling when he stares at me. Like a hungry dog stares at a pile of meat it wants to devour.


This guy is just plain creepy.


And it’s not so much his appearance that creeps me out, it’s the way he acts. It’s just… not right. I wonder how this guy ever got into the FBI. Even mom and dad have their reservations about him. I know this is supposed to be for “protection” and all, but give me some space PLEASE! Anywhere I go, he’s there within 10 feet of me. I know he’s just doing his job (which I hope that’s all he’s doing), but that doesn’t mean he has to monitor every… single… thing… I… do!! Good grief, man, BACK OFF!


If you could see this guy and how he acts… well, you wouldn’t like it. You’d even be tempted to throw him across the room if you saw how he looks at me. Major creepiness here!!


Anyway, enough about the creepy guy. Something else I wanted to mention… it’s probably nothing but I don’t know, it just seemed a little odd.


That same day I was walking around town before Mark’s dad picked me up in the police car, I had my camera with me randomly taking pictures along the way. Honestly, I wasn’t paying too much attention to what I was snapping pictures of… I had so much on my mind at the time. I started at the house and before I knew it I was in the middle of town. I dropped the film off at the photo lab that day, and just picked it the pictures this morning. I was going through them: different houses along the way, lots of trees, the clouds, kids playing on the playground by the house, more trees… well, you get idea.


All the pictures were very nice, beautiful even. But I noticed something strange in a few of them. I mean, I got snapshots of different people in background doing their daily stuff which is normal. But in some of the pictures, the same guy would be somewhere in the background. And I know it’s the same guy because I’ve seen him before. I couldn’t really explain what he looked like, but I know it’s him. He had on dark colored clothes, probably black, and a black coat. Even in the pictures, I can’t get a glimpse of his face. He was either too far away or the black baseball cap hid his face enough to not see it.


Like I said, I had A LOT on my mind while I was walking so I wasn’t paying too much attention to what was around me or what I was talking pictures of. I steadily took pictures as I walked from my house to town so the pictures, in their own way, show everything along the way. And what’s odd (or probably more like eerie looking back at it now) is that the guy in the black coat is there all along my walk. From leaving my house to ending up in town… he was in the pictures. It’s like he was following me. I didn’t even notice if he was, obviously, until looking at these pictures days later. And I seriously doubt if he’s an FBI agent. I’ve seen a lot of them around (and believe me, there’s a lot) and he doesn’t look like any of them. There’s something different about this guy… mysterious even.


And yeah, I saw him before because I ran into him… literally. I was walking down the street and saw a news crew ahead so I quickly turned around to avoid them and walked right into the man. I stepped around him, apologized and moved on. I had no clue someone was even behind me. He didn’t say anything, just paused and kept on walking. After seeing him in the pictures and the more I think about it, I’m sure he was following me on the street. No telling what he was up to. I haven’t seen him since, but I haven’t really been looking either. I’ll be looking now. I’ll glance out of my bedroom window every now and then just to see if he’s out there… somewhere. The only thing I find are kids playing and cars and SUVs parked along the street. I hope I don’t run into him again.


If he’s not FBI, then who is he? Why is he following me? I wish you were here right now, John. Well, I do and I don’t… you understand, I hope. I just feel safer when you’re around, even if there are Mogadorians chasing us. At least we’d be together… that’s what I want most. Us… safely together.


I love you, John. Always.



It is days like yesterday and today that make me miss you the most, John. I could use a good hug from you right now… even your shoulder to cry on. Yes, it’s that bad. I started at the new school yesterday, and it was absolutely horrible!


You know what it’s like being a new kid at school… but imagine having a creepy-acting FBI agent following you around school. He sits in every single class I’m in, sits at the same table at lunch, and he even runs behind me during gym. I can actually get a little joy out of that last one. All that hiking I’ve done with my aunt in Colorado has kept me in shape for the most part, so when I run I don’t go casually… I try to push it. It’s fun watching him try to keep up. He’s not in great shape for an FBI agent. He probably doesn’t have to do too much running.


Here’s another funny story, one of very few that I have right now. I’ve been driving to and from school in my own car, and Tatum has been following me in his car. I’m so glad he’s not forced to ride with me. But after yesterday, I think that might change. I was so aggravated the first day that on the way home after school, I decided to have a little fun. Of course, Tatum is new in town so he doesn’t know his way around to well. I do. On the way home, I tried to lose him… and I did! It was hilarious! I went through a lot of back roads and shortcuts. He lost me and got turned around. I was laughing so hard. I got home and acted like everything was normal. About an hour later, Tatum shows up… he was so angry it was hard not to laugh. His face was so red and his eyes would just glare at me. I’m surprised he didn’t say anything to me. I would say he tried to embarrass me even more today because of that, but he would’ve done that nonetheless.


Anyway, he’s very noticeable when he follows me around school. Everyone stares at me when I walk through the halls or sit at lunch. The only other comfort I have is that Mark and Emily are there with me. And really, they are the only people I talk to. Everyone else stays clear of me, but I can hear them whispering things. I’m sure it’s about me. Or the creepy guy. Or both.


You might figure with this so-called 24/7 “protection,” that I would feel like some celebrity or superstar, but it’s the total opposite. I feel like a criminal who is constantly being watched. I may not be surrounded by bars, but I feel like I’m in a prison. Even when I go to the bathroom, he feels the need to follow me in there to make sure everything is fine. I mean, what’s going to happen, really? It’s a bathroom! I’m just grateful the principal is a woman and when she heard of this, she put a stop to it. She said there was no way a man was going to be allowed in a girl’s bathroom in school. I thanked her for that, but I could see she treated me indifferently too. Not like the other students (or even teachers), but it was noticeable… like she was trying to remain diplomatic in this situation.


I’m just tired of it. I try not to think about what other people say, but it’s difficult to ignore. Everywhere I look, I see it: the snickering, the sneering, the cold looks and whispering. I thought I would be able to blend in and go unnoticed… no chance. Not going to happen. Everyone knows who I am and what I’m “involved” in. At least what they think I’m involved in. The video of us escaping the fire that night at Mark’s house is all over the internet. Sometimes they treat me like a terrorist.


After today, I couldn’t take it anymore. I just felt more and more uncomfortable around Tatum. Something needed to change. I told mom and dad how I felt and how he acts around me. They didn’t like it either. They were pretty furious, actually. They talked to Hecht and tried to convince him to assign a different agent to me. After a lot of “convincing” (and complaining), Hecht finally agreed. He said he’d send a new agent over in the morning before school. I was actually surprised he did something good for once… for me. I still don’t like the guy though. Anyways, I hope it gets better tomorrow.


Not a lot has been going on in the news about you and Sam. (Wow, I didn’t realize how much I miss Sam too.) They haven’t mentioned anything new, so I take it you’re laying low somewhere. That’s good. Less attention, the better. I wish I could hear from you to know that everything and everyone is alright… but I know that would not be safe. So, I will just have to HOPE that you are fine and safe… wherever you are right now.


I love you, John. Always.





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