I Am Chapter TWO


It’s only been two days since you left. I miss you so much, John! Things have been so crazy around here, I’m so tired of all the attention and hype that’s going on. I really don’t have anyone to talk to, so I decided to start writing a journal. I know, it sounds more like I’m writing a letter to you. I guess it’s my way of coping… it feels like I’m talking to you. I always feel better when I’m talking to you. Maybe one day you can read this and understand a little more. Besides, I need to do something that will help me get through all this. You know photography is my passion, but with all the buzz around Paradise it’s hard to get out and take pictures without being hassled. Writing is another passion. I don’t get to do it much… until now. At least this is something I can do in the privacy of my own home.


Privacy? Now there’s a word that’s foreign to me now. There’s not much I can do without someone watching me. There’s people everywhere—police, FBI, and news crews. Wow, sorry… I guess I’m getting a little ahead of myself. Maybe I should start from the beginning so you have a better understanding of what’s going on, right? Okay, here goes….


After you left that morning, Mark drove me home. He left my car at the house and walked to his aunt’s house, since she lives just a couple blocks away. That’s where he’s staying for now because of that little house fire of his. Remember? Yeah right, how could you forget? Anyway, I stayed locked up in my room most of the morning. Trying to make sense of everything: the aliens, the creatures, the battle, the school, you, me, and… us. Mostly us though.


Things were pretty quiet until my parents busted through the front door yelling for me. They were hysterical. Once they got to my room and saw that I was okay, they calmed down. They were freaking out about the school being destroyed. They didn’t know if I was trapped in there since I never came home from school the day before. With everything going on, I didn’t even think about that! I’m actually surprised no one checked the school until the next morning… after the battle, after the school was destroyed. I’m glad they didn’t! They didn’t need to see all that!


Anyway, they were glad to finally have found me. They started asking me where I was, what happened, and if I saw anyone else. Questions! Questions! Questions! I didn’t know what to say. I panicked! All I said was that before school got out, strange things started happening and I got scared and hid. Which is actually true! But then you found me and… well, you know. But I didn’t say that part. I just said I stayed hidden until near morning when things calmed down. When I came out, everything was in ruins. Mark found me and we left the school and drove home. That’s the story I’m sticking with. I hope he says the same thing! I guess we should’ve gotten our stories straight before he left. Oh well, we’ll figure something out.


Thank goodness they believed me! They probably didn’t care since they were just happy that I was okay. Unfortunately, they called the police to report that I was missing… or thought that I was missing. They told me the police are going to want to talk to me. Ugh! I definitely did not need that! But I’m sure it was bound to happen considering everything.


Well, the whole story about the school was the biggest thing on the news. The entire town was buzzing about it. News crews from everywhere came in to cover the story. I watched a lot of it on TV that afternoon. And that’s not even the worst part… the news and the police think you are involved in it, John. Actually, they think you and Henri are responsible for it! Can you believe that? They don’t know about Henri. They think he’s still… alive. Sorry, John. For some reason, the police linked you (and Henri) to what happened at the school. They said it was most likely a bombing of some sort. They think you’re a terrorist, John! A terrorist! This is unbelievable! I’m sure by now, you probably know this. You probably saw it on the news and everything.


They heard about your abrupt “escape” from school on Monday, when you jumped through the principal’s window from his office. Yeah, “escape” is what they kept calling it. They searched your house and found the documents, the counterfeiting machines, and all the laptops. I guess the laptops were password protected because they couldn’t access them. Not yet anyways. They’re working on it though. I hope there wasn’t anything on there that would lead them to believe that you are actually… well, you know. But because of all the stuff they found and your escape from school, they believe you are a terrorist, now on the run.


Oh the story gets better, John. My parents were right, the police wanted to talk to me. They came by the house that same afternoon, picked me up, and brought me down to the station. When I got there, Mark was already waiting outside one of the offices. When I noticed the concerned look on his face, I realized he wasn’t there just because his dad was working the case. They wanted to get information from him too! Fortunately, the deputy sat me down next to Mark when we got there. I guess he didn’t feel it was a problem if we sat together before we were interrogated. I asked Mark if he told them anything, and he said no. I quickly told him what I told my parents so we could be on the same page, you know, have the same story and everything. He said he’d follow my story and tell them the same thing. Then a deputy came out, grabbed Mark, and brought to an interrogation room. Mark’s dad came out, got me, and brought me to another room.


Four hours, John. Four hours of them asking the same questions over and over. By the end of it, I had recited the same story so many times, I had committed it to memory. I believed the story so much, they could hook me up to a polygraph and I would pass it! It was the same questions, and I gave them the same answers. I told them I didn’t know anything about forged documents or changed names or any attempts of terrorism. No secrets. They knew we were essentially dating and figured you might’ve told me something. I told them nothing. They did seem suspicious when I didn’t appear too surprised when they told me about the documents and machinery they found at your house. I played it off like you had a reason for that and that it WASN’T because they think you’re a terrorist. I told them I refused to believe that. They probably just think I’m a silly girl in love… which, I am… not silly, but definitely in love with you, John. It’s fine. They can think whatever they want. I know the truth… the real truth!


When the police were finished questioning me, they let me out for a bathroom break. I saw Mark in the hallway, and he gave me an assuring nod. I was sure he didn’t give up any information either. When I came out of the bathroom, a deputy led me back into the same room I was in for 4 hours. I asked him why I was back in here, I thought we were done. He said the police were done with me, but someone else wanted to talk to me now.


I waited… and waited… and waited some more. I felt like someone was watching me the whole time. I just knew someone was on the other side of that mirror watching me… studying me. I’m sure there was someone there when Mark’s dad was questioning me. But now I just knew… no, felt like someone was there. I could feel their eyes piercing through the glass and right through me. It was eerie.


After an hour of waiting (and being watched), a man walked through the door. He’s tall, at least 6 feet or so. He wore black slacks, a dark polo shirt, and a dark blue windbreaker with “FBI” in big yellow letters on the back. He had jet black hair with streaks of gray mixed in. It was a high-and-tight type haircut, real close on the sides. Like a military cut. The top was slicked over to a side. Looked like he used a lot of gel or grease or oil. He was clean-shaven and wore a very straight and serious look on his face. He looked angry.


He looked like he didn’t like me at all! And as soon as he spoke, that confirmed it. He had no expression when he said in a very direct tone, “Miss Hart, I’m Special Agent-in-Charge Nathan Hecht of the FBI. I have a few questions concerning you, a terrorist allegedly-named John Smith, and an apparent bombing at your school. Would you like a lawyer present during this questioning?”


Terrorist?! Bombing?! Man, this guy was already on my bad side from the get-go! I told him no to the lawyer question. I figured I answered the police’s questions without a lawyer, I would be fine repeating the same thing to the FBI. He said back with a snooty tone, “Fine Miss Hart, if you wish to proceed without a lawyer, that is your right.” Ugh! This guy was such a jerk!


Anyway, he basically asked the same, stupid questions that the police asked and of course, I gave the same, exact answers. I guess the FBI has to do things bigger and better than the police because he kept me in there for 6 hours! I was stuck in that room for 6 hours with that man. Every time he looked at me with those cutting eyes, it felt like he was boring a hole right through my brain. It was hard to look him in the eyes, which was uncomfortable because it probably gave him the impression I was hiding something. I guess I was, huh? I was hoping to be able to pick up on some information about how they were going about their investigation, but I got nothing useful. He didn’t give up any information at all. Although, it did seem like they didn’t have many leads to go on since they were pressing me so much. The only thing I managed to find out was that the police couldn’t get into your dad’s… sorry, Henri’s laptops. Mark’s dad accidentally slipped that information out during the first interrogation.


When the FBI finally realized they weren’t getting any more information, they let me go. It was already past midnight, and I was exhausted. Extremely exhausted! I’ve been up for nearly the past 2 days! My dad was still waiting at the station and drove me home. When I got home, I went straight to my room and hit the bed. I was out before I could even think about changing clothes.


I woke up around 6 o’clock that evening, the second day. I probably slept about 14 hours. Like I said before, I feel like I need to talk to someone. You’re not here (obviously) and there’s no one else to confide in, so this journal will have to do. So far it does seem to help. I’m glad the interrogations are over with… at least, I HOPE they’re over with. I couldn’t take anymore of that.


The only other thing I found out is that the FBI has taken over the investigation and is conducting the search for you and Henri. Again, I’m sure you know this by now since they have your picture plastered on just about every channel on TV. They still don’t know about what happened to Henri. And the news is now saying that Sam is involved. They even have rewards set for your capture!


Yesterday, an announcement was made that the students from the school will be split up and transferred to some of the surrounding schools near Paradise. They’ll let us know by tomorrow where we’re going. We’re supposed to start Monday. I’m not looking forward to that at all.


I guess that’s it for now.


I love you, John. Always.





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