Ready to Fight

Standing under the shower I could barely feel the almost scorching touch of the water.

It hadn’t been 24 hours yet since Julie came back into my life. I had day-dreamed about that moment over and over, imaging that when she opened that she would fling her arms around mine and life would continue as it had been.

But now, sitting with my back against grimy tiles, steaming water pattering against my head, all I could think is that maybe I would preferred her staying gone.

No, I thought, don’t be ridiculous. You’ve got your wife back and if what she has told you is true then you’ve just been enlightened.

“You okay in there?” Julie said from the other side of the door.

I considered not answering, waiting for her to come in. “I’m fine, just... just cleaning myself.” I decided I didn’t want her to see me like this: vulnerable and afraid.


“They’ve been manipulating you your entire life, Henry,” Julie, visible concern on her face. The details she had shared were almost impossible to comprehend but as she explained further I was starting to believe them. “Since the day you were born and chosen they’ve had this stranglehold over you to do as they see fit.”

“And why now? Why now to ‘pull the plug’ as you say? Why you?” I asked, wondering where I went from here. My old job was gone, my flat would apparently be searched and immediately sold on so I could no longer return there. I had already checked my handchip and found my credits completely cleared out.

“Because it takes time to get this things in motion. I was unplugged myself almost a year ago. When I left, I left because my plugged was removed and I was seeing the world for what it really is,” Julie said, leaning back in her chair as she spoke. A smile crept wider on face with each word. “I vowed to come back for you when the time was right, when everything was ready. And here we are.”

“Here we are,” I repeated. “So what now?”

“Now?” Julie said, sliding off her chair excitedly and coming to kneel in front of me, taking my hands in hers. It was comforting to know that I felt the same tingle as I had always done when she held my hands before. “Now we fight back. We fight against the Masters and free our friends and families and all these strangers who are under their control.”

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