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November 19, 2003

Dina

Dina, I know what I’ve been told, but I’m just still clinging to desperate hope, so I write this in case somehow, some way, you’ll be able to see it. It's some small comfort to me now to write to you as if you will read it, no matter how much reality wants to tell me otherwise. I imagine you waking up at 4 AM and checking to see if I'd written you. I always loved that feeling. This has all been so crazy, but I’ll do my best to make some sense out of it. Life went so quickly from being normal, even mundane, to a nightmare of confusion that I’m still trying to make sense out of. Ok, mustn't ramble.

First and most importantly: Jesse. I’m actually sitting here next to him now! I followed the directions we were given, and found myself here at a campground in the slush about an hour or two from Redland. I arrived this morning, and have learned the truth, finally. At least the truth as Jesse knows it.

Jesse’s a great-looking kid, around 16 I’d say. He’s a genius, apparently, with computers. A while back, while hacking around, he stumbled upon something that he shouldn’t have, something to do with a huge computer system that oversees everything, basically. I don’t even come close to understanding what he told me, but suffice it to say that it was huge, and it set everything that led to where we are now into motion.

Jesse turned to his father, who was a bigwig at a computer company for help. After looking into things, dad called Jesse and said he needed to meet with him and his mother right away. To make a long story short, somebody was waiting for them, and his parents were taken into custody, and Jesse was able to escape using his mother’s car.

He didn’t know where to turn, where to go to be safe. He found himself driving out to his parents’ best friends’ home. There, he found refuge, a place of relative safety. He told the couple what had happened, showed them some pictures he’d been able to take, and they let him stay with them until they could figure out what to do. Keeping a low profile as best they could, they discovered that Jesse’s father’s company was in on things, somehow, covering up his disappearance with a concocted story of his retirement, which they knew not to be true. Jesse and his guardians continued to try to discover what had happened to his parents, when their time ran out.

One night, men came to the house and took the couple into custody. Jesse again was able to avoid capture and went on the run again, finally hooking up with some sort of cyber gang, who lived in the shadows, always on the move.

While with the gang, he was able to discover the fate of the couple he’d been staying with. They had somehow been given new identities and had been moved to another city, and incredibly, with no memories of what had happened. From his place in the shadows, Jesse was able to keep tabs on the couple, and took steps to make sure they would never find out about him or their past, for their own safety.
That couple was you and me, Dina. Jesse knew us as Ryan and Sylvie Emerson. Ryan was a successful architect, Sylvie was a gifted artist (no surprise to me now, really). We had been good friends of his parents, James and Lynne Avery. We aren’t Jesse’s parents, we never were, but we sort of became his foster parents for a time.

The very thing Jesse was trying to prevent came true. We found out about him and our previous lives. Because of that, we once again became targets of those who are behind this whole thing. We pursued a path that Jesse desperately was trying to steer us away from, but in the end he was unsuccessful. We found our former selves. We found him. We found our nightmare.

So, I’m not sure what my future is. I’ve lost you, I’ve lost the son I thought I had, I’ve lost everything. I’m assured that if I return home, there will be more tragedy awaiting me. So I find myself a fugitive. A fugitive from my own past.

The good news is that Jesse and his friends may be able to help me. I’m not entirely sure of what they are offering me, but I really don’t see a choice but to join up with them. They seem to be a trustworthy, loyal bunch, which is good, as I really have nowhere else to turn.

Well, I need to give up the computer now. I hope to write again to you soon, Dina. I hope you can find your way to this message in a cyber bottle somehow. I miss you so much; I can’t even express my grief at losing you. Thank you for your love, your companionship, the great life we lived together. You were God’s gift to me, which I didn’t even come close to deserving. I would have easily given myself for you, had I had that chance.

I will love you Dina. Always.

Ethan

Posted by at November 19, 2003 4:16 AM