65. Returning

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New York

Naomi turned the pages of the paper back and forth, reading, re-reading, trying to understand what it was telling her; trying to make sense of it all.

The ink swam and darted about on the page as her eyes flooded and her body convulsed into sobs.

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A kindly woman sat beside her and proffered tissues and offering her phone in case there was anyone she needed to call.

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Naomi didn’t know any numbers.  She didn’t know anything.

She had no idea whether or not they would be cross that she’d never been in touch.  They didn’t know.  That was what she couldn’t take in, but that was what the paper said – parents and teachers and friends hadn’t known.  Just a few ‘agents’, sent out to scout the best of the best, infiltrating schools and sports clubs and activities… she wondered whether she had been chosen for her martial arts, and if so, which of her martial arts tutors had been the one and how long they had been scouting.  She wondered when they had known it was her, how long she’d been watched.  She wondered what she could have contributed to the… the project, the paper called it.

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And she wondered if the last two years would have been easier if she’d just let them take her.

She paced around the city for hours and thought of all that had happened; of Union and Red’s bar and Tina and Amber, and lovely Alice, and of hitchhiking and that trucker… and the woman and child who saved her.  She thought of all those nights on the streets of New York, the running from police, the false names… and of the new home she’d found these past few months in the squat, the bar work, the smell and excitement of Seb and Asha.  And the sobs came harder and faster.

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Some time later, after coffee and a donut and crying her way through multiple sheets of toilet paper in the public lavatories, she ended up in a public library.  For the first time in years, she tried to log into Facebook – the only thing she could think of to get through, but her account was locked, or she’d forgotten the password, or something.

Tears started to prickle her eyes again and she was about to give into them, when she remembered the paper had said something about a helpline. 

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She grabbed it and ran to the nearest payphone.  Fingers shaking, she dialled.

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About Rad

Sheffield based academic and entertainment geek.
This entry was posted in Chapters, Extras and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to 65. Returning

  1. Elizabeth says:

    I hope they help her. I hope they can put her in touch with her parents. I hope, I hope, I hope….

  2. SimBlip says:

    I got all teary-eyed reading this. Her doubt about whether she did the right thing by running away, is what chokes me up the most.

    • Rad says:

      In some ways, she’s had the roughest time of all. At least the others had nice facilities and the feeling they were doing something good… even if the fall out that they were lied to will be hard to live down

  3. Tori says:

    How far away is she from home?
    Good luck, Naomi.

  4. marsar2 says:

    Oh, poor Naomi :(. Finding everything out all at once and in such a way must been very hard for her. No wonder she can’t stop crying, and her mind is all full of ‘what-ifs’…

  5. Anne says:

    I just think it’s excrutiatingly depressing to think she could have just called her parents that first day, but she actually thought they were in on it…. What kind of parents would give their own daughter reason to think such a thing?

    • Rad says:

      Well, from what you know of her home life, it isn’t the happiest… in the very early chapters she remembers her dad, who passed away, and she thinks about John, who we know isn’t great… and more of that is still to come…

  6. Luna says:

    Poor Naomi! I hope that they can help her, she’s had it really hard. I think she’s my favorite character in this story really. I can understand her doubt as to if she did the right thing or not, and if her family will be mad at her for not contacting them. Poor girl.

  7. pinkfiend1 says:

    Fingers crossed she find her family again. Maybe get some semblance of a normal back, although does she really want to go back to Wisconsin or will she choose to stay in NY knowing that she could try and get less secretive job.

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