The next three weeks contain more anxiety than I thought I could ever handle. Every day we have some form of propaganda detection training, then we are released to do what we wish. During this free time, I've been nervously wandering around, paranoid that Luke is lurking around every corner. Leah hasn't been much better about waiting for her "unknown" attacker. She stays awake in some sort of silent vigil for at least an hour every night before she goes to bed, and she has taken to stuffing the crack underneath the door with old socks so it's harder to open.
"Watch him trip on them," she said, somewhat madly, as she dumped the contents of the sock drawer onto the floor.
I've encountered Mark three times during my routine of wandering the hallways, and every day he seems the same. The last time I stopped by to say hello, he stared at me blankly until I reminded him who I was.
But worse than Leah's paranoia or my fears of Luke's intentions or the absence of Mark's progress, Matthew has been ignoring me ever since I last saw him in the clinic. Every time he sees me or I try to speak to him, he quickly turns on his heel to walk off or he comes up with some sort of excuse so he can leave quickly.
I walk into the Training Facility which bustles with afternoon activity. Stop thinking about him so much, I tell myself sternly. What matters most is your own safety. That's all. Sam stands crossly against the far wall and I walk over to him, wanting to apologize for disappointing him. Hopefully we can get off on the right foot again; I can't stand the tension between us. When he sees me his jaw muscle tightens.
"Hello, Enna. I'm sorry to hear about your friend. Is she okay? I'd think she might have calmed down a bit since the attack..."
"She's fine. I think she's still shaken, though," I reply, trying to sound chipper. "Listen, I'm sorry about how my practice interfered with training. It won't--"
"It's fine." Sam seems a bit distracted; he keeps glancing over my shoulder. Slightly miffed, I turn around to see Josh walking into the Facility, looking dispirited. "I have to go, okay?"
Sam rushes over to Josh and I look on, confused. Sam seems angry. Very angry. Just as he begins yelling I feel a hand roughly grab my shoulder and I spin around, alarmed. I had subconsciously expected to see Luke, but the person I see now surprises me even more.
"Matthew?" I ask, breathless. He appears winded as well, but has a mischievous gleam in his eyes that I've come to miss.
"Enna. I had to find you."
"Wh-why? What happened?" I stammer, shocked by his sudden appearance.
"I was in the Security Quarter and I saw Luke sneaking off again. Just like you said." He grabs my wrist and begins dragging me towards the Depot tunnels. "I want you to follow him with me." Shocked, I ground my feet and pull my arm free from his grasp.
"Hold on! I need an explanation before you start dragging me off!"
"I was thinking about what you said, and it made a lot of sense. Why would Luke have any reason to leave the Depot?" I stand and stare at him for a long time. He believes that I haven't been rambling nonsensically. He came to me for help, even after all these weeks of silence. For the first time in a while, I feel as though I'm useful.
"Okay. We'd better hurry," I say. We walk briskly through the tunnel until we reach the Entry Hall.
"How long ago was it that you saw him?"
YOU ARE READING
Unplugged: The New World (#1, Unplugged Trilogy)Science Fiction
Choose to Rebel. RScreens (Reality Screens) are all the rage in America's future, just a few years after the climax of World War III. They were invented for sport, convenience, and -- most importantly -- surveillance. Enna Price, an 18-year...