My eyes shoot open and I quickly catch a scream within my mouth. My heart is pounding so loud, that I can barely hear the sound of my partners soft and slow breathes as he sleeps. It astounds me how he can sleep so peacefully while I am tortured with these god-forsaken nightmares every night. The reality of our situation is so grave and devastating that anytime my mind tries to process it my body reacts violently. My body quakes with fear; my stomach turns dreadfully until its insides scald the back of my throat. It just doesn't seem real. In fact, it doesn't seem possible. How my life can go from so on track and perfect to this mess within mere hours, I still cannot comprehend.
Well, to say my life was perfect is a bold lie. My life may have seemed perfect to an outsider, but inside I felt numb. I was engaged to a man I did not love, at least not in the way one is supposed to love the person they intend to spend the rest of their life with. I was stuck in a job that, while satisfying, bored me out of my mind. I always felt like I was meant for more, as if I was destined for something greater than that miniscule life. It seems I was.
Though my conscience flares to think it, there is a bright side to this whole devastating mess. While my heart hurts over the loss of my father, Scott, and all of humanity, I have found myself filled with adrenaline. I finally feel I am meeting my destinies expectations, although it stuns me to admit it. The best part of this whole mess is that I may have found the man that can make me feel those feelings I so desperately yearned for when I was with Scott, god bless his soul.
I look over now at the sleeping form of this brave, caring man, John Connor, and once again, I am astounded by the feelings that have so quickly developed between us. When he sleeps, he does so peacefully, but he sleeps so little, that I have worried over his health. It is good to see him sleeping now. I count each breath he takes, in and out, in and out. It calms me to do this and it lets me know that this is real. Sometimes when I am truly horrified at what fate has left us, I curl up into him, pressing my head against his chest, and counting his heartbeats until I can almost swear it beats as one with my own.
The first few weeks that we were here, he held me every night. As I trembled and sobbed for the loss of everything I had once loved, he whispered reassuring words in my ears, and sometimes he would just stroke my hair until I finally calmed down. Then we would sit in silence, holding one another, both too afraid to speak of what was to come. In the months that we have survived down here, he has been my rock. He is always there for me, no matter how I am feeling. When I am too catatonic to care for myself, he takes care of me. When I am overcome with grief, he holds me close in his arms. During the good times, he laughs with me, and we talk about all that we have done, experienced, and hope for.
I remember when we were young and I would write 'John + Kate' all over my binders. He was always so handsome, in a mischievous way. When other kids would tease me for being the "military brat", John would use his quick tongue to put them in their place. When he finally kissed me at a friend's party, I was blissful. I actually felt like my life had shifted afterwards. In fact, Knowing what I do now, I'm unsure if those feelings were just school-girl emotions, or if my subconscious mind knew that this was the man I would make history with. When he disappeared shortly after, I was heartbroken and I have to admit I thought about that boy in the basement more than once throughout the years.
Our reunion was less than beautiful though. I remember seeing his dirty face and clothing, and thinking he was just some junkie. It took me awhile to see that this was the boy who captured my heart and never really released it. The worry and pain that always lingered in his younger selves eyes seemed so intense in this older version. It did not take long before I found out why. I was very quickly shoved into a reality I wish I never knew existed, on the run from a future I never expected. After finding out my own importance in this future, I cannot say I was completely surprised. While this man was obviously a mess, I knew that I was somehow connected to him in a deeper way than I could fathom at that time. As we left my father, bleeding out and dying on the cold floor, his request for John to take care of me rang out, a surprising realization that this mess of a man actually received the approval from my father that my fiance craved for years. I can only imagine how things would have been for us if our timeline were not altered when we were in junior high. Would we be married by now? Happy, with a child on the way? A girl can certainly dream.
I don't know when I realized I loved this man. If I am completely honest with myself, it was before we were even down here, trapped until things get better in the real world. It was probably when I was faced with both of our deaths, racing against time, running from that terminating bitch. Sighing, I lean forwards and brush his hair behind his ear. I do love him now though. No doubt or questions about it. This man had somehow become my world. I have no doubt that he feels the same and I now see what mu future self so obviously saw. He is a man, but not just any man. He is my trainer, protector, healer, and lover. I don't even know where I would be if he was not here.
A sob threatens to escape my throat at that thought and I place a cold hand over my bare chest and squeeze. I cannot bear to think that, him not here with me. I lie back down and move closer to him, placing my arm around him waist. Our foreheads touch and I inhale his uniquely male scent. His eyes slowly open and he smiles a gentle smile at our closeness. His hand rises slowly and grazes the side of my breast, down my body until it rests at the curve of my hip. He leans forwards and places a gentle kiss on my lips before closing his eyes and drifting back into his peaceful slumber.
Yes, there is nothing to worry about. He will not let anything happen to me. We can accomplish anything together. As I drift into my sleep, pressing my naked body closer to his, I cannot help but think that there is so much more to come, so much more pain and fear, but I can get through it, as long as he is here.