Delete, Deny, Retry

Author's Note: Everything still applies )

Chapter Two - Deny

Two weeks later Nicky was tossing and turning in her new bedroom. She was having a terrible nightmare. There was two of him. One as he was 8 years ago – David. Only his hands were covered in blood. The other, Jason, holding his head as though it may explode from pain. Jason screaming, while David whispered. Both blaming her for her role in their downfall. David, tears running down his face, holding his bloody hands towards her, just constantly asking, "Why, why, why did you let me become this monster." Jason, vacant, stoic and emotionless as ever – except for the tone of his voice – just like it had been in the subway station when he held the gun to her head. "Why, why did you let them make me this way?"

Nicky shot up into a seated position on the bed. Her hair plastered around her face by tears and sweat. Her throat dry. Her chest heaving with each panicked breath she took.

It wasn't her fault. She KNEW it wasn't her fault. So why was she torturing herself? If she only knew what had happened to Jason. Maybe then she wouldn't feel so guilty.

Getting out of bed, Nicky knew she'd never get back to sleep. So she headed for the shower – appreciating her newfound privacy. That secretary had really come through. The girl (whose name was Monika) had a grandmother who owned a little house on the coast. Monika had recently moved out of the small attic apartment to live with her boyfriend. So now Nicky had her dream place, just a tiny bedroom with a little kitchen area attached and a small bathroom. But it was cheap, and by the ocean. What more could she ask for?

Turning the water as hot as she could stand and then just a little hotter, Nicky stepped into the spraying water. Jason was wrong when he told her it would get easier. Nicky prayed with every stinging splash of water that he was okay.


By the time two months had passed, Nicky had already developed a routine. She got up would go for a run for about 30 minutes. After a quick shower she would join Monika's grandmother (she told me to call her Avó) every morning for breakfast. She then left, walking to work and arriving by 8:30am. She would be at the school all day, alternating between working in the admissions office and the four classes she was taking. Walking home in the evening and having dinner with Avó at 7pm and then working on schoolwork until she fell asleep was how she finished every day. There were only two times when her week varied.

Sundays, after breakfast, Nicky would go with Avó to the church down the street. Sitting there she often listened to the waves pounding on the sand outside, instead of the priest inside.

She was on her way to her second deviation. Wednesday nights she would do whatever she wanted. This evening she had spent her time shopping in Bairro Alto, the trendy part of the city. She had bought a new book and instead of going home, she decided to go to a little café that she liked. The espresso was good and they usually played CNN on one of their television screens which for some strange reason made her feel connected to her "real" self.

Buying a tea, chamomile to relax her, she found a table and opened her book. She was a good 40 pages into the book when the reporter on CNN caught her attention. Blackbriar. Landy. Jason. DAVID!

Nicky let the first genuine smile in weeks grace her face. Slowly she packed up her things and headed out of the café. Practically floating home, Nicky got ready for bed on autopilot. Her last thought before drifting into a peaceful nights rest was, "He's alive."


If Nicky had thought hearing about Jason when she first saw him on the news was a relief, that relief was short lived. It was the program all over again. She was on needles. Ears always perked, hoping to hear more information. Eyes always alert to the comings and goings of her location. Minutes felt like hours. Days felt like years.

They had plastered his name all over the news. David Webb. Had it only been 3 months since she thought she was the last person alive to know him by that name? If the media knew than did he? Did he have any of David's memories? Did he remember her? Did Jason for that matter?

God, why couldn't she just move on? Forget about Jason. And David. And Treadstone. And Blackbriar. All of it. Just suppress any knowledge of it all. Trying to delete him from her heart and mind didn't work. Why not just deny her heart and mind instead.

Yes. That would be easier. She didn't have to erase him. Just avoid acknowledging the fact that she knew him (REALLY knew him). She could do that. Right?