The Anchor

Part 1: The Note

Disclaimer: If I was Stephanie Meyer, then this would have happened. Obviously, it didn't, so I don't own The Host! *sob*

This idea came to me in the middle of the night . . . and it was screaming for me to write it! It was inspired by the AWESOME bonus chapter in the end of the paperback copy of The Host. Thank you Stephanie for sharing that!!!

Basically, I'm re-writing a little bit of The Host and writing it from Ian's POV. What if Jared hadn't followed Wanda when she went to sacrifice herself? What if Ian had been the one to save Wanda from her suicidal plans? And how did he find out about them?

This happens after Wanda leaves Ian and has Doc take her out of Melanie. Jared did his . . . thing with Wanda and then he went back to bed, NOT following her to Doc.

I awoke with a start, and sat bolt upright on my mattress in the blackness of my room. My heart was beating like a runaway drum, my breathing that of one who just ran a marathon. It seemed as though my heartbeat and panting alone were loud enough to wake anyone sleeping within a mile of me. Sweat was pouring down my face faster than water.

My mind was spinning like a wheel given a monstrous push down a giant hill. I couldn't seem to recall what had happened to affect me this way.

Then I realized why my breathing and heartbeat seemed so loud . . . I was listening intently for something. But what?

Suddenly, I caught sight of three stars, tiny pinpricks of light in the darkness shining down upon me. They may have been thousands of light years away, but they shed a welcome light on my situation. I unearthed from the depths of my mind what I was listening for.

I was hoping, praying, to hear another heartbeat, another person breathing on the mattress beside me.

Wanda's heartbeat, Wanda's breathing, Wanda beside me.

Wanda. My Wanda. My beautiful, kind, glorious soul Wanderer.

I loved her so much . . . everything I possessed was hers for the taking.

And she had told me she loved me too, I recalled with an almost electric shock.

But had she meant it?

Much as I desperately wished that my Wanda could love me back, it was too good to be true. No, good was not strong enough a word to describe how wonderful it would be if she did love me . . . but no. She couldn't have meant it. After all, she loved Jared, much as I hated to admit it. Plus, she was a soul, and I was human, an alien to her. And yet . . . I knew Wanda's nature, after all the time I had wiled away thinking about, dreaming about, and watching her. When I told her I loved her, she responded in kind to make me happy, not because she really felt that way. This kind of thing was simply automatic with her. She was so selfless, everything she did was for the good of others, even aliens she despised . . .

I was lost in thoughts of Wanda when my hand felt something rustle beneath it. Paper. A note . . . ?

That's when I remembered the not-so-great part of the day before. Wanda couldn't leave me, she just couldn't!

Which brought me back to . . .

Oh no . . .

Where was she?

I had to read that note.

After fumbling around in the dark night for what seemed like hours (probably not more than half a minute), my hands shaking with fear for what the note might say, I found my flashlight. It had been buried in one of the clothing piles off to the side of my mattress. I located the switch, and clicked it on. The beam of bright white light was more than enough for me to open the note, and still shaking like a leaf in a hurricane, read what it said. It was written on a strip of toilet paper in small, cramped, but still neat, blue ink. Where had Wanda gotten blue ink? I wondered.

Anyway, the note:

My dearest Ian,

I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you . . .

If only I could tell you I loved you so many times that I could make up for all the time I have spent with you, not knowing I loved you. Oh, for the wasted hours . . .

Ian, I love you, and I really mean it. You are my anchor to my ninth planet, the Earth, and this is why I cannot leave it. Your icy yet gentle blue eyes tether me, stronger than any gravitational pull, to the surface of this strange, emotion-filled planet. Yes, I love you that much. I only wish I had realized it sooner . . .

I cannot leave the Earth, but I must leave Melanie's body. She is trapped in here with me, and I want her to be happy. I love her too. She is so brave, so strong. She deserves her Jared.

So I am going to end my many lives. Doc will take me out of Melanie, but he will not put me into another host or into a cryotank. He will leave me to perish without a host. I will be dead by the time you read this. He gave me his word.

Please, Ian, you must understand. I know you must be screaming at me right now for leaving you. Please don't. I can't bear to think of you unhappy. I cannot love you in this body. Its very cells are connected to Jared. But I love you with my soul, my whole soul.

Don't cry for me. I am at peace, no longer a parasite. You deserve to be happy more than anyone. Find yourself someone else, and get married, have kids, be happy. Have a life. For me. Please.

Ian, you are kind enough to be a soul, yet strong as only a human man can be.

I love you.

Always know that.

My soul is yours.

Love, your one true soul mate,

Your Wanderer

"NOOOOOOOOO!!!!" I screamed, not caring about who heard me. Or at least, I tried to scream. All that came out was a strangled squeak.

Oh, how manly, I goaded myself.

Of course, that was only in the very back of my head.

The main part of me was consumed with pain, unable to do anything but sit and stare at the paper in front of me.

How could she do this? If she loved me, how could she leave me?

She wasn't leaving me. I wouldn't let her.

And that is where we leave off . . . for now. I'll probably have part 2 up tomorrow morning, or else my conscience won't let me do anything else.

Review or Ian will be too late to save Wanda!