Monsters

Thursday May 7 2015

I think I’m sick.

Not that I caught a virus or anything but I don’t feel good. At all. I feel as if I were going to throw up any minute even though my stomach is completely empty. My hands are freezing and every little sound in the living-room makes my heart race as if it were trying to escape from my ribcage. Oh yeah, maybe this has something to do with the fact that I’m stuck. Maybe this has something to do with the fact that I’ve always been so naïve, so gullible, so delusional about being good and thus guaranteed a safe future and living happily ever after… Maybe because there’s no need to deny my secret fear of Joseph any longer.

The two following days after the undersecretary’s visit have been a living hell. Nobody would talk or walk in the halls. No more buzzing machines, no more perpetual brouhaha of small talk and scientific babble. Silence had invaded it all. People were sitting on their chair, either doing nothing or force themselves to work to not go mad with anxiety. Anytime the phone would ring, people would jump and rush at it to pick it up then hang off disappointingly. Still no news of the undersecretary. All eyes were also on the big boss’ office. But Jo had locked himself up and hadn’t come out except to let me bring him lunch. I was so worried I thought I needed to cheer him up somehow. So… one night, after I begged him all day to come back home in the evening, I went home earlier and left a note at the office saying I would be out for the night. Of course, it was just an alibi to prepare his surprise <3 !

When he arrived that evening like I had asked him to, I had been waiting in our bed comfortably, a couple of glasses and a bottle of his favorite wine on the night-table, the lights were dimmed and… well, let’s say I was glad I had brought my favorite lingerie in my suitcase for that kind of emergency ;)

However, when I heard him come in and I called his name with my sexiest voice, when he saw me in our bed with his coat and his shoes still on, he didn’t look even surprised. In fact, he just looked at me with a small smile on his face and, as he came closer to me, he embraced me into a bear hug, then took my head in his hands and gave me a big smooch on the lips.

“I have a surprise for you.” he told me against my lips and gave me his warm, lovable smile.

I couldn’t help but stare at him in disbelief. A surprise? For me? But I was the one supposed to surprise him! Plus he’s never done that before! He then took out a bottle of champagne from his bag and poured it in the glasses I had already prepared.

“I know you’ve been waiting for it for a long time.” he whispered in my ear.

He then handed me a glass and told me to close my eyes as he bent on his knees. I gasped and my heart skipped a beat. Could it be…? Was my Jo-Jo about to ask me…? This was probably his way to tell me that he wanted me by his side in the darkest of times! OMG YES! YES! YES! YEEEEES!! I was screaming in my head as I was already grinning with my eyes now closed. When Jo-Jo told me to open them again, he was not holding a ring but a letter in front of my face. I took it, confused and a little disappointed.

“Read it out loud.” he said.

So I did. It was the answer from the Pentagon. Joseph rested his head on my knee like a little boy listening to his favorite bedtime story. In spite of the incident and a major refusal to support the project any longer, some generals were impressed by the boys’ performances and a minority had voted to keep financing the development of the SB. They were ready to fight to be the first to have real super-soldiers in their army! However, they thought the product was advanced enough to be finalized in the US. Some of them had even called him in private and told him they were ready to settle an unofficial arrangement to have it right now. When they announced the prices they were ready to pay, Joseph told me he told them he could slow down the secondary effects by maybe selling them smaller dosages or cut it with other medicines just for a few months so in the meantime, the SB could still be secretly perfected in its pure form.

That meant we would soon pack and fly back home, “our real home”, he said and took out two plane tickets from his pocket.

My Jo-Jo was so happy! He was dancing and yahooing all over the place even though he was usually so introvert because, he said, he was getting too old for this. As for me, although his joy made me smile, I couldn’t help but remain skeptical on the inside.

“You sure you wanna do this?” I asked hesitantly. “That doesn’t sound very legal.”

“Come on, sweetie (again, he never called me “sweetie” unless he wanted to lure me into something), it would just be for a few months. I’m sure if we work hard enough, we can finish it in time before the first dosages are sold!”

“Yeah, but just because they said it might take you just a few more months in order to motivate you doesn’t mean it will.” I added as I sat on and put on my dressing gown (did I mention it felt weird to talk about work in lingerie?) “You don’t have to do this. We can’t sell it as it is! The addiction, the cerebral damages…”

“I know that!” he said louder and put down his glass on the night-table so abruptly he spilled half of his champagne and it made me look down in silence. “That’s why we will need to work harder than ever. Listen, do we look like we have a choice right here?” he said and made me look in his eyes. “It’s either this or we can kiss all this good-bye. Is that what you want me to do?”

I slowly shook my head with my eyes still down.

“No, of course not.” I said in a small voice. “This is your whole life.”

“Exactly,” he said and poured himself another glass satisfyingly. “which is why I also wanted to ask you something.”

I knew it.

“What is it?” I asked.

He then took another sip before he wrapped his arms around my waist and buried his face in my neck.

“You see,” he said softly, “they said they wouldn’t be able to send the money right away when we’re back in the US. It might take a few months. So I was thinking, maybe it’s time we think about that joint account we talked about before...”

“We never mentioned it before.” I bluntly replied.

“Never?” he asked innocently. “Well, maybe it’s time we do, then. You see, lately, since Korean lifestyle is a lot more expansive than in America…”

“But I’m not done paying my student loans yet!” I whined before he raised his head and gave me a stern look. “Fine, I’ll help you.” I gave in resignedly. “Aside from that, I know you hate that question, but… What about the boys?” I asked shyly.

He paused for a second and slightly parted away from me.

“Well, obviously we can’t transfer them to Washington. And we can’t let them here on their own either. As cruel as it sounds, I’m afraid they have no future anywhere.”

He parted from me and took a sip from his glass as I looked at him to check if he was joking. Then, as he caught me staring, he shrugged lightly and sighed.

“They are too wild, too brutal for this world. Let’s admit it, I overestimated their chances. I’ll take the blame for that. They are more weapons than humans now. But don’t worry. Now that I may be able to have adults as test-subjects in the future, I won’t have to spend so much time on each of them and let the side effects develop so deeply.”

“So… what about them? Are you saying… Are you going to…?”

As I asked him in a weaker and weaker voice since I couldn’t believe what he was trying to say to me, he looked deep into my eyes and said:

“Do you have another solution?”

His eyes and tone of voice were cold to me again. I took my head in my hands, unable to process what was going on, their five six faces in mind as if they were right in front of my eyes. I couldn’t believe he was talking about terminating them for a question of convenience!

“We lost Beast barely two days ago!”

“I know. But it wasn’t our fault. It was his. Or rather, it was theirs.”

“You can’t be serious. You can’t do that to them. They trust you!”

“Which is why they must be aware that it is all for the greater good.”

I paused.

“Sweetie, remember what I said?” he said and wrapped me in his arms reassuringly, “Don’t relate to them. Tomorrow, their brains will be so soaked with SB they won’t feel a thing. By now, they must have already forgotten whether they were six, ten or twenty-five to begin with!”

“I wouldn’t be so sure if I were you.” I said in a sharp tone and parted from him. “Did you even mention them to the militaries before you took that decision?”

He sighed exasperatedly.

“Who would want them now?” he shouted. “They are incontrollable! I tried everything on them! Everything! Anyway, I’ve made my decision. They are my boys, not yours, period.”

“Fine.” I said and got off the bed, upset. “I’ll sleep on the couch tonight.”

When I was about to leave the room, Joseph suddenly grabbed me by the wrist, holding it so tight I winced in pain as he went closer to my ear.

“I don’t care if you think it's wrong and I don’t care if you hate me. However, don’t even think about quitting.” he suddenly whispered. “You’re in too deep now. I won’t let you go. Not that you would ever think about it, would you?”

He then smiled at me and kissed me on the lips before he closed the bedroom door on my face, leaving me stunned in the corridor. When I finally ended up on the couch in the leaving-room a few hours ago, I almost threw up and my hands were trembling so much I could barely press the keys at first. My typing got better but my head is still a mess.

The worst is that he is right. I’m in too deep. For four years, my whole life has been almost only about him. I was all alone back then. My father was dead and I was mum’s only child. Since we were financially just above the line that would have allowed me to get a scholarship, I fought to help my mum pay back my student loans. I had almost no social life back then, not that the spoiled brats of my class were interested in me anyway. With Joseph, everything was simpler: he’d help organize my schedule, teach me everything he knew, talk to my other teachers about my family’s condition, console me when I had a bad day, he helped me get my first job… I owe him everything. He’s my hero. My own Superman.

That bastard, that liar, that murderer… I can’t leave him now. He owns me. Even if I could, I can’t do anything without him. I turned my back on my only family for him. I have nowhere to go. I’m stuck. I’m stuck. I’m stuc

I had to go throw up again. And now I’m shivering. In a few hours, the boys will die. Then I will be on the plane with their killer as he will smile, talk to me and hold my hand like nothing was wrong. I will never feel safe in his arms again!

I will keep this journal on me from now on and try to photocopy anything I can about the project from now on. One day, he will pay.

I’m so sorry mom, I love you,

Joan.


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