When You Knew me

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“Careful!” warns the older man, holding up an imperious finger, his eyes intent upon the machine. “Make sure that level doesn’t exceed five.”

“Yep.” The younger man sighs. “And you’re sure this will work?”

“Yes. I’m sure. Now focus. We can’t afford to forget the smallest thing.”

“Will it be different this time?”

“Better. Just hold this tube up, will you?”

“I hope you’re right.”

“Me too. Level?”

“Two point one. Will she remember me?”

“I hope she remembers both of us. If I’m right, she will retain everything. There. You can drop that line now. Do you have the oxygen mask ready?”

“Yes. When do I…?”

“I’ll tell you. Now. Watch.”

A high pitched shriek bounces off the stark white walls of the small room. Machines beep wildly.

“Level!” Snaps the older man, swiftly pressing buttons and monitoring the clock.

“Three point six.”


The younger man’s breath is strangled in his throat as he places the mask over her mouth. God, please don’t punish us for doing this! Her back arches, convulsing.

“It’s hurting her! Bringing her back is hurting her!”

The older man ignores him, his face grim and intent upon the task. The beeping begins to slow to a regular pattern. The younger man sighs with relief. The older man looks over, a broad grin transforming his serious face.

“We’ve got her.”


“Yes.” Tears stream down the older man’s face. “For good, this time.”

His companion straightens his shoulders. “And I’ll be making sure she doesn’t do anything stupid.”

The older man raises an eyebrow. “Good luck with that.”

“She’ll listen to me. I’ll make sure of it.”

“Ha! I will enjoy watching you try. Now, watch that level. I’ll just…. There. It’s all in.” He stands back, folding his arms, looking over all the displays critically. “Blood oxygen good. Heart rate fine. Cortical levels… normal.”

“Now what do we do?”

“We wait.”

The younger man looks down at the girl he loves - Charlotte Emily Campbell, version three. Her skin is perfect. Her hair lies in soft coppery-brown folds around her delicate face. Her lips are so kissable… He leans down and presses his mouth softly to hers. Her eyes roll under their lids in response and the two men share a grin. As he looks down at her unconscious form Gabe smiles to himself.

And I bet she’s just as stubborn as the last one.

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