Thunderstorm

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Chapter 7

"I'm sorry."

"It's not your fault."

"How are we supposed to do this?"

"We'll find a way, Jennifer."


Jennifer woke up. She had a strange dream. She assumed it must be a memory resurfacing.

She got out of bed. Her head was pounding, and she could hear the ringing tone again.

She walked into the hallway. Ben was already up.

"You're up." Ben said, turning around.

"What are you watching?"

"Just 15 year-olds playing video games. I wish they had actual sports on TV."

Jennifer nodded, then sat down on the couch.

"I assume you didn't sleep well?" Ben asked.

"How did you know?"

"First of all, I've known you for 7 years, and also, it's 3:00 am."

"It's 3:00 am?"

"Yep. I'm already used to you getting up early, especially since-" Ben paused.

"What? Since the asteroid?"

"No, it's nothing." Ben seemed to be deep in thought.

Jennifer looked at him, then looked back at the TV.

There was a long pause.

"What happened?" Jennifer asked again.

Ben sighed. "I had a feeling you were going to want to talk about that. It's just that you said you didn't want to talk about it anymore after it happened."

"After what happened?"

"It doesn't matter anymore. Neither of us will get much benefit out of it."

"Tell me!"

"You're very stubborn, you know that? You were always very stubborn, that's why it's so hard to be in a conversation with you."

"Why won't you tell me?"

"We haven't talked about it for 2 years, I'm not used to talking about it."

"It happened 2 years ago? When we got engaged?"

"I knew you were going to do this."

"Do what?"

"Ask me multiple questions until you already have all the information. You used to do it all the time."

"I did?"

"On our 3rd date, you already knew almost everything about my family."

"What was I like before the asteroid?"

"Same as you are now. Stubborn, skilled conversationalist-"

Jennifer laughed.

"Smart," Ben continued, "and beautiful."

He leaned in closer to her, and she already knew he was going to kiss her.

The kiss only lasted for a few seconds before Jennifer stopped it.

"No. I'm sorry. I believe that we were engaged at some point, but I still don't remember you that well."

"I'm sorry. I-" Ben paused.

"What?"

"You have something on your neck."

He leaned in closer to her and touched the back of her neck.

"It's a tracking device." Ben said. "No wonder they knew you were here." Jennifer could hear the same anger in his voice that she heard when he got the call from Jake.

"A tracking device?"

"Apparently. I don't know how to take it off."

"Take it off?!"

"Well, yeah, I can't just leave it on you!"

"Is it even possible to take it off?"

"I don't know."

"That's reassuring."

He tried to pull the device off.

"Ow!"

"Sorry."

He pressed a button on the device, and it came off.

Jennifer started to feel tired, like she was going to pass out. She tried to stay conscious, but then she fell down to the floor. She heard Ben saying her name, but before she could do anything, she passed out.


"I guess you want this back, then."

"Jennifer, I still want to marry you. It doesn't matter what happened."

"I thought that you-"

"I want to marry you because I love you."


"I don't want to talk about this anymore."

"I understand."

"I mean, I don't EVER want to talk about it."

"That's okay, Jennifer. We won't ever talk about it again."

"Thank you."


"Jennifer!"

Jennifer opened her eyes and saw Ben by her side. He let out a sigh of relief when he saw her awake.

"You scared me for a second there, I thought you...." Ben trailed off.

"I'm sorry. I don't know what happened." Jennifer explained, "How long was I passed out?"

"A few minutes."

"I'm sorry. I had a strange dream."

"What do you mean?"

"I think it was a memory from before the asteroid. I saw us talking about being engaged and how you were still going to marry me even after.... something that happened."

"Oh...." Ben seemed deep in thought again.

Jennifer changed the subject.

“If the tracking device is still here, won’t they know I’m here?”

“I already told them you weren’t here.”

“I know, but they might figure it out at some point. We should take the tracking device somewhere else, just to be safe.”

"You're right.''

They walked out the door, and got in the car.

"Where should we hide it?" Jennifer asked.

"Probably in the main part of the city. They'll think you're exploring the city."

Jennifer nodded, then they got out of the car.

Jennifer saw thousands of people walking around, like she saw when she woke up.

As they got to the main part of the city, they heard a woman's voice. They both turned around and saw a hologram.

"Citizens of Earth," the voice said, "this is Sara Fox. This planet is now under quarantine. No ships will leave the planet's surface without authorization, and any who may try will be severely punished. No ships will be allowed to dock on any spaceport on Earth without authorization. All business trips will be cancelled. The quarantine will be indefinite."

There was a pause, then a holo image of Jennifer appeared.

"Anyone who sees this woman," Sara continued, "bring her to the Thunderstorm headquarters, alive, and you will be rewarded a large sum of money."

"They must really want to find me." Jennifer said.

"I'm sure it will be okay, Jennifer."

For some reason, that sentence seemed familiar to Jennifer.

"I know. I'm not concerned."

Ben tossed the tracking device on the sidewalk.

"We should get back to the apartment. If anyone sees you, they'll report you."

Jennifer nodded, and they got back in the car.

They were both silent the entire ride there. She could tell Ben had been deep in thought since this morning.

"Are you okay?" she asked.

"It's annoying if I ask that, but it's fine if you do?" Ben asked, avoiding the question.

"You didn't answer my question."

"I'm- fine. Just thinking about the past."

They were silent again for the remainder of the car ride.

They got out of the car. The door scanned Ben, then opened.

They both sat down on the couch. They watched some boring show until Jennifer fell asleep on the couch.

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