“Mommy wake up. Look at me, Mommy!”
It was early morning before dawn. Kevin had snuck out of the house and made his way to the beach.
“MOMMY!” Kevin screamed in his head. He watched Annie’s eyes jerk open.
“Kevin?” she gasped.
“Look at me, Mommy. Can you see me?”
“Where you at?” she asked confused. “It so dark. What you doing out?”
“Can you see the ocean? The sun is going to rise soon above it.”
As if on cue color began to appear over the horizon. Annie was stunned by the beauty. Kevin smiled as he watched her enjoy it. They watched in silence. As the colors spread out in streaks it was reflected in the water. Kevin climbed up on a boulder to get a better view.
Annie began to cry. It had been years since she had seen a sunrise. She had been a child the last time she had seen one over a body of water. Once the colors had faded Kevin began running around showing her as many things on the beach as he could find. She was enthralled by the littlest things. A smooth rock, a seashell, every bird, and even the sand were wonders to her.
“Kevin, they looking for you,” Annie warned as her vision took her to the surrounding area around Kevin. She could see Mr. Gaydos and Scott. “That evil Gaydos is with your daddy.”
“Why do you call him evil?”
“He the one who put me here.”
“But… he’s my friend.”
“No, he ain’t Kevin. Don’t you ever trust him! He wants to use you.”
“Use me? For what?”
“I don’t know. All I’s know is that he trying to make another green-eyed baby in me. That’s why I strapped down. They put a baby in me and they don’t want me to lose it like the other ones.”
“Theys been trying to get me to give birth again ever since youse born. They keep shooting me with something that’s killing them. You think if they wanted them to live they’d quit shooting me with that stuff.”
“The serum,” Kevin remembered the muffled conversation between the doctor and the Gaydos men in the hospital where he was born. “It’s what made my eyes green. Your eye is turning green too.”
“Maybe it the serum that make us see each other.” Annie watched as the men came closer to Kevin. She could see them calling him but couldn’t hear them. “You best go. I need to sleep now anyway. It late at night here and I very tired. I see you when I wake up. Thank you so much, son. I ain’t never seen such pretty things.” She yawned deeply. “Here they is Kevin.” She yawned again.
“Goodnight Mommy,” Kevin whispered out loud as the two men came into view. He took one last look at his mother. She did look very weak and tired.
It had been decided that Kevin would live at PIGC when he turned five. Until then he would live with Scott and Tina and commute to class. Unlike before, he would be allowed to take classes with the older children.
He was a happy little boy now that he had Annie in his head. A few months after he had first seen her she told him he had a little sister growing in her.
“I can see her Kevin, just like I see you. Can you see her?” Annie said weakly.
“I can only see you. Your belly’s getting so big.” Kevin replied in wonder.
“Anastasia stronger than the other babies. I think she gonna live. I gonna do everything the doctor say so your sister survive.”
“Anastasia is a pretty name, Mommy. We can call her Annie for short.”
Annie rubbed her swollen belly. “Little Annie.”
“Kevin!” Mr. Braxton, Kevin’s chemistry teacher called as he snapped his fingers in Kevin’s face. Kevin jumped and looked at his teacher. “Kevin, class is over. Didn’t you hear the gong?” PIGC’s school bell sounded like a gong.
“Uh…no,” Kevin stammered. “I guess my mind was somewhere else sir.” He looked around and saw all the other kids had already left.
“You’d better get going. Your car will be waiting for you.”
Kevin looked at Annie before getting up. She had a disapproving look on her face. After Kevin got into the back of the car Annie told him he was no longer to talk to her while he was in class. She would watch him but he must pay attention to the teacher.
“Who knows,” she said cheerfully, “maybe I be getting some learning too.”
So Kevin’s life took on a routine that included Annie, school with friends and home life with Scott and Tina. Annie wouldn’t let him torment Tina any longer. He discovered that she wasn’t as horrible as he thought and he actually did start to not dislike her.
He watched in wonder as his mother’s belly grew with his little sister inside. One day he tuned into Annie and saw Nurse Jane in his mother’s room. He excitedly listened to the conversation and discovered that his nurse would be his sister’s also. He heard her tell his mother what a wonderful little boy he was and that she loved him dearly.
“It won’t be too much longer Annie and you’ll have a healthy little daughter too.” Nurse beamed.
“Yes,” Annie said weakly. “Little Anastasia will be healthy. What will happen to my baby? Will they take her away too?” Annie’s voice was shaking with emotion.
Nurse Jane grabbed her hand. It was very hot and clammy.
“I don’t know Annie. Maybe she’ll be sent to Scott and Tina like Kevin was. Maybe she can stay with you for a while.”
“Why they doing this? What they going to do with my children?” She clung to the nurse’s hand with both of hers.
“I don’t know. I’m afraid for my daughter too,” Nurse whispered. “The things they teach at PIGC are not normally taught to children. The children are all gifted so it would seem normal for them to be taught at a higher level than other children but my daughter said she was learning how to create viruses and decode messages. Why does she need to learn those things? I’m worried about her and Kevin. Kevin is so smart and he never forgets anything. They could fill his head with all sorts of things and he would never be able to get them out. They would be stuck in his memory forever.”
“Be careful Kevin!” Annie warned her son.
Kevin felt a chill go through his whole body. He thought about the lessons he was learning but he didn’t know what was normal. He had thought all subjects were appropriate for him.
“Do you know anything about the serum?” Annie asked in a whisper. The nurse leaned in close to her ear.
“I overheard the doctor say it was developed by a couple of students who had graduated from PIGC. They have been working for years trying to discover a way to enhance human brain function. They wanted to jump-start parts of the brain that we don’t use. They have been experimenting with the serum for years. You have been the only one to survive. You and Kevin. They tried it on the elderly and poor homeless people throughout the world, and even orphaned children. No one else has survived.” Nurse Jane began to cry. “They have killed so many people with this serum. I’m sure many people don’t even know what happened to their loved ones.”
“Why… do you work …for them?” Annie asked. Her breathing was becoming labored.
“Because they have my daughter. They trained me as a nurse and provide for me while Nancy goes to their school. I couldn’t afford to pay tuition and I had thought it was the best thing for her. I don’t know now.” She squeezed Annie’s hand. “Besides, I have to take care of you and your children so I can’t leave now can I?” She smiled.
Annie smiled and closed her eyes. Kevin watched as she fell asleep. Something about her face made his heart tremor. She looked shallow and delicate. He had never seen death before but he imagined it looked a lot like his mother.