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Editorial

Andrew's Secret part II


02/01/2005 - Last month . . .

In a small Wyoming town called Wagon Wheel a young man has made a

sudden mystery appearance. With all the eyewitnesses claiming that he fell from the

sky, rumors have spread that he is not human. After being in a coma for nearly a

year, he has awakened and enlisted the help of a doctor in an escape from the

hospital, saying it is only a matter of time before "they" will come after him. Having

learned "Andrew's Secret", the doctor agreed, not realizing how little he still knew

about the man. Andrew, who insists he must find his "calculator" has revealed little

about himself aside from the fact that he is indeed human. The doctor, while

digging through Andrew's things, discovered that he was Jewish, but it was

Andrew's ID that answered most of Dr. Patterson's questions. Most.

Andrew lay alone in his hospital room, thinking it all out. Have I really been out

for almost year? he said to himself. A lot must've changed.

The fact was, more had changed than he thought possible. Andrew didn't

understand the extent of it just yet, but he knew from his conversation with the doctor that

things had definitely changed. Lily had died. That changed everything. Andrew had

never met her, yet without her, his life would not have been what it was, Andrew knew

that.

. . . And, what about that calculator? Andrew knew deep down inside that the

doctor would not find it, even if he had searched for it the second Andrew made his big

appearance, but Andrew was still holding on to the hope that, maybe, just maybe, he was

wrong in his calculations and not as much had changed as he suspected. Oh, how could I

have been so stupid? He moaned inwardly.

Then there was the escape. As much as Andrew hated to, he had to give this some

thought. He certainly did not want to get the doctor in trouble with the authorities, but he

needed help. The doctor was the only one who would be willing because he knew

Andrew's secret.

Andrew's secret. Andrew had never thought he would be a fugitive with a secret,

but he figured he deserved it for his reckless act. He had spent the early afternoon telling

the doctor all about it. Andrew figured once the doctor had seen his ID that there was

nothing left to hide, so he spilled his story. It felt good, though. He needed to tell

someone.

Dr. Patterson did not know why he had agreed to help Andrew escape. He knew

the chances of making it out undetected were slim. It would basically be giving up life as

he knew it because Dr. Patterson was a terrible actor and would probably give them away

the second someone noticed anything suspicious. But, when he looked Andrew in the

eye, somehow he knew that this man was being honest with him, so, foolish though it

was, he agreed.

Andrew spent the rest of the afternoon concocting a plan that would allow him to

leave the hospital without arousing suspicion. The doctor was good enough to work with

Andrew and not tell the others that he had awakened. That night at around ten o' clock,

when it would be dark and the hospital would not be very busy, Dr. Patterson would

announce that John Doe had died, throw a sheet over his head, and pretend to be wheeling

him to the morgue. When they were almost there and no one was looking, they would

escape to Dr. Patterson's car, which he would have moved into the lot behind the hospital

by then. It wasn't fool proof, but Andrew figured it would at least get them out of the

building and give them a head start away from the place. Dr. Patterson said he knew of a

place where he could hide Andrew until he was well enough to move on. "Good."

Andrew had said, "But, no matter what, don't tell anyone who I am or where I'm from."

Dr. Patterson agreed.

That night at about ten o' clock Dr. Patterson came in.

"Is it time?" Andrew asked when he heard him enter the room.

"Yup." The doctor said as he threw a sheet over Andrew's face. Andrew's

adrenaline began to rush as the doctor wheeled him out the door and he fought to keep

from reacting. He felt tense, like he needed to fight, or jump, or laugh, but he knew he

couldn't.

"What're you doing?" he heard a woman's voice ask.

"Oh hello, Nurse Kimball." Dr. Patterson nervously replied. "E - er - Andr - I

mean, John Doe has died and I was just taking the body downstairs."

Under the sheet Andrew rolled his eyes. He's a horrible actor, he thought.

Andrew, on the other hand, was a very good actor. He'd had to act like someone

else ever since he was twelve years old.

The nurse seemed to ignore the doctor's nonchalant way of speaking concerning

such a serious matter. "John Doe? The John Doe? Don't take him downstairs, they'll

want an autopsy to figure out what this guy really is. Then Wagon Wheel can finally rest

easy."

Yeah, right, Dr. Patterson thought, but he said, "Uh, sure, yeah, okay." and

continued down the hall. He could feel the nurse's eyes boring into his back as he

walked, and he grimaced, knowing he had almost blown his cover. How would they ever

make it out of the hospital?

"That was smooth!" Andrew whispered under the sheet.

"So was that . . . you're supposed to be dead!"

Andrew fought the temptation to make some smart remark as they continued

down the hall and into the parking lot.

Andrew could tell they were outside now because of the change in temperature.

"Almost there." Dr. Patterson whispered.

"Why are you whispering to that body?" a woman's voice came from behind.

Dr. Patterson froze. He slowly turned around and when he saw Nurse Kimball in

the doorway he knew he was in trouble.

"Furthermore," she said beginning to approach him. "Why are you taking him to

your car?"

She grabbed the corner of the sheet and pulled it back. Andrew tried very hard to

hold his breath and act dead, but he knew it was no use. They were busted. Now Dr.

Patterson would be a fugitive, too. Not only had Andrew failed in his mission, he had

drawn another man into the lonely life that he lead.

Then again . . . maybe he hadn't failed just yet. If he could find Jonathan . . .

maybe.

"He's alive!" Nurse Kimball shrieked as she leapt back from the bed in terror.

"Security!"

Quickly, Dr. Patterson threw the car door open. With a sudden burst of energy

and the adrenaline he'd been holding in for so long Andrew managed to sit up.

"Roll forward!" Dr. Patterson shouted. "You're right by the door!"

Andrew obeyed and he had never missed his eyesight more than he did now.

"Oh, no you don't!" Nurse Kimball shouted, "You're not getting away, Patterson!

SECURITY!"

Andrew curled into a fetal position on the back seat of the car. His whole body

ached. He heard the car door slam and felt the wind of it. He could tell Dr. Patterson had

crawled in the back door and was climbing over him trying to get to the front seat and

start the car, careful not to bump Andrew. The engine started and the car jumped

forward.

"Sorry about that. You okay back there?" Dr. Patterson called out.

"As okay as possible under the circumstances!" Andrew replied and the strength

of his own voice surprised him. Just then he heard gunshots and the rear window crashed

in. He curled smaller, sending out a desperate prayer for help.

"What in the blue blazes . . ." Dr. Patterson said, taking a sideways glance in the

rearview mirror.

"What is it?" Andrew called out.

"Hospital security doesn't even have guns. Who on earth is shooting at us?"

The car swerved and skidded, tossing Andrew about in the back seat. The

gunshots continued as the car sped on. "They're following us!" Dr. Patterson exclaimed.

By now the front window was blown and a fierce wind was passing through the car.

"How fast are you going?" Andrew shouted and then inwardly rejoiced at the

regained voice.

"Doin' about seventy."

"Where are we?"

"Madison Street."

"Your doin' seventy on Madison Street?"

"Yup, so hold on tight. They're right behind us."

Just then, there was another gunshot and the doctor cried out. The car swerved

and Andrew was thrown against the car door.

"Dr. Patterson?" Andrew called out.

The doctor's breathing was heavy and his voice was labored. "I'm here. I've

been hit, Andrew."

"Where are you hit?"

"I'm okay, I'll fix it up when we get to the hideout." he didn't want to tell

Andrew, but he was concerned that he may pass out from blood loss if it continued so

profusely. "Not good." he muttered, but Andrew couldn't hear him over all the noise. He

sped up the car some more. The sooner they got there, the sooner he could get help.

"You still okay back there?"

"Yeah."

"Stay down. I don't want you to get hit, too."

The doctor was starting to feel dizzy. Great, he thought. There was still an hour

or so to the hideout. He was also concerned about Andrew. Andrew was still in very bad

condition and a car wreck wouldn't help. Suddenly there was another gunshot and a loud

pop. The car jerked to the side and the doctor had to swerve to stay on course.

"What was that?"

"The rear tire."

"Just keep driving."

"Yup."

After a few more minutes they had lost their pursuers and were driving more

steadily. Both of them were extremely uncomfortable, though.

"Do you know who they were - the people chasing us?" Andrew asked at length.

"I don't know," the doctor managed, "but I have a hunch."

"Who?"

"Those weird men, all in black . . . I think they work for the government or

something. They showed up the day you did. They insisted on speaking alone to anyone

claiming you were an alien. Scared the townsfolk to death. They call 'em 'the men in

black.'"

Andrew sighed. For the remaining time they rode in silence except for the

doctor's heavy breathing and the grinding of the tire on the road.

It was about eleven fifteen when Dr. Patterson and Andrew reached the hideout.

Andrew had no clue where they were because he still could not see, but he could tell it

was nowhere near civilization. He could hear no cars passing, or sirens. In fact, Andrew

heard crickets. The doctor climbed out of the car only to collapse just outside of it.

"Doctor?" Andrew called softly, but there was no answer.

Andrew felt like panicking. He knew of nothing he could do to help the doctor,

especially when he couldn't even see. He tried to climb out of the car, but still could not

even manage that. It was then that he heard footsteps. Steady, sure footsteps approaching

the car. Andrew decided to stay quiet thinking that maybe whoever it was wouldn't

notice him on the floor of the back seat where he had ended up.

"Dr. Patterson? Dr. Patterson!" he heard a voice say. "Andrew, are you there?"

Andrew was startled. No one was supposed to know who he was. "Who's

there?" he asked warily.

"I'm a friend of the doctor's. He told me about you."

Andrew was dismayed. Now what would become of him? He should never have

told the doctor. "Who are you?" he said.

"My name is Jonathan Moore."

. . . continued next month

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