Where do I belong?
Carthage pulled into a parking space and shut off the car.
Without The Institute, where do I belong?
I don’t know.
He got out of his car and crossed the line between pavement and grass. He walked past gravestones of people he didn’t know and would never know. Some were monuments. Others were bashful blips of granite barely peeking over the short grass.
He didn’t bother looking at their names.
They didn’t matter to him. All of those dearly departed were no one dear to him.
There was only one who mattered and he knew where she was. He had come so many times he could cross the uneven ground without a thought, without paying attention to landmarks.
He knew exactly where she was.
Carthage walked past the Mayhew family grave and there she was – Milana Carthage.
He knelt and stared at her name.
He sighed. “What am I supposed to do? Millie, where am I supposed to go? I thought I knew. I thought I had everything all neatly laid out. I’d reclaim our daughter and take her to Mark Caten.”
“I thought I’d be able to give her the command to come and she’d come and that would be that.”
NOVEMBER 14, 1973 – JULY 22, 2014.
“It didn’t work out that way.”
BELOVED WIFE AND CHERISHED CO-WORKER.
“So, what am I supposed to do now?” He frowned. “I guess I could go to Mark Caten by myself and leave her behind. But that seems wrong. How could I just abandon her? She’s our daughter. She should be with us. With me.”
KNOW THAT I MISS YOU.
“But she doesn’t want to be with me. XQ rejected me. She wasn’t vague about her rejection, either. She made her opinion on the matter abundantly clear. I. I hadn’t expected that. So, what do I do, Millie? What do I do? Give me an answer. Give me some sort of sign. Talk to me. Tell me.”
He bowed his head. “Help me.”
There was no response.
He looked up at the sky. “Please, Milana. Help me.”
She did not appear. No messages appeared in the sky.
No whispered words.
No sign that anyone heard his words.
“I don’t know what to do.”
He watched the clouds slowly drift on by. Such large puffy clouds.
I wonder if little receptionist and I could come to some sort of compromise. She seemed to be dead set against me reclaiming my own child. But maybe.
“Maybe if I talk to her, I can talk some sense into her.” He stood and dusted off his knees. “It’s worth a try. At least, one more try.”