Zest Lit Issue 2, October 2013 - Page 92

Before Joe had left for college, nothing like that could have ever happened. His parents knew him very well. Every hormone level, every mood was carefully analyzed and studied by software, constantly monitored, and they made the necessary adjustments when anything went too high or too low. They kept every reading level, and he was always on an even keel. They were good parents and never allowed a headstrong impulse to take hold.

Most important, they taught him how to recognize how balance felt, and the early warning signs, so he need never to feel out of control. But it’s easy to become lax; and once an imbalance sets in, hard to rein yourself in.

And that’s why I need Julie, he thought, and more importantly, why she needs me. I know her as well as I know anyone. I won’t let anything happen to her.

Joe glanced over the readings from the implant on Julie’s arm, and then turned off the light. If he could keep her like this, he could keep her with him. It didn’t have to be so difficult.

Joe turned and put his hand into the curve of Julie’s side. He ran his palm up and over her shoulders, and along her neck, playing with the soft, fine, hairs at the back of her head.

Julie turned over and snuggled close to him, opened her eyes. ‘I really did love you, Joe,’ she said. ‘Sometimes, I can still remember.’

Then she slept.