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Chasing Dreams - Part One
June 2009, Present Day
“Talk!” A burly man yelled to Jason Cooper, shoving his head under water again. “Where is she?!”
“I will never—!” And Jason’s head was forced back into the tank, harder this time.
Jason Cooper was captured by his superiors and they were trying to find his wife, but Jason wouldn’t tell them.
Morgan Cooper, wife of Jason, walked into their house and saw a note lying on the floor.
“Morgan I am about to be taken…get away as fast as you can. They will be coming for you too.” And the writing trailed off the page.
2003, Six Years Ago
Jason Cooper shut his locker and walked to his first period class. It was the first day of school. A new girl caught his eye almost immediately. He stood, frozen, not knowing what to do.
“Would you like any help?” She asked him, smiling lightly.
“No, sorry, um…” He stuttered, “I’m Jason.” He extended his hand.
“Morgan,” She said, gripping his hand. She is amazing, Jason thought to himself.
That was when things changed. He began to have thoughts that hadn’t penetrated his complex mind since he had begun to date his first girlfriend, Jesse.
8th Grade Year, 2001
Jesse Nickson and Jason Cooper began dating on December 5th, 2001. It was a snowy day at Cassie Venemeyer’s house when emotions in Jesse and Jason’s hearts sparked. They began dating and it was in 2002 that everything between them changed. Jesse and Jason began to drift apart. It was when Jason met Morgan in 2003 that his heart became linked with hers immediately even though she didn’t know it. At least until they were dating. They were bonded together for life when they locked eyes with each other on the first day of Sophomore Year.
“So I have a random thought, Jason.” Morgan said.
She smiled at that.
“You look awfully familiar, like we used to know each other when we were kids.”
“Huh?” Jason was confused.
“Seriously, like I think we were neighbors or something.”
“Um…I’ll have to check with the ‘rents, but I have no idea. I’ll text you tonight.” Jason kissed Morgan and she got out of the car and walked up to her house in Madeira, Ohio.
Thoughts of Jason’s past began jumping around in his mind. A memory of him sitting next to Morgan next to a big tree in a park presented itself. It was something he didn’t even remember having. Almost like when he dated Jesse, everything with Morgan disappeared. But now his feelings for Morgan were there. But were they returning as if they had never really been gone before? He didn’t know.
Jason walked into his house and began to chat with his parents.
“So, do we know anyone with the last name Sullivan?” Jason jumped right into it.
“Yeah we do. They were friends of ours when you were much younger. Don’t you remember Morgan? You two used to love each other.”
Whoa…love? Jason smiled at that.
“I think she goes to my school…” Jason spat out.
“Since when? Why didn’t you tell us?!” his Mother asked in a heightened voice.
“Today…she’s in a few of my classes.”
“That’s great honey!” His Mother yelled.
“I think so as well.” Jason smiled.
2009, Present Day
Morgan put the note in her pocket and walked out to her car. She had to find her husband. He was her life, and she was his. This was it; she had one chance to find him. She was not going to run away. She wouldn’t, couldn’t.
What is Jason thinking right now? She asked herself.
Jason felt himself being pulled from the tank. He felt like he was in the middle of a hurricane. He hit the cold hard floor with a “thud”. Ouch. He looked up, his face red from the icy water. He bit the inside of his cheek because it was swollen and he winced.
There was no way he was going to tell where Morgan was. No matter how many horrible things they did to him would be enough to make him tell where she was. His love for Morgan was so deep that he would die for her.
“Where is she Jason? We just want to talk to her.”
“Screw you.” And Jason spit in the man’s face.
Jason got punched and he groaned.
“I’ll never tell you. You have me; you don’t have to have my wife.”
“It’s so much bigger than that though, Jason. You see, we have had our eyes on both you and your wife for a long time. We need you both.”
What did he say? Jason had to get out of this place, and fast. Before they got to Morgan.
2003, Six Years Ago
Jason walked into his school and took a breath, trying to calm his nerves. His insides felt like jelly, he was so nervous. He had very strong feelings for this girl named Morgan whom he “loved” when he was a kid. That much he knew. But now these feelings have represented themselves in such a way that he can’t remember anything that happened with him and Sammy. It was almost as if these two girls couldn’t co-exist in the same thought.
These emotions had such a pull on Jason that he couldn’t focus on anything he was supposed to be doing. They were getting more and more intense as the days went on. Should I act on them? He thought.
Jason took another prolonged breath and kept walking to his locker. Thoughts of Morgan when she was younger were now flashing through his mind. Where are they coming from?
He opened his locker and felt a tap on his right shoulder. Jason turned to find Morgan smiling at him.
“So…” she began.
“So…” He repeated.
“We were friends when we were younger.”
“Ha-ha apparently more than that, as my Father put it.”
“Oh, really?” Morgan seemed intrigued.
“Yeah, he said we loved each other. We were just kids then though.”
“So does that mean we can’t love each other now?”
That question stopped Jason cold.
“Well?” She raised her eyebrows.
“No,” Jason smiled, “I suppose we can.”
Morgan moved hair from in front of her eyes and looked at the floor. They began talking as they walked to their next class.
That was when Jason couldn’t get Morgan out of his head. That was when it all hit him. He loved Morgan Sullivan. He was drawn to her like a bird to its prey.
2009, Present Day
Morgan backed out of her driveway and sped down the quiet Suburb Street of Madelinne Road. Where is he?
She pulled the note out and noticed an address on the back. 2009 Split Road. That’s where Jason works, Morgan thought. She drove to the building and pulled into the lot.
She walked up to the door only to crouch in the bushes because three men in dark colored suits were coming out.
“So where do you think she is?” Morgan heard a tall man in the middle say.
“I don’t know, boss. Wish we could’ve gotten him to talk.”
As Morgan was leaning in closer to hear, she broke a branch in the bushes. The three men turned around and walked cautiously to the bushes, and drew their guns.
“What do we have here?” One man said, pulling Morgan out of the bushes. Morgan stared at the ground and they forced her head up. She struggled and thrashed but regardless, they carried her inside.
Morgan noticed clear glass stairs as she was being carried up to the room Jason was in.
“Look what we found, Jason.”
Jason looked up and began to furiously move his hands, trying to undo his restraints.
When Jason started dating Morgan, his whole outlook on life changed. The darkness in his life was smothered by the shining light in Morgan’s life. Every time Jason saw Morgan, his face lit up like the sun. All his troubles seemed to fade away. All the problems in his life melted. He was transfixed.
“Wanna’ hang out tonight?” He asked Morgan on the phone that night.
Jason drove to Morgan’s house and picked her up.
‘Have you thought about our past any?” Morgan asked him, fixing her hair in the mirror.
“First of all, your hair is beautiful any way you where it, it makes no difference to me. You are phenomenal just the way you are. And yes, I have, I remember it in bits and pieces the more I think about it.”
Morgan smiled and looked at him out of the corner of her eye.
“What?” Jason asked her.
“Thanks,” She smiled playfully. “And nothing ha-ha.”
“I love you Morgan,” He said suddenly. That sort of caught her off guard, but she smiled again.
“What?” Jason asked and he looked at her.
“I think you’re cute, that’s what.”
“Oh, is that it?” Jason reached his hand toward hers and she gripped it.
“We’ve only been going out a couple weeks, Jase. Don’t you think it’s a little soon?”
Jason remembered the same conversation he had with Jesse two years ago. This wasn’t going quite as smooth.
“Do you not love me back?” Jason asked her.
“I just think it’s too soon. There is definitely something there though, I feel it.” Morgan moved the hair out of her eyes.
Jason finally relaxed. That wasn’t exactly what he had planned on hearing, but it was better than rejection. Anything was. Especially from the girl of his dreams and past. Jason could not get her out of his mind, and for good reason, because he didn’t want to. Everything he thought about was somehow connected to her.
“So I’m thinking that we go sit by the creek behind your house if you’re ok with that.” Jason suggested.
“I’d love that. I remember when our parents got us on tape by the creek when we were younger. Remember that kiss they got on tape?” Morgan asked, almost laughing now.
“Yeah! That was by the creek right?”
That got them both laughing now. They had had some good times when they were younger. The best of times. As they got older, their love for one another blossomed into such a deep bond, that when Morgan moved away, it ripped them apart, leaving them to pick up the pieces.
They were now back together and Jason didn’t want to lose her again.
“I’m sorry.” Jason looked at the road.
“Saying the ‘L’ word.”
“Jase, don’t worry about it. I don’t doubt my feelings for you. I just don’t think ‘Love’ is right at this point in our relationship. It just wouldn’t be healthy for us.”
Morgan laid her head on his shoulder and Jason looked at her.
“I missed you Morgan, I thought I had lost you for good.” Jason began tearing up.
“I missed you too, Jase.” Morgan began to tear up as well.
They turned around and went back to Morgan’s to sit by the creek.
“Jason Cooper.” Morgan’s Father said as they walked through the door.
“Mr. Sullivan.” Jason smiled as he shook Morgan’s Father’s hand.
“It’s been far too long.”
“It has, sir, it has.” Jason smiled again.
“How are the folks?”
“They’re good. Would you like their number so you guys can catch up?”
“That’d be great.”
Jason gave his parents number to him and he and Morgan walked out to her backyard. The birds were chirping in the now evening sky. An orange tint illuminated the sky behind the tall green trees that lined the back of Morgan’s house.
“It’s amazing.” Jason said, putting his arm around Morgan. This moment was bringing back the childhood they had cherished so much.
“It’s been forever Jase, I missed this.” Morgan squeezed his hand.
“Same here, more than anything.”
2009, Present Day
Jason screamed as Morgan was thrown to the hard tile floor. She looked helplessly at Jason for comfort. But none came as she was dragged into the next room over. Jason watched as Morgan fell from being hit in the face.
“Stop! I’ll do anything!!” Jason yelled at the top of his lungs.
Three men. That’s all there is, Jason thought, I could easily take them. He looked frantically around the room. He was looking for anything he could use as a weapon. A pipe was lying against the wall in the corner. It was barely visible in the dimly lit room.
Now he had to get out of the ropes that bound him. He began to wiggle his hands, trying anything and everything to free himself. Now is the time for payback.
Jesse stroked Jason’s arm as her parents drove them to a concert they were going to.
“What’s wrong?” Jesse asked.
“Nothing, just thinking.”
Jason didn’t like it when Jesse asked what he was thinking about. He hated it. It was his brain and she had no right to know what he was thinking. It’s his business, so why should she care? It was one thing that really got on Jason’s nerves.
“I know what we did was wrong, but we have to live with it.” Jesse assured him.
Jason said nothing. He and Jesse had gone too far. They had played with things meant to go on during marriage. Jason hated lust and hormones…they made him do crazy things. He needed someone that he could love through anything and everything, and Jesse was not that person, even though at one point in time, he believed it.
“Jesse stop. Let’s get through this without talking about it. I am trying to forget what we did, and you trying to bring it up isn’t helping.” Jason confessed.
“We have to talk about it sometime.”
“Stop. We are done with this conversation.”
Things went on like this between Jason and Jesse for two years, resulting in them breaking up. That was when Jason met Morgan, the girl he had been longing for the whole time. He realized she had always been on his mind, even when he was dating Jesse. Yes, it’s wrong, but it’s the truth, He told himself. Jason wanted to do something about it, so he broke up with Jesse and began to move on with his life. It was in early 2003 that he met Morgan, the girl of his dreams.
All along, Jason had been chasing her. All along, he had been wanting to be with her. His wish kept evading him the whole time he dated Jesse. It was his wish to be with Morgan. His dream was to marry Morgan Sullivan.
However, something was still holding him back from Morgan. He didn’t know what that one final thing was yet, though.
Overcome with both happiness and adrenaline, Jason broke through the ropes that bound his arms. He stood and walked to the corner to get the pipe. Now to save my wife, He thought.
Jason opened his eyes to find Morgan had fallen asleep on his lap. They were both still outside, looking over the quiet creek. He stroked Morgan’s brown hair lightly and she stirred in her sleep. Jason loved being anywhere with Morgan. Every minute he could spend with her was a miracle in his eyes.
“Morgan! Jason!” He heard. It was Morgan’s Father.
“Yes sir!?” Jason answered, waking Morgan up in the process.
“Dinner!” They both heard. Jason stood and helped Morgan up and they walked into the house.
2005, Two Years Later
“All friends and family rise, here they are, Wishington High’s 2005 Graduating Seniors!”
Jason and Morgan threw their caps into the air and hugged each other. It was 2005. Jason and Morgan were both graduating and they would be heading off to Dreamfield College in Georgia in the Fall.
Jason’s dream of marrying Morgan was within his reach. Finally, he would have all his heart dreamt of having. Morgan laughed as she said, “We did it!” Jason picked her up and spun around. His parents came up to congratulate them both, and soon after, Morgan’s parents did the same.
It was a week later that Jason began preparations for the next step of his dream to come true. He rang Morgan’s doorbell and her Father came to the door.
“Jason! What a pleasant surprise, please come in.”
“Thank you, sir.” Jason replied.
“Morgan is out shopping with her Mother, is there something I can help you with?”
“Yes sir, I actually came to talk to you. I…” Jason choked, “I would like your blessing and permission to marry your daughter.”
Mr. Sullivan was taken aback.
“Jason I would like nothing more than to welcome you to our family,” He shook Jason’s hand, “I know that you will take great care of Morgan.”
“The best care ever, Mr. Sullivan. You're daughter has truly captured my heart and I have dreamt of this day ever since Sophomore Year.”
Mr. Sullivan stood and patted Jason on the back.
“Jason I am truly happy Morgan is dating you. You make me proud to know that I raised her well.”
“Thank you so very much sir, I will not let you down.” Jason said as he exited Morgan’s house and drove home.
Fall of 2005
Three Months Later
Jason drove to Morgan’s house and rang the doorbell, ring at the ready. Morgan answered the door and saw Jason standing there.
“Ready to go?” Morgan asked.
“Yep! One second,” Jason said, getting down on one knee, “Morgan Violet Sullivan, I would love to spend the rest of my life with you, will you marry me?” He said as he opened the ring box.
Morgan stood, speechless, but only for a second.
“Of course I will!” Morgan yelled, jumping into his arms. Jason carried her inside.
“Mom! Great news!” Morgan yelled.
Morgan’s Father stood, smiling, next to his wife.
“Congratulations you two,” Both her parents said in unison, “We wish you the best.”
Jason grabbed Morgan’s things and put them in his car and they drove off to Dreamfield College in Georgia.
10 Months Later, Summer 2006
One Week before the Wedding
Jason exited his Creative Writing class room and saw Morgan waving in his direction. Jason waved back and pulled his black laptop case up on his shoulders. He shuffled through the freshly cut grass to the parking lot, where Morgan awaited him. He and Morgan were headed back to Ohio to finish the final preparations for the wedding.
“Excited?” Jason asked Morgan as they pulled from the campus parking lot.
“More than anything,” Morgan told him and Jason kissed her, “And to think we are only going to be sophomores.”
“I know right?! Never too young if it’s love though, right?”
“Yes sir!” Morgan was beaming now. They both were.
Silence filled the small car once they hit Tennessee. Neither of them were quite sure why, they had just run out of things to talk about. This seemed to happen with Jason and Morgan frequently.
“Do you happen to have a job?” Morgan suddenly questioned.
“I think I’m gonna’ start working for my Father with whatever he does.”
“You don’t know what he does?” Morgan asked for some sort of clarification.
“He hasn’t really talked about it. All I know is that it has something to do with trying to track people’s dreams in their sleep.” Jason looked out at the mountains surrounding them.
“That’s kind of weird, has his company made any progress?”
“I don’t know. But it pays well I would assume so I need to check it out.”
“Yeah,” Morgan sighed as she laid her head on Jason’s shoulder, “I’m sure Jeff will give you a job, I mean, you are his son after all.”
“Let’s hope so.” Jason answered.
Jason and Morgan arrived in Madeira Ohio at 10pm and Jason drove Morgan home, and then returned to his own house. The next morning, Jason walked downstairs to find his Father reading the newspaper and drinking a cup of coffee.
“The wedding is this week Dad.” Jason announced.
“Mmhmm,” His Father mumbled through the steaming cup. “Are you and your pals going out for your bachelors’ party?”
“No, I was actually hoping you could show me what it is you do at work.”
“Really?” Jeff exclaimed, “Why the sudden interest?”
“I need a job, Dad, there’s got to be something I can do there.”
“Sure, son. Ok, we’ll go. You’ll finally get to meet the guys.”
“My employees, son. And you may soon be one of them.” Jeff added.
“So Dad, what is it exactly that you do there?”
“Well, we are all oneirologists, or ‘Dream Scientists’. We study everything we can about dreams. We also study the desires of the human mind and/or heart.”
“So do you just get volunteer subjects to spend the night at your workplace?” Jason asked.
“We are still in the beginning stages, so we are currently working on animals.” Jeff clarified.
“Do they actually dream?”
“We haven’t found one yet that does. We start on human subjects in two weeks or so.” Jeff told Jason.
“Would you like to be the first subject, Jase?”
“I think I’ll pass,” Jason responded reluctantly.
“C’mon, it’ll be fun.” Jeff urged.
“Let’s just see how tomorrow goes.”
“Oh and son? One more thing. You did the right thing choosing Morgan over Jesse.”
“You made the right choice; Jesse was just bringing you down. Your other friendships started to suffer, at least that’s the way I took it when you told me about how you were losing your friends.”
“Oh, yeah I guess. I’m glad I chose Morgan too.” Jason grinned.
The next morning, Jason heard a few quick knocks on his bedroom door. He rolled from bed, pulled on a pair of jeans and a t-shirt and opened the door.
“All set to go?” Jeff asked him.
“Yeah,” Jason said, rubbing the sleep from his eyes.
Jeff and Jason drove to Jeff’s workplace at 2009 Split Road. When they arrived, Jason followed his Father into the secure building through a revolving door. Jason watched silently as a glass tube came down around his Father.
“Security precautions,” His father informed him.
Jason stood still like a statue as a tube came down around him as well. He felt a tingling sensation as his turtle necklace; phone, mp3 player, and wallet were sucked out of his pockets.
“What is going on, Dad?” Jason asked, while reaching up trying to grab his now floating devices.
“It’s just security; you will get it all back when you leave.”
“They didn’t take your stuff,” Jason exclaimed.
“I’m the owner of the company, Jason, please don’t argue about it.”
“But I’m your son.”
“Just follow protocol, Jase.”
‘Whatever.” Jason forced as the tube was lifted from around him.
Jason quit struggling as thoughts he hadn’t had in six years entered his mind. These thoughts brought memory after memory of both Jesse and Morgan. He began to weep lightly when the dreams of Jesse were smothered by the dreams of Morgan. He wept of happiness. Happiness that he now had the woman of his dreams.
Jason picked up the pipe and heard a door open behind him. Oh no, he thought, they heard. He quickly put his back against the wall in the darkness. He was invisible to them against the darkness, but only if he didn’t move.
“Did you let him out?” One man said.
“No, Ross, I didn’t.”
Jason held his breath as the men approached the corner of the room. Right when the men cocked their guns, an alarm began blaring, and they sprinted out of the room. Jason took the chance and walked out of the room. He looked left and then right. The men were nowhere to be found.
Now, where’s Morgan? He walked to his right and saw a door leading to the room Morgan was supposedly taken to. The door was locked with a keypad and a padlock. Is this the right room? Jason banged his fist against the steel door. No answer. Have they moved her? Jason kicked the door in anger. He quickly wished he had listened to his father when he told him how to get into the doors of this building.
5 Days before the Wedding
Jason walked slowly behind his Father as they ascended the glass stairs to the middle section of the large building.
“This building has one thousand rooms, Jason. Each one with its own key pad lock system and a pad lock. The more secure rooms further upstairs are locked with a fifteen digit keypad lock system. Only four people have access to those rooms. Myself and my three brightest employees.” Jeff informed Jason.
Jason had tuned out his Father completely.
Jason began bobbing his head to the beat of the music coming from the speakers in the building.
“Hello?!” His Father yelled, pushing his back slightly.
“Did you hear anything I just said?”
“Come on, Jase. If you want to work here, you have to pay attention.”
“Why can’t you, as the owner of the company just get me a job?” Jason drawled.
“Because, wise guy, I want you to actually do something for yourself. I’m not just going to give you a job without you putting forth some effort.”
Jason rolled his eyes and trudged up the remainder of the stairs to the fourth floor. He looked around and saw a long hallway that led to a single metal door. No other doors were in the hallway.
“That’s the secure wing; it leads to the fifth floor.”
“Great, so that’s where you keep the subjects locked up before you kill them after an experiment, right?” Jason joked.
“That’s not funny, Jason, what we do here is in a strictly professional manner.”
Jeff descended the stairs to the fourth floor, followed by Jason. Three men in black suits came up the stairs and greeted Jeff.
“Jason, meet Ross, Kyle, and Andy, my employees I mentioned earlier.”
“Jason Cooper, it’s finally nice to meet you.” All three men said.
“Yeah, same…” Jason eyed them all closely.
“It’s about time you guys headed off to the second floor, isn’t it?” Jason suggested.
“Yes sir, we thought we would just say ‘hey’.”
The three men descended the clear stairs to the second floor and Jason watched as they disappeared through a door, which shut and locked behind him.
“Brightest employees?” Jason snickered.
“Yes they are. Is something funny?”
“No, Dad, I was just wondering.”
“Ok, let’s continue.”
Jason and his Father walked swiftly down to the first floor, where Jeff’s office was located.
Jason gripped the pipe and walked out the door to his right to the main sector of the building. He quickly noticed he was on the second floor, where Ross, Kyle, and Andy primarily work. Where is Morgan? One thousand rooms, how am I supposed to find her?
“I guess I’ll start here,” Jason said to himself, as he walked back into the second floor section.
Jason’s knuckles were turning whiter the harder he gripped the pipe. His heart was racing. It was beating harder than he had ever felt before. He hated being separated from Morgan. It killed him inside.
He walked cautiously down the hallway, being careful to check the rooms as he went by as best he could. Although, his attempts to see all that was contained in each room were useless because he couldn’t get in any of them. He grunted as he used the pipe to try and break off the doorknob, but failed. He walked further down the hallway and noticed a paper lying on the floor. It read:
Come get Morgan. She is waiting for you. It’s so sad, how far you’ve come, you two are together and now you have to chase us to get her back. This is what you wanted, isn’t it?
What I want?
Jason gritted his teeth, crumbled the note and threw it down in anger. They were mocking him. Yes, Jason wanted to chase Morgan to get her, but he hadn’t imagined this.
What kind of a game are they playing? Jason checked his pockets for his cell phone, but, of course, it was gone. Perfect, He thought, now what? He kicked another door in anger. He hated himself right now. How could he let this happen? Jason sat down to clear his head. How much time do I have?
Five minutes later, Jason was shrouded by darkness as the door next to him swung open, almost hitting him in the face. He watched as the Bright looked left, and then turned and walked further into the building’s depths.
As the door was closing, Jason grabbed the handle and quickly slinked into the room. The door closed and Jason was swallowed by darkness. Unable to see, he began fumbling for the light switch. Locating the switch, he flipped it on, and the room was immediately flooded by light. Three desks lined the room, each one stacked with piles of paper. Jason saw a door on the far end of the room.
He had to find out what the Brights were hiding in here. All of this had to do with him and Morgan somehow. But what? He kept moving forward. Flashbacks crowded his mind but he knew he had no time to stop and reflect. Not now at least.
Once in the room, Jason quickly noticed something was wrong. He looked to his left and saw a gorilla propped up against the west wall. It was dead. The Brights were killing animals after they ran tests on them. This is what they must be planning on doing to the human subjects as well, Jason thought.
Jason pressed forward further into the stench filled room to find a door that led into another room. They were all connected? He silently pushed the door open and was taken aback by a stench worse than the room before. He peered into the room to find two animals dead before him.
Although, something else caught his eye as he opened the door further. A wallet sized picture of him and Morgan was nailed to an altar. Flower petals were scattered on the floor.
One Week before the Wedding
Jeff Cooper led his son into his office on the first floor and Jason sat down.
“Dad, seriously, where did they take my stuff?”
“It’s all safe, Jason, don’t worry. Just focus on trying to get a job here.”
“Whatever, Dad, I just want my things back.”
Jason leaned back in the wooden chair in front of his Dad’s desk. He wanted to get out of here and go see Morgan. It’d been a couple of days since he had seen her.
“Where did those employees of your go anyways?” Jason asked suddenly.
‘They went to their office on the second floor.”
“What do they do there?”
“They supervise most of the tests done on our subjects we bring in.” Jeff informed.
“And you just sit here in your office while they do all the work?”
“Ok, Jason, I’m getting tired of your smart comments. Here’s the keys, go home.”
Jason’s face lit up as he took the keys from his Father.
Jason turned and walked from his Father’s office and went up to the security guard at the door.
“Can I get my things back?”
“Yes,” Was all the guard said as a silver plate descended from the ceiling.
“Finally,” Jason sighed, picking up his mp3 player, phone, wallet, and necklace. He opened his wallet and noticed a picture of him with his arms wrapped around Morgan was gone.
“Do you know where my picture is?” Jason asked the guard.
“No idea, I just guard the door.”
Jason exited the building, furious, and got into his car. It’s those bright employees, they took it. It has to be. Jason sped to Morgan’s house and rang the doorbell. Her Father answered the door.
“Is Morgan there?”
“No, Jason, she is still out with her Mother.”
“Well could you please tell her I stopped by?”
“For sure, Jason.” Her Father promised as he closed the door.
Jason drove down the road to his house and went inside. He was still mad about the picture. Where did they take it? What did they want with it?
2006, a Week Later
The Wedding Day
Jason wiped his hands on a towel and threw it into the corner. A knock at his door startled him and he went to answer it. It was his best man, Seth Klemens.
“Hey!” Jason yelled, “I feel like I haven’t seen you in forever!”
“Yeah man, same. I’m here making everything is going alright. You ready? Today is the big day!” Seth prepared Jason.
“Dude am I being irrational about this whole thing?” Jason asked suddenly.
“Do you want to spend the rest of your life with her?”
“Yeah, more than anything.”
“Do you love her? I mean, really love her?” Seth asked in a slightly authoritative voice.
“Of course, she’s the one, I’m positive.” Jason smiled.
“Then she’s the one. I am so happy for you man, seriously, this is one of the best days of my life, my best friend is getting married!”
“Anytime dude, that’s what I’m here for.”
Jason and Seth chit-chatted about random school events and church outings until it was time for them to head down to the chapel. Jason wiped his palms on his tuxedo as he and Seth descended the stairs to the chapel.
“Everything’s going to be fine, man.” Seth assured Jason with a smile.
Jason had waited for this day. Ever since he got back with Morgan during sophomore year, everything in his life seemed right again. He was a happier and better rounded person. And the reason for that was because Morgan changed him. For the longest time, Jason needed her. She gave him a reason to be the man that he was.
“This is it.” Seth said, opening the door for Jason.
Jason strolled through the doorway and his face turned a light pink color, and Seth followed. Showtime. Seth stood next to Jason as the bride music began to play. Jason straightened up as the chapel doors swung open. He nearly lost his footing when Morgan entered the room.
She was dressed in an elegant light blue dress that made her shine. Her short brown hair fell neatly around her ears and the blue earrings she wore sparkled brilliantly as she walked slowly down the aisle.
Jason never once took her eyes off Morgan. How could he? She was the most beautiful woman in the world. Seth had to steady Jason a couple times, because Jason nearly fainted twice as Morgan sauntered down the aisle. Jason could hardly contain himself. He shook Morgan’s Father’s hand when they got to the front and him and Morgan turned to face the minister.
Thirty minutes later, Jason raised Morgan’s veil and spoke some words only meant for her to hear.
“Morgan, I love you so much and I have waited my whole life for you, the woman of my dreams.”
“You may kiss the bride.” The minister bellowed.
Jason lifted Morgan slightly and they shared the best kiss of their lives. It lasted ten seconds.
“In now pronounce you Mr. and Mrs. Jason Cooper.” The minister said.
Jason pulled the picture off the altar and shoved the altar over. Jason walked to a desk in the back of the room and flipped through a stack of papers.
One caught his attention. It read:
“Mr. Cooper, you may kiss the bride. I now pronounce you Mr. and Mrs. Jason Cooper.”
What is going on? Jason asked himself as he folded the paper and put it in his pocket. A thought flashed through his mind. Jason, come get Morgan. She is waiting for you. Jason picked up his pipe and exited the Bright’s office and headed east, deeper into the Dream Co facility. Further into he and Morgan’s prison.
Jason was getting weaker. Not seeing Morgan in a while was beginning to tear him apart. He could barely take it anymore. Morgan, I want you back, I need you back. Jason turned as he heard footsteps behind him. Two people were following him. It was Andy and Kyle, two of the Brights. That must have been Ross up ahead of me then, Jason thought.
“Where do you think he could’ve gone?” Kyle asked Andy.
“I have no idea. Chances of us finding him are slim now though, this building is huge.”
Jason gritted his teeth as they walked past him in the shadows. Jason silently slipped behind them and struck Andy with the pipe, causing his to fall unconscious. Kyle turned with lightning speed and knocked Jason to the ground, sending the pipe rolling down the hall.
“Wow, that was easy,” Kyle chuckled, “We’ve been wondering about you, Jason.”
With a quick swipe of his leg, Jason knocked Kyle’s feet out from under him. Kyle fell with a “thud” and Jason lunged for the pipe. Finding it, Jason struck Kyle twice in the face, rendering him unconscious. Jason breathed a sigh of relief and took Kyle’s access card for Sector Five. Then, he opened a random door and pulled both bodies into it. Then, Jason walked back into the hall and headed to his left, out to the main sector of Dream Co. He looked around and then remembered there were three more Sectors to check. Wow, he thought, this is going to take a while.
Two Hours after the Wedding
Jason and Morgan boarded a private jet and immediately, Morgan asked where they were going.
“It’s a surprise,” Jason grinned, kissing her.
“Ok fine, I guess I’ll wait.” Morgan laid her head on Jason’s shoulder and he pulled her close.
They were married. Jason’s dream of marrying the woman of his dreams was complete. Now, he just had to stay with her the rest of his life. He said he would during his vows, but could he keep that promise? It won’t be hard, He thought, Morgan and I are meant to be together. He smiled at that.
Three hours later, they were landing in Kohlar Beach, Australia, the most secluded island on this continent. A popular vacation spot for tourists and honey-mooners alike. Jason grabbed their bags and they headed inside their private beach house on the stunning island.
An enormous jungle stretched around the sides and back of the house. A tall wooden door was their entrance into a large living room, complete with surround sound, a long leather couch, and a high tech automated fireplace. A wooded spiral staircase led upstairs to a pearly white bathroom and a master bedroom. The master bedroom contained a large window/ door combo that led onto an expansive balcony overlooking the golden sand beach and crystal clear water. A note on the dining room table read:
Please enjoy your stay here at Kohlar Beach for the next two weeks. Also, if you can be out by 11am on the fourteenth day here, that would be great!
Jason wrapped Morgan in his arms and he kissed her repeatedly. They were so very happy together. A half hour later, they both put on their swimsuits and went out to the beach. They laid on their towels and began to talk.
“Isn’t this place incredible?” Morgan looked at Jason with a grin.
“It is! It’s a lot better than I pictured!”
Jason pulled Morgan close and they laid there until the sun went down. When, it was dark, they retreated into the house and went to bed.
Outside in the jungle, three masked men pulled out their binoculars. It was Ross, Kyle, and Andy.
“Sure is handy to have that travel receipt from Jason, isn’t it?” Andy asked Ross.
“Yeah, now all we have to do is spy on them for two weeks and get to know as much about them as we can. They will be our first subjects at Dream Co.” Ross smiled evilly.
“Won’t Jeff be kind of mad? I mean, it is his son and daughter-in-law after all.” Kyle chimed in.
“He won’t know. He’s too busy being caught up in his work to care. Besides, everything that goes on in our office he is oblivious about. At least, he never asks me about it.”
The three men sat in the shadows and continued to spy on Jason and Morgan throughout their two week stay on the island. The only things they discovered were that Jason and Morgan were perfect for their testing. Also, they were easy to get to seeing as Jason’s Father is the President of Dream Co.
Two weeks later, Jason and Morgan left the island and returned to their home in Madeira, Ohio. Ross, Kyle, and Andy returned to their homes as well. Then, the three men began to hatch a plan to get Jason and Morgan in their custody.
Jason ascended the stairs to the third sector and went into its hallway that looked very much like the first and second sectors hallways. This is getting ridiculous, where is she?! Could it be that easy? Is she in the fifth sector?
Jason turned around and walked up to the secure wing. The giant metal door he remembered all those years ago, stood now, only fifteen feet in front of him. That’s got to be where she is. He flashed the key card in front of the door and a green light appeared, indicating he could enter. Jason went inside and found another long hallway that ended with another large door. The secure wing, he remembered, leads to the fifth floor. His Father had said that only himself, and his brightest employees were allowed on the fifth floor. What are they keeping in there?
Jason pressed on cautiously down the dark hallway. He heard screaming coming from the room to his right, so he went inside to check it out.
“Morgan?” He asked the dimly lit room.
A woman lay on an examination table. She was struggling to get herself untied. Her mouth was bound by duct tape. As soon as Jason ripped the tape off, she began talking.
“You have to leave; they are going to kill us.” The woman told him, still struggling with her restraints.
“What are you talking about?” Jason asked frantically.
“Ross, he’s gone psycho. He’s been talking about finding the ‘perfect subjects’ One is out in the building running around as we speak. God bless his soul.”
“I’m that person,” Jason told her, “I’m Jason. And the girl he took, that’s my wife, Morgan.”
The woman’s eyes grew wide as Jason spoke.
“Jason?” The woman asked in amazement.
He stepped back in shock.
“Jesse?” he asked. It was his girlfriend from his freshman year in High School.
“Can you get me out of here?” Jesse asked timidly.
“I…” Jason began to say as he snapped back into reality, “I have to find Morgan.”
“Wait Jason!” Jesse screamed as she watched Jason sprint from the room.
Jesse was still tied down. Jason turned to his right and ran down the remainder of the wrong hallway to the large metal door that separated him from Morgan. One more obstacle. The key pad had a fifteen digit pass code lock. What’s the password?
Ross, Kyle, and Andy sat back in their chairs and sighed. Their work was almost complete. They all stared at the picture of Jason and Morgan. Soon, they would have Jason and Morgan in their possession. It was only a matter of time.
Jason and Morgan entered their house in Madeira, Ohio and sighed. They were home.
“It’s so nice to be back.” Morgan said to Jason.
“Yeah,” Jason agreed, “I should probably call my Father and tell him we are back in town. He’s probably going to want me to start at Dream Co tomorrow.”
“Yeah,” Morgan said.
Jason picked up his phone and dialed his Father’s number. A couple rings later, the answering machine picked up the call.
“Hey Dad, it’s me,” Jason said, “Morgan and I are back…so I was wondering when I should come in…call me. Bye I love you.” Jason hung up the phone and awaited his Father’s call.
An hour later, Jeff Cooper called Jason and told him to be at the Dream Co building the next morning. The next morning, Jason entered the building and a glass tube surrounded him and took all of his belongings except for his wallet and mp3 player. Wow, I wonder why you don’t need my wallet, Jason thought, because you already took my picture, that’s why.
He was angry. He hated being in this building with those people that took his picture of Morgan. He went straight to his Father’s office. He had to figure out why they had taken the picture.
“Dad, my picture of Morgan I had in my wallet is gone.”
“Well what happened to it?”
“I think one of your employees has it.” Jason accused.
“That’s preposterous, Jason.”
“Seriously, Dad, I want to talk to those employees again.” Jason demanded.
“They are busy now, Jason. Wait until later.”
“Later” never came, and Jason rode with his Father from the building.
“I want it back, Dad.” Jason said sternly as he got out of the car and walked up to his house. He watched his Father drive away with unforgiving eyes. He needed to talk with those employees. Jason knew they had it, but he couldn’t prove it.
Jason walked into his house and was greeted by a kiss from his wife.
“How’d it go?” She asked, going to sit on the couch.
“It was alright. I found out some of my Dad’s employees have a picture of you and I.”
“A legitimate picture? Like from where?”
“It was the one we took two weeks before our wedding, so pretty recent.” Jason rubbed his eyes.
“What is their reasoning behind taking it?” Morgan asked, pulling her legs up to her chin.
“I don’t know, but I plan to find out.” Jason said, storming off to his room. He tried to remember anything his Dad might have told him that may give him a clue. He strained to think of anything that might be able to help him. We start on human subjects in two weeks, Jason remembered. That’s got to be it, they want Morgan and I for tests.
Jason sat at his desk and grabbed a piece of notebook paper. He began to write really fast. He knew something was about to happen, he could feel it.
He had been prepared for half a year, waiting. Every day he lived in a constant fear of when he and Morgan would be taken. He wrote:
“Morgan I am about to be taken…get away as fast as you can. They will be coming for you too…” And the writing trailed off.
Jason yelled as he was yanked from his chair by two men in black suits. He struggled as he felt a needle being forced into his arm. His body went limp as his attackers exited the house. They drove to 2009 Split Road, where Dream Co was located.
Morgan Cooper, wife of Jason walked into their house and saw a note on the floor. She read it. She put the note in her pocket and walked out to her car. She had to find her husband. He was her life, and she was his.
June 2009, Present Day
What is the password? Jason’s insides were screaming for him to think of something. Anything. Jason hit the key pad in anger and felt cold steel being pressed against the back of his head.
“Don’t,” Ross said, cocking the gun.
Jason turned to face Ross and Ross took a step back.
“What’s the password?” Jason asked in anger towards Ross.
“Your Dad never told you?”
“Tell me, please, I need her. Morgan is my life, please.” Jason pleaded, he had no other choice.
Ross flipped the gun and put his own thumb on the trigger. Jason put his finger on Ross’s and they both stood in silence for what seemed like an eternity.
“You deserve her,” Ross said as he pulled the trigger, ending his own life. And that was when one thing entered Jason’s mind. You did the right thing choosing Morgan over Jesse.
Fifteen letters. Could it be that simple? He began typing the password: Morganoverjessy. A green light appeared and Jason dropped to his knees in amazement. There Morgan sat, tied up, ten feet in front of him. Jason ran faster than he had ever run before to untie his wife.
“I love you so much, Morgan. I’m sorry it took so long for me to get to you. I’m never gonna’ let you go again. I’ve waited so long.” Jason took her in his arms and kissed her in the exact same way as when they got married.
“I love you too Jase, thank you so much for coming to get me.” Morgan smiled.
“Anytime, and through all of this I have realized something. I need to start living in the present rather than dreaming about the past about us being together, because I already have you. My dream has fully come true. I want to be with you forever, Morgan, and never, ever let you go. I couldn’t bare it if I lost you again.”
Jason and Morgan exited the building, hand-in-hand and headed home to enjoy the wonderful life that was laid out for them.
Most dreams last five to twenty minutes…Jason’s lasted a life time.