"Mom? You wanna tell me what's going on?" John asked from outside his mother's door. When she didn't answer he tapped lightly again and pushed the door open. It was as he expected. His mother's suitcases lay around her room half-full; she was planning on running again.

"Pack your bags," she said from her seat on the bed, her back to him.

"No."

She twisted to look at him. "John…"

"No you listen to me," he said, anticipating what she was going to say. "You keep telling me that I need to become strong, I need to stand up and lead. Well now I am. You're going to unpack, we're not going anywhere. And you're going to tell me what the hell is going on."

To his great surprise his mother smiled at him. "All right."

John breathed a sigh of relief; he had been so sure he was going to be in trouble.

"Come here."

John went over and sat next to his mother. She was holding a tattered, faded photograph.

"There are some things that you don't know John. And I know I should have told you, but you have to believe I was trying to protect you. Both of you," she added as she handed over the photo.

John looked down at it and his mouth dropped open. It was like someone had taken a still of his dream. There was a little boy—him—and a little girl playing at a park.

"I know her," he whispered. He found himself telling Sarah all about his recurring dream. "Who is she?" he asked.

Sarah took a deep breath. "She's your sister John. Her name is Amy Hasters. Your teacher is your baby sister."


John still couldn't believe it. He'd had hours to let it sink in and it was still too much. He had a sister. He was so furious at his mother. How could she have kept this kind of thing from him? In his fifteen years he had been through all kinds of hell, and he could anticipate much more down the road, didn't she think he would need some kind of support system? Sure he had his mom, but sometimes that wasn't enough. He thought about the feeling of content he had in his dream—before the Terminator appeared—and he knew that he had been happy with his sister, truly happy. More so than he had ever been in his life. Now he understood why he had been so drawn to her at school. She was a part of him that he had never known was missing.

Sure Sarah had explained, and John even understood a little, but he was still pissed. She told him that shortly after he had been born she had gone to live with an old friend who she knew would take care of them. They had stayed there for several years and John's sister had been born when he was just over one. For awhile they had lived like a family, but Sarah started getting restless, just like she did every time they were in one place for awhile. She knew that they couldn't stay, it just wasn't safe. She and John were condemned to a life of constant running, but it wasn't fair to drag someone else into that. So Sarah had made one of the hardest decisions of her life. She and John packed up their things and she left her precious baby girl and never looked back.

John sat on the bed in his room going over and over the story he had just been told, staring down at the picture in his hands. This just couldn't be happening. It was too much. How much could one person be expected to go through without losing their mind?

John sighed. He knew what he had to do, but that didn't make it any easier. He got up from his bed, went over to his desk and turned on his computer. He opened the internet to the familiar search engine page and typed in "Amy Hasters."