For Everything You Were
The Cover Up
Immediately after the fall
"ETHEN!!" Jake screamed, watching as Ethen hit the floor violently onto his back. "Ethen….Ethen, are you OK?"
"Fuck, fuck, fuck….guys we got to get down there," Luke said starting to panic. "Ethen, say something pal." He called, but there was no response. They all scrambled to get back down as fast as they could, Jake now starting to freak out, crying and shaking, adrenaline rushing through his veins.
"He's not answering us, oh, fucking hell, what do we do." Jake stammered out, a mess.
"It's gonna be OK, Jake, just concentrate on getting down safely. My cell is in the car, we'll call for help." Luke said trying to calm him down.
They reached the bottom and Jake ran over to Ethen, diving to the floor next to him. A pool of blood had appeared under his head, with blood also coming from his left ear.
"Luke, go call someone, call nine one one." Jake screamed, frantic. Luke ran over to the car and did as he was asked, but he didn't know where they were. He hung up having a better idea, and called Ethen's dad. He franticly shouted down the phone trying to explain where they were and what had happened.
He came running over to Jake and Cody and explained that Colin was going to get an air ambulance over to them, as he knew the place they were at. Jake was trying to get Ethen to speak but it was not happening. His eyes were closed, and Cody asked Jake if he was breathing.
"What do I do, Cody," he cried, struggling to contain himself.
"Check his pulse, put your finger on his neck, do…do you feel anything?" Jake did as he was instructed and tried to feel for a pulse.
"Fuck, I cant feel anything, am I doing it right?"
"I don't know, what about breathing, is he breathing?" Cody pushed Jake out of the way and put his cheek against Ethen's lips waiting to feel for a breath. But he couldn't feel anything. "I can't feel….I don't think he's breathing."
Jake got up and screamed out a raw howl, his voice distorting. "Fuck, Cody don't say that….please don't say that."
"Where is the blood coming from, we need to stop that right?" Luke offered feeling pretty useless.
"Yeah but we shouldn't move him, I saw on TV that if he's back is broken we might do damage to his spine or something. They all started shouting things to each other, all of them getting more stressed until they fell silent, the sound of helicopter blades getting nearer.
Jake got up and started waving his arms about as the chopper flew overhead. It seemed like it had spotted then as it swung round and started to descend on to a clearing. A strong wind picked up as the helicopter landed nearby. Colin came out first, and Luke noticed it was a military chopper. Two army medics came rushing out of the copter with a stretcher, and ran over to Ethen.
They instructed the boys to wait in Ethen's car out of the way while they worked. Colin stayed with the medics, his hand over his mouth as he watched them examine him. The medics got Ethen on to a back board and lifted him on to the stretcher.
At some point the medics must have given Colin a piece of bad news, as Jake watched him shake his head, sad. Colin walked over to the boys quickly as the medics prepared to lift Ethen up and take him to the waiting chopper.
"How is he, will be ok?"
"I don't know Jake, they need to get him on board before they can do any work, they say he has a very weak pulse. Look can any of you drive, because I need to go with him?"
"I can, Luke," Luke offered.
"OK, good, I'm sorry Jake but you need to go with Luke and Cody, there is no room for you, and I need to be with him right now." Jake nodded, and wiped away more fresh tears from his face.
"Please let me know as soon as you know anything."
"I will Jake, and the rest of you."
"Sir, we have to go, it's imperative we get your son to the infirmary." called one of the medics, sounding urgent.
"I have to go, drive safely." Colin ran back to the helicopter and jumped on board, moments later it was lifting off, disappearing out of sight.
America – 1 year ago – Ethen's point of view
I could hear noises all around me, dull and muffled. A bright light, warm sat upon my face making the back of my eyelids seem bright red. As I became more alert I was overcome with the most terrible headache I felt I ever had.
Beep, beep, beep, beep, beep, I was starting to home in on that noise... what was that noise?
Slowly I opened my eyes becoming aware I was in a room. The ceiling was white with tubed lighting scattered in various places.
I heard a gasp. "Ethen, you're awake!" A blurry man said quickly appearing over my face.
"Dad, is that you? Where… where am i? I asked, my voice hoarse and weak."
"In a hospital, you fell, remember?"
"From the rock face."
"The rock… is Jake ok, where are the boys?" I murmured trying to sit up. My dad pushed me back down again.
"Try not to move, you have a nasty head injury."
"Is Jake here?"
"No, no Ethen, and that's something we need to talk about."
"God, my head… my head is in so much pain," I said, closing my eyes tightly to try and stem it.
"I'll call the nurse, maybe we can give you some pain relief."
Dad got up and walked towards the door of what looked like a private room. I didn't have a clue where I was as I followed him with my eyes. Moments later he retuned with a woman who was holding a bottle connected to a tube.
"Good Morning Ethen, glad you could join us," she said cheerily hooking the bottle up and connecting the line to my catheter. "This should help with the pain. I'll let the doctor know Ethen is awake Mr Jones.
"Thank you nurse."
"Dad, how bad is it? I remember… I… I remember getting stung by a bug. I lost my footing and hit the ground, but then… then nothing.
"You have a fractured skull and a perforated eardrum. Some moderate concussion, but you will be ok… Listen Ethen, I'm sorry to rush this but we need to talk."
"I saw mum you know, I'm sure I did. It must have been a dream though right?"
"Ethen you almost died," my dad announced, wiping away a tear.
"Dad, why are you crying, hmm, this medicine is starting to work now."
"Ethen, please listen to me, I know this is not the best time but you can't see Jake anymore."
"Jake, is he ok?" I asked, dreamily. "When is Jake coming to see me, I miss him dad."
My dad turned away from me and started to weep. I didn't know why, but for some reason it felt perfectly rational for him to do that. My mind felt lucid and calm as I moved my eyes round the room, then back to my father again. "It's gonna be ok dad," I said, stretching out my arm and tapping his shoulder."
Dad got up and left the room without saying a word. I don't remember much after that as I must have fallen back to sleep again.
The day came and went and then before I knew it, it was morning again. I'd drifted in and out of consciousness, only really being awake when the Doctor or nurses came round to pull me about and run various tests. I did feel more alert though when dad came in with a bottle of energy drink and some grapes. He looked serious as he came round to the side and took a seat.
"Those for me?"
"Sure Ethen, thought you might like them. How are you feeling?"
"I'm in a little bit of pain, but it's manageable. Dad, have you seen Jake, or the boys, I'd like to see them, are they ok? Is my car ok?"
"Ethen, do you remember our conversation yesterday when you woke up?"
"Yesterday? Uh… oh, I remember you saying I took a fall, and yeah I remember that now."
"Do you remember me saying anything about Jake?"
"No, why… dad, is he hurt, your face is scaring me!"
"No, no Jake is fine. Ethen I need to tell you something that you are not going to like. I would prefer to not do it now but I don't have much time."
"Are you dieing or something?"
"No… Ethen, please just listen. You cant see Jake anymore, I cant either."
"Cant see… dad, what are you on about."
"We are leaving Beale, I got a promotion to a top secret position in the CIA."
"Yes, Ethen, look, as we have no family and because of the remote place we have lived for so long I was chosen as the perfect candidate. That's why I have been making so many trips to Arizona."
"But why do I have to leave Beale, I mean…"
"Ethen, it's not just about leaving Beale. We will be given new identities and we will never be able to speak to the people we know any more such is the delicacy of my new job."
"That's just it, I can't even tell you that."
"But I'm your son… and I'm not leaving Beale, I'm not leaving Jake."
"No dad, I have searched for this kind of happiness with someone my whole life in that sand pit where we live, I've had nothing, had to make sacrifices, I won't let him go."
"Ethen, I have accepted this job, and you will be coming with me."
"Ok, so I come with you, that does not mean I am losing touch with Jake."
"Son, you don't understand, you are linked to me, those people know who you are and if they find out who I am it could have serious consequences for state security."
"Dad, people already know who you are, they see you every day. Alan Stevens, Luke, Jake, the two girls down the track… dad everyone knows you."
"Yes, but I won't be Colin Jones anymore and nor will you be Ethen Jones. Ethen its because we only knew those few people rather than if we had lived in the city that I have been given this job. As your father I am regrettably telling you I have taken it and you will need to come with me and follow the same rules as me."
"And if I say no?"
"That is not an option Ethen."
"So what, you just expect me to disappear with you under the cover of darkness?"
"No, right now I am planning your funeral. I will say that there are too many bad memories for me in Beale now you and your mother have gone and I will leave later. We are bringing in a pretend priest to conduct the service and then you will be flown to Colorado where you will await my arrival a couple of days later."
"Funeral… dad are you out of your fucking mind that is sick! People are gonna think I have died… Jake is gonna think I have died? Have you gone fucking crazy?"
"Ethen, As far as anyone is aware, you died yesterday."
I brought my hand to mouth and heaved out a sob. I couldn't believe what had just come out of my father's mouth. It was just… unreal!"
"Dad, why… why are you doing this to me? I'm your son, and what you have done is just horrible, to me and those people," I choked out, tears streaming down my face. My dad looked at me almost emotionless as I cried.
"Ethen there was no other choice."
"So… so what would have happened if I didn't have that accident, what then. You can't tell me that this has all gone on and you got that job just because I fell of that rock?"
"No, the original plan was as you put it was to leave under the cover of darkness without anyone noticing, but because of what's happened too many people will be coming by the house and Jake would obviously want to stay with you, it made things difficult and so we had to come up with another plan.
"Yes, Alan Stevens and I."
"Alan… Jake's dad knows about this?"
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