overview of Ian's feelings towards Wanda and how they changed over time.
A parasite. They wanted a parasite to stay here with us? Were they out if their damned minds? How could they ever think that this was a good idea? Kyle was right. We needed to kill it, fast.
Kyle, Brandt and I found out Jared was keeping it in the storage area of the caves. When we got down there, Jared refused to let us do what needed to be done. Kyle and Brandt held him back, they told me to kill it. I wanted to kill it. It was the human body I was having trouble killing. The body was so... innocent. I felt like killing the hideous worm that was inside was the same as killing the poor girl on the outside.
The girl's body looked as if it might have been pretty, once. But now it was caked in dirt and grime and sweat. It smelled. That only helped my resolve, though, it made it seem like I wasn't killing a civilized human. It was like killing an animal. I wrapped my hands around its throat and went completely numb. I became unfeeling, uncaring for the human body I was murdering. The human inside was long dead anyway.
We weren't allowed to kill the creature that night or in any of the nights following. Jeb would kick us out if we tried. Or shoot us. It was the one time since meeting him that I felt he was acting completely irrationally.
But, when I actually looked at the parasite for the first time, when I really saw it, heard it speak, things changed. It was petrified of us. Scared we would hit again. Afraid we'd try to kill it. I began to feel bad for it. Not just for the body I had tried to kill, but for the alien living inside of it. The one that knew I hated it enough to commit murder.
After awhile, I decided I didn't mind that it was going to live here in the caves with us. I didn't like knowing that I had let my hate get the better of me. I didn't like knowing that I had almost killed someone so innocent. She didn't want to harm us, she just wanted to live her life and be left alone. I promised myself I wouldn't let anyone hurt her the way I had.
I made sure I worked in the same area she did, ate at the same time she did. I stayed around her, keeping her safe. She was afraid of me and I felt horrible about that. I wondered why I couldn't see who she was, how different she was from the other parasites, in the beginning. Why had I been so blinded by my own hatred?
Her name was Wanda. Jeb had come up with it. He had her teaching a class every night after dinner. It was interesting. She'd been to so many different planets. Lived so many different lives. Did she like this one better then the others? Did she like living here... with us?
Jared and some of the others had gone on a raid. Kyle, too. I knew that they were expecting Wanda to be... dead when they got back. I knew that they would cause a scene. Kyle would start a fight. But I had promised myself that no one would hurt her. She was so nice, if they got to know her they would never want to hurt her. They tried, though. Jared got to her, gave her a huge cut on her cheek.
I was so angry when I saw her with that cut on her face. I wanted to strangle Jared. What right did he have to hurt someone like that? She would never lift a finger against him. Did it make him feel good about himself to go around beating up sweet, defenseless women?
I wanted to keep Wanda away from everyone who might try to harm her, especially Jared and Kyle. I couldn't trust them. While hiding her from them, we started talking. We had talked before, but this time was different. She opened up to me. Told me that the girl who's body she was in, Melanie, was still there. She told me all kinds of things. And I knew I could believe her. She was a terrible liar. I could always hear her stumbling over her words, deciding what to say, whenever she tried. It was sort of cute, really.
When Walter got sick, I felt so bad for her. Everyone was sad, but Wanda was so gentle, she didn't have to deal with death the way we did. Her kind lived forever, they didn't have the same inevitable end humans did.
The morning I heard her screaming, my heart almost stopped. How could I let something happen to her? If she was... I don't think I could handle it.
When I found her in the river room, clinging to a passed out Kyle, I was ecstatic. I pulled Kyle out of the river and into the hallway, glad that he hadn't fallen. That was, until I thought about what he had been doing next to the river with Wanda. He hated her, wanted her dead... He had followed her there. My own brother had tried to kill my... my...
What was I doing? I was falling in love with her. I was falling in love with her? How could that be? She wasn't... she wasn't human. No, Kyle wasn't human. He had tried to kill her and she had saved him. She was plenty human. More human then I was, since I had tried to kill her, too.
I realized that I wasn't falling in love with Wanda. I was already very much in love with her. When Jared began to realize that Wanda wasn't a Seeker out to get us, he started spending more time with her. He didn't seem to like the attention I was giving her. He was jealous, even though he wouldn't admit it.
The first time I kissed Wanda, I thought my heart would explode, even though she didn't really respond well. But that was only because of Melanie, at least I prayed it was only because of Melanie. Melanie didn't like that I was kissing Wanda, because Wanda was inside of Mel's body. That made sense, and I didn't want to put Wanda through the pain of Melanie's anger, so I didn't push it.
When I found out Wanda had shown Doc how to take the Souls out of their host bodies, I was so proud of her. She was amazing. She did so much for us, I knew we could never repay her. I just hoped that maybe the people here would finally see how great she was. Maybe they would finally see that they didn't need to be afraid of her. Most came around, but there were still a few who would never see past their hatred.
Then I found out she was planning to leave. Planning to give Mel her body back. I didn't understand how she could do that. How could she leave when I needed her? When we needed her? Everyone needed her. I tried to convince her. I tried not to sound selfish, but I couldn't help it. I didn't really care about everyone else. I only cared about her. She couldn't leave me. I told her I loved her, hoping she would... I don't know what I hoped for, but I couldn't let her leave without knowing how I felt.
And, just like that, everything changed... forever. Wanda told me she loved me, too. This beautiful, perfect woman loved me. She kissed me and I didn't think I could ever let her go. I didn't want to let her go. So when I woke up in the morning and she was gone, I couldn't breathe. I knew what she had done, where she had disappeared to in the night. She gave Melanie her life back, but she had taken mine away in the process. Wanda was my life, and now she was gone. I knew she could never intentionally hurt me, but she had.
When I lost my family I thought nothing worse could ever happen to me. My parents were gone, my home was gone, but somehow I kept going. I kept surviving. I eventually found a new home, a new family. But I knew that, without Wanda, I could never survive. If she was gone, no matter how hard I tried to keep going, I wouldn't be able to. I couldn't live without her. I would crawl up into a ball and die.
I didn't know it was possible to need someone so much. I didn't know you could physically die of a broken heart. Even though Wanda didn't get her wish, even though Jared had made Doc put her in a cryotank, I still felt like I was dying without her. It felt like I couldn't breathe. It was a good thing Jared and Mel got her a body as quick as they could. If I had had to wait any longer I might have suffocated.
When the first name Wanda said when she woke up in her new body was mine, when I was the first person she looked for... I had never been so happy in my entire life. I had never been in love before. I had loved but not been in love. There's a difference. I was going to spend the rest of my life with Wanda. She was the girl I was looking for all those years ago, before Earth was taken from us. She was the girl I had always wanted, the girl I didn't think I'd ever find.
It took an alien invasion and losing everyone I had ever known, everyone I had ever loved, to bring me and Wanda together. She was my silver lining. The one good thing that came from all this pain and heartache. She was mine and would always be hers, for as long as she wanted me.