My Friend's Dream

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CHAPTER TWENTY

JENNIFER

Save. Save. Save. I click multiple times on the save button on my screen and then take a look at all of my mechanical drawings laid out on the living room floor and the final edited designs on the three laptops I have in front of me. Yes. That’s right. I have officially finished my design! It has taken a long time and I’ve checked over it a million times with Kye and Rio. I’ve edited and edited and then checked and checked and I think now it’s time to just get on with the build.

“Hey, all done?” Kye asks walking in with lunch. She’s just finished the quantum physics class that I missed.

I exhale, “Yes, I think so.” It’s weird because I feel nervous but more excited that I have actually designed a piece of space discovery equipment all by myself! “I can’t find anything else to change or edit, I think it’s ready. What did I miss anyway? Did you bring me notes?”

“Yes I did. You didn’t miss much, you can catch up easily, but Dr. Kennedy was looking at me as if he was trying to say ‘where’s your friend’,” she chuckles and then looks at my screens. “Damn, that’s a lot of work Jen! I think it is ready. You need to move on now.”

She’s right, I need to move on now. Timing is good, I have plenty of time to build and if any surprises come along the way then I’ll have time to fix them.

“Why didn’t you come to class anyway?” Kye asks.

“Well, I went to my Space Dynamics class this morning, then thought I had miscalculated something in my design and ended up missing my literature class and quantum physics to come back and check. It actually turns out that I had done it correctly in the first place, so yeah, I’m going to have to do a bit of catching up.” I stand up with one of the laptops, “Okay, I’m going to print some final stuff at the library, make sure this…” I point to the floor, “…stays in order, exactly where it is. Please.”

“I got it. Don’t worry, I won’t let the boys in,” Kye responds as I leave the apartment.

I make my way to the library. This is it, the last time I’ll be printing out my designs, God knows how many trees I have had cut down from the amount of printing I have done for this. I don’t even know what other people’s designs look like, or what they’re designing. Theirs have been checked by supervisors too. I bet they’re all way better than mine! Ah what are you doing Jen? I reach the printer, there’s no cue and the library is quiet. It is Friday, most people usually take a trip home on Friday when there’s no major nightlife events and it is the middle of the semester so everything is quite quiet and calm. In other words, party season is over. I connect my laptop and print. Then I shut the laptop and adjust the large printed diagrams and the equipment list making them easier to carry and so that they don’t blow away outside. As I walk, ruffling the papers and laptop in my hand, my shoulder collides against someone. My instincts save the laptop. Some of my sheets crumple between my legs and the rest fall to the ground as I unflatteringly try to hold onto them. My diagrams spread all over the floor.

“I’m so sorry!” I hear a familiar voice bending down to help pick the papers off the floor.

The idiot is no other than Blondie, Betty Blondie and her annoying friend Maya. I swear, I could swear at her right now. I calm myself.

“Betty!” I smile gritting my teeth, “No worries, it’s okay.” I bend down and collect my papers.

“Oh Jennifer! Hi! I’m so sorry, I didn’t see…” she stops and holds a diagram in her hands. She looks at it upside down (which I won’t hold against her because they are hard for a non-scientific person to understand). “Are these yours? I thought you study English or something?” She’s confused.

“Yes!” I’m too quick to answer, I snatch the paper from her hand, “I mean no! No, no, these are… not mine. No. This is actually Kye’s stuff. I was meant to say ‘yes’ to the… err… fact that I do study English, yes…I study Literature.” I clear my throat.

I just confused her even more from that look on her face, “Oh.” She shakes her head and then strokes my arm. “Oh poor you. Kye makes you do everything for her. Last time you were carrying her books and now she’s making you print. I feel terrible.”

Her sympathetic acting is beyond me. I don’t even know what to say right now, so I play along, with a sad, victimized, sorrowful look in my eyes, that I guarantee I am not doing right at all and I’m pretending to act in front of an actress.

“I know right. We feel so sorry for you. I mean you shouldn’t take it from her,” says Maya. “You should tell her to do her own stuff.”

“Yes of course,” Betty agrees. “You know what Jen, is it okay if I call you Jen?”

I nod.

“That Kyara is jealous of you. She is jealous. You’re pretty, tall, intelligent, I mean you even understand all this diagram stuff, right,” she points at my papers. “She probably doesn’t like that at all. She wants to be good at everything and can’t stand it when someone takes over her. Like me! For example, she’s totally jealous of me too and Abbey and now you.”

I don’t like the fact that she’s dissing my girl. I feel like slapping her right now, but my hands are full and I have secrets she can’t know. “Oh no, I don’t think so, Kye is Kye, you know,” I say as nicely as possible on the outside, but inside I want to pull her hair out and her stupid friend’s. I know my facial expression has changed and she can sense my anger, but she just won’t stop and to top it off, Maya is nodding and shaking her head at every sentence Betty unsympathetically blurts out.

“Obviously you’d say that, you’re her friend,” she rolls her eyes and Maya does the same. “Look, I’m just saying, be aware of her. Watch your back. You never know when she might betray you.”

“Hmm,” I grumble. She’s making me sick.

“And let her do her own stuff,” she begins to walk away followed by Maya.

“Yeah, thanks for the advice guys, I really appreciate it,” I lie.

“Anytime!” Maya waves at me.

Idiots! Next time she says something about Kye I will whoop her ass! I felt like telling Maya to watch her back with Betty lurking around, but I haven’t got time for bitching. They totally ruined my mood. My drawings almost got ruined. Thank God they’re okay! I kiss my papers as another figure approaches me.

“Jen! What are you doing?” It’s Deq with a weird expression.

“Ah, nothing. I just saved them from getting ripped.”

“Oo…kay..., I just had to pay my fricking library debt. Thieves I tell you!”

“That’s typical of you.”

“Save it till later. I’m having a bad day,” he sighs looking upset. “Do you need a hand?”

“Yes please,” I give him the laptop and the A4 sheets. “Spill.”

We take a stroll back to our apartment. He tells me what’s been happening with him and Lia, and most of it we already know because, we girls talk a lot. They’ve been on and off quite a lot over stupid things, like him playing video games all the time and when he’s free Lia’s got reading to do and vice versa. Lia wants him to meet her mom but he’s too scared and that’s annoying her. He is genuinely upset and really wants to be with her and make her happy. We already know how Lia feels, she adores the guy! It’s like a silly Ross and Rachael thing. He continues to express his feelings as we enter our apartment. Kye joins in the conversation. He finishes spilling on the balcony. We comfort him standing either side of him. Kye’s hand is on top of his as he holds the balcony rail and both my hands hold his shoulder. We give our opinions and our advice, which are mostly one sided towards pleasing Lia since we’ve heard her side too. We tell him to be more considerate towards her feelings and that playing video games is definitely not the priority. He seems to be absorbing our advice. We tell him that if she is the one – which we definitely think is the case, because they argue like husband and wife and then are fine the minute afterwards – then meeting her family is the next step. As we talk, I realize that my feelings for Brian have grown. Kye always talks about marriage and how it is so important in life to settle down with someone who is yours and you are their’s forever. She says that each person is half a soul and half a body, then your partner – life partner – is the other half of your soul and body, that’s why we connect, when we connect we become one and complete. I’ve never thought about this until now, but I do feel like Brian makes my life complete. I don’t know what I’d do without him. I definitely wouldn’t be where I am without him. Kye’s God, do I love Brian?

“Yo yo!” My Brian walks in attractive as ever, followed by Rio and Marcus.

“Yo! Guys!” Deq makes a quick and nervous escape from our girly conversation to greet them with their manly handshakes, he then gently nods his head towards us in appreciation for the advice.

“Have you finished the design Jen?” Marcus asks.

“Yes I have,” I feel excitement and a small hint of pride as I look at my designs and drawing neatly laid out.

“About time,” Rio jokes as he receives a smack from Jen.

“So what now?” Brian sits down to study them.

What now? Oh my God, what now? Now, I need to turn these designs into the real thing. But how am I going to do that? I need equipment and materials. What I need is extremely expensive to buy, I can’t afford that. I don’t know how I’m supposed to get materials from the school labs, I don’t have an ID card, there’s staff patrolling the labs during the day watching who’s taking what and we have to record what we’ve taken out or used. I explain the situation to the guys, we all sit and think of a solution. I need to start building ASAP. Rio or Kye could to get the equipment since they have access cards, but then they would have to sign out any material and equipment under their names, which wouldn’t work because the staff will check my name against the equipment lists on the day of presentations. I don’t want them to get in trouble for this. Marcus suggests coming out clean and telling the teachers that I’ve been secretly studying astrophysics and now I need the equipment for my design for this NASA competition. However, that is risky. If they don’t agree and find out what I’ve been up to, they could suspend me, tear my designs to shreds or worse. Argh! I don’t know what to do! Help me God.

“Don’t worry Jen, we’ll think of something eventually,” Brian reassures her.

“But I need to start building now! It’s taken me ages to perfect my design and I might find more problems when I build,” I stress out.

“Haha! Oh dear God,” Kye giggles to herself. We look at her waiting for an explanation. “I’m sure we’ll think of something Jen, don’t worry. But I just thought of the craziest movie idea, if this was scripted, I imagine something super cool, like a mission… impossible. The characters would wait until the staff are off duty, late at night, maybe midnight, then the I.T. guy – Deq…” she gestures, “…would hack into the watchful security cameras underground and in the labs and he’d open the door without the need of an ID card. Then we sneak in from the outdoor underground entrance where the delivery trucks enter the labs. We get in, do our stuff and get out!” Her eyes are wide as she tells her fictional, made-up on the spot story. “Pretty cool right? I think I’m going to write that. Maybe a short story or a short film? You know what, I think we should do that,” she finishes sarcastically.

She jokes, but I like the idea, “Yes,” I say enthusiastically.

“Ha! Yeah!” Kye still jokes.

“Yes!” I yell with excitement, nodding at her.

“Yes?” Kye squints her eyes.

“Yes!”

“No!” she realizes that I genuinely like the idea. “Jen, I was kidding. That’s crazy!”

“Yeah, well, it’ll work. I know it will, it’s the only way!”

“Woah woah woah, Jen, that’s scripted stuff, we can’t pull that off in real life. That is stealing! And Deq can’t hack into the security system.”

Pause. We all look at Deq, who wears a smug face, “Actually, I can.” He’s confident.

Kye’s mouth drops open.

“See!” I make my point.

“I like it!” Rio expresses his view. “Staff usually leave at around seven p.m., and the nerdy research students leave at around ten p.m. unless they want to work all night but I doubt that, campus is usually dead by midnight on a weekday, so there’s a chance that no one will be around to see us.”

“Hmm, we’ll make it really quick, if all of us go, we can carry everything in one go,” Brian adds.

“Deq, can you seriously hack into the system bro?” Marcus asks.

“Well, the ID entry is the easy bit, someone will have to swipe for the doors to open but then I’ll wipe the entry data off the system for that time. The cameras’ however, aren’t so easy but it’s not impossible, it depends on the kind of security camera, I should be able to do something, for example I could redirect them, pause them or cause interference. I know that doesn’t sound too promising but what I can definitely do is access them, so I can get the live footage up on my laptop screen.”

“So we won’t get caught?” Rio asks.

“Well, it depends on if I can control them, but I’ll only find that out when I hack the system.”

“So there’s a chance we will get caught?” Rio persists.

“Dude, there’s always a chance you’ll get caught, but I doubt that will happen because I’ll find a way,” Deq replies.

“Alright done!” I say.

“What! No! Guys, are you hearing yourselves? We are planning to break into our own school labs and steal very expensive stuff!” Kye moans.

“That’s why we’re stealing it, because it’s expensive,” Rio replies.

“But it’s a crazy, stupid idea!” she yells.

“Kye, we’ve done a lot of crazy stuff already, I am so far now, I might as well finish it off with crazy.” I am serious about this. I see no other way and I need to start building right away. “Please,” I hold her shoulders and look into her eyes.

She looks into mine and sighs, “Alright-”

“Yes!” I jump into the air. The boys also get excited for this so called mission.

“I can’t believe this is my idea,” Kye puts her head in her hands.

“So when are we doing this?” Brian asks.

“A quiet day would be good,” says Marcus.

“Tomorrow.” I make the decision.

“Tomorrow?” Kye yells.

“I need that stuff Kye. Besides, it’s Tuesday tomorrow, quietest day ever.”

“Yep tomorrow’s good, get your backpacks ready!” Rio hoots.

“I’m going to need a car,” Deq says to himself.

We spend the rest of the afternoon planning the big mission. The more we plan, the crazier the whole idea becomes, nevertheless I need to do this. This is my final year here and this is the biggest project of my life. I’m not stealing from somebody specifically or for bad reasons, I’m doing it for a good cause, for my dream. Sometimes we have to make those tough, bizarre decisions, the risky decisions and in the end I’m sure it’ll all be worth it. I’m more worried for my friends who are endangering their place here for me. They’re all excited for this mission even Kye, her concern is the whole stealing thing, but like I said it’s for a good cause, at least that’s what I’m telling myself.

* * *

“The coast seems clear team.” Rio whispers as he stands outside the apartment building looking around corners for by passers. “Roll out!”

It’s two o’clock in the morning, dark and a little cold. Kye, Marcus, Brian, Rio and I leave the building with a large backpack each and a few carrier bags for the equipment. It is eerily quiet on campus, most people are busy with dissertations so lucky for us, nights out are on hold. Our faces are disguised with bandanas and caps, just to be on the safe side. We scurry through the night and head down the side roads to reach the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. As we arrive, we spot a black car parked up in one of the side roads near the underground lab entrance. A guy waves through the windscreen. It’s Deq. We shuffle through the road to get to him.

“You guys look like a bunch of idiots,” he laughs quietly rolling the window down.

“Deq, where the heck did you get the car from man?” Rio asks.

“Better still, whose car did you hijack?” Brian questions.

“It’s Lia’s mom’s,” Deq looks at me and Kye. “I went to sort things out last night which we did and then I met her mom and luckily she has two cars so I charmingly borrowed one. Don’t ask how, it’s a long story.”

“Sweet! I’m going to want to know all the details later,” Rio fist bumps Deq.

I look through the window to find two laptops and a tablet. One laptop displays four camera screens and the other reads ‘loading’. There’s a bunch of wires connected to each of the laptops. It looks very sophisticated and complicated, I can’t believe we’re doing this. My nerves kick in.

“Looks good right?” Deq asks. “Brian I’m going to call you now, stay on the phone, that’s our mode of communication. I will warn you of any night patrollers or any cameras that I can’t control and so on. I’ll be keeping a sharp watch on whatever I can inside and outside from here. If we lose connection because you’re underground, then… use your instincts.”

Kye’s eyes widen at me. Now that we’re here, this actually seems like a bad idea.

“Cool, you better have our backs on this, you geek,” Brian answers his phone and begins to lead us down the road and down the ramp towards the underground entrance.

“Good luck!” Deq whispers. He rolls the window back up.

We follow Brian. I genuinely feel uneasy but at the same time, I can’t wait to get my hands on the equipment. The boys whisper through the phone to Deq as we walk through a large tunnel, wide and long enough for a supplies truck to fit through. There are cameras in the tunnel which Deq tells us he’s hacked and frozen. As we venture further into the tunnel, the light from the streets outside fade. Marcus and Kye turn on their flashlights to light the way. All we see now are our shadows on the walls of the creepy tunnel. I look back at the start of the tunnel, but I can no longer see it. I feel scared but I don’t know if it’s because of what we’re doing, the dark or some kind of supernatural powers that may live underground. I hold onto Kye and she holds onto me. We don’t trust the boys in this situation, they’re already making spooky sounds in front of us scaring each other and us. I hear Deq making most of the sounds through the phone.

“Stop that!” Kye hisses at all of the boys. “This is serious stuff!”

They stop the sounds with a chuckle. I see two large double doors a head of us. That’s the entrance into the lab.

“Guys, I’m causing some interference in the entrance camera so you’re good to go, however there seems to be cameras in the hallway past the entrance doors which I can’t get into. Are there any?” Deq questions.

“Yes, there are two I think straight after the door,” Kye replies.

“Okay well, I can’t get into them so cover up,” Deq orders.

“Shit!” I whisper, I didn’t expect us to actually be caught by the cameras.

“What! What do you mean cover up?” Marcus quietly yells.

“You mean they’re going to see us now?” Brian asks worried.

“No you idiots. No one’s watching, it’s a school not a police station!” We hear Deq through the phone. “I don’t think they watch the recording all the time, only if there’s an incident they’ll play it back. But you’re not going to let an incident happen, are you? We’re keeping this clean! Okay?” Deq’s voice sounds like an annoyed parent.

“Alright, alright,” I say.

We reach the doors, Marcus shines a light on the ID scanner. Rio pulls out his card and is about to swipe us in when Kye reaches it first with her card, gently pushing his hand out of the way.

“Just in case, it was my idea,” she says to Rio. She swipes, the red light turns green on the scanner and the doors open sliding each way.

Everyone holds their heads down avoiding the two cameras. They are located right in front of the door and if we hadn’t known they probably would have picked up our faces. We crouch past them and into the long, dark hallway. On each side of the long hallway are further hallways which lead to locker rooms and labs of all kinds. We need to find the physics and engineering labs and workshops, the ones I saw on our first day. Luckily for me, Kye and Rio have a pretty good idea of where they are.

“Erased,” we hear Deq though the phone. “The entry details have been successfully erased from the system.”

We hear some clicking and popping through the phone.

Brian pulls a face, “Is that-”

“Beer?” Rio finishes Brian’s sentence.

We hear a slurp, “Ahhhh, yep! Cheers guys!”

“Deq! Seriously!” Marcus says.

“Drinking in a car, on the job!” I yell at him.

Deq continues to sip and laugh through the phone, then he yells in a whisper, “Everybody stop!”

We freeze. My heart thumps.

“Deq?” Rio whispers for a response.

“Don’t move,” he says.

“Who is it? Night patrollers?” I whisper, regretting this whole idea.

“There’s something there!” Deq’s voice echo’s through the phone, Brian reduces the volume.

“Don’t do this man!” Marcus gets scared.

“Some…thing. Not some body?” Kye questions not so scared.

“It’s…it’s coming toward to guys!”

Marcus squeals and jumps behind Rio. I’m frightened in the moment, but at the same time I wonder why Deq’s voice has increased in volume.

“Ohhh! Oh my God! Guys! It’s…. it’s a…CAT!” Deq shrieks through the phone.

My fear vanishes and now I get angry, “DEQ! How can a cat get inside the lab you idiot!”

“Haha! Lol! I was just kidding. You guys are wimps!” he hoots.

“So there’s nothing there?” Marcus asks gathering himself together and letting go of the tight hold he has on Rio. We didn’t expect that from big man Marcus if I’m honest.

“No, you wimp! I was just having a little fun. Hey Marcus, I didn’t expect that from you bro,” Deq teases. “Carry on, make it quick!”

“Make it quick…” Brian imitates him. “I’m telling Lia what you’re up to, jackass, hacking into the system, assisting a crime, and breaking the law.”

“Oh shit, yeah about that guys, I haven’t told her about this mission thing and if you want to keep on living then don’t tell her, or at least not until she’s…drunk or something.”

That’s actually true, Kye and I haven’t told her either. She’s very serious about the law and crimes and I don’t think she’ll like what we’re are doing, albeit for a good reason. We can’t hide it from her for too long, she’ll find out somehow, so we will tell her, just not yet, maybe when she is drunk.

Rio and Kye lead us left through another long hallway. The hallways are all wide, I guess they have to be for the ease of moving large equipment. They are very tidy from what I can see in the dark and smell exceptionally fresh, like a dental practice. We must be near the chemical engineering labs. Deq keeps us informed of which cameras he can control and those which we should hide from. He warns us of another one coming up straight ahead that he has no control over. Before I can even find it through my squinted eyes, I hear a loud yelp.

“Marcus!” Kye yells.

Marcus misses the tall block of stairs descending in front of us. He falls a few steps before being rescued by Rio who bravely pulls Marcus back. Kye swings her bag up in front of her and on top of the stairs knocking a camera so that it now faces the wall and away from us.

“What the heck happened? You jolted that camera’s direction towards the wall,” Deq tells us.

“Are you okay Marcus?” Rio asks, flashing a light down the staircase.

He nods. Catching his breath. He seemed quite uneasy after Deq’s ghostly cat prank.

“That was quick Kye, very quick,” Brian compliments her quick thinking.

“Thanks, I practice these things in the mirror straight after watching action movies.”

Brian yells at Deq for not warning us about the stairs and the camera. In his defense he did warn us about the camera and I don’t think he can see the stairs. Marcus shakes out of the incident and lectures us on his hard work at medical school, he has been here the longest and still has longer to go until he graduates.

“…I do not want to get kicked out now, so can we just hurry up, get the stuff and get out of here! How far is it?” he finishes.

“Down the stairs and on the left,” Kye replies leading the way.

We take one step at a time. The hallway changes downstairs, it’s concrete and smells of wood works, like a garage. There seems to be a securely chain locked garage door at the end of the hallway, it probably leads to another underground exit tunnel. We follow Kye.

“Deq, do you have control over the lab’s cameras?” Brian asks.

“Bri…Bri…ca…” Deq’s voice struggles to make it through, there’s harsh crackling as Brian tries to get an answer to the important question but then, the call ends. We lose connection.

“Well, there go our eyes,” Brian puts his phone away. “Just keep covered up and away from any cameras.”

Kye leads us to another set of large glass double doors. She reaches for her ID card but Rio swipes his this time.

“It was everyone’s idea to go ahead with this,” he says softly.

The red light turns green again and Rio pushes the handle down opening the door. The lab looks huge from what we can see with our flashlights. The smell of metal and wood lingers in the air. The first thing we all look for are cameras and together we point out seven of them. I ruffle through my bag and find the long equipment and material list and hand a copy to each person along with a pen. As soon as they locate the item and gain the correct quantity, they are to say it out loud so that we all tick it off and move on to finding the next item. We split and search. There are work benches located all over the room and there’s lots of free space for building. There are cabinets under each bench with all kinds of equipment and material. I would have loved to have been able to actually build my project in here! I let my imagination of me working in here sink in, who knows when I’ll see it next, if I’ll ever see it. Rio kicks off the search by finding wire connectors and from then on we move quickly to find most of the smaller material and equipment. I’m glad I showed pictures of everything to everyone and that we planned this bit well with a rehearsal from Kye. However, the bigger stuff is hiding elsewhere.

“Where’s the storage room?” Rio asks Kye.

Kye points to a door at the other end of the room, “I think it’s there.”

They make their way to the door and I follow them. The door has another ID card scanner but it looks a little different to the others. There’s a screen on this one, where we need to place an ID card instead of swiping it.

“My turn,” Kye says.

She places her card on the scanner and waits for a green light. The red light flashes twice and a small beep sound is heard. Rio pushes the door. It’s still locked. Rio and Kye exchange confused looks. I get worried. She tries again. No green light. The red light flashes again. The beep again. The door is still locked.

“Damn it! How are we going to get the electrical base and the cutting equipment?” I freak out. I need that stuff. That’s the expensive stuff!

Kye tries a third time but the door remains closed, “What is going on? Do you think they’ve blocked my card? Oh no! What if they’ve found out?” she’s anxious. “I hope Deq is erasing all of this!”

“Let me try,” Rio moves her out of the way and places his card on the scanner.

Click… click… click! The sound of heavy unlocking is music to our ears and a green light shines from the ID scanner screen.

“Viola!” Rio opens the door for us.

“What!” Kye walks passed him, offended by the door.

“I’m the man!” he says confidently, following us inside. “I hope Deq erased that,” he mumbles.

Dim blue lights light up the room, it is cold in here. There are shelves on each of the walls, rows upon rows of them and on top of them lie the expensive, good sized for modeling, equipment. I love it! I can’t control my smile. I recognize instantly what I need and other objects catch my eyes too. To me, this is like Disneyland to an eight year old and Hollywood to Kye. Some things look dangerous and delicate, no wonder they are locked away in a separate room. I gather what I need, carefully. Rio finds a large tray in which I can carry the bulky, heavy things.

“Woah!” Brian stands in the doorway. “That’s a lot of fancy stuff. More than tweezers and scissors, right Marcus?” he hits Marcus on the back who also looks astonished.

“Okay, I think that’s everything,” I read from my list making sure everything is ticked off. Then I compare my list to everyone else’s. I do not want to be coming down here like this again. Kye reads everything out loud once more as we all check our bags as best as we can in the dark with our flashlights to make sure we have everything and some extras, just in case. With the final count complete, we pack everything away, shut all the cabinets and head back out the way we came. I pick up the tray full of expensive material.

Then, we hear something smash on the concrete floor beneath us, “Shit!” I yell in a whisper. Something slips from me, “Guys, I dropped something! What did I drop?” I cry, not being able to search very well with the tray in my hands.

Brian crouches down along with Marcus. He finds my phone with the screen noticeably cracked and my new solar system phone case split into pieces, now only showing the sun to mars.

“Argh no! Not my phone! I loved that case!” I’m disheartened, that was the best thing anyone had ever bought me and my first Christmas gift from Brian.

Marcus still searches for the other piece of my phone case, he doesn’t find that, but what he does see is a glint of light coming from the hallway. He pops his head through the double doors and looks down the hall. We follow him. There’s light coming from beneath that garage door.

“Is that daylight?” Marcus questions.

“I think so,” Kye awkwardly checks her watch without dropping anything from the pile she carries. “It’s five twenty one!”

“We’ve been here for like three hours! We better get out of here!” Brian says leading us through the double doors.

“Wait! What if I dropped something else too?” I call.

“Don’t worry Jen, we’ve got extras of everything,” Rio reassures me. “We need to go.”

I take another look around me to check, the others begin to leave the lab. What if I dropped something else too? What if we didn’t get enough extras? I question myself, unwilling to leave without a good look around but being unable to with everything I am holding.

“Jen! Leave it. Come on!” Brian yells, holding the door open for me.

I have no choice but to leave. We’ll find out if I dropped anything else when we get back to the apartment. We exit the building much faster and more swiftly than we had entered. It is still dark in the hallways but as we reach the top, daylight floods through the tunnel. Deq is back on a phone call with Brian. He tells us that he has successfully erased all of our entry and attempted entry data from the system even from the storage room. He also states us that he actually was able to freeze the cameras inside the main lab, so we were all worrying about hiding our faces for no reason. We arrive outside to find Deq opening all of the car’s doors. The sun is beginning to rise and we run as quickly but as safely as possible to the car and place everything anywhere we can, where things won’t break. In fact, the car is so full of equipment, that there are no seats empty for us to sit on.

“Take off your goon costumes. I’ll meet you at the apartment,” Deq turns on the engine as we take off our hats, scarves and bandannas and throw them into the car.

“Deq, slowly please, everything is fragile,” I tell him.

“Don’t worry,” Deq reassures me. He very sensibly takes off and drives into the side road, taking the long way back.

We see a few morning joggers out around the campus.

“Well, I’m going to go this way folks. I’m just doing a short jog today,” Rio talks loudly, smirking as he begins to jog the short way back home, hinting that we should split up.

“Yeah me too!” I say, already jogging behind Rio, I just want to go and see my equipment.

“And me-”

“No you’re not Marcus, you’re coming with us, you need some practice with looking at where you’re going,” I hear Brian tease him in the distance with Kye pulling him along.

They take a different route. I can’t believe we pulled that off! I just can’t wait to get home and see my equipment safe and sound. I hope Deq has arrived with my equipment safely. I actually feel like I’ve accomplished something. I don’t feel nervous or afraid. I did what I needed to, no one got hurt and I didn’t bring anyone any harm. I’m just chasing my dream, and now, I’m another step closer.

“I hope you got everything Jen because I am not doing that again,” Rio runs smoothly.

“Why would you even say that?” I shake my head laughing and keeping up with his stamina quite well. “You don’t have the guts to do that again?”

“I don’t know about me. I’m not going to lie, I didn’t think you had the guts to do that… until now.”

“To be honest, me neither. It’s surprising what you can do for your dreams, or what they make you do. The closer you get, they crazier they get.”

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