Chapter 41: Freed
After a week of planning, Cindy and Ian were confident to try out their plan. The plan was to break into Smiley’s Home. One would use a tension wrench and two paperclips to unlock the door. Then one would retrieve Mike while the other would wait outside; just in case the plan didn’t work out. They would dress all in black, complete with a mask, and go out at night so that no one would see them. It was risky, but they were willing to try it out.
At midnight, Cindy arrived at Ian’s house. The two had figured out that his house was closer to the bus stop.
“You ready?” whispered Ian as to not wake up his parents when Cindy arrived at his door.
“Yeah,” replied Cindy. “Do you have the masks?”
“Yeah, I got them,” replied Ian as he held up two black masks. The masks were really just black toques that Ian had cut holes for eyes and mouths out of. Ian stuffed the masks back into his blue backpack that also contained the tools they needed to pick the lock and two walkie-talkies. It was pitch black when they walked away from Ian’s house and headed for the bus stop that was just down the street. The two had no idea where Smiley’s Home was but they hoped that the bus driver would know. When they climbed onto the bus, the bus driver gave them a curious look.
“Why are you dressed all in black?”
“It’s one of those night clubs,” Cindy lied as she and Ian deposited their fare. She was lying a lot lately.
“Ah,” was all the bus driver said as he pulled away from the bus stop; he hadn’t been to many night clubs.
“Do you know where Smiley’s Home is?” asked Ian as they drove along the road.
“There’s no night club there,” notified the bus driver.
“I know, but there’s one close to there,” said Ian quickly.
“O.K..” But Ian could tell he was suspicious. Still, he took them there anyway.
When they arrived, it was 12:15 A.M.. Ian decided to stay outside so Cindy headed towards the home’s main door with her walkie-talkie clipped to the back of her jeans. It was pitch black outside so she wasn’t that worried about being spotted. It seemed the building was in the middle of nowhere. It was an old building with cracks and dirt all along the side of it. The stairs even creaked as she headed up. Cindy stopped as soon as the first whine from the steps was heard. She crept up more slowly, hoping to cease the creaking. She had the tension wrench and the two paperclips in the back pocket of her jeans. The cracked white door had a standard tumbler lock and Cindy knew that she would have no trouble opening it.
A few days ago she had watched a YouTube video on how to open locks. Of course, the video had specifically told her to only pick her own locks when she was locked out of the house with no key. Cindy smiled as she took out the paperclip, bent the metal wire until it was straight, and then bent the end of the wire. After she had seen the video, she had practiced on a few locks at home while her parents were still at work so that she would be confident with the task ahead of her. She inserted the wrench into the keyhole and turned the wrench clockwise and then counter clockwise, trying to see which way gave way more easily. She could feel that the lock was easier to turn to the right. Once that was established, she turned the lock clockwise.
While keeping pressure on the wrench, she inserted her paperclip at the top of the keyhole. Once the paperclip was inside, she felt around for the pins. Soon, she could feel the metal pins and counted five in total. She took the wire out and took out the other paperclip. She bent the paper clip like the first, though without the small bend, and gave it a few small bends at the end so there was a small wavy line at the end of the paperclip. She held the wrench loosely in place and began raking the lock. She could feel that she had moved a few pins. This pleased her as she took out the second paper clip and applied pressure back onto the wrench. She inserted the first paperclip and began pushing up with the paperclip on each pin, starting from the back and moving forward. The closer she went, the more pressure she applied to the wrench. Once every pin gave a small click, she turned the wrench clockwise and the door opened.
She smiled at her expert burglary skills and opened the door quietly. Even the hinges creaked. Once the door was fully open, Cindy entered. Everything in front was dark and Cindy could only see faint images as her eyes tried to adjust to the lack of light. She did not have a flashlight so this was going to be difficult. She had no idea how to reach Mike’s room but she had a feeling that his room would probably be up the stairs that she could faintly see in front of her. She started walking towards where she thought the stairs would be; with the darkness seeming like a dark hole with no end.
Suddenly, Cindy heard voices and quickly hid behind a wall close to her. They were talking about something that Cindy could not hear. Their voices started getting louder and Cindy noticed their shadows getting bigger. Please don’t find me, she hoped. She could hear their voices clearly now; it sounded like there were two men who were getting closer to Cindy’s hiding place. Cindy was carrying her mini pink purse with her and the zipper was not closed all the way so her lipstick rolled out of the purse and hit the floor louder than expected. In a few seconds, the two men were at the spot where Cindy was hiding. They shone a flashlight and Cindy could see the light bounce off the walls. As a part of the light reached Cindy, she froze in fear. Then the flashlight turned away from the wall and started moving down the hall. The shadows got smaller and smaller as they went further and further down the hall. Cindy gave a small sigh of relief.
Outside, Ian was waiting patiently. He and Cindy had walkie-talkies so they could radio each other if something went wrong.
The exterior of Smiley’s Home was very much like the interior, just cold. There were a few streetlights around where Ian was standing; luckily not enough that would make Ian visible.
He looked up at the sign in front of Smiley’s Home: it was lit up, emitting a yellow florescent glow across the sidewalk. In the center of the sign were the words: Smiley’s Home with a little smiling sun at the corner. Below were these words: Smile, it’s your home. Ian thought that it was a lame saying.
Suddenly, a car pulled over to the side of the street with the headlights revealing Ian. He was wearing the black mask so he looked just like a burglar. As the three men started to get out of the car, Ian began to run. The sound of his sneakers hitting the pavement caught the men’s attention. Soon, they were chasing him. Then a bush appeared in front of Ian and as he was about to dive into it, he tripped over a crack in the sidewalk and crashed to the hard ground. The men were now gaining on him. Ian hurriedly stood up and found that the side of the home was mostly hidden by blackness. He quickly made his way to the spot and ducked behind a bush close by. When he could not hear the men’s footsteps anymore, he radioed Cindy telling her to get out of there.
When Cindy’s walkie-talkie started ringing, she was half way up the second floor steps. She tried to mute the loud ringing of the walkie-talkie, but couldn’t find the button. Pretty soon the whole second floor would be woken up. Cindy ran quickly up the stairs hoping in her heist she would see Mike’s room. When people started opening doors, Cindy found a room with an open door and rushed inside. She closed the door, hoping no one had seen her. The room looked lived in. There was one ripped curtain covering a very musty-looking window. A boy was lying in the bed close to her and she nearly jumped when she saw him until she realized who he was: Michael Roberts!
She couldn’t believe her luck and leaned over his bed to kiss him straight on the lips. As soon as Mike felt the warm lips on his, his eyes immediately jolted awake.
“Cindy!” he cried through a horsed whisper, delighted to see her. “Why are you here?”
“I’ve come to bail you out,” she replied. “Grab your stuff and let’s get the hell out of here. Before you know it, the cops will be on us and then we’ll all be in the group home.” Mike already had his clothes on so he began taking everything he had brought with him and stuffed it into his duffle bag. He put his runners on as he and Cindy dashed out the door. Out in the hall, people started staring at them and Mike saw Mark in the dim light, smile. Mike and Cindy sped down the stairs. They were in such a hurry that they jumped a flight and ran out the door. Soon, Ian joined them and as Cindy and Ian took off their masks and stuffed them into their pockets, Mike furiously waved at the bus that was heading down the road. The bus soon stopped and the three teenagers got on.