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Grade
7

The glass doors opened as I took my thumb off the censor. My black boots clicked against the black tile floors. I had finally reached the inside of the headquarters. I had been in here before but only with Caleb. Yesterday was the day they programmed my fingerprint in with the other hundreds.

“Alexandra McNeill, is that you?” I jerked my body to the direction of the voice yet with all the doors and openings in the area I couldn’t identify where this person was. I didn’t recognize the voice but they had recognized me. I slowly walked through the room, and patiently waited for the voice to speak again. The ringing of my cell phone interrupted my search for the unknown man. I reached into my brown leather purse that I carried over my shoulder and glanced at the screen. Oh good, Caleb.

“Hey, what’s up?’’ I said as I held the phone up to my ear.

“Just checking in. How’s headquarters? You know being alone and everything.”

“It’s good, haven’t been here long though.”

“Wanna meet at Sam’s for lunch?” Sam’s was our favorite diner that we ate at basically once a week.

“Yeah sure. See you at noon then?” I smile into the phone.

“Sounds good! I gotta bounce.” Caleb was my best friend but we were always confused as a couple. I wouldn't mind being one but I was pretty sure he wasn’t interested in me.

A man walked out of one of the many rooms, “Alexandra?” He looked about thirty years of age and he was wearing a suit.

“Hi, um yes,” I said awkwardly.

“Nice to meet you darling,” he said in what seemed flirtatious but I was way to young and had eyes for a different man.

“You know me how?” I asked confusedly while I intensely stared at him looking for remembrance. He waved his hands like a crazy man trying to get my attention again but I was still in a trance.

“Hello Alexandra, ” he said with annoyance in his tone.

“Sorry, sorry. Call me Alex. By the way, again do you know me?”

“Yes actually, I do. I manage fingerprints and I was looking through them late last night. I recognized your name so I decided to look through your files. You seem to have quite a past. I forgot to introduce myself. I’m Max, one of the founders of headquarters.”

I nodded. The room was hot and sticky and my brown hair stuck to my sweaty face. It was summer but I was wearing a tight black long-sleeved shirt. Careful not to lift up your arms, I thought, sweat stains aren’t attractive. I decided to sit for a while and I watched the man walk back into his office.

    I opened my eyes. I sat in a small chair in the middle of the lobby. Must’ve fallen asleep. I reach in my bag for my phone to check the time. 12:30. Crap, I missed lunch. I had four missed calls from Caleb. I find the exit of headquarters and start walking down to Sam’s. Caleb would most likely not be there anymore but I was hungry anyway.

    The front of the diner looked like a rundown store. The sign that read Sam’s diner in big black letters with paint that was fading. It was always busy at this time of day. The only spots were two seats at bar and one table of two. I stepped in and looked around. I recognize a few people that come here often but no sign of Caleb. I walk up to the bar to find Sam.

    “Did Caleb stop by recently?” I asked.

    He looked around for a second before answering, “He must’ve just left.”

    I turned around and went out the door. I dialed Caleb’s number and put the phone up to my ear. He had a meeting at the moment so I left a message, “Hey sorry I missed lunch today, I fell asleep in the lobby. Maybe we can meet up later though. Talk to you soon.” I slouched and headed home. The city was busy this afternoon with people getting back to work after lunch and some college kids changing classes. I lived in Greenwich Village which was close to the college campus. My apartment was small and me and my friend, Taylor lived in it together.

    I walked into the lobby of the apartment. Caleb was standing there impatiently tapping his foot. “Um, hey?” I said as a hint of saying, what are you doing here? He didn’t reply he just pointed to the elevator so I silently walked inside with him. “Are you going to talk to me?” I asked him.

    “Yeah. I just wanted to be in private,” he pulled up a link on his phone, “Look at this.” I stared at the screen. It was a news article; 20 dead in New York City at a Hamilton showing. I looked at the time it was updated. Two minutes.

    “This is happening right now?” I asked him.

Caleb nodded, “and Max called in,” he said, “he wants us to go, get details and stuff. He contacted someone in charge of security to have a heads up for us. This will be your first mission for headquarters and it won’t be an easy one.”

“Thanks for the heads up,” I said sarcastically. “So when will we be going?”

“Whenever you're ready.”

We stood in the hallway for a while before I got the hint to go change. I ran into my apartment but ran right back out. “What should I wear?” I asked Caleb.  

“Something kinda nice but that you don’t mind ruining. We want to blend in.”

I ran back into my apartment and shut the door. I opened my closet and looked in the very back. It was where I kept all my dresses since I didn’t wear them often. I pulled out a medium length red dress. I had never seen it before so I decided, why not wear it. I quickly pulled my hair into a nice high ponytail and walked back into the hallway. Caleb grabbed my hand and down the elevator we went.

We stood at the side of the road, Caleb waving his hand crazily in the air for a cab. After about five passed us one finally pulled over. Caleb told the cab driver the directions to the show. He also noted that we were in a hurry, which wasn't necessary. The driver drove fast, over the speed limit and quickly we arrived at Hamilton. We walked up to the entrance of the building, two security guards who were standing there nodded at us and pointed towards the door. Caleb took something out of his bag and handed it to me. A gun.

“Just in case,” he said to me.

“Mm hmm, like I know how to use one of these.” I said to him but I went along with his plan. After all he was the experienced one. We walked inside the doors. The inside of the building was nice with very decorated walls. The show wasn’t going on as it was supposed to because they wanted to protect the actors and actresses. Caleb lead the way into one of the aisles. It was chaos in the theater, everyone was talking frantically.

“Alright,” Caleb said, “look carefully around the place. If you see anyone who looks any bit suspicious, tell me. If you hear shots try to snap a picture of the person before hiding.”

I nodded. I spotted stairs in the corner of the room. They were spiral stairs leading up to somewhere I didn’t know.

“Caleb, will you come with me please?” I said pointing to the stairs.

“Huh, not a bad idea, That will be our first spot to check.”

We walked up the stairs slowly and quietly. It lead to a rooftop area and it had an amazing view of the city. I walked around the corner checking for people. Sure enough there was a man with a mask.

“Caleb!” I screamed basically crying I was so scared, “come here, come here!” He ran fast to where I was standing. We both pointed our guns at the man who seemed to be unarmed.

“Show yourself,” Caleb demanded sternly. The man obediently took of his mask.

“Max?” I gasped. Max stared at us without saying a word but seconds later the police showed up and took him in handcuffs.

“I can’t believe I am a part of your business,” I said, Caleb nodded in agreement, “this isn’t the Max I met earlier.”

Caleb and I walked down the stairs in silence. He cared about Max so much. He knew him since he was five years old. Now it hurt to think about him and the damage he’s done to not only the people at the Hamilton performance but to his friends, employees and even the entire world.

“I’m going to go back to the apartment. You can come if you want to. I want to go see Taylor and fill her in.” I said to Caleb.

He nodded, “I’ll come for a bit.”

It wasn’t to long of a walk back to the apartment and we didn’t want to catch a taxi. There wasn’t much conversation on the walk home. We were both in some of a shock.

“Why did he contact the security to let them know we were coming if he didn’t want to be caught?” I ask.

“It’s all part of the strategy,” He said. “We wouldn’t suspect him if he acted like he was trying to figure out who it was. Not a very smart move though, he should’ve know better. He didn’t know what he was facing. An amazing and talented girl who was too good for him.”

I smiled widely. He leaned in and pecked me on the lips. Then he walked away.

I got back into my apartment room and Taylor was seated on the couch. The news was on the TV she was watching.

“What a night,” She said. “It would have been nice to know that you weren’t coming home at the normal time. But I guess it makes sense, you were saving the world.”

I was still blushing from the kiss that I didn’t catch a lot of what she was saying.

“What’s going on?” Taylor asked me with a smirk on her face. “You have an odd ongoing smile

“Caleb kissed me.” She looked at me in awe but then starting clapping and screaming. She got up from the couch and hugged me. I smiled and hugged her back.

State
MI
Zip Code
48103