About two weeks later I was sitting in the school library with Alex. He had been very persistent in getting me to answer what I was doing with Claire that night, but I wasn't entirely sure if it would've been a good idea to explain it. Alex, in my experiences, was rarely able to process explanations that take more than three brain cells. Finally, it got to the point where he stopped being annoying, and just started being agonizingly painful to listen to, so I sat him down and explained, in small words, every event that transpired that night.
"You ripped a guy's thumb off?!?" His jaw dropped, he brought his arms up, and he put his head, face, and hands in a way that said "what the fuck!?" I was about to continue, but he put his open hand up, indicating that I should stop talking. "I'm sorry, I just can't get my head around this. You went out to an old building with a crazy hot girl in the middle of the night, got chased by crazed psychopaths, and then when they tried to kill her.... you ripped a guys's thumb off?!? How did you even get that idea? Were you just shaking his hand and then you had this crazy urge to turn into a werewolf and think 'mmm, human flesh?' Because I am willing to accept that, and it would be really friggin cool!" I laughed, and decided that now would be the appropriate time to continue.
"It was the first thing that came to mind that I was able to do. The thugs were extremely muscular, and very intimidating. That, and it made me feel like a badass. It was just a really crazy night and..."
"You're telling me!" He interrupted. Another thing about Alex that I didn't care for, he was extremely impatient. "Dude, you should've told me! I could've helped!"
"How? How could you possibly have helped in this situation?" He frowned and crossed his arms.
"I hate how you always doubt me. You don't know what I can do." I stood up and began to wonder how loud I could talk in the library without getting shushed.
"I'm sorry, but.."
"SHHHHH!" The librarian had a finger up to her lips and an irritated look on her face. I sat down and tried to talk again, in a quieter fashion.
"I'm sorry," I whispered. "But I just don't see how you could've been much help against a bunch of gangsters out for blood!"
"Ugh, you can be such an asshole sometimes!" He shouted and the top of his lungs. Then, with the grace and silence of a rabid hippopotamus with wings, he grabbed his books and stormed out of the library, smashing everything with his fist on the way out, including the boy walking over to me.
"What.... the hell...... was that... about." He panted. Poor guy was winded, which I didn't fully understand, because Alex is puny.
"Eh, long story." I handed him a bottle of water. He took a few sips before he managed to regain his breath.
"I see. Right, I have something to show you." Derek then reached into his backpack and pulled out a black box. The kind of box that would be too big for a piece of jewelry, too small for a t.v., but just the right size for a Colt Single Action Army gun, which scared me for a moment. "You all right man?"
"Yeah I'm fine, what's in the box?"
"Jason, you know how you're always looking for material to put into your stories?" He opened the box, which contained what looked like a bunch of paper. "Consider this baby the key to your 'A Tale of Two Cities'." He started pulling out a map, a to-do list, a glass cutter and a mirror. I went from curious to hopelessly confused.
"What are you talking about? What's all this for?"
"This my friend, is the greatest diamond heist ever written by man. specifically, this man." He pointed to himself with both index fingers. Now normally when Derek would present his ideas to me, no matter how ridiculous, I would be okay. But given the events that transpired a short time ago, I had only one reaction to this. I jumped from my chair, ran from the table and started shouting 'NO NO NO NO' over and over again. At this point the librarian was enraged and tried to demand me to stop, but I was unable to hear her due to the exceedingly loud screaming that was emitting from my vocal cords. Luckily for her, however, I did end up stopping quite quickly. I blame the wall I ran into.
I woke up to Derek looking down at me a few minutes later. The librarian had since calmed down, and everyone else in the library was either indifferent, or snickering to themselves. "What caring students this school has." I said to myself. Derek extend a hand. I grabbed onto it and he pulled me up.
"That was completely uncalled for, and you know it." He said, brushing me off. "I wasn't asking you to join me. I'm just saying that the events that will be transpiring with me may be worth writing about."
"Oh." I felt embarrassed. Had I actually known that THAT was what he meant, I probably wouldn't have made a completely idiot of myself in the school library. "You should've started with that."
"True, but I didn't think your reaction would've been so catastrophic. Anyway, I'll be taking notes during the heist, so you have something to go off of. You in?"
"Oh yeah totally. Just so long as I am not within a mile of you stealing it."
"You have my word good buddy." He smiled. Then he went back to the table, grabbed his backpack, and walked out of the library.
What could I have said about Derek? He's been a wild child all seven of the years I've known him, and once high school came around, he went ballistic. At first, it was a few simple pranks, then some petty crimes. By the end of tenth grade he had managed to hack into the Bank of Astoria and transfer over five hundred thousand dollars into his account. I wasn't just astonished at the fact that he never got caught, somehow, but also by how little time he puts into his plans, spending an average of seven minutes on each (he has the planning times of each mission written on the front page).
By no stretch of the imagination did he need any of the money he stole from any of his unfortunate victims. He was the son of a huge and powerful business man, who, if he wanted to, could not only buy enough medicine and food for every single person in Africa, but could also buy Africa itself. But Derek never cared about that. He didn't steal for money, he stole for sport. The look on people's faces after he had completed his task was all the satisfaction he needed to keep doing it. Because of this, some people would describe Derek as stupid, or insane, but I see him for what he really is. A goddamned genius.
I walked back over to my stack of homework, planning to pack up and walk out of the library, when a note on top of my history book caught my eye.
Meet me in the courtyard at 2:30. I have a present for you.
What was written on the note itself didn't intrigue me as much as how the note was written. It was a type of cursive that I saw in a number of movies, but never in person, and it got me thinking. "This was written by Claire, most definitely. How could this girl possibly be any more perfect?" I didn't bother to answer myself. I looked up to see that the clock read 12:23. I made the immediate decision that staying in the library would be a much better idea than spending another eighty minutes arguing with Mr. McJane about whether or not his body odor is the reason I am only doing sub-par in his class, and therefore I sat back down and began to write:
How beautiful is the goddess before me? How graceful, how courteous, how perfect in each and every which way? It is as if her very existence was handcrafted, carved, and polished into perfection by only the most exceptional of supernatural beings. Her eyes so blue, the ocean itself is envious of their color. As she moved, the air becomes sweeter with each step she takes, and the flowers grow stronger and fuller the closer she approaches. She truly is, the embodiment of all that is wonderful in this universe, and yet she has chosen to stand before me. As if I am at all worthy to be near her, for I am a common pigeon, and she is a beautiful golden swan.
I sighed to myself as I read over my work. I had no idea why everything I wrote was so cheesy, but quite frankly it was bothering me.