Chapter Three

  - Chapter Three -

Haru had a shocked expression on his face as he stared at me. He snatched the device out of my hand and read the message over and over again, not wanting to believe, what was written on it. Still in shock, he stared at his device as well and scrolled up and down the screen. He plugged the cord back into his device, starting the vigorous key tapping and listened to his deafening music. He was trying his best to complete the hack, as deep down he had a feeling that there was more hidden in that message. If it had been sent by Notch then it would definitely mean that this was just a test.

Notch loved his tricks and we both knew that anything sent by him, while he was stuck in prison, was no joke. He would usually send us to complete the most impossible tasks, before he came back from whatever journey he went on.

Focusing on Haru, I waited patiently for him to complete whatever new task that Notch had generated for us. I watched him intently as beads of sweat started to break out on his forehead. Getting up; I drifted across the light, grey carpet to the kitchen and came back with two bottles of water, a plate full of oat biscuits and a damp cloth. I knelt down next to Haru, placed the bottles and plate on the table, and gently patted the damp cloth onto Haru’s forehead. I felt like a nurse assisting a surgeon with a very complicated surgery.

Glancing at his screen, which was filled with technical stuff that I couldn’t understand, made me feel dizzy. I placed the damp cloth on the table and got up again, unplugging my device. Standing over him for a few seconds, I expected him to shout at me but he focused on the task ahead. The only thing that broke the silence was the music booming from his headphones which became louder; allowing him to fully concentrate on his hack.

“Haru! if you can hear me, I’m going out to the convenience store to get some snacks. Would you like me to get you anything?”

I lifted my arms up and stretched my body, pausing for a few seconds, but Haru didn't reply. I shrugged my shoulders and entered my dark and gloomy room, changing into a pair of black jeans, a white SpongeBob T-shirt and a grey, short, leather jacket. Quickly brushing my hair, I picked up a beige shoulder bag. In there, I put in my wallet, my phone and the device, which just about fitted in there. I left the room, closing the door behind me and walked towards the tiny hallway that separated the living room with a wooden wall reaching just above the waist. Hopping over the wooden step, like a little elementary school girl, I slipped into a pair of high-top red leather converse’s, which had white soles with black laces. As I was reaching for the door handle, I heard Haru calling my name.

“Get me six Big Drop energy drinks, three packets of those chocolates I like and nine lollipops that turn your tongue into a different colour.” He recited, all without even glancing away from his laptop.

“Anything else, Haru?” I asked annoyed, adjusting my shoulder bag. Couldn’t he have just told me what he wanted when I asked?

“Oh, you need to buy something for breakfast tomorrow, since we have nothing apart from junk in the fridge.” I rolled my eyes but it didn’t really have full effect because Haru’s back was facing me.

I gave one last glance at him, in case there was more to add to his ridiculous list of items, but the silence returned. The only things that could be heard were the mad tapping of the keyboard, the extremely loud music and the clock in the kitchen. Locking the door behind me, I mentally jotted down the things Haru had asked for, marching down the stairs.

I had no idea what I was going to buy for breakfast, as I was not in the mood for some cheap cereal or toast. Maybe I’d have a full breakfast with toast, egg, beans and oven cooked potato stars. Haru found those stars cute so I may as well get them for him, as a reward for his hard work. Opening the entrance door that lead to the street, I scanned the area quickly. Seeing no one or anything suspicious, I made my way to the convenience store.

At nine in the evening, the neighbourhood was silent. No one usually walked around here at this time, as the majority of the people living here were families with either children or grandparents to take care of. Haru and I may have actually been the only adolescents that lived there. Maybe that was the reason that they frowned at us when we walked around. But it wasn’t like we partied till the early morning or invited friends over for a casual drinking party because we didn’t have any friends that we could even have done with for starters. We just had each other and to us that was just fine seeing as we preferred for people to not get involved in our lives. We both had a rough past.

I dug my hands into my pockets to warm them up as the cold autumn breeze blew stronger, biting my pale cheeks and turning them rosy. My short hair blew into my eyes, making me push my hair back into position. I would’ve just tied my hair into a bun if I'd known there was such an annoying breeze outside. Giving up with my battle with the wind, I kept my hands in my pocket.

All of a sudden, I heard a continuous beeping sound and quickly rummaged through my bag, searching for the source of it. I took out my phone but soon realised that the sound wasn't coming from there; it must’ve been coming from the device. I quickly reached for the 7-inch screen and after tapping the home icon to drag it out of sleep mode, I noticed that there was a notification flashing on the screen. When I opened the notification, a message popped up which I read carefully.

Suddenly, I ran to the convenience store at the end of the alley. The automatic doors opened and the store clerk welcomed me with a smile, which I ignored. Reaching for the shopping basket, my legs headed to the areas that contained the items and quickly dropped them into the basket. I was familiar with the store’s layout as Haru always asked for the same things, so I didn’t have to spend a lot of time in there. I rushed to the counter and stuffed all the items into the plastic bag as the clerk scanned them. It was then that I realised I’d forgotten to get something for breakfast.

“Breakfast is not important right now.” I muttered subconsciously.

“Excuse me?” The store clerk said, giving me a funny look, as if I was mad.

I shook my head and continued with loading the items. I was in a hurry, so I had no time to explain anything to this clerk.

“That would be 17.89 Chrona.”The clerk said, stressing every single digit in the balance as if I was stupid and wouldn’t be able to understand.

Without a second thought I quickly placed a twenty Chrona note on the counter and ran out of the shop.

“Miss, your change!” The clerk shouted, taking out the loose change from the cash register.

“Keep it.” I said tightly, without taking a glance back.

I didn’t have time to collect it because there was I felt an urgent need to rush home. Running as fast as I could, I went through the dimly lit alleyway and felt the weight of the shopping. Since I was familiar with the route home, I'd created a mental map of what to avoid and the quickest route.

At the end of the alley, I took a right and crossed the bridge. Maybe there was a good chance of getting back in time or Haru had seen the second message, but I couldn’t rely on that. What if our devices had different purposes? We didn’t even have the same number and I received that message from SIN first. Plus he was probably too busy cracking through the securities to even look at the device. So I must get home. Right now. 

Across the bridge, I felt like taking a break from all the running. The weight of the shopping didn’t help but feeling the adrenaline pumping through my veins motivated me to carry on. It’s lucky that I've been running my whole life or else I wouldn’t have been able to run this fast with the extra weight and I didn't mean the fat around my abdomen.

Taking a left, the sight of our apartment building made me feel relieved. But it wasn’t over yet. Placing the shopping bag on the floor, I massaged my fingers and thighs before heaving the bag and walking calmly towards the entrance door of our building.

‘Just a little more.’ I thought.

Copyright © 2012 IJargon (Mina) All Rights Reserved

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