“Why did you say that you needed to borrow my car again this early?” asked Nova, sleep lacing through her voice. Besides that, her voice was tinny and even her high-quality phone sounded coarse and rough in my ear. To a normal person, I might have looked like I was going completely insane. Maybe I was, but this was not an indication of that. Upon closer inspection of the blueprints, I’d discovered that there was a wireless phone system embedded inside me. I’d taken to using it when I was alone, due to its convenience and the fact that I didn’t want to freak anybody out by talking to myself.
“What is so important,” Nova continued, “that you had to leave at dark o’clock this morning for the gazillionth time this month? I mean, honestly!”
“Nova, you know I have to find a job. I can’t afford school and I can’t keep living with you forever.” It wasn’t a complete lie, to be honest. I was quickly running out of money and I needed a source of income, fast, if I was going to be able to keep living in Everground. “I’m actually applying for a job position right now in the city, so it takes a while to get there. That’s why I had to leave the room at…how did you so eloquently put it?”
“Dark o’ clock,” she said, yawning.
“Right. Anyway, I’m sorry I haven’t been around much since Anne’s funeral, but the job market is tough, you know? Everyone wants to live in Everground, so there’s barely any jobs to go around. And combined with the amount of time I have to spend with Ezra keeping up our relationship….it just builds up. But I promise, if I get this job, I’ll try to be better about spending time with you.” Nova groaned and yawned again.
“Fine. I’ll see you later. Text me if you need to get into the dorm and I’ll either tell you where I hid the key or let you in myself.”
I pressed my tongue against the certain spot in my mouth that would terminate the call and make my voice audible to the rest of the world again. Glancing to my right for a second as I stalled at a red light, I saw the thick manila envelope that sat on the passenger’s seat, tightly sealed with spit, superglue, and duct tape to keep the thousands of carefully organized sheets of paperwork from spilling out onto Nova’s filthy floor mats. It had taken me over five days to track down and download all the pages, a full day of bogarting one of the school’s industrial printers to get it all into a tangible form, and then another month of filling out all the repetitive questions during what little free time I managed to wrestle away from Simon, Nova, and Ezra. Finally, though, I was ready to apply.
The building I was looking for loomed ahead of me. Over a hundred stories tall, with a large spire on top to add an extra sense of excitement, the name of the building scrolled across the top in bright, multi-colored letters. The same, well-known name as the team that resided inside.