I thankfully didn't have school the next morning. Even so, I did have work. And so did Ayden. I tried avoiding him. But it is quite hard to avoid someone for four hours. Maybe that's just me. On the plus side it seemed like he was avoiding me too.
As soon as my shift is done I race out of that place and go to the train tracks. Not in hopes I may share a kiss with Ayden again. Not in hopes that the kiss will replay. I've been doing that the eleven hours. But in hopes that I can find the numbers again.
I find them quickly. But since I don't know what to do with them I just stare. Longingly almost. I decide to add them all up. The number out come is seventeen thousand, eight hundred forty-eight. What if I...? The out come of all the digits added up is twenty-eight. And two plus eight is ten. What can I do with ten?
"What can I do with ten," I ask myself over and over again. Probably for almost ten minutes. Until someone interrupts me.
"There's a bar downtown called The Big Ten. You could check that place out," a person says.
I know the voice. I know the human. I know the lips a little too well. The person suggesting I should go to a bar is the one, the only, Ayden Colt.
"Maybe," is all I say. I'm too busy trying to not make eye contact.
"Come on, I'll take you there," Ayden says.
"Fine," I bark back.
"You don't have to be so grouchy. I was only trying to help because I know I forced it last night. I'm sorry. I shouldn't have...." Ayden probably got lost in his train of thought. Lost in how he made a mistake.
"I kissed you back though," I say, trying to help him, knowing it won't.
"Let's just agree to forget about it," he says.
I don't know why but my heart drops. And not the good kind of drop. I feel hurt almost. Ugh, relationships are weird.
"Yeah, forget about," I agree. I know in my heart, I'm disagreeing. But this is best. For him. For me. He isn't the one anyway.
The Big Ten is a dark and dirty place. It smells of alcohol. It's filled with large men and skinny women. All bodies are extremely in shape. The bar tender is a woman with long black hair pulled back into a pony tail. She was wearing black leggings and a white, crop top, muscle shirt. She had colorful tattoos all over her body. The tattoos did avoid her neck and up, her hands and feet, and other parts of her body that I'm sure she has an appointment for.
The bar is pretty quite but it's still filled with people. Still couples making out in the corner. Still people shooting at the pool table. I know that if we came back at around seven this place will be claustrophobic.
I walk a to the skinny bar tender. "Water for two please," I say as I throw ten dollars on the bar top.
"Coming right up," she says. The woman takes my Hamilton and gives me a Lincoln. I didn't realize I only needed half of what I gave her. She comes back with two tall glasses of water. "You look new. I know Ayden here. But you? Get yourself hooked up? Uh, Ayd," she says.
I look down. She must've seen how I took it and apologized. "Sorry, miss. Sorry, Ayden. Name's Jade. What's your name miss," she asked me.
"I'm Raelyn. My brother and I are boarding here," I say. "Sorry, but what's the deal about the whole 'Big Ten' thing?"
"Around seventy years ago a guy named Willham Brecket came up with an idea to open his own bar. The man was an alcoholic, no doubt. But that didn't bother him. He and a group of nine other friends opened it together. And thus the name The Big Ten. There's nothing more to it," Jade explained.
"Oh, thank you," I say.
"We should get going," Ayden says.
"I'm going to use the bathroom first," I tell him. Them ask Jade for directions to their bathroom.
It is a single stall so I do a full search. A search of anything that might help the case of mine. I tear the place apart. It was worth it because I do notice something. Behind the mirror is a text.
It starts at 666.
Look at the mirrors.
Look at the walls.
Why did they make me write the clues?
I rush home and start looking behind mirrors and scanning the walls. I analyze trim work. I search under things, above things, the sides of things. Nothing. But then I find another clue. It was behind the mirror in the second guest bedroom.
Go to 676.
Becuase I say so.
You found two mirrors.
Find two more.
I rush to Santa Fe. Go into the girls bathroom. Shut the door. Take off the mirror. Find a clue. Read the clue.
You found this one.
Now find the other to get a clue.
I groan, realizing I'll have to go into the boys' bathroom. I sneak in there and do my job quickly.
At 686 a dream awaits.
I'm writing these at like, midnight.
My brain is not working right now.
Go to 686.
I actually laugh at this. I love this ghost writer. I quickly slip out of the boys' bathroom undetected. I start running my school. But I stop. How could I be so stupid? They are locked up tight until Monday. I'll have to wait until then.
The wait doesn't help me. It makes me worse actually. I can't believe it bothers me that it bothers me. I mean, Ayden? I should just run away to D.C. No,that is a horrible idea.
I don't run away. I find Ayden the next day at the railroads.