Short Story

Right Where I Left It

.

.

.

One thing that many people disagree with is that picking a lock is easier than solving quadratic equations.

Me? I hate those people. More specifically, I hate math. I fucking hate it. I don't care if 'hate' is a way of showing passion or whatever BS it is, I just hate it. Hate it. I mean, really. If I get stuck in a locked room, would I be doing gf(x) plus 3 minus 10 or whatever the crap it is?

I licked my lower lip in concentration. Of all the locks that I have mastered, this one's a real tough cookie. Fucking open already, I nearly said aloud. But of course, sane people don't talk to inanimate objects.

"Fucking open already!" I growled at it a second later. Frowning, I set my jaw. I wasn't going down that easily. I pulled out the hairpin I was using as a wire and peered into the hole at the bottom of the lock. Ohohoho. So that's the problem. It's a straight tunnel until the end where it's hooked.

Grinning triumphantly, I straightened the hairpin and curved the end into a C. I inserted it back into the lock and put my ear to the side of it, listening intently.

The key to picking a lock (pun intended) is to take your time. If you're hasty, you won't get anywhere soon. Be patient, use a thin metal (bobby pins are the best) and fiddle around inside. If you do it right, you'll hear a—

Click!

—et voila.

"Addison, what the fuck are you doing?" A deep male voice said, exasperation evident in it's tone.

"What does it look like I'm doing? I'm picking your house's lock." I pulled the pin out and stuffed it into my pocket, rolling my eyes at his slowness.

Kalen glared at me. "I know you're picking my house's lock. Couldn't you just wait for me to find the keys?"

"There you go again, not appreciating my awesomeness." I pushed the door open and we walked inside the kitchen. Kalen rolled his eyes at me and went to open the fridge; I sat at the island counter. "Do you know how many people would love to have a lock-picker as their friend?" I shot him a wounded look, which of course, being my best friend, he did not buy.

"All those people wouldn't wanna be your friend when they find out you're the best lock-picker, pickpocket, and thief in general," Kalen said and tossed me a can of Coke.

I caught it. "The only thing I remember from that was I'm the 'best' lock-picker, pickpocket and thief in general."

He threw a fork at me, which I caught just as easily. That's the thing with me, I'm really good at sneaky things like this. My dad wishes I was just as good in math. Rawr…math.

"You're so fucking modest I want to kill myself," Kalen told me.

"Thank you, comedy genius! Now shut up and put in Dante's Inferno. I want to kick ass." I drained my can in one gulp and tossed the can into a dustbin. We went to the living room together.

Although I will forever deny it, Kalen is the awesomest friend ever. We've been friends since third grade, when I picked his pocket for a packet of Skittles and he threw his sharpener at me. He's super independent, and I mean it. He lives in his own house because his father wouldn't allow him to skateboard down the staircase rail. His father told him "you live under my roof, you follow my rules." So Kalen got his own roof. His father wasn't pissed at all, in fact, he's actually proud of Kalen. Kalen works part-time as well, so he has the funds. Plus, his dad supplies him with a few hundred bucks every month or so.

I plopped down on the couch and watched as he crossed the floor and plugged in the PS3. He turned on the TV and it glowed to life.

Sorry, must rephrase. He turned on the flat-screen TV that fucking goes online and it glowed to life. Another reason why I almost live with Kalen, besides the never-ending supply of food.

"That's weird." He frowned, flipping the CD album's pages.

"What's weird?" I asked absently, and then I froze. Oh hot damn.

"Where's my…" Kalen looked at me and narrowed his eyes at me. "You took Dante's Inferno, didn't you?"

I grimaced. How the fuck did I forget that I took it home without asking Kalen's per—erm, borrowed the CD last week? Shit, shit—he's going to kill me. Kalen is very touchy about his video games, his skateboard, and he gets a little pissed if people yell at me when he's eating. Yeah, I don't get him either.

"You know what," I strode over and whipped the album out of his hands. I grabbed the remote control and flipped the channel to a random channel without looking. "Let's watch this instead, I just love this show, it's—"

"Say backpack!"

We both looked at the TV simultaneously. I winced and felt an urge to throw something at the TV. I hate Dora. As much as I hate Twilight.

"Dora the Explorer is your favorite show," he said coolly.

I refuse to acknowledge the mockery in his voice! I refuse!

"Yes," I said defiantly. "You got a problem with that?"

"Nope," he gave me a smile. "Let's watch it together."

"Oh, but you hate Dora!" I maintained a straight face, my pride refusing to get caught. "No, we'll watch something else."

"It's alright, Addison, what kind of a friend would I be?" he said innocently.

A stupid one, I thought venomously, glaring at him. He wasn't going to let me out of this one. He knew all of my tricks.

"Come on," he threw an arm around my shoulders, almost knocking me to the ground in the process. "Whoops, sorry 'bout that." He sat down on the couch and pulled me down. I sat there, fuming, and then I focused suddenly on the screen.

"Oh my god, a black goat in a wedding dress!" I screamed, pointing at the screen. Distracted, Kalen looked away from me—and I bolted.

"I'll kill you when I see you, Addison!" he yelled at me, while I grabbed my bag and ran out the door. I slowed down to walk at the sidewalk, grinning. Fat chance.

.

.

I'm in a place where everything is light. There are trees everywhere, and soft music is playing. The music suddenly morphs into The Good Life by Three Days Grace. Out of nowhere, a huge cup full of fresh coffee appears. I take it and drain it in one gulp, but the coffee never ends. I could very well die from the happiness I'm feeling here, and there are soft raindrops hitting my face now, and—

Wait a second. Why is it raining in my happy place?

The droplets grew heavier and a whole splash of water hit me squarely in my face. With a huge splutter, I woke up, rubbing the water from my face, feeling ultimately pissed off. Who dared interrupt me when I was having the awesomest dream ever?

I sat up in bed and found dad looking at me, an empty glass in hand and an innocent smile on his face. "Oh," I said in a nettled tone. "It's you."

My father's smiling face dropped to a scowl. "Well good morning to you too, daughter."

I ignored him. He was always like this, every morning, waking me up by splashing water on my face. Just because he's an insomniac, he likes waking me up using various methods on weekends and using water on weekdays. He's lucky I love him a lot. I glanced at the clock and choked on oxygen. "Why do you have to do this every freaking morning," I muttered, wiping my face on my sleeve.

"Why do you have to be such a non-morning person?" he countered.

I paused. "Point in case."

"Here's your coffee," he said, producing a white mug from behind him (which I myself have no idea how happened), "Oh, and Lillian's been waiting for you in case you wanted her to drop you off."

My first beam at the coffee was torn apart by a grimace. "I'm gonna walk today. Not, because I don't want a ride from Lillian, or anything," I added quickly, when dad's face fell, "no, I uh, I promised Kalen we'd walk together."

Dad frowned. "Doesn't Kalen have a car?"

"I—his car broke down," I said after a short pause. I tried to mentally cross my fingers—which didn't work out very well. "So we're walking."

He studied me closely for a moment. More to avoid an awkward silence more than anything, I took a sip of my coffee and was sent to heaven. Delicious, divinely delicious coffee. What would the world be without caffeine?

Most people are surprised when they meet me and dad. For one, he's the insomniac and I'm the one addicted to coffee. I can't explain it, it's like I can't function properly without caffeine, in general. Plus, dad and I are as close as hell. He's been everything to me since mom passed away about 4 years ago. He doesn't approve my thieving behaviour and failing my maths and all, but I hate the way he wakes me up, so we're even…sort of.

He sighed. "Stop making that face and go to school already."

"I'll get right on it," I said with a bright smile.

He left the room, muttering something about having a caffeine-addicted lazy pig for a daughter.

"I heard that!"

.

.

I didn't stop. Footsteps sounded louder and heavier behind me as Kalen caught up with me, just as we entered the school parking lot.

"I have—" Kalen began, but I cut him off with one finger held up. My phone was vibrating. I pulled it out, grimacing at the ringtone; the Jaws theme, and White Witch of the Modern World was flashing on the screen. Which could only refer to one person. Lillian. Also known as dad's second wife since 2 years ago, and could possibly be referred to as my stepmother.

"Hi Lillian," I answered the phone as neutrally as possible.

"Hi," I could tell she was wondering whether she was gonna call me by my first name, which always happens with everybody I know. "Are you at school? Just checking, um, in case you needed a ride—"

"Yeah, dad told me," I waved a hand, accidentally slapping Kalen, as we walked through the parking lot. Kalen answered many 'yo, Kale!" and "ay man!"(s) with a nod and an "ignore her" to people who greeted me. "It's OK. I walked."

"You don't have to," she said. "I could give you a ride. It's no trouble at all."

I recognized that she was trying, like she always does, so I tried as well. "Oh yeah, yeah. I know, you told me that before, a lot of times, I—" I broke off at the disapproving look on Kalen's face and reattempted. "I mean, I just like walking to school. It's a little me-time, you know? Plus it's a form of exercise, since dad's always complaining about me being a pig and all."

"Oh," she said, and I could tell that she caught on to my earlier attempt. "Yes, right. Well, I—you should go on to your—"

"Lillian," I said, trying to make her hear my sincerity. "I appreciate it. I really do. Maybe…next time. Yeah? I gotta go now, the bell's going to ring in ten." Kalen narrowed his eyes, and I glared back at him. "You…you have a nice day. Bye."

"Bye," she said, and there was a surprised note at my wish.

I hung up and scowled at Kalen. "What was that all about?"

He glared right back at me. "You're talking. 'White Witch of the Modern World'? The Jaws theme? Seriously, Addison?"

"Hey, I'm not the one who got their own house just because their dad wouldn't let them skateboard down the stairs," I said, raising my eyebrows.

.

.

La di da, few more minutes…

"Shh!"

I jumped and swore under my breath, turning to the person beside me, was currently glowering right at me.

"Can you keep it down?" She hissed.

I stared. All I ever did was drum my friggin' pencil on my friggin' LAP. How is that producing a loud sound, for crying out loud? I peered closer at her, frowning. How come she had the guts to talk to me? I frowned harder. Ah, right—she's the new chick, her name is…something, and she transferred here from…uh…somewhere. I wasn't paying attention. See, students at Victoria High regard me as a badass.

You see, during my first year here, my iPod got confiscated. I swear to God I didn't do anything harmful with it! Seriously, I was innocent, corrupt-free and naïve back then…well, sort of. But really, what happened was, my iPod was lying innocently in my bag. That's right, my friggin' bag. And then what happened was, brilliant Kalen tripped me up while we were walking out of the office and my iPod fell out of my bag and onto the floor. Our principal, who was coincidentally passing by, confiscated my iPod. Is that unreasonable or what?

The principal and I have been enemies ever since.

Anyway, back to point. Since it was completely unjustified for him to do that, I decided to steal it back. And since Kalen was the main cause of it, I dragged him along that night to the school. The rest is simple, really; I picked the locks to the front door, the office, the principal's office and his drawer where my iPod was, and Kalen helped by half-yelling at me when I was intent on leaving a message to the principal, signed "sincerely, ADDISON". I was really annoyed with him, but in hindsight, it's a good thing he was there.

Yeah, so—we didn't know how the story got out, but it did, and for the first few days people kept talking and looking at us like we were some kind of heroes. And then a teacher found out, and the principal found out, and we got detention together. Yeah…that wasn't very sweet.

"—Can you keep it down," she snapped at me again, and I realized I had been tapping my pencil on my knee subconsciously.

I fixed her with my infamous (no, really) blank stare. "I'll drum my pencil on my lap if I friggin' want to, unless you want me to tap it on your head."

The fierce look on her face wavered. "I—you're disrupting the silence!"

"What, you have supersonic hearing now?" OK, don't give me that why-you-so-mean look. The woman's bloody baiting me!

"You—"

The bell rang.

.

Author's note: So! Three stories in the space of a month, more or less! What has taken over dancingllama? Well nothing much actually, I'm on a break right now which leaves too much of free time on my hands. Anyhoo! Do let me know what you think, and if you want more of it. For any Leverage fans out there, the heroine is actually based slightly off Parker. Alright, I'm done here, and Part 2 is coming...SOON. :D Thanks loves.