www.whyville.net May 15, 2011 Weekly Issue

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At All Costs: Part 2

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"Look," I start, "I don't know what happened, all I know is we need to get home."

Chelsea shoots me a dirty look, as if she thinks I know something and am keeping it from her. "Yeah? How do we do that with no money, no car, no . . . anything?!"

"I don't know. We're going to have to go to the police."

"NO!" Chelsea yells, shocking me. During our friendship, she was always the voice of reason, the goody-goody, if you will. "Think about it," she explains, "how do we explain going to bed last night in our Connecticut homes and just waking up in a park in Florida the next morning?"

"Plane tickets! Somehow we must have taken a plane here." I glanced at a giant digital clock outside of a drugstore. It read "10:23 AM" It would take an entire day and night to drive from Connecticut to Florida, yet somehow someone managed to get me here between 1 am, which was when I had gone to bed the previous night, and 10:00 am, which is when I'm estimating we awoke this morning.

An hour and a half later we are sitting in a back office of the nearest airport. An official-looking woman with a blue business suit and high heels that clicked on the hard, tiled floor with every step, knocks twice before coming in without a response from us.

"I can't find a record of either of you purchasing a plane ticket last night at this airport. I even went as far as to call a few other airports and their answers were the same. Neither of you boarded a plane last night." the woman says, reading off of a clipboard.

My knees buckle. Chelsea looks sick. We both realize that this means all logic has escaped this equation we have been trying to put together. We shakily thank the woman and leave before any more questions are asked.

"I'm tired of walking, and people aren't going to keep giving us busfare. I'm taking a car." I am frustrated.

"You don't even have a license! You don't know how to drive." Chelsea retaliates. I knew that conscious of hers was still in there somewhere.

"No," I say thoughtfully, "but you do."

Another two hours later, after tireless arguing and finally convincing, Chelsea and I are posted outside of a small diner called "Lucy's Prime Time Cafe". Man, do those hamburgers smell great. My stomach rumbles as I think to myself how wonderful it'd be if I had a few dollars to eat. I need to distract myself. I look around. The ground is decorated with rotten food scraps, various litter, an old t-shirt . . . what's this? I pick up a black Sharpie marker and scribble on my finger to see if it works. It does. I start doodling on my upper leg when Chelsea speaks.

"How about that one?" She motions with her head toward a tough-looking couple pulling in on a motorbike. "I'm sure you remember my mom and stepdad's obsession with anything that has to do with motorcycles . . . I can totally drive that thing." She is right. She's been around bikes practically since birth.

We give the couple a few minutes to get situated inside. I don't see them in any of the window seats in the front of the diner. This is good. We decide the coast is clear and casually walk up to the bike. Of course they did not leave the keys in the ignition. Chelsea mentions that there are wires that lead to the ignition switch that can be manipulated so the bike starts without a key. As she works on this, I remember the Sharpie in my pocket.

I scribble a short message onto the pavement in front of the bike. It reads, "Sorry we will bring it back." I'm positive this won't provide any reassurance to Mr. and Mrs. Harley Davisdon, but I silently apologize anyways. We push the bike out of the parking lot and climb on back. They left their helmets hanging from the handles, so we put them on before starting up the engine. Mr. Harley Davidson's helmet is significantly larger than the woman's, so I opt to take it. If Chelsea's driving, Chelsea needs to be able to see the road without worrying whether her helmet is going to fall over her eyes. This was no time to be a picky fashionista.

With a final glance over into the windows of the diner, we start the engine and ride off. It seems like everyone is too caught up in themselves to notice us, which was perfectly fine with me. We have no idea where to go but north, so that's where we head.



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