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Chapter 8

The Man In Black

The night had been long and agonizing. I had debated multiple times to go and see if Chris was awake but had chosen not to. He deserved to get some sleep, even if I couldn't get any. It was almost 7:30, and I was already ready to go. I pulled a book out of my backpack, propped my door open, and laid across the couch. The book was about angels and demons and a romance between one from each group. The girl would die at the end, but I still loved the story.

"Cora?" Chris pushed open the door. His eyes were pinched with concern.

"Over here." I stood up from the couch hidden behind the open door. He looked around the door and saw me. "Ready to go?" I asked as I shoved the book into my backpack. Chris nodded and followed me out the door.

"Aren't you going to lock it?" he asked and pointed at my door.

"It locks on it's own." I stated. As if I were lying, he twisted and tugged on the doorknob. I giggled. "I had a guy downstairs do it. Let's go." We walked down the two floors and out the front door.

"What do you want for breakfast?" he questioned.

I shrugged. "Coffee. Coffee sounds really good."

We got into his car and he started driving. "You seem energetic enough without the caffeine. I'm assuming you slept well."

"Not at all, actually. That's why I need the coffee."

He nodded, "How do you plan on handling the crash?" I thought about what he had said. It was a legitimate problem that I now had to solve. Thankfully, he didn't throw out any other possible problems on the ride to the café by the high school. We walked inside and sat at a table for two by a window facing the street, which was busy with traffic. We ordered and the waitress left.

"Do you ever miss them?" Chris asked. I must have given him a strange look because he laughed. "I meant your parents. Do you ever miss your parents?"

I shrugged, "There wasn't much to miss, honestly. I mean, I wish I had someone to go to when I have a question and someone to come home to and cook me meals every now and then. Honestly, I used to cry a lot because I didn't even have the memories, which made me miss them more. Now, though, I try not to dwell on the past."

"Well, for you, there isn't much to dwell on anyway," he pointed out. I absorbed his words and shrugged.

"There were other pictures last night. They brought back quite a few memories, and I think that's why I staid up so late last night. I was too busy focusing on sorting out the pictures and trying to piece together all of the memories. It was a little too much for one night," I finished. The waitress came back with a large cup of coffee for me and an omelet for Chris. Chris dug into his egg dish, and I drank greedily at the liquid energy. I had requested two extra shots, and I could feel them soaking into my system.

"Feeling the rush already?"

"How could you tell?" I asked.

Chris finished off the small omelet before he responded. "Your eyes just got huge. It's kind of cute, like a small animal or something. So, what are you going to do about the crash?"

I shrugged, "I'll just get something caffeinated at school. No big deal. This shouldn't wear off until around lunchtime, and I'll just sip the rest. No crash until I get home."

"Good strategy. Ready to go?" he asked. I nodded and threw down a tip for the waitress. Chris paid for the bill. We both walked out to his car, but I stopped right outside the door.

Someone was standing across the street, staring at us. He was wearing a dark suit and leaning against a black SUV. He had a black hat on his head, blocking the view of his face. Chris didn't seem to notice my hesitation and got into his car. Trying to shake the sense of danger, I ran over to Chris's car slipped into the passenger side. "Everything okay?" he asked.

I nodded. "It's the coffee. I swear I'm seeing sounds."

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