IDK what startled me awake. Nothing but silence and the watery light of the galled, weary moon seeping around the curtains. Then a noise, just a furtive rustle made by someone trying to be very quiet. The hairs on my neck stand up as i reach for the baseball bat.
The window creaks open. When the intruder is standing in my room i launch myself at him and choke up on the bat. I am just about to strike he shrieks, DONT HIT ME!
It’s only Michael.
Good way to get your head bashed in, i say. You have a fight with your old man?
Hank’s not my old man. And no, i just couldnt sleep.
I roll the sleeping bag out on the floor for him. He doesnt move. He just stands at the window and looks at me.
Hey, i was sleeping, i say irritably.
Amazing, he says.
That you can sleep when the key to our existence is out there.
Max, listen. That picture Valenti showed Liz? It means someone else like us it out there, someone who was here in 1959. That means he was here during the ’47 crash. He knows who we are, where we came from. He knows why we’re here. Maybe he knows how to get us back.
I say, Then he’s old enough now that he’s probably dead. If not he could be a dangerous killer. He’s already killed once. Maybe all three of us wouldnt be a match for him. He could kill us all.
Why assume that, Max?
Michael, i know how you feel. I wanna know too. But the sheriff has that picture and there’s no way in hell he’d ever let us see it, right?
He smiles a Mona Lisa smile but says nothing.
Geometry class. Old man singer couldnt straggle in today i guess. In walks a tall blonde right out of somebody’s T&A all star team. She’s not really dressed like a professional but who cares. It’s just that she’s showing so much cleavage i hope she doesnt shove it at me because i would look and i would be very embarrassed.
She says, My name’s Kathleen Topolsky. I’ll be substituting for Mr. Singer who will be out sick for a few days.
A boy next whose name i never bothered to learn says, I hope he’s seriously ill.
I smile at him tightly but say nothing.
So, Topolsky says. The infamous Roswell, NM. Before we get to work let me just ask. Does anyone here really believe in aliens?
A nervous twitter from the class. Topolsky must be making them nervous, too. I look anxiously over at Liz but she is looking at Topolsky.
Okay, Topolsky says. Let’s take roll.
When she calls Michael’s name twice and he doesnt answer she says, Does anyone know where Michael Guerin is? You! She says, looking at me. You’re Max Evens, right?
Do you know where Michael is?
Er, i hesitate and then say, Michael’s not much into Geometry.
Everyone but Topolsky laughs.
He’s not into it, she echoes. Well i guess i understand. Geometry’s pretty uninspiring stuff.
Liz and i exchange curious looks.
After this class i am exhausted. Paranoia is taking its toll on me but i cant let on. It would demoralize the others.
Liz walks up to my side and says Hi.
I say Hi, mechanically.
How weird was that? Liz says.
How weird was what?
That substitute just asked all those questions about Michael. What was that about?
She was just taking attendance, i say.
Dushka, dont worry about it. No one’s suspicious of Michael. It’s me they’re after.
Isabel is right behind us. Rudely, she brushes past Liz and says, Hi, Liz. Bye, Liz.
Izzie grabs my arm and says to me, We should go.
Izzie and i are at home. With us is Michael and we are having another heart to heart. It seems Michael went into the sheriff’s building and cased the place.
Michael, RU crazy? Izzie roars.
I didnt just wander in, he says cooly. I had a cover story.
And what was that cover story? Izzie demands.
I was selling candy for charity. Peanut cluster anyone? They’re really good.
And they bought it? Izzie says.
No. They all seem to be on a diet.
Not the candy, Einstein, Izzie says. The cover story.
Yeah, they bought it, he says to Izzie irritably. Why RU wearing that?
Because Michael, she says, I have a date. With a guy i like. In fact i like my human life here. In fact i have a date next Friday night that i hope i wont miss because i’m running from the law.
Michael stands his ground. He says, You two,the point is this: that file has to be in Valenti’s office. He leaves for the day at 7:30. There’s no one else in that entire wing of the building. We go in, find the file, get the info, put the file back…
So how do we get in, i say. Hypothetically. If not hypothetically then we are all guilty of conspiracy to commit a felony.
The window, Michael says. It has a lock but nothing you cant handle.
Alarms? I say. Hypothetically.
Piece of cake, Michael says. Even i could disable it.
Max, dont humor him, Please? Izzie says. I cant believe you’re even considering it.
I just want to know how feasible the plan is.
Izzie glares at me and i say quickly, Which it’s not.
Michael says desperately, This is what we’ve been waiting for all our lives. This is the first time we’ve ever had a clue that might tell us who we are. We dont have a choice. And with government agents after us we better get our asses in gear.
Agents? I say angrily. WTFRU talking about.
Talk to Liz, Michael says cryptically. Then he gets up and leaves.