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Simple. This is simple.
That?s what I try to convince myself as I show the fake ID to the security guard.
No, it?s not what you?re thinking. I?m not trying to get into some hip nightclub to get a few drinks as a minor; it?s nothing like that at all. The ID says that my name is Deborah Wilson, CEO of the large corporate building that I am about to infiltrate. My name isn?t Deborah, and I?m not the CEO of any company, much less this one. But Deborah?s name and ID is the key to getting into this place, so I?m using her identity. I hope with all my might that the real Ms. Wilson isn?t in right now.
Is this identity theft? I ask myself as the guard scans my ID. The barcode better be as foolproof as Chris said it would be.
I fidget in my hideous pantsuit and tug on the bun that was supposedly characteristic of Deborah ?Debby? Wilson. The disguise hopefully isn?t as transparent as it is unsightly.
A little green light verifies that the ID is real (which it isn?t), and the guard waves me in without a line of worry across his face. He doesn?t ask why the CEO of an important company would arrive at such a late hour. He sits back in his chair and pulls out a bag of chips. So much for high security in here.
It?s my good fortune that I look like Debby. I don?t know what she looks like, but when I came to Chris for help, he said that my similar appearance to her would be what got me in here. Chris was right. No one gives me a second glance and everyone I pass acts like it?s normal to see me around here.
My feet feel heavy as my business woman heels clack against the expensive corporate tile. Did these shoes have to be so heavy?
Chris?s words echo in my mind- everything has to be perfect, no matter how many sacrifices we have to make for that perfection.
I swallow hard and tell myself that wearing heavy heels that hurt my toes isn?t the biggest sacrifice in the world. There are bigger sacrifices that could have been made.
The annoyingly clunky shoes carry me to her office. No, this is your office, I tell myself. And that?s what you tell anyone who asks, because your name is Debby Wilson right now.
The door is closed and locked as Chris said it would be. I take out the lock picks from my briefcase and glance around before kneeling down and picking the lock. Chris?s instructions drum in my mind, and with them I easily maneuver the pick around the key hole until I hear a definite click. Relieved, I stand up and smooth out my pants, replacing the picks back in the briefcase.
I turn the handle and enter the room, padding as silently as I can in my clacking heels. I close the door behind me and only turn on one small desk lamp in Deborah?s office, so that anyone who might pass by in the hallway would not see the glow of the ceiling light.
My eyes focus on a short file cabinet, and wander up until I see the drawer labeled ?Clients.? My heart thuds as I slide the drawer open and look at its contents.
Debby?s job is as unclear to me as it is to anyone else. Her title is CEO. She runs the company and directs the employees under her, but what else? At this company, her occupation entails something else as well.
I see the name on one of the manila folders: Earns, Chris. I pull the folder out. This is the deal that Chris and I made. I get him out of trouble by taking the risk, and he gives me the implements, free of charge, that I need to get my brother out of muck he?s gotten himself in.
I open Chris?s folder and pull out and envelope that has one simple word written on it in huge uppercase letters- MOTIVE. The word is underlined twice, and the two lines make me question Chris?s reason for wanting this piece of paper back. But, as instructed, I don?t dare break the seal. I place his folder back in its original pristine condition, minus one important envelope. I slide the envelope in my briefcase and close the drawer slowly as not to make any noise.
Chris?s task completed, I hurry to the desk and ruffle through a large stack of papers where I know the contract is. I exhale when I see my brother?s familiar signature. I take the piece of paper out of the pile and stare at it. It hasn?t been filed or scanned yet, but it has been looked at. That doesn?t matter, as long as it hasn?t been permanently recorded.
The heavy lighter in my jacket pocket reminds me of what I have to do. I take out the lighter and set the contract aflame without hesitation; I watch it burn until there?s nothing left. I drop it in the wastebasket as the last corner singes. The fire alarm doesn?t go off. Good.
I?m finished. I get my things together and jet out of the room, locking the door behind me. My gut tells me to get out, get out now. I can?t seem to walk fast enough. But I have to stay calm, I remind myself, slowing my pace. Someone might notice me if I?m acting strangely.
I?m okay. I?m okay. I?m almost out of here.
I hand my ID to a different security guard than the one from before. The guards must have changed shifts. He scans the ID to check Deborah Wilson out of the building.
I can see Chris through the glass walls of the complex, waiting outside and leaning against his car. He sees me and I nod curtly. I head out towards where he stands, preparing to give him his envelope and get the heck out of there.
As I push open the glass door, I see a dark figure approaching from one side of the building. I keep walking and ignore the person, heading towards where Chris awaits. His face suddenly gets a curious look to it and I glance behind me where he seems to be looking.
The dark figure has come into the light of the building. I see her face- she looks like me. My mouth parts slightly. I realize who she is.
Deborah Wilson heads into the building where she is CEO and takes out her ID to show to the guard. His features change from boredom to confusion, and he looks up from her ID to where I stand, staring wide-eyed at him.
My briefcase is yanked off my arm and I spin around in time to see Chris getting in his car. ?Wait!? I scream, but he doesn?t care, driving away safely with his envelope.
I look back to where Deborah and the guard are. They?re both staring at me. And they don?t look happy.