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I Need You To See++ Klarie SinClaire
Mesha as always you are the only one who knows, mostly because you are the only one who needs to. I love you, Kitty!
I was always that kind of kid; the golden child that never gets in trouble. I was the only child, so I got spoiled and got by with everything, but since last summer I've had a secret, and not even my parents know about it; I am a phreak.
'Good morning, Flaming December, what kinds of dreams did you have to last night?' The message was waiting for me, as usual, and honestly I had become fond of Exodus's eagerness and devotion to my subconscious thoughts.
'Salutations, my cyber dream catcher; more nightmares last night, and I think I might be psychic.'
'What happened? Is everything okay?' He typed this quickly, as if he already knew that I had been having these horrible dreams, which were becoming more frequent as time went on.
'Well, as you already know, my last name is SinClaire. Some people may recognize the name. I was born privileged; my father a wealthy business tycoon and my mother a devoted housewife endlessly doting upon her only daughter. We looked perfect, we had problems. They fought a lot, and some of my earliest childhood memories are of them screaming at each other. They would yell a little louder, he would hit her, and she would cry. They would make a phone call and I would stay with a distant relative who most likely didn't know my name. In my dream, they were arguing, again. So, I stared outside my window to the peaceful, falling snow. I heard her scream, and before I could place why, she was visible beneath my window, small red drops of blood forming on the clean snow. My father came storming out after her and then, suddenly, there was a lot of blood. I didn't know what to do, so I ran away; into town, I remember. After that it was like the sandman had pushed a fast forward button on my thoughts, because the next thing I knew I was standing outside of my home, crying and trembling. I was holding a small device that resembled a remote control. I pushed a button and a small fire started near my father's office, I could see the flames growing through a large picture window and in what seemed like a few seconds the entire structure was engulfed by the flames. I was so scared.' My fingers moved swiftly across the keys, anxious to get the horrid thoughts out of my mind.
'Then what happened, did they die?'
'I woke up and they were fighting, she has bruises on her neck, and all she does is cry.' I myself had started to cry as I typed the response. It was so frustrating having so many problems at home.
'I'm sorry; it really isn't fair to you. I mean, you're supposed to have this perfect family, but instead you get this heartbreak. Don't worry; we'll meet up tonight for some phreaking and it'll take your mind off everything.' Even though I couldn't actually hear his voice, I knew that if he were speaking this to me it would be sincere and meaningful.
'What exactly are we doing tonight?' I typed this first message before I realized that I wasn't finished. 'Do I need to bring anything?'
'We're hacking into a criminal database to see if we can figure out where Renegade Revival's father is incarcerated. If you haven't heard yet, Renegade got into some trouble with the law a few months back and his trial is coming up. We need to rally as much support as possible, so we're going to try and contact him to see if he'll testify.'
'I hadn't heard; what did he do?' I became concerned, Renegade had been one of my first friends, in fact he had introduced me to Exodus, and he hadn't told me. It upset me that he had kept this from me for months, and I waited anxiously as he typed.
'He called the Presidential Bomb Shelter. He was in Virginia and the rumor going around was that Bush had recently established a shelter there. His uncle worked somewhere close to Bush at the time and Renegade looked him up to get the number. Sure, it was one of the best phreaks ever, but he got into some serious trouble and put all of us phreaks under some scrutiny, and if he gets convicted, it could mean the end for all of us.'
'So, this is really that dangerous, I mean, I've never heard of anything going federal I only ever knew of state and county intervention.' It felt wrong, we were just kids, we took what rightfully was ours and we only did it for fun, we never meant to do wrong by anyone else, I couldn't stand myself for a few seconds as I waited for Exodus's reply.
'Yes, Flame, this can get that dangerous. Things rarely ever do go beyond state, because people rarely ever get caught, but Renegade ended up as one of the few that do. It's sad mostly because he will go down in history for this, but he may also go down incarcerated.'
'That's almost unbelievable. My parents would kill me, not only if they knew I was a phreak, but if they knew how far this stuff could go.'
'Its okay, Flame, you won't get into any trouble.' I could almost feel him smiling, and that haunted me like he had intended his words to.
'You can't promise that, though, anything could happen and I could go to jail or maybe worse. I'm not sure how I feel about this now.' My head was deep in thought, and then I heard the ping that signaled his reply and it shook me from thought.
'What do you mean? You can't just give up and quit, it would make you a traitor, and then you might really get yourself into trouble.'
'I don't know, Exodus, I'm not sure. I've never been in any real trouble before, and if I did my dad just bailed me out. I don't know how he would react to anything like this.'
'You're still coming out tonight, though, right? It won't be the same without you.' I knew somewhere deep down that if I could hear his thoughts that he would be miserable without me there, even though I wasn't required to be in attendance, I always sensed that somewhere buried in his heart he longed for my company.
'I don't know, I'll have to think about it.' I knew that my parents wouldn't approve of any troublemaking and possibility of imprisonment, but this was one of the only things that I did just for me, and sometimes I felt that if I let it go, I might simply explode.
'I really think that you should come, it just wouldn't be the same without you. Besides, Renegade might be gone for a very long time, possibly forever, and what kind of friend would you be if you let him leave without a proper sendoff?' That was the salt that hit the wound and it was decided, I had to go for Renegade, even if it might mean severe punishment Renegade was still my beat friend.
'I guess I'll be there.' I typed reluctantly, hoping he wouldn't be mad if I didn't show up anyway. 'I'll do it for Renegade, I can't just let him go like that, he was my first friend and he still means so much to me.' I wondered if this made him jealous inside, and if he would ever share his true feelings with me.
'Great, we're meeting at the usual spot, you know what time. See you then.' He logged off before I could say goodbye, I could almost read his mind and tell that he was jealous of the comment that was the worst part about the internet, you could never actually hear the undertones in someone's voice and it just left you to speculate.
The clock on my phone had just turned eight o'clock when I turned the corner to Roseguard Avenue, just a few blocks from our usual meeting place, The Hotel Bella Muerte, as it was popularly know. It was actually an abandoned nursing home, and the story on the streets was it was haunted, but none of us had ever seen anything, but still we liked to think that we could, anyway. Crossing the street onto Bank Street, I caught a glimpse of fiery crimson hair and recognized the shade immediately.
'Saint Australia?' I said into the darkness, and if I wasn't sure that there was someone there I may have considered myself insane.
'Hello, who's there?' The voice turned towards me and I recognized the heavy Australian accent automatically.
'It's Kla-' I almost gave it away, even though most of us knew each other's names, we never used them, it was merely a precaution. 'It's Flame, wait up.' I jogged up to her and finally I saw her bright green eyes.
''Ello, mate, long time no see, 'ow 'ave you been?' Her heritage showed in the way that she never could quite enunciate her 'h' but it gave her character and I always found it beautiful in a peculiar sort of way.
'Hey, Saint, things have been good, I mean considering.' I made a face at her and she immediately understood. I had told her before, back when we were first introduced, and we shared a similarity in family problems.
'Same 'ere, when we lived in Australia things were never like this, I guess that America changes people.' I personally found that horrible, America was always considered the promise land, and an immigrant thought of it as her individual misfortune.
'Its okay, Saint, it'll get better, just give it some time.' By now we were directly in front of The Hotel Bella Muerte, just standing in the doorway. I could hear the voices inside and questioned how much longer I should make Exodus wait and decided upon not much longer. 'I think we should probably go inside, they'll be waiting on us and won't be very happy if we're late.'
'True and we're a little late, so they may 'ave started without us.' Saint pulled open the decayed door, to the phreaks gathered around Renegade who was holding his laptop and typing furiously.
I looked around at the black clad virtual warriors and smiled. All of my familiar friends were sitting in their own group and I made my over to them as Saint joined her assembly. I found a seat in between Neon Coaster and Shotgun Sinner and quietly Indian crossed my legs on the floor.
'Hey, Flame,' Exodus smiled his toothy smile, reaching his hand over Neon's lap to touch my knee. 'I'm glad you could make it.'
I looked back at him with a slight grin and nodded. 'I'm glad I came.'
'Okay, everyone,' Renegade exclaimed. 'We're in.' Everyone cheered, but Renegade and one of the guys sitting at his feet held up their hands to call order, shocked looks coating their faces. 'We're caught, everybody run!' Renegade yelled, throwing his laptop to the ground.
Everyone panicked, going into a frenzy inside the building, searching frantically for an exit, nobody even heard the sirens outside. No one was aware of the police cruisers outside until it was too late, a bristly cop kicked in the door with a loud thud, tons of teenagers flooded out and were caught by officers, and the remaining law enforcement rushed the building for the remaining phreaks.
Exodus grabbed my arm and dragged me violently up the stairs, finding an open room and busting out the window. It was just a short leap over to the roof of a shorter building, and without second thought I jumped out, Exodus close behind. We scurried to the center of the building, collapsing on the ground to catch our breath, staring intently at the window from which we had escaped. Mere seconds later a hefty man in uniform dove out of it, charging towards us at great speeds.
We took off in the same direction, knowing immediately where we were going. It took us no time to make it down the fire escape and onto the deserted sidewalk below, we looked behind us, the cop was quickly climbing down the ladder. We had to get out of sight, Exodus tugged my arm until we had made to a barren alley, when he pushed me up against a rough brick wall. Our breathing was heavy and forced, but he forced himself to talk through his exhaustion.
'I won't let anything happen to you, Klarie, I promise.' He stared through me with his bright blue eyes, melting me into a trance, breaking it when he leaned into me, forcing me into a kiss that I had always expected, but not like this. 'Run and hide and don't come out until you're sure that everyone is gone.' He panted, looking into my eyes for the last time as he ran down the dark alley to veil himself in the shadows.
I ran further down the alley, too, coming to an outside door marked exit, with what sounded like a party inside. I opened the door and a wall of screaming music almost knocked me over, I slipped through the door, just as I saw the police officer charging down the alleyway. Inside the room I removed my black beanie and pulled the elastics out of my braids, shaking out my hair, suddenly glad that I worn regular clothes under my black outfit. I danced my way through the crowd, removing my black hooded sweatshirt as I moved, to reveal a bright orange tank top with a colorful design across the front. I pushed my short, denim skirt over my black jeans and then pulled them off to disclose gray leggings. I looked like I belonged at the party, and hopefully that would be what the police would think if they were to raid it.
I had made it all the way through the crowd and was leaning against a wall, swaying with the beat of the music, when a heard of angry officers beat down the outside door I had just entered from. All of the party guests squeezed around me as they all huddled against the same wall I was standing at. The cleared room allowed the police to see my abandoned clothes in the middle of the dance floor.
'We're looking for someone,' One officer boomed, shining a flashlight into each partygoers face. 'We believe that her name is Klarie, if we overheard her little friend correctly. I think that these clothes here are hers.' He stopped right in front of me, making me squint as the beam of light hit me directly in the eye. 'Hello, Klarie.' The police officer smiled. I remained as calm and composed as everyone else in the room, trying not to challenge him too much.
'I think you've made a mistake, Sir.' I looked him directly in the eye, I wasn't afraid of him and I wanted him to know that.
'Well then, may I see your ID ma'am?' He held out his hand and my heart rate increased, he was serious. I reached into the back pocket of my skirt and pulled out my wallet for my ID and held it up to his face. He smirked. 'Miss SinClaire, you're under arrest.' He grabbed my hand and I challenged him, pulling back and making a fist. 'Don't resist, dear, it's not lady like.'
That's what got me, I jerked away, stunning him momentarily that someone half his size would so much as dare to defy him. I took my opportunity to take him bottoms up, but he caught my leg mid kick and before I could fight back he had my other leg, too and I was writhing on the ground. I was down but not out, I pulled my legs back and launched my feet into his stomach. He turned away coughing and spitting and cursing at me, I raced to feet, turned and dashed through the crowd, finding an exit behind a pack of shocked teenagers, and ran out of the building to a new street.
This street was eerily vacant, the silences deafening me. I walked casually, if anyone were around it would just draw attention to take off running. Suddenly a dark green Mercedes screeched up to the curb, the passenger side window rolling down, I recognized the driver immediately, it was Renegade.
'Get in, Klarie.' I obeyed, remembering that any amount of law enforcement would be barreling after me at any moment.
'Where is Exodus?' I demanded as we sped away. Renegade just shook his head and sighed heavily.
'He got caught.' Our speed increased with each word. 'I was right there, I could have got him, but I-I'm already in trouble with the law. This incident could mean my head.' I started to cry, Exodus was gone and there was nothing I could do about it. There was nothing anyone could do about it at this point.
'What are they going to do with him? I mean, they're not going to-they're not going to hurt him are they?' My voice got higher as I imagined Exodus in handcuffs, officers beating information out of him.
'I honestly don't know, Klarie, I just don't want to see anyone else go down.'
'Who else got caught?' I looked at him intently, tears flooding the rims of my eyes and blurring my vision.
'No one as far as I know, but I won't be sure until tomorrow, for now I just want to make sure that you stay safe. Where do you live?'
It was on the news that night, a picture of Exodus with his eyes glazed over, his black hair messy and sticking up, his face sweaty. They announced a reward for anyone coming forward with any information with the other kids. Kids, it reminded me of what my father used to say.
'Dumb kids,' he would say, knowing I could hear him. 'They don't try in school and they fail their math test. Dumb kids, they're all the same. Dumb kids, they hang out and don't do their chores, they're lazy. Dumb kids, they're all the same.' I heard him say things like this all the time; in fact he was saying one of them right now.
'Dumb kids, they break the law and then cry over their punishments. Dumb kids, they're all the same.' That was the straw that broke the camel's back, I lost it.
'You know what, Dad? That dumb kid is my friend, my best friend, my boyfriend. That dumb kid got caught trying to protect me. Those dumb kids take what is rightfully theirs from the government and give it back to the people, so what is it that those dumb kids' do that's so wrong? And if those dumb kids are so wrong, I guess I am too. I'm one of those dumb kids, Dad, and if it weren't for the rest of us dumb kids, I would be that dumb kid up there on the screen; that dumb kid that's arrested, that dumb kid that took the fall for the rest of us dumb kids that were there. And you know what else? It feels great to be one of those dumb kids, because at least we stick together. We dumb kids, we're all the same.'
I never got to tell him I loved him, I never got to tell him I cared. To make matters worse I don't even know if he regrets it or if he wonders about me, or even if he's still alive. Saint said that she had received a letter some weeks ago that said he was facing some time because he didn't give us up, but I refuse to believe her. It's safe to say my life is over, that my days are numbered, and that my heart is numbed in my chest, because I-Klarie Alice SinClaire- am a phreak.