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Aaron was sitting in his Language Arts class on the second floor of his school when the lights went out. The clouds outside looked as dark, ominous, and heavy as the sea during a storm. Every one instantly went quite, even the teacher. Sitting next to the window Aaron looked out and noticed the slender figure of a tall man sauntering away from the school at a fast pace. Aaron was the first in his class to speak breaking the silence, “Can I go to the bathroom.”
His best friend Jared, sitting next to him, snickered. As the teacher nodded her head in approval toward Aaron, he got up and headed to the door. Jared knew that trouble would follow his best friend. It always had in the past. Aaron was repeatedly curious over things that just look like nothing to others. When he was just outside the door out of the corner of his eye he saw the first lightning crack the sky in half and the thunder that followed was almost defining. Aaron wasn’t going to the bathroom; he just lied to get out of the classroom. His interest piqued once again. As he walked the halls most of the teachers talked in slightly agitated voices. “Ok, ok, everyone remain seated. The lights, I’m sure, will be on momentarily” they would say then another crack of thunder and flash of lightening would erupt followed by shrieks of terrified students, and then even some teachers.
But Aaron wasn’t interested in the people he passed. He headed out the unlocked, back door of the school in hot pursuit of the mysterious man. For some reason, Aaron felt as if he knew the seemingly unknown stranger. As soon as they were off the school grounds it started to feel like a game of cat and mouse. Rain started to drizzle down. Turning ally after ally, Aaron’s aching body was starting to tell him that it was a total waste of time and effort. They passed a library and Aaron started to think of what the consequences might be for skipping school. Suddenly the man dispread into a café, almost lost by Aarons tired eyes.
Aaron was running to catch up to the man and as he ran around the doorway of the café he seen the back door swing shut. Rain was dripping off his clothes and onto the polished floor, he ran as fast as he could through the café, by passing the hushed talking people. When he pushed through the back door, Aaron almost yelled out. Someone was waiting and grabbed Aaron from behind as he ran out the door. There was a click as the door relocked behind him. With a strange hand over his mouth and a strong around him, Aaron could neither speak nor move. He went numb from head to toe paralyzed with fear.
“Who are you and why are you following me?” The younger masculine voice of the man was held in complete monotone.
The hand moved slowly away from Aaron’s mouth, but it was still close enough in case he tried to yell for help. “What do you want with me? And why did you turn the power at the school off?” He tried to sound innocent.
“Well, you see, I was looking for someone you might-“The stranger suddenly stopped as the buzz of a vibrating phone cut through the quiet but thick conversation. The hand that was hovering near Aarons face moved out of sight.
“Where’s your phone kid?”
Aaron felt reluctant to answer the question. Then he decided it would be best to tell. “It’s in my front right pocket,” he said with a sigh. As the stranger retrieved it he noticed that it wasn’t a call but a text message. Aaron watched out of the corner of his eye as the his phone revealed that the text was from Jared saying that school was let out because of the electrical problem and that he had the stuff Aaron left behind. As soon as the stranger seen Aarons name on the phone he seemed to relax some.
The man snickered and threw the phone at the ground. “Follow me, kid.”
The man released his death grip on Aarons arm and pushed by him. Walking down the alley, Aaron kept on his toes ready to sprint away at a moment’s notice. Both seemed to glide in the newly crowded streets careful not to be noticed. This wasn’t hard. Soon an abandoned ware house finally loomed in front of them. Aaron stopped in his tracks. The man looked back over his shoulder, rain dripping down his face, and then turned around completely. The look on his face was filled with something that looked like dread or sadness.
Aaron started to back up. The man, a few paces away, said “Do you realize that if I really wanted to hurt you it would have already happened?” The way he talked, in a gentle way as if he knew something that Aaron didn’t, made him a little frightened. “Aaron you know that you were adopted right? But have you ever asked where from?”
Aaron was suddenly feeling a little sickened at the thought that this total stranger knew his name. He was also wondering how the man knew he was adopted. When he had only ever told Jared and his parents didn’t like to talk about it that much it also made his curious.
The man blew over the next few sentences that escaped his lips in a nervous manner. “Aaron, I have to tell you something. I’m a friend of your birth parents and if you want to know what really did happen to them you’ll stick with me.” As he finished he abruptly turned and walked toward a car that Aaron only now noticed. Aaron walked over, got in next to his newly found family friend, and said “I’m in.” His slender face showed nothing, a void of emotions, which seemed to echo his words.
“I’m Crawford, Malcolm Crawford,” Aaron took the hand and shook it. The whole time he barely looked at Crawford. The lightning blazed in the sky once more as the door closed and the car speed away.