Image by alasis via FlickrHe jumped down from the tree and I screamed from my hiding spot behind the bushes. Not cool Leandra, not cool.
"Sssshhhh!" Jeeze! You're going to ruin everything! Alex said crouching down beside me. Lights turned on in the houses across the street. My heart was beating like a wild stallion. "You don't scream when you're on a stake-out. Everybody knows that!"
We turned toward the small yellow house, merely ten feet or so from where we were crouched in the damp dirt, remnants of this morning's rain still clinging to the humid air. Inside that yellow house was the secret to our struggles, the stolen gems that would finally, maybe, let us return to a normal life.
"When are they going to be here?" I whispered, eyes wide.
"Shut up!" Alex said, even more loudly and he pushed me on the shoulder. My hands slipped out of the green bushes and I felt the light of the street lamp sting my hand like acid. Crap/ They could already have a picture of it, already taken it in for testing. They would be here any minute . . .
"Leandra?" Alex said in a low voice, waving his hand in front of my face. "You look like you've seen a ghost."
"I'm fine Alex," I said. "Let's just hope they didn't see me."
Just then, a black SUV pulled up to the yellow house's driveway. Three men, clad in white suits, exited the car and walked toward the door.
Alex looked at me and nodded. I knew this was what we had been waiting for. One of the men, I think his name was Romulus, took out a small, metal cylinder and inserted it into the lock on the door. Alex immediately took several pictures of the lock and the cylinder. One of the men turned around. Had he seen us? Had he heard the camera? The man stared at the bushes for a moment, and then turned and followe romulus inside. The third man waited by the door.
We had to have what was in that house.
And yet, we couldn't be seen.
We couldn't be captured. Already we were the infamous twins, Alex and Leandra who were "of interest" to The U.S. Government. How does this happen to two sixteen year-olds? Where are our parents, you may well ask. That my friend, is another story.
We had to get inside.
Four months ago, something had shattered my window in the middle of the night, waking me up.
Alex had wandered in from his bedroom. "What's going on?"
Still groggy from sleep, I spat at him: "How am I supposed to know? I was asleep!"
I remember that house. Cool marble floors, a swimming pool made of pink granite, sleek flat-screen TV's in every room - it was a 16 year-olds dream house. We lived in California and my biggest worry was what shoes to wear to next week's beach party. Little did I know that the entire foundation of my life was built on lies.
My parents were black market dealers. It's funny now because I guess we are too.
The window was broken, and moonlight glinted off of th glass - or was it something else? The light moved like it came from the headlights of a car.
"Get up, Lee," Alex shouted, grabbing my hand.
I remember thinking: why are you holding my hand? We're not 6!
But Alex would do a lot more for me. He would save my life on multiple occasions.
"Let's get Mom and Dad," I said, the muddiness of sleep finally starting to fall away, fear worming it's way into my heart.
"No. We have to get the gems."
"What? Alex, no one can get in the safe . . . not even us," I hissed at him.
"I'm the only one who knows the password," he whispered.
Then I saw the flames.
Writhing and flickering, the flames had reduced our house to rubble in a matter of minutes. Alex and I barely escaped with our lives, and ever since that December night, we've been on the run.
Now we ere so close to returning to a normal life, but I knew we had to act fast.
"Ready?" asked Alex.
"Ready," I said.
Alex took a deep breath and sprinted out in front of the house. The man guarding the door spotted him and chased after him. I knew what I had to do - the cylinder was off, but I still had to pick the lock.
We knew that the safe with the gems was in the house. We also knew that they were our life-line. For the past few months our human forms were slowly dying. That night we had escaped but our parents had not.
The lock clicked, and I was inside.
. . . TO BE CONTINUED