Lately days at work were not preoccupied hating the mundane list of chores that the authoritative masterminds gave me. My mind was elsewhere. Listening. I could hear from far away, from stories up but only if I could centralize the sound. That was all I needed. Above these tall ceiling beams, and many stories up, was my father’s office. Here where I stood, sterilizing beakers, was just below her desk. After much concentration listening to the creaks and movements I could tell what was going on. She was shifting in her seat right now. She didn’t move much but when she did, it was like a marathon.
Behind my charts I had my own graph that was tracking her pattern. More movement above caused me to turn off the faucet. She was in the elevator but she was still several stories up. Peering into the windows of the doors fo the laboratory I could tell that no one would notice me for a while. Following the footsteps above it led me down the hallway. Whichever room she went into was just above a supply closet. Every movement she made was quick and trained. All doors on all floors were locked by key card and only one person had the master-key card. That was my father.
Perhaps she had swiped his card and made a copy. I was sure I could do that. After witnessing her act of crime by breaking and entering at my house I knew that she didn’t need to do that. Confirmed by the lack of sounds that those card swipers made I knew she had just walked through the wall. Drawers were quietly opening and the filing of papers against her fingers were done ever so gently. I could hear the latex gloves that picked through the filing cabinet.
Hearing the sound of a computer accepting a command and then the sliding out of a device I knew she was gathering intel from all these places she had breaking into. She quickly turned around in the hallway and walked back to her office like she had just ran a small errand. Data was what she was after. Each office I had listened, and she had repeated the same steps over and over. What was my father hiding and who was she to find it. By the end of my shift I went up to my father’s office. He was chatting with his secretary behind those tall grander doors.
This was one of the few opportunities I had. Getting on her computer with my own drive I scrambled to find something. Bypassing one encryption after another I hurried to find anything that would be a use of my time. Anything that would explain what the hell was going on.
“Ready to go.” My father stepped out of the office and I was back sitting on the sofa in his waiting room.
Later that night I disabled the alarm system and grabbed my laptop. Looking down from the roof above a 3 story drop I took a step off and landed back on my feet. I was getting used to these gifts. Before I could knock on Skylar’s door it was already open.
“What are you trying to do? Get me in trouble.”
“I didn’t know you had any rules.” I slipped in.
“Well we can pretend, can’t we.” She rolled her eyes.
“How did you know I was here.”
“Let’s just say I was keeping an eye on you, wanting to know when you take your next heart stopping step. Reality tv is way better than fiction, in your regards that is.”
“Thanks for classifying me to be slightly more entertaining than housewives.” I joked as we walked into the library.
“Just a bit. I have to admit though that the hair pulling never gets old.”
Finally when we were locked behind closed doors I put my computer to the side and then spun around catching her by surprise. She laughed as I pulled her into my arms and I breathed in her strawberry lip gloss. She grabbed my shirt as I pushed a ringlet of blonde hair out of her eyes. My stomach was full of butterflies and for a moment I was able to forget why we were in this room. Right now we were in here for more than just research. She reached out and kissed me until it felt like this was all there was left. Nothing else mattered. Until she let go, her phone vibrating on the table. Neither of us could breathe and I found myself backed against a wall with her shirt half-unbuttoned before she pulled away.
“You brought your laptop.”
“Yea. I got it.” Opening up the laptop I took a seat.
“What did you get?” She handed me a mini bottled water from the small fridge.
“Hopefully something that tells me why my dads secretary is so interested in him. Maybe something that tells me why her and I are more similar than anyone I know.”
“That doesn’t look like anything unless you can read numbers.” She shook her head.
“I’ll figure it out.”
“While you do that I’m going to see how my mom wants her drink right now, shaken or stirred.”
Hours after and a sleeping Skylar against my shoulder I finally found something. Something that explained the interest in my dad. It was a chromosome. It was different compared to the average chromosome. It was deformed and disoriented. Twisted in weird angles. There were more studies. A lot of research on the origins. What really caught me was the subject the sample was taken from.
“Hmm-” She sat up stretching.
“My father’s been researching a subject, only it’s not a lab rat. It’s human.”
“Who is it Michael?”
“Me. Only I’m not sure if I’m really Michael.” I opened up a picture of a boy who was several years younger than me with brown hair and copper eyes.”I’m not sure if my father is really my…father”