Can the bonds of FRIENDSHIP overcome all odds?
Breaking
The Code
CHAPTER
25
A Never Ending Adventure
Dylan smiled. “I’m glad you asked.” He pointed at the sketch on the sand. “See this here?”
Travis nodded. “This is the main gate. This how we’re getting past the fence.”
“But that gate is guarded by two men,” Bethany added. “And I guess I’m supposed to distract them.” She shot a look at Dylan.
“That’s right!” Dylan grinned. “Travis. While Bethany distracts the men, you and I will sneak through the gate and go here.” He pointed at a spot the paper. “Here is the fuse box. Once we get here, we can pull the fuse for the outdoor lights. That’ll buy Bethany enough time to sneak through the gate before the guards catch on.”
Travis nodded, slowly processing the plan. “And then, after that, we sneak in to the building, right?”
“Right,” Bethany agreed. “This is where they keeping Sapphire.”
“Well then, what are we waiting for?” Travis asked eagerly.
Dylan looked up at the sky. “Dark. We have to wait until night time.”
“Oh, right.” Travis glanced at his watch. 7:55. “It won’t get dark for another half hour or so.”
“How long will it take to get to the science building?” Dylan asked.
“Around a half hour.” Bethany looked at Dylan, then at Travis. She smiled. “Are you guys ready to head over?”
Travis and Dylan exchanged glances. “Yes.”
The trio arrived at the Payton City Department of Science and Development just as the sky went black. There was hardly enough light for them to see each others’ faces. They stopped about fifty feet from the fence.
Dylan looked around. The sketch was actually pretty accurate. The main gate was exactly where the sketch had said. There were also two burly guards standing on either side of gate. There were several tall lights bordering the fence, giving enough light so the guards could notice any suspicious happenings. Dylan turned to face Travis and Bethany. “You guys know the plan, right?” he whispered, even though they were far out of earshot.
They both nodded.
The air was tense. They were all nervous. Though the plan was well thought out, it wasn’t foolproof. There was the possibility that something could go wrong. Something could go very wrong.
Bethany took a deep breath, trying to shake her anxiety. “Well, what are we waiting for? Let’s go get Sapphire back.”
Then the plan was set into motion. Bethany licked her fingers and wiped them on her cheeks, trying to make it look like she had been crying for a while. She closed her eyes and focused on unhappiness, trying to make the tears come. What made her unhappy? She thought about her parents, and how she wasn’t going to see them again for a really long time. She thought about Travis and what he had to go through with his family. She thought about Sapphire, all alone in a foreign place, probably being prodded with needles and prongs. And before she knew it, the tears were streaming down her cheeks.
She looked over at the boys. Dyan nodded at her. It was time.
She ran over to the main gate, sobbing as dramatically as she could. The guard on the right of the gate saw her coming and put up his hands to stop her. “Woah, woah. Are you alright little lady?”
Bethany gasped for breath. “I... There was... Where am I?”
The guard on the left took a step towards Bethany and kneeled down to her height. “This is the Payton City Department of Science and Development. What brings you here?”
Bethany took a few steps back. “I... I don’t know... One moment I was playing in my front yard, and the next I was in a car with a bunch of strangers yelling nasty things at me, and...” Bethany paused to sniffle loudly and wipe the tears from her cheeks. “And then, suddenly, they slammed on the breaks, shoved me out of the car and drove off. I don’t know where I am or how to get home or what time it is or-“
The guard on the left reached into his coat and pulled out a tissue. He handed it to Bethany. “Here, blow your nose and try to calm down, okay? We’re going to try to help you.”
Bethany sniffled some more and nodded slowly. “O-okay.”
The guard on the right gently placed his hand on Bethany’s back. “Why don’t we go on over to the security room” -he gestured to a building around twenty feet to the right- “and we can get this figured out.”
Bethany nodded again, swallowing loudly, and followed the guards away from the gate.
Dylan and Travis exchanged glances and subtly nodded. It was now or never. They quickly ran through the dark over to the gate, which was now abandoned. They took careful steps, as to not shuffle the gravel around. When they reached the gate, they paused only a moment as they heard Bethany let out a loud cry from the security room. Travis grinned. She was turning out to be pretty cool, after all.
Dylan looked at the tall, wire gate. “We’re going to have to climb it and open it from the inside,” he whispered.
Travis nodded. He grabbed on to the gate and began to climb. The wire screeched as he feet hit it, and Travis winced. He silently pleaded for the gate to make no other noises.
The guard that was on the right, who had introduced himself to Bethany as Nick, brought his head up. “Grayson,” he said to the other guard, “Maybe one of us should go back to the gate.”
Grayson stood from the stool in which he was perched and nodded. “Good point.” He began on his way to the door, but Bethany’s weeping stopped him.
“No, please! Don’t go out there alone. They’ll get you!”
Grayson smiled sympathetically. “I think I’ll be alright.”
Bethany shook her head and sobbed louder.
Grayson sighed. “But if it makes you feel better, I’ll stay here.”
Travis had reached the top of the gate and began climbing down the other side. Dylan had already begun climbing and was going at a much faster pace than Travis. They both reached the ground on the other side of the gate at the same time. “So far, so good,” Dylan breathed.
They began to scan the area for the electrical box. Travis silently wished that they found it soon, because he didn’t know how much longer Bethany could hold her act up.
“So, you say you live on the other side of town?” Nick questioned, trying to make sense of this all in his head.
Bethany wiped her eyes and nodded.
Grayson chimed in. “And this white car pulled up next to you and these men grabbed you and dragged you inside?”
Bethany closed her eyes and took a deep breath. “Y-yes.”
“What did the men look like?”
Bethany furrowed her brow. “Well one of them had a goatee- a goatee, yes, a dark brown goatee. And I think he was wearing a black-no, green coat, with...” She shivered and swallowed loudly. “I think, I think I need to be alone for a while. To calm down.” She looked at the door. “Could I go sit outside for a few minutes? I-I’m feeling lightheaded.”
The two guards exchanged glances and sighed heavily. “Sure,” Nick nodded. “Take all the time you need.”
Bethany thanked them through her tears and quickly stepped outside. She shut the door behind her and leaned up against the wall. She hoped that Travis and Dylan had found the electrical box alright, because she couldn’t hold up her act forever.
“Dylan,” Travis hissed, motioning him over. “I’ve found it!”
Dylan rushed over and pulled open the electrical box. “Okay, okay, outdoor lighting,” Dylan mumbled to himself. “Where is the fuse for outdoor lighting?” Dylan let his fingers hover over the many switches, his eyes scanning for the correct label.
Travis bit his lip and crossed his fingers. He silently prayed that nothing would go wrong.
Suddenly, Dylan giggled with glee. “Here it is!” he whispered triumphantly.
And then the lights went out.
Bethany leapt up from her position against the door and ran as hard as she could to the gate. She could hear the confusion ensuing in the security office. She almost felt bad for deceiving the security guards so. They had been so kind and patient with her. She promised herself that one day she would repay them. But not today.
She shoved her feet in between the wires of the gate and hoisted herself over the top. She jumped and landed on the other side of the gate with a thud. She hurried over to where Travis and Dylan were standing, doing her best to stay in the shadows. When she reached them, she smiled and gave them a thumbs up. “Now, onto phase two.”
The three friends snuck their way up to the front doors, staying as low and inconspicuous as they could. They knew that the guards would soon reach the electric box and reset the fuse, so they moved as quickly as they could. When they finally reached the main entrance, Bethany stopped. She tried the door. Locked. She glanced to her right and noticed a scanner. “Um, you don’t happen to have an I.D. on you, by any chance, do you?” she whispered.
Travis shrugged.
Bethany furrowed her eyebrows and looked down at the steps. “Dang it.”
Suddenly, the door began to open. Terrified, the three friends leapt from the steps into the bushes next to them. Two woman in lab coats ran out, seeming in a hurry. “Those darn lights keep going out,” one mumbled.
Once they had left the steps, Dylan quickly and carefully ran up the steps and slid his foot into the doorframe-just before the door latched shut.
Bethany took a deep breath and she and Travis joined Dylan by the door. Travis patted Dylan on the back and Bethany snuck a tiny peek inside. “Seems clear,” she muttered, and the three friends slipped in, out of the dark night.
Once inside, the three friends were quickly overwhelmed by the amount of light in the building. It took a few moments for their eyes to adjust. They looked around. Travis noticed a small janitors’ closet, and motioned Dylan and Bethany to it. Once the they were inside the closet and out of sight, Travis and Dylan turned to Bethany. “Well, now what?”
Bethany blinked. “What?”
Travis crossed his arms. “How are we supposed to find Saphira in-“
“Sapphire,” Dylan corrected.
Travis rolled his eyes. “Whatever. How are we supposed to find Sapphire in here? There are thousands of rooms- how do we know where to look?”
Bethany took a deep breath. “Well, there has got to be a system to this place, an organized classification system. If we can find out what region she’s in, than the rest shouldn’t be too difficult.”
“What do we do when we do find her?” Dylan asked. “Sneaking a dragon out of here will not be easy.”
Bethany licked her lips. “Follow my lead.”
Dylan frowned. “Well, that’s really reassuring,” he stated sarcastically.
Travis suddenly interrupted. “Hey guys?” He gestured to a row of lab coats hanging behind him. “I’ve got an idea.”
“I probably look ridiculous.” Bethany flapped the long sleeves of her too big lab jacket. “Do I look ridiculous?”
Dylan shrugged. “When don’t you?”
Bethany scowled at Dylan while he high-fived Travis. “Aw, come on. You know I’m just kidding.”
Bethany smirked. “Well, at least I don’t look as bad as you!”
Dylan looked down at himself and managed a laugh. “I feel like a penguin. A tall, beached penguin.”
Travis giggled as he slid into his own lab coat. “I’ve always wanted to be a penguin!”
Bethany shook her head and grinned. “You guys are weird.”
Dylan smiled and took a bow. “Why, thank you, ma’am.”
Travis buttoned up his lab coat and ran his fingers through his hair. “So, let’s do this thing?”
Bethany’s smile was replaced with a stern, dedicated look. “Yes. Let’s.”
The three friends stepped out from the janitor’s closet, each going over the plan silently in their minds. They walked over the main desk, which was empty. Dylan slid into the chair and rolled over to the computer. On the screen was a map of the entire building, and in each room was a tiny little number. On the left side of the screen there was a list, and by each number it said what kind of room it was. By number 34, it said unidentified object research and discovery center. Dylan pointed at the screen. “Could this be it?”
Bethany exhaled loudly. “Could very well be. Let’s check it out.”
Dylan stood up and turned to the edge of the desk, just in time to meet a young lady with bright blonde hair. She seemed startled to see them and dropped her clipboard. “Oh!” she exclaimed, bending down to pick it back up. “You startled me!”
Dylan smiled awkwardly and tried to push past her, but the lady stopped him. “Hey, you three are awfully young to be scientists. What are you doing here?”
Dylan put on his best fake smile. “We’re visiting my uncle today. He’s giving us a tour of the building.”
Bethany nodded.
The lady nodded. “Well, that seems fun! I’m fairly new here myself, so we’re both learning.”
Dylan laughed lightly.
“Where is your uncle now?”
Dylan bit his lip. “Oh, he just ran to the bathroom quick. He told us to wait here.”
The lady smiled. “Well, that’s good.” She shifted on her feet. “Well, I gotta go. We get pretty busy here.” She began down the hallway. “Stay out of trouble!” she hollered over her shoulder.
“Sure thing!” Dylan hollered back.
Once the lady disappeared around the corner, the three friends all breathed a sigh of relief.
“That was close,” Travis said.
“Too close,” Bethany agreed. “Let’s get going.”
According to the map that Dylan had studied on the computer screen, room 34 was on the second floor near the back of the building. The trio made their way to the back of the building unnoticed, and it was there that they found a tall and narrow staircase leading up to the second floor. They carefully scaled the stairs one by one, so as not to cause a disturbance to the rooms surrounding.
When they reached the second floor, Travis gestured to another janitors’ closet, and the friend’s slipped inside.
“Okay, so everyone knows what they’re doing, right?” Travis asked.
Bethany nodded. “Yes, I believe so.”
Dylan exhaled slowly. “Yeah, I got it.”
“Alright, good.” Travis turned to Dylan. “Come right back here when you’re finished, okay? Then we’ll wait it out.”
“Roger, Captain.” Dylan saluted. “Over and out.” Then Dylan slipped out of the closet.
He looked down the hall, scanning the walls. “Come on, come on,” he mumbled to himself. “You’ve gotta be around here somewhere.” He took a few steps. Aha! There it was. He quickly rushed over to the wall and slipped his hand around the handle. The bright red words surrounding read “in case of fire, pull lever.” Dylan shrugged. This was no fire, but it was kind of an emergency, so he figured it was justified. He took a deep breath and pulled.
The alarms rang out right away, shrieking and wailing as if they were prisoners in a torture chamber. Dylan flew down the hall, pounding his legs as hard as he could. He had to get out of sight as soon as possible. He just had to. If anyone saw him, it as all over. He slid to a stop in front of the janitors’ closet, just as the doors to the rooms around him began to open. He could hear voices and confusion from within. He slipped into the closet and slammed the door shut, just in time.
His eyes met Travis’ and Bethany’s, and he grinned. “Piece of cake,” he said, gasping.
The alarms kept going, screaming, as if intentionally adding to the chaos consuming the building. Many different voices could be heard erupting in the hall, confused, frustrated, and slightly panicked. Feet could be heard thundering for the staircase, and the alarms kept wailing, the only consistency amidst this monstrosity.
Eventually, the pounding of feet and the echoing voices began to fade as the second floor began to clear out. The alarms seemed to go out of tune, as if they were getting tired of screaming. Or maybe everyone just got tired of listening. Either way, when the alarms were the only things that could be heard, Dylan, Travis, and Bethany slowly inched their way out of the closet. The hall they soon found to be deserted, papers scattered everywhere. They began on their way down the corridor, scanning the rooms for 34.
There. There it was. Room 34. Like a glistening beacon of hope among the desolate and the forgotten. Bethany pulled open the door and glanced inside. Lining the walls were cages upon cages, some filled, some empty. And in a large cage in the back of the room sat a light blue dragon, looking sad as ever.
“Sapphire!” Bethany exclaimed, speeding over to where her dragon was perched. “Thank heavens!” She looked over Sapphire to access the damage. The dragon was missing several of her scales, and where her skin was exposed she had several thin needles poking out. Her wings had been clipped together, to prevent her from flapping them. Her tail had been covered with a thin plastic that smelled highly of chemicals. Bethany’s eyes brimmed with tears. “Oh my baby, what did they do to you?” She bent down to the cage and held the padlock in her hand. “Dylan, Travis, help me get this off.”
Dylan grabbed a saw off of one of the nearby lab tables and headed over to Bethany. Travis stayed put, staring in awe at Sapphire. This was real. She was real. Real and beautiful, beautiful and mysterious. Travis smiled and was suddenly glad he came along. He couldn’t imagine missing this.
Dylan slid the saw one more time, and the padlock clanked to the ground. Dylan pulled open the cage, and Bethany reached out her arms. “Come here, Sapphire. You’re safe now.”
But Sapphire didn’t move. She cowered at the back of the cage, trembling.
Bethany sighed heavily. “She doesn’t even trust me anymore,” she determined sadly.
Dylan furrowed his brow. “Hey, Bethany?”
She looked up and wiped her eyes. “Yeah?”
“Do you have the scale with you? The one you found in the hedge?”
Bethany nodded and slipped off her backpack. “It’s in here.”
Dylan glanced at Sapphire. “It’s just a thought, but that might bring her back to you.”
Bethany grew excited. “Good idea!” She fished the scale out of her backpack and held it at the opening of the cage. “It’s okay, Sapphire. It’s only me. Just me. Bethany. Remember?”
Sapphire hesitated a moment, then leaned forward and sniffed the scale. She took a long look at the scale, then shifted her gaze to Bethany. Her eyes seemed frantic and frightened.
“Come on, Sapphire,” Bethany pleaded. “Please.”
Sapphire looked at Bethany again, and, slowly, her feet began to move forward.
“That’s my girl! Keep coming, come on!” Bethany outstretched her free hand and placed it on Sapphire’s snout. “It’s only me.”
Sapphire inhaled deeply, processing Bethany’s scent. She paused for a moment, then continued moving forward, a little faster now. Pretty soon, Sapphire had worked her way out for the cage, and Bethany engulfed her in a tight hug. Tears crawled out of Bethany’s eyes as she felt Sapphire loosen up under her arms and give Bethany a slobbery kiss. Dylan laughed and kneeled down to join the hug. Travis hesitated. He wasn’t sure if he was welcome. After all, he had only recently made up with Bethany and Dylan, and he didn’t have a connection with Sapphire like they did. He wanted to be a part of things, he really did. He hated being left out. He suddenly related to the wailing fire alarms, and he desperately tried to fight back his tears. He should have known that he’d never fit in. He felt the strong urge to leave, before he was even more humiliated. He was beginning to head towards the door when he heard Bethany call his name. He turned to see her with an outstretched hand and a warm smile on her face. “Won’t you join us?”
Travis smiled as his eyes brimmed with tears. He walked over to Sapphire and collapsed into the hug, squeezing tight. For once in his life, he felt as if he was finally part of something. He finally fit in, and simply by being himself.
The fire truck sirens from the street broke the moment, and suddenly everyone remembered that their mission wasn’t compete yet. They had to get out, and fast.
Bethany quickly removed the needles protruding from Sapphire’s skin, the clip from her wings, and the plastic around her tail.
“This way,” Dylan motioned, and the rest followed without hesitation. They rushed out of the room and towards the staircase. “There’s an emergency exit at the bottom of the stairs,” Dylan called out. “I saw it earlier.”
When they reached the first floor, they could hear a commotion from the front of the building. “Firefighters,” Travis mumbled.
Dylan led the troop towards the emergency exit as carefully as he could. The firefighters were quickly working their way towards them. They reached the exit and they all piled through. Once outside, Bethany scooped up Sapphire in her arms and, after getting over the shock of how heavy she’d gotten, began on her way towards the back of the building. “This way,” she called over her shoulder. “There are less people this way.”
The friends ran towards the back fence, staying in the shadows. Once they reached the fence, they began to climb. Bethany went first, climbing swiftly and gracefully. Once she reached the top, Dylan handed Sapphire up to her. Bethany took Sapphire and carefully began to climb down the other side. Dylan and Travis followed, rattling the fence as the hoisted themselves over it. When all three of them had reached the ground, they bolted. The street wasn’t too far from the building, and most of the scientists that had cleared out were near the front of the building. They ran as fast as they could down the street, never taking the time to look back.
“Where are we going?” Travis managed through shorts gasps of breath.
“To the train station,” Bethany responded abruptly.
Travis frowned. “But...”
Bethany glanced at her side. “Just trust me, alright?”
And no more was said.
Bethany collapsed onto the bench with a large sigh.
Dylan took a seat next to her and took a deep breath. “We, we did it.”
Bethany laughed. “Darn right we did!”
“And you thought you could do it by yourself,” he smirked.
Bethany reached down to pat Sapphire, who was curled up by her feet. “We all need someone sometimes,” she said, looking over at Travis. “That’s what makes life better. You don’t have to live it alone.”
Travis smiled and leaned up against the train station. “Too true.”
Dylan yawned and lifted his arms over his head in a much needed stretch. “What time is it?”
Travis glanced down at his watch. “It is... 11:37pm,” he stated matter-o-factly. “Dang. It’s late.”
Bethany closed her eyes and nodded. “We can spend the night here,” she said. “We’ll be safe here.”
Travis was a little worried, but he didn’t say anything. He just hoped Bethany was right.
Bethany reached down and grabbed her backpack. “I didn’t have room for too much, but I have a few light fleeces here and food for breakfast.”
Dylan grabbed his backpack, as well. “Oh yeah! I also brought a blanket. Bethany pulled out two brightly colored fleeces and tossed one to Travis. “Here,” she called. He caught the fleece and took a seat on the platform. “Thanks.” He stretched out on the platform and leaned his head against his shoes. “You know, this is the first time I’ve ever spent the night outside of home.”
Bethany looked over at Travis in disbelief. “Are you serious? My family used to go camping all the time, before we moved here to Payton City.”
Dylan laid down on the platform next to Travis and stretched his blanket over himself. “My family never went camping, but one or two nights in the summer we’d set up our tents in the backyard and sleep outside.”
“Man, you guys are lucky,” Travis said. “I wish I could have gone camping.”
Bethany thought for a moment. “Well, consider this your first camping trip, then.”
Travis smiled. “There’s no one else I’d rather go camping with.”
The three friends smiled, happy to be together and to have successfully rescued Sapphire. They thought back on that day, and how so much had happened in only one day. So with satisfied hearts, the three friends drifted off into a well needed sleep.
“Rise and shine gentlemen!”
Travis rolled over and squinted his eyes shut even tighter. “Ugh,” he groaned. “Five more minutes...”
Bethany bent down and ripped Travis’ blanket off. “Nope.”
Travis sat up quickly, shivering. “Hey!”
Bethany shrugged. “Sorry. It’s time to get up. The train will be here soon.”
Travis sighed. “Alright, alright. Gosh. I’m awake.” He yawned and rubbed his eyes. “I guess.”
“Good!” Bethany waked over to where Dylan was sleeping and poked his side with her foot. “Hey. You.”
He growled and rolled out from under her foot. “Go away,” he mumbled.
“Oh come on!” Bethany cried out in disbelief. “You guys are such pessimists.” She gestured towards the sunrise. “It’s such a beautiful day!”
Dylan pulled his blanket over his head. “Well, tell it to come back later. I’m not ready for morning yet.”
Bethany rolled her eyes. “Well, I’m sorry, but you’re going to have to get up anyways. The train will be here soon.”
Dylan groaned loudly and forced his eyes open. “I’m dead, aren’t I?”
Travis laughed. “Nah, not yet.”
“I wouldn’t let that happen,” Bethany smirked.
Dylan sat up and stuffed his blanket back into his backpack. “So, what’s the plan for today, oh fearless leader?”
Bethany bent down and patted Sapphire, who was scratching her side. “Well, we wait here for the train. It’s a supply train, so I figure we can sneak onto one of the boxcars and hitch a ride out of here.”
Travis frowned. “Where are we going?”
Bethany shrugged. “Beats me.” She tossed a stick of beef jerky at Travis and Dylan. “Breakfast.” She looked out at the sunrise. “I guess that all depends on where the train goes and when we decide to get off.”
“So,” Travis took a bite out of his jerky. “When do we come back?”
Bethany and Dylan exchanged glances. “Well, we don’t.”
Travis stopped chewing. “Wait, what?”
Bethany sighed and took a seat next to Travis. “Travis, we can’t come back. What do you think will happen if we return? They’ll take Sapphire away again. I can’t stay here. I have to move on.” She took a deep breath. “If you want to stay, then that’s up to you. But Sapphire and I are going, and you’re more than welcome to come with us.”
Travis frowned and thought a moment. “Dylan, are you going, too?”
Dylan looked down at Sapphire, happily chasing a dragonfly around in circles, playfully shooting little spurts of fire at it. “Well, the only reason I was sticking around here was to fix things with you.” Dylan glanced over at Travis. “But I’ve done that, and knowing Bethany, she’ll be needing my help again soon.”
Bethany smiled.
“So, to answer your question, yes. I’m going, too.”
Travis looked at Dylan, then at Bethany, then at Sapphire. He thought about his dad back at home, so slobbering drunk most of the time that he couldn’t even tell right from left. He thought about the boys back at school, and how they wouldn’t have anything to do with him without Dylan. He thought about the words his mother said about him before she left, that he was a pathetic needy child that would never amount to anything. Then he thought about Dylan, the only true friend he’s ever had. He thought about Bethany, the girl he treated so poorly, but still wanted to be his friend in the end. And he thought about Sapphire, so wonderfully innocent and pure. And suddenly, he didn’t have to think anymore. “A permanent adventure?” He grinned, and his eyes glittered mischievously. “Count me in.”
Bethany laughed and walked over to Travis. “Wonderful.” She leaned over and pecked him on the cheek. “I’m glad you’re on board.”
Travis blushed ferociously and smiled. “Yeah, me too.”
A train whistle poked through the silence, telling the friends that it was time to go. Bethany slid her backpack on her shoulders and scooped up Sapphire in her arms. She led the boys behind the train station, to wait until the train came to a stop, to avoid being seen. They heard the squealing of breaks, and people talking. Bethany silently motioned for Dylan and Travis to follow, and carefully crept toward the front of the station. The train engineer was writing on a clipboard, and two other men were moving bales of hay into the first boxcar. There were ten boxcars, and the trio crept towards the last one, making sure they stayed out of sight. Bethany hoisted Sapphire into the car, and then slid in herself. Travis was next to follow, and lastly Dylan. They scooted to the back of the car and out of sight, just in case the men came to look in the car. But they didn’t.
Before long, the train began to move again. Sapphire excitedly leapt out of Bethany’s arms and ran to the window. She stuck her head out and let her tongue hang loose in the wind. Bethany laughed and ran over. “What are you, a dog?”
Travis laughed with her, and soon, Dylan chimed in. The three stood by the window, looking out at the scenery rushing by, all lost in thought, wondering about what was coming next. But it didn’t matter what it was, because they knew that this was a friendship that would outlast any trials that life could throw their way. They had overcome doubt and insecurity, and all become better people because of it.
Sure, life gets rough sometimes, but it’s always easier with a friend.
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