The Beginning Of All We Know (Book One Of The Known Series)
I have a week until the Operation begins.
I’m nervous, but I’m also excited. Everybody else that turned sixteen got the Operation. On the last day of the week, I’ll be sixteen. My friend, Chris, isn’t so sure it’s a good idea.
“I’ll still be me Chris. Just a little different.”
“A little? All of the friends we did have that went through the Operation, is not them. I’m telling you Crystal, something’s going on.”
Everything he said is true. Our friends from before the Operation are different. They never go and talk to us unless we do. And when we do, they seem to not know who we are. “True, but I won’t change.”
Chris stares me down, his expression firm. His blue eyes now dark for being serious. His black hair combed to a perfect side.
“Crystal. I’ve seen it. You won’t remember me. No one will after you’re gone.”
I shut my mouth. Chris may be a funny, cute, smart, get-along-guy. But he’s way serious about a problem. A problem like this.
“I’m just...I don’t want you to go. To..Leave me behind.”
That got me. I never knew Chris had those sort of feelings for me. “But I have to.”
“No, you don’t. It’s all your choice.”
Which is true. I’ve seen people turn down the Operation. But they’re always sent to somewhere else. A place known for the Unforgiven. Would I rather do that than have a whole new life? I don’t know.
“I promise I won’t.” I regret saying that, because Chris walks away from me. I put my hands in my jacket pockets and I sigh.
A group of Becomers stare at me. Probably from what just happened. I walk towards them, and I realize who they are. Five people. Chelsea, Nathan, Scott, Lindsey, and Sunny.
“Hey.” I say.
“Hi.” Chelsea says, looking me up and down.
“What’re you doing?”
“Standing.” Nathan says.
“I know that. But what’re you gonna do?”
“We’re going to go to a party over at Matt’s in an hour.” Lindsey says, smiling.
“That’s cool.” I look at each of them. So new. So...Different. Maybe Chris was right. “I hope you enjoy it.” I say, starting to walk off.
“We would invite you, but...You’re a Starter.” Scott finally says.
Starter. Is that all I am?
“Thanks, but no thanks.” I walk off, feeling my face burn from embarrassment.
As I walk, I realize where I’m headed. A place I haven’t been to in a year. I take a deep breath, and I knock on the door. Nobody answers. I wait. Nothing. I’m about to leave when the door opens. I stare. He’s so different.
“Hey Josh.” I say.
He remembers me. After all this time. “How are you?” I ask, trying to not make this awkward than it already is.
“I’ve been fine, thank you. You?”
“Fine.” We stand there. So close I could touch him. But I can’t. Rules are rules.
“Your birthday’s coming up.”
I nod, smiling.
“You going to change?”
My smile fades, and I shrug. “I want to, but Chris…” At the sound of his name, I sigh.
Josh stares at me, his green eyes brighter than usual. His blonde hair slicked back like always. “Chris can’t decide for you.”
“Then why make it such a big deal?”
I mess with my hair. “Because I don’t want to ruin everything. I’ll miss what I have now Josh.” I feel my eyes water. Not here. Not with Josh. I wipe my eyes, hoping Josh doesn’t realize it.
“I thought that too. But here I am.”
I flinch. “You don’t miss me?” I feel like I just got shot.
“Of course I do.”
“But you just said-.”
“I miss you more than anyone else Crystal.”
I go silent. Josh goes to place his hand on my face, but stops, forcing his hand back. “I’ll be there if you’re at the Operation. Bye Crystal.” Josh closes the door, and I’m alone again.
I walk away from his house. I put my hood over my head, hearing thunder. As I’m almost home, it starts raining. I’m soaked by the time I reach my house. I open the door as a flash of lightning crosses the sky. I take my jacket off, and I go change into more comfortable clothes. I warm up some food from the fridge, and I look at the clock. 7:30.
I have thirty minutes before it’s time to go to bed. I eat my food in silence. I look out my big window, and I see Becomers are having fun. Probably that party Lindsey talked about at Matt’s. I finish my food, and I wait for the call to be made.
“All Starters head for bedrooms.”
I go to my room, and I crawl into bed.
“Now locking doors.” All the doors in my house shut and click.
“Goodnight Starters. Have sweet dreams.” The call goes off.
I stare up at the ceiling, and I sigh. I put my hands over my face. Do I really want to be a Becomer? Or do I want to be part of the Unforgiven? I place my hands back down, and I close my eyes.
I look around me. My home. The other Starter’s homes. They’re gone. Burned to the ground. Becomers all around are laughing, holding something in their hands.
They did this.
“I told you Crystal!”
I turn around.
As I search the crowd, I see Josh. His face is sad. In his hands are...Wait. Josh isn’t holding anything but his two hands.
“Josh.” Chris looks at him. “Why didn’t you burn these houses like the rest?” Chris was now curious, but serious still.
“Because.” Josh looks into my eyes.” “Because I remember.”
I jolt up, sweat all along my body. I look around. Home. My home is safe. I look at the clock. 6:50. I’ve got ten minutes before the call.
I crawl out of bed, and I stretch, and I yawn. I push my hair out of my face, and I look out my window. Beautiful. But it’ll be different by Friday. Today’s Sunday. I’ve got a full week to make my choice.
“All Starters get up. All Starters get up.” I stand up, and I head for my bedroom door.
“Now unlocking doors.” Click! I open my door, and I go eat breakfast.
As I sit eating, I think about my choice. Then: Josh or Chris? I shake my head.
I finish eating, and I get dressed. I pull my hair up, and I wait.
“All Starters may leave your home. All Starters may leave your home.”
I put my hands in my jacket pockets and I walk down the sidewalk. I spot Chris talking to his older sister May.
I walk to them, and May shuts up whatever she was saying, and says to me, “Hi Crystal.”
Chris turns around.
“Hey May. Chris.”
Chris doesn’t say anything.
“I should be going. Bye Star-Chris.” May walks off, her new Becomer self walking off to other Becomers.
“I’m sorry about yesterday.”
I mess with my hair. “I have until Friday, you know?”
“I spoke to Josh.”
At his name, Chris straightens. “Why?”
“Because you left, and I had no one to go to.”
Chris relaxes, and he touches my shoulder. That’s the good thing about it. Starters can touch. Starters, just not Becomers.
“I’m sorry about that.”
“I forgive you.” We smile at another.
“Do you want to go somewhere?” Chris says, interrupting the silence and smiles.
“Sure. Where to?”
“How about Outside?”
A grin grows across my face. “You always know how to make my day.”
Chris and I walk to the edge of the small town. We look both ways in case some comes walking by. We look the the place before us. Trees. Grass. Freedom.
“Ready?” Chris’s voice shakes.
We run. Side by side. Away from the small town that holds us. Away from being Starters, away from Becomers. I laugh as we run faster.
Finally, when we’re away from the town to see us, we hold another, our hearts racing.
“We did it.” I say.
I let Chris go, and I look at him. Our faces inches apart. “I know how you feel towards me.” I break the silence.
Chris sighs. “I never said anything, because I knew you had feelings for Josh.”
I sigh. “Josh is someone else now Chris.” I feel my shoulders sag. “He tells me he misses me...But he’s new. He doesn’t feel what I feel.” I grit my teeth. Telling the truth is just so hard to do.
“I’m here.” Chris smiles.
“I know you are. And I’m glad you are.” I lean towards him, but I stop. “Chris.”
Chris sighs. “What?”
“What if we stayed here?”
Chris’s eyes widen, his blue eyes shining. “That could work.”
“But what about the Operation?”
“Don’t you see? When we’re here, we’re us. No Starters, no Becomers, no rules. Just us.”
I nod, finally knowing he gets where I’m going with this.
“We can’t exactly tell them, because we’re being watched.” I say, thinking.
“What about a note?” Chris suggests.
“That could work.”
Ding! Ding! Ding!
“Announcements!” We both say.
We run. Run way faster before we did. We arrive at the town, and we catch our breath. Then we walk to the water fountain, where people are crowded together.
“Hello all! I am Professor Daniels! We have noticed that Starters and Becomers are talking! We have realized that if you keep doing so, you will be headed to the Unknown!”
I gasp, so do others.
“So I ask of you! Please go to your own kind, and everything will be as it should be!”
I see Josh to my left, and his face is pale. His eyes catch mine, and I look away.
“They can’t do this!” I say as everybody parts ways.
“The Unknown? That’s ridiculous!” I’m furious. “Just because we’re all different doesn’t mean we have to be separated!” I kick at a coke can, sending it flying across the road, and hitting a pole.
“Maybe we should listen to them.”
I whirl around, glaring Chris down. “What about May? What about Josh? What about everybody else we lost, and now we can’t even see?!” I’m crying now. I’ve never cried in front of anyone before.
“Don’t you realize if we change, we can actually see them?”
Chris looks away.
“I’m going to do the Operation.”
Chris jerks his head back to look at me, and he holds me close to him, taking me all into him. “Please don’t.”
I close my eyes, tears staining my face.
“I love you the way you are now. If you change, they’ll take all of you away from me.”
I shudder, staying silent.
“You’re everything to me Crystal.”
I can’t take this anymore. I push myself away from him. “Once your birthday comes up, choose the Operation. I’ll be waiting.”
I run away from him. From everything.
As I lay in bed, and I look out my window, I notice that the moon is more bright than usual. “Call.” I say.
“Open the bathroom door please.”
Click! I walk into the bathroom, push the lid to the toilet down, and I sit.
“No, thank you.”
The call goes away. I sit there, and I feel my dinner about to come up. I lift the lid, and I puke until I couldn’t puke no more. I wipe my mouth with a towel, and I flush the toilet.
I shudder as I stare into the mirror. A short girl with brown eyes, brown, long hair stares back at me. I touch my face. I’m so ugly. I look away. I crawl back into bed. I take one last back at the moon, and I close my eyes.
“You’re so pathetic Starter!” A voice yells.
“You need to get a life!” Another voice yells.
“Leave her alone!”
I recognize that voice. I turn around. Josh. I go to him, but I can’t. I’m stuck. “Josh!”
“Hahahahahahaha!” Becomers laugh and point at me. I start to cry.
I see Becomers beat Josh as I just stand here.
“Run Crystal!” Josh yells.
“No!” I wake up, heart pounding. “Only a dream. Only a dream.” I shake in terror. Monday. Today is Monday. Four more days. I get out of bed, and I look at the clock. 9:27. Wow. I must’ve been very tired. I make breakfast, get dressed, and head outside.
I find Chris on my steps. “What do you want?” I spat, not meaning to.
“I came to apologize.”
I cross my arms. “I’m waiting.”
“I’m sorry, you were right. Choose Operation, because I will too next year.”
I sigh, nodding. “Okay. Forgive you.”
“Good. Because we need to talk about the Operation.”
“I’m not gonna hold you back for what you choose. Just need for you to know something about it is all.”
I think it through. “Fine.”
Chris takes me to his house, and I see a huge screen in the living room. “Uh, Chris?”
“Hello Master Chris.” The screen calling says.
“Hello Edgar. Show me the information to the Operation.”
“Will do Sir.” The screen before me starts changing, files being opened one after the other. “Here you go Sir.”
“Thank you Edgar.” Chris touches the screen, and a document pulls up. “This here shows everything that happens during the Operation. Would you like to hear?”
I stare at the screen, Chris, then the screen. Do I really want to know? “Yes.” I say, without really thinking it through.
“Edgar, please list all the things on this document.”
“Will do. One: Erases all memory except people. Two: Makes the cells in the body more stronger than usual. Three: Changes some appearance. Four: Has more knowledge and five: Thinks though situations or problems more necessary.”
“Thank you Edgar. So?” Chris looks at me.
I’m speechless. I have four days before the Operation, and I just now know what happens to me after it? I am so confused right now. “I...I don’t know what to say. I…” I mess with my hair, frustrated all over. “I’m still going to do it Chris. No matter what you show or tell me.”
“I know I won’t change your mind. But I’m only warning you for what will happen.”
I nod. “I understand.”
Chris says to the screen, “Shut all files, and shut down.” “Yes Sir.” The screen shows files decreasing by the minute, then black. Chris presses a button on the side of the screen, and the screen gets smaller until it’s the size of his hand.
“Whoa.” Is all I can say.
“Pretty cool, huh?”
“It was given to me.”
“By who?” I regret asking, because his face goes pale. “My dad.”
“Well. That’s all I wanted to show you.” He wants me out now.
“Okay. Bye Chris.”
I walk out of his house, and I head to mine.
Three more days left. I feel so small as the Operation comes closer. I shudder as I see Becomers all around. I can’t even talk to them. What’s the point? I can’t even talk to the people I know now. The Operation will only make it worse than it already is. I sigh.
I see Becomers staring at Starters, and Starters staring back. I know exactly what they’re thinking: I wish I could talk to you. I keep walking until I reach the building that controls the Operation. I open the door, and as I enter, I’m met with freezing cold air in the face. At least I’m wearing a jacket.
“May I help you?” A young woman at the entrance desk says.
“Yes. I was wondering if I could move my Operation to next week if that’s okay?”
The young woman stares at me, which I stare back. “I’ll ask Professor Daniels to come down here.”
“Thank you.” I go sit where a sign says: ‘Starter’s Waiting Room’. Can people be anymore rude?
“Miss Lane?” I look up to find Professor Daniels staring at me. I get up from the chair, and I head to him. “I see you have a very important question.”
“Come with me then.” I follow Professor Daniels to a room that has a table with a plastic sheet on it. “Sit, if you may.”
I sit on the table, the plastic sheet crinkling from beneath me.
“So you want to move your Operation to next week?”
“Why, I may ask?”
“I don’t think I’m ready for it yet. I want to be a Becomer, but I also want to be a Starter for a little while longer.”
I be quiet as Professor Daniels nods his head. “I’ve had many ask that before, and we always handled it.”
That doesn’t quite sound too good.
“But I’ll say yes to your question.”
I sit up, and I say, “Really?”
“As long as you follow the rules for the rest of this week, and next week.”
“Thank you so much.”
“No problem.” Professor Daniels leads me back to the main entrance. “Take care.”
“You too!” I run out of the building, more excited than ever. I have more days to be a Starter. I’ve never been so happy to be one either.
As I walk on home, I see Chris and Josh talking at my doorstep. Uh-oh. I take a deep breath, and I say, “Hey Chris!”
“Hey Crystal.” Chris grumbles.
Josh stares at me as I try to ignore him. “My Operation moved to next Friday.”
Chris’s face lights up. “That’s amazing!” Chris hugs me. “I mean, er, I hope you’ll still love it?”
“Crystal.” I ignore Josh, feeling hurt.
“Josh wants you.”
“Why don’t you talk to him?”
“Why not?” Both of them ask.
“Rules are rules.”
Chris’s expression went blank, and Josh walks off, leaving me to not really explain everything. As Josh’s figure is finally gone, I fall into Chris’s arms, crying.
“What’s the matter Crystal?”
“I have to f-f-follow the r-r-rules if I w-w-want the Op-p-peration next week.” As I cry into Chris’s shoulder, he rubs my back in circles.
“Come on. Let’s get you inside.” Chris helps me by making me dinner, while I sit on my couch wiping away the tears. As Chris hands me dinner, I eat with such peace. The warmth of the food filling my tummy. Chris watches me, which makes me feel all weird inside. As I finish, I explain to him all that happened.
“So all you did is ask?”
“And all you have to do is follow the rules?”
Chris thinks for a moment. “It sounds like...Well...It sounds strange to me.”
I nod. Because I agree. “That is a little strange.”
“Do you want to search about it?”
“You can do that?”
“How else did I get the Operation information?”
Now I feel stupid. “Go ahead then.”
Chris took out the small screen, pushed a button the side, and it became huge like it was in Chris’s house. “Edgar, search up why the Operations are able to be moved to another day.”
“Will do Sir.” The screen searches, and multiple answers pop up.
“Read them out Edagr.”
“Professors and Scientists move the Operation to another day because they have no other choice. If they deny it to move it, the victim will most likely run away from wat they are, and escape to the Outside for a newer life that they can control all on their own.”
“Thank you Edgar.”
“We’re victims.” Is the two words I can say. “We’re...Wait. What if…” I look at Chris. “What if we’re being tested on?” My question makes us go silent.
“Edgar, search up what the Operation is really about.”
“Yes Sir.” The screen goes to another search, and an answer finally pops up.
“Please read it Edgar.”
“The Operation is a way to see how the body can deal with new, stronger cells. If the body can’t process all of the new cells, the body will shut down, and the old cells will take over. If the new cells do somehow work, the body will be processed to act stronger, and process through situations and problems as the cells travel throughout the body.”
“Thank you Edgar. You may close all programs and shut down.” The screen does what Chris says, and turns black.
“I...What if my body can’t take the new cells?” I shake from fright. “The Operation could…”
“No. Don’t think like that.”
“They’re using innocent people Chris. Innocent like you and I.” I mess with my hair, wanting none of this. “What happens to the ones that the new cells wouldn’t work?” I probably already knew the answer.
“Like it said, the old cells take over. They’re probably just normal people.
“Normal.” I smirk. “Nothing in this world is normal Chris. We probably have a family that misses is somewhere out there. You met your dad. I never knew my own parents.”
“Once. I met him once.”
“What do you mean by that?”
Chris sighs. “Remember when we were little, we used to wander around a lot?”
I smile. “Yeah. I remember that.”
“Well, when we could go near the Outside, I saw a man. Tall, bright blue eyes, black hair. Just like me. And he told me, ‘Christopher, I know you don’t remember me, but I want you to have this’. And he handed me Edgar. Then he said, ‘Don’t let anyone see it unless you trust them’. Then he walked away, leaving me standing there with Edgar in my hands. I never forgot that day.” I nod, processing all this.
“Why did he give it to you?”
Chris shrugs. “Just keep it safe is all, I guess.”
I think for a moment. “What if there is important information in Edgar? Have you ever checked for that?”
Chris takes Edgar out, and he turns him on. “Edgar, show me any files you have that I haven’t seen yet.”
“I’m afraid I can’t do that Sir.”
“From orders Mister Scott Guy, you have to find him to access it.”
“Scott Guy...Chris Guy...He must be your dad!”
“Edgar, can you show me where Scott is?”
The screen goes to a map.
“That’s our town.”
“And there’s the Outside.”
A red blinking light goes off to the right side of our town. “Oh, my God.”
“Why is your dad in the Unknown? That doesn’t make any sense. Unless…” I trail off. “What if he was one of them that had their old cells take over? That could be possible.” I keep trying to piece everything together as Chris stares off into space. “Chris, wake up! We need to figure this out.”
“I...I need to rest.” Chris shuts Edgar off, and he falls asleep on my couch.
But he’s out. I groan. I look at the clock. 7:57. I look down at Chris. I grab a blanket from my closet and I place it on him. He’ll be okay.
I head to my room. Before I could hear the call, I close my eyes, and I’m out.
I look up. “Yes?”
“I’m Dr. Guy.”
I shake his hand. “Doctor?”
“Yes. I take care of the people who’s body couldn’t take the new cells. I help them come back to who they are by getting their memory back.”
I nod. “But why in the Unknown?”
“This is the only place that’s not being watched by the Watchers.”
“Watchers?” I wrinkle my nose.
“Yes. They’re the ones who watch us all, and they basically are doing an experiment on us.” Dr. Guy’s expression went cold, like he doesn’t like this subject.
But I have to keep this going. “Are we victims of any sort?”
“I wouldn’t call it quite like that. But close enough. You and your friends, including my son Christopher, are prisoners.”
“Prisoners?” I whisper. “That can’t be...You have to help us!”
“Follow the map Crystal. It’ll lead the way towards safety.”
I open my eyes, tears crawling down my face.
“Oh, Chris!” I cry on his chest, breathing hard. “We’re prisoners Chris.”
“Who told you that?”
“Dr. Guy, your dad, in my dream. He said to follow the map to safety. We have to leave now! The Watchers are watching our every move!”
“Calm down, it was only a dream.”
“Only a dream?! Chris, that was a message!”
Chris looks away, shaking his head.
“Wait. What’s today?”
Chris places his hand on mine. “Crystal...It’s Saturday.”
“What?! Last time I checked, it was Tuesday!”
I go quiet. I can’t stand it when Chris yells at me.
“Do you know where you are right now?”
“Yeah. My...Room…” I look around. This is not my room. “Where are we?” I then notice a needle in my arm, pumping blood in my arm. “What happened Chris?” I whisper.
“On Wednesday, you wouldn’t wake up. You just laid there like a dead person...Then on Thursday you started screaming...Then Friday...You...You ran to the Outside...And...You just...You lost a lot of blood from scraping and cutting yourself when you were running. I...I couldn’t stop you until you finally fell down on the grass...I thought you were gone...But here you are.”
I was confused and speechless. “Why would I do that, why did I do it?”
“The doctors told me…” Chris sighs.
“Told you what?”
“You’re growing new cells into your system without the Operation.”
I look at him, mouth open. “Why...How...What?”
“The doctors don’t quite know how it happened, but I do. Edgar and I searched. A lot.”
“What did you find?”
“Ask Edgar himself.” Chris points forward, and a huge screen with a document is up.
“I thought people weren’t supposed to see that.”
“The door’s locked, and there aren’t any windows.”
“Go ahead Edgar.”
“When the body processes new cells into the body without the Operation, means that the body is slowly changing itself into a newer process that can never be close to what the Operation does. If the new cells are fully developed, the being will be a new creation of all being kind. These beings are called Reminders. For the new cells form into the old cells, giving off memory that they never knew happened.”
“There you go. That’s what’s wrong with you.”
I stare at the screen, my face blank. :So...Memories are coming back to me.” Not exactly a question, more like an answer.
I take a long, deep breath, and let it out. “That means I can’t go through the Operation. I have to deny it.”
“If you go through the Operation, they’ll see your cells.”
“That means don’t go, duh!”
“But. If they do see them, they’ll only put more into you, seeing what’ll happen.”
“What if they don’t see them?”
“Then you’re good.”
I sigh. “Starting tomorrow is my final week Chris. I’m really doing this.” I rub my face, feeling tired. I yawn.
“Maybe you should rest.” Chris turns off the lights.
“Please don’t leave.” I say through a yawn.
“Okay.” Chris sits down, and I take his hand in mine. “Sweet dreams Crystal.”
I close my eyes.
I squeal with delight as a furry creature with long, floppy ears and a shaggy tail comes towards me.
“See here Crystal? This is a dog. D-o-g.”
“Good job Crystal. What color is the dog?”
“Good. I’m so glad you’re learning so well.” A man picks me up, and he holds me close. “I love you my Crystal.”
“I love you too my Daddy!” A door opens, and a young boy walks in. “Christopher’s here to play.”
“Yay! Chris is here!” My dad sets me down, and I go to Chris, hugging him to me. “Hello Chris!”
Chris hugs me back. “Hi Crystal!” Chris and I play as my dad and another man work together.
“I’m telling you Scott, Crystal’s learning ability is getting stronger. She can already spell without looking at the word.”
I hand Chris a toy car, and he gladly takes it. “My Daddy has a car! It’s better than this toy car!
My daddy and Scott stare at me. “I told you! She’s teaching herself every day about these things.”
“Christopher’s starting to draw out these ‘plans’ he thinks are going to save the world.”
“I see. Not a normal child thing.”
I look at Chris and say, “Did you know Daddy’s a professor that’ll change this whole world from being experimented?”
Chris’s eyes light up. “Mine too! I always make these plans for him that’ll help!”
My daddy and Scott stare at us, open mouthed.
“I think it’s happening George.”
My daddy looks at Scott. “I think it has already begun.”
I jolt up, and the first thing I say is, “Hand me paper and pencil.”
Chris gives them to me out of a drawer, and I start drawing. I label things like ‘Start’, ‘Rest’, ‘Danger’, and ‘End’. Once I’m done, I title it. ‘The Escape Plan’.
Chris takes it from me, hand shaking. “That’s my…”
“Your plan, I know.”
“How did you…”
“I just had a memory Chris. Our dads are professors or doctors. They knew another. That’s how we’re so close. I had a learning ability, and you had the plans.”
“So you’re saying…” Chris looks at me.
“That we’re both Reminders, and are both about to do something crazy? Yeah.”
It’s Sunday. I have until Friday when the Operation begins. I pack my stuff in a bag. Well, the things I do have. I put bottles of water in the bag. I put fresh food in a freeze fresh bag. I put some clothes in a bag. I put my shoes on, put the strap of the bag around my neck, and I open the door. I look around. It was almost bedtime for the Starters. I slowly close the door.
I walk silently to Chris’s house. As I reach his house, all the houses around me go click! I pause. Did Chris make it out? I hear a shuffle, and I see Chris holding a bag of his own.
“Ready?” Chris whispers.
I nod. I follow Chris.
As we walk, I notice the buildings are getting farther away. As we carry on, I also notice trees all around us. Good. That means we won’t be spotted that much. As we finally arrive where we can’t see our small town, Chris takes Edgar out. But he’s not huge as he usually is. He’s a little bigger than Chris’s hand.
“Edgar, show us a map to the Unknown.”
“Yes Sir.” The screen pulls up a map, a red dot showing where the Unknown is. Then there’s a blue dot.
“That’s us.” Chris points at the blue dot.
“We’re not far.”
“Only an hour away. Come on, let’s go.”
Chris and I walk on, Edgar showing us the way.
I grab two bottles of water out as we take a small break. I hand Chris one, which he takes gladly. I take a long, cold sip. So good.
“How far are we from it?”
Chris looks at the screen. “Twenty, thirty minutes or so.”
I nod, taking another sip.
“Let’s get going again.”
I nod. I put the cap on my bottle, and I hold it as we walk. I step over huge rocks, stumps, logs, etc. I about fall when Chris stops suddenly.
“What’re you-?” Then I see it. A figure is standing before us, holding another screen as Edgar.
“Dad?...” Chris says, shutting Edgar off, putting him away.
“Dad.” Chris hugs his dad close to him.
I shake Chris’s dad’s hand. “Dr. Guy.”
“Please. Call me Scott.”
Chris smiles, dimples showing. I haven’t seen his real smile since we were kids.
“Come, come. We gotta get to safety.” Scott leads us to the Unknown. Deep tunnels cover the ground.
“What’re they for?” Chris asks.
“They were for emergencies. Now they just stay there.”
We follow on, until I hear, “Crystal?”
I look up. A brown haired, brown eyed, tall man looks at me, tears in his eyes. “Dad!” I run to him. I jump into his open arms, and I cry with joy.
“You’re okay my Crystal.”
“I always knew this day would come.” I sniffle, letting my dad go. “I had a memory Dad. What you said. It has begun.”
My dad looks at me. “Are you…”
I nod. “A Reminder? Crazy, right?”
My dad laughs. “It’s amazing.”
“I’m also a Reminder. Just getting started with it.” Chris says.
“And Dad? I have to leave soon.”
“I have the Operation.”
“But your birthday was last week?”
“I moved it to this Friday.”
“Impossible.” Scott says.
“Let’s go inside. I need to rest.” Chris says.
My dad and Scott lead us to a building not too far. Chris and I sit down on a couch once we’re inside. I drink the rest of my water. I take some food out, and I hand Chris some. As we eat, I notice my dad and Scott staring at us.
“What?” I ask.
“You two have changed so much.”
“Well, duh. We’re teens now.”
“The last time I saw you two, you were just playing with another, and we were just working.” My dad seemed to be on the verge of tears, but he holds it in.
“Wait. The last time you saw us...Was that the day when you said that it was beginning?” I ask.
My dad nods.
“So that’s why that memory came to me.” I whisper.
“What do you mean?” Chris asks.
“It must’ve been a message.” I set my food down.
“What?” Chris was now confused, but curious.
“Think Chris!” I get up, and I pace around the room. “My Operation is this Friday. All that research we did. It’s warning me, warning us.”
Chris seemed to be getting the idea. “But, because you’re a Reminder, your memory somehow connects to what is happening.” Chris finishes off.
Chris and I look at our dads.
“Do you still have the files from that day?” I ask.
“We burned them so the Watchers wouldn’t get them.” My dad said sadly.
“Before we burned them, I put them in a special spot.”
I think. Stop. I look at Chris.
“Edgar.” We both says.
Chris takes Edgar out, and he turns him on. This time the screen is huge, the way it’s supposed to be. “Edgar, show me any files I haven’t seen yet.”
“Like I said Sir, those-.”
“It’s okay Edgar. I’m here.”
“Yes, it’s me. Been a long time, hasn’t it?”
Chris smiles, so do I.
“You may open the files now Edgar. It’s time.”
The screen goes to a hidden folder, and all sorts of documents pop up.
“Please read Document One.”
“‘I have come to realize all that we have done, searched, just finding all these interesting children that have a life that is now going to fade away.’” Edgar pauses, and goes to the next document. “‘For what George has written is true, but all these children have the ability to do extraordinary things that no one else can. My son, Christopher, can make plans for anything that comes in his mind. George’s daughter, Crystal, has the ability to teach herself ahead of time when she’s only a young one. I have the theory that I have come to realize that these children is part of the new cycle/generation that we’re beginning to come to know.’”
“Thank you Edgar. That’s fine for now.”
“So...That’s why we’re being experimented on. The abilities we have that are greater than the past life?”
“That’s about right, yes.” Scott says.
“Wow. Thats…” I trail off.
“Just wow.” Chris finishes for me.
“Well. My Operation’s Friday, Chris has his old ‘Escape Plan’, and we have you.”
“What do we do?”
“I say, let’s get to working.”
“Just relax, and you’ll be fine.” My dad says.
“Yes. Exactly what George said. If you freak out, the process won’t work, and the machine will shut down.”
I relax on the table attached to a scanner-looking-thing.
“Are you ready?”
A tube shuts over me, and the table starts to move. As I’m placed in front of the scanner, I open my eyes wide, trying not to move when the scanner goes across my body. The table moves away from the scanner, and back into place. The tube opens, and I get off the table, feeling queasy.
“Okay. So. What are my results?” I ask, rubbing my head.
Scott sits in a chair at his desk, typing on a computer. “Well. Your results are beyond when it comes to the Operation.”
“Is that bad?”
“Not exactly. Just means that you’re too powerful to take on the new cells.”
I look at Chris, worried. “What does that suppose to mean?”
Scott stops typing, and he turns his chair around where he’s facing me. “Crystal. Your cells, new and old, connect together in a way that could make nobody else can. Being a Reminder is a special thing, but it’s also dangerous.”
I gulp. “D-d-dangerous?” Chris is at my side now, holding me close as I catch my breath.
“Yes.” My dad joins in. “Your ability to learn so quickly can cause many conflicts with other people. They’ll realize you for what you are once you can show them what you’re made of.”
I grab hold of Chris’s arm, balancing myself. “Is today Monday?” I mumble against Chris’s shoulder.
“I want to sleep.”
“Of course. Take the couch.”
Chris sits on the couch as I lay down, I lay my head on his leg. I take his hand in mine. “Night Chris.”
“Sweet dreams Crystal.”
I close my eyes.
I open my eyes.
Josh is staring at me, smiling. “Welcome Crystal. You are now a Becomer.” Josh says, holding me close to him.
“Josh? What’s going on?” I look around the room.
“You just finished your Operation. You’re one of us now.”
Something inside me wanted to be happy, but something’s telling me this is wrong.
“No.” I whisper.
I look at Josh. “No.” I say louder.
“What do you mean ‘no’? You said yes.”
“No. I never did. I’m still a Starter.” I hop off the table, and I head for the door. But I stop at the door, turn my head to Josh, and say, “Better yet. I’m a Reminder.”
“Why do you have to leave so early Crystal? There’s still time.”
“No Dad, there isn’t.”
Chris hugs his dad goodbye, so do I.
“I promise I’ll come back as soon as I can.”
Chris and I run back the way we came, not even stopping for a break.
“Good thing it’s morning.” Chris says.
We keep walking until we find his house.
“Meet me at my house.” I say.
I walk on, looking around. I sure didn’t miss this place. I arrive at my house, and I open my door to find Josh on my couch. I meant to say “Get out”, but Josh stops me by holding me close to him.
“They want you Crystal.”
“Them. The ones who change us!”
“Why do they want me?” I was starting to become afraid.
Then Chris walks in, glaring at Josh. “What do you want?”
“I don’t want anything! I’m just warning her!”
“They moved her Operation to today.”
“What?!” I push Josh away. “My dream! You were there!” I point at Josh. “Wait.” I look at Josh, really look at him, and I gasp. “You did this?”
“What? Me? No!”
I look at him again. “Are you lying to me?”
Josh looks into my eyes. “No.”
I sigh. “He’s telling the truth.”
“How do you know?”
“Everytime he lies, he always looks away, or he keeps his head to the floor when he’s talking.”
Josh grins, so do I.
“Well. Hate to break the moment, but: Your Operation is today!” Chris yells.
“So, what’re you going to do?”
“The Escape Plan, duh.” I say, grinning.
“Oh, yeah. That’s right.”
“What escape plan?” Josh asks, confused.
I pull out the sheet, and I explain it to Josh. “Can you try to get as much people as possible?”
Josh sighs. “I’ll try.”
“Good. Because I’m going to the Operation building.”
“What?!” Chris and Josh both yell.
“I’m only going to destroy the things they use to change people is all.”
Josh sighs, but Chris was serious now. “You can’t go.”
“I am. And you are going to help Josh get people to escape from all this.”
Chris growls, then he nods.
“Good. Let’s get going then.”
Chris and Josh head one way, while I head to the other.
I run towards the Operation building, and I slow my pace as I enter the building. “I’m here for my Operation.” I say loudly.
“Come. They’re waiting.” Professor Daniels says.
I follow him to the biggest room in the building. A huge table with a scanner waits for me. Two other doctors were getting the shots ready to put in me that’ll change my life forever.
“Doctors. All yours.” Professor Daniels leaves the room, leaving me with these doctors who live a life changing people for who they really are.
“Excuse me, when do we start?” I ask, pretending to be impatient.
“In just a moment.”
“Well, I’m waiting.”
Both doctors turn around.
“Do you really want this?”
“Uh, duh!” I wave my arms in the air, like a sign for “Hurry!”
The doctors go back to their job.
Then I come up with something. I walk over to a glass box, and I touch it. It was warm.
“Don’t touch that!” One doctor says.
I place my hand down. “Sorry!” I say, sighing.
“I’m going to go get everything else.” The doctor goes, and does whatever he said he was going to do.
I slowly creep up to the other doctor, and I pretend to trip over myself, falling onto her.
“Ah!” She falls onto the counter, and everything shatters. “No!” All of the shots, liquids, etc. were all destroyed. The doctor whirls around, anger in her eyes.
“Oops?” I say.
The other doctor comes walking in, and he stops, mouth open. The other doctor was too frustrated to explain what happened, so I was sent out.
“Come back Friday.”
Good. Because that was my plan.
It was quiet in my small town, nothing was here but doctors, professors, and scientists.
I walk towards the Outside, and I follow the path that leads to freedom. Once I’m close, I hear people talking, people laughing. Once I arrive, people cheer, clapping their hands. I smile at them all, feeling happy.
“It’s so good to be free.” I say to Chris once I find him talking to May.
I look for Josh, but he’s not with the crowd. I keep walking until I find him standing, staring at the beyond of the Outside.
“Do you think we did the right thing Crystal?” Josh whispers.
I stand beside him. “Of course. Why do you ask?”
Josh sighs. “I know there are Watchers out there, I’ve always known since the day we were taken away from our family by them.”
I gape at him. “How do you know all this Josh?”
“Because.” Josh looks at me. “I’m a Reminder.”
I go silent. Josh? A Reminder? No way. “How did you get through the Operation without them knowing?”
“I didn’t worry about it.”
“At all. I’m not the type that worries a lot like most people. I just go with the flow is all.”
I nod, because I understand. “What do you remember Josh?”
Josh looks back to the Outside. “My family. My friends.”
“I only remember my Dad and Chris’s dad.”
Josh nods. “Family and friends.”
“Crystal!” I turn around to find Chris running to me, face red.
“One of the Becomers!”
We run back to the crowd surrounding a Becomer who is laid out on the ground, eyes open wide, shaking. I kneel down to her, and the first thing I say is, “She’s paralyzed.”
The crowd murmurs a lot.
“Why? How?” Chris says.
I look to the sky. “The Watchers. They’re coming.”
At that, these helicopters come toward us.
“Everybody stay calm!” I yell.
They do. One of the helicopters land near us, and a woman comes out. “Crystal Lane?”
The woman stares me down. Two soldiers were behind her. “You’re coming with us.” The woman nods her head, and the two soldiers grab me on each side.
“You take her, you take me!” Chris yells.
“Very well. Bring them all.” The woman goes back to the helicopter.
All around me, everybody was being grabbed.
“This is all my fault.” I whisper as they put us in helicopters.
“Welcome aboard Crystal Lane. I’m so glad to finally meet you.”
“In person, that is.” I mumble.
“Of course I’ve seen you on cameras, you are quite remarkable.”
I growl. “What do you want Watcher?”
“Oh, nothing really. Just to find out what gives you such an ability to learn so quickly.”
I growl again.
“Calm down Crystal.” Chris says beside me.
“Yes, yes. Listen to your dear, good friend.”
“Who are you?” Josh demands.
“So demanding, aren’t you? My name is Grace Beliner, top Watcher.”
“I think we can already guess that.” I was starting to get furious with this woman.
“Oh, Sweetie. This is only the beginning. Well, your beginning, really.”
I mess with my hair, waiting for something to happen.
As we fly pass by many things, I notice there are other buildings.
“Is that another town?” Chris asks, pointing where I’m looking.
“Yes, but it’s abandoned.”
“So is our town.” I mumble.
As we carry on, I lay my head on Chris’s shoulder. Despite all the noise from the helicopter, I close my eyes, I fall asleep.
“Welcome to the new generation.”
I look around, expression excited. “This is amazing.” I say, looking at all the beautiful mountains, streams, trees, flowers. “You made all this?” I ask in wonder.
“No. You and your friends did. The abilities that each of you have is more amazing than the past life ever was.”
“That’s awesome.” I laugh, picking up flowers. “How did we do it?”
“You and your friends connected your abilities to make one, and this happened. Making a world full of possibility.”
I smell the flowers. Sweet. “How long has it been like this?” I ask, throwing the flowers toward the sky, the wind taking them away.
I stare at her. “It just started?”
“Ever since you had the Operation, everything’s been different.”
I look around, taking in the view. “Who are you?” I ask the woman.
But she was gone.
“Wake up Crystal. We’re here.”
I open my eyes, and the sigh in front of me is amazing. “What is this place?” I ask.
“Home.” Josh answers my question.
Houses were built up, cars and trucks in driveways, mailboxes all around. Everybody cheers, heading towards the home they do remember. I go to mine.
I stand on my porch. My home. I put my hand on the knob. Ice cold. I sigh, and I open the door. Cold air wraps me in. I close the door, and I look around.
Perfect. Just the way I remember it.
I walk around my house, touching everything. I see a door with a flower on it. I open the door. My room. Stuffed animals, dolls, play houses, drawings, story books, everything I remember is still here. I sit on my bed. Pink blankets and pillows call my name. I lay down, and I smile.
Never in my life have I been complete.
“You are here today because you have abilities that no one else can do.” Grace says to all of us. “Today we will help find if you’re a Reminder, or you’re a person who is part of The Lost.”
Murmurs go throughout the crowd.
“We will start by putting a liquid called finder.” Soldiers with shots come out. “Now. If you could form three lines, it’ll be much easier for us.”
Everybody starts forming into three separate lines. I follow Chris, holding onto his arm for dear life. As the shots increased, the lines decreased.
When it was Chris’s turn, he held up his arm, and the soldier put the shot in him. Chris showed no pain.
When it was my turn, I rolled up my jacket sleeve, and the soldier took my arm gently. The liquid was blue, and the soldier put the needle in my arm. It doesn’t hurt, but I feel kind of upside-down.
Once everyone is done, we go back to being a crowd.
“Well done everyone.” Grace says. “Now. We will send a wave of Dizzy to see if you’re a Reminder or The Lost.” As Grace says that, the lights go out.
Some of us gasp. Then I smell it. It was a smell that makes you want to smell flowers. But then there was an after smell. A smell that was like death.
“Carrie!” Someone shouts.
Thud! Thud! Thud!
I reach out to find Chris, but I trip and fall over something. But it was someone. I nudge the person. No response. I now realize they must be The Lost. I stand up as the lights come on.
Almost everyone was on the ground...Dead?
“As you can see, these people are The Lost. They are now asleep from the Dizzy.”
I sigh with relief.
“Now. There are only six of you.”
I look around me. Grace is right. The six standing was me, Chris, Josh, Sunny, Matt and Mason.
“Come with me.”
Sunny, Matt, and Mason walk ahead of us as we follow Grace. Soldiers surrounded us. I grab Chris’s hand, I squeeze it hard. Chris squeezes back.
“You are now part of the new generation. Congratulations.” Grace claps and smiles.
“What?” Sunny asks, fists raised. “What?” She says again.
“Now, calm down.”
“Why? You knocked our friends out! Why should we listen to you?” Sunny was furious, face red.
“She’s got a point.” Matt says.
“I agree.” Mason says, nodding.
“Decide what you want. You are Reminders. You can’t change who you are.”
“What if we did?” Josh asks.
I stare at him. He ignores me.
“Then you will destroy not just yourself, but the abilities you have.”
Josh slowly nods.
“Now. We done here?”
All of us nod. Grace and the soldiers leave.
“Great! Now we’re stuck here with two Starters!” Sunny complains.
I jerk my head up. “Excuse me. Right now we are equal. No Becomers, no Starters. Reminders, may I remind you.” I snap.
Sunny shuts up.
“What’re we supposed to do now?” Mason asks, stretching.
“Let’s get to know another.” Chris finally says.
“Good idea.” I say.
Chris and I sit on the floor. The rest sit too, forming a circle.
“Let’s ask questions.” Chris says.
“Okay.You start Chris.”
Chris points at me.
Mason: “Tater tots.”
Me: “Pizza, duh.”
“We got some pizza lovers.”
“Person you miss most?”
Sunny: “My dog?”
Matt: “Baby bro.”
Chris: “Big sis.”
Me: “My whole family, if that counts.”
“Looks like we can get along.” Sunny says, smiling at me.
I can’t help but smile back.
“I don’t know about ya’ll. But I’m tired.” Mason says, yawning.
“Same.” I say.
“Let’s go find another place to rest.” Matt says.
“No need to.” A voice from a speaker says. “Beds are already there.”
I turn around. Six beds waiting. “I found them.”
We each run for a bed.
Chris and I lay next to another on separate beds. “Night Chris.”
“Sweet dreams Crystal.”
We reach to another, joining hands. I smile, closing my eyes.
“I am a Reminder.” I hear myself say. “Nothing will ever change for who or what I am.” I take in a deep breath. “My name is Crystal Lane, and I am a Reminder.”
I hear clapping and cheering as I walk off the stage.
“Welcome Crystal. You are the first in the new generation.”
I open my eyes to find a scanner in my face. I don’t freak out. I felt the scanner finish, and when the table pulls away from the scanner, I sit up. Grace, Chris. Josh, Sunny, Matt, Mason, and two soldiers were staring at me.
“The dream you just had. Was that the future?”
“Interesting.” Grace stands before me. “I have one question to ask you.”
I look into her blue eyes.
“Are you ready for your Operation?”
I look away, and I look at the others. Sunny was smiling big. Matt and Mason both did a thumbs up. Josh only nods. But Chris...He was staring at the floor, nodding.
“I guess I am.” I hear myself say.
“Is there anything you want to say to your friends?”
Friends. I have more than one. I get off the table, and I stand before them. “I am a Reminder. Nothing will change for who, or what, I am. My name is Crystal Lane, and I am a Reminder.”
Clapping and cheering. Chris looks away, his expression painful.
“May Chris walk with me until we get there?” I look at Grace.
“Yes, he may come.”
I say bye to the others. “I’m going to miss them. But most of all, I’m going to miss you Chris.”
“I know. I’ll miss you too.”
“We’re here.” A huge room with a table, and the biggest scanner I’ve ever seen is waiting for me.
I hug Chris like I never had before. Chris held me close, his face buried in my shoulder. I let him go enough to place my hands on his face.
“Whatever happens, don’t forget me.”
I smile. I lean towards him, instead of stopping, our lips met. We part.
“I love you Chris.”
“I love you too Crystal.”
Then I follow Grace into the room, leaving Chris and everything behind.
“Just stay calm, and the process will work perfectly.”
I lay down on the table, the paper sheet crinkling beneath me. “What will I look like after the Operation?” That was my biggest concern out of all of them.
“Your hair will be a milky brown. Your eyes will be a caramel brown. Your freckles will show out more.”
As a soldier walks in carrying a shot, I cringe.
“Don’t worry. This helps you sleep while the Operation goes through your body.”
“You ready?” Grace holds the needle to my arm.
“I’m Crystal Lane, aren’t I?”
Grace smiles. “Yes, you are.” Grace puts the liquid in my arm, and I instantly feel woozy. “Get the Operation ready before she falls asleep.”
Vrroom. A noise from the machine goes off, making my head hurt.
As the table moves, my eyes slowly close.
“Where am I?” I stumble to the left, holding my stomach. I look around. Everything was so blurry. I shake my head, but that only makes it worse. “Hello?” I say.
“Hello.” A voice says.
I turn around to find a little girl picking up...Flowers? “Uh, yes. Where am I?”
“You’re going through the Operation, so in your head is all this. You can’t think right.”
I nod, knowing exactly what she means. “Will it stop?”
“Once the Operation is over, and your head starts working.”
“Who are you?”
The girl goes up to me, and she says, “I am you, but only younger.”
“Right now your mind is going through a phase where you can’t quite get things together, connected.”
“Then how come you’re not all dizzy?”
The little girl smiles. “Because I’m part of a memory. Memories ever die unless you make them.”
I thought about what little me said: I’m part of a memory. Memories never die unless you make them. I’m still dizzy from the liquid, so I can’t exactly get up and move. I can’t even open my eyes. But I can hear and think. I hear a door open, but I don’t react.
“She’s quite a beauty.” I hear Grace say.
Beauty? Me? No way.
“You can say that again.”
Sunny! But I can’t move.
“When will she wake?”
“In about an hour.”
I pretend to sigh with relief, because I am relieved!
“Do you think she’ll be okay with all this new stuff?” Josh asks, worried.
“Of course. Any Starter becoming a Becomer is easy. But there is also this: Reminders change into Explorers.”
“Explorers?” Matt sounded confused.
“Yes. Once a Reminder goes through the Operation, they become Explorers.”
“What? Why? How?” Mason was curious.
“All the cells connect, making something more powerful than ever.”
This was all interesting, but I want to wake up.
But of course, my body doesn’t react.
“Let’s come back in thirty. She needs her rest.”
I hear shuffle from feet, then nothing.
“She should be awake by now.” Grace says.
I actually am, just gotta get my body working.
“Did the Operation fail?” Chris asks.
I just want to hug and kiss him until I die.
“Impossible. All of her cells are working perfectly.”
That may be true, but I still can’t move. Come on, you can do this! I repeat that in my head over and over.
Until finally, my hand moves to my head, rubbing it.
“Look!” Sunny shrieks.
I hear people shuffle.
“What’s going on?” I grumble. I already know, I just want to hear it from them.
“The Operation worked Crystal.” Chris says.
I feel someone take my hand. Probably Chris.
“Also: You’re an Explorer.” Josh says.
Each of them explained it to me. They told me more than I heard. I must’ve been half-way asleep on that conversation.
“Can you open your eyes?” Grace asks.
“Not quite. Still a little dizzy.” I focus on just that as I hear everybody’s breathing around me. “I can’t. It hurts to.”
“I was afraid of that.”
“What do you mean?” Chris asks.
“The cells are working, but the newer ones haven’t quite processed through. We’ll have to wait a little longer.”
“I’m not leaving.” Chris and Josh both say.
“Very well. Come get me when something happens.” Grace leaves, and I slowly fall asleep.
I take a step forward. I hold my breath.
“Don’t be scared, it’s okay.”
I recognize that voice, I just don’t know where.
“Keep going, you’ve got this.”
I take another step, and another. I let out a breath of air, and I see a figure before me. A woman with a lab coat on smiles at me.
“Very good. Now. Can you spin around for me?”
I twirl around, my hair flying with me.
I smile at the woman. She looks familiar too. “What’s your name?” I ask, tilting my head to the side like dogs do.
“You’ll find out when you need it most.”
I raise an eyebrow. “What’s that supposed to mean?”
The woman pats my head. “Look deep down in your memories Crystal.”
“I hope to see you soon.” The woman walks away, leaving me to think this through.
“Her body’s working fully, her brain is flowing, she’s ready.”
Ready? Ready for what, exactly?
“But her eyes still won’t open.”
Oh, that. Why won’t they open?
“Do you think it’s really time?” Sunny asks.
“Yes. It has already been two hours. That’s way past the Operation called for.”
I try to do what the woman in my dreams told me: Keep going, you’ve got this.
This is a new beginning. A beginning that’ll change my life forever. A beginning meant for me. I may be a Starter/Reminder/Becomer/Explorer. But nobody will change who I really am. I am Crystal Lane, and to this day, I am now an Explorer. Someone who explores deep down in memories to find the true answer.
I think back to those memories when I was a young one.
I always cheered my dad with the amazing work he’s done. I enjoyed having Chris over to play with me. I loved teaching myself everything I could to be the person I am today.
I also remember a time where it was just me, and my two parents. My dad was clear, but the woman was blurry in my vision. There was a dog named Coco. Coco was my dog. He protected me until the day the Watchers came and took us away from the things we loved and believed in.
Memories are fragile things. They carry you to a place that is more beyond than any other place.
I also learned to always look deep down inside before judging. I owe that one to Sunny. And
Chris made me realize something too: Love yourself first before others.
My name is Crystal Lane.
I am anything you call that is interesting, special, remarkable, beautiful, amazing, impossible. I am all of those.
And what do all of those equal? An Explorer. Which I shall always be before I die.
I take a deep breath, and I open my eyes to a new beginning.