Chapter 9

McDonald’s

I woke up the next morning and checked my phone. Sora had been killed a little more than a month ago. I got out of bed and headed into the living room. Jacy was reading a book on our mangled couch.

“Hey, Jacy,” I said.

“Yeah?” Jacy asked.

“Would you like a breakfast burrito from Mcdonald’s?”

“No, thanks,” she said politely, going back to reading the book.

I headed out the door, and walked to my Jeep.

I hopped in, and drove to McDonald’s.

When I got there, I sat down at a small table, ordered a bacon biscuit, and flipped on my HOLOtablet. 

The first thing I saw was the news:

Second Attack on Automated Vehicle, Means a Temporary Change in Transportation.

The second headline caught my my eye.

Day of Mourning for Former Prime Minister of Japan, Akadeji Akamine.

I sighed and flipped the screen to my essay.

The thing was, as I held my fingertips over the keyboard, It seemed nothing came to mind. I couldn’t focus.

I dropped my head into my hands.

Why did I have to have this life? I wanted to a live a normal life. A normal girl, with parents, and family. With a home to go to. A tear slipped from my closed eyelid onto my cheek.

I sighed and took my head up. I wiped the tears from eyes, and groaned— Dylan stood there with my bacon biscuit.

“Thanks,” I said, frowning.

“Hey, Ava,” He said sitting down next to me. “I’m sorry.”

He sighed.

“I know it’s hard,” Dylan continued. “It’s hard for me, too. It’s just...” he trailed off.

“It’s fine, Dylan,” I said, smiling.

“It’s just that you are my best friend, and I’ve felt so alone lately,” he said.

“I’m sorry, I’ve been hard on you lately,” I said.

He handed me the biscuit. “Here.”

I stared at the biscuit.

“I think you’re supposed to eat it, not inspect it.” he said.

I chuckled.

He smiled, warm heartedly.

“I’m glad you’re my friend, Dylan,” I said.

“I’m glad you’re mine,” he said back.

There was a long silence, but I broke it when I said, “Sorry, I gotta go, Dylan.”

I pocketed my HOLOtablet, stood up and walked out the doors, to my car. Maybe this wasn’t the worst life after all.

However, as I walked to my Jeep, a man pushed past me into the McDonalds’s. At first I thought he was just a some rough gangster, but as I looked back I saw something he held behind his back, a gun. It was a strange one indeed. It’s cock was glowing a deep red, and bronze knuckles lined his fist, except they were cackling with red electricity.

I had never seen any such weapon before. It looked like something from Star Trek.

The man walked up to the front door, punched it and it blasted into pieces. I leaped behind a car to make sure he didn’t notice me and once he strode in, I crept forward into the McDonald’s.

The light’s were flickering, but I could still see the thug, because his equipment glowed bright red.

Dylan was hiding under a table, covering his head while the girl behind the counter was hiding with her phone, dialing 911. Another big burly man, who had peacefully been drinking a Coke and munching on a large box fries, was now making a run for the door. The man with the gun, unclenched his fists, and the red electricity flicked off. He reached to his back and grabbed the gun, pulling the trigger with a red beam of light shooting out from the end, hitting the man. He fell to the ground with a giant burning hole in his stomach, smoke rising out of the barrel.

While the man was focused on that, I sprinted over to Dylan.

“We need to get out of here,” I said.

“I can see that, Ava,” he whispered, horsely.

The door was on the other side of the room, so we ran toward it. The man saw and aimed his gun in our direction. He shot, and it almost hit Dylan, but he ducked just in time. He grabbed my arm and we ran forward our heads low, as the man shot rapidly at us. All the beams missed, but were close. They hit the window above, and it shattered into pieces. 

“Run!” I yelled. The red lights grew dim and no more red beams of light came forth.

“Huh?” I said. I looked over and saw the man looking at his gun, it’s barrel no more glowing red. 

“Damn gun,” the thug said throwing it to the ground. He clenched his fists and his bronze knuckles reignited in red electricity. He ran forward raising his glowing fists.

“Oh, sh—” I started, but Dylan pulled me out of the way, as the man threw forward a punch. It hit the wall making a large scorch mark there.

“You,” he growled.

“C’mon!”  Dylan yelled, tugging on my shirt. I followed him, but the man was faster. He caught me and trapped me against the wall. 

“Ava!” Dylan screamed.

“Your boyfriend’s gonna miss you,” the man grinned.

“I’m not so sure,” I choked.

I got out of his grip, ducked, and leaped between his feet. While the man was twirling around in confusion, I finally made it to the door.

We ran forward, and found police cars driving up as we made it to my Jeep.

The man strode out, noticed the police and tried to make a run for it, back through The McDonald’s, but the police caught him in a taser, and he dropped to the ground shaking.

Dylan was out of breath, but he managed to say, “I walked here, so I don’t have a ride.”

“Ok,” I groaned before he could even ask. “Get in.”

As I pulled out of the McDonald’s parking lot, I turned to Dylan. “Hey, can I stay over at your place?” I asked. 

“Sure,” Dylan smiled. “But, Ernest is cooking tonight, so don’t get too excited.”

I chuckled, a smile spreading on my face.

“I just need company, after that attack,” I insisted.

“Jacy?” Dylan asked, confused.

“She is having an exam today.”

“Ok,” Dylan said.

“Not any old street thug would have that weaponry. That was like stuff out of Star Wars.”

“Heh, those classics,” Dylan chuckled. “The graphics on those were trash. I don’t see why people liked them.”

“That’s not the point, Dylan!” I said. “That man almost killed you!”

“Well I’m still here, aren’t I, Ava?” Dylan insisted. “I’m fine.”

“Dylan, it’s not fine!” I said. “I couldn’t risk losing you, too!”

“I...” Dylan didn’t seem to find the words to say.

“I’m sorry,” he said, eventually after a long silence.

“You are what matters in my life,” I said. “If you leave me, my life won’t matter any more.”

We parked outside Dylan’s apartment. 

“I promise I won’t leave you,” Dylan said, gripping my hand tightly.

“Now come on,” he said. “Trust me, it’s better to eat Ernest’s rubbish, than starve.”

I smiled, but weakly.

... 

About an hour later, we ate Ernest’s meal, pretending it was a delicious gourmet meal, to make Ernest feel fine.

“So do you like it?” Ernest asked, grinning.

“It’s delicious,” I choked.

Once I finished eating, I got up. 

“I should go now,” I said. 

“Ok,” Dylan said. I slipped on my coat, and started to leave but Dylan called. “Wait!” he said. I turned back to face him. “Be careful,” he said. 

“I will,” I assured him.