• Aaron Shim

The Thief and His Father

Theodore Garcia awoke to the sound of a bag hitting the ground.


I guess Dad is back from work.


He was glad to be awake. He had been having a nightmare, that same one where his dad was captured by the police. He opened his bedroom door and stepped out. It was 9 am. He blinked twice and saw his dad taking off his black jacket.


“Hey Dad,” he said.


“Hello, son. Good night’s sleep? How’s that arm? Does it feel right?”


He forced himself not to cry. Not for the pain, but for his lost arm, and the cold metal now in its place.


Theo’s life as a normal kid had died before he lost the arm. It was when he found out that his dad was a criminal. His Mom had left when he was two years old, according to his father. That was when his Dad had started his career as a robber. He stole valuables from neighbors. He wanted Theodore to be a robber like him, but Theodore refused. He had learned from school that stealing was bad.


But then, just a week ago, his arm was damaged beyond repair. A heavy brick fell on him when he was walking back from school. He was passing a construction site when his friend, Isaac, yelled, “Duck!”


He ducked and a brick fell on him. Isaac should have said something like, “A brick is falling, sidestep.”


He passed out from shock and pain right then. When he woke up, he was lying on a white bed. His arm was in a box and a man in white gowns was holding some wires. He said something really smart, like “Umm…. Aaaaa…. It hurts….”, and, seeing a wire sticking out of his arm and he passed out (again).


The next time he woke up, he was on my bed. He looked at my arm and nearly passed out again. It was silver. Then, he realized that it wasn’t his arm. It was a robotic hand. It looked like something out of the movies. The strange thing was that when he tried to move his missing left arm, the robotic hand moved. The robotic arm was as light as eraser residue. He could barely feel it.


“Dad?” he asked, barely audible.


“Hello, Theo. I am sorry about this. But..”


“What is this silver metal thing… Dad…”


“Your left arm was beyond repair. I have a scientist/mechanic friend. He made an arm for you. It is just like your arm. It is just robotic. You will get used to it..”


“Get used to it? Dad, I just lost my arm. I will never get used to it.”


With that, he stormed back into his room. Later, he regretted the decision. His dad had done everything for him. I am an idiot. He stared at his arm for an hour. Then, he exited his room.


“Dad?”


Silence…


He shouldn’t have gone out yet. It is barely past dinner.


Then, he realized that he was starving. He went to the kitchen and found a note.


Will be back soon, there is pasta in the oven.



Where has he gone this time?


Then, Theo heard a thumping noise on the balcony. At first, he thought it was dad. He often entered the house in unique ways. But soon, he realized that someone who landed couldn’t have been his dad. Determining by the sound of the fall, the guy was clumsy. He wasn’t experienced. As he crept closer, his mind spun. The silhouette of the figure through the curtain was about his size. He picked up his dad’s walking stick. His knuckles whitened as he tensed his grip on the walking stick, nearing the balcony, ready to strike. A bead of sweat began to form on his brow. As he opened the balcony door, the figure didn’t move. Right then, the door opened. However, it wasn’t the balcony door. It was the main door. And his dad walked inside. Theo was so surprised that he accidentally whacked the walking stick on the person laying down on the balcony floor.


“What’s wrong Theo?” his dad asked.


The figure in the balcony groaned.


“Umm, hi dad. Nothing’s weird. There is just someone unconscious on the balcony,” Theo said, trying to seem calm and act as if nothing happened.


His dad ran past him in one sleek move and lifted the person lying unconscious on the floor. Theo gasped. It wasn’t because the person looked so dangerous or had a weapon. It was because it was his friend, Isaac.


A few hours later, Theo found himself playing video games with Isaac. Isaac had told him and his dad the story. He was apparently trying to make a dramatic entrance by dropping down from the balcony above. That hadn’t worked out that well and he had bruised his leg. Then, he got smacked in the face with a walking stick and was knocked out. Dramatic entrance indeed. He had come because Theo had missed school for nearly a week now and was wondering if anything was wrong. So of course, Theo told him about his arm. At first, he didn’t believe the story. But a few minutes after, Isaac found the arm pretty interesting. Natural kid mechanic. However, Isaac soon got bored of it since it didn’t shoot lasers or turn into an Iron Man suit. So, they had pasta together and started playing video games.


“Isaac, your parents just called. They are wondering where you’ve been. I told them that you came over to our house. They want you back in 30 minutes.”


“Thanks, Mr.Garcia,” Isaac said.


After that, Theo and Isaac played a few more minutes of his video game, Fifa 2031. Then, when Isaac got ready to leave, he said,

“Hey Theo? About your arm. I am really sorry man.”


“No worries bro. I might go to school later this week. See you then.”


With that, Isaac left the house.


“Hey dad, thanks for letting him stay for a while..”


“Theo, to your room, now.”


Geez, why is he mad at me?


“Theo, that was unacceptable. You can’t just let anyone in the house. Isaac almost saw me in my action outfit. Imagine if he wasn’t unconscious. Do you know how dangerous this is?”


“Why were you out at this time anyway. It is barely past dinner. Also, don’t blame this on me. I didn’t invite Isaac.”


“You told him about your arm?”


“Well, yeah, of course. I was playing games and games involving using my arms which reveals my hands.”


“Did you tell him about who built it? Did you say anything about me?”


“No! I didn’t. Also, dad, stealing is bad. You know that. Why do you keep….”


“Do NOT say anything about that. I am keeping us alive and well. Be grateful. Go to sleep now.” With that, he slammed the door shut. Theo could hear the door locking.


Great dad. A robber. A “dad” locks his son in his room. Just great.


Theo thought he wouldn’t be able to sleep. But, he slept just fine. In his dream, he was a hero. He had superpowers and defeated villains. The funny thing with dreams was, although it seemed like minutes, in the real world, it was 10 hours. Theodore Garcia woke up at 7, planning to apologize to his father….


UNTIL he realized that his door was still locked. His dad had slipped in a note.


I will be back before 8:30. Just read books or something.


I hate dad.


Theo usually liked it when his dad was out. He usually just turned on the TV and played Fifa. So, he decided to do his schoolwork which was on Pirate Blackbeard. He wrote a few lines about his life, then couldn’t focus anymore. He had to get out of his room. He got up and examined the doorknob. It was metallic with a keyhole beside it. He picked up a screwdriver from his desk and got rid of the doorknob. Only a hole remained. Then, he got a pin and poked the lock from outside the door. The first few attempts were futile and the pins broke. But then, he managed to twist the pin inside without breaking it. He heard a clicking sound and the door opened. He wanted to scream but caught himself. He reattached the doorknob and closed the door behind him. He went to the kitchen and picked up bread. When he got his first bite, the front door opened.


“Theo?”


“Umm, dad….”


“You, did you, no way, did you like…”


“Yeah, I picked the lock.”


“That is… That..”


“I am sorry. I just couldn’t stand it.”


“No, no. I am sorry. I am going to be busy for a few days. Maybe you want to rejoin school next week?”


“Yeah, sure.”


“Let me just wash up. We can maybe play games for a while, then you are doing your schoolwork.” Although his voice was stern, he had a massive grin on his face.


His dad went out early and came back after about 3 hours. That kept happening until Wednesday after school when Theo realized that his dad wasn’t there.


What? Where’s my dad. He should be home by now, surely.


He just finished his school homework and started chatting with Isaac. Apparently, Isaac’s parents were also missing. He was starting to worry a little bit, but he just told himself that his dad was just being late, and ate a burger. Even after dinner, his dad didn’t come back. He tried calling him, but of course, it went into voicemail. Finally, at midnight, he called Isaac again.

Surprisingly, Isaac answered.


“Hey, Isaac?”


“Yeah, your dad isn’t back, is he?”


“Nope. It is midnight and he still isn’t back.”


“My parents are also not back. Maybe they are like together or something.”


“I wish. The calls keep going to voicemail. I am kinda worried.”


“Me too man. They will be back before morning. See ya, tomorrow bro.”


With that, Isaac hung up.


Theo was eating cereal glumly. He had found a note that said:


Eat cereal for breakfast. See you later son.


At first, Theo was relieved. Until he remembered that the note had been written a month ago. Then, things got even worse. Theo went to get his phone that was vibrating. Isaac was calling.


“Hey, Isaac. Wassup.”


“Turn on your TV now. Now! Theo. No joke. Channel 2. Dude, this is really bad.”


“Geez, what’s the fuss about. Did your favorite soccer team lose or something?”


“Theo, I am not joking right now. Channel 2, Now.”


So, I turned on the TV. I pressed number 2. It was a news channel.


“Since when did you watch the news, Isaac?”


“Since today. Do you see the headline?”


Theo’s heart sank when he saw it:


Mysterious Murder


Below, it said,

Returning to the main news… Last night, a man was struck by an assailant wielding a metal pole. The as-yet-unidentified man has since died. The police don’t have any suspects.


“How is this related to—”


But he already knew the answer. Although the faces were mosaiced, he knew who those three people were. Most importantly, he knew the dead person. It was his dad, Eric Garcia.


Theo barely remembered what happened next. Isaac came to his house along with his parents. His parents had apparently gone out with Theo’s dad. But when Theo’s dad went to the bathroom, he went missing. They searched, but couldn’t find him. They finally decided to call the police. Isaac’s parents said something about staying the night, but Theo wasn’t even listening. He was so shocked that his brain seemed to shut down. He cried until he couldn’t anymore.


He still managed to tell Isaac’s family that he would be okay by himself. He also told them to come over tomorrow. Then, Theo went to his dad’s bedroom. He felt drawn to it. He usually wasn’t allowed in the room, but nobody was there to scold him now. He was completely alone. He walked around the room for a few minutes in a daze. Then, he couldn’t stand it anymore. The memories with his dad all came back to him. The room still smelled just like him. It was too much. He rushed out of the room slamming the door behind him. He ran to his bed and cried. He didn’t know when, but he fell asleep.


The next morning, he quickly brushed his teeth and took a shower. He ate breakfast and just sat. He was still in a daze. His mind was unfocused. Only later when Isaac’s parents came over did he realize that he hadn’t gone to school.


“I am so sorry, Theo. We will do everything to help you. We already messaged the school about you missing out from school. Don’t worry, we said nothing about your parents. Just said that your hands started to hurt again.”


“Thank you so much. But you guys know that my right-hand doesn’t feel pain, right? It is robotic.”


“We know that. Your dad told us before he disappeared. Sorry. Shouldn’t have mentioned that.”


“It’s all right. But, what should I do now? I have nothing. My dad is gone. My mom never existed in my life, my right hand is gone. It feels like everything is just disappearing.”

Then, the doorbell rang.


Isaac’s parents said, “We will talk about this later Theo. Right now, the police are here.”

There were two policemen. One was a buff skinny man in about his thirties. He was as short as grass. The second was a strict-looking tall man. To Theo, the second man looked scarier. The second man asked, “Is this Eric Garcia’s son?”


“Yes. I am Theo Garcia. These are my friend’s parents. They were very close to my dad.”


“Thank you. We are extremely sorry about your dad, Theo. We are still searching for the murderer,” the shorter man said.

After that, the two policemen came inside and explained the situation. They said the security camera was stuck in one scene. No clues were left over. Theo was devastated. Isaac’s parents kept patting him on the back. A few hours later, the policemen finally went away. Isaac’s parents said, “Isaac should be coming back from school in a moment. I will call him and tell him to come here. You guys can have some time together.”


“Thanks.”


Ten minutes later, Isaac came. Isaac was sweating so bad. After a few minutes of silence, Isaac said, “This is unfair.”


“Isaac, I have to tell you something. You HAVE to keep this a secret. You really have to.”


“Bro, I am as trustworthy as a bank.”


“A robbed bank,” Theo murmured.


And so Theo explained it all to him. How his father was a robber. Isaac Listened well. He was silent for some while.


Then, he said, “So, your dad is a robber.”


“Was,” Theo said.


“Yea, so your dad was a robber. But how did he die? If the police didn’t get him and he didn’t like...make a mistake, who killed him?”


“I have no idea,” Theo admitted. He tried to remember his dad. How his dad had left early the past week. He remembered how his dad had been tired. How he was sweating. Now that he thought about it, his dad had been abnormal the past week. Theo had to make his own food. His dad always used to cook. His dad really had been busy that week.


“Who would kill my dad?”


“I have no idea, Theo. But we are gonna find out.”


“How? And what are we gonna do about it? Call the police? Even if…”


“No. We are not going to. We are going to get revenge.”


“Umm, Isaac? That man/woman just killed my father. My FATHER. I don’t think we can…”


“We will get revenge. Till then, you could look through your dad’s stuff maybe? Like, you know.”


“Sure. Thanks, man.”


“No Prob bro.”


After Isaac went away, Theo thought. He thought about the word Isaac had said. “Revenge.” He was unsure why Isaac was so focused on getting revenge. Theo knew he probably couldn’t murder the murderer. He had to come up with an easier plan. But before that, he needed to find out who the murderer was. But even before that, he needed some sleep.


The next day, Isaac came. Theo was a bit surprised that Isaac had come this early. Isaac was not the morning type. He barely got to school every day.


“Hey, Isaac. Whassup.”


“I had to talk to you about something. In private.”


“Sure. Come in.”


Of course, Isaac’s private talk was about Theo’s dad. Isaac said things like how they needed to get revenge and stuff. Theo wasn’t so sure. The murderer had managed to kill his dad. The most secretive person Theo knew. The murderer seemed pretty dangerous to him. However, in the corner of his mind, he wanted revenge.


Isaac read his thoughts perfectly.


“You want revenge. But you are scared.”


“Heck yeah, the guy killed my dad. Of course, I am afraid.”


“Bro, we can do it. We don’t have to kill that guy. Bro, your dad is like the best robber. We can maybe sneak in and destroy his stuff or something.”


“Isaac, I can’t. I can’t, Isaac.”


“No, you can’t. I know you can’t. But I am gonna be with you bro. Your dad and you were the only people who were nice to me. I have no friends except you, Theo. And your father died. I am as mad as you are.”


“Isaac, thanks, bro. I will think about it.”


“Also, I have to tell you another thing. My parents kinda made me stay in this house. Sorry. They want someone to be with you, sorry.”


“No need to be sorry. You can use the couch for now. Play games on Playstation while I think.”


“Thanks, man. Really.”


Theo walked into his room and sat on his chair. His dad had bought that for his 8th birthday. Thinking about his dad made him sad. He heard gaming noises outside his room which didn’t help him think.


“Isaac, mute the volume!”


“Sorry.”


He was so grateful. About Isaac. How his friend had convinced his parents to stay in Theo’s house. He knew Isaac was lying about his parents forcing him to stay in his house. Although Isaac’s parents cared about him, they wouldn’t let two boys stay alone in a house. He thought about how Isaac wanted revenge. He felt miserable not wanting revenge on his father. It seemed like he cared even less for him than Isaac did. He imagined his dad walking out of the bathroom and getting hit on the head. His body being dragged around the corner. That made him angry.


Theo sat up from his chair. He had made up his mind.


He was going to avenge his father’s death. He was gonna make his dad proud.


“Isaac, I made up my mind.”


Isaac instantly turned off the TV and looked at him.


“Yea?”


“I am gonna avenge my father’s death. I will get revenge. I will need your help though, you in? It doesn’t matter if you aren’t.”


“Heck, I am in. So, what’s the plan?”


Theo smiled. Having Isaac on board was reassuring for some reason.


“Oh, I have a plan. But first, we need to find out the murderer. We have to get the exact location.”


“Geez, you are good at this. Just like your father I bet. I can get the location through my parents. I can also maybe try to get the footage of the street. Not the alley your father was killed since that one was damaged.”


“Thanks, man. I will look through my dad’s files.”


For the next week or so, Theo read through his dad’s files. On Friday, which was the start of summer vacation, Theo found something in his dad’s files. Until then, nothing was really useful. Almost all of them were his dad’s heist records. But then he accidentally clicked on the web browser while trying to pick up his phone. He sighed and was about to click the X button to exit when the doorbell rang. He left the browser open and went out to open the door for Isaac. Isaac was almost about to dance around the whole building.

“Theo! Bro, I got the exact location and got the security footage of the streets nearby. Don’t ask me how, please. The point is, I got them! We can maybe track those people down. How ‘bout you? Any luck?”


“No luck. But at least we got some suspects. That is good. I am not done reviewing my dad’s files though. Wanna check it out together?”


“Sure.”


So Theo and Isaac walked into Theo’s dad’s room.


“Oh, I forgot to exit the browser. It’s not that.”


“Wait Theo, don’t. That tab automatically opened. The title says DANGER. Maybe we can find something in it.”

Theo was more shocked by the fact that Isaac had actually managed to read the title than the fact that the document existed. Theo cautiously scrolled down and saw pictures. Just pictures and dates. But they seemed to be the same people. Theo was about to say this is useless until Isaac stopped him, (again), and said,


“Wait, Theo! Wait! That man. Just stop there. Wait.”


“Ok?”


Isaac took off his backpack and rummaged through his stuff. He took out a few sheets of paper.


“The man in those pictures Theo. He was caught in the security footage near the crime scene. See, those two are the same man.”


Theo was again surprised by Isaac. Isaac really wasn’t the smart meticulous type. Theo compared the picture from Isaac and the pictures taken by his dad. His dad’s picture was a bit blurry, but anyone could see that they were the same people.


“Isaac, this might be him. The murderer. Isaac, how…”


“In the security footage, he was carrying a golf bag. Maybe he used it to like it.”


“There is no golf course in this city. Why is he carrying a golf bag? He doesn’t seem tired, so that means that he didn’t play golf. The nearest golf course is like 15km away.”


“Very perceptive, Theo.”


“Shut up. Anyways, so now, we just need more information on the–”


“Got it already. His name is Raheem Trent. He is from London. He is 37 years old. Lives about a kilometer from here.”


“Thanks. By the way, did your summer break start?”


“Yep!”


“Well, we will maybe spy on him for a while. See his house and all.”


“You know you haven’t told me the plan yet.”


“I know. Not now. We have to wait. I will tell you when you need to know.”


“Ok, I am fine with that. Let's go spy on our friend Trent.”


“Not now. Bro, we barely know him yet. For today, we have to get more information on him. After all, we are both teenagers.”


“Fine.”


Although Leo seemed excited, Theo was scared. He tried not to show it, but he was terrified inside. The thought that he might be facing a criminal murder was terrifying for him. Leo said that he was going to visit his parents, so Theo was left alone. He thought about what he was doing. Was it really safe trying to find his dad’s murderer alone? Theo wanted desperately to just leave the case to the police. But in some corner of his heart, he wanted revenge. He wanted to find out this Trent guy, and punch him in the face. With that thought, he started cooking dinner. He said cooking, but it was basically baking leftover pizza from a week ago that was still in his fridge. When Isaac came back, they ate dinner together and played games. They didn’t talk about a single thing about the murder case.


The next day, Leo wandered around the area where Trent lived. Theo was against this idea since Trent might find this suspicious, but Leo didn’t seem to care. Meanwhile, Theo kept looking through his dad’s laptop. He hadn’t thought that his dad might store all his important documents in his Google Drive. But when he checked his Google Drive, there were tons of files. Theo was dumbfounded. He scrolled through and found a file that said, “Danger”. Theo opened the file. There were 12 pictures and 1 document. All 12 pictures had the same man. It was Trent. Theo wasn’t sure why Trent was dangerous to his father but decided to read the document first. Then, an idea struck him. Who would be dangerous to thieves? The police. Theo suddenly had a chill. He called Leo and asked him to research the police. Leo asked why, but Theo just said, “Just check if Trent is on the police list.” If Trent was really a police officer, why had he killed Theo’s dad. He could have just captured him. Also, why was his dad only afraid of this one police officer? After an hour or so, Leo called. Leo said that he and his dad had looked through all the police officer names in the city, but had found no one named Trent. Theo didn’t know if he should be happy or not. Obviously, the fact that the murderer wasn’t the police was reassuring, but the fact that his father had enemies other than the police was horrifying. But then, when he was on the second page of the document, he almost jumped out of his seat. In the document, it said who Trent was. Theo realized that Trent would have wanted to kill his dad. In the document, it said, Trent Grealish, robber.


Theo called Leo to come back to his house. Leo came in a few minutes later. When Theo explained everything to him, Leo looked shocked.


“So your dad once met another robber while stealing a diamond. Your dad got the diamond first, so this Trent guy revenged by killing your dad? Wait, what is even the chance of two robbers meeting together?”


“I don’t know. But now, we know who Trent is. That is good.”


But Theo knew that it wasn’t really good. He had to somehow get revenge on a robber. Robbers were sneaky and hid their identities well. Even if Theo somehow managed to get into Trent’s house, what would he do? Since Trent was a robber, Trent probably knew all about sneaking in and out of houses.

Theo and Leo ate dinner together and decided to go to sleep early. They decided to come up with a plan tomorrow to get their revenge.


Tomorrow morning, Theo and Leo sat together at the dining table. Theo had printed out a map. Theo marked his house and Trent’s house. Leo was first to give out a suggestion. He said that they should kidnap Trent. Theo said no right away. After a while, Theo came up with a suggestion.


“What if we rob him?”


“What do you mean? Like, rob his life away from him, or?”


“No. I meant what if we sneak into his house and take away all the precious things he has. Then, we report him to the police for murder and burglary.”


Leo was not so sure about this idea. Robbing from a robber would be way harder than robbing from an average person. But in the end, no better ideas were proposed and this became the final plan.


A few weeks later, Theo was looking through a binocular at Trent’s house. He and Leo had spied on Trent for weeks and had found out that Trent left his house every day at 8:00 pm and came back at 8:30. Leo was at Theo’s house’s rooftop. He was spying on Trent himself. If anything happened, Leo would contact Theo and tell him.


A few minutes later, Theo put his binoculars back into his backpack and started to head towards Trent’s house. It had been 3 minutes since Trent had left. If Trent had forgotten something, he would have been back already. Theo wasn’t a professional robber like his dad, but he knew how to pick a simple lock. And Trent’s house had a simple lock. He easily picked the lock and went inside the house. All the lights were turned off which made the house seem creepy. As Theo went inside further, he realized that although the house from outside looked run-down, the interior was absolutely amazing. Trent had leather sofas everywhere.


“Whoah, hey Leo, this man’s house is absolutely amazing!”


“Umm, yeah, ok. But get out of there fast. Trent is not taking his usual route.”


“What do you mean?”


“You know how he usually takes the downtown street into that alley? The same route he had been taking for days.”


“Is he not taking that route?”


“Nope. Not at all. He is just going straight up. That is near the subway station.”


“Maybe he is just going somewhere else. I will be out as quick as I can.”


“He just entered the subway entrance. Can’t see him now.”


“It’s okay. I just have to find where he hid the jewels.”


Theo has been thinking that the hardest part would have been to sneak into the house. However, now he realized that the hardest part would be finding the diamonds and the stolen jewels. He was an idiot for thinking that the jewels would just be on the living room sofa waiting to be picked up.

“Hey Leo, any ideas on where he hid the jewels?”


“Maybe search like on the bookshelves? In movies, the Thieves usually hide them around their house. Some inside books, or-”


“That is only in movies. Real thieves have a better chance of hiding their jewels if they hide them in one place. If they divide them, that is double the chance of another person finding them.


“Okay, man. I ain’t no thief. How about in his bedroom?”


“His bedroom?”


“Yeah, technically, that would be the safest spot since he is in there almost everywhere.”


“Yeah, I guess the bedroom is the safest place.”


Theo searched the drawers, then the TV cabinet, and then, the floor. But nothing. Then, he decided to take the risk. If he messed up the bed, then Trent would know. Theo was just hoping that the police would come on time. When Theo lifted the blanket, he found,


“Leo, I found them.”


“Yes, you did, Theodore Garcia,” answered Trent.


“Trent?”


“Yes, and before you ask, I already knew you were gonna break-in. You little boys weren’t the only ones spying. You do know that I am a robber? I'm the real one, not like you and your friend. Your friend is probably stupidly watching the subway entrance. There is more than one exit to a subway station, Theodore. But I should praise you for the fact that you found my house. Your dead dad would have been proud.”


“You killed him!”


“Yes I did, and I am about to kill you. Then your friend.”

“No! Why! Why did you kill my dad!”


“Because he was getting in my way. I didn’t want any competition-”


Theo charged. Full of adrenaline, he tackled Trent to the ground. Or at least Theo was trying to. But then Trent just sidestepped. Theo charged straight into a lamp. Before Theo could turn around, Trent smacked him in the head. Theo groaned. Then, Trent hit him straight in the back. Theo tried to dodge, but only got hit on his shoulder. When Theo managed to get up, Trent was holding a metal stick.


“I killed your father with this, you know. And now, I will kill you with this.”


When Theo saw the metal stick, his adrenaline recharged. However, he didn’t attack. He ran away. He was closer to the door. Trent wasn’t prepared. When Trent was standing dumbfounded, Theo charged out the bedroom door, slammed it shut, and kept running. He opened the door and almost jumped out of his sneakers. Leo was coming inside.


“Leo, we have to run. Let’s go.”


“You got what you need?”


“Nope. Not even close. You call the police yet?”


“Then why are we running out of his house when we don’t even have what we want? Also, no. I didn’t call the police. You didn’t tell me to. ”


“Oh, my audio piece broke. Trent knew we were coming. Walked straight into his trap. Bro, I almost got killed!”


“Dang. Where are we going?”


“Your house.”


“Mine? Why?”


“Trent was spying on us. He knows where I live. My house isn’t safe.”



“Okay man.”


They ran past pedestrians who stared at them. When they reached Leo’s house, Theo realized how tired he was. He had just fought with a man and had barely escaped. He wondered if Trent was following them. Leo opened the door and the two kids went inside.


“Leo? Is that you?”

“Yes mom, Theo is also with me.”

“Oh hello, Theo. How are you?”

“I am good, thanks,” Theo replied

“You two can have dinner here.”

“Mom, can we maybe stay here tonight?”

“Sure, but why?”

“Just because. Nothing.”


Then, after eating dinner with Leo’s parents, Theo and Leo went inside.

“So, Trent knew?” Leo asked.

“Yea. He knew exactly when we were coming,” Theo replied.

“How?”

“He was spying on us spying on him.”

“Umm, ok. So what do we do now?”

“I have a plan.”

“You do?”


Theo explained his plan. Leo listened, then complained about it.

“Hey, it’s the best way.”

“Lame.”

“Leo, our non-lame way failed. Trent is too dangerous. This is the only way.”

“Bro, but you might still die. It is still dan


Leo finally gave up. They decided to talk more about the plan tomorrow. The next day, Theo and Leo decided to go back to Theo’s place. Leo said he would pick up some icecreams, so Theo was left alone. As he walked past the main street into the alley, he sensed someone following him. When Theo looked back, Trent was barreling towards him, a metal stick in his hands.

Theo dodged the first blow. Theo however, tripped on a can. Trent regained balance and charged again. Theo failed to dodge this time. The metal pole hit his left arm so hard that Theo’s whole body shook. However, Theo didn’t feel any pain. Trent seemed dumbfounded(again). Theo was equally surprised. Then, he remembered. His left arm was robotic. For the first time in a few weeks, he actually felt happy that he had a robotic arm. Theo stood up and put his left hand in front of him as a defense. Trent struck and struck, but Theo actually managed to block them. Even while doing that, Theo didn’t feel a thing. However, Theo soon realized that he was no match for Trent. Sooner or later, Trent would get him. After a few more attempts, Trent finally managed to strike Theo on the shin. Theo dropped down and howled in agony. It hurt even more than when a brick. That time, Theo had passed out. This time, Theo was perfectly conscious. When Theo tried to stand up, Trent hit Theo’s other shin. Theo screamed and fell. Theo could barely see because of the pain. When Theo thought everything was over and was about to roll, he heard a faint voice.

“Trent Hansen, you are under arrest for the murder of Eric Garcia.”


When Theo managed to open his eyes, he saw two policemen. The same two people who had visited him. They both had guns aimed at Trent. Behind them stood Leo.

“Sup dude,” Leo said.

“Hey man. Great timing.”

“So your plan actually worked, I guess, Theodore Garcia.”

“Yes it did, Leo. My shin still hurts tho.”

“What do you mean! What plan!” Trent was furious. If the two policemen didn’t have guns, he might have just smashed Theo.

“Yea see, after I got battered at your house, had actually gained one fact. You were spying on me and Leo. So we used that against you. I knew you were following me. So I lured you here. Leo and the policemen were just waiting for my signal, which was me screaming in pain.”


Sense of defeat registered on Trent’s face as he tried to wriggle past the two policemen’s arms.

“Man, I think my shin bone broke. That was a hard smack.”


As Leo helped Theo up to his feet, Leo didn’t seem satisfied.

“Hey, Leo? What’s wrong?”

“Nothing, I probably just lost it.”

“Lost what?”

“My laptop. I forgot to tell you, but my laptop disappeared about a week ago. I searched my house and yours and the school, but nothing.”


Theo didn’t feel so happy all of a sudden. He was sure that Trent had something to do with Leo’s laptop’s disappearance, but he just didn’t know.

“I was spying on you guys all the time! This was no plan, Theodore! You were just lucky! Next time, I will kill you!” Trent screamed in frustration.


Then, a realization hit Theo on the head like a boulder.

“Trent was spying on us the whole time…” he murmured.

“What did you say?” Leo asked.

“If Trent was really spying on us, won’t he know my house? With the robbing skill of his, he could have easily broken into my—”


Leo didn’t even let his friend finish his sentence. He walked straight up to Trent and punched him in the face real hard. As the two policemen tried to process what had just happened, Leo punched Trent again. Theo acted faster than the two policemen. He sprinted up to Leo and grabbed his arm as he tried to punch Trent again.

“Don’t stop me Theo! This guy just broke into your house! He broke into YOUR HOUSE!”

“I know Leo! Stop! Stop!”


Finally, after a few seconds of struggling, Leo stopped.

“Theo, I am fine with my laptop being stolen. I am really fine. But he broke into your house. I just… He…”

“I know Leo. This is a guy who killed my father, nearly killed me, and robbed my house. Your laptop probably isn’t the only object that was stolen.”

“Then why aren’t you! Why!”

“Punching him in the face won’t solve the problem.”

“I don’t care! I just feel like– My laptop being stolen let Trent notice our plan. I didn’t spy on him closer. I was an idiot. If I took care of my laptop…”

“Leo, shut up. None of this is your fault. It is because my stupid father got killed. If that stupid man wasn’t–”

Then, the two policemen finally stopped Theo and Leo from screaming and put them into the police car. Then, when they arrived at the police station, Leo’s parents were waiting. After some emotional moments with Leo’s parents, the two boys were sent to a room. There, they were separated and were asked questions.

“Is your dad Eric Garcia?”

“Yes”


“What was his job?”

“He was a… robber.”

“Okay, and what did you plan to do with this man Trent?”


“Me and my friend Leo were going to steal something from his house and report it to the police. He is also a robber. We wanted to end his career as one.”

“Okay, you are dismissed. Wait in the lobby please.”


After about 30 minutes, Leo came out with three policemen. We were all called into a room.

“So, we found out that the two kids are innocent. The man, Trent, is a robber. Your father was killed by him. Therefore, you are free of any charge. Trent will have a trial, but he will most likely end up in jail for at least 10 years. Great work boys. I am sorry about your father Theodore.”


“Thanks, officer.”


And like that, it was all over.


One Year Later


Theodore and Leo visited Eric Garcia’s grave. Theo was living alone, but all the important documents were signed by Leo’s parents.


“So, it’s already been a year, huh?”


“Yea, time flies.”

“Remember the day your arm got changed?”

“That’s only a year ago. It seems like such a long time.”

“But, you are over the whole death thing, right?”

“Yea. I am fine. I am great living with your family.”


Then, they put down the flower on top of Theo’s dad’s grave and slowly walked away.

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