"Hotdog?" I muttered


"Wait a minute, that smell, don't tell me—" I followed the embracing aroma moving my head in an arc from right to left and finally facing to the left to see the same hotdog stand from earlier right next beside me.

"Hey kid, did you hear me? I said do you want— where are your parents anyway?" the elderly looking gentleman in the stand asked while he stuffed a hotdog inside the bread

I turned around following the opposite direction I was facing doing a 180 and took a couple steps back until I stopped at the edge of the pavement.

"Huh!? Was this structure always here before? I didn't even notice it and right next to the hotdog stand to boot...hmmm!" I scratched my left eyebrow

I looked down to my feet and raised my left leg then I stomped it on the ground gently three times increasing the pressure with each stump.

'The pain seems to have passed and I didn't even notice. I guess that was too preoccupied with what was going on' i smiled then exhaled sharply


Now currently holding my backpack in my hand instead of on my back I reached inside and brought out the cellphone

The name "NUMBER ONE DADDY" with three heart emojis, one red and the other two black were attached to the name. It was a phonecall from Brian


I slid the green answer button to the right and raised the phone to my ear

"Yes?" the high pitch tone in my voice had lost its place


"Yes!" I replied casually with a distasteful tone

"Amanda thank goodness, where are you? I got to the office after the meeting and the doors were locked. I knocked multiple times but you didn't answer and after unlocking it with my spare key I couldn't find you anywhere inside... Where are you!?" Brian spoke with a reprimanding and concerned tone

"I'm downstairs, besides the car to be exact"

"Downstairs? What are you doing down there and how did you get there anyway? Eunice says she didn't see you leave so how did you get pass her without her knowing?"


"I don't know. Umm... I wasn't feeling too good so I went out to meet your assistant for help but she wasn't there so I locked the door to the office then went downstairs to take in some fresh air" I spoke indifferently

"Okay I'm on my way, just stay there and wait for me, I'll only be a minute"

"Alright" I ended the call and stuffed the phone back into the backpack


"Hey, you okay kid? Want me to get one of those security guys across the street? They might be able to help you find your parents if you are lost" The man in the hotdog stand asked with genuine concern in his voice

"No, don't worry about it. I'll be fine on my own" 

I turned my back to the man and faced the street "I need to find another way" I was talking about coming up with another plan that would get me to the Blackbox program before I truly was at my limit.

"Do you want me to give you a hotdog at least? Don't worry it's on the house...well stand anyway" The man smiled leaning forward 

"Nevermind that, I had one of your dogs in the morning and it was delicious and besides I've gotten enough animals for today" I said referencing to the rabid rabbit down at the observation lab and a chill ran down the back of my neck

I waited for the street to be adequately clear of traffic then I crossed heading for the car before Brian comes out of the building. The day was already late so the number of active cars being driven was on a minimum

I got to the car and waited at the safe side of the street, looking at the GHA headquarters building and the people walking about and entering their own cars or crossing the road to get to somewhere else when a memory of that Michael Kid entered my mind.

I did a quick survey through of the whole area but he was nowhere in sight.

"Creepy kid! good riddance" I was a bit happy at the thought but I also got the feeling like I needed to be cautious or something bad that I couldn't foresee might happen and that kid might just end up being at the center of it.

Three minutes later Brian walked out of the revolving doors and did his check out with the security in the booth before he came rushing down the steps and to the car.

"There you are!" He dropped his briefcase beside my leg which was just a couple centimeters away from the car back tires then he went on one knee and placed his hands on my shoulders

'Please no...Not another father and daughter moment of affection'

"How are you feeling, are you alright?" He pressed the back of his hand on my neck and forehead to check my temperature before transitioning to check my body for scrapes and bruises 

"I'm fin—" I wasn't able to finish my sentence before getting interrupted.

"What is this? Why do you have all these bruises and your clothes...?" With his head lowered below my chin he looked up at me without moving his head from its current spot

I had three seconds of silence which I used to try and think of a lie in order to get myself out of the question then at the right moment the thought came to me

"Your desk! I was playing on your desk and I was standing on your office desk because I was bored then while trying to get down I missed a step and fell on the floor" I gave a fake half smile

"Oh?! Well that would explain why the office was in bit of a mess but Eunice didn't hear you and attend to you when you fell?"

"Yes, well after I fell the impact made me to feel woozy so I went out to look for her but as I didn't see her...well, you know the rest" I shrugged and gestured

"Alright... Well common, let's go" He stood up and gestured that I move out of the way a bit which I did then he put his briefcase in the back seat and held the door for me to get in. 

He entered the car and started the ignition then slid his two hands on the steering wheel in a playful manner followed by a deep sigh

"If I recall correctly I owe you for not coming through on our father and daughter day so how about I take you to your favorite spot and get us something for dinner" He looked back at me through the space between the two front seats

"Okay?" I said indifferently while avoiding eye contact by looking through the window when all of a sudden I involuntarily jumped up from my seat and screamed "YES!" in glee

'What the fuck was that just now?... I didn't mean to do that so what just happened?' 

Amanda's quirks were becoming more and more prevalent the longer I stayed in her body but something seemed off as it was too early for her traits to be taking over. The electric shock must have done something to upset the mental suppression I thought

It was also good fortune that I wasn't forced out of her body because of the electric shock as loosing consciousness would have made it easier for her consciousness to overthrown mine.

Brian looked at me through the rearview mirror and caught me deep in thought with a worried countenance

"What is it Amanda?"

"Nothing, I'm fine...just happy I guess"

"Alright!! let's go then" He tried to push aside the feeling he had behind his mind


The time was a couple minutes past 4 o'clock about 4:19pm when we started driving to the eatery spending forty-five minutes on the road and after that was ten more minutes spent looking for a parking space. It was a big establishment so they had lots of customers especially at those Goldie Lock hours. 

Goldie Locks hours as they called it meant time which wasn't too late but wasn't too early either. But in this context it meant that the time was late for people who were there since noon but early for people who wanted the evening package

We spent thirty minutes eating and resting then for fun we played the recreational games they had there which Brian insisted we do after I refused at the suggestion the first time and in all honesty I went in thinking that the whole fun montage would feel like a nightmare but ended up enjoying myself.

By 6:30pm we were all done and got back into the car heading straight for home. Because of traffic we had to spend an extra thirty minutes and got to the driveway by 7:29pm

"The day was fun right? Even if it wasn't what you expected your old man still managed to make things happen" Brian grinned with satisfaction

"Haha... am I awesome or what?" he laughed

"Yeah, sure. I had lots of fun" The day wasn't what I expected but I had to admit that I enjoyed it as I had not really had that amount of fun and stress free relaxation since the GHA announced about the Pyrex 9 virus and therefore changed the lives of a lot of people, mine included.

The first thing that happened after the outbreak was a worldwide quarantine and after a couple of months they finally deemed things safe for people to move about as long as they didn't go to the restricted zones and at the end our lives still didn't go back to normal.


I picked the leftovers with me as I left the car


Halfway across the lawn the paper bag with the leftovers inside fell from my hand by accident

"Huh?" Brian turned around and looked at me then continued "Amanda, what's wrong?" he spoke in confusion and concerned

"Nothing, I just lost my grip of the—uuuuuh!!" I involuntarily gasped sharply


I lost all my stamina and fell to the ground then I started to have a seizure "Gagagagagaggahaag"

"Amanda! Amanda! what's wrong?" Brian came rushing to my side dropping his briefcase on the ground in order to have both hands free as he checked me.


He carried me into the back seat then drove off heading for the hospital closest to our location which was 23 minutes away and almost getting to the highway he could see that there was traffic up ahead so he made a quick detour and followed none conventional routes all the while driving like a maniac.

I was still jerking uncontrollably at the back seat while slowly losing consciousness.

Brian passed his right hand through the space between the two front seats and held mine while using his left to steer the car and giving me the occasional back looks. 

He would look at the road then turn around to look at me then back to the road then back to me throughout the entire drive all the while holding my hand with a grip that was not too tight nor too free but just right

With my eyes almost completely closed the light from the street lamps shone through the backseat glass window and entered into my eyes through the slits in my eyelids.

The periodic vision of the light through my eyelids almost felt hypnotic and after a couple dozens I completely lost consciousness

"Don't worry Amanda, you'll be just fine" was the last thing I heard

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