Author: Maybelle Casiple
We arrive at Daniel’s apartment just in time when Rachel texted that he is with her. We have a two-hour window to search for the flash drive. We reached his apartment and unlocked it. We had the difficulty to open the door.
“I think it’s stuck,” I told Pierce.
“Let me do it,” Pierce said.
I let him unlock the door. It took him a while to open the door. I think it was stuck. When we were inside, we found bottles of beer on the table. His kitchen was a mess. There are beer cans, empty wine bottles, half-eaten sandwich.
“What was he doing with his life?” Pierce asked. He must have noticed the mess around the house. He will surely notice it. It’s very noticeable.
“Beats me. I don’t care what he does with his life.” I said.
“Let’s look for that flash drive. You rummage on the cabinet here, while I check on his room. I’ve been there a lot of times.” I said.
“Okay. I’ll look for it. A flash drive. Got it.” Pierce said.
“Okay. I’ll go to his bedroom now.” I said.
His bedroom was a mess. A total mess if you ask. The blankets were not folded. The pillows are everywhere. There’s an empty bottle on the table. I think it’s his whiskey bottle and glass. I opened his drawers. The first one I opened was the drawer of his socks. Some socks were neatly folded, but most of them were stashed inside without folding. Some have no pairs. I look deep into the drawer but no flash drive.
I opened the next drawer. It’s his drawer for his neckties. This part of his clothing is not a mess. They are neatly placed in their holders. There are two layers of neckties, and I lifted the first one. I looked inside the drawer but no flash drive. I checked on each of the ties but still no flash drive.
I opened the next drawer where he placed his underwear. Different types of underwear. From boxer shorts to briefs. I was afraid to check on them. It might include dirty underwear. I looked for something I can use while I rummage inside the drawer. I took a clean pair of socks and used it to cover my hands.
I dig deeper under the piles of underwear for a flash drive. I felt something small and hard. I took it. It turned out to be a little packet of desiccant that he uses for his clothes. To eliminate the odor. I returned it to the drawer and dug deeper. But still no flash drive.
I opened the next drawer; it’s his pajamas. I never thought that this guy is also organized. But I am not sure what happened to all the mess in his apartment now. I checked one by one the pajamas, but still, there no flash drive.
“Where could you have put that flash drive?” I asked myself. I’m already getting pissed off looking for that small flash drive.
I opened his drawer for his t-shirts, still no flash drive. There’s one drawer that I have not opened yet. When I opened it, I saw different things inside of it. It was not any clothing but some of the items I gave him before. There’s the watch I gave him as a gift for his birthday. The book I gave him for Christmas. There’s a dashcam I gave him after he met an accident before.
A car whose driver was a drunk crash into his vehicle. And he has no evidence to prove that the car indeed crashed on to him. They were both drunk that time, and he can’t give a concrete proof that the other hit him. After that incident, I told him to use a dashcam. But he has no intention to do so, so I gave him one.
At the start of our relationship, I would give him cards to remind him that I love him. And he kept it. All placed in a cute envelope and labeled as letters. I think this drawer was all about our relationship. There was a picture of us when we had our first-year anniversary. There was also a framed picture of us when we were at the shop during Valentine’s day. I can’t think of any other drawer where he would have kept the flash drive. But I saw something red covered by the framed picture.
It was a box.
“What could this be?” I asked myself. “It’s peculiar he will have something like this here.
I recognized the box. It’s a box where you keep rings. I opened it and saw a ring with a diamond. It’s an engagement ring!
“What?!” I screamed in surprise.
Then I heard footsteps coming towards my direction.
“What’s wrong?!” Pierce asked.
Then he stood beside me. I showed him the ring. Inside the box, there was a small note.
The note says,
“Andrea, please say ‘yes’”
Then I realized that it’s a ring for me. He was planning to marry me. But when?
“It’s a ring. He was about to propose to you.” Pierce said.
“Yeah. I think so, too.” I mumbled softly.
Honestly, I find it romantic and sweet. Most of all, surprised. At this moment, I am so confused. I thought of our memories together, but then the picture of him and Rachel flashed back.
“What are you thinking?” Pierce asked.
“Nothing,” I said. Deep inside I am too confused, and I can’t understand. I closed the lid of the box, but we heard an unusual rattle. I looked at Pierce. I think we have the same thought.
I opened the lid again. Took the ring and the foam that holds the ring. Under it, there’s the flash drive! I looked at Pierce; my eyes were twinkling. The flash drive. The one we are looking for. Here it is. We can finally save Rachel.
We closed the drawers I opened and left the apartment. We ran to the parking lot and inside the car. I pulled out of the parking lot and out of place. We do not know if Daniel will be back or not. It’s better to be safe than sorry. I stopped at a nearby drive-thru and we ordered some food for lunch. While waiting for our orders, I took my phone and texted Rachel.
“Rach, I got it. I have the flash drive. But act as nothing happened. We will wait until you are out of the hospital. I will consult my lawyer about this. Get well soon, best friend.”
“That’s great! I cannot thank you enough, Andrea. But thank you. Thank you so much, best friend.”
Her messaged sent tears to my eyes, and before I noticed it, they were already falling to my cheeks.
“What’s the matter?” Pierce asked. He reached for me and wiped away the tears.
“I’m just happy. Rachel will be free, and she will not be abused anymore.” I said.
We took our orders and drove home. While we were traveling, there’s a deafening silence between us. I guess we both know why. It’s the discovery of the ring. I saw how Pierce reacted when he saw the note and my reaction when I saw the ring. I know that he thought that it changed my mind and would want Daniel back because he is ready to marry me.
We arrived home. And he sat on the couch after he brought the food to the table.
“What’s wrong?” I asked.
“About the ring,” he said. His face is sullen. I can see the sadness in his eyes. I was right about what he thinks.
I sat beside him and held his hands.
“I know the ring. It would have fitted perfectly on my finger. I would have been happy if he did propose to me. I would have said yes if he did ask me.” I said truthfully.
The things I said made him sadder. But before he can say anything, I kissed him on the lips and held his face.
“Listen to this. You heard it right. I would be happy. Just happy. What he did with Rachel and I is already a mistake. If he had done it when we were still in a relationship, he will do it again even if we are engaged or worse, married.”
“Yes, I will be happy, but with you, I am the happiest. I know you are the only one who loves me, and I trust you with all my heart. I know you will not do anything to hurt me. I know that you will take care of me. I know that there’s a chance you’ll become a dog again, and it can be forever. Even if you become a dog forever, you are my only love.” I told him sincerely.
My tears were running down my cheeks as I told him those words. I can see that his eyes were also watery. He hugged me tightly like he never wanted to let go of me.
“I love you, Andrea.” He murmured.
“I love you, Pierce,” I replied.
He kissed me and wiped away my tears. Then I heard his stomach growl. It made me laugh.
“All those suspense in looking for the flash drive has made you hungry. I felt hungry, too. Let’s go and eat.” I said.
We transferred to the dining table and ate the fast food we bought. After that, we decided to check the contents of the flash drive. I took my laptop and brought it to the table. We checked the contents of the flash drive. We were expecting to see files in video format. But there was none. There are no other files except for spreadsheets.
I opened the files, and we studied it. The files contain numbers, accounts, and amounts. In total, there are almost a billion dollars in this.
“What are these?” I asked Pierce. But how would he know if he is just a dog?
“I guess these are funds of the company. It shows here the different accounts. If you open another file, you may find the real amount of these funds. I think this was an overpriced funding request from a company. Does this company name familiar to you?”
“Oh, yeah! It’s the company where Daniel works.” I said.
“So, it means, he’s been stealing from the company. If he’s been charging billions, then he might be stealing millions from the company.”
We looked for another file, and there we found out the real amount. Pierce was right. He charged the company 25% more than the actual amount. And based on the files, it was already electronically approved. It means, he already has it on his account. This is far more than the video of Rachel. These documents can be used to charge Daniel with fraud and falsification of records or more.
But I am also worried about Rachel. She needs the video.
“These are solid pieces of evidence, but we also need the video for Rachel,” I said.
“Let me check,” Pierce said.
He clicked, searched and did everything. And when he opened the files again, he found the video.
“How did you do it?” I ask him surprisingly.
“When you always watch TV, you will know things that other people won’t know.” He said.
I don’t understand him, but I just let it go. The important thing is that we have the video. I immediately deleted the video, making sure there will be no more copy. I texted Rachel.
“Good news! We have the flash drive and found the video. I already deleted it and what was left was his documents that proved he has stolen from the company he’s working at.”
It was a long while after I texted Rachel and she has not replied yet. After all the thinking and scandal, we have seen, I decided to take a nap.
“I’m going to take a nap first. I want to rest my head before I go to the café. Do you want to come with me?” I asked Pierce.
“No, I’ll just stay here. We won’t know if I’ll change into a dog again. You don’t want them to know I am your dog.” He said.
That’s reasonable enough.
“Can I borrow your laptop?” He asked.
“Yeah, sure. I guess you know how to use it.” I said.
He smiled, and I kissed him before I went to bed. I might have slept for a longer time. When I looked at the clock, it was already half past four in the afternoon. I have slept for almost two hours, and Pierce did not wake me up.
Pierce! Maybe he turned into a dog again.
“Pierce?” I called. I called his name several times, but he’s not answering.
He’s not in the bedroom, nor the shower. Not on the couch. Last time I left him at the table when he borrowed my laptop. I checked in the dining area, but he was not there. The computer was there, and it was turned off. I looked at the kitchen, but no one is there. Then I heard a voice.
It’s a male voice, just outside the kitchen. The voice is familiar, and the backdoor is slightly open. I slowly walked towards the source of the voice, and I saw a man talking on the phone.
“Yes, please. No, tell the client that I’ll be able to meet him tomorrow. Yeah. Arrange a meeting with the board. Tell them I need updates and tell the finance I want a report from them. From the start of the year. Yes. Thanks, Ellie. Bye.”
He looked back, and her face was ashen white. He was Pierce.
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