"To tell you the truth, I always thought love was meant for dreams."
Eva sat at her desk, studying, as usual. There never seemed to be a moment when she wasn't studying something. You had to study in high school if you wanted to do anything successful in the world. It's just how society played out nowadays.
Neil Watts, however, was another story. To him, the most important thing in life was entertainment mixed with goofing off and obscure references and puns. He was Eva's polar opposite and a true annoyance.
"What is it, Neil?"
"Do you think that if I stick this noodle up my nose it'll come out of my mouth?"
"Why don't you try it? Its not my health that will be put in risk, and in consequence, my grades."
"Oh lighten up, I'm just goofing around, I'll study later. "
Neil was always goofing around, and it reflected poorly on his overall success at life. He was a serious bad influence to anyone around him and a nuisance Eva had been stuck with since grade school.
"I seriously doubt that."
"No worries, I'm gonna pull a Neville; be insignificant and small until BAM! Straight A's, Voldemort defeated, and a hot girlfriend!"
Eva wanted to facepalm. Neil was always making corny remarks about movies and random video games no one had ever played, and in truth it was stupid.
"Yep, you just watch!"
Eva had watched, and Neil had failed. He had ended the year with two B's, a D, and the rest C's, which was actually pretty good for him. Now college was around the corner and Eva had to admit she was worried about Neil, if only a tiny bit. They still had finals to worry about, and actually getting into college, which would be a lot harder for Neil than it was for her.
"GUESS WHAT EVA?!"
Neil sprinted in, slamming the door behind him. He was obviously excited about something, but Eva wasn't about to hand herself over on a silver platter. That wasn't how she worked. If she did play along, he'd probably drag it out for an hour or two.
"I wish you wouldn't slam the door, it ruins the paint."
"FORGET ABOUT THE PAINT, THAT DOESN'T MATTER ANYMORE!"
"Really? So you've lost your respect for other people's stuff now? "
"NO, I JUST DON'T GIVE A SHIT BECAUSE I GOT INTO THE SAME COLLEGE AS YOU! "
"Well, you could be a little more optimistic, Eva. Come on, we're going to be with each other all through college! "
"Which is exactly why I'm not excited."
"Ouch, that's harsh. Are you worried I'll just be SO much cooler than you?"
"I'm worried I'll have to drag you through."
"Nah, if anything I'll be dragging YOU through with my awesomeness!"
"I'd rather not get dragged through by someone who has never gotten an A+ on anything."
"Ouch, Eva, way to be a buzzkill."
Neil backtracked out of Eva's room. They were neighbors, making it easier for him to intrude on her privacy 24/7. Now they would be going to the same college, and Neil would probably choose the same major as her. He would probably even try and work at the same place as her. Eva did not understand why Neil was so eager to stick with her through the years, and it bugged her. She didn't want to be stuck with him for years on end, but it was happening. That fact made Eva sigh.
"EVA, RACE ME TO COMPUTER SCIENCE!"
"Why in the world would I do that?"
"BECAUSE IT'S AWESOME!"
"Oh, are you afraid I'll put some Morpheus moves and kick your butt?"
"Oh, you're on."
Eva sprinted alongside Neil. To tell the truth, he had barely changed since highschool. He still had failed to get a grade higher that a B, and he was more of a burden to Eva. She sort of stopped caring and tried to find the positives. Being able to beat him in a race was one of them.
"What were you saying about Morpheus moves?"
"Hah, I let you win! I could've been in Canada by now if I had wanted to."
"Whatever, let's get to class."
They entered their computer science class. It wasn't Eva's favorite class, but she knew what she was learning was important. Neil preferred to spend the class inventing new uses of the pencil and searching the web for strange photos of things Eva could only guess the uses of.
Today they were assigned a group project; design a computer program. It could be over anything, but it had to be somewhat complex and they had four months to work on it. It didn't have to be completed if the program was really complex, as long as a large amount of work was done on it. To Eva, the project was going to be a piece of cake. Unless-
"Eva; you, me, partners, now!"
"I was thinking of choosing someone else."
"Too late, everyone else is already paired up!"
It was true, Eva had been too slow in finding a partner, and now she was going to be stuck with Neil.
"Maybe I can work alone."
"Ouch, Eva, I'm right here."
"You don't count since you never do any work."
"Well you're stuck with me anyways! "
And so it happened Eva was partnered with Neil for one of her biggest projects. Of course, she did all of the work, so they got a good grade on it. Neil used his computer playing dead space. On the day of presenting, she gave him the easiest job, working the computer .
"Eva, I told you I'd get an A!"
"I said you wouldn't get an A on your own, and you did no work to deserve that grade."
"Then why didn't you tell that to the teacher?"
"So I wouldn't get in trouble for letting you slack off!"
"Why did you let me slack off?"
"I knew better than to try and make you work, and if you did do any work, it would be awful."
"Geez, you think so little of me. I'll show you! I can get at least one A+!"
"Good luck with that."
"Eva, are you ready for our last finals ever?"
"I really doubt that."
"I am! I studied super hard and everything!"
"Studying isn't enough."
"We'll see how true that is after finals."
After finals, Neil had refused to say what grade he'd gotten, so Eva had assumed he'd bombed it. Every time she mentioned the finals, he would change the subject to something that connected in no way to finals, such as movies and pokemon. One such time, he changed the subject towards future career plans.
"Where are going to work after college?"
"I'm not telling you."
"You'll just follow me there."
"Come on, I've already decided where I'm going. Please tell me!"
"You do realize you have to take a test to get in there?"
"Yes, and that's why I'm so excited you're going there too, because you can help me cheat through it!"
Eva facepalmed. Did Neil really think she was stupid enough to cheat on a test, especially for him? If he did, then he was much dumber than she had imagined.
"Why in the heck would I do that?"
"Because you're awesome!"
"That's true, but it doesn't mean I'll help you."
"What if I do something for you?"
"What could I possibly want from you?"
"Alright, if I help you,
you have to promise you'll actually work."
So Eva helped Neil cheat on the entrance exams, and they both got was worse, they got partnered up as a team. Whatever Eva did, she seemed to be stuck with Neil. It was partially her fault, she shouldn't have helped him cheat.
"What an unproductive day."
It had been very dull. There had been no cases, so Eva had just stayed in her office on the computer. This wouldn't have been as boring if, like Neil, Eva used her computer to constantly play games. Then she would have something to do besides stand around being useless.
Neil opened the door slightly and poked his head in.
"Eva, did you steal my stapler?"
Neil retreated back to his office. If Eva had to guess, he had probably finished a video game and was now constructing something made with office supplies. Probably some sort of weapon he would later try to fire at her and end up hitting himself.
The only interesting part of the day was Neil's occasional visit, which was saying something since normally those visits annoyed Eva. She thought that the rest of the day would be just as boring until, as they were walking out, the phone rang, giving Neil and Eva a case. The man's name was John Wyles, and they were to report to his house immediately. It was going to be another all- nighter, no doubt. That meant a lot of coffee.
"What is it, Eva?"
"I'll get the equipment and the coffee."
Neil left to gather the necessities. Eva sat down to wait. She was getting tired of so many night jobs, literally.
Why did everyone seem to be dying at midnight? She thought, Oh well, it's what we signed up for.
Neil returned with a massive box of drove them to the house in question, and after wrecking the car trying to evade a squirrel (which failed, unfortunately), they had arrived. Now all they had to do was get started on the patient.
Neil was more sentimental than usual. He was talking about his grandfather again, which he hadn't done since college, and he seemed to be attached to their patient and his wife.
He wasn't one to get emotional. For Neil it was work fast so they wouldn't have to stay up all night and then goof off until the next patient came. This was the first time Eva was seeing a soft side in him.
It had been way too long a night for Eva, and now she had to collect roadkill scent from the squirrel Neil had run over. She was fishing around for a container when she found a bottle of painkillers. They must be Neil's, but why was he using them? She would have to find out.
On her way back to the house, Eva ran into Neil. He seemed anxious, as if he was trying to hide something. That seemed the opportune moment to confront him about the painkillers.
"I was in deep thought when I walked straight into a brick wall."
"These are pretty strong painkillers."
"And it was a pretty strong wall. 'Twas a match made in heaven, I say."
" You aren't addicted, are you?"
"Are you kidding? I'd rather die than resort to that level of patheticness."
Neil ran off again. Eva didn't trust what he said, and decided she would watch him closely for any signs of addiction. If he did end up being an addict, Eva was obligated as his friend and business partner to help him recover.
Too much melodrama. Neil had never been so upset about a case before. She knew River was important- but not this important. He was acting as if it was his own wife she was getting rid of (if he'd actually ever dated anyone).
It worried her. She was usually the one getting sentimental, and here he was emotional about a dead person. She would have to do her best to make sure River returned or he would never forgive her.
Eva woke up dazily from her dream, if you would call it that. It was more like re-watching old memories. She reflected on what had happened since Johnny 's case. Neil was still taking those painkillers, she had seen him sneak them a couple of times. It didn't seem as though he was addicted, fortunately. Eva did have to wonder what he needed them for, though.
Eva checked her alarm clock; 5:30. She didn't need to be at work until 7, so she could afford to sleep in a little bit more. As soon as she had gotten relaxed again, the phone rang. Eva got up and answered it.
"Yes, what is it?"
"This is Dr. Tue. We have a new patient."
Eva wondered what exactly this Dr. Tue meant by 'we'. Neil was her only partner.
"Where's Dr. Watts?"
"We're partnered up for this one"
"What about ?"
Dr. Tue sighed on the other line
"That's the thing, Dr. Watts is the next patient."
"N-Neil's dying? I..thought something was wrong but... not this."
"Well he is and he's asked that you specifically are on the team that changes his memories, so you'd better hurry over."
She hung up and stared at the phone. Eva knew Neil had been hiding something, but why hide this? Why make her go through his life when she just learned he was dying that day?
She was asking these unanswerable questions, which she didn't have the time luxory for, so she made her way to Neil's house. When she got there, a very official-looking man was standing impatiently outside the door. That, she assumed, was Dr. Tue.
"Sorry I'm late."
"No worries, it's just our jobs and a patient's life at stake."
Dr. Tue, in a strange way, reminded Eva of herself. Now she understood why Neil had called her annoying at times. She followed Dr. Tue inside, taking the opportunity to study Neil's house. It was messy, the walls cluttered with posters for video games and movies, the only thing of interest was a small electric piano. One look was enough to sum up his personality. They continued into Neil's bedroom. The bedroom was simple; a nightstand, a bed, and a huge flatscreen tv. There were a few game consoles and rows of video games and movies. So this was how Neil spent his free time.
Neil was lying on the bed, unconscious. It was strange and slightly painful seeing him like that, connected to a heart monitor and having a doctor leaning over him. The doctor looked up and greeted them.
"You must be Dr. Rosalene and Dr. Tue."
"Yes." Dr. Tue replied
"Why don't you two get your stuff set up? Then I'll explain everything."
Dr. Tue started up the machine while Eva found the helmets. When they were done, they turned to the doctor.
"My name's Michael. I've known Neil for a number of years."
"Could you tell us what it was he wanted?" Eva asked.
"No, he never said."
"Doesn't matter," Dr. Tue interrupted, "we can find out later. Let's get going, Dr. Rosalene."
"Oh, one more thing." The doctor said
"Yes?" Eva asked
"Could you get me a coffee real quick? I can't leave the patient's side."
Eva put on her helmet and felt it turn on. The next moment she was in Neil's office with Neil and Dr. Tue. She became visible to Neil and enabled conversation.
Neil turned around and looked at Eva.
"Eva, what are you doing here so late? And who's this?"
"My name is Dr. Tue, and we're here fulfilling the contract you're going to sign in the near future."
"Oh, so it is that bad."
"Would you mind telling us what it is you desire?"
Neil looked at Eva, then at Dr. Tue. He made a throat-clearing noise, and Dr. Tue seemed to understand what it meant.
The next moment, Eva couldn't hear anything. Dr. Tue must have turned off her audio. All she could do was watch the ridiculous hand movements and gestures Neil was making. When he seemed to be finished, her sound came back on.
"What was that for?" She asked
"I've never heard of information being kept from one doctor and not the other."
"Who cares, we have the memento. Let's go."
"I trust you to do the right thing."
"Don't worry, we always succeed "
"Because we're awesome." He finished her sentence then laughed a little,"goodbye"
The memento was activated, and Eva and Dr. Tue were brought into another memory.