Chapter 1: Julia: Dec 9th – 10:51pm

It all began when I cried, "How could you be so stupid?"

It was getting dark and we're supposed to video chat on how to finish our science project due in, like, two weeks, but no. Instead, Mike wants to drag me to Mrs. Jenks backyard to retrieve his baseball he "somehow" gotten over there earlier. I'm a "give in" person and of course, Mike knows that. When we were so close to find a solution to our science experiment, he told me to go to Mrs. Jenks' house and because he went offline right after he said those four words, I got no choice but to do it.

Mrs. Jenks is this absolute mean neighbor that lives smack between Mike's house and mine. This gets super annoying because we wouldn't even need to video chat if our houses were just next to each other! If she finds anything, let's say a baseball, she put it in "The Safe". That friggin' safe is probably mostly full of Mike's and my stuff. Everything from footballs (I suck at throwing) to soccer balls (I also suck at kicking) to basketballs (I also suck at dribbling).

Mike is my best friend—one out of two in the whole world—but compared to my thinking process to his, it's completely different. I would argue with him about this situation, but he's the one that usually wins. I do it anyway though.

My other best friend, Anna, is in England with her family right now. Her dad got transferred there and that meant dragging the whole family members with him too. Mike and I still talk with her on a daily basic, but it's not as great as talking to her in person. In person, she can make us laugh with all her random-made-up words. It's been not the same without her for the past four months.

"But it's autographed by Babe Ruth and do you know how much it means to me, Julia?" he bounced back.

Mike's family has this stupid baseball that is signed by this famous baseball player. You all should know him, Babe Ruth! It had been passed down by generation to generation. I wonder if it's the reason why Mike is so good at baseball. Like his father and his father's father and his father's father's father. I could go on and on. You don't want to hear the rest, right? Good.

"Ugh, you know how this always ends! You and I go looking for trouble and I'm the one who mostly gets punished. Anyway, we really need to work on the project; it's due in two weeks! We can always get you another autographed Baby-Root-Whatever baseball." I replied angrily.

Being outside during the wintertime is putting me in a bad mood. I'm wearing sweatpants and a blue t-shirt while Mike is wearing all black. What does he think we are? Ninjas? Ri-ight…

I am seriously getting tired of this conversation. And to make it clear (in case you haven't figure it out yet), I'm ridiculously bad at sports, including baseball. Don't know why Mike had stick with me for this long. I guess it's because we knew each other ever since second grade. I knew Anna since kindergarten. Ugh, I really miss her.

Our project is on chemical reactions to plant growth. The goal is to make a sugary mixture as a replica to photosynthesis's glucose and see if it'll work. It's not even halfway done yet. Which brings me to why we need this to be done fast - Mike didn't get it together until the last minute. And by the way, I love putting efforts into my words like this. It somehow cheers up my spirit in these kinds of situations.

"For your information, it's Babe Ruth not…whatever you just said. And you know how hard it is to find a Babe Ruth baseball nowadays. It's the year 2012 for goodness sake!" Mike said. Even though the two of us were best friends, we often clash with each another. He could easily be my worst enemy.

"Al-right!" I groaned, finally giving in before he points out any other flaws I've said. "How are we going to do this then?" I said.

"First, I get you to come with me." I rolled my eyes, not caring it's already too dark for him to see it. "Second," he gets a flashlight from his backpack. "You tip-toe over using this flashlight and-"

"Wait, wait, wait. Why me?"

"Because you're the lightest which means you're the more silent." Mike said simply. He's officially an idiot now. What if we get caught? That's the main question. Mrs. Jenks has no problem calling 9-1-1 on us. My parents will kill me if that happens! They are the strictest mom and dad—ever! But, I decided to just go along with him. Yeah, I'm that stupid. Mike is so rubbing off of me.

Standing up from under the bushes, I snatch the flashlight from Mike's hand. Feeling like a spy (not a ninja) in a crime scene, I jumped over the fence. Hey, this can be fun!

The backyard has this really nice white fence that goes all around the house. There are no lights on through the window above, so let's hope Mrs. Jenks is asleep. I went in and turned on the flashlight and begin to look for that stinkn' baseball in the grassy backyard. It's almost ten o'clock and is getting really dark. If we weren't in this certain situation, it would've been a good night for stargazing.

"Where the heck is it?" I thought.

I looked over back at Mike and tried to mouth "Where?". That's when I saw the look on his face looking up at the window and I knew.

Suddenly, the back door swung out.

Forget about what I said about this being "fun".