Sid sheepishly got down the bus. He walked down the street near a bakeshop he adored passing by to take in the sweet aroma that would enthrall any passer-by, tempting him enough to make a purchase. Then, his stomach grumbled, and he knew that eating a half-burned waffle wasn't going to last him for the entire morning.

Quicker in comparison to how he usually moves, he bought two pieces of croissants and feasted hungrily like a pack of starving tigers. He wasn't even 10 meters away from the bakery that he had already finished eating. Thankfully, a few meters away you could also find the daycare center, in which he was also finished licking his fingers by the time he got there. A bell chimed in as he opened the door.

"Oh, you're here!" a red haired woman said as she turned and noticed the dark-yellow shirt wearing man.

"Shcratte! You're here early!" Sid greeted.

"Oh, I just came here to check on a few things, thought I left something," Scratte said, "and in case you might not show up."

"What do you mean 'might not show up'? I love my kidsth! I'd do anything to take care of them," he said.

"Right, sorry. It's just that your not really one for… being careful," she explained.

"Oh don't worry about me. You thhould take care of yourshelf more! You're a sthudent at the university aren't you? Being a working sthudent-" Sid paused for a correct term, but just couldn't find the right one. "-is a lot of work!"

"Fine, if you insist," Scratte moaned as she grabbed her backpack. "I'll come back in the afternoon." Before she could exit through the door, she stopped when it was half-open.

"Oh, and by the way," she said catching his attention. "Sylvia might want to see you"

Sid shuddered at the thought of her. "Err… okay. Thanks for telling me…" he nervously muttered. As Scratte made his way back to school, Sid made his way towards somewhere as horrific and terrifying.

Scratte was a part-time worker who could come and work whenever she wanted to, and Sid was a full-time employee. Sylvia's family was the owner of the establishment, but she was also working somewhere else. She only lived two floors up where she also kept her "office". Sid recommended Diego to her once, but Sylvia didn't seem to like him. Diego after all wasn't really a good candidate to begin with, since his looks could scare the children away. But at home, he and Sid could both agree that they didn't like her.

The door creaked open, and Sid slowly and unwillingly continued inside.

"Sidney!" a red but messy haired girl bellowed. Sid knew at that point there was no turning back.

"I-I'm here!" Sid shyly greeted the buck-toothed woman. She had the semblance of a beautiful swan… or at least, when it was still an ugly duckling.

"Oh Sidney, every time I see you with a child, I imagine us together with our own," she romanticized.

"Errr, right." Diego warned Sid that if he said anything offending, he might end up losing his job. "That… sounds great."

"Really!" she asked so excitedly that it almost sounded like a shriek in a horror movie. She drew in so close to him that he could almost faint. "I mean- really? Oh, I knew you knew that I was the woman for you!"

Sid silently gave her a blank stare with his jaw wide open as she continued bouncing around giddily. "My dad owns this small lot, but I'm sure that one day we could get a bigger one! We might start out small, but if could just keep remodeling and remodeling and remodeling-"

"Uhm, Sylvia?" Sid muttered. "D-don't you think you be late for something?"

Then, the seemingly hysterical woman suddenly straightened up. "Oh, I might be late for my doctor's appointment!" Sylvia said as she hastily grabbed her bag and hoisted it around her shoulder. "See you around," she said before drawing close to his ear in a whisper, "lover."

Sid had a mini heart attack, leaving him stunned on the spot. "Help. Me."

It took him a while to lapse back into reality. He looked at his watch and it was about time for children to start coming.

He went down to the first and waiting for a few minutes. Only after five did children started swarming in like hungry locusts in search of food, only in this case, in search of toys.

Their parents waved goodbye as Sid guaranteed the safety and happiness of their children. Sid counted the number of children, as hard it may have been for their rambunctious nature, and noticed a shortage of perhaps a single child.

Suddenly, the bell tied above the door chimed in and Sid turned to see the person he was looking for.

"Here you go Peaches. Be nice now" said Ellie as she let her daughter walk in.

"Why hello there Ellie! You having a wonderful day?" Sid asked as he went up to her and Peaches.

"Oh, a wonderful day, you say?" Ellie turned and glanced towards Buck waving plainly through the car window. Ellie gave a brief sigh before uttering in a ludicrous tone, "You don't know the half of it."

Sid wondered what she meant about that, and he was about to look over and see what was about when Ellie caught back his attention.

"Which reminds me," Ellie started, "We're having dinner at Wilford's. And I'd love to invite you!"

"That Thoundsh pretty important. You shure you'd want me to be there?" Sid said.

"They invited me too!" shouted a person from the black van currently parked in front of the daycare center. Sid raised an eyebrow and wanted to know who was there. Again, Ellie paid no attention to it as she tried to grab Sid's attention again.

"It's a family dinner, and since you're close to Peaches as much as we are, you're just as family," she inquired. "So, what do you think?"

"Then I'd love to!" Sid answered before a thought shot through his mind. "Oh! But, there'sth shomeone I want to take with me. If, that'sh okay with you guyth."

"It's to'ally okay!" the voice from the van once again bellowed. Sid once again got curious who the English-accented voice was.

Ellie was totally for it, but to make sure his husband wouldn't have too much of a fuss over it, she wanted to play it safe. "Who are you bringing?" she asked before noticing Peaches playing with the other kids.

"Oh, just thomeone ath closhe ath family to me; he'sh a really loneshome guy," the dull-yellow shirted man said. "I share an apartment with him, and he'sh been my friend thince childhood."

The black woman didn't know how to assess if it was a good or bad idea, but she passed it off as she noticed time was passing swiftly by. Besides, it was the thought that counted. "That'd be just fine," Ellie said as she waved her daughter goodbye. "Be there at seven!"

"Will do!" Sid bellowed as she went back to her van. He piqued his interest and wondered why she went through the sliding back door first. The car suddenly staggered and juggled with loud hammering-like sounds coming from the inside, as if a bowling ball was dropped from a five-story building. Curiosity replaced with surprise and a bit of fear, Sid thought it was best to just leave it alone.

"Okay kids! Gather around!" bellowed Sid to get the attention of the children, all smiling enthusiastically for today's activity. The man had a way with kids, that's for sure. Everyone obediently went to the color patterned mat as they all sat and looked up to him.

"So, who has something interesting to share today?" Sid cooed. Amongst the chorale of excited children, Peaches flamboyantly waved her right arm in the arm. "Yes Peaches?" he pointed as she among the others seemed to most restless.

"My mommy sed a neau word t'day!" she tweeted daintily.

"What is it?" Sid playfully asked.

Peaches had an innocent smile worn across her face, and it was unknown and unexpected to Sid what she was about to say. "She said-"

The entire seventh floor was filled with the noise of talking people collected from staff to clients, ringing of phones coming from each cubicle, and the metronome of numerous clocks enough to shape a madman. "Uhh, sir, no. We don't- wait, please stay on hold," said Manny as he reached for another phone at his side.

"Good Morning sir. This is Rudy Corporation, how may we assist you?" The chant so well-memorized it was literally lodged in his head. "Why yes, we do provide those services. Let me redirect you to another of our staff, please wait." Manny pressed down a few buttons and the call was off. He then went back to his first call.

"Sorry for the inconvenience sir-" His routine apology was cut off by a long beep. Manny blinked and momentarily kept his eyes close as he sighed heavily.

"Boy is this hard work," Manfred said to himself.

"Need a coffee break?" said a voice coming from the opening of his cubicle.

Manny turned to see a friend there leaning on the wall, holding a cup each in both hands. "Yes, please," he said, coming up to get one. "Thanks Lone" He grabbed the coffee his friend handed to him and drank indulgently.

"No prob, Manny," Lone said. His full name was a mystery to everyone, and he chose to call himself Lone Ranger. Manny felt it was a bit ironic, as he was friendly just about to everyone. He wasn't exactly close to them, but he was a good friend nonetheless. He had long black hair, which he kept with ponytail.

After letting the coffee settle down his throat and feel warmly in his stomach, Manny let out an exalted breath. "What's up?" he asked Lone.

"Word came in from the top," he replied. "Looks like Buckminster is in the hospital"

"What!" Manny asked surprisingly. "Is he alright?"

"Yeah, called in himself. Said he won't be coming in today," Lone explained. "Just thought you'd want to know" With that, he took his leave. A few steps away, Manny leaned out of his cubicle and called out to him.

"Hey Lone," Manny said. "Thanks."

Lone gave him a nod and the man went back to his workplace. Manny went and sat back down on his chair. He gave another sigh, but of a strange mix of both worry and relief.

Manny had a family once, before Ellie and Peaches. And unknown to everyone else, he still had a picture of his old family in the second drawer of his desk. He held on to it, as a reminder, of how easily you could lose the people you care about the most. Ever since the freak accident that cost the lives of family, he had cared more deeply for the people close to him, even to his friends. Although they could take care of themselves perfectly fine, he never hesitated to do anything for them.

Thinking about it now, he had been here for majority of his life. Almost 10 years in fact; since his first and now his second family.

He leaned back on his reclining chair and stared up to the ceiling. After doing some reflective thinking, he tried to relax a bit. "Come on, at least he's okay," he thought. Manny felt a bit less tense and decided to go back to work. But just as he was about to pick up a phone, someone knocked on the side of his cubicle.

"Hey, Manny!" Fast Tony said excitedly. "Mommy Dinosaur is here! She's finally giving someone that promotion!"

Though uninterested as he was, Manny couldn't help but feel a tiny bit curious. He got up and followed Fast Tony to the kitchen corner. Almost everyone was crowding in with Momma trying to calm them all down.

They had all coined the nickname for her. As one of the workers once said before, "She's as fierce as a dinosaur, but still as loving as your own mother"

Manny got to the end of the crowd, a distinct head showing from the average height of 5'8" of people in front of him. Fast Tony was around four inches smaller, so he could hardly be seen.

"Alright, settle down everyone," Momma said with stern voice. "Your not kids for Pete's sake"

"Do people really get promoted like this?" asked Manny in a soft voice to a random co-worker. "Or is this just we do?"

"Momma! Momma!" shouted Fast Tony excitedly. "Who're ya gonna give the promotion?"

"Wait. Before I announce who our lucky winner is," their attractive black-haired boss said. "I would like to start off by thanking everyone for doing a good job. I'd also like to have a moment of silence for our recent Supervisor who passed away, who in doing so opened this vacancy."

And everyone did remain silent. It was a long moment, lasting around five seconds.

"Momma! Momma!" cried Fast Tony, breaking the chain of silence while wildly jumping and swinging his arms in mid air. "So who? Who got the promotion?"

Mommy Dinosaur held him off for a few seconds before speaking. "I'd like to mention that this person has been very hardworking and loyal. "Your new Supervisor is-" Everyone listened attentively while Fast Tony could hardly stop bouncing in place. "-Manfred!"

Everyone, happy or disappointed, applauded in unison. They all turned around to give the lucky man a big hand. Apart from the congratulations, and expected sighs and moans, Fast Tony let out a disembodied cry. "What!" he yelled in disbelief. Manny was just as surprised as he was. "Why did he get promoted?"

"Manfred has been working for us for a long time," Momma answered. "I don't think there's anyone more capable than him"

"But I've been working my butt off since I've been here!" Fast Tony retorted. "I've made profits more than anyone in here ever has!"

"Yeah. You'd even sell your own mother for a gift basket," Lone remarked, making his appearance a meter away.

"Are you making an offer?" Fast Tony whispered closer towards him before rolling back to everyone else. "I mean- no, I would never do that!"

"I understand how you're disappointed, but you've only been here for a few months. Everyone else has been here longer than that." Momma explained. "Now, if you'll excuse me, I have my own kids to take care of." And with that, she went to the elevator and left the others. But before the elevator door closed in front of her, she stopped it with the tap of her red-nail polished fingers. "Oh, and Manny, you don't have to worry about moving your stuff. Our janitors will take care of that for you. Just take the rest of the day off because you'll start tomorrow."

As her elevator descended, Manny still stood in shock. "Is… is this really?" he muttered.

"Kudos," Lone mentioned. "Too bad you're friend didn't get to hear this, huh?"

"Ugh! I don't believe it! I had too work extra hard for nothing!" Tony yelled continuously as he went back to his cubicle.

"I… I don't believe it," Manny said.

"Hey, why won't you tell your family about this?" Lone suggested. "I bet they'll be thrilled"

Manny glanced towards his friend, blinked one last time to check if he was dreaming, and smiled with a quiet nod.

"Now why are we walking all the way to a skateboard pool farther than where we usually skate?" asked Dab, who seemed rather annoying to the others.

"Because you stupid dodo, we're going to show off to other people," said Ronald, the tall one wearing a rainbow colored cap.

"Plus, we get to see some of the competition," Crash added while they walked. "Right, Eddie?"

He turned towards his brother to see him in a quiet state. Eddie was contemplating in deep thought, hardly hearing the world around him. His focus of mind was at somewhere else. It took his brother nearly three times to call him "Bro" before he lapsed back into reality.

"You seem a bit off today," said Crash as Eddie faced towards his attention.

"What?- Oh, no, I'm fine." Eddie eluded. Close was the relationship of twins, allegedly said to think and act almost the same way. Eddie wondered if this was explanation for choosing to side with his brother than with his sister. Although she was adopted, he's always felt attached to both of them equally. There was never a distinct line for the, God be my only witness, love (he cringed at the thought) he had for them.

Crash raised an eyebrow but shrugged it off. Their two friends had noticed his absent-mindedness as well.

"Looks like something's on his mind," Dab told Ronald.

"Hey, at least he can still skate even without being focused," he teased. "Unlike you, who can't even skate at all"

"Hey!" Dab blurted. "That's not true!"

"Oh yeah?" Ronald leered. "Prove it."

"Fine! I'll show you right now!" Dab took his skateboard and immediately took a stride of momentum and immediately hopped on. It took both Crash and Eddie's attention.

But almost immediately as he stood on his skateboard, he slipped up and the board kept on rolling. He landed on his butt and the other simply watched his black skateboard continue going down the way.

"I'm actually thankful tah Ellie fo' givin' me these nasty bruises," said Buck as he walked through the park with a satisfied grin on his face. "Made the storeh more believable to the doctah."

As he joyfully skidded along the pavement, his last stride made him unsuspectingly step on a random skateboard that came out of nowhere. He felt his right leg suddenly change feel, and the spectating college students watched with anticipation of a terrible incident. But just as one would expect him to slip and fall, Buck quickly gained composure and got both of his feet on the skateboard. He then started to pick up speed and before they knew it he was riding it like a pro.

"He-hey!" Dab shouted, lifting himself from the ground. "That's my skateboard!"

Buckminster smirked as he started to do tricks, starting off with a horizontal 360 flip, jumping as kicked the skateboard to a turn in mid air and immediately falling back in balance. Next up was a set of stairs with a rail for people to hold on, and slid down the green metal rail. After doing so, he leaped it into the air and was even able to do a horizontal 180 turn before landing and hitting the brakes.

The others ran in awe. A guy in a suit just suddenly mounted on a random skateboard and did insanely awesome tricks without much effort, right in front of them!

"Dude! That was awesome!" shouted Crash. "You're like the brother I never had!"

"Me too!" added Eddie, whose self-gathered silence had even been broken.

"It's nothin' realleh," Buck replied. He picked up the skateboard and gestured to it.

"Oh! That'd be mine!" Dab jittered. Buck threw it in the air and he waved his arms out in surprise before it simply landed on his chest.

"What's your name, yo?" asked Ronald.

"The name's Buck. Short for Buckminster," he said as he fist-bumped the twins. "Long for Buh"

"Where did you learn to do all that?" asked Crash in amazement.

"I used to skateboard when I was 'round you' age too," Buck answered. "At Veronica University."

"Hey! That's where we're enrolled too!" Eddie mentioned.

"Realleh now?" Buck asked. "Come to think of it, it's the USP 'round this year raight?"

"You joined the USP before?" Crash inquired curiously.

"Aye, even won it," answered Buck nonchalantly.

"You did!" the four blurted out.

"Woah, what was it like, being at the top and all?" Dab asked.

"Oh, it was great!" Buck said proudly with a wide grin across his face. "Best year of mah life! Anyone who's anyone just treats you like theah king." He reminisced some of his past memories before flashing back to the present. "Why, you lot wanna join in that fun?"

"Yeah!" Ronald said enthusiastically. "We're gonna be the first juniors to win it!"

"You must be pretteh good to be that confident," Buck said. "Huh, come to think of it, I've never realleh seen a third year win the USP befo'. I guess that would be the first in history."

"Oh man! I'm getting pumped up just hearing about it!" Crash bellowed as he high-fived everyone, save for his own brother.

Eddie took a moment to approach their new acquaintance. "So, did you join the USP for any reason?" he asked Buck.

The black-suited man raised an eyebrow. "Not realleh. I just felt laike it," Buck answered.

"Wait, so you really didn't do it for something, or someone, or anything for that matter?" he continued to ask.

"More like, I didn't really have anything better to do," Buck replied, and for a moment, he seemed to be able to read Eddie's mind, seeing just what he was thinking. "Buut-" he added to grab his attention. "Unless of course, there is something you have better to do"

"Well, yeah errr, no – I mean- umm." For some reason, Eddie suddenly spoke his mind, thinking only how awkward his conversation was going to be with a man he just met a moment after."

"Look mate," Buck said, "These things just come and go, and there'll be plenty moah, believe me. But if there's something more important to you, you've gotta keep it close."

Eddie cringed while side-glancing. "I know, it's just…" he said while taking a peek towards Crash as he and the other two were whittling away time speaking in excitement. "It's just that… I don't want to let someone down…"

"Whatever you do, just do what you think is right," said the suited man. "If you do, you'll never go too wrong" He then held out his fist towards Eddie. Eddie made a silent nod and fist-bumped the almost-complete stranger.

Buck then turned his attention to everyone else. "Right, you lot have now. Sorry about the skateboard mate."

"No problem dude!" Dab replied.

"See ya' Buck!" they shouted as he walked away.

Eddie fell even deeper in his pool of thoughts, restricting himself further from reality. Crash took notice of it and approached him.

"Bro, come one," he said whilst bumping his elbow to him. "Let's go."

"…right. Okay."

Ellie arrived at work a few minutes late, thanks to a slight problem she had on the road. She parked the van at the car lot and walked the next few blocks to work. Along the way a few yellow-helmed workers were chatting near an open sewer hole when they caught sight of her. They started jeering and whistling, which made her smile in flattery.

"Thank you boys," Ellie winked at them with a delighted tone as she continued to walk by.

At a red bricked building with a sign reading "Mammoth Hair Salon" on top, women were coming in and out for their usual hair appointments. The pink door chimed in a bell from above, one almost identical to that at the daycare center.

"Looks who's finally here," a girl with long curly auburn hair said.

"Hiya Rose, sorry I'm late I ran into some trouble on the way," Ellie replied as she came in. "A lot of trouble"

"Now that doesn't sound too good," said Rose as she stopped from working on her client momentarily while conversing with her.

Ellie let out a sigh. "Oh, its nothing."

"Well your usual clients are here, so don't keep 'em waiting," Rose replied.

The black woman went to her station to see her first customer all ready and seated. "Sorry I'm late Vera, I didn't make you wait too long did I?"

"Oh! No no no, it's okay. You should be more worried about yourself" the blonde woman replied, putting down the magazine she was recently reading. "You're other customers have been lining up since early this morning!"

"Time to get started then," Ellie smiled as she let the salon chair recline backwards, turning the faucet on to start with washing Vera's hair.

"Sometimes, I wonder why you're even working here Ellie," conversed Rose while she herself was working on a customer. "Doesn't your husband make more than enough for your family?"

"Oh I'm no housewife," Ellie sassed. "I don't want to spend my entire life cleaning a house day in and day out. I'm workin' because I want to"

"Mmm hmm, you say it, honey," Vera added while her hair was being doused with water.

The salon was all Ellie could ask for. The pay wasn't much, but that wasn't what she was really after. Working there made her feel like the woman she should be. It was small, but her work was known around the neighborhood. Every housewife would know about the great compassionate hair dresser who worked at the corner of the street.

"So, Ellie, how's life with your man?" Rose asked. "Is it being exciting being with a tall, dark, and handsome man?"

"Oh don't get me started," she answered with a flamboyant charm.

Diego was sitting on the sand near the lifeguard post, watching his boss go all over the woman whom he helped him get. The plan was simple really. He had to act all lewd and perverted and Soto would just come in and save the damsel in distress. Nothing but a sore slapped cheek was all it took, but at least his job was safe for now.

He preferred sitting on the sand more than at the tall seat where he would bake like an oven just the same. The sand was more comfortable, and unless the view started to get crowded he'd stay there for the entire duration of his shift. Letting himself relax as much as possible, basking in the sun as it radiated down his body, from his head down to his washboard abs and further down his waist.

Diego kept himself mesmerized by the view of the ocean. The tides that kept flowing in, the shimmering blue waters complimenting the hue of the sky, and the ocean breeze brushing on his skin was all that occupying his mind. There, he wondered, that if anything of those things would change, would some things change for him too?

Realizing he was depressing himself, Diego quickly discarded the thought. But just as he passed off a heavy thought, one simply skipped in almost instantly.

"Your boss giving you a hard time again?" asked a feminine voice from behind him.

Diego turned his head and looked up to see a well-tanned woman with short blue bikinis; her brown eyes matching exactly along her complexion. She had long caramel brown hair that waved along with the gust of wind.

"Oh! Uh, Shi-Shira!" Diego stuttered. Now there were two things that got him flustered, the first being about his job, and the second about the person he liked. "A-actually, it's nothing. I'm pretty much used to it.

"That's good to hear," Shira replied. From afar, she could see Soto and the girl coddling near the water. "Makes you wish a crab got his foot, huh?"

"That wouldn't be too much to ask, would it?" Diego said with a grin. Shira giggled at his comment, and suddenly Diego reverted to his anxious state.

Shira went and approached Diego further, going down to sit beside him. That didn't help his nervousness – not one bit. "So, how are things? You doing okay?" she asked.

"I-I'm fine," Diego muttered before clearing his throat and trying to keep his vocal chords from being shaky. He drew in a silent breath and let out as much tension as possible. "Things are still rough, but I can make do"

"Wow, I wish I could always be as calm as you are," Shira said while stretching her arms up, popping the lazy joints at her shoulders and elbows. "It must be nice being like that"

"Oh you don't know the half of it," Diego mused sarcastically to himself in his mind.

Shira let her legs extend down the sand and leaned back with her arms pushing her weight. "It must also be nice with a job like this," she said. "You're practically at both work and vacation at the same time."

Diego caught sight of the smile formed by her rosy lips. He could hardly resist flushing into a deep red. He tried keeping his composure, one way or another. Diego tried averting his notice and lightly bit his tongue. "N-naah, it kinda gets old pretty fast," Diego replied honestly.

"What do you mean by that?" Shira inquired curiously, now facing more directly towards him, giving an even more clear view of her beautiful eyes.

"Just watching rich people enjoy themselves while I bake in the sun gets kinda sick and tiring," he answered. "It really isn't much of a fun job since I'm not allowed to have fun. Let alone my boss can be a real brute."

Shira brought up an arm and said, "Then think about it this way. You get to keep everyone safe from harm and stuff."

"There hasn't been one incident since I've been hired. Ever," Diego explained. Shira silently blinked back.

"Then at least you don't really work at all!" Shira said enthusiastically. "Maybe I should to apply here. If I could, then two of us would be just like Baywatch. I get to be like Pamela Anderson, and you get to be David Hasselhoff."

Diego made a teeth-bare smile, liking not the idea that they'd be like two iconic actors, but at the mention of the phrase "two of us". But almost immediately, he snapped himself back into reality.

"I'm… not sure they have an opening though," he said.

"Aww, not ain't that too bad," she mentioned. It caught Diego's ears and made him wonder. "I might've liked it better than my own job"

"What is your job?" asked Diego.

"That would be one of my little secrets," Shira winked.

"Wait, does that mean something?" he pondered, but before he could do any more passive thinking, a loud beeping sound sirened nearby.

Shira sighed as she glanced towards her watch. "I can't believe how fast time goes, I hardly got near the water," she said to herself. She then turned her gaze back to Diego. "I have to go. It was nice talking to you." She got up and patted the sand that stuck on her bare thighs.

"Oh, uhm," Diego thought frantically of any way he could spend more time with her. But the only idea he could think of was probably the most deadly. Without anything else, he took all his courage and went for it.

"Hey, uhh, Shira," Diego said nervously. "Do you – err – you think we could maybe, you know," he then started scratching the back of his neck and continued doing restless mannerisms, "maybe we could go somewhere, after my shift? Just the two of us."

Shira smiled at him, and for a moment he thought maybe he could finally tell her how much he liked her. But in reality, she shot him down. "Sorry Diego. I appreciate the offer, but I won't be free any time soon." She apologized, and that was only the start of his depression. "Maybe next time."

"Uhh… yeah. Next time…" muttered Diego as she waved him goodbye and left without another word. He smiled back at her while he waved goodbye, but as soon as she was a distance away, Diego let out a heavy sigh and rubbed both his palms down his face.

"Right, yeah. Next time. Like that might ever happen." Diego lamented surrendering to his anxiety as he laid back on the sand. "I'm not sure if I'd even have the courage to show my face to her again!"

Scrat was hurriedly running down from the bus, and all his paperwork was fluttering randomly one by one in the air as he swiftly grabbed it back a moment after. "Why does the library have to be this far?" The library was ways away from the bus stop, and the campus didn't exactly have anything for immediate transportation. And the flaring sun hanging above didn't help at all. He yelped as he bumped into other students at the university from rushing. He was thankful that at least it was a weekend, so the campus wasn't crowded or anything.

By the time he reached the building entrance, he took a moment to catch his breath. But an instant after, he bolted immediately towards the stairs. "And why does the library have to be so tall?" he continued to complain silently. As his messy jumpy manner continued with sating breaths running up the stairs, he could feel his legs give way by the time he reached the fifth floor.

The sound of his heaving breaths was causing enough disturbances stirring the concentration of those nearby. Even the librarians keeping watchful eyes were inclined to hiss at him.

Scrat quietly, and sloppily, made his way to the bookshelf near the corner at the fifth floor. "The book the book," he chanted to himself. The completion of his thesis was relying on the text within that piece of literature. And, with a distinct beam of sunlight shining through the empty spaces in the bookshelf, the title at the spine was enveloped in a bright light.

"The Compete Almanac of Acorns," he muttered. He anxiously walked towards it with his eye glazing all over, dropping his stuff on the floor without another thought passing through his mind. But as soon as he reached his hand towards the spine, he didn't expect another to bump into his.