The sun was out by the time I woke up the next day. I looked next to me, but the other half of the bed was empty. Annie had called Flynn over and gave him my gun. Flynn started scolding me for being an idiot, but Annie coaxed us into a game of Monopoly. Flynn played for a few hours, but he lost all his property to Annie and ended up getting into a fight with her. Annie chased him out of the house and came back, fuming. I couldn't remember the last time I laughed so hard. The two of us continued the game until she went downstairs to get a snack. I guess I fell asleep then.
Now, I sat up and looked around the room. It smelled good in here. On my desk sat a plate of scrambled eggs, bacon, and a couple waffles.
Annie. My heart felt warm. I got up and peeked into her room, but she wasn't there. I came back and reached for the fork next to the plate, but I stopped. A sticky note was next to the fork.
Eat up. You'll need energy for today.
What's that supposed to mean? Though confused, I picked up the plate and shoveled down the food. I was hungry today.
When I finished, I got up to take my empty plate downstairs, but I ran into another note on the wall. This one was an arrow. I looked in the direction it pointed in and found a black hoodie and jeans hung on my closet door.
She wants me to wear these? Why? Though I was confused, I still set down the plate on the bed and changed out of my pajamas and into the clothes Annie picked out. Where is she, anyway?
I headed for the kitchen but found another note stuck to the wall at the top of the stairs. Once upon a time, there was a girl named Annie.
Farther down was another one. She was the coolest person in the whole world.
I chuckled. What is she up to? At the bottom of the stairs was another yellow square with another note scribbled on it in black sharpie. I ran down to look.
Stop laughing and let me finish the story.
This time, I really did laugh. I kept my eye out for more notes on the way to the kitchen, but I didn't find another one until I reached the sink and dumped my plate and fork in it.
She woke up one morning and had breakfast.
Next to that were more arrows, each one spaced every few feet. I followed them out of the kitchen to the front door. My jacket, helmet, keys, and shoes were sitting on the floor with a sticky note on the door above them.
A smiley face this time.
I blinked. She wants me to go somewhere? My heart sped up a little, and I smiled. Where would she take me?
After pulling on my shoes, jacket, and helmet with record speed, I grabbed my keys and went outside. A chilly breeze hit me, but my clothes kept me warm. I looked around for the next sticky note and found it on the side of the house—an arrow pointing to the driveway.
Annie's car was gone, and only my bike was there. Taped on the seat was a folded-up sheet of paper. I opened it and laughed when I saw a stick figure at the bottom with a pirate hat on it with the word “START” scrawled under it. A dotted line swirled around the page in a random design to the top corner where she'd drawn a big X. Next to that, it said, “YALE UNIVERSITY”.
She wants me to go to Yale? It's only seven in the morning. I don't have class until this afternoon. I had no idea what Annie had up her sleeve, but I still slipped the “map” in my pocket and got on my bike. When I turned it on and revved the engine, the roar made me jittery with excitement. I kicked off and sped away.
* * *
I parked in my usual spot and immediately found another note on a light post a few feet away. She knows where I park? Is she stalking me, now? I got off my bike and almost ran to the note. This treasure hunt made me feel like a little kid again. It was fun not knowing what came next.
Annie came to tour Yale.
Another sticky note was farther down the parking lot on a tree at its perimeter. It looked like Hogwarts. (start humming Harry Potter theme now)
I tried humming it, but I started laughing too much. God, Annie, you're so weird. The next few notes were arrows stuck on various buildings, and I followed them like a live game of connect the dots. The campus was deserted this morning—no college student in their right mind would be awake this early—so I didn't care that I looked like a loser chasing after sticky notes. I could just relax and enjoy myself.