13- how to be a thief

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"I want dirty blonde with some highlights. And layers. Shoulder-length please." 

The hairdresser looked at me like I was on drugs. I didn't blame her. I probably looked pretty frazzled walking into the place as soon as they opened. I had stayed up all night and hadn't showered. My long brown locks were an absolute mess. 

"Shampoo?" She asked. She didn't have to touch it to know it was necessary. 

"Yes please." 

Two hours later, I walked out of there looking like a totally different person. Which had been the goal. My next stop was the mall for new clothes and makeup. If I was gonna change my appearance, I was gonna go all out. 

By lunchtime, I was on my last nerve. My eyes were dark with silver eye-shadow and thick mascara, my clothes black and made of fake leather, my blonde hair wavy and short. The thought crossed my mind to get colored contacts but I decided against it. No one would be getting that close anyway. 

When every last shred of patience was gone, I stormed over to Dave's in my knee high boots. Tyler wasn't there so I marched upstairs to his apartment and knocked. 

A minute past before I heard movement on the other side. I knocked again, prompting a groggy 'coming' to be shouted through the wood. Finally, he opened the door. The first thing I noticed was the lack of shirt. The second thing I noticed were the bags under his eyes. Even though it was noon, it was obvious he had just woken up. 

Tyler didn't say anything for a minute. His eyebrows scrunched together as he took in my new look. "Aly?" 

"Yep, that's me." 

"What the-" 

"I saw the two goons outside of Dave's last night. They saw me, too, and I'm tired of being scared of them. I'm tired of waiting for them to finally figure out who I am. So I did something about it." 

"Yeah, I'll say. What happened to leaving town for a little bit?" 

"You think I'm gonna let those assholes control my life too? No way." I stepped inside, pushing past him while he closed the door behind us. "We should work together."  

"What?" 

"The only way to get rid of them for good is to do something about it." 

Tyler sighed. "Like what, Aly?" 

"Make our own money." 

"How?" 

"I dunno. Steal." 

"Too dangerous." 

Talking to him was like talking to a brick wall. No shred of emotion, no real opinions, nothing. All he did was ask lots of questions that he didn't like the answers to. 

So I tried a different tactic. "I know about Cameron."

Finally, he woke the eff up. "How?"

"It wasn't that hard to figure out."

Tyler's expression hardened. "You should let it go."

"I want to help." After seeing the sixteen year-old's bloodied face and reading about his many days in the hospital, I couldn't get it out of my head. Though there weren't any suspects, I knew in my gut it had to be the same assholes hurting Tyler. 

"No."

"Yes." I said firmly, not willing to back down. "Cameron's still here, isn't he? They're using him to get you to cooperate."

Tyler face loomed over mine, his expression colder and more threatening than I had ever seen. If I wasn't so determined, I would have been terrified.

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