Prologue

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With every footfall, I grew more and more irate. I glanced down at the floor of the panic room. My anger flared before dismissing the scattered papers and stalking across the room. Trying to get Alexis' attention proved to be significantly harder than he told me. For the better part of the day, I plastered each of the walls with notes that indicated that I needed to speak with him. Looking at the empty pad on the table, I sighed and yelled at the silent walls. Shaking my head, I kicked at one of the deeper piles muttering, "There will be plenty of paper." If Alexis gave me his phone number, this wouldn't have been an issue, to begin with.

I would have been able to use the cell phone to call him. Whipping my head around the room, I wondered how long ago I talked with Matt? As the dread piled upon my shoulders, I dropped to the floor and started rifling through the papers where I thought the phone landed. Cursing I crawled across the floor continuing the search for the phone. No matter how many loose sheets I cleared from the floor, I couldn't find it under the sea of scribbled pages. I stopped searching when I remembered that it didn't matter since I couldn't have used it anyway. It would be as useless as before.

Why did I let my temper and fear get the better of me? Throwing the phone against the wall after my talk with Matt served no purpose. It didn't even give me a moment of satisfaction. Of course, the same question flowed through my mind the last time I found the useless hunk of plastic. Slamming my fist upon the floor, I resumed cursing myself for breaking the precious phone. If only I kept my calm after that conversation, I could have eventually called Alexis. Looking at the small stack of papers on the table. Throwing the notes from the table, I screamed, "It would be better than having to rely on these stupid notes."

Backing up, I leaned against the wall. Staring up into the ceiling, I started bouncing my skull against the hard surface. Eyeing another dense pile, I wondered if the phone hid there. Instinctively my foot lashed out at the spot. My foot tore through the stack, revealing more of the wooden floor. Spinning to face the wall, I pounded it out of pure frustration. Unfortunately, while I could hit the walls as often as I wanted to, all I'd get out of that was a pair of sore hands.

Alexis told me that he possessed ways to peer through the walls of the panic room whenever he wanted to. With another search of the ceiling, I doubted he used traditional security cameras to realize that goal. In the same breath, he mentioned that to get his attention, I just needed to write him a message on the notebook and leave it face up somewhere in the room. But so far after filling hundreds of pages with frantic messages, Alexis still has not shown up. Why did all of this happen to Matt and me?

With nothing else better to do, I began pacing the lengthof the panic room. Each time I reached a wall, I punched it out of frustration.Nothing came of it aside from scraping my knuckles. But hitting the wall gavemy mind something to focus on, apart from dwelling upon my current inability tohelp my friend.

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