It wasn’t there. How could it not be there? Ben knew good and well that he left his flash drive – the secret one he bought with his own money without telling anyone about – should be wedged between the back leg of his desk and the wall. So where was it?
He got down on the floor with his butt sticking up so he could see better. Nope. It really, seriously was not there.
Lisa couldn’t have taken it. She was the reason he’d left it there over night. She’d been messing with it, and he decided to pretend that he couldn’t find it when it fell behind his desk so he wouldn’t have to show her anything on it. But then I couldn’t get it until after she left, and he’d ended up walking her home because it was after dark and by the time he got back he’d forgot all about it and just went to bed.
So now what?
Gene, maybe? Gene still came in his room sometimes to get things because they’d shared his room for so long and Gene wasn’t exactly careful about where he left stuff. He was a pig,. Even now when Ben had gotten his room kind of the way he liked it there were still random stuff that turned up. Like last week when Ben found Gene’s mp3 player under the bed.
But would he really take that one little thing from behind Ben’s desk? The desk legs weren’t real wide, so anyone who really looked could have seen it. But Gene didn’t really go out of his way to check out Ben’s room, or he would have gotten all his stuff out by now, and besides, did he even know what a flash drive was? He only ever used the computers at school.
So that left… oh no. Why didn’t he notice before? The floor was clean. Totally clean. Like… vacuumed.
Ben sat on his butt and groaned. Mom must have vacuumed in here, which meant she… would she have sucked it up? Or just seen it there and picked it up? Ben almost wished she’d sucked it up cause then he could dig it out of the vacuum without having to explain himself.
He was going to have to do it, confess to Mom that he bought a flash drive because he didn’t want her snooping in his writing and did she know where it was?
He knocked on her door.
“Come in,” she called.
“Mom?” He pushed the door open and stepped inside. She lay across the bed with a book in her hand – one of those paperbacks with the kind of cover she didn’t want him to see so she’d generally lay it down on its front. “Have you seen…” he glanced around, and saw it.
Right there, out in the open on her dresser, was the deep red plastic of his flash drive. There was a string kind of draped around it and some coins, so maybe she just shoved it in her pocket and dumped it there after and probably didn’t even think about what it was so…
He didn’t really have to tell her anything. All he had to do was sneak in tonight and he could grab it.
“Seen what, Honey?”
“Oh, uh… nothing. Nothing.”
“Oh. All right.” She gave him a long look, then went back to her book.
Yes! All he had to do was wait for her to go to sleep. He could get his flash drive back and she’d still never know he had a diary on it, let alone what was in it.
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