Recap:Benjy is trapped in his play. He’s a loveable thief who pulled off a gem heist and is now being chased by the police and the mafia. He needs to finish the script to get home, but rescued by his friends, it’s not going according to script.
Aron stared at him with a strange expression on his face that threw Benjy a little. That wasn’t in the script.
“It’s not so simple. We weren’t the only ones who had our eyes on those gems. You heard of the dragons? The old gang? The son of the current leader was after the jewels too; he promised his father he’d steal them but we got there first. He managed to get to us, but by then the police were all over the National Museum. They’ll never find them, but I couldn’t get the jewels when the police were all over the place. So he took Dalia and gave me a 48-hour deadline to bring him the jewels. So we havta steal back our jewels from under the nose of the police and give them away to save Dalia. And we got 48 hours to do it in….” Benjy silently waited for them to reach a decision.
Will broke in first. “Cool.”
“Sounds like fun to me. I can’t resist a challenge.” Suri was in.
That left Aron, who should have responded first, according to the script. Something was wrong.
Aron stared dramatically into the distance. In this drama version of reality, life followed all the rules of script. It was dramatic and over the top. Any second now Benjy was sure Aron would start his monologue.
“I’m in.” Benjy breathed a sigh of relief. “But I need to talk to Gabriel. I want to go over the details a little.” The others stepped to the side and Benjy and Aron walked to the middle of the room. Benjy rolled his eyes. This was so like a play. All they needed now was a spotlight. As if on cue, a bright light shone down on them. Yup, this was definitely a version of reality that had gone to drama school.
Aron stared at Benjy, looking him up and down. “You look different. You were blonde. Now you’re brown and your clothes are weird.” Benjy nodded, unsure of what to say. He hadn’t been wearing his costume or wig, true. But why had no one else noticed it except Aron?
“Everyone else seems to think everything is normal, but you’re not normal. You’re different. I can’t put my finger on it. You talk like Gabriel, you seem like Gabriel…but something’s off. Why am I the only one who can see it? What’s going on?”
Aron’s eyes were flashing with confusion, anger, the desire to believe every-thing was fine, and the need to know the truth. A person’s eyes are the window to his soul. Aron’s soul was certainly in turmoil; this version of reality really took its drama seriously.
“Aron…I’m gonna tell you something that might sound crazy.” Aron folded his arms, waiting.
“ I’m…” Benjy took a deep breath. “I’m not Gabriel. I’m a boy from… I don’t know, the future, an alternate reality. I know this sounds crazy, but I promise it’s the truth. My name is really Benjy. I was performing this as a play in my school and then…it became real.” Benjy finished, slightly breathless. He could-n’t bring himself to look up and meet Aron’s eyes, couldn’t bear to see what he thought. It was a crazy cool adventure, but he was still trapped, a long way from home, and he couldn’t be himself. He was reading the words to someone else’s life, a script written for another life. He needed someone to believe him; an ally, someone who could relate to what he was going through.
Aron stepped to the side. What was he – oh. He’s going to, will he? Come on, seriously?! Yet Aron was honestly stepping to the side for his soliloquy. Who on earth did he think he was talking to? Stupid old drama reality. He did not need reminders that he was in a play…still, this would be entertaining. However, Benjy found that he couldn’t move or even hear what Aron was saying. So this is what it’s like to be a character from a play. Mrs Lyon always said to live the part. Well he was doing it now.
Aron paced around and gestured, looking broodingly and moodily into the dis-tance. If only Shalom had these acting skills in real life….
Eventually Aron turned back to Benjy. “Ok, Gabri- Benjy. I sort of believe you. What now?”
Benjy allowed himself to hope. “I’m banking on acting this play out, and then when it’s over, I’ll go back to being me.”
A shadow seemed to drape itself over Aron, but before Benjy could ask what was wrong, Suri swung over to them with a grim expression.
“Bad news. The police have put the museum into lockdown whilst they search the premises for the missing jewels. Gabriel, it doesn’t look good. We need those jewels and if the police get them…we’re all done for.”
Before Gabriel could respond, the sound of footsteps caused everyone to dramatically pause, turn around slowly and react. Someone was coming. Four of the five people who knew about this place were right next to him, the fifth was… so who was coming?
“It can’t be. No one knows about this place except for us. No one could ever find it!” Aron said.
“Looks like someone just has,” mused Benjy softly as the sound of footsteps came to an end and a figure stepped into the light.