“When was the last time you saw Valentin, professor?”
Albi had decided to question Valentin’s family while he waited for Angelica to come to Valentin’s house, so that the two of them could search through their friend’s computer. Albi had now moved onto Igor Kazami, who, as mentioned earlier, was Valentin’s father.
“He said he was going to go to the park to take a walk,” said Igor, calmly looking at Albi.
“Any arguing you had with him?” asked Albi.
Igor shook his head. “None. We had a small basketball match about half an hour earlier.”
Albi grinned. “Who won?”
”Valentin did – but back to the main topic. Any leads on my son?” Igor asked.
“Sorry, prof. None. The team’s worried – especially Angelica,” replied Albi, showing a look of concern.
“Even though she’s Valentin girlfriend, she shouldn’t really be worried. He’s gotten out of tougher situations – besides, he’s got Leonidas on his side,” pointed out Igor.
“That reminds me – he didn’t take Snapzoid or Buganoid with him. Why’s that?” asked Albi.
Igor thought for a moment, as if trying to remember something, then said “the two didn’t feel like going – at least, that’s what they told Valentin. They were really planning another prank on him just get a laugh when he came back.”
“Figures,” muttered Albi.
“Anything else?” said Igor.
“Nope, nothing. You mind if we check out Valentin’s room? In case we find anything helpful?” Albi asked.
“Of course. You’re his friends, so feel free to do so.”
Albi turned to leave Igor’s laboratory, but before he did, he asked “Did you hear about Val and Leonidas getting attacked by a Bakugan?”
“What?!” exclaimed Igor. “Attacked?!”
“Yeah. Some kids playing basketball said they a huge, gray creature – resembling a Ziperator – try to get a guy matching Val’s description. They couldn’t exactly see what really was going on, since there were some trees surrounding the court in the way,” Albi replied.
Albi started walking when he felt a hand on his shoulder. He turned his head to see Igor looking at him with a worried look on his face.
“Please find my son,” he said. Albi just nodded.
“Good thing Val’s mom was nice enough to show us Val’s room,” said Albi.
“I already knew where it was,” replied Angelica hotly.
Albi raised an eyebrow. “Really? What you two do in here? Kiss?”
Angelica attempted to smack Albi, but he caught her hand.
“Not this time, Little A,” he said tauntingly.
He let go of her hand, and Angelica glared at Albi. She glanced behind him and grinned. “Found his computer.”
“Computer? That’s a laptop,” objected Albi.
“Why does that even matter now?” muttered Angelica.
“Just turn it on and log into it,” mumbled Albi.
Angelica sighed and went over to the laptop. She lifted the screen and pressed the power button.
A few moments later, she and Albi had logged into Valentin’s laptop and were searching through his recently opened files on it.
“Nothing. Just pictures of all us together, stories he’s typing, and his email,” Albi said.
“Let’s check his email,” said Angelica almost immediately.
“You afraid he left you?” joked Albi, grinning.
He expected Angelica to attempt to smack him again – only what she did next made Albi instantly regret what he had just done.
Tears began to roll from Angelica’s eyes, and she started sobbing. She looked down and, sobbing, said “How, Albi? How can you be so mean to me?”
Albi put his arm around his friend. “Look, I didn’t mean to – “
Angelica immediately moved away from Albi, glaring at him. “Don’t even touch me if you’re going to act like a jerk!”
Albi was surprised. He did not expect Angelica to react like that at all to him.
“Look, I’m really sorry, Angelica. I didn’t mean to – hey, what’s that?” Albi said, pointing to a small notebook.
“It’s just a notebook. Not such a big deal,” said Angelica bitterly.
“I was only kidding, I just wanted to make you stop feeling upset,” said Albi, giving her a strained smile.
Angelica briskly turned away, knocking the notebook onto the floor of Valentin’s room. When it hit the floor, it opened up to a page.
The pages the notebook opened to suddenly caught Albi’s attention. He bent down from Valentin’s bed and picked the notebook. “Angelica, look at this.” ”Another joke?” muttered Angelica, still crying.
“I’m serious.” Albi paled. “Something about Exorcist.”
Angelica suddenly turned around, eyes widened. She immediately grabbed the notebook and began reading;
“Entry five – looks like starting this notebook was a good idea after all. I’ve been able to keep track of all of the times Exorcist appeared in ‘visions’ in my sleep. Yesterday night, he was just looking at me, like I wrote earlier. Last night, though, his jaws were moving, as if trying to tell me something. I couldn’t hear what had to say though.”
Angelica looked up from the notebook and stared at Albi, eyes still widened. Albi’s jaw dropped.
Angelica looked down at the notebook and continued reading.
“Entry six – Exorcist was saying something about some ‘darkness’. I couldn’t really make out most of what he was saying, because a lot of it was just whispers. He then said something about the darkness being a threat to everybody. That made me dream of Angelica, and next thing you know, I’m waking up. I got worried sick about Angelica, so I tried to call her, but stopped after the first call didn’t get answered. I checked the time and found out it was only four in the morning. Am I losing my mind? I might not know.”
Angelica looked at Albi again. “That explains his missed call from over a week ago – which was occurred somewhere around four in the morning. But Valentin denied any call at that time,” she said. She then turned to the next page and continued reading the entries.
“Entry seven – I keep seeing Angelica now. It’s creepy. We might have our relationship, but dreaming about her right after Exorcist is just plain scary. That actually made me write the following…
“To be honest, whenever I think of Angelica, I suddenly think of the thought of losing her to another guy. That thought made me realize that I couldn’t stand her being someone else. I realized that I couldn’t stand Angelica being someone else’s girlfriend. It’s too much to bear, especially since she was my first actual girlfriend. Not only that, before I had that same thought more than two years ago, before she was my girlfriend – when we were just friends. Even though I feel ridiculous writing that stuff down in here, I’m finally glad I can confess it somewhere.”
“Whoa,” said Albi, appearing to be shocked.
Angelica suddenly found a tear rolling down her cheek. She wiped it off and continued reading.
“Entry eight – Exorcist appeared again. He said that ‘we’re going to have to bond again sometime soon’. I hate to say – or write – this, but I think that means that I might be able to turn into him again. He considers it a blessing – I consider it a curse.
“’Now I’m worried about my friends. And Angelica. I can’t get her out of my head. I don’t even know what to tell her about what I’m facing. I just don’t know.’”
Angelica stopped and turned the page, then continued; “’Entry nine – for the past two days, I haven’t had any visions or dreams about Exorcist at all. I’ve been able to sleep peacefully, thank god. Now I’m juts going to go have a basketball game with Dad…’ it ends here, Albi.”
He nodded, and looked up to see Angelica looking at him, crying. He reach over and gave her a hug. ”It’s going to be OK. Val’s gonna be back. You’ll see,” he assured, but he still heard Angelica sob.