From the U.S. to Japan

Chapter 1

 “What time is it?” is the question I have been asking myself as I sit in the backseat of a Tesla. I bet you are wondering how I got into this situation, right? Well, it started right after school let out, when my friend, Sheila, was kidnapped. I don’t know how, or if I will see her again. 

Now it is three days later, I’m in Tokyo, and I am riding in the backseat of a Tesla, marveling at all the fancy controls and other gimmicks that the Tesla has. You see, the US government also wants to know where Sheila is, and has supplied me with an unlimited expense account. 

“Drive faster!” I yell at my chauffeur, Jack. 

“We are already going as fast as we can!” he yells back in his clipped British accent.

We are now in hot pursuit of the people who we think have kidnapped Sheila. I believe that the leader of their organization’s wife recently died and he wants company. Apparently, Sheila was one of his wife’s long lost cousins?

His name is Dr. Ren, and we are chasing his second, #2, who gets down to business! (Hahaha.) We speed down the crowded marketplace, knocking over vendor’s stalls and not stopping at red lights or stop signs. We are not going to let them get away!

I hope that Sheila is okay. She has never handled stressful situations very well. One time, in third grade, we saw a bird fall out of its nest and she didn’t stop crying. Eventually, her mom came to pick her up, and she spent the rest of the day watching movies, so it turned out okay.

Oh! By the way, I’m Amy. Amy Sullivan, and I am 16 years old. My dad is the president of the United States. 

I didn’t realize that I was looking sad. I guess I really, really miss Sheila.

#2 makes a sharp turn down a dead-end alley, but when we turn into it, he is nowhere to be seen. 

“Dang it!” I scream.

“We were very close, Miss Amy.”

I get out of the car to investigate. I check for loose bricks, doorways, anything that could give us a clue as to where Sheila went. I find nothing. Jack also looks around, but it doesn’t look like he is having much luck, either. 

“Amy! I think I found something!” Jack says.

Or not. I walk over to him and see him holding a license plate taped to the wall, behind some boxes. Like somebody wanted us to find it. 

           356 * 1449

As soon as we get back to our hotel, I go on my computer and look up the license plate number. Nothing comes up. It figures — this guy is a major villain. Of course he doesn’t put his license plate on the internet. Or, at least not the license plate that really matters. So I text my dad to see if they have it on any records, even though we are in Japan.

It has been hours since I sent the email and I still have not gotten a response. Suddenly, I hear a ding. I rush over to check my iPhone, and sure enough, there is a text there from dad. It says that the car with that license plate was last seen at Ueno Park. I run down the hall to the room where Jack is staying.

I knock very loudly, not caring if he is asleep or not. It doesn’t matter. He stumbles out bleary-eyed, looking as though he had just gone on a high-speed chase through a Japanese marketplace, which, technically, he had.                                                                                                             

“I have to sleep. We’ll talk in the morning,” he says.

He then (rudely) slams the door in my face, and I trudge back to my room for another night of no sleep and thinking about Sheila.

Chapter 2

The next morning, I wake up feeling refreshed and ready to go to Ueno Park. Maybe I can sleep after all, even though my dreams were filled with worry and regret that I could not stop Dr. Ren from kidnapping Sheila.

We drive over there in the (still very cool) Tesla. The drive is an hour and a half long so I have time to think about what I am going to do when I get there. Another thing that has been on my mind is why Dr. Ren chose Sheila over millions of other kids, even if she is somehow related to him.

I decide to ask Jack.

“Jack, why do you think that Dr. Ren chose Sheila?” I ask.

“What do you mean?”

“You know what I mean!”

“Okay, maybe I do, but I think that you’ll feel better if you figure it out yourself.”

“I’ll feel better if you tell me what you think and then let me grab all the credit for your idea!”

We sit in silence for a few moments. Why does Jack have to be so darn nice? It’s throwing off my style and I don’t like it. Then, after what seems like an eternity, he responds.

“I think that maybe Dr. Ren is using Sheila to get to you. Having the president’s daughter could be used for ransom, trade, slack the next time he gets in trouble with the US. And it was just too convenient that you are friends with somebody who is related to him.”

Wow. I hadn’t thought about it that way before, but now that I am thinking about it, he may be right. I mean, that might just be the last piece of the puzzle. I guess we’ll find out. (Or we might not, based on how things are going so far.)                                                                                           

I guess I just don’t want to fail. When I was a little kid, I always thought it would be so cool to be in a high-stakes mystery like in the movies, but now that I’m living it out for real, it’s scary. 

If Dr. Ren hurts her, it’s going to be my fault, if Jack’s theory is right. Which it probably is, based on how smart he is. I don’t know much about his background but I know that he used to work for the CIA. He is around 25 years old, but has been training with the CIA his whole life. Why, you ask? Because his parents were also with the CIA.

He could have been the leader of the CIA, but he chose not to because he hates meetings and things like that. Even though he would have gotten paid a lot. I guess he thinks that if he wants that job, he can always come back to it. I would definitely want to be head of the CIA. You get to go on cool missions, order people around, and basically just have a good time, fighting animals, people, and ninjas. 

I bet that Dr. Ren is going to have ninjas that I am going to have to fight. I have never fought a real ninja before. I know what you’re thinking. Why am I, the president’s daughter, the girl protected by dozens of secret service agents, going on a dangerous mission mostly by myself? I’ve got two answers for you. 

One, Dad wants me to be able to take care of myself and not become too used to being protected all the time. After all, Dad is not going to be president forever. Before he was president, I used to get picked on by school bullies all the time. He just sees this mission as a learning experience.

Two, because of that, three times a week I go to karate, chemistry, and meditation with the CIA. Karate, so I know how to fight back. Chemistry, so I understand the principles of science and can understand formulas and things like that. And meditation so I can learn to go deep within myself to find the energy I need to fight. It also helps me memorize complex equations and pretty much everything else. 

I have completed all of the training necessary for a normal CIA agent. Right now, as we are driving, I am using my meditation to gather all of my thoughts. This will help me to be more focused later on, when I really need to be. I wish that I could meditate forever and not have to deal with everything that is going on right now. But I know that Sheila needs me, and that is what keeps me going.

I know that she may be hurt or worse, but if I save her, she will probably never be in danger again. I travel even deeper into my thoughts, passing through the good, the bad, and the crazy. It’s like a hurricane in there, everything is swirling around, mixing together. I just wish that everything would make sense. I see swirls of light and Japanese and American flags flying around. I see my dad, and my secret service guard, including my maids and the chef who makes the most amazing lasagna. 

I never thought I would say this, but I think I miss home. The marble floors and hallways of the White House make me feel cozy and safe. I haven’t felt that way since the mission started. My giant room with the pink walls and bed that I hate but still love, because I love it there. Especially all of the stuffed animals from when I was a little kid in their crate next to my bed.

When I’m at home, I always am treated like a little girl, but on this mission, I get to be mostly by myself and take down bad guys. But I think it’s too much. The pressure is getting to me.

Either way, I hope this mission doesn’t take too long, even though I would do almost anything for Sheila. She’s my best friend, and I care about her. Even if I fail this mission, I’m sure there are more trained professionals who will be able to rescue her. I know that if I fail, she won’t be mad at me because I tried.

“Try your best.” That’s what adults always say. 

“You tried your best, and that’s what matters.”

Well, what if my best isn’t good enough? What if nobody can save Sheila? I hope that’s not the case.

“Amy, we’ve arrived,” I hear from the front.

I look out the window and there it is: Ueno Park. Even in the face of everything else, it’s so beautiful. Japan really is a special place. There are red maple trees everywhere, and golden arches and mini waterfalls. This place has everything! I wish I could have come here under happier circumstances.

“So, do you see anything?” Jack asks. 

“No, not yet. But I will,” I respond.

“I think I see something,” Jack says.

I look where he is looking and see a shadowy figure. I can’t really make out the shape, but it does look like a person. Not like it would be an animal. I mean, I guess it’s possible. With a guy like Dr. Ren, you never know.

“Snap out of it, Amy!” Jack yells.

Right. I have to focus on finding whoever the person is. I don’t like that he knew that we would come here. I start creeping towards him, trying my best to hide behind red maples, but they are so small that it probably isn’t working. 

Darn it! I lost him, and now he could be almost anywhere. I’m usually pretty good at hide and seek, but that is in places that I know. I’ve never been here before.

Oh! I see him again. He’s heading towards a huge bonsai. There are a million things that could be going on with that tree. It might even be a secret hideout.

Nope. He keeps walking, seemingly with a purpose, but you never know. Maybe he’s just a random guy. Nope! He looks too much like #2, and with these things, you can’t be too careful. I wish I knew for certain if it was him or not. Then I would have a real lead. 

Well he’s not getting away from me just yet. I break into a sprint, heading in his direction. The thought of Sheila keeps me going. He sees me and starts trying to find a hiding place. He knows I see him. He knew I would, but he would never let me get close to him. I pass the bonsai tree from earlier, and a couple of golden arches with cool writing on them. 

I see him duck down a side path littered with rocks, twigs, and all kinds of other things. It’s practically a minefield, just a very beautiful mindfield. 

There’s a little stream that he tries to jump over but he stumbles a little. Oh! I think I have it. Yup. I do. I know his weakness.           

Chapter 3

It’s been four days since I was flown to Japan by my distant cousin, Ren Tanaka. Ever since, it’s been nothing but fun nonstop. Uncle Ren lives in a huge mansion, the likes of which I’ve never seen before. And it’s like OMG! I love it! LOL. 

You may be like, “Who are you?” Well, I’m Sheila Jones. Best friend of Amy Miller, daughter of President Miller. Yeah that’s right, my best friend is the first, umm… daughter? 

I’m the class flirt and school gossip, and proud of it. There are like, so many cute servants that work for Uncle. I’m so glad that my parents agreed to let me take a few weeks off to relax in peace with Uncle Ren in Japan. It’s like, so pretty.

Today I’m meeting him for lunch in the huge cafeteria.