Mistakes Made: Act 1, Scene 5
Tom’s question went unanswered because Arly didn’t know what to do about Benny. He had always seemed to be a kind and compassionate human being, with a decent sense of what was right and wrong. However, he was also the son of a man who knowingly allowed his company to hurt others and benefited from the empire his father built. Was that enough to hurt their friend, even though he had been nothing but good since the moment she met him? Arly wished it was an easy question to answer, that she could tell them Benny wouldn’t be hurt by their actions, but she didn’t know that either.
“We’ll just have to make sure that Benny doesn’t find out,” Arly decided. It was an answer to the question, after all, and seemed to satisfy the others she enlisted in her plan. “Once we have a bit of money to help out Joey’s family, everything can go back to normal. Benny will never have to know what we did.”
It sounded like Arly was trying to convince herself more than anyone else, but Tom and Kyran both knew her mind was already set. They could, in theory, do exactly what her plan laid out without Benny ever finding out that they were involved. That didn’t assuage any of their guilt towards the situation, but they allowed that to pass for the time being. If Benny never found out that they were involved, they would never have to answer his questions about it.
However, heist planning took more time and effort than any of them expected it would. Their skills, ones Arly thought would merge so perfectly with robbing a corrupt multi-millionaire, did not actually translate the way she expected. While Tom had experience in coding basic games and webpages, he had no idea about hacking into a complex security system. He had to reach out to several friends online to start learning the basics, which set them back several weeks. Arly also came to learn that she drastically overestimated Kyran’s strength. He was strong, but no more so than any other average soldier. Even her own athletic skill failed to translate into something as simple as scaling a few walls.
The time it took for each member of their little heist team to learn and strengthen new skills provided less opportunity for them to spend time with other people that mattered. Benny, who knew that Arly saw him differently since learning who he really was, found himself most affected by this. He had struggled to make friends in college after being outed by a professor and seemingly lost the ones that he already had. Every text sent to Arly, Kyran, and Tom either went unanswered or came back with some vague excuse as to why they couldn’t hang out. After nearly a month of being ignored outside of class, Benny simply resigned himself to a life without the people he thought were his friends.
What really hurt, Benny realized, was knowing that their talk of homework for other classes was a lie. On more than one occasion, he had seen them sharing lunch together in the courtyard without him. They’d also gone out and gotten themselves memberships at the same gym, seemingly going at least once a day together. The only reason he hadn’t gone out of his way to make a big deal about it was his fear of sounding desperate or needy. He didn’t need people who didn’t want him, even though he hadthought they might be different.
As their plan came together, Arly never noticed that Benny was acting differently. Tom pointed out that he had stopped sending texts about meeting up for lunch after he managed to locate a blueprint for the company’s corporate office. Kyran also noticed that Benny was slowly migrating towards other groups in the class. However, Arly assured them that everything would work out in the end. They needed to focus on finishing their work against Benny’s father and things would go back to normal. All they needed was the right opportunity to strike, and it would all be over.
Their golden opportunity came some days after the group of three finally graced Benny with their presence. Arly tried to keep the conversation focused on their plan, asking Benny about his father and how the company handled the lawsuit. Benny seemed suspicious, which Tom and Kyran both tried to point out, but nothing seemed to deter the woman in charge. She wanted information that only their friend (could they really call Benny that?) would offer, and eventually she got what she wanted. Benny revealed that the board of directors was going to Monte Carlo on business for several days, which would leave most of the upper-level offices empty during the day.
Arly waited until Benny left the small diner, unaware that they had effectively chased him out, to say, “We can’t wait any longer or we’ll miss our chance to do anything. We have to go tonight, when no one will be around to notice anything going missing in the morning.”
They knew that Arly was right. Their window of opportunity would never get any better, and they needed to move before they lost their nerve. As Arly put it, the sooner they were finished, the sooner they could make everything right with Benny. They could only hope he would be willing to move forward when everything was said and done.