Valentine’s Day Revenge

The hours of operation printed on the door said Closed on Mondays.

It was, of course, Monday. The “CLOSED” sign confirmed they shouldn’t be there.

Adam read the invitation again.

VALENTINE’S DAY OFFER

ONE FREE ESCAPE ROOM EXPERIENCE

FOR YOU AND ONE GUEST

GUARANTEED ROMANCE AND THRILLS

ONE COUPLE WILL WIN $100

For use on Valentine’s Day only. Ticket is non-transferable. Call to confirm your reservation. Print this ticket and bring with you.

This was awkward. It had taken some convincing to get his girlfriend to agree to an escape room for Valentine’s Day. Even though they loved escape games, she wanted something different, like a hot air balloon ride with their friends. But this was free…and they could win money. He’d added the word “romance” himself to the verbiage before forwarding her the email from Escape Horizons.

“It’s obviously closed,” Eve said, reaching out to tug at the door, startled when the door actually opened with a sound of jingling bells. “Okay, so maybe not.”

The dim lighting inside the lobby illuminated several plush chairs and ottomans scattered about as well as an antique desk. Typical escape game décor, with the addition of some pink balloons in the shape of hearts scattered here and there.

“See?” Adam handed her one of the balloons. “So romantic.”

No one else was around. A handmade sign propped up on an easel said, “Welcome, lovers.” The large glittery letters were woven into a brilliant green tree. And, of course, an apple dangled from one of the branches.

“Seriously?” Eve groaned. “Please tell me that’s not the theme here.”

Adam hoped not. It would almost be funny if this was the first time. But ever since Adam and Eve started dating as sophomores, people seemed obsessed with them. By the time they got to their senior year, the fact that Adam and Eve existed as a couple had taken hold of the entire student—and even teacher—population. They’d earned superlatives in their yearbook for Storybook Couple—something that was created just to highlight their relationship. Even the theme for Homecoming Dance was Garden of Eden, with the Homecoming Court being served—naturally—a dinner of ribs and apple pie. When they won Homecoming King and Queen, it was no surprise to anyone. It got to the point where Adam cringed whenever someone called out, “Adam and Eve.”

Adam tapped the bell on the front desk, but no one appeared. “If no one else plays, we’ll probably win by default.” He poked a finger at a life-size bear in the corner. “They definitely got the creepy vibe going. Maybe we’ll get lucky and it’ll be a horror theme.”

“If it is, I’m sure there will be serpents.” Eve examined some papers sitting on top of the desk. “Here, I think we’re supposed to fill this out.” She handed him a form with his name already printed at the top. “Liability waivers.”

“Liability? For what?”

“If we die, I guess.” She tickled him with the pen. “In which case I get your part of the money, right?”

“Unless you kill me.” He signed his form and handed it to her. “Now what?”

A loud ringing made both of them jump. Eve lifted the handset of the antique phone sitting on the desk, and Adam leaned in.

“Welcome to Paradise, Adam and Eve.” The man’s baritone voice sounded dramatic, almost like a radio host. “To play the game, find the room with the forbidden fruit, complete all tasks, and win as a couple. You have one hour. You may ask once for assistance. Any use of electronic devices such as a phone during the game will result in forfeiture.”

“Will we still win the money if no one else is competing?” Adam asked, but a click sounded on the other end.

Eve replaced the receiver. “All right, let’s go find the room with the forbidden fruit, like we don’t know what that is.”

They walked hand in hand down the hallway, passing a door with a picture of a snake on it. Laughter was coming from within. “Sounds like another couple’s already started,” Eve said. “I wonder if everyone is stuck with the Garden of Eden for their theme.” They hurried to the last door, which had a glittery red apple taped to it.

Inside was what looked like a regular escape room. It was decorated like a small classroom, with a teacher’s desk and several chairs facing it. A large world globe was perched on a pedestal in a corner, and a large chalkboard with four lines of algebraic equations was set up behind the desk. On the wall, there were a few framed pictures with sayings like, “Learning is the Best Adventure,” and “The Path to Your Future Starts Here.” A bookcase against the opposite wall held a few books and was connected to a latch on the wall with a combination lock.

It was a pretty basic room. Other than the bookcase lock and another one on the desk drawer, there were no other obvious locks.

“And here we have yet another Adam and Eve moment.” Adam gestured grandly at a thickly framed print of a woman holding snakes, one in each hand. The canvas was cut as if with a sharp knife, a slit just below each snake. He ran a finger along one of the slices, but there was no magic button that did anything useful. Along the side of the frame, he found a tiny opening. “There’s a keyhole here.”

“Okay, so that’s three locks.” Eve pointed at the algebraic problems written on the whiteboard. “Obviously, the equations are the key to one of them. I’ll take those—you look for more clues.”

Adam shuffled through the paperwork on the desk. Mostly it was backstory on a student who was caught cheating then got expelled. Inside one of the desk drawers was a small digital voice recorder. He held it out and pressed play.

“Are you sure?” A muffled girl’s voice came through the speakers. It was poor quality—full of static and sounding as if it were recorded from far away.

“Absolutely,” a guy’s voice whispered. Then nothing but static. Adam flipped the recorder over in his hands, but there was nothing else of use.

“That was random,” Eve said. “Anyway, I solved the equations. It’s 5-4-1-6. You take the drawer and I’ll take the bookcase.”

Adam input the code in the desk drawer lock. “Got it!” Inside the drawer was a tiny key with a plastic red apple keychain attached to it. “If this doesn’t get any tougher, we might beat the record for fastest escape.”

Eve laughed and wrapped her arms around his waist as he inserted the key in the frame’s lock, tugging at the frame, but it didn’t open. The key wouldn’t come out, either. “I think I broke it.”

“Oh!” Eve jumped back as a muffled churning and whirring sound came from within the picture.

Two small envelopes slipped halfway through the slits in the canvas, dangling as if by a string. One had Adam written on it with Sharpie—the other was addressed to Eve. Eve tugged the envelopes out and handed Adam’s to him. He noticed his envelope had an apple printed on it. The idea of Eve handing Adam the apple was a little over the top. Adam opened his envelope. The letter inside was typed in a swirling font.

I know what you did.

If she finds the last clue, all will be revealed.

If you leave before the hour is up, your secret is forfeit.

BUT…

If she does not finish in time, your secret will stay just that.

You have less than an hour.

Good luck!

What the… He read it again.

I know what you did.

…your secret…

There was only one he had—

A face framed by wavy blond hair popped up in his mind, but he pushed it away. Nope. No one knew about Zoe. This was all part of the stupid game. It would turn out that he had information she needed to complete a puzzle or something.

“Adam?”

He jerked his head up. Eve was holding her letter out for him to read. She didn’t look angry or freaked out, which was a good sign. “Why don’t you read yours out loud,” he suggested.

She looked at her note. “A breach in paradise has occurred. Your time is ticking to find the clues and solve the puzzle. Only one couple will win. But know this—if you win, you may also lose more than you bargained.”

“I wonder what that last part means.” Eve snapped her fingers in front of Adam, who was staring at the clock. He didn’t respond. “Adam, hello?”

“Huh?”

She pointed at his letter. “What does yours say?”

“Basically the same thing.”

“Basically?”

“Yeah. Except it said there might be a clue in the pictures here.” He shoved the letter in his pocket and wandered over to the pictures on the wall. Giving her that letter would stir up questions, and he didn’t want to get into it. Better just stick to finishing the game. “Here are some numbers at the bottom of this picture—seven, six, eight, one.”

She input those in the combination lock. “Nope.” As she went back to analyzing the pictures on the wall, Adam’s eyes roved around the room, landing on the digital recorder sitting on the desk. Was it possible? He shoved that out of his mind again. Nope, it’s not that. Besides, that would be insanely creepy, and why would an escape room owner set something like that up?

“Oh, I think I’ve got it!” Eve ran over to the combination lock. She started turning the dial. The lock clicked and the bookshelf separated slightly from the wall. She pulled on it to reveal a dark room behind it.

He peered over her shoulder, his heart pounding in his ears.  It’s just an office or closet or something, he told himself.

“I found something,” Eve said. She tugged on the string of an old-fashioned lamp, illuminating the room. A dull red material covered a wall. “It looks like the back of a curtain.” She tugged at the curtain to open it and tapped on the thin metal wall.

The curtain was a cheap, simple setup, and pull ropes hung to the right of it. Adam stared at the backstage setup, and at the little table with an old-fashioned desk lamp. He felt sick now. There was no mistaking what this was intended to be. His secret.

What the hell? Three weeks ago at their school’s Winter Dance, he’d just had a fight with Eve over texts he’d been receiving from an unknown number. She said she didn’t trust him. Up till that point, he’d just done some harmless flirting with the cute blonde named Zoe, who’d liked him for a while. But the rougher things got between him and Eve, the harder it was to ignore his draw to Zoe. So, the night of the Winter Dance, about an hour after he and Eve were crowned Snow King and Queen, he and Zoe hooked up behind the curtain on the stage.

It was wrong, he knew. He thought he would be breaking up with Eve, but then they didn’t. He couldn’t find it in him to tell Zoe there would be no breakup. Not yet. He told her he would do it but to stop texting him. He knew he’d have to tell her eventually, but the timing was never right.

“Ooh, look, a clue!” Eve picked up a small pink satin purse that was on the ground, under the little table. She turned it over in her hands. “There’s a piece of paper in—”

Adam groaned out loud, clutching at his stomach.

She looked up. “Are you okay?”

“No, not really.” He groaned again and backed up until he was leaning against a desk. “I’m feeling really sick.”

Dropping the purse on the table, Eve hurried to him, her arms wrapping around his shoulders. “Do you want to stop?”

Adam started to nod, then remembered the warning in his letter. “Wait…”

But Eve had already tilted her face toward the small lens situated next to the clock. “Excuse me. My boyfriend—Adam—doesn’t feel well.”

A minute later, a deep voice asked in a pleasant voice, “Does Adam wish to leave the game?”

“No!” Adam shouted, glaring icy daggers at the camera. “I’m fine,” he said to Eve. “I don’t need to leave.”

“Are you sure?” the voice asked. “Or would you perhaps like a clue?”

“I’m sure, asshole,” Adam spit out. “And we don’t need any of your clues.”

“Adam!” Eve hit his shoulder with the back of her hand. “Yes, sure, we’d love a clue.” She threw Adam a stony look. Great, he was going to come out of this looking bad even if she didn’t figure out what was going on. And on Valentine’s Day, too.

“Of course,” the voice said pleasantly. “Consider how you would make your entrance on stage to open the door.”

Eve went back into the room with the curtain. “Okay, so we just need to pull on the ropes.” She picked up the little satin purse with the paper sticking out of it. “Come on, you’re the one who wanted to play this.”

He walked quickly to her and took her hand. “I know. I’m sorry.” He pressed his lips to hers. She returned his kiss, not seeming to notice he was gently confiscating the paper from the purse.

She soon pulled away and turned to tug on the ropes. He peeked at the paper. It was a picture of him, clearly kissing someone, although the other person was cut out of the photo. The pink purse was visible, though. Zoe’s. Shit. This was definitely a setup. But by who? He shoved the photo in his pocket, next to the letter. Hopefully, she’d forget all about it. The clock displayed forty more minutes. If he could keep getting to the clues first, he could keep her from finishing. It was a game for a reason. He could do this.     

The wall slid open, and they stepped out onto a stage overlooking a small dance floor. A strobe light made colorful beams dance across the floor, where pink and green balloons floated. Pink swaths of fabric were gathered along the wall like curtains. It was the Winter Dance recreated.

“Jeez, this is a whole lot bigger than other escape game rooms,” Eve said. “Oh, look!” She pointed out matching icicle king and queen crowns sitting on a little table behind one of the speakers. “Don’t they look like the ones we got?”

“Yeah. Kind of.”

Music started playing suddenly—a fun, quick beat they’d play at a dance.

Adam felt a sharp pang of guilt as he watched her run down the stage steps, giggling as the balloons floated around her. She was adorable. He really cared about Eve. He had to run out the clock and keep her from getting hurt.

“Okay, this has got to be someone we know from school. Who did this?” She looked up to the clock in the corner. “Dana, is that you? Wait, no, Dana’s family owns a pizza business.” She tapped her finger to her lip in thought. “Marcus?”

“Dance with me,” Adam said. He went to her and wrapped his arms around her waist, moving slowly, ignoring the fast-paced beat of the music. “You know I love you, right?” He wished he’d said it a long time ago.

She pulled back, her eyebrows dipping suspiciously. Maybe this was the wrong time to say it. But then she smiled, full of promise and hope. “I love you, too.”

The music suddenly shifted to something slow and romantic. He pulled her tighter to him, breathing in the sweet flowery scent of her hair. He glanced over at a door marked “Exit,” and wondered what would happen if they left. Whoever was doing this would probably chase them down. Screw that.

As they danced, Adam vowed to start over with her, make it all right again. Put the past in the past. He was going to finally tell Zoe he was staying with Eve. This was going to work. “Remember how great it felt to get crowned King and Queen?”

She leaned back. “I don’t remember it meaning that much to you. I remember you making fun of the whole thing.”

Whoops. “Well…” he started, but a whooshing sound behind them interrupted him, making them both jump. A panel in the wall near them opened and someone walked in.

No.

No.

No!

“Oh, my gosh, what are you doing here?” And suddenly Eve was smiling and laughing with the blonde who had just walked through. Smiling because this was literally fun and games to her.

Smiling…because she had no idea.

Zoe’s cheerful expression hardened as her eyes landed on Adam. He tried to shift his focus to the tall guy who walked in behind her.

“Adam—hello? You know Rob, right? Looks like we’ve got competition.” Eve nudged him when he didn’t move and gave him the you’re being rude look. Adam pasted on a smile and shook the guy’s outstretched hand. He knew Rob only from a couple classes in high school but had never really spoken with him.

“So, you guys are dating?” Adam asked Rob hopefully.

“We’re just friends,” Zoe cut in. “Though he’s a lot better than some guys I’ve known.” She glared at Adam.

Time to bail. “Let’s go look for some more clues,” he said to Eve, who watched the exchange with a frown. He took her elbow and started moving toward the opposite corner.

“Wait,” Zoe said. She approached them, her eyes on the little pink purse under Eve’s arm. “Where’d you find my purse?”

“Your purse?” Eve looked at it. “It was in the last room we were in. I think it’s a prop.”

“Well, I lost mine at the Winter Dance. Pretty sure I was backstage when it happened.” She batted her eyes at Adam, who was doing his best to ignore her. “Mind if I take it?”

“Sure. Oh, I think there’s something in here.” Eve opened it and shook it out, but of course, the paper was in Adam’s pocket. She handed it to Zoe. “Guess not.”

“Well, that was different,” she said as Zoe sauntered back to Rob. “Why was she acting so weird?”

“I think…” He took a breath and glanced back at Zoe, who was now walking around the room with Rob. “I think she’s got a thing for me.” He felt bad about throwing Zoe under the bus, but he had to explain what he knew would be an awkward half-hour. He hoped Zoe could keep her mouth shut.

Eve wrinkled her nose. “Funny you say that. I was actually hoping she and Rob were a thing. He asked me out a couple years ago, right when you and I started dating, and I told him no. He was kind of upset about it.”

“That’s awesome,” Adam said without thinking.

“Awesome?”

“I meant weird. That’s weird.”

“Ah. Okay.” Her lips twisted as she watched Zoe and Rob move around the room.

“Hey,” Adam said, taking her hand. “We can just hang out if you don’t want to do this anymore.”

She raised an eyebrow. “And lose this game to them? No way. I’ll look over here on this wall, and you go look on the stage. ”

Adam nodded and headed up the steps to the stage.

“Hey, asshole,” Zoe hissed from behind him.

He looked quickly over at Eve, who was now on the other side of the room. Rob was making a beeline toward her.

“Did you have something to do with all this?” He gestured around the room. “Just to get me back?”

Her eyebrows lifted. Clearly, that was not what she expected him to say. “What are you talking about? I was invited to play this stupid game, and now I’m stuck in a room with the guy who lied about breaking up with his girlfriend just to get a piece of me.”

“I didn’t lie.” He was glad he’d told Eve how Zoe felt about him. Zoe would have no problem telling Eve right now, but hopefully, Eve would think she was making it up. “I thought we were breaking up. And you were kind of after me all night.”

“So now you’re blaming me for what happened?”

“No. Look, I am sorry for what happened. I really am. Eve already knows about it,” he lied. “You should go out with Rob. He seems like a nice guy.” Rob was now following Eve as she looked under the curtains for clues. 

“Unbelievable,” Zoe snapped loudly, getting Rob and Eve’s attention as well. She picked up the king’s crown off the table and flung it at him, smiling when one of the plastic icicles scratched his arm as he caught it. “Here’s your crown, your majesty.”

She picked up the other one—the queen’s—her expression suddenly shifting to one of curiosity. She flipped the crown over in her hands and removed a piece of paper. Not a paper—a photo. Adam snatched the photo away from her, turning to keep it hidden. It was a cutout of Zoe—the other half of the photo from the purse. He added it to the growing stash in his pocket, ignoring the glare from Zoe. He was pretty sure now that he had the two main clues in his pocket, and when the game ended in twenty-two minutes, they’d be done.

He really wished he’d taken Eve on the hot air balloon ride instead.

Rob walked toward them. “Everything okay, Zo?”

Zoe broke into a big smile and skipped down the steps, looping her arm under his.

“Yeah, great. Did you find anything?” She flipped Adam off from underneath his arm.

“Eve found a big wood frame on the wall behind one of the curtains. Something is probably behind it. We have to open it with a key, so we’re looking for that now.” He untangled himself from Zoe’s arm to join Eve again.

Help, Eve mouthed to Adam, who moved toward her side. As soon as Rob noticed him, he went back to Zoe. Everyone continued the search, though Adam was more interested in avoiding the ticking time bomb Zoe, and Eve was steering clear of Rob.

“Look!” Eve finally called out. She picked up one of the balloons on the floor, shaking it. Something rattled around inside. She held out her hand to Adam. “Give me your car keys.” Adam handed them to her and she pierced the thick part of the balloon, letting the air release slowly. She pulled out a small key then walked over to the frame, unlocking the wooden cover and opening it. Underneath was a large monitor attached to the wall.

“Maybe we shouldn’t touch that,” Adam said.

Eve ignored him and pressed the power button. A game of Hangman appeared on the display along with a touchpad keyboard under it. She looked back at the others. “Want to try a letter?”

Zoe shrugged. “How about L?”

Eve touched the L key on the keyboard. An L appeared in a box on the screen, and a circle was drawn for the head of the hangman.

“No L,” Eve murmured. She looked at the spaces again—there were four, then three, then three again. “How about A.” She pressed the A on the keyboard.

A _ A _   A _ _   _ _ _

Adam almost groaned. Another Adam and Eve reference. But then he shouldn’t care as long as it ran out the clock.

How about “O,” Rob said.

“There won’t be an O,” Eve said, but she typed it anyway. An O popped up in the second to last spot. “Huh. Okay, so my bad.”

A _ A _   A _ _   _ O _

“Well, we know the first letters,” she said, pressing D, then M. Adam’s name stood out on the board. Rob called out “N,” and that completed the second word.

A D A M   A N D   _ O _

Adam’s blood went cold.

“Hmm…what could that be?” Zoe threw a spiteful look at Adam. “Maybe it’s—”

“R,” Adam cut in. “Like Adam and Rob?”

Eve pressed R, but a stick line appeared under the circle.

Adam started firing out letters, all except for the two most obvious ones.  The hangman was down to one last limb. Adam called out “S.”

But Eve pressed E.

A D A M   A N D   _ O E

All eyes shifted to Zoe, except Adam’s. His throat went dry as Eve’s fingers hovered over the letters. Then she pressed the Z.

A D A M   A N D   Z O E

“Why are your names on here?” Eve asked, staring now at Adam, who was doing everything he could to look innocent and knowing he looked every bit guilty. Zoe started laughing.

“I…I don’t—” He stopped as the words and the nearly completed hangman crumbled away. A large sideways triangle, the kind that represents “play,” was now displayed on the screen.

“Ten minutes left,” Rob announced cheerfully.

“Don’t,” Adam said as Eve’s finger reached out to touch the triangle. It dissolved into a video clip, the quality no better than a cell phone’s camera.

It was the night of the Winter Dance. Adam and Eve were on stage, just announced as King and Queen. Then it cut to footage of Adam and Eve dancing to a quick beat, looking stiff but every bit the perfect couple. Whoever was holding the phone was dancing with Zoe, though her sad-looking eyes were on the couple.

“This is pointless,” Adam said, reaching out to stop the movie. But Eve grabbed his wrist, her eyes on the screen.

The camera cut away to additional dance footage, mostly focused on Eve, who was laughing with friends. The next clip showed Adam and Zoe running toward the stage, hand in hand. The camera followed them, far behind. Then there was a scrambled screen followed by a dark grainy video and the recording Adam heard at the start of the game.  

“Are you sure?” Though Zoe’s voice was still muffled, it was clearer than it was when he played it earlier.

“Absolutely,” what was obviously Adam’s voice said. “It’s you and me from now on.”

Oh, shit. Eve had dropped her hand from his wrist, her eyes wide as she stared at the screen.

The girl sighed. “Promise?”

“Promise.”

And then more sighs and kissing noises. And then static. The screen went black.

“Eve?” Adam’s voice was hoarse, his face burning hot. He couldn’t believe he’d done this to her. Hearing it back, it was even worse than he’d remembered. He reached out to take her limp hand. “Eve, please. I—I know how it looked, but it’s not what you think…” He didn’t even know what he was saying now. It was exactly what she’d think.

Eve jerked her hand away and shoved past him. “I’m so done with you, Adam. I knew something was up from the moment I saw that first text show up on your phone. You lied to me then, and you’re lying to me now.” She turned her back to him, her shoulders shaking.

Rob cleared his throat. “So, that sucks but I guess that ends the game, right?” He looked around at the stony faces. “It said a winning couple gets the money. Eve, you pressed the button, so are you and Adam going to be the winning couple?”

Adam raised his eyebrows at him. Talk about completely misreading a room.

“No,” Eve said, her voice hard as she glared at Adam. “I couldn’t care less about this stupid game.”

Adam’s eyes pleaded with her, but she turned away from him. He couldn’t blame her. No matter how hard he tried to pin it on Zoe, it was his fault. He hated himself for it.

Rob tried putting an arm around Eve’s shoulders, but she shrugged him off. “I know you’re upset,” he said. “But maybe it’ll make you feel better to talk it out? We could get the money and split a pizza?”

She gave him an are you serious kind of look. “No, thanks. But you can have the money if you want it that bad.”

“But I thought, since we’re the ones who got caught in the middle of this mess—”

“She doesn’t want to go out with you, idiot,” Adam yelled at Rob.

“I don’t think it’s any of your business,” Rob snapped back. “You’re the asshole who cheated on her.”  

“Wait a second,” Zoe said. She had started the video again, watching the couples moving on the dance floor. She stopped it when the video showed her dancing with whoever was holding the camera. “When Eve and Adam were dancing like that—wasn’t I dancing with you?” She looked over at Rob. “Your parents own several businesses, right? Is this one of them?”

Rob fidgeted, his eyes fixed on the screen. Suddenly, everything made sense to Adam—the deep voice on the other end of the phone, over the room’s speaker. What the hell? But he knew why, and clearly he wasn’t the only one. Everyone looked at Eve, who looked completely disgusted at Rob.

“You set this up and went through all this trouble because you wanted me to break up with Adam, didn’t you?”

“I—I just wanted you to see what kind of person you were with. He cheated on you. He played Zoe. He shouldn’t be allowed to get away with that.”

Eve shook her head. “You are completely deluded if you think that would get me to go out with you.”

Zoe had continued playing the video, which was now at the part where Adam and Zoe were backstage. Realization sunk in, and Adam closed his fist as he stepped toward Rob.

Zoe was already there. “So, instead of just telling me like a normal person, you followed us behind the curtain. You filmed us!” She slapped him across the cheek, hard.

Rob pressed his hand to his cheek. “I knew you wouldn’t believe me otherwise. And you’re my friend.”

“I’m definitely not your friend, you creep. Not anymore.” She turned to Eve. “I’m so sorry I messed things up for you with Adam.”

Eve shrugged. “If he didn’t cheat on me with you, I’m sure he would’ve with someone. You can have him now if you want.”

Adam’s heart sunk.

Zoe’s lip curled as she looked over at Adam. “No, I’m done with creeps and jerks. And stupid games.”

“Eve, you should at least get the money,” Adam said, gesturing to Rob. “Give her and Zoe the cash, you disgusting pervert.”

“We don’t want his money,” Eve said, Zoe nodding. “And we don’t need anything from you, either.”

Zoe snapped her fingers. “Hey, I have an idea. Maybe you two guys should use that money to invest in a disguise. Because I don’t think you’ll want to be around when others find out what we already know.”

She and Eve turned and walked out the door with a red exit sign over it. “Later, losers,” floated in as the door shut behind them.

Adam followed, his feet dragging. He felt strangely sad but also weirdly relieved. At least he was done with the lies. Eve deserved better than him, and so did Zoe. The only thing he could hope now was for them to let it go. But he wouldn’t blame them if they didn’t.

As he walked out he heard Rob’s deep voice behind him.

“Thank you for playing Escape Horizons. Have a nice day!”

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