It was pouring that day. I remember because I asked the cashier to triple-bag the GoPro Karma Quadcopter to ensure that no drop of water would touch my brand new investment. It didn’t matter that it had a weatherproof exterior. I had been saving up for just over a year to afford this particular model, and I didn’t want it ruined the first day I had it in my possession.
I took the triple-bagged drone from the cashier, tucked it inside my raincoat and zipped that up as well. I wasn’t taking any chances.
I got it home, opened the box, and immediately got to work on the relatively simple assembly. I ran my hand over each sleek black and white piece as I puzzled it together, adding the final touches a mere thirty minutes after I had initially opened the box.
I set the drone on my dresser and sat down at my bedroom window with the instruction manual in my hand. After reading through it once, I looked longingly out the window, wishing for a clearing in the rain and reflecting on all of the work it took to get here.
In addition to a full-time job, I had taken on a part-time job at a local restaurant to help me save some extra money. It was tedious, but I was able to meet a lot of new people, and it served its purpose, especially after my manager started scheduling me for better shifts.
I had only taken the job for the sole purpose of helping me pay for my new drone. What I hadn’t expected was to make so many new friends. Ygritte and Tommy, the other two waiters on my shift, had become a pseudo second family. Even Andrew and Maddox in the kitchen had become close friends, people I never would have met had I not taken this role.
Looking out the window and waiting for the rain to stop that day made me thankful for my new friends and especially thankful for the money they helped me save to get here.
I had to wait two more days for the rain to break, but when it did, I spent hours flying the drone. I settled on Storm as a good name for my drone – his white and black coloring giving him the appearance of a Stormtrooper – and my heart soared every time I brought him back to me. This was the biggest thing I had ever purchased for myself, and I couldn’t have been more proud.
The first mistake I made was taking it everywhere with me. To the mall, to the park, to work, even to the grocery store. My drone had become like a service dog. Where I went, Storm went.
So you can imagine my surprise when I went to retrieve my things from my locker at the gym to find that all of my belongings had been stolen. Credit cards and clothing can be replaced, but not Storm. He had become a third arm.
I ran out of the locker room and scanned all of the people who were still there, analyzing each of their bags to determine whether or not they may have been the culprit. No one looked suspicious.
I ran to the counter and started yelling at the man behind the desk.
“You’ve got to help me! My drone was stolen from my locker!” I yelled, causing everyone within fifty feet of the desk to turn and stare.
“Your drone? Why did you bring a drone to the gym with you?” The annoyed desk attendant asked.
“Does it matter? It was stolen from YOUR locker room. You’ve got to help me find it. Are there cameras I can look at? Pull something up. Why aren’t you doing anything?” I was beside myself at this point. The desk attendant hadn’t moved or shown any concern since I started my rant.
“Listen, sir. Our policy is very clear. We are not responsible for any damaged or stolen items that are left in the locker room. There’s nothing I can do.” The attendant returned his attention to the phone he was holding while I imagined ripping it out of his hands and smashing it on the ground while I yelled, “I AM NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY DAMAGED OR STOLEN PROPERTY!”
I chased the thought away and left, feeling defeated and devastated.
It didn’t take long for my friends to hear about my stolen drone. While I was able to get new credit cards (while thankfully avoiding unauthorized spending), I was not able to recover my drone. I had spent such a long time saving every penny, working extra shifts, and skipping out on nights out with my friends, all to save up for something that was taken from me in the blink of an eye.
People can be so cruel.
Greg, the owner of the restaurant I was working at, had been kind enough to take me back after he heard that my drone was stolen. I had almost decided against trying again. What would it matter if it could just get stolen again? But Ygritte convinced me to come back to work and start saving.
“We miss having you around, anyway.” She said sweetly after I agreed to come back and start saving up again.
Earlier this evening, I went in for my normal Friday night shift, but I could feel that something was off. Ygritte was avoiding me like I had some rare disease and Tommy hadn’t made eye contact with me since I walked in. So much for missing me, I guess.
My shift ended early that night, but when I went to leave, Greg pulled me aside and said he needed to see me in his office. When I walked in, Ygritte, Tommy, Andrew, and Maddox were all standing there with huge grins on their faces.
Greg slid a well-wrapped box across his desk towards me.
“Open it.” He said, a sly smirk spreading across his face.
I took the box from his desk apprehensively, feeling embarrassed to have everyone’s eyes on me. I gently removed the wrapping paper and pulled apart the green and blue tissue, and there, sitting in a wardrobe of bubble wrap, was a black and white GoPro Karma Quadcopter with the words Strom 2 painted on the side. Not only had they gotten me a new drone, but they had is customized.
Tears welled in my eyes as everyone surrounded me with a group hug.
“Thank you,” was all I could manage without completely losing my composure, but they knew how much it meant to me.
“You deserve it,” Ygritte said, squeezing me tighter.