To be Announced (Part 10)

I wasn’t sure how to tell Chad what had happened, so I let him figure it out on his own.  I had to wait for Abby, of course, and then I had to walk out with her, and I had to introduce them.  Chad wasn’t that thick, so he figured out what was happening pretty quickly.  I mean, either I was now best friends with my half-sister, or I’d been ordered to introduce them.

Naturally he assumed, correctly, that Abby and I were not entirely reconciled.  “Well, do you know how to skateboard?” he asked Abby.  She shook her head quickly with a smile I didn’t like.  Thankfully Chad didn’t like it either.

“What are you smiling for?  Not knowing is nothing to be proud of.”  Well, maybe he was a little clueless, but as least she didn’t have him in her grasp yet.

She shrugged.  “You’re right.  I guess I’ll have to learn.  Will you teach me?”

I saw the conflict inside him, and I wasn’t really sure how to help him, since I didn’t know whether to tell him to help or not.  He made his own decision, of course.

“I think one student at a time is already way too much,” he joked easily.  “Besides, Jess is almost as good as I am at this point.  I don’t want to stop teaching her until she can teach you.”

The way he said that triggered the conversation Abby and I had earlier when we’d argued over what to call her dad.  I had this strange feeling that Chad and I would have a similar conversation when it was time to decide who would teach Abby.  I refused to continue thinking about that conversation, because I would angry when I thought about the way she had manipulated my mom around to her point of view.  At this point, I was ready to call my mom her mom.

“Well, if it’s not going to be lessons, what will it be?” Abby asked suddenly.  Chad smirked suddenly.

“We could do something,” he said with that grin still in place.

“What?” I demanded immediately.

“We should have a race,” was all he said, but the way he said it made me anxious.  After all, whatever evil scheme he had in mind would involve my participation.

Abby didn’t share my reluctance, having not noticed how strange his look had gotten.  “Sounds great to me!  When are we going and how far is it?”

“It’s a race all the way to the high school and back, and it starts now,” Chad called over his shoulder, already having taken off.  Abby and I sprinted after him.

“But I don’t know where the high school is!” she gasped out.

“Don’t get too far behind then,” I suggested, putting on an extra burst of speed and catching up with Chad.  Of course, all we had to do was get around two corners and double back.  The high school was pretty far away, so that took care of Abby for today at least.

When he mention that, though, I realized that we couldn’t do this every day.  “She’s not going to give up,” I warned him.  “It’s bad enough that she has to stalk me everywhere else, but I really don’t want her shadowing me every afternoon now.  That was my only time out of the house and away from her!”

Chad shrugged.  He was thinking up something.  I could tell.  I was right.  “You could come to church with me on Sundays,” he suggested finally.

I rolled my eyes.  “I’m almost desperate enough to agree, Christian.  Now I’m really looking forward to getting as good as you at skateboarding, so when do we get started?”

The afternoon was going well until an all too familiar car drove slowly down the street.

Chad saw it first.  “Uh, Jess, isn’t that your dad?”

I whirled quickly.  “Yeah.”

“Isn’t he, like, in trouble with the law?  And there are a lot of important people looking for him?”

“Yeah.  He’s in big trouble.”

“What’s he doing here?”

“I have no idea.  Uh, call the police, huh?  I’ll keep him busy.”

He grabbed my arm quickly as I turned away.  “Oh no you don’t.  Tell you what; I’ll dial 911 and leave my phone in my pocket, so they can send a car, and both of us can go.  He’s already seen you anyway.”

I felt like this was a really bad idea, but I went along with it.  We were standing in front of my dad by his car in a minute (okay, we walked really, really slowly).  “Dad?” I asked.

He glared at me.  “What is he doing?” he growled out.

“You don’t remember him?  Well, Chad this is my dad.  Dad, this is my friend from down the street.  His name’s Chad, and he’s been teaching me to skateboard.”

“You didn’t answer my question.  What is he doing?”

“Well, he wasn’t sure you would remember him, but he wanted to see you again.  Now I answered your question.  Answer one from me.  What are you doing here?”

“I came to get you.  It’s been way too long since you spent a weekend with me.  We’re leaving now.”

“I can’t!  I’m, uh,” I suddenly couldn’t remember anything that would get me out of the predicament.

“She promised she’d go to church with me on Sunday,” Chad reminded me quietly.

If that wasn’t the most unfair thing I’d ever heard of!  “Yeah,” I agreed.  “I’m going to church with him on Sunday.”

“There will be more Sundays,” he assured me very coldly.  “Get in the car.”

“You can’t just take her,” Chad said firmly.  “You’re a nationally hunted criminal, and I’d have to be an idiot to let you take her.”

“Fine,” my dad smiled evilly.  “You’re a much bigger idiot than you realize, Chad.  Both of you can get into the car now.”

That wasn’t the answer either of us had expected, and before we could react, he had thrown us into the back seat and taken off.  Despite the gravity of our situation, there was something else that struck even more fear into me: the sight of my mom driving Abby home, and Abby was crying and talking.

I glanced at Chad, who had noticed it too.  “If I ever get home, my mom is going to kill me,” I muttered.

“I don’t think she’ll get the chance, children,” was the answer from the driver’s seat.

*NOTE: All characters and events portrayed in this story are purely fictitious.  Any resemblance to actual people or events is entirely coincidental.*

———

Next part next Friday!  Title suggestions, names for various characters, or other questions, comments, or concerns can be left below, or you can e-mail me at the address on my contact page.

 

If you really love my work, vote for one of my poems on TeenInk!  Every little bit helps!

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