Chapter 14 - Missing
I didn’t realize how much I loved blue and red flashing lights until later that night. I think the evening when Bryan disappeared is when I knew I really wanted to become a cop. Anyway, when the lights showed up, I immediately went over to Mark’s house as there were two police cars in the driveway. As I pulled into the driveway, Mark walked outside and saw me pedaling up. I parked my bike and walked over to Mark.
“Man, what’s going on? Did your mom and dad get into another fight?” I asked. Mark’s parents seemed to have either the best of times or the worst of times. Mainly it was the best of times, but when it was bad, it was real bad. When those times happened, I found my way to the closest exit away from them as Mark, Georgie and Tobin would do the same when my dad was around and being the normal asshole he played so perfectly.
“No, they haven’t fought in a while actually. It’s not that. The police are here as my mom called them. No one knows where Bryan is?” Mark said somewhat concerned.
“What? No one knows where Bryan is? It’s like already eight as I looked at my watch. He hasn’t ever stayed out this late before has he?” I asked knowing the answer.
“No, and that’s the problem. I’m a little worried too but my dad seems pretty laid back about it so maybe he will show in a little bit. ” Mark said as he looked down the street hoping to see his little brother ride up on his bike.
“Well if it is any consolation, I saw Bryan earlier around probably four or so and he looked fine to me.”
“What? You did? Where?” Mark yelled out at me.
I replied, “He was over by the lake where you and I go sometimes. He was just standing there throwing rocks in the water. He looked pretty zoned out, maybe tired or something. I yelled to him, what’s up loser, like I always do and asked where you were. He said something about how you had to go with your mother to the mall or something.”
“Yea, I got stuck shopping with her at freaking Sears again for like two freaking hours today.” Mark said in a negative voice.
“Well that sucks you were stuck at Sears, but he looked fine to me.” I said positively.
“What the fuck was he doing way over by the lake by himself? He knows he isn’t supposed to go there without us.”
“Man Mark, I don’t know. I didn’t think anything about it at the time and only asked where you were.”
I heard myself say that and even I didn’t believe me. Get your shit together I thought to myself.
“Come on Daniel; let’s go tell my mom and dad. Maybe this will help her feel better about Bryan not being home yet.” Mark grabbed my shoulder and led me towards the door to go inside.
“Sure, whatever you think man.” I replied. Ok, I thought. My plan is falling into place.
So, I followed Mark inside his house as I took a deep breath. There, standing in the living room were two cops along with Mark’s parents who were sitting on the couch. It looked like Mrs. Morrissey had been crying. Mr. Morrissey looked bothered that I was there. He looked like that a lot. I don’t think he liked any of Mark’s friends.
“Hey mom, Daniel here says he saw Bryan just a little while ago.” Mark
The taller cop immediately said, “What?? You saw Bryan, where? What time? What was he doing?”
“Slow down Rob,” said the other cop to the taller one. I took him as the supervisor.
The supervisor looking guy cop continued, “Now young man, just tell us what you saw.”
“Um, well I was out riding my bike this afternoon and I saw Bryan over by the lake throwing rocks. Well skipping rocks, you know, skipping them across the water.” I said in my most innocent voice acting like they might not know what I was talking about.
“WHAT?” Bryan’s mom screamed. “He isn’t supposed to be by the water! Why would he be by the water Mark? Mrs. Morrissey asked in an extremely angry tone.
“I don’t know mom, I was with you today when…”
She immediately cut him off, “I KNOW YOU WERE WITH ME GODDAMIT SON BUT HOW WOULD YOUR BROTHER KNOW TO GO THERE IF YOU HADN’T TAKEN HIM THERE BEFORE? ANSWER ME THAT! I TOLD YOU I DIDN’T WANT YOU KIDS GOING NEAR THAT LAKE WITHOUT AN ADULT!!”
Uh oh, I thought, Mark is busted! We had actually taken the leach with us there a few times and we told him never to say anything and surprisingly, he hadn’t.
“We may have taken him by there once mom on our bikes but never all the way up to the water.” Mark said begging to be forgiven.
He lies pretty good I thought. I actually believed him when he made that plea.
The supervisor cop said, “Ma’am, we will get right over there and take a look. I am sure he has just lost track of time.”
Yea, I thought, Bryan definitely isn’t concerned about the time of day any more.
“I’m going too!” Mrs. Morrissey screamed. “I knew I shouldn’t have allowed him to stay here today with our babysitter.”
Sally was their babysitter. She was cool, she was 16, and she was hot! They used her all the time to babysit. She obviously let Bryan go ride his bike today or my plan wouldn’t have worked out so good as it did. The trails where we rode were only about a half of a mile to the front of the neighborhood.
The lake, well, the lake is about two miles towards the back of the neighborhood. I knew that I was going to tell Mark and the cops that I saw him at the furthest point from where he actually was.
Deflecting from the scene is what they always did in the movies and that’s what I planned to do and that’s what I did. It was easier than I thought.
Bryan never showed back up at home that night. Over the next month or so, signs went up with Bryan’s picture on it with big lettering “Missing” or “Reward”. They had a $10,000.00 dollar reward offered for that little shit. Well over the same month, we experienced one of the driest times of the year. No rain, not one drop. It was the hottest temperatures, and the highest humidity Greensboro had experienced in years. I stopped by the mud pit a few weeks later and it had hardened like cement. I walked right over top of it. It was almost like concrete.
There was no smell. That’s odd I thought. I should have kept that bike. You live and learn, I guess. Or you suffocate to death tied to your Mongoose mountain bike while all along needing to pee.