Things Somewhat go as Planned
Nevertheless when Uncle Henry pulled his car up into the station he gave Timothy some money and we got out. We were on our own and there was no going back. Timothy and I went and bought tickets for a train that would come in less than an hour.
We just sat on some bench. Timothy had bought a newspaper and read it while I smoked and messed with a lighter. I like making the flame come up and disappear. I did have to take a cigarette from Timothy because I stopped taking mine to school after Grandfather died, but I always keep a lighter on me. I never have money, sometimes a knife (which I made sure to have that day), cigarettes most of the time, and a lighter always. Even I don’t even understand myself.
After a while the train came and Timothy and I boarded and took out seats. Once the train started moving Timothy started to talk. He hadn’t sense we bought our tickets.
“Lucy, when we get to the station-” Timothy started.
“Not ‘Lucy.’ My name is James.” I interrupted. He nodded and looked down at his hands.
“Sorry, I forgot. Anyway, when we get to the station I’m going to take a cab and go home. You will go to the lake, there is a little beach where you should see this woman. Talk to her and try to persuade her to take you back to her house. When you get there someone else should turn you away but promise that you’ll come back later that night.” Timothy said. He then gave me a small photograph of a girl.
“Where did you get this?” I asked.
“Your father gave it to me. I don’t know where he got it from.” The picture was of a girl in her twenties. Which was all I could figure out at the very first glance. Then after about half a second I saw that she looked familiar. Then in another second it hit me; The girl was Ruthie McKay who I met on the beach. I don’t know how my family got her information but it all made sense. Of course she would let me in. I barely did anything to charm her the first time and I got invited over. She was gullible and if I pretended to be into her she would fall head over heels.
I didn’t know Ruthie very well after the first time I met her. She was just a girl who wasn’t very smart. But she was kind and didn’t know how people took advantage of others. I could tell this by just being with her for maybe an hour. But that second, seeing her picture made me start to question myself. I knew her; I knew she was nice and hadn’t done anything and it was my own stupidity that made me not realize that it was her in the first place. But I started to question if this really was the right thing to do. Of course I would still do it because I was a stupid fanatic. That dumb photograph was my downfall.
“This paper has two addresses. The first one is my house. Go here after you get turned away once she takes you to her home. The second is their house just in case you forget it.” Timothy said as he handed me a slip of paper. I took that and looked out the window. Until the train pulled into the station. Timothy didn’t try to talk and all I did was think about if I could talk a naïve girl into letting me into her house to kill her family.
When the train pulled in everybody left. Timothy and I were the last two people to leave. I stood next to Timothy somewhat awkwardly for a while because I didn’t know what to do. So I waited with him until he found a cab.
“Remember James, find the girl and meet me at that address, the first one.” He said as he climbed into the cab. I nodded and watched him pull away. I was all on my own.
I walked down to the rocky beach and looked at the water. It looked terrible and I’m sure it was very cold even though it was a warm day. I then looked around at the people on the beach. There were only a few people: a couple who were trying to be alone, a group of about five girls all giggling, and Ruthie who was at the other end of the beach. I went over to her and smiled.
“Hello miss. My name is James Wood and I just came here from Indiana.” I said with a slightly deeper voice. It wasn’t obnoxious and it wasn’t hard to deepen my voice because I’ve never had a high pitched one.
“Nice to meet you, James. My name is Ruthie McKay. People tell me that I’m too old to go by a girl’s name, but I like it.” Ruthie said. I knew that; she already told me that.
“I think Ruthie is a pretty name. A pretty name for a pretty woman.” I said. Ruthie blushed and smiled.
“Hardly anyone calls me a woman. All my family just call me a girl because they say that I act like one.”
“You seem responsible and smart to me.” Ruthie smiled again. “I can see a girl in your eyes, but that’s not a bad thing.” I wasn’t lying, she had childish eyes and they were always smiling and happy.
“Are you doing anything tonight, James?” Ruthie asked.
“Not a thing.” I replied as I shook my head.
“Would you like to come over for dinner? My house isn’t much but my sister-in-law’s a good cook.” Ruthie said meekly. It was almost too easy. It wasn’t a trap; I knew that because I had already been to her house and I felt that she would be a terrible liar.
“I would love to.” I said. Ruthie smiled and started to walk away. I walked right next to her and offered her my arm. She took it and we left the beach. I walk with David sometimes like that but I’ve never done it with someone who wasn’t family. I’ve seen couples and girl friends doing it and it makes me wonder if sometimes walking with someone arm in arm is what having a friend is like.
Just like last time Ruthie talked a lot as we walked. She told me the story of her “seeing” Harold Lloyd. I still don’t believe her because I thought that I read somewhere that he lived out in California. Or at least that’s where a lot of films are made so chances are that he doesn’t live here in Ohio.
But Ruthie also asked me questions, something that she didn’t really do when she met Lucy Sweet. It was easy to tell that she was falling head over heels for me, and it broke my heart. I found little joy in deceiving her and my only comfort was the thought that I was doing all of this for my family. I was avenging my grandfather and I was doing what my beloved father was telling me.
We walked to the same house. It really didn’t look like much on the outside. My family had become quite rich and we live in a big house. If the McKays really had made it rich off of bootlegging they didn’t show it in their architecture.
“Someone with a gun might answer the door. Please don’t be alarmed. I’ll make sure that you get let in.” Ruthie said with a smile. I really wish she told me that the first time.
“Do not worry, I won’t run off.” I said. Ruthie smiled again and knocked on the door. A man opened it and looked straight at me. He didn’t scare me and he wasn’t as intimidating as the last man who opened the door.
“You can’t be here.” The man said to me. He had an Irish accent that was strong but not overwhelming if that makes sense.
“He’s my guest. He’s having dinner with us.” Ruthie said.
“No. With your brother Sean out of town I’m in charge. And I say that no one who we don’t know can come in. You know the rules, Ruthie.” The man said. Ruthie sighed and turned to look at me.
“I’m sorry, James. There’s nothing I can do. Liam has been extra stubborn with my brother out of town. Ruthie said loudly to make sure that the man heard. I saw him roll his eyes out of the corner of my eye.
“No worries. Walk me down to the end of the road.” I said to Ruthie. “I will take my leave. Goodnight sir.” I said to Liam. Ruthie and I left the doorstep and walked to the corner. “How about I come by later? I’ll do it at night when no one can see us. Just tell me which window is yours.” I said. Ruthie pointed to a window that was on the second floor and overlooked an alleyway. It would be perfect. I smiled.
“I’ll be waiting for you.” She said.
“I will be there. Just make sure that you’re close by.”I replied. I then walked down a street to make it look like I knew where I was headed next. Then I took out the paper that Timothy had given me and read the address. It was close by. Ruthie and I passed the street when we were walking to her house.