Not as it Seems

8

August went back upstairs to search through his backpack for a small post-it note with the group home address and phone number. August finally finds the post-it and makes his way back downstairs to the office. August knows in the morning the kids who are old enough are all getting ready school. He hopes that if he calls now he will be able to talk with one of the older kids who is sitting in the kitchen eating whatever they can find like clockwork. August dials and waits, three rings later August is getting impatient and nervous, on the fourth ring someone with a gruff voice answers, "Hello, who is calling and what do you want?" August knows that voice, its Ollie. August quickly answers, "Ollie, Ollie its me, August! I need to know about Emma. Is she still there? Is she ok?" Ollie almost doesn't believe his ears, "August! Jesus man how you been? Yo, because of you and those other nit wits shit really hit the fan! Ms. Grance searched high and low for that money, tossed the place completely upside down. Where are you man?" August sighed he didn't want to be cut off by Ms. Grance taking the phone away from Ollie, "Ollie, listen I know I caused trouble by stealing that money and running off but listen I need your help man. Is Emma still there? Did she find a family?" Ollie sighed and said, "It's all good, someone wrote a check and swept it under the rug. Emma left a little less than a week after you ran off. Cried her eyes out when she found out you were gone. I don't know about a family but her social worker picked her up and told her she was going to a new foster parent. Husband and wife son died not too long ago, lived somewhere just outside of Boston. I don't know the guys name, that's just what I overheard from Ms. Grance when she was gossiping with her little book club. Talking about us like some kind of entertainment. Bitch." August closed his eyes and pressed his fingers to his eyes. August asked Ollie for a huge favor, "Look man, I need you to do me a solid. As soon as I get some cash I will send it where ever you want me to. Just please, please help me out" Ollie took a moment to think about it, August was sweating in anticipation. "Ollie?". "Yeah, I'm still here. Alright I'll do it, but I want $50.00 and put it in the old tree with the hole in the trunk, the one in the park." August answered immediately, "Yes, fine, done! Listen I need you to figure out who Emma got sent to live with. I need his name and if you can his address" Ollie sighed, "Alright August you got a deal, look I'll see what I can get by tonight never know what's going to happen around here. I'll call this number back tonight. I got to go, Ms. Grange is coming. Bye" Ollie quickly hung up and August was left listening to the dial tone. August finally put the phone back down and walked out of the study. August went to the living room and plopped down on the couch and turned the tv on. It was only 8:30am, August could only sit around and wait for Ollie's phone call.

It was just past 6:00pm when Regina arrived home. Regina hesitated outside on the front door for a moment hoping that her house is as she left it. She opened the door and breathed a sigh of relief, the house looked the same. She walked into the foyer and called out to August, "Hey I'm home! Anyone here?" She looked around the house and noticed that August wasn't in her office, the living room, the dining room or the kitchen. Hmm... Odd. I wonder where he could be. Maybe he is upstairs. Regina called out again, "Hello, August you up there?". When Regina got no reply she climbed the stairs and knocked on August's closed door. Again hearing no reply she opened the door and noticed August sitting on the ledge of the open window, with headphone on, and smoking a cigarette. Regina angrily walked over to August and ripped his headphones out, grabbed the cigarette and put it out on the base of the window. August looked up at her with the saddest eyes, like he was carrying the weight of the world. Regina thought what has this kid been through? Regina sighed and said, "Look I don't tolerate smoking, much less in my house by a minor. I will let this one go this one time. But listen very carefully this is the only time I will let this happen without calling your social worker. So you know exactly what you can and can't do we are going to have some basic ground rules. One you will not smoke, two you will not drink alcohol, three if you are going to go out call me or at least have the decency to leave a note, four if you need the phone or computer just ask, and lastly five if you need something again just ask please stay out of trouble." When Regina finished her list of rules August nodded his head, closed the window and walked out of the room back down the stairs to sit on the couch, watch tv, and wait for Ollie's call. Regina sighed, Is this what it is like to raise a teenager. Ugh so moody, his little girlfriend Emma probably broke up with him. Poor kid, probably thinks it the end of the world. Ha. If only he knew.

Regina went to her room and changed into more comfortable clothes, a pair of jeans and a comfortable sweater. Regina went downstairs and walked past the living room, August was sitting on the couch watching some cartoon about a sponge under the sea, whatever that means. Regina called out, "Hey I am going to start on dinner it should be done in about 45 minutes." August looked over to Regina nodded his head and asked, "do you need any help?" Regina looked at him for a second before shaking her head and replying, "no, but you can set the table in about a half hour." Regina went into the kitchen and started dinner. 50 minutes later Regina was calling August to the table. Regina had made chicken parmesan, spaghetti, and a house salad. Regina sat down at the head of the table and August sat to her left. Dinner was silent except for the clink of silverware on the plates. August was the first to break the silence, "This is really good. I don't think I have had food this good since my dad disappeared." Regina smiled softly and said, "Thank you. It was a old family recipe from my father's side." August nodded and continued eating. August was wondering a little about Regina's past, there weren't many family pictures hanging around from what he could see. August dared and ask, "Are you dating anyone?" Regina almost choked on her wine and she looked at August with wide eyes. "Excuse me" Regina managed to choke out. "I mean you are good looking, you have a good job, your house is awesome and huge; I was just wondering if you were seeing anyone or did me coming to live with you screw up your romantic life?" Regina looked at August for a moment and realized he was the first person to directly ask about her and her life and not wait to hear the town gossip. "Well thank you for the compliments but, I am not dating anyone, nor do I really want to date anyone at this time. No your presence didn't, as you put it, 'screw up' my romantic life." August then asked, "So did you have a bad break up or something? Cause you seem really tense." Regina glared at August, "Not everything is as it seems Mr. Booth. For your information my last relationship was 7 years ago when my fiancé was killed in a car accident, so I don't like talking about it as you may understand." "Sorry. I get it. Topic is off limits. For what it's worth I am sorry, you know about your fiancé." August quickly tried to make this right, he couldn't be sent away, not when he was about to get information on Emma. Regina downed the rest of her wine and poured herself another glass. August ventured to another question, "Did you always want to be a mom, well foster mom?" Regina was silent for a moment and then answered truthfully, "No. Honestly it was my fiancé Daniel who really wanted kids. After he died I decided to become a foster parent, almost as a tribute to him." August smiled, "Well I for one am glad you did, you are pretty good at it." Regina smiled softly, and they both went back to their meals with idle chatter.



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