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Chapter 3

“Hi Mr. Coll.. I mean William. How was your day at work? What kind car came in that you were expecting this morning?” I ask as I get in the Hummer.

“It was good, nothing went bad. Today at the north car lot we received a Black 2010 Dodge Challenger. It isn’t anything special, it would make a wonderful car for a young lady.” he says as he winks in my direction.

I roll my eyes and proclaim, “I don’t need a fancy car, I just need something to get me from point A to point B. Something that is able to start in the middle of winter is a plus too.”

“Yes Riley. I know but, you need something more reliable than just a pile of junk. Plus if you only buy one that gets you from point A to point B you will need to buy a new vehicle in a year or less. You could just buy a nice vehicle and not need to get a new one for a long time, as long as you don’t crash it or treat them the way Jennifer does.” he explains to me, but then I remember Jennifer going through 3 vehicles last school year alone. They were nice cars too, I can’t remember what they were called. I didn’t pay much attention. I was just envious of her for being able to have them.

“Oh great, way to go all salesman on me. Um let me ask you this. How am I supposed to afford a Challenger?” I ask.

He laughs a bit at my little joke. “Well Riley when your mother brought you to stay with us, she left quite a sum of money to help. Emma and I decided to save it for you and let you use it to buy a car. We are going to use the money she left you and you can keep the money you earned this summer. Since you are still in school, and you are like a daughter to us we are going to pay your insurance until you graduate just like we do Jennifer. We love having you in the house Riley and we are very proud of the grades you got over the years you’ve been with us. You are an amazing young lady with a bright head on your shoulders. You will go far in life as long as you’re given the proper opportunities. This is your chance. I’d take it if I were you.”

“Wow I can’t believe she left money. I thought she just dropped me off on your door step expecting you to pay for everything and just forget about me. Live a happy life without me.” I say looking out the window, wondering what it would be like if Lillian hadn’t left me here.

“No Riley, it wasn’t like that at all, we knew you were coming before you showed up. You don’t know a lot about your mother, and that is a problem. One day we will sit down and have a chat. I know Emma doesn’t think much of your mom, and neither do you, but your mother could have done so much more with her life. This is why I am giving you this opportunity. Emma agrees that you are a smart girl, if only you could see it too.” Gosh he sure is laying it on thick. I wonder if he knows anything about my father, maybe he would tell me how to find him. Maybe he is why I have these weird eyes; I could ask him what is wrong with me.

“Snap out of it Riley, we are here. Look right over there is the car I was telling you about.” He says with a smile on his face. Looking where he is pointing, my jaw drops.

“Wow. There is no way I can afford that, even with whatever Lillian left me, and not even with what I have saved, or the money from this summer.”

“You should stop calling her Lillian, it is rude, and disrespectful. She is your mother. Yes, you can afford it, because it is already yours. It was really dirty with a ton of junk in it, so we had it cleaned this afternoon. All you need to do is sign the papers.”

“What?! You didn’t even ask if that is the one I wanted, or needed. Maybe I wanted a Jeep, or a van or I don’t know a motorcycle!” I fumed then crossed my arms and looked away so he doesn’t see the red in my eyes. Then I scoff under my breath, “plus she doesn’t deserve my respect, she abandoned me.”

“I knew you would want something less... well, extravagant. I wanted you in something I knew would work and safely. There is nothing wrong with having a nice vehicle or do you think I am so terrible for driving this?” He asks waving his arm around to point out the very large extravagant Hummer. With the finest interior I’ve ever seen in a vehicle. Not only do his seats warm up when it is cold, they also cool off when it is hot outside. I’m sure it is real leather I’m sitting on too. Not only that, but it is perfectly clean. Looking down at my feet I notice I tracked in some mud, no doubt about it though, it won’t be there tomorrow.

“No, but it is a gas guzzler. You could try something smaller, maybe a hybrid. I mean no person needs a vehicle this big.” I suggest rolling my eyes.

“Yes, but I do enjoy working for my money and I think I should treat myself to something extravagant. No arguing, you are going to take the Challenger and I know you will love it.” He says with a forceful tone.

This question has been rattling around my head; this is the perfect time to ask I suppose, “How much did she leave me?”

“It was close to $14,000 if you must know. The car is $10,000 so we will keep saving the rest until you graduate. Unless you would like it now. You also have the choice of keeping the money you earned this summer, or putting that in with the savings left over from the car.”

This fact confuses me, because when I was with her she never had a spare cent. “She left how much?!Do you know how she got the money? I can’t believe she had that much to give to you. Where did she even go after she left me?” The questions flow from my mouth.

As I stare at Mr. Collins in disbelief and anxiously waiting for an answer. He simply replies with, “Riley as I said, we will sit down one day soon. How about next week? Then we can talk about anything you want answered. Now can we go in and sign the papers so you can have your car? Trust me you will love it. Your um, boyfriend? What was his name again? Oliver? Yes, I think Oliver will like it too.”

“He is not my boyfriend! It would be kind of awkward if he was since he is… Never mind. Let’s go.” I can’t believe I almost told Mr. Collins that Oliver is gay! He would never forgive me if I blabbed to someone and it got back to his father. I just wish he would tell him soon, so then I can stop trying to cover up for him. Plus, Oliver and me? Together? I think Mr. Collins is crazy.

About 20 minutes later I’m in the car and say to myself “Wow I can’t believe I am driving a Challenger right now.” The car doesn’t have the “new car” smell. It smells like heavy cleaner. I’ll have to buy a car freshener sometime soon. What will Oliver think when I pick him up in the morning? There are so many questions I have for Mr. Collins. He said we would talk next week sometime, but I might have to remind him. He doesn’t know when Lillian will come back, but he assumes I’ll be finishing off the school year here. To think this morning I woke up with the awful feeling that something bad was going to happen, and so far today things have been great other than having assigned seating in grade 12. *beep*beep* Oh great a text, no doubt from Oliver no one else has my number.

*Well what kind of car did you get? Don’t forget to dress extra sexy for Evan.*

Of course, what else would he say? Maybe I will just keep it a secret, surprises are always fun. I’m just going to ignore that last part.

*Wouldn’t you like to know!*

*You will see in the morning, make sure you are ready!*

*P.S. I thought I always dressed sexy? Ha-ha Good night!*

Maybe he will get the hint and drop the whole “dress sexy” thing. I won’t hold my breath on that one. He seems oblivious to hints. He is still a boy after all and boys are useless for picking up on hints.

*No you don’t. You should try it sometime. I always look good.*

Well he is right about one thing; he usually always does look pretty good. Unless it is movie night and we just hang out in sweatpants or pajamas and veg out and watch stupid movies all day. I don’t need to look good for someone who I am not even interested in or probably has no idea I exist. I’m sure I’ll be stuck with someone else. Please let me be stuck with someone else. I think to myself for the second time today.

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