Chapter Twelve- “Oh, Curse The Word Vomit...”
Okay, Tyler Adams is a Bad Boy, and what do Bad Boy’s like him do?
Kidnap people and take them for icecream, of course!
And if you think I’m joking, you might want to see for yourself...
“I want cookies and cream!” I practically shout as I walk into the icecream shop. The bell above the door goes off, making a wide smile spread on my face. If you were either Tara, Denise, or Dad, you would know that I’m literally obsessed with cookies and cream icecream. You see, if I had to chose between my boyfriend -- not that I have one, of course -- and cookies and cream icecream, guess what I’d chose.
Yep, icecream all the way.
Wait, actually, that’s mean. Let me say that again. If my boyfriend bought me cookies and cream icecream, I would love him forever. There, I sound much nicer.
“While you’re there, get me chocolate.” Tyler says as he walks into the store, walking up behind me to give me a ten dollar note. Grabbing the money, I look up at the lady and smile at her.
“A double scoop of cookies and cream, and a cup of chocolate please.” I say, watching as the lady, who I recognize as ‘Allie’ because of her badge, grabs a cone and begins to make my order. As I watch her begin to fill the cone with my favourite icecream, I grab out my phone, deciding to see how much worry I have put my friends through.
Switching the screen on, my eyes widen when I see just how much worry I’ve caused. Ten messages from Denise, fifteen from Tara, and -- oh dear lord, twenty messages from Dad.
Okay, now I’m dead.
Clicking on Dad’s messages first, I breathe in a deep breath to calm myself nerves.
Dad: Why am I getting messages from Denise and Tara saying that you’re not answering their messages?
Dad: If you’re on your time of the month, I suggest you snap out of it and message your friends back so they quit annoying me.
Dad: That sounded rude. What I mean to say is, show your friends some love, okay?
Dad: Now, why aren’t you replying to my messages?
Dad: Why aren’t you at home too?
Dad: HARRIET MARIE PARKER! ANSWER YOUR FATHER RIGHT NOW!
Dad: I’ll give you five minutes...
Dad: One and a half...
Dad: Three quarters...
Dad: A half...
Dad: A quarter...
Dad: HARRIET! IF YOU ARE WITH A BOY, I SWEAR TO MY GRAVE THAT I WILL BREAK HIS AND YOUR LEGS!
Dad: Answer the phone, Harriet! I’m not joking...
Dad: Okay, be prepared to get a lecture when you get home.
Dad: I hope you’re okay at least.
Dad: I love you x
Sighing, I run my hand through my hair. Now, I don’t even have the guts to read what my friends have sent me.
“Here you go.” Allie says suddenly, bringing me out of my thoughts. I look up at Allie and take the cone and cup from her hands, thanking her as I give her the money. As I go to walk back to Tyler, he furrows his eyebrows at me.
“Explain to me why I get the small cup and you get some large fucker?” Tyler asks and I hand him his chocolate icecream, blushing. Wait, why the hell am I blushing?
“Uh, because you might get fat?”
Oh, curse the word vomit...
Tyler looks at me for a few seconds, his eyes narrowing at me. He looks at his small cup of chocolate icecream before looking back at me, his eyes staring into mine. Then, he sighs, a small smile appearing on his face.
“This is going to be hard work.” Tyler says and I furrow my eyebrows, sliding into the booth with my double scoop of cookies and cream icecream.
“Uh, what’s going to be hard word?” I ask, licking the delicious icecream in front of me. Tyler watches me carefully, like he was doing just a few seconds ago, before replying.
“You know how I asked you for a favor?” Tyler asks and I nod slowly, continuing to devour the icecream. “Well, I need you to pretend to be my girlfriend.”
Nearly spitting out my icecream, my eyes widen in shock. “You -- what?”
“You’re the only girl who isn’t afraid of me, Tipsy. Every girl I even come near runs away like I’m the big bad wolf.” Tyler explains, but I still find myself gaping about what has just came out of his mouth.
“Well, maybe that’s because you practically are the big bad wolf!” I exclaim loudly, holding my icecream tight in my hand. Tyler sighs, leaning back against the booth. I watch as he runs a hand through his hair.
“Ugh, this was a bad idea.” Tyler mutters, his eyes slipping shut. Suddenly, as I glance at his face, taking in all of the expressions that are showing, I can’t help but feel a little bit of guilt. I don’t know why, but I suddenly want to apologize for the way I acted and do what he wants me to do.
But not so fast. I need a reason.
“Why?” I find myself asking, watching as Tyler looks up at me. “Why do you ‘need’ me to pretend to be your girlfriend?”
Tyler looks at me, looks down at his un-touched icecream, before answering my question. “You can’t tell anyone about this, or I’ll be in big shit, okay?” Tyler begins and I nod, continuing to eat my icecream. “This gang I’m in... my uncle is the boss, the leader. He thinks that because of the fact that my grades are dropping, that I can’t take on the tasks of the gang.”
“That’s why I’m your tutor though.” I cut in and Tyler nods, running a hand through his hair.
“Yes, but that’s not enough. And because of this, he wants me to prove myself to him. I just have no idea why it has to take me to get a girlfriend to prove it to him.” Tyler explains and I furrow my eyebrows.
“I don’t even know the answer to that either. But what I do know is that if you can handle talking to me, you can definitely handle talking to my uncle.” Tyler says and I feel myself frowning as I begin to think it over.
If Tyler is going to be there with me, what bad is going to happen? I mean, Tyler only needs a pretend girlfriend to prove to his uncle that he can do what he has to do -- wait, why am I considering this?
Suddenly, I find myself saying, “For how long?”
Tyler grins and leans back against the booth. “Just one night.”
“How is this going to go?” I ask, my mouth not seeming to stop talking. As if Tyler is surprised with how quick I’m replying, he narrows his eyes at me.
“Wait, are you actually going to do this?”
“Only if my identity is kept hidden, I’ll do it.”
“From what you told me that night at that party, I feel like I owe you, as crazy and stupid as that sounds.” I explain, letting out a laugh. Tyler grins, leaning forward over the table.
“You’re one weird girl, you know that?” Tyler says and I find myself rolling my eyes, licking the icecream in my hand.
“Just tell me how everything is going to go.”
Denise: I still can’t believe you stood me up... there better be a good reason for that.
Me: Yeah, there is. I’ll explain it to you tomorrow.
Denise: You better.
Shoving my phone in my pocket, I breathe out a sigh, looking at my front door. If I stay out here for the night, do you think Dad will still give me that lecture, I think to myself as I bite down on the inside of my cheek.
Before I can even consider sleeping outside, the front door is suddenly swung open, revealing Dad who is still in his police uniform. Smiling sheepishly at him, I send him a small wave. “Hey, Dad.”
“Get inside.” Dad snaps, not wanting to hear what I have to say, not that I have anything to say at all. I mean, I could maybe apologize and he’ll be happy with me, but I don’t think he is even in the mood to hear a word come out of my mouth.
As I walk inside, I hold onto the strap of my bag, nervous and a little scared to hear what Dad has to say. “Harriet,” Dad calls, making me stop in my tracks before I even reach the first stair.
Turning around, I reply with, “Yes, Dad?”
“Can you sit down for a minute?” Dad asks and I nod, not bothering to disobey him anymore. Walking over to the couch, I place my bag beside my feet and sit down, watching as Dad sits down next to me.
Dad sighs, running a hand through his hair. “I’m sorry... for everything.”
I furrow my eyebrows but before I can say anything, Dad cuts me off by raising his index finger at me. “No, let me finish. Ever since your mom died, I’ve been working more to try and stay away from the one place that we all spent the most time together. And by doing this, I’ve forgotten about you.” Dad explains and I go to say something again, but he cuts me off once more.
“You might think that it’s not true, but it is. And I don’t know why it only took me now to realise what I’ve been doing. You see, I’m was going through the old cases that have never been solved, the cases that have been dropped, and I came across one that caught my eye.” Dad says, making my mind suddenly switch on. He has never told me anything that goes on at the station, so what is up with him?
“What was the case?” I can’t help but ask, my voice coming out shallow and weak, as if I am afraid of hearing the answer that is going to come out of my father’s mouth -- well, that’s if he does tell me, anyway.
Dad sighs, “It involved a teenage girl, and her name was Stephanie.” Dad explains, a sad look in his eyes. “According to the case, she had committed suicide. But when forensics didn’t find any scars on the body showing depression, and when the family said that Stephanie was never depressed, the police continued to try and find a conclusion to what happened to the teenager.”
I feel my hand shake a little. I hated when people talked about deaths, especially suicide. It was just a really sensitive topic, seeing as I had seen Mom... you know. But hearing the case, I wanted to know more.
“What happened next?”
“Police couldn’t gather any clues. They had gone to the school, to the doctor she had visited regularly for when she was injured or sick, and they had nothing. So, they had to get statements from the family. There were only three people who the police asked to write a statement.” Dad explains, making me nod as I gather all of the information together.
“Who were the family members?” I ask, watching as Dad licks his lips before continuing.
“The father, the brother, and the boyfriend.” Dad says, his words making my eyebrows furrow.
“Why would they do that though?” I ask and Dad smiles weakly.
“They didn’t. It was the only lead police had so they had to get the statements from them. And when they still didn’t get any information, it had went to court, which I have no idea why though.” Dad says and I sigh, not liking how this story is turning out.
“And even when they went to court, the jury couldn’t make a decision, neither could the judge. So, that was it for Stephanie’s case. And according to the file, the dad was later arrested--”
“For killing his daughter?” I spit out, my eyes growing wide. Dad shakes his head.
“Drug possession.” He says and I sigh, my heart racing. “The brother had gone down the wrong path, joining a gang, while the boyfriend had left the country.”
“Where’s the mother?” I can’t help but ask. Dad leans into the couch, his eyes closing.
“Sick in hospital -- still is.”
“Wait, how long has it been since the case got dropped?” I ask, a random thought popping into my mind. I watch as Dad opens his eyes slowly, obviously a little tired.
Slowly nodding, my mind racing with thoughts, I watch as Dad stares at me. “Do you know why I’m telling you this?” Dad asks and I shake my head. “Because I don’t want something to happen to you, Harri.” Dad says quietly, bringing me into a hug.
“You’re all I have left now.” Dad says, and I smile, letting go of Dad.
“I won’t do anything like that. I’d miss you too much.” I say, trying to lighten the mood.
Dad smiles, “Or maybe you’d just miss the amazing pancakes I make.”
I let out a laugh, standing up from the couch. “That too.” I mumble, watching as Dad begins to get up from the couch. “Anyway, I’m going to go to bed.” I say and before I walk away, Dad calls my name.
Looking over my shoulder, I reply with, “Yeah?”
“I love you.” Dad says and the small smile on my face grows.
“I love you too. Goodnight.” I say, beginning to walk up the stairs. When I enter my room, the smile that I have falls off of my face as I begin to think about what Dad and I had just talked about.
It’s been a year since that case was dropped...
“My sister hung herself a year ago.” Humpty explains and I wipe my tears away, watching as Humpty closes his eyes. “I didn’t know how to cope. I was a mess -- hell, I’m still a mess today.”
Oh. My. God.
Wait... could this case be related to Tyler’s sister in any way?