A soft knock sounds at my bedroom door and is followed by my mom poking her head in, “Lukas can you come to church with me this morning? The pastor has been asking about you and I think it’d be good for the both of us.”
“Yeah, sure,” I say tiredly, rubbing the sleep out of my eyes before getting up.
“Thank you, honey, I really think this would be good for you and me,” My mom sits down on the end of my bed and looks back at me, “Your father’s gone if you’re wondering and he’s never coming back. Turns out there was more to the story than just one woman.”
“No wonder he was so angry all the time,” I get up off the bed and grab some clothes from my closet. She watches me silently and I look at her in the mirror, “He probably hated himself.”
“Yeah, well, there’s gonna be a small problem with me not having a partner anymore,” I raise my eyebrows and throw a dress shirt onto the bed, “I’m not going to have enough money to pay rent so it’s a possibility that we’ll have to move.”
I take off my t-shirt and replace it with a wife-beater and the dress shirt, “What? What if I get a job?”
“Even if you get a job it won’t be enough to cover your dad’s half. He paid a majority because we both know my job doesn’t pay a good dime,” My Mom tucks her hair behind her ear sadly but after a few seconds of her furrowed eyebrows and thinking face she snaps her fingers, “What if I get another full-time job and you get part-time? That would be enough to pay.”
“Are you sure that’s safe?” I ask, walking out of the bedroom and into the bathroom.
“I’m sure it’ll work out, I might not be around as often but if we really want to keep this house then we can do it,” I hear her say from inside my room. I take my toothbrush out of the holder and brush until I feel like my mouth is actually clean. Washing my face takes only a few minutes and after I go back to my room to see my mom isn’t sitting on my bed anymore.
I change my pants and put on my dress shoes, “Lukas! It’s time we go.”
“Okay, hold on,” My wallet and phone go into my pocket and my mom and I leave in the van.
Most of the ride is quiet but once we near the church my mom finally speaks up, “You know I’m really glad you’re coming with me honey, I’ve missed having you around the house lately.”
“I know, I’m sorry I’ve been gone all the time,” I look out the window at everyone gathering around the outside of the chapel, “I promise, Christmas will be good this year.”
She smiles softly and put the car in park once she pulls into a spot.
My mind is still on Bo as I walk into the building. I sit mindlessly, not even paying attention to the sermon. When we’re asked to stand, I stand, when we’re told to sit, I sit. I feel like a robot, being controlled and told what to do.
“Lukas, are you okay?” My mother asks me, halfway through one of the gospel songs, “this is one of your favorite songs and you’re not singing along,” Her facial expression is full of worry and I replace my bored, tired face with a smile.
“I’m a little distracted, I’m okay though,” I start mouthing the words to the song and my mom gives me a side hug before going back to doing her own thing.
After the service, my mom and I meet in the common area with everyone else and so many people come up to us and ask about my father. He’s never missed one Sunday but all of a sudden he’s gone.
The eighth person walks to us, “Hey! How’re you?” They ask, enthusiastically smiling. I can see straight through her fakeness and so does my mom but she smiles back.
“So, where’s Henry?” She asks, looking around as if my dad would just pop up and say hello at any time.
“He won’t be accompanying Lukas and I anymore,” Is all my mom discloses and takes my arm before pulling me away. We make it to the van and we don’t even bother staying for the after service breakfast with everyone.
I’ve noticed too that Avery hasn’t been to church either. I’ve been skipping the youth groups and normally when I skip she blows up my phone until I answer. I really miss her, her advice would be amazing right now but I’m too far into all this business with Bo that I can’t tell her anything.
I silently watch as we pass tons of trees and sidewalk with the occasional civilian walking on it. When we get home, I go straight to my room and lay down on the bed. A low-rumbling noise sounds from my throat as I get under the covers with all my clothes on. The feeling of the comforter on jeans is terrible.
My phone buzzes in my pocket and I take it out to see a text from Mason.
Maddie said she’s going to see Bo on Monday but she wants to be alone in the house with her
I sigh, slightly annoyed at the fact that she wants to be alone with her. I’m scared of what she’s gonna say or do. Madeline has always been the type of person not to care what she says to someone so if she says the wrong thing to Bo, I don’t know how’d she react.
For sure she’s coming with me?
Mason takes a few minutes to respond but he replies with a yes. I scroll through Twitter, Snapchat, and finally Instagram. I get a notification that I was tagged in a photo and when I look at my page a picture of Bo and I is in my tagged photos. I look at the account that posted it and the username is @exposethekillers. The caption to the photo says, ′she killed and her friends still stand behind her, makes me think they killed too.′
As if someone flipped a switch my phone starts blowing up with notifications from people commenting on my photos telling me I’m a murderer and how could I support Gianna.
I shut off my phone and set it on my bedside table. The phone constantly buzzes every two minutes with a new comment, a new tag, a new story about Bo. This won’t stop, will it? It’ll be like this until we prove Bo is innocent. We will prove Bo is innocent, to whoever thinks she’s the killer.