The Lucky Winner

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Chapter 30

“We’ll get him out on bail, and we’ll move that same night. Far away from here.”

That was the most radical, irrational statement I’d ever heard from Dad.

We’d given up trying to see Kyle and left the police station after sitting around for another two hours. Now we were back home.

Okay, sure, we could bail him out, if the judge gave us that option. But it would only be a temporary freedom until the trial. The police would not see us off at the airport, waving their hands with cheery smiles, wishing us an ever-lasting, happy life. Even I knew it wasn’t going to be like that. Kyle had turned himself in, confessing he’d committed a cold-blooded murder. He couldn’t just take it all back now, saying, Oops, sorry! But I didn’t mean any of it.

And what if it were true? What if he weren’t sacrificing himself for Sophia, but actually did kill Jerry? In either case, he wouldn’t be allowed to cross state lines or go anywhere after being bailed out. Besides, Detective Lake also warned us not to move until the other murder case was closed—suspects or not.

So what was Dad talking about? I hated to think he was beginning to lack what appeared to be common sense.

“I don’t think that’s possible, Dad,” I said, half-hoping there was a lawful and legitimate reason for him to say what he’d said and he would well explain that to me.

“We are going to make it possible. End of story.”

I was wrong.

Was he suggesting that we run?

I studied his face as if I were analyzing an obscure code. I couldn’t decipher anything. This wasn’t him that I knew. The dad that I knew would have never said anything even remotely close to what he’d just said. I supposed he temporarily lost his sanity now that his son was facing a murder charge. Sure, what kind of father would he have been if he didn’t mind having one of his children spend the rest of his life in prison? But still…

“Well, then, we’ll be fugitives! Shall we fly to some foreign country where nobody can ever find us?” I joked. I laughed. Strongly hoping he’d join me and laugh too, saying it was a bad joke.

He didn’t.

Chills bolted down my spine.

Fugitive… What would that be like? I’d never imagined myself being one, so it was hard to picture it. Could we ever successfully escape, and vanish somewhere without a trace, living in a place where nobody could track us down?

I highly doubted it.

I’d never seen a single movie where a fugitive from justice lived happily ever after. They always ended up dead or locked up in prison for the rest of their lives. There were no success stories. Maybe the chances of success as a fugitive were one in a million.

Wait. We did win the lottery which had similar odds, didn’t we? What if we were the chosen ones? What if we were destined to beat all the odds? What if we were meant to live happily ever after as fugitives?

Would I really be able to do that? Leaving Sophia and Zoe, cutting them out of my life completely and forever? Without even saying goodbye? Or having the chance to explain anything?

Worse yet, what if we lost all the money to those clever cyber thieves?

Detective Lake said another hundred thousand dollars were stolen from our account. I supposed the banks, together with the law enforcement team, were taking serious security measures, and this time, they could spot the illicit activity right away, but the money was already gone.

What if they didn’t stop? If they continued their award-winning thievery skills until they got caught—no matter how tight the banks’ security measures were, and no matter how many times we moved our money to different banks and opened new accounts—we would eventually be left with zero dollars. How could we manage to survive without money? Being fugitives required a fairly decent amount of money since you couldn’t risk getting a job. You had to be away from human contact as much as humanly possible.

But wait. If we were to become fugitives, we couldn’t keep our money in the bank anyway. Because, one: the government could freeze our accounts and prevent us from gaining access to the money. Two: even if they didn’t freeze the accounts, whenever we withdrew any money, they could easily trace it and thereby pinpoint our whereabouts.

So what were our options? Withdraw tens of millions of dollars beforehand and carry the cash with us? Toting bags full of cash through the airport’s security checkpoints? Sure, how clever would that be?

Was Dad thinking about any of that?

Clearly not.

Mom was dead quiet during our conversation, I forgot she was there. Why wasn’t she saying anything? She kept staring straight ahead. Her catatonic eyes seemed glued to one spot on the wall. I looked at the wall and saw nothing amiss.

“Mom, what are you thinking?”

It didn’t take long for me to get an answer—nothing.

“Mom,” I called her again, facing her and looking directly at her at close range.

Nothing.

Was she flat-out ignoring me? Or was she currently on another planet?

When I tapped her shoulder and she didn’t respond, I had to face the unfortunate reality. She’d lost it. Literally, in a medical sense, lost it.

I looked at Dad, expecting to exchange poignant looks. But we didn’t because his attention was fastened on the computer. He was mumbling, and I guessed he was reading an article about posting bail and the court system in general.

I realized I wasn’t even capable of shaking my head. It was so far beyond that.

Now what?

What would I do?

I was only sixteen and in the midst of so much turmoil. I was a minor. A dependent. I was supposed to be taken care of and protected by my parents, but now I was being left all alone.

My mother was gone and urgently requiring psychiatric help. My father was planning our futures as fugitives. My brother was locked up for alleged murder.

Really, what was God telling me to do?

Do more digging.

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