Kyle was counting the hours until Mom’s lottery payday.
When the day finally came, he went up to Mom. But Mom broke the news first. She told him that she’d set up a family trust and deposited the winning money in the bank. Then she gave Kyle and me five thousand dollars to deposit into our own bank accounts. He could hardly believe it. He needed five thousand dollars and Mom coincidentally decided to give him that exact amount. What were the odds? Seriously.
Kyle took the money and went straight to the bank to buy an anonymous money order to give to Sophia. He wrote a note: For your cat’s surgery.
After putting the money order in the mail, he stopped at Sue & Gary’s Frozen Yogurt and got a large cherry yogurt with a Gummy Bear topping as a gift for himself. That was the best frozen yogurt he’d ever tasted, even though he’d been there a million times before and had the same exact flavor with the same exact topping a million times. Somehow, right then, it tasted better than ever. So he had another. And another. Which ended up giving him a little tummy problem the next day.
Like everybody else, Kyle hated doing number two in the school bathrooms. However, that day, he didn’t have any choice. During the break, he rushed into the bathroom. Luckily, there was no one else in it. He smiled as if he were saved by the angels and dove into a stall. Just when he finally breathed a sigh of relief, he heard a voice. As an instant reaction, he put his feet up off the floor, and sucked in his breath. He was thankful for his reflexive response when he realized the voice belonged to Jerry.
Jerry looked under each stall to make sure no one was in there.
Kyle thanked God he flushed it simultaneously so there was hardly any smell in the bathroom. Or at least, not enough for Jerry to notice it.
“So while you talk to her, you sneak up behind,” said Jerry on the phone. “You grab her from behind, and drag her into the woods. Make sure you cover her mouth tightly so she can’t scream.”
“Yup. I know,” another voice was barely heard on the speakerphone. “I’ll zip down my pants and that’s when you show up. Right? Just take it easy on the punching part, will ya?” The voice chuckled, which Jerry ignored.
“Make sure it looks real, all right?” Jerry demanded like a nasty dictator.
“Will do,” said the third voice.
“You blow it, you’re done,” Jerry’s threatening voice continued. “You understand?”
“Dude. It’ll be awesome. Nothing to worry about. We’ll be great.”
“All right. So during the lunch break. Behind the barn at Via Rosa and Stewart. She’ll be there expecting to meet up with Ella, her friend.”
“Let’s do it, bro.”
With that, Jerry left the bathroom.
Kyle remained frozen inside the stall. When he heard Jerry say my name, it sure confirmed his suspicions.
Jerry was plotting something horrible against Sophia.