Kyle returned home but not before walking Sophia to her house after she was brutally raped by Jerry.
He had about an hour alone at the house until Mom or I returned. He needed to access Mom’s money to hire a hitman to kill Jerry. He didn’t consider the consequences yet, but the first thing he thought of was how to get our parents’ bank account login information. Of course, he had no idea how to locate, much less, hire a hitman, but he was too upset to think about details like that yet. He had to get the money first.
He knew Mom always wrote down important information such as bank account numbers, Social Security numbers, driver’s license numbers, and so forth, along with important phone numbers. He knew she kept the piece of paper somewhere in their bedroom.
He snuck into their bedroom and scanned the room with his eyes, without touching anything. He’d never pried into other people’s things before, and wanted to minimize the amount of items he touched. He took a moment to decide where to start, instead of randomly searching the room.
One of the video games he played was a crime scene investigation game. It was unclear if his years of dedication in playing that game helped, but he did seem to have a crazy instinct as to where Mom might have hidden that piece of paper. For some reason, he knew she wouldn’t put it inside any drawers or cabinets. And he knew she’d keep it easily accessible to her—in other words, near to her, where she could protect it even while asleep. Which, obviously didn’t really make sense, since she wasn’t near it except when in bed, but it was sort of like a psychological thing.
On her side of the bed stood a nightstand with two drawers. Kyle’s instinct told him the notepaper should be over there, but not inside the drawers. He noticed three photo frames on top of it. If she wanted to be very unpredictable, she might have hidden it inside one of those frames, behind the picture. But then it would have been too much trouble to take it out every time she needed the information. His guess was that she wouldn’t have gone that route.
His eyes landed on something—a piece of cloth that covered the nightstand. The picture frames sat on top of it. He stretched his sweatshirt sleeves over his hands and picked up the photo frames without directly touching them, as if he expected the police to come in and search the room afterwards. He was merely following what the character in his game always did though.
He put the frames down on the floor and peeled up the cloth.
He couldn’t believe his eyes when he saw a piece of folded paper underneath it. His heart raced. He wondered for a moment if he possessed special skills, like some sort of psychic power he never knew he had.
He unfolded the piece of paper. The information he needed was written in small words and numbers. His eyes scanned their bank login info. He dashed out of the room, and returned with a pen and a notepad, scribbling down the data.
Then he heard Mom’s car approaching.
He folded the piece of paper and put it back where he found it. Then he placed the photo frames back on the stand hastily before bolting out of the room.
Darting into his room, he turned on the video game, pretending that he’d been in his room playing it the whole time.
With the sound of the front door opening, he heard Mom’s voice.
“Kyle? Are you home?”
“Yeah,” Kyle yelled, a little louder than necessary as he ripped the page off his notepad and hid it under the mattress.
“Okay,” Mom’s voice faded as she disappeared into the kitchen.
He breathed a deep sigh of relief.
An hour or so later, my voice echoed in the house. “Mom. Did you hear me? I waited for a while just like you told me, and now it’s time. People aren’t talking about the lottery anymore. It’s ancient history. So we’re safe.”
The walls in the house were incredibly thin. We could almost hear complete conversations through them.
“Someone was in my bedroom.” Mom’s voice caught Kyle’s attention. “Someone was here.”
“Why do you say that?” He heard me say.
“The photos. Someone moved them.”
Shit, Kyle thought to himself.
He pressed his ear to the wall, listening closer to our conversation.
“Was Kyle home before you?”
As soon as he heard me say that, he turned up the volume of the video game so I wouldn’t come in and bother him.
He heard me knocking on the door. He surely didn’t feel like dealing with me at that moment.
When I refused to give up, he had to answer me. “What?”
“Did you see anything unusual when you got home? Mom thinks there might have been an intruder.” I said through the door.
Just when he thought he could get away without having to deal with our interrogation, another knock came, along with my loud shout. “Mom wants to search your room!”
He paused his game. He had to reply to us in order to make us back off. “I told you I didn’t see anything weird.”
When I didn’t withdraw no matter what, he had to open the door.
“What in the hell happened to your face?”
He’d forgotten about that—even to wash his face. In fact, he still hadn’t seen himself in the mirror.
He told us a cheesy lie about his injury before Mom entered his room. He sat on the bed and waited while she searched it. That way, she couldn’t look under the mattress.