Chapter 6: The Process
I went down to the lobby of the FBI building. I was going home to think about it. I wanted to know what I wanted to do before I asked Luke to incorporate his opinion. Cause if he wanted to tell them I had to consider what would happen then.
I spotted Luke sitting in the lobby on a bench.
“Did that colleague of your’s stop being an idiot?” he asked.
“Surprisingly I have one smart co-worker. And for your information that was my boss, ” I counter.
“So somebody guessed that you were Haley?” he questioned.
It was like he was also used to the idea that my name was no longer Haley. I guess my parents didn’t really talk about me after I disappeared. If Luke hadn’t wanted to track me down he could have forgotten me.
“Yeah, but he’s really good at reading people so that wasn’t unusual, ” I reply.
He holds a coffee out to me.
I take it. I wasn’t coffee’s biggest fan but I drank it at least once a week. Tea was more my thing.
“So are we going tell them or not?” Luke asks cautiously.
“We have to make that decision. My team will give their opinions but it’s our choice. In the end, we have three options,” I answer.
“Three?” he questions.
“We tell them. We lie. Or we fake finding my body to stop giving them false hope that I’ll come back cause that would technically be better than lying and letting them never know what happen to me,” I reply.
“I guess so,” he complied.
“What do you want?” I ask quietly.
“I...I...I want them to know the truth but I also fear what they’ll say. Those homophobic comments they put on social media were brutal and that wasn’t to the person’s face. I can only imagine what they’ll say and do to us if we tell them in person. And that’s the only option,” Luke replies.
“That makes two of us,” I agree. “So what did you take in college?”
“Computer Tech. How to fix ’em, hack ’em. Maybe I’ll come work here and help you solve mysteries,” he jokes. “Some psychological studying.”
“So mom and dad know you’re here?” I question.
“Yeah, they didn’t like the idea of me leaving the country let alone crossing the ocean but I told them I’ll do what I want cause they no longer had power over me,” Luke answers.
“You got a boyfriend since you moved here?” I inquire.
“No, I’m...still nervous that mom and dad will hear about it,” he replies.
“Well, if you’re ever interested, I have a candidate. I’m ninety-nine percent sure he’s single,” I insist. “But then again I don’t know your type.”
“Really? Which one of your lovely co-workers is gay? And if it’s your boss I’m going to laugh,” he counters.
“No. You know an Agent Rider, I believe?” I ask sarcastically.
“That guy? You can’t be serious,” he jokes.
“What is he ugly or something?” I ask slightly offended.
I thought Trev was an okay looking guy.
“No, it’s just I didn’t perceive him as gay. He’s cute. Normally the cute ones are straight so I don’t get my hopes up,” he replies quickly.
“Is your idea of a gay guy the kid that’s shy and is misjudged and teased? Cause he was raised in an accepting home. Too bad, that couldn’t have been us,” I echo.
“Well, if it were then maybe our story would have been different. You never would have come to work for the FBI or met any of these people you work with and we both never would have probably left Bristol. Our lives would have been a lot more melodramatic then they are now. Maybe it even made us stronger, ” Luke whispered.
“Yeah, Alabama’s a nice place. It would still be nice to go see New York or Miami though,” I agree.
“Maybe we can take a trip there this summer or something with our friends or dates if we have any by then,” he replies happily.
“Do you wanna come see my house?” I ask.
“Sure. Are you sure you have enough space for me? Cause I can always stay in the apartment I have now,” he questions worried.
“It’s fine. I was trying to find people to live in the spare rooms anyway because I hate empty houses and I figured it was a good way to meet people,” I comply.
“How much space do you have? You make it sound like a mansion,” he inquires.
“It kind of is. When I first moved over here I rented a bedroom in a house owned by a nice old lady by the name of Elise Davids. She said she had no relatives and wanted her last days to be spent in the home she loved and not in an old folks center so she left me her house. She passed away two years ago,” I answer. “The house has five bedrooms, three full baths, a large living room, and kitchen and the basement is huge, it has like this bar thing. It could basically be a small casino if you added some pool tables, poker tables, and slot machines.”
“Sounds great. Did Elise know about you?”
“Actually she did. Mainly because I met her before I had my surgery. She was fine with it. I was amazed. I thought she’d be like follow the path of God and God made you a girl so that’s what you are and this is just a faze but she was completely supportive. She was honestly one of the greatest people I’ve ever met, I hope she went to heaven, she deserved it,” I answer thinking back to the late night talks me and Elise would have.
She honestly deserved an award for how nice and supportive she was of me and my choices.
“We were all born to follow a path, and those paths have hurdles to overcome on them. And God loves all his children no matter what they look like or think and people should, too. But some are just stupid and ignorant. Don’t surround yourself with people like that,” Elise’s words echoed in my mind.
In reality, I hadn’t surrounded myself with anyone. Because I feared my parents finding out but then again that was one of the hurdles Elise probably mentioned.
We enjoyed each other’s company. She was there for me. And as honest as I had been with her, I wish I would have had more time with her. She would of welcomed Luke with open arms, I knew that much but since she hardly ever went out I knew my secrets were safe with her.
“I wish I would have had somebody like that,” Luke whispered.
“Well, you’ll have to settle for me,” I tease rubbing his head.
“Hey, I’m not four anymore,” he curses.
“But you’ll always be my little brother,” I laugh.
I get up and he follows me to my car, which is a simple four-door, silver jeep.
“Hey, Dean,” I hear Trev call.
I turn around and wait patiently for him to catch up to us.
Luke looks surprised and nervous. I don’t know whether it’s because he doesn’t know Trev very well or because he has a crush on him.
“What’s up?” I ask.
“I’m sorry I couldn’t convince Aaron,” he apologizes.
“Don’t worry about it. It’s my choice anyway. And maybe telling them would be a good thing. Maybe they’ll grow up and learn to accept people who are different,” I tell him.
I smile as Luke blushes.
“Are you gonna change your last name back?” Trev asks.
“I don’t know, why?” I reply.
“We’d have to get you a new badge and redo part of the paperwork,” he answers.
“Well, we haven’t made a decision yet so that can probably wait,” I reply nervously.
“Okay,” Trev answered and glanced at Luke out of curiosity.
“Is that all?” I ask.
“Luke, I was wondering if..you’d be interested...in going...out?” he asked between nervous breaths and panicked glances. “If you’re not interested or already have somebody I understand.”
Luke looked surprised, possibly even a little shocked.
“That...would be great,” he replies smiling.
I smiled, my brother had found someone interested in him.
“Could we go out for dinner...tonight? Maybe?” Trev asks.
Luke looks back at me concerned.
“Don’t worry we have all the time in the world to deal with this later. Go have fun,” I assure him and pat him on the shoulder.
He seems relieved but still nervous. I was too on my first date with a girl. I tried the whole dating thing but soon figured out that girls or at least the ones I went out with didn’t want to know about your problems, maybe young inexperienced college girls are like that. I gave up after five years.
I hoped they’d treated each other well and that they’d be happy together.