My phone hummed lightly as I sat on the wooden bench a few feet from the entrance of my dorm building. The sun was close to setting, as the skies transformed into an array of red, orange, and pink colors. A chilly breeze danced through my skin as I rubbed a hand down my face, exhaustion taking its final toll on me.
The line rang for another couple of seconds before the sound of shuffling met my ears. I could hear items being thrown around before a deep male voice projected into the phone.
“Whats up.” Tyler voiced as the shuffling in the background died down. Sitting up, I flashed a small smile to the group of students passing by before ducking my head down again and speaking into the phone.
“You called earlier, I figured I’d return your call.” I answered as I leaned back against the bench. Tipping my head backwards, I watched the clouds as they faded into the dark sky, stars slowly taking their place. Noise around me began to fade as students made their way into the dorm halls or the library.
“Theres a first time for everything huh.” Tyler quipped from the other line as he began to loudly cackle.
A small smile unwillingly took refuge on my face as I shook my head at his antics. Regardless of how long or tough my days would be, speaking to Tyler always lightened the mood. Him having been there in the best and worst of times of my life easily made him one of my most trustable and closest companions.
“Yeah yeah. What did you need?” I questioned, glancing down at my watch that began to flash just as the clock hit 8 p.m.
“I wanted to know how it was going down there.” He informed as I played with the fabric on my shirt.
I let out a deep sigh before answering, “Honestly, I don’t even know. The girl isn’t anything like I imagined. She’s quiet, shy, and seems to be the last person anyone would think is affiliated with this cities most wanted criminals.”
“You sure you got the right girl?” Tyler questioned as I sat up from my slumped position.
“Black hair, brown eyes and identical to her photograph. She’s the one.” I replied, taking a sip out of my now cold coffee that I had purchased on my way back to the dorms.
“Girls like her know what they’re doing. Its all a facade, something meant to throw you off. Keep a close eye on her, and get the job done, you’re the only one trustworthy enough to do it.” Tyler stated seriously. Despite his usual cheery and lighthearted demeanor, when it came to his job, Tyler sobered up very quick.
“Thanks man, stay in touch in case I need you to do some digging for me.” I said, as I leaned forward, placing my weight on my knees.
“Will do.” He answered before taking a deep breath. “So, Sophie called me the other day. She’s turning sixteen in a couple of weeks, which means she’s throwing an overrated birthday party. She asked me to extend my invitation towards you seeing as this year her party is conjoined with Adelyn’s too.”
I knew what month it was. Both Tyler and I’s sisters were birthday twins, born merely hours apart from one another. Each year Sophie asked Tyler to ask me to come, no doubt a request from my sister in hopes that maybe one day I would. Unfortunate for her and I, I never did.
A slight ache resounded in my heart as my younger sister’s twinkling blue eyes clouded my vision. It had felt like ages since I had seen her, let alone speak to her, and there was none other to blame other than myself.
I was a coward who didn’t have the guts to face anyone after the tragedy that had hit my family. Everything that lead up to the moment where my life changed and made me the person I am today, could have been prevented, and it was all my fault.
It was in my family’s best interest to stay way from me as it is, at least until I feel that the pain and guilt I carry with me everyday has been redeemed.
“Ty...” I warned as he let out a deep sigh. I could imagine a deep frown on his face as he ran a hand though his hair just as he always did when he was frustrated.
“Mason it was worth a shot okay? Its been three years! I know what happened isn’t something easy to deal with but I know damn well the way you’re dealing with it isn’t right! Your family loves and needs you. They always have, and they always will despite what you think. Put your thoughts and emotions to the side and think about them for once!” He ranted as he yelled through the phone.
Taken aback by his outburst, I remained silent as he calmed down before speaking into the phone once again.
“Adelyn is sixteen, and she is spending everyday knowing that her twin brother is six feet under the ground. Don’t let her think she’s lost you too.” Tyler stated before the line went dead.
Retracting my phone from my ear, I stared down at the ground absorbing everything Tyler had told me.
There are moments where I wonder if I did the right thing by staying away from my family after Nick had died.
Being young, lost, and hurt, I carried the loss of my brother everywhere I went, devoting my life to ending the illegal crimes that had been responsible for his very death.
One day, I thought to myself as I stood up from the bench and began my way towards the dorms.
One day I would return home to my family. And it would be the day where I felt that Nick received the justice he deserved.