Three Seconds Part 2
“I just can’t believe he’s gone.” Wild sniffed wiping her eyes.
Ryder handed her a tissue and wiped his own eyes, I rolled my eyes. Could they calm down? It wasn’t a big deal, we all die.
“It would have been so easy to save him.” Ryder murmured.
Well we couldn’t save him. And I didn’t get why everybody loved him so much in the first place, he was just a normal boy.
“Blaze why aren’t you crying?” Wild hissed, “You look like a sociopath.”
We were standing in the middle of Vue Cinema and Wild and Ryder looked as though their lives had been ripped apart as they had a meltdown between two posters one of a revival of Dora the Explorer and the other of Cinderella: The Story of the Past. How was I the weird one here?
“Screw Rose, I hate her.” Wild snapped.
“She should have just made room for Jack, some true love that is.” Ryder huffed crossing his arms.
Titanic was a movie older then we were, yet here Ryder and Wild were criticising the production when I’m pretty sure most of the producers were dead by now. Jack, from the movie was the same age as her father, how was she in love with him right now?
“Blaze, you okay? What’s up?” Wild asked nudging me.
“Nothing, just silently hating Rose.” I shrugged.
In actual fact, I was thinking about Chase. He hadn’t been in school yesterday or today, I texted him last night, he hadn’t even seen it let alone replied. Ryder said he called his house yesterday and Chase’s Mum told him his Dad had taken him out for a father-son trip, they had lied about him having a flu to avoid a problem with the school.
I had the sinking feeling that the flu wasn’t the only thing they had lied about. Ryder said Chase and his Dad weren’t always on the best of terms, so it was a good sign they were bonding. I don’t know which was more concerning, the fact that Chase’s own mother was concealing whatever was really up with Chase, or that Ryder was so naive into believing that his best friend was actually on a father-son bonding trip.
“Hey, Blaze, isn’t that Taylor Cohen? As in Oliver’s older brother?” Wild said waving to a blonde -haired girl.
Ryder looked at me and I looked away, I didn’t realise they were siblings, Taylor’s dark chestnut hair was hardly comparable to the platinum blonde on Oliver’s head.
“Oh yeah.” I murmured.
“Taylor, hey!” Wild said running up to him.
Ryder tugged at my arm, I knew what he was about to ask and wasn’t sure how I was supposed to answer.
“Are you ever going to tell Wild?”
“She doesn’t need to know.”
“Chase does, and so do I. Surely if you can tell us, you can tell her.”
But it was complicated. Wild wouldn’t mind that I had kept it a secret, she knew that I didn’t keep stuff from her unless I had a reason to. But I knew my best friend, and she wouldn’t take my dating an adult well, not after what happened in Year 6.
“Taylor, this is Blaze, and Ryder.” Wild said pulling him over to us, “Blaze, Ryder, this is Taylor, he used to babysit me when I was 8.”
Babysit? Taylor would have been only 12 or 13 then, I was pretty sure Wild’s parents wouldn’t leave their only daughter to be looked after by a 12-year-old boy.
“How old are you Taylor?” Ryder asked, clearly having the same thought as me.
Wild didn’t notice Taylor narrow his eyes at Ryder as he spoke.
“24, I’ll be 25 in two days.”
That was four years older than he had told me. That was 9 years older than me, which was nearly 10, which was a decade.
“It was nice seeing you Wild, nice meeting you Ryder and Blaze.” Taylor said hiding the nervousness in his voice.
He had lied to me and not about something small. Before it was different, before, he was 5 years older than me. Now it was weird.
“You want a lift to the Addisons’ to pick up Storm and Phoenix?” Ryder asked as we were walking out of the cinema.
I shook my head, I still didn’t understand how Ryder had a driver’s license, he was 16, like us. That wasn’t even legal, he said he had ‘connections’ whatever that meant. One would assume that a cop’s son would be a law-abiding citizen, but apparently not.
“You’re going to walk home?” Wild asked arching an eyebrow.
“Yeah, it’s a nice day.” I shrugged looking up at the grey clouds and gloomy trees.
But I wasn’t going home. Nor was I going to the Addison’s. I was going to Chase’s. I hadn’t actually been to his place before, but I knew his address, Phoenix had been invited to Isabella’s Birthday party in two weeks, the address had been on the invite.
The first thing I noticed, was that Chase’s house wasn’t as big as I had thought it would be. Considering he had five sisters and went to Ravenwood, I was thinking golden gates and Mercedes. The second thing I saw was the side gate, slightly ajar.
I had never in my life trespassed, never. I had never broken into a house, or stolen, not even when we had no money and I was eating cotton balls because we had no food in the house. I didn’t like breaking the law.
Yet, that didn’t stop me from jumping across the front porch and slipping through the side gate to the back garden. There was broken glass all over the patio, and blood, lots of it, dried in some areas, it had to be at least a day old. They hadn’t even bothered to clean it.
I looked up to the shattered window, had someone been pushed out, or jumped? I was saying someone because the thought of this blood being Chase’s wasn’t a thought I was ready to process despite it being the most likely case.
“Can I help you?” A woman’s voice drawled from behind me.
I turned around to see a woman in her mid-forties with unbrushed hair, and lips in a loose frown. Her eyes were unmistakably hazel, like Chase’s, she was like an older female version of him, with blonde hair.
“Evelyn, right? Evelyn Lopez?” I said.
“Yes, and you are?”
“Blaze, Nightshade.” I said, there was no point lying.
“Jane’s son?” She asked, and her frown softened into a mild look of warmth, “We used to have coffee together, though not so much recently.”
Go for coffee? And do what? Talk about how much they were fucking up their son’s lives? I shook my head lightly quelling my anger.
“Is Chase home?”
“He’s on a trip with his father.”
Like Hell he was. Unless that trip had a quick stop at the morgue, I doubted that was true.
“Shut the fuck up with the lies.” I snarled.
Maybe I hadn’t quelled my anger quite as much as I had thought.
“I’m not lying.”
“Yes you are...” I started.
“Blaze, stop!” Chase shouted.
Tearing my eyes away from Mrs Lopez, I looked at Chase. His arm was bandaged and in a dark blue wrist cover, there was a new cut on his neck and a bruise near his left eye.
“What happened to you?” I breathed.
Evelyn walked to the side, sniffling, sobbing about something, my pulse started racing again fiercely at the sight of her.
“Why are you here?”
“Why aren’t you in school?”
“It’s got nothing to do with you.” Chase snapped.
But I knew it did. Evelyn was staring at Chase, conditioning his every word. He couldn’t say anything whilst that bitch was here.
“Chase, you don’t have to do this.” I said.
“Blaze, you should go, I don’t even know how you found out where I live.”
Then it hit me. Isabella’s birthday party. She wasn’t 5 until May, it was September. There was no birthday party, there never was one. Chase wanted me to have his address.
I walked past him, and as I brushed past, Chase lightly put his hand around my arm. His fingers drifted lower to my hand and I felt the crinkle of paper against my palm. My eyes locked with his hazel ones.
And then I walked away, out of the side gate to the pavement turning the paper over in my hand. Four Words
Be my safety plan?