Twelve Years Ago:
After seven years of elementary school, two years of middle school, and four years of high school, it’s finally time to graduate. I say seven years of elementary school because I’m counting kindergarten. I hated school with a passion, but if I ever wanted to take over for my old man when I came home from the Marines, I needed to get my education. My dad and his Army buddies started up the Broken Angels, MC when they finished their last tour overseas. I have always wanted to follow in my father’s footsteps, but the Army just didn’t call to me like the Marines did. However, there is one person that made my high school days’ worth it.
Megan Sting. My girlfriend of four years and the love of my life. Growing up, I watched my parents together. I watched all the men of the club with their ol’ ladies. I knew I wanted that. The unconditional love with that one person, and Megan is it for me. I remember the day I told my pops about her. He asked me if my soul called out to her. I told him I couldn’t answer that at the moment because I wasn’t sure of the answer. As time went on, the more I got to know her, and the more I found myself falling in love with her. We fought like cats and dogs most days, but that didn’t matter to my young self. We were each other’s firsts. She pushed me to study, and she supported me in wanting to join the military. I knew after the first few months that she was it for me. That she would become my ol’ lady when I got out of the military and done prospecting for the club. I couldn’t have been more fucking wrong, I just didn’t know it at the time.
“Hey man. You ready to get this over with?” Westyn says. He’s one of my best friends. He’s the next in line to take the President spot in the club. He’s standing with my two other best friends, Axyl and Patrick. Axyl is next in line to be the Vice President, and Patrick is one of the enforcers, like myself. We’re all the same age, so we’re all graduating together.
“Fuck yeah. I’m ready to be out of that place.” That, and I’m planning on asking my woman to marry me before taking her ass to the courthouse before I leave for basic. I’m planning on asking her after we get our diplomas. I want her to be my wife before I leave.
“I hear you man. I’m ready to be out of that place myself. Lana’s been bitching up a storm and pouting because I’m leaving her here alone.” Axyl says, rolling his eyes. Axyl met Lana when he and Westyn came to pick up Aliana, Westyn’s kid sister, after playing hooky a couple years ago. Everyone could see how Aliana felt about Axyl, and how she changed when Axyl took a liking to Lana. “Bitching about how I’m leaving her to face high school by herself while she’s pregnant.” Lana is two months pregnant. It was a shock when she announced it. She rushed into the clubhouse with a huge smile on her face and shouted that she’s was pregnant at the top of her lungs to everyone in the clubhouse.
“Maybe you shouldn’t have even gotten involved with one of Aliana’s friends.” Westyn snarls. He’s not happy with how his sister is acting at the moment. She’s in love with a man who is in love with someone else or claims to be in love with another woman. I remember her face when Lana announced her pregnancy. It was one of pure agony. She was crushed. She ran out of the room and no one could get her to come out of her room for a week. The only person she would let in was Jackson, who just so happens to be her best friend. Lana stopped hanging out with Ali once she got with Axyl. Ali doesn’t have a lot of friends because they all want to use her to get closer to the guys in the club.
“You’ve been on my damn ass, pissed about something since Lana came in and said she was pregnant. What the fuck is your deal man?” Axyl snarls back at him.
“You broke my sisters fucking heart! That’s why I’m pissed!” He says. Before Axyl has a chance to respond, our dads come into the room.
“That’s enough! What’s done is done. It’s time for you four to get to the school.” My dad looks at me with a proud glint in his eyes. We hold each other’s stare for a few more minutes before he gives me a slight nod and leaves the room. I’ve always wanted to make him proud, and I’ve done everything in my power to do so.
“Let’s go before they come back up here and light a fire under our asses. Better yet, let’s go before they send our moms up here.” Patrick says. Westyn and Axyl share a heated stare before I slap the back of their heads and we make our way downstairs.
“What the hell is your problem Aliana. You’re supposed to be my friend.” Comes the nasally voice of Lana. “You need to get over the fact that I’m with him and having his baby.”
“Just leave me alone Lana. We’re not friends. We never were. You got what you wanted. Just leave me alone and don’t fucking talk to me.” Ali shoulders past her and Lana, being the dramatic bitch that she is, falls to the floor with a cry of pain.
“What the fuck Aliana. Was that necessary?” Axyl says, being the ever-loving idiot that he is. “She’s fucking pregnant.”
“I barely touched her.” Her voice is soft, but firm.
“That doesn’t fucking matter. You hit her hard enough to make her fall. What would have happened if you hurt the baby.” He snarls.
“Ax, what if she hurt my baby.” Here comes the waterworks. “Oh no. I can’t lose this baby. My baby.” She buries her head in his chest and sobs. Axyl throws a scathing look towards Ali. I look towards her and notice she’s trying to keep her tears at bay. She’s definitely not the girl we all remembered two years ago. She doesn’t speak her mind very much, and she sure as hell doesn’t hang around us very long like she used to.
“Are you fucking kidding me right now?” Westyn bellows out.
“Wes, just stop. It’s fine. He wants to defend dramatic barbie, then fucking let him.” She storms out of the room and into the waiting car. There’s a piece of the old Ali that we all know and love.
“Son, I love you, I really do, but you are a fucking idiot. She didn’t do anything wrong.” Calvin, Axyl’s dad states.
“She pushed her down. I saw her do it with my own eyes.” He says, helping a still crying Lana off the floor. “Are you okay baby?”
“I’m fine. I think she hates me. I just wish I knew why.” Lana replies. She knows exactly why Ali isn’t friends with her anymore. The only one that doesn’t know is Axyl. He looks at her the same way, but he’s blinded by different factors that are at play.
“You saw what you wanted to see. Aliana barely touched her, but you won’t listen to me. Get your asses in the car. You’re going to be late.” Calvin replies, looking disappointed in his son. Lana has her claws in him deep and he’s the only one that can’t see how toxic she really is.
We all load into our vehicles and make our way to the school. I can’t wait to have my girl in my arms. She wasn’t able to come to the clubhouse today and ride with us because her family wanted to take her out to celebrate. So, this will be the first I’ve seen her since yesterday. Does it make me sound like a pussy when I say that I miss my woman even though I saw her less than twenty-four hours ago? Probably, but do I care? Not one bit. She’s the beginning and ending to my life.
When we get to the school, we park our vehicles and walk in while our parents go find a seat in the gymnasium. I’m looking around for Megan, but I haven’t seen her yet. I go to the rest of my class and hope I’ll see her inside. I’m standing in line next to the person I’ll walk into the gym with when the pomp and circumstance starts up. As we make our way to our seats, I still look for her. Even though she’ll be behind me, I should still be able to see her. I crane my neck, but I’m not seeing her. I continue to look for her as the valedictorian does his speech. I look for her as our names get called, and when the principal calls her name, she doesn’t show up. She’s not here.
I don’t know where she is. She was so excited about graduation today. We just talked last night before going to bed. She said she’d meet me here, but she hasn’t showed. I quickly get my phone out and send her a text. By the time the ceremony is done, she still hasn’t answered. As I walk over to my parents, I try and call her, but it goes straight to voicemail. I’m starting to get worried because she never has her phone off. It’s always on. She said she always wants to be available when I call. She said that the favorite part of her day is when she gets to see me or talk to me, and damn it if it isn’t the same way for me.
“Hey son! I’m proud of you.” My dad says, slapping a hand on my shoulder. I always wanted to make him proud and I knew one of the ways to do that was to work my ass off in school and graduate with honors. It wasn’t easy, but I did it.
“Thanks dad. I wouldn’t have been able to do any of this without you pushing me to meet my goals.” I tell him honestly. Megan may have made my days bearable, but it was my family that helped me meet the goals that I set out for myself. I could have been partying with the brothers, or getting my dick wet with the club whores, but I was up in my room studying.
“It was all you my boy. Where’s Megan?” My dad asks.
“I have no clue. She said she would meet me here. Her parents wanted to take her out for breakfast as a congratulations thing. I sent her a message and tried to call, but her phone went straight to voicemail.” I inform him. I’m sure he can see the worry on my face.
“Why don’t you go check on her before you head to the clubhouse for dinner with the family.” My mom says. I give her a kiss on the cheek and head over towards the boys. After everyone congratulates us on our graduation, I inform them of what’s going on and we make our way over to Megan’s house. The feeling of dread intensifies the closer we get to her house. I have a feeling that whatever we find is going to change my life, and not in a good way.
It takes about twenty minutes to get to her house from the school and when we arrive, it looks empty. There isn’t a light on in the house and the porch light isn’t on. They leave that light on twenty-four seven. I walk up to the door with my brothers behind me and knock on the door. There’s no answer. I knock for about ten minutes before trying the doorknob. It’s locked, which doesn’t surprise me. Maybe they went somewhere, and it took longer than they planned. Sometimes that happens. Right?
I turn to face my brothers and see them standing behind me. I knew they wouldn’t stay in the truck, they’d be right here behind me incase shit went sideways, and I needed them. I’m not going to freak out right now, no matter how much I want to. “Let’s head back to the clubhouse and have Hack look to see if something happened, or they’re just out and about doing family stuff.” Westyn, always the voice of reason, says. We all nod and head back towards the truck. With one last look at Megan’s house, I get back in the truck and we head back towards the clubhouse.
The drive to the clubhouse is done in complete silence, leaving me with time to think and overthink. What if something happened to them? What if she just took off and no one wants to tell me. Her parents weren’t my biggest fans, and they made it known. Being around a bunch of shit-talking bikers, I learned to grow a thick skin early on, so I let what they said roll off my back with ease. Her parents were the overbearing strict type. They didn’t want her to go anywhere, and if she did, she had to be home by dinner time. To say she was late at lot of the times was an understatement. She never wanted to go home, and I knew that if I took her home before she was ready, she’d just leave.
“We’re here. Let’s go talk to Hack.” Hack is Blake’s dad. He’s our clubs tech guy. If we can count on anyone to find anything about what’s going on, it’ll be him. Blake already has is road name because of how he acts. He’s a fucking snoop and can find anything and everything that he wants. We call him Snoopy because of how he’s able to snoop to find shit that no one else would think to look for. He’s better than his dad at some things, and his skills don’t go unused.
“Did you have any luck in finding your girl?” My dad asks when we make our way inside.
“No, I need Hack to look into them and see if anything happened overnight. When we got there, the porch light was off, and no one answered the door when I knocked.” I inform him.
“We looked around in the windows but didn’t see anyone.” Westyn supplies. “It’s like they vanished into thin air.” That’s the damn truth. I take my phone out and try to call her again, but it goes straight to voicemail, once again.
“Don’t worry son. If there’s anything to find, Hack will find it. Go enjoy your day with your brothers. The ol’ ladies are making a celebratory dinner. Prez says. I nod and turn towards the doors that lead outside. I know I’m not going to be able to rest until Megan is in my arms again, but there’s nothing I can do right now. Prez is right though, if there is anything to be found, Hack will find it.
Over the past week, I’ve been going back to Megan’s house to see if she’s home. I go there multiple times a day and there’s still no sign of them. They’ve all just disappeared. I haven’t given up though, and neither has any member of the club. Hack hasn’t found anything yet, but I know he will. Something is about to happen, I just know it. I have that intuition that I had last week when I knew something was wrong. I knew that something was going to change, and soon too.
“Hey man. Heading out?” I turn to see Westyn sitting at the bar with Aliana. I’m supposed to leave for basic next week and want to have answers before I do.
“Yeah. I need answers man. I need to know before I leave. I just need to know.” I tell him. He nods and gets up to follow me. “You don’t have to come. Stay here with your sister. She needs you more than I do right now.” One look at Aliana and I can tell that she needs someone more than anything right now, and that someone just happens to be her big brother.
“No. It’s okay. I’m just going to go home.” Ali, being the awesome chick that she is, says. She’s there for others, but when she needs someone she doesn’t ask for it. She suffers in silence. Westyn looks between her and me, trying to decide between his best friend and his little sister. “Just go Wes. I’ll be fine. Jackson is supposed to come over later when he’s done in the shop. Your brother needs you. I’ll be fine.” She tosses him a smile, that we know is forced, and turns to leave the building.
“She thinks she’s hiding her pain, but she’s not. I can see right through it.” Westyn says as we make our way outside. I nod because I know it too. She doesn’t want anyone to suffer with her problems. She doesn’t want to burden us with her issues when we have shit going on of our own. Her words, not mine.
“You know how your sister is though. She doesn’t want anyone to worry about her. She wants to worry about everyone else and not the other way around.” I say. When we make it to my truck, we hop in. This is my baby. Pops and I fixed it up together. We went to the junk yard, looking for a bike when I came across a 1975 Chevrolet C10. She was rusted and just left there to rot, but I brought her home. Dad and I worked on her for months until she was in pristine condition. She’s red with white stripes down the sides, from finder to finder. I also brought home my bike that day too. We worked on my 1970 Harley Davidson FLH as we worked on the truck. I pained her to look exactly like the truck.
“I know, but I don’t like this shit Eliot. She’s my baby sister and she’s hurting. One of my best friends is the one hurting her. How in the fuck am I supposed to handle that? I know she wants to be with him. She has since she started noticing boys. I don’t want her to be with anyone because she’s my little sister but fuck if I can stop her. I want my old sister back, the smart mouthed, crazy assed sister. The one that didn’t hold back on how she was feeling.” Westyn rants.
“I know man. She’ll get there. She’s had a thing for Axyl for a couple years now. It’s not just going to go away overnight. It’s going to take time and having Lana rub shit in her face about it, isn’t going to help her any.” I say.
“She’s leaving after she graduates. She told me today before you walked into the main room. She’s leaving for college. She said it’s so she can spread her wings and fly but fuck if I don’t know the truth.” To say I’m shocked is an understatement, but I don’t have time to reply because we pull up to Megan’s house.
Westyn and I get out of the truck and walk towards the porch. Nothing has changed. The lights are still off. The only thing different is the piece of paper taped to the door. I walk up and rip it from the door before opening it. What’s inside rips me apart and shreds my soul.
Last week we lost our daughter. She snuck out of the house to go see you. I’m not sure what she ever say in you, but for some reason she ‘loved’ you enough to risk her life for. We told her not to be with you. That you would be the death of her, and we were right. When she went out, she was struck by a vehicle while walking in the dark. The driver took off. She was murdered because of you. I hope you’re happy with yourself. You caused our daughter to be murdered. We buried our daughter because she wanted to go see you. You will never see her again just as we won’t. Have a terrible life.
I drop to my knees, my legs weak. The love of my life. The woman that I was going to marry is gone. Taken from me like someone snapping their fingers. I don’t understand how this happened, but I do know that Megan was my life and now she’s gone.