When I arrive back home, I check my phone and notice a missed call from my mother. Despite my better judgment, I send her a quick text:
When she doesn’t reply immediately, I take out my laptop and set it up in the kitchen, hoping to get some college work done. I might as well, seeing as I’m not planning on making dinner – I have no appetite, even after barely eating all day.
I feel despondent. I could do with a pick-me-up but my only friend is behind bars and I’ve upset the only family member who actually cares about me.
How am I supposed to accomplish anything?
Even Bryan doesn’t want to save Bryan.
I blink away tears and swallow down cries, forcing myself to toughen up. I search through my documents instead, looking for a task that I had been working on a couple of weeks ago.
Where the hell did I put that file? Can nothing ever be easy?
While searching, I come across a Zip File made not too long ago. I find it odd because I hate Zip Files and avoid them at all costs. I click on the file in an attempt to open it and see what it’s about but find that the file is password protected.
I type in all my usual passwords but to no avail. I cave in and let the file be. There’s no cracking it. It must be Bryan’s or Jane’s. They’re the only two who use my laptop on a regular basis.
I reach for my phone and start typing a message to Jane when I receive a reply from my mother:
‘Can I call you?’
I really don’t feel like speaking to her. I hope that whatever she has to say is not related to the black Audi incident; she’ll think I’ve lost it.
‘Not right now. Busy.’
I decide to call my sister instead of messaging her. When she answers, I don’t hesitate to fire some questions her way:
“Hey. Quick question, have you used my laptop recently?” I ask her without first greeting her.
“Be more specific,” she replies.
“In the last couple of days?” I rephrase my question.
“Yeah. Probably,” she informs me. “Why?”
“Do you use Zip Files?” I answer her question with another question.
“Sometimes,” she answers. “More Bryan’s speed though, isn’t it?”
I sigh, aware that she’s right. “Do you know if he was on my laptop?”
“He’s always on your laptop,” she answers again. “Why are you asking me this? Did you find something? Any incriminating evidence?”
I frown at hearing her words. “No. It’s just a locked file,” I explain, defending him once again. “It’s probably nothing.”
“You should ask Bryan,” Jane suggests.
I shake my head. “It’s not necessary. It’s probably just one of his assignments.” I’m not sure if I’m trying to convince her or myself anymore.
“Hate to admit it but you might be right,” she says after a brief moment of silence. “He’d have to be an idiot to leave evidence on your laptop.”
“Are we going to argue forever, Jane?” I question, exhausted. “He wouldn’t leave evidence because he didn’t do it but I’ll ask him about it anyway.”
I don’t give her a chance to reply because I know that she’ll fight me on it again. Instead, I take the peaceful route and hang up on her.
I inhale sharply when I receive more messages from my mother.
It never ends.
‘You are going to want to take my call…’
Just as I read Anne’s message, my phone begins to ring. Her name flashes across my screen. I pinch the bridge of my nose and squeeze my eyes shut, mentally preparing myself, before reluctantly answering the call.
“Yes, Anne?” I greet her, my blood already boiling.
“I tried to prepare you sooner but you weren’t answering…” she trails off mid-sentence.
I’m not surprised by her abrasive tone.
“What?” I ask, knowing that she’ll get straight to the point.
“Open your door,” she simply demands.
“Why?” I ask, already knowing where this conversation is headed.
“Because we’re here,” she tells me.
“And by ‘we’, I’m assuming you and your cop friends?” I ask while moving over to the window. I peek through the kitchen blinds and sure enough, my mother is standing on my front doorstep with her team in tow.
I groan and trudge to the door with heavy steps. I suck in another deep breath before slowly opening the door for them.
“Why are you here, Anne?”