The Wrongdoer

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Chapter 29: Discovered

On Sunday, Cindy and her friends were walking home from a day of shopping when Rebecca decided to buy a paper. When Rebecca put a loonie into the Toronto Star box, she noticed a blurred image that looked like a boy stealing pants off a hanger. She wasn’t sure, but once she had the paper in her hands, she glanced more closely at the image and swore it was Mike. She nudged Cindy.

“What?” Cindy asked. Rebecca pointed at the picture. The article was about two people, one who had robbed a clothing store, and one who had tried to rob a bank. “Another robbery, so what?” said Cindy dismissing the picture instantly. Rebecca handed her the paper.

“Doesn’t that look like Mike to you?” Cindy kept staring at the picture and then shook her head, but her face was filled with doubt.

“Couldn’t be.”

“Well, can you explain his sudden disappearance?”

Cindy shook her head.

“But he wouldn’t rob a store.”

“You don’t know that. After shooting Bradley, he probably ran away and doesn’t want to be seen again. I bet he even thinks he killed Bradley. Now he’s just living on the street, fending for hiMs..elf. He seeMs.. like a poor, helpless, lonely, disturbed boy. I mean, he already failed to commit suicide. How could you get mixed up with someone like him?”

“Don’t insult Mike like that!” cried Cindy in defence. “There’s nothing wrong with him. He was just trying to protect me; that’s all. He hasn’t exactly had an easy life, you know.

“Figures. He can’t even protect hiMs..elf from a bully. If he wasn’t so weak, none of this would have happened. Believe me.”

“Rebecca, what do you have against Mike? He’s never done anything bad to you.”

“Nothing. I’m just saying.”

“Well, stop.”

“Alright.”

Rebecca sighed. She was worried for her friend and she didn’t think Mike was ever going to change.

“Hey guys, what are you looking at?” asked Sarah as she approached them. Cindy handed her the paper.

“Hey, isn’t that Mike?” Sarah asked squinting at the picture. Rebecca nodded, but Cindy still wasn’t so sure.

“Who’s in the paper this time?” Amanda asked as she came into view. Rebecca, again, handed over the paper. She also stared at the picture in complete aw. “That looks a lot like Mike.” Rebecca chuckled. Cindy let out a little grin.

“Alright, I guess it’s him.”

“Cindy, I’m sorry about what I said. I’m just worried about you.”

“It’s alright,” said Cindy forgiving her friend. “Will you guys help me find him though?” Everyone nodded except for Amanda, who wasn’t listening as she was reading the article.

“So he robs stuff now?” she asked incredulously. “He definitely should be thrown in jail.”

Cindy sighed.

“He’s not a bad guy.”

“Then why’s he in the paper?”

“Does it ever mention his name?”

Amanda skimmed the article.

“Yeah, at the bottom. His last name’s Roberts, right?” Cindy nodded. “Because it says here he’s already been caught.”

“What!?” cried Cindy. “They’ve got him?”

“Well he’s not exactly the slipperiest eel,” Rebecca pointed out.

“I think Mike’s very smart,” said Sarah in defence.

“Of course you do,” sighed Amanda and Rebecca together.

“Hey, it’s not me who’s in love with him. It’s Cindy.”

“We figured that out, thanks,” Rebecca noted.

“Well, I don’t think you guys give him much credit.”

“We hardly know him!” cried Amanda.

“It’s O.K., Sarah,” said Cindy putting a hand on her friend. “I’m glad you understand.”

“Alright, fine,” agreed Amanda. “We’ll stop with the Mike insults. So what do we do now?”

“Well, I’m going down to the station,” said Cindy. “You’re welcome to join me.”

“If he was caught last night, don’t you think he’s already home?” asked Rebecca.

“Something tells me the police are still holding him.”

“Well, then you should go.”

“You guys aren’t coming?”

The girls shook their heads.

“We’ve got homework,” they chorused. Cindy shrugged her shoulders. She understood why Rebecca and Amanda didn’t want to help her, but Sarah had seemed to be very understanding.

“You guys should be alone,” said Sarah as she walked away with her two other friends. Cindy headed in the opposite direction.

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