Here is the seventh chapter, where I continue to put Adrien into bad situations just to see how he reacts. For the last six chapters, click here.
Despite the pain in my shin I managed a run— an awkward, limping run—towards the counter. The waiting room was empty, except for a couple people, and I could feel all of their eyes on me. “Can you call 911, please?”
The nurse first seemed annoyed, until she lifted her head up from her phone and got a good look at me. Within a minute I was being cared for while my school, the police and my parents were all be contacted.
The police showed up first, followed briefly by Mrs. Romero, who appeared to be way too worried for me than she should’ve been, considering we’ve never actually talked before. “I’m so glad you’re okay!” she said.
She and the police listened politely as I told my story, which was about fifty percent true. I had gone to the bathroom, having no clue what would happen next, when I was kidnapped by James, and at least one unknown person from behind, passed out, and woke up in the back of a van about fifteen minutes ago. I kicked the doors open during a red light on Main Street (about fifty yards away from here) and made my way towards the hospital.
All of them seemed satisfied with my explanation. Mrs. Romero seemed the most relieved. After all the police left she asked me a few questions, like how I was feeling, (“Good.”) how bad were my injuries, (“Just a bunch of bruises, and they said I have a mild shin splint.”) and if there was anything she could do to help me. (“Nothing I can think of.”) She told me, as if she’d known me her whole life, just how stressful the day had been. Even worse was that another student had also gone missing shortly after I’d been kidnapped. She left much later than I’d have liked, and before I could get even a second of peace, in came a complete stranger with a badge.
“Hi,” he said, as soon as the doors shut. “I’m detective Roy Thompson, I’m just going to ask you a few questions. I hope you don’t mind.”
“Not all,” I said, which was true, at least until he placed the tape recorder on the desk and turned it on.
“So, he said, pleasantly, “The kid in the bathroom. How would you describe him?”
“Uh, he was skinny,” I started out. It was impossible to act natural when being recorded. It didn’t help that the detective had the look of a liar—I regarded him the same way I did with Wyatt whenever he complimented me. Wyatt always had an ulterior motive. “He was wearing flannel. He had glasses with scotch tape on it…”
“What ethnicity would you say he was?”
“Medium…ish.” he asked me a bunch of other questions about his appearance, all of which I could answer without lying.
“And… you said you didn’t see any of the rest of them?”
“Yeah.” I thought about describing Diesel, but it wouldn’t have made any sense, considering my version of the events.
“Okay,” he said, and for a second I thought the conversation was over. “But the thing is, there were three people, according to witnesses, that dragged you into the van. Plus, presumably, the driver. So shouldn’t someone have been in the back with you when you escaped?”
“I guess so.” Truth be told, I was just as confused by this as he was. “If there was I wouldn’t have been able to. They must’ve gotten out at some point, while I was unconscious.”
“Yes, while you blacked out,” he said, as if he didn’t believe it. Of course, I’d been examined by doctors and nurses: the signs of head trauma were clearly visible.
“So, when you escaped, which road did you say you were on?”
“Main Street,” I said. There was no way he didn’t know that already.
I wondered what would happen if I refused to answer him. I wasn’t sure whether you were even allowed to do that or not, but I knew I’d look guilty if I did.
“So, you just kicked open the doors?”
“There were no locks or anything?”
“There was, I think. It took a couple of kicks to completely get it open.”
“And they didn’t notice you trying to escape?” I wanted to punch him at that moment. Not even just because I didn’t want to get caught, but because this sort of thing happened to me so many times throughout my childhood. No matter how believable the story was, everyone thought I was lying. I usually was lying, of course, but goddamnit, my lies were good. They made sense, they were no obvious holes in the story, yet everyone saw right through them. Meanwhile, Wyatt could murder someone right in front of a police officer and still get away with it.
Now, even with Wyatt himself coming up with the lie, I still had this guy coming in and poking around my story, searching for holes.
“I guess not. They didn’t come after me.”
“And do you have any idea why not?”
“Well… I guess they just didn’t notice me.” He raised an eyebrow and looked at me until I was forced to look away.
“Well, let’s forget about that,” he said, almost amiably. “If you got out on the stop light by Main Street, this place should’ve been over one hundred and fifty feet away. Why’d you go straight here? There’s plenty of other places you could’ve gone to, much closer and much safer.”
“Well, I was pretty banged up. Figured I need medical attention.”
“Yeah, but that’s still a long way to walk, especially with your splinted shin. It’s lucky they didn’t notice you escaping; after all, if they weren’t afraid to kidnap you in the middle of school, they wouldn’t hesitate to kidnap you in the middle of a parking lot.”
“Yeah, it is lucky.” I said, mentally cringing afterwards. The detective gave me an unsatisfied look, and continued.
“One last thing. Did Wyatt have anything to do with this?”
“Nothing I know of,” I said. “Why?”
“Well, according to Mrs. Romero, Wyatt had been wanting to go to the bathroom right before you were kidnapped.”
“Oh yeah, I remember that. He asked to go to the bathroom first before he was called down to the principal’s office and they wouldn’t let him.”
He nodded, “We think maybe your brother was the one they meant to kidnap.”
“Yeah, probably,” I said, making sure to choose my words carefully. Just play dumb. “They probably realized that and decided to let me go.”
He shrugged at this suggestion, as if he were open to the idea but wasn’t buying it. “Do you have any idea as to why they would want to kidnap Wyatt?”
“No,” I said. “We’re not very close.” That last part, as it turns out, was not a lie.
With that he turned off the tape recorder and looked at me, dead serious. “Look, I understand you’ve been through a lot today, and I understand why you’d choose to lie. You seem like you’re innocent in all this and are just trying to protect your brother, which is understandable. This is very common for family members of drug dealers—”
“Drug dealers?” I interrupted, actually laughing. “Wyatt sells gum, nothing else.”
“Ten thousand dollars from just selling gum? Both Mrs. Romero and I agree that Wyatt’s probably selling other things. Now, lying to a police officer, believe it or not, is punishable by up to a year in county jail. Now you’re a minor, so the punishment will be much less severe than that, but it’ll still leave a black mark on your record if proven. But, if you have nothing to hide here, tell me the truth and I’ll delete that record, and Wyatt will have to deal with the consequences, not you.”