Chapter 5

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They hit the train at the mid-town crossing.  The freight train was long and moving slow.  Like the highways, the rails were being shut down.  Engineers were trying to get to the rail yard over in Hamilton before the storm hit 

During the wait, Lily laid the towel on the top of the VW and rolled up her window.  Complaining about the cold, Kyle had already rolled his up.

She tried to call Julie, but again, it went straight to voicemail.   

“What happened to us?” Lily said suddenly as they watched a series of box cars roll by.

“What do you mean?” Kyle asked.

“We use to be friends.”

“We still are.”

“Not the way we were.  We used to hang out together.  Do you remember when we used go to the mall?  Have fun?”

“Things change, Lil.”

“Only two things have changed.  Jason showing up, and you.”

“Look, I don’t need a lecture from you.  I get enough of that crap from my dad.”

“About what?” Kyle paused for a moment before answering.

“Jason.  He thinks he’s a bad influence.”

“To be perfectly honest, he is.”

“Like I said, I don’t need a lecture from you.  You don’t even know him.”

“I know you and you weren’t like this until you started hanging out with him.”

Kyle didn’t answer as he watched the last few cars of the train pass.

“Don’t forget the towel.” He said as the arms at the crossing began to rise.

It was another ten minutes to the Rosewood Estate neighborhood where Julie lived.  Lily jumped from the car the instant it stopped and ran to the door.  The door flew open before she reached it.

“How long have you known about this?” Julie's mom demanded waving her cell phone wildly.  She was nicely dressed in a trim suit with a strand of pearls around her neck.  She was attractive with blond hair tied back nearly in a bun.  She was clearly upset.

“We just found out,” Lily said realizing the kidnappers had already delivered the ransom note.  “What do they want?”

“Isn’t that obvious?”

“So, are you going to call the police?”  As she asked, Kyle came up behind her.

“The police?” Julie’s dad scoffed as he appeared in the doorway.   He was a few inches taller than Kyle with jet black hair.  He wore a custom tailored business suit.  His tie was slightly loosened.  He too look angry. “Yes and reported her car stolen.  I have also frozen her credit cards.”

“Her car is in the school parking lot.”  Lily produced Julie’s key.  Julie’s dad reached out and snatched them.   “We found them by her car.”

“I am so disappointed in her.  I thought she was more responsible.”

“I don’t think it was her fault, Mr. Holloway.”  Kyle said quickly.

“Oh, that’s right.  It was somebody else’s fault.”

“We just wish she had come to us first,” Mrs. Holloway said with a mix of anger and disappointment.

Lily shook her head, confused.  “How can you blame her for getting kidnapped?”

“Kidnapped?” the girl’s father laughed.  “Is that you kids are calling it now?”

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