Me & the boy with the criminal record.
I entered the room again keeping my head lowered. My dad followed right behind me. I sat down in one of the seats at the table and stared at my hands before looking up at Matt.
He was staring right at me. He had noticeable bags under his hazel eyes and his hair looked outgrown and dishevelled. My father cleared his throat quietly and we both removed our eyes from one another.
“Why?” I asked before I could stop myself. Matt sighed, staring down at his hands.
“I just—I.” He mumbled pathetically.
“Look at me when you speak Matthew.” I said dangerously, using his full name to let him know I was serious.
“No, I need to know right now.”
Matt sighed looking like he was going to be sick. “I didn’t want to Izzy.”
I raised an eyebrow, “You didn’t let that stop you from betraying me.” He winced.
“Just hear me out, please Izzy. I had a hard upbringing. My dad was no good and before I knew it he was gone and I was just me and my mom left. She tried her best—she really did—but both her and I knew that we weren’t going to make it.
We were both desperate for money, she took on new jobs and I took on a new habit. Ben found me one day and offered me a deal I couldn’t resist. He coaxed me into joining his gang, he made it seem fun almost. I was just a young kid, impressionable to say the least.
I was probably the best at what we did, I always brought back the most. I got caught once by Casey—Rebecca’s adoptive mother. She and her husband let me go so long as I promised not to do it again—and to give them back their stuff.
Well, a few months ago when we first met you. I had just been giving the hardest assignment yet. And that was to steal from the Penbrooke’s.” I winced and took a deep breath, trying to stop the tears that were wanting to come. Matt looked pained as he continued.
“That first night I met you I was only sent to snag a few necklaces nothing huge. And then you caught me and I had to lie. It hurt me to lie to you Iz, I hate lying to people. Even though I’ve been living a complete lie lately.
Then everything went from bad to worse. Cody—a member of the gang—got jailed. He was doing time for minor robbery. But it’s still a big deal. And when you’re in a gang, they are basically your family. You look out for each other you have each other’s backs. My job was now different I was to somehow cheat you out of enough money to bail Cody out.”
“Oh Matt! I wish you would have just told me! I would have given you the money!” I cried as tears welled up and splashed down my cheeks.
“I know that now.” He looked beyond disgusted with himself. “Anyways, when I realised I had fallen in love with you I went from feeling uneasy about the job to finding it out right impossible to do. I tried to back out, but you saw how bad Ben got me. That was a warning.”
“Ben did that to you!?” I gasped. “Matt, why didn’t you tell me? You could have told me of all people.” He had hurt me and he knew it too.
“I was blind Izzy. Especially when Ben told me that he was going to come after you.” The room went silent my dad seemed to freeze.
“He went to see you that day didn’t he? He went to see you to remind me how easy it was for him to get to you Iz.”