Chapter 2.

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I stood in front of the floor length mirror propped up against the wall in my bedroom and tugged awkwardly at the black cotton dress I was wearing. Sure, the dress was nice enough, my long dark hair wasn't frizzy or anything, and I looked presentable enough, I supposed, but I was still nervous as hell.

I only had a few more minutes before the taxi I called would arrive downstairs and it felt like I was going to puke. And, I mean, a lot could happen in a few minutes, right?

I sighed heavily and grabbed my coat off my desk chair, slipping into it. After making sure that my wallet and phone were tucked carefully away in my coat pocket, I left my room, slamming the door shut behind me.

Walking down the hallway towards the living room, I heard the sounds of somebody talking in a reassuring, business sort of way that could only belong to my father.

Kenneth Jamison was leaning against the wall in the sitting room, his dress coat tossed on the leather couch, his iPhone 4S in his grasp as he chatted during what was no doubt a business call.

Dad glanced up as I walked through the living room to the kitchen and surprised me beyond belief by saying, "Hey, Wes, I'll have to give you a call later. Hadley's getting ready to leave."

I grabbed a water bottle from the fridge and leaned up against the counter while Dad walked into the kitchen, tucking his phone back into his pocket.

"What are you doing home, Dad?" I asked him as I took a sip of my water.

That was normally how conversations between my parents and I started, which was really rather sad.

"We just closed the Blanchard-Emilie case today, so I decided to take off early," Dad answered as he crossed the decked out chrome kitchen to the fridge.

"Right," I said awkwardly. "Congratulations."

Dad swung the fridge door shut, a couple of grapes in hand, a rather peculiar look on his face.

Dad and I looked a lot alike. We were both pale and had sharp, angular facial features, with dark hair and lean figures. The only thing I'd gotten from Mom, really, were my eyes, which were just plain old brown. Dad's eyes, though, were bright, crystal clear blue.

"Are you sure you want to go tonight?" he finally asked, his dark eyebrows pulled together in a concerned expression.

"Yes," I said quickly.

I hadn't even needed to think about it before blurting out my reply. There was no doubt that I was completely unsure of everything that had been going on lately, but I was sure that I was going to go to Archer Morales' funeral.

There was this small, nagging thought in the back of my head that kept me wondering how many students from school were going to show up tonight, too. I really didn't want to think about that.

"Do you want me to come with you?" Dad continued in a slightly awkward voice that wasn't his own.

For some odd reason to me, it seemed like actually acting like a parent or giving out parently orders seemed to be taking its toll on Dad.

"No, Dad, really," I said quickly.. "It's okay. I'm fine with going by myself."

"Is Taelor going with you?"

In all honesty, I didn't know the answer to that question.

"Probably not," I said. "Funerals aren't really her thing."

Too right that one was. Taelor put on a remorseful face at school, but I wasn't so sure she'd end up following through and going to the service at St. Patrick's.

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