Chapter 19

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"Your sister's pregnant. How'd that happen?" Hanna asked as all of us but Aria sat on Spencer's bed,

"I figure pretty much the usual way. It's not really a "how" question, it's more of a "why" question. Well, I mean, I guess Melissa could have gone all maternal, but I doubt it." Spencer replied,

"This is so creepy." Hanna commented,

"Where are they now?" I asked,

"Philadelphia. Shopping." Spencer answered,

"What do you think this means?" Emily asked,

"I don't know, but Toby wanted us to have it." Spencer said before pointing to her screen, "There. It's in braille, so..."

"You want to see this, Aria?" I asked, looking over at the small brunette,

"No. I can see just fine from here." Aria replied, looking at Hanna,

I furrowed my eyebrows in confusion as Spencer spoke, "Okay. The first letter's a 'B.' 'A.' It's an 'A'."

"I think it's gonna tell us who 'A'is." Hanna commented,

"'D'. B-A-D." Spencer finished, "Bad. That's the whole message? "Bad?" What's it supposed to mean?"

 Aria sighed, "It means you got punked. Toby doesn't trust us. I don't blame him."

I shook my head, "No, I don't think he'd mess with us like this, with me."

"You'd be surprised what people are capable of. " Aria replied, looking at Hanna once again,

"You guys, we have to figure this out." Emily said,  "This might be a joke, but it could be something real."  

"Look, either way, Toby's not the enemy." I stated,

"You know what, guys? I'm gonna go." Aria said, grabbing her bag and leaving,

"What was that all about?" Emily asked and Hanna shrugged,

"How should I know?"

...

At lunch the next day, we were all at the lunch table talking about Caleb and comparing him to Toby when an angry man in a suit went over to a table full of teachers,

"I'm looking for Coach Fulton." The man stated,

"Is the coach expecting you?" Mr. Fitz asked,

"The coach is avoiding me. That's what the coach is doing." He replied angrily.

"Are you a parent?" Mr. Fitz asked as he stood up,

"Yes, I'm a parent. Nick McCullers. My daughter is Paige McCullers."

"I have your daughter in English comp. I'm Ezra Fitz." Mr. Fitz held out his hand and Mr. McCullers ignored it,

"The coach."

"Why don't we walk down to the principal's office and see if we can't find Coach Fulton?" 

"I've seen the principal, and all I got was a lot of politically correct double-talk about the agenda in this place that's penalizing my daughter, taking opportunities away from her and giving them to someone who doesn't deserve them!" Mr. McCullers exclaimed and the whole cafeteria went silent,

"Everybody gets a fair chance here, Mr. McCullers. We go out of our way to make sure that that's how it works." Mr. Fitz replied,

"My girl is the best swimmer on that team, and you can't give it to somebody just because-"

"You're in a cafeteria, Mr. McCullers, filled with kids trying to have lunch. I don't think that's the audience you want, is it?" Mr. Fitz interrupted and the two left the cafeteria.

...

After school I went to visit Toby with Spencer to ask about the braille message. Just as we got to his house, he stepped outside,

"Toby? Can we talk to you a second?" I asked,

"I can't talk. Something's up with the D.A." Toby glanced over at the man standing by a nice car, "The lawyer's driving me over to my dad's office."

Spencer took a step forward,  "Just tell me... was that supposed to be a joke? Were you just trying to get back at me? Because if you were..."

"I don't know what you're talking about." Toby replied,

"I'm talking about what I found in my book. The braille that you wanted me to have." Spencer answered,

"That was no joke."

"'Bad'? The whole message was 'BAD.' What does that mean? Am I supposed to go buy an old Michael Jackson album?" Spencer questioned,

"You're reading it wrong." The lawyer opened the car door, "I can't do this now. Come back Saturday in the morning. Jenna's out at her flute lesson."

Toby kissed my forehead before continuing to the car and getting in. My phone rang and I looked at the message,

Jenna is going to be soooo pissed

                                                     --A





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