Chapter 7

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After twenty minutes of fussing and me wanting to rip my ears out, Owen finally got into the car. He got angry with me after I told him he couldn't bring his new truck to Matilda's. Last week he brought his old one, and their dog chewed it up. Owen was overly upset, so I got him a new truck with the little money left over from bill-paying.

After moving out from their home, no longer did I accept their money into my pocket. Things are tight at the apartment, but supporting my son on my own is my responsibility. I'm a mother, not a charity case. Besides, my pay is decent, it gets the expenses done with. With the money, I can pay the bills, buy food every week, even pay for little things like Owen's truck.

My job was a hostess at a little diner down the road from us. It was small, cute, and sixties themed. I mean, dressing up in costume was not required, but the interior resembled it. In a way, it looked like Pop's, from Riverdale. But here, everything is much brighter and colorful, instead of that murky, dark aura on the show. When my pay is raised a little more than usual, I'll take Owen there and get some dinner. Employees get a fifty percent off deal, so I use that whenever it is possible.

The drive was annoying, Owen fussed and cries the whole time; there wasn't a moment that he wasn't making some type of noise.  He must get this from his devil father. I was never like this at his age. His little fit ended after my threat of taking his toys away for the rest of the day, and even then, he had puffy, red eyes and an angry look.

We pulled up to the house soon after and he went right inside without saying goodbye to me. It stung a bit on my part, but he'll get over it. I refuse to be one of those submissive parents who give their children whatever it takes to shut them up. I'd rather listen to him cry and whine about being mad at me for hours on end then do that.

The car sped to work as fast as possible, one more late clock-in and I'm guaranteed to be unemployed. Thank goodness that the stop lights were on my side today, every one of them were green, and it gave me two minutes to spare on arrival. 

The work day went smoothly; my manager was on my ass all day, making sure I was doing my work. She was looking for a reason to fire me. I mean, she never really liked me, and she needed a probable cause to terminate me, so she was looking at every little thing I did. The restaurant has a policy for employees that they get five late days, then the worker is fired. So, she has just been anticipating that last tardy day to get rid of me. I always worked hard though, other than the late days, there was no reason to fire me. Everything that needed to be done, that was apart of my job, was always done.

I got decent tips today, the past few days have been complete trash. Just yesterday, ten of my customers tipped absolutely nothing.  I personally think the money was stolen, maybe it was the drug-addicted busboy that was working my tables, but there's no proof, and it'd be rude to assume something like that out loud.

"Laine, there's a call for you." Kara, my manager calls to me as I count my earnings. The diner was one of those low-budget places that closed early, so my hours ended up taking the closing shift most days. The last customer had left almost twenty minutes ago, all my extra work-related things were completed.

"Coming!" I call back, heading into the hot kitchen. The busboys clearly has just started the last dishwasher run of the night, so steam filled the air like fog.

Kara stands by the wall phone, tapping her foot impatiently. She's have a look of annoyance on her face... as usual. When i was close enough, she shoved the phone into my hands, walking away swiftly.

"Hello? Laine speaking." My voice sounds into the phone. I keep my voice down, not wanting others to listen in to my conversation. The other waitresses had problems doing that. Those eavesdropping little witches. "Hello?" The dragging of my voice sounds out again, trying to figure out if they can hear me or not.

"Robyn." The caller's rugged voice sounds into my ear. I begin to shake, my heart speeds up, beating one hundred miles a minute. Who was this? How did they find me? "It's me. Your father."

My heart stops. He was the last person I would've thought to hear from. A sweat bead falls from my forehead, and my foot taps anxiously on the tile floor. If he, a druggie, can find me... So can a whole fucking mafia. "What do you want? Money?"

There is a long pause after that, I started to believe he had left. My blood boils in my body. What did he do to find me? Does he know what danger I am in? "No." His gruff voice rings in my ears. "I've been looking for you for years... Robyn, why did you leave?" He asks me, clearing his throat multiple times as he speaks.

"Why did I leave?" My voice raises louder, pulling the attention of the other workers to me. Noticing it, I'd lower my tone, speaking yet again, "Um.. I don't know." I start, whisper/yelling this last part. "You got high and kicked me out!"

There's another long pause, and as I wait for him to speak again, my eyes travel up to the clock. Shit. I'm going to be late to pick up Owen. "Oh... that." His voice sounds again, starting to cough up a storm. "I just- I want to say I am sorry my angel..." My breath hitches, as a kid, when mom was alive, my father used to call me 'his angel'. It'd be so lost in my own memory, it was surprising that he even remembered. "I've been clean for..." He'd let out a lace of coughs, taking a moment to think. "Three years now."

I couldn't say it didn't impress me. When he was on it, it seemed like he'd never stop. I remember when he first started out, getting high off pot. I'd try to take the drugs and flush them, but he'd always buy more and more. Then it turned to coke. If there was an attempt to remove it from our home, my father would smack me hard on the face and take them back. Now though, it didn't matter. His problem was the least of my worries. There was no way of telling if he was telling the truth or not, and so I had to take his word on it. "Oh... that's good..."

My father would clear his throat, starting to speak yet again. "Yeah... I really want to see you. I want to make up for everything..." He eases his words at me. I can hear a hint of sincerity in his voice, but my trust is still not won over.

I needed answers. Knowing how he found me was my main priority at the moment. Plans can wait. "How did you find me?" My nerves start to build, "Who did you talk to?"

Another long silence is held before he speaks again. "Kyle Knight." The phone almost slips from my hand right there. I need to grab my baby and run. If this is life or death, the choice is definitely life. My hand slams the phone back onto the holder, and my feet dash out of the kitchen. Gathering my things, I dial Matilda's number.

"Late night again?" She groans into the phone, causing a horrible sound to resonate in my ear.

"Matilda." I grab her full attention, starting to speak frantically. "Keep Owen safe. Kyle has found me... I don't know if he is near or far, but he can never find out about him, okay?"

"Wait, what?!" She yells into the phone, piercing my ears with her loudness. "Oh my... Laine. Just drive, hide. Don't look back, even for a second." She tells me. "We'll find you."

I contemplate it for a moment. All my belongings from work are with me, and I hurry out the door with Matilda freaking out on the other line. "Please be safe..." she cries into the phone for the tenth time.

"Matilda. I'll be fine. I prom-" I cut myself off as I stare at the scene before me. Ten men, dressed in all black, stand outside the restaurant, pointing what I assume to be guns at me. My arms give out, sending everything out of my grip and down the few steps to the diner. The phone miraculously stays in my hands, and in the last moment of consciousness, I say, "They've found me. Tell Owen I love him."

A man steps forward as a dart plunged into my neck. He removes his mask, revealing himself to be...


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