Chapter Two: The Guy in the Car With Abby

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I woke up to the smell of fresh coffee beans and sizzling bacon. The sun was shining through the yellow curtains of the kitchen window. With my dad sitting down writing stuff and circling things on a map and my mother standing, bouncing around to Bob Marley's song. 'I Want to Love you' from the vinyl made everything seem so dreamy. That's why fall was my favorite season-there's so much beauty during this time. I walked over to dad and looked at his map. Stuck to a corner of it was a notepad that said, 'Helena?' on it. Dad quickly slid a textbook on top of it, crossed his hands and smiled at me.

"Good morning! How did you sleep?" he asked.

I sat down in a chair across from him. Mother poured me some orange juice. I thanked her. She asked me if I could wake up Caleb sooner or later. After answering her, I turned to dad. "I slept okay. Just had some weird hide and seek dreams."

He laughed. "You played last night?"

"Yes, with Abby. I won of course!"

He winked at me then wrapped up his map. "Of course you did, you're the best. One day you'll win some hide and seek contest or something."

In the kitchen, I heard a loud shatter. Mother dropped a glass plate. "Shoot!" She shook her head. Dad and I looked at her. "I got it," she sighed. "A contest of hide and seek though? In the dark? Hmmm, you have to be careful with that one. That might need a lot of focus, preciseness, and you'll be tiptoeing a lot."

I laughed. "No worries, mom. I have all those skills."

Dad was about to get up but I quickly called him to ask him a question. "Are you going somewhere, dad?"

"Just to the office."

"No, I mean," I pointed to the map. "I saw someone's name. Is Helena a friend?" I know I sounded too into his business but it stuck out to me.

He chuckled. "Just an old friend. Trying to remember where they lived cause I can't seem to contact them."

Mom heard the conversation, still cleaning the mess. I assumed she knew this person cause had it been any other female she would have flipped. She was indeed the overprotective and jealous type.

After dad left, I went to wake up Caleb. He had been snoring so loud when I walked in I got scared. "Come on, mom's making breakfast. Get up!"

"What is she making?" He asked with his eyes closed.

"Toast. Eggs. I think grits. I don't know, just get up," I said. "I'm going to get there fiiiirst." I started towards the door but Caleb jumped up and ran out of the bed before me. I don't know how kids do that. If I have done that, I would fall done from being too dizzy after waking up so darn fast.

When I got back to the kitchen, I surprised to see Caleb just looking up at mom. Dad was holding her and patting her back, whispering for her to calm down. She was crying. Before I could ask if mom was okay, dad asked me to finish the rest of the breakfast while they went into the bedroom. I heard their door close and lock. Caleb and I looked at each other.

"What happened to her?" he asked.

I shrugged then went into the kitchen. The eggs were ready to go in the pot. The bacon was still simmering, and the bread was out but not toasted. I looked upstairs, wanting to check on mom but I knew I shouldn't have if they locked their door.

***

After breakfast, I walked over to Abby's house. In front of her garage, was a car I've never seen before. Inside of it was Abby and some guy who I assumed was her dad. Since I knew her father pretty well, I decided to scare them. I snuck up to the car window and jumped in front of the passenger seat's mirror. "Boo!" I yelled but immediately caught off guard. Inside wasn't Abby's father.

The two of them stepped out. "Sorry," I said as I looked at Abby. The guy closed the car door. He wasn't scary looking. He was neat, clean, well shaven with black curly hair. He had to be in his forties or even late thirties.

"Scary one, aren't you," he looked at me then stook out his hand. "I'm Jason. Jason Harmon." Before I could say anything, he said my name. "Emily, right?"

I looked at Abby and smiled then back to him. "I guess she told you about me."

"Actually, no," he smiled. "I know your parents."

"Oh," he said.

"He's an old friend of mine and your parents. They went to school together. Now he's in town," Abby stated.

I found it odd that Abby was in the car with just her parent's friend. Alone. I looked around. Her parent's cars weren't even around.

"What?" Abby asked me. Her smiled disappeared.

"Oh nothing," I stuttered. "Are your parents home?"


"They won't be until noon," she said in a kinda rude tone. "Do you need anything?"

I was going to ask her if she wanted to play but the vibes went away. She didn't want to play. She wasn't in a good mood. I had a lot of questions but I didn't want to stick around for them. "No," I said. "Just wanted to say hi but since you're busy we can play later."

"Okay," she said in a monotone voice.

I started to leave but that Jason dude called after me.

"Oh, and Emily," Jason said. "Don't tell your dad I'm here. I wanted to surprise him next."

I smiled at him. "Got it!" I called out then headed back towards home.

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