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That Awful Dream
Ethan was lying on his bed consumed in thought and depression. In his right hand he clutched a picture of his parents. In his left hand he held a note his dad had left him before he died. Ethan could remember that morning so clearly it was sickening.
Ethan had just gotten out of school about a week ago. He was used to sleeping in now. His father didn’t have to work because he was a Science teacher at his school. His mother on the other hand did. She was a banker.
Ethan’s dad had left him a note on the refrigerator explaining that he left something in his classroom. Then he was going to get flowers for his mom because her birthday was tomorrow. He’d be back in 45 minutes to an hour. An hour and a half passed and he didn’t come back. Ethan read over his note again to be sure.
I’m just going to the school to pick up my planning book that I left. Then I’ll go surprise your mother with some flowers at the bank. She’ll love them! Remember her birthday’s tomorrow! Keep that gift hidden in your closet! See you in 45 minutes to an hour!
I love you!
He wasn’t wrong. He had said 45 minutes to an hour. Quickly, Ethan called his dad’s cell phone. No one answered. Maybe his phone is turned off. Ethan thought. He called his mom’s cell phone number. No one answered. Does she have her phone off too? Ethan wondered. Finally, Ethan called the bank. No one answered. Something was terribly wrong.
Ethan could have walked to the bank. It was a 7 minute walk though. He took his bike instead. When Ethan peddled up the sidewalk to the bank, he immediately spotted police tape. Oh no! Ethan thought. Ethan peddled faster. He jumped off his bike and sprinted up to the bank.
“I’m sorry son. You can’t go in there.” A police officer said pushing him back away from the tape. “But I think my parents are in there!” Ethan cried. The police officer got a grave look on his face. “Son, what are your parents’ names?” He asked. “Stop calling me ‘son’. My name is Ethan. And my parents’ names are Christopher and Lauren Cooper.”
The police officer’s face grew dark. “My name is Officer Fred Amber. Come with me Ethan.” Ethan was still confused but had a hunch about what was coming. He didn’t like it at all. He wanted to run away. He stepped under the tape and followed Officer Amber up the steps to the bank.
Inside there were evidence markers, body bags, and agents and officers taking pictures and talking to witnesses. Ethan stopped dead in his tracks. His utter shock and disbelief kept him from moving and crying. Officer Amber looked at Ethan with pity then turned and spoke to one of the agents. The agent walked towards Ethan.
He had brown hair neatly combed to the side. His blue eyes showed trust and wisdom. He looked to be in his mid 30s. Ethan met his eyes. “They’re dead, aren’t they? My parents are dead.” Ethan said. The agent could only nod. Ethan dropped to his knees and put his head in his hands. The agent knelt down beside him. “Ethan, do you want me to explain what happened? Can you handle it?” He spoke in a soft, calming voice.
He raised his head and nodded slightly. “Your father walked in to give your mother flowers.” He pointed to the flowers on the counter with an evidence marker next to it. “Just as he was about to leave, some bank robbers with guns came in. They put a gun to your father’s head and told your mother to put the money in the bag or they’ll shoot him.” Ethan took it all in. They were murdered.
“Your father told your mother not to give them the money. Your mother wouldn’t let them shoot him. ‘Don’t shoot him. I’ll give you the money. Just please don’t shoot him!’ she pleaded. She gave the robbers their money. They shot your father anyway. She screamed in horror. They shot her. ‘Anybody else that screams gets shot!’ they warned. Nobody else screamed even though they were completely terrified. The robbers left here with a quarter of a million dollars.” He explained.
“Did you catch them? Did you catch the people who killed my parents?!” Ethan demanded. “We’re working on it.” The agent said. “You’re working on it?! That’s the best you can do!” Ethan yelled. “I know you’re upset but just calm down. We’ll catch the guy. He was an idiot and dropped the gun outside the bank. We got his fingerprints and are tracking him down as we speak. The money will be returned and he will be put behind bars for a very long time.” The agent explained hoping that would calm Ethan down. “What about my parents? You can put him behind bars for 10 million years! You can give the bank back twice as much as they lost! You can do anything you want and it won’t bring them back!!!” He wailed.
Ethan was crying now. The agent got up and walked away. He could hear the adults mumble around him. “What are we going to do with him? The closest relatives he has are his grandparents in West Virginia.” “I know. We’ll contact them immediately. Drive the boy back to the station and give him some time alone.” “Yes sir.” The agent walked back over to Ethan.
“Yeah, I know. Get in your car and you’ll drive me to the station.” Ethan said. The agent didn’t even get a chance to ask if he had been eavesdropping because Ethan had already walked away.
Today had to be the worst day of Ethan’s life. Both his parents died. He had to move out of his hometown of Baltimore. He had to move away from his friends. He had to move in with his grandparents.
The agent, who Ethan found out during the unbearable car ride, name was Oliver Peterson. He tried to keep the conversation light but nothing could make Ethan feel better. He wanted his parents’ murderer dead. A lifetime in jail isn’t equal to your life. At least he’d still be alive. His life may be crap but he is still alive. And he still has choices. My parents didn’t choose to die. That guy chose for them. He was heartless and cruel. He was inhuman.
At the police station, Oliver Peterson called his grandparents. He couldn’t hear his grandfather’s distraught voice on the other end. He could just hear Agent Peterson’s half-hearted empathetic statements. His grandparents were coming up on the weekend for the funeral. He would stay with his best friend Lucas until then.
Lucas and Ethan were almost brothers. They hung out all the time. They flirted with girls at the mall together. They did stupid pranks together. “My house is your house.” Lucas had once said. Now that phrase really mattered. Ethan had called Lucas to explain the whole thing. He tried not to choke up in front of him.
Lucas opened his door graciously for him. Being with Lucas for his last days in Baltimore was probably the best thing. He would miss him a lot when he left. Nobody could replace Lucas, but he hoped somebody would come close. He had no idea that person would be a girl.