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All Because Ofd One Lie: Pat III
At first Andrew was confused. But when he saw himself in the mirror he could see why someone would be frightened by his face.
Dried up spots of blood were on his forehead and left side of his face. He didn’t even remember ever having bled from his face. Andrew turned to face Sam next to him. He looked perfectly normal except for the way his eyes shifted around. He looked like a boy who had just robbed a candy store.
“What happened to you Adrian? You look awfully hurt,” Miranda asked her voice full of concern.
“Uhh… I tripped on an uprooted tree root. Hit my head pretty hard on the ground,” Andrew said.
“Ohh my, do you think you need to go to the hospital?”
“No, I’m fine it was just a few little scrapes here and there.”
“You better keep an eye on those little scrapes. You don’t want them to get infected,” Todd said.
“I’ll be sure and wash them out and get them bandaged." Todd seemed satisfied with that. Todd hummed to himself. Andrew thought the tune sounded like that of an old black and white western movie he had seen. Sam stared out the window resting his chin on a hand. He stayed that way never peeling his eyes away from what lay beyond the grimy glass.
“You’re awfully quiet Saul. You haven’t said a word sense we picked you and Adrian up,” Todd said.
“I’m just tired,” Sam said still staring out the window. He really did sound tired. But Andrew knew he sounded that way because he was still in a mental state of shock.
“Understandable,” Todd said. A motorcycle past them by, it's taillight becoming a red dot and then fading from sight. The couple was driving much too slow for his taste. Or perhaps he hadn't completely sobered up like he had thought and was still a little bit drunk. Andrew knew it was hard if not impossible to judge speed while intoxicated.
“So why exactly did you just now think of going to the highway to get a ride home? And why didn’t your friends send anyone to pick you up?” Said Todd.
“We uhh… when we all went to the woods it was already night. So we really hadn’t been waiting very long,” Sam said. It was a poorly thought out thing for him to say. The look on Todd’s aged face in the rear view mirror told Andrew that he hadn’t completely believed what Sam said.
“Is that so. Do you fish at night often Adrian?”
“Well, no sir I don’t. I actually planned on fishing the next day, but you know like I said before it was a way to pass the time,” Andrew said. Even he didn’t trust his own lie.
“So you just stood on the dock and cast the fishing line into the water in the middle of this pitch blackness? Neither of you were carrying any flashlights when I first saw you on the side of the road with your thumbs up.”
“We forgot to get them out of our friend’s car before they left. It was no problem though there was plenty of moonlight.”
“The moon hasn’t been shining here. Look out the window and to the skies Adrian. If you can find the moon anywhere I’ll get myself a pair of glasses,” Todd said. He sounded like he had finally begun to realize that the things him and Sam had been telling him just didn’t add up.
When Andrew had looked out he was shocked to see clouds packed up in the black sky. He could see neither the moon nor the stars. “Looks like the clouds must have rolled in recently,” Andrew had said.
“Clouds don’t cover up the entire sky for miles that fast. You boys are quite far from Mandan. Is there some kind of lake that you were camping by? I mean I figure there is since one of you said you were fishing.”
"I wouldn't call it a lake, but it is a decently sized pond." Please don't ask me were it is. The old man nodded his head and said, "Mh, hmm." They had been riding in the couples smelly car for a while and Andrew was dying to know what time it was.
"Excuse, but what time is it?" Andrew said. Miranda picked her purse off the floor and rummaged through it. Her bony hand came out with a cell phone almost as ancient as the car. She put the phones screen close to her face.
"It's 12:52 dear," she said. Andrew did his best not to look worried. If his parents were still awake waiting for him what would it look like? Surely they wouldn't believe him if he said the Astronomy Club meeting ended so late. Even if they did they would probably call the school anyways. Or maybe not, his parents trusted him since they believed he was a responsible young adult. He got all A's on his report card so they knew he was a very dedicated student. If I'm so smart why do I make such stupid decisions?
Sam hadn't moved a muscle since he plastered his face against the window. Andrew felt responsible for the way the way his friend was acting. "Are you feeling alright Saul? Should I pull over there bud? You feeling car sick?" Todd said. Sam didn't respond immediately.
"I'm fine just tired that's all," he said.
"That's what you told me last time. Believe me I know what tired looks like, I raised five sons during my life time. And none of them ever looked like you when they were tired. In fact you remind me of my youngest son when he was bout you'r age. He got that look when he came home from school after doing something real bad." Andrew felt his skin go cold. Did Todd suspect them? Sure it wasn't normal for two teenagers to just be wandering the highway so late at night, but did he have a hunch that they had been up to foul play?
"What kind of bad things? Maybe we can relate," Andrew said trying to make it come out as being lighthearted. However his voice came out sounding kind of paranoid. He could hear his heart pounding in his chest. Could Todd and his wife hear it to?
"Sorry, but that's private family information," Todd said.
"Is it getting a bit stuffy for you in here Adrian? If you need to open the window that's fine," said Miranda.
"Thanks," Andrew said rolling the window down. The rusted handle scraped as he rotated it in the wrong direction. He hadn't used one of those in years. When he got the window half way open he welcomed the rustling of the wind. He felt better that he couldn't hear his beating heart over the noise. The rest of the ride to Mandan was quiet, except for the wind. At least until Todd turned the radio on.
The audio was so staticy it was a wonder the antique radio system actually got signal. A Bismarck talk show radio station was playing. The host was going on about the latest news around town and neighboring suburbs. "It really is amazing how much the tiny North Dakota capital has been expanding. In another year I'd say it will be more than three times it's size at the rate that sky scrapers have been going up," said the host.
"That's right Peter, and it's all thanks to the four funders, the many construction workers, and the revolutionary technology that is available to them," said another man.
"And now we'll be taking calls from any night owls listening out there about the latest news or gossip from their area," said Peter. Andrew heard a phone ring from the hissing speakers.
"Hi Peter, my name is Delilah and I'm calling from Mandan," said a woman.
"That's were you two are from," said Todd. How he knew. Andrew was shaking fearing what the woman would say.
"Delilah it's a pleasure to have you on the show," said Peter.
"So what is it going to be news or gossip?"
"What's the difference? You can't trust neither of them to be truthful," joked the other man. Todd and Miranda laughed at that.
"Crazy Nick, I assure you the news I'm about to tell you is true and sad," said the woman.
"I'm sorry, let us hear what you have to say," said Crazy Nick in a serious tone. Ughh, ohh.
"About two hours ago I was washing the dishes when I heard this truck speeding down my street like the driver was drunk or something, and then there was this loud crashing sound. I was so frightened I dropped the dish I was scrubbing on the floor. I didn't even hear it break because the crash was so loud," Delilah said. It was all Andrew could do from screaming.
"Please continue, we won't interrupt until you finish ma’am," said Peter.
"Well me and my husband step out of the house to see if we can help the accident victims. When we got to the scene of the crash, which was all but three houses down the driver or drivers of the truck I had heard were long gone. So now it had become a hit and run incident. A couple of our neighbors were out of there cars to so I asked them if they had seen who was behind the crash while my husband called for an ambulance, and then the police. No one saw anything they were all inside when the whole thing happened."
Andrew took no comfort in that. What he was worried about was how the occupant or occupants of the car were. "Goodness Todd, you think a drunk driver was behind it?" Andrew wanted to become one with the smelly dust covered seat. I am filth.
"I can't imagine what else love. Lord, what has become of the peaceful town of Mandan?" Todd said. Andrew wondered the same thing. Could it be all the new families that had been moving in and bringing their kids along fault? Many of them had come from as far south as Texas, which recently had seen a dramatic increase in teen drinking.
"Delilah do you know of the state that the victims of the collision are?" said Peter. Andrew held his breath. His very nerves seemed to stop sending out signals to his vital organs to focus exclusively on what the woman would say. Sam pulled his head away from the window and craned his neck forward.