Magazine, website & books written by teens since 1989

Trust Nobody

Custom User Avatar
More by this author
Dear Journal,
I cannot believe that I was forced into a summer job by my mother… My own mother! The worst part? I’m not even going to be paid. So, I went to a party; so I got drunk. Big deal! I’m in high school, this kind of thing happen all the time, all over the country. I guess that isn’t something she would know though, she never has any fun. I don’t understand why I am such a special case. Granted, most people don’t get arrested at parties, but still… I’m a good kid: I got off with a warning. It wasn’t necessary to volunteer me to clean out Old Man McGregory’s attic all summer long. Yeah, he’s been through some hard times lately. I’d have to be a stone b**** to not feel bad about his wife dying, but I have plenty of my own problems to deal with—I don’t need to add his. My boyfriend got shipped off to Iraq last week for crying out loud! With him gone there’s nothing to keep away the nightmares from the party…
***
“Toby? Toby! Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, Toby, what did you do? What did you do?!?”
“I know, I know! Shut up would you? Just shut up! Let me figure it out. Nobody saw anything, did they?”
“No…nobody. At least, I don’t think so. Maybe Caleigh, but nobody else.”
Oh god Caleigh, oh god, why did you have to see? Why did you tell him? I swear, I never thought he’d kill you… But you should have known better!
***
Dear Journal,
My first day on the job was without a doubt the second worst day of my life. Believe me—I wish my mom would—Gregory doesn’t want me in his house almost more than I don’t want to be there. My mother strongly believes that I can successfully “just make the best of a nasty situation”, though. Neither of us have much of a choice in the matter…not with her calling the shots. I do have to give him some credit: Old Fart McFart Pants is smart enough to know that complaining to my mom wouldn’t do either of us any good. She’d just make me help him clean the rest of his stupid, old house, instead of just the attic that he thankfully can’t climb the stairs to. I’d never get my life back. At least El Ancient One and I agree on one thing: I need to get out of there. ASAP.
***
“Why don’t you just leave him? He’s- He’s a-“
“I’m not blind Caleigh! I saw him! You wouldn’t get it, though. It’s just not that simple…”
“It can’t honestly be that hard! He knows we know. What if we’re next? If he doesn’t care about his own brother, imagine what he’d do to us!”
“No…NO! He’d never do that! He loves me! He’s leaving soon… We’ll be fine. I promise.”
Caleigh, I’m so sorry. I broke my promise. I told you, though…I warned you. You should have listened. You should have listened to me.
***
Dear Journal,
The days all blur together. That’s what happens when they are all exactly the same. Take down a box. Examine and analyze junk in box. Throw away most of junk in box. Put box in a different spot. Fast forward to next day: get yelled at for throwing away “priceless antique” or “important memorabilia”. Repeat. Today…today was different. I found an old photo album. When I say old, I mean OLD. I’m talking from the ‘30’s and ‘40’s, old. I started looking through it and saw a whole new side to Sir Gregory that I had no idea I’d ever see. I had no idea that side of him ever existed. He looked happy, and while that alone was enough to totally shock me, I also saw he had a brother. Just like Toby…Toby had a brother… Maybe I’ll try to cut the McGregory Man a little slack.
***
“Why don’t you just tell the cops? What if someone else tells them first? Toby, I don’t think you know the kind of trouble you’d be in.”
“Like who? Your stupid friend? I’ll take care of her.”
“Toby! Don’t talk like that! She’s my best friend… Just tell the cops it was an accident! It…it was an accident…right?”
I should have taken him seriously. I should have taken my own advice. Caleigh, in a million years I could never make this up to you. I’m so sorry.
***
Dear Journal,
Today has me worried all over again… Just when I start to feel safe again I get reminded that it can all go away so easily, with just the turn of a key… I went to McGregory’s house like always, only to find the door busted into splinters, like you only ever see on cop shows. Immediately I assumed the worst. Thank god McGregory wasn’t dead on the floor, but he was awfully beat up. I’ve seen worse…just never on somebody still breathing. Never on somebody that old. I called 911 and I rode with him to the hospital in the back of the ambulance. Pretty soon my mom was there, freaking out because I forgot to call her. I came so close to finding a dead man and she is mad because I didn’t call. I think she was just worried that whoever beat up Mr. McGregory was still there when I arrived on scene, even though the police checked it and said it was clear. That isn’t the reason I’m still shaking like a leaf, though. The doctors said that he was just delirious and in shock, but I believe what McGregory told me in the back of the speeding ambulance. Mr. McGregory told me that after he was almost beaten senseless, the assailant took his key, but then he put it back. All you need is an impression to duplicate a key. All you need is a split second to make an impression…
***
“It wasn’t an accident, was it Toby? You’ve been planning this. I know you, I can tell. Is this why you joined the army, so you could get away from the investigation?”
“Of course that’s why! What are you, stupid? I was so sick of Sam getting everything! He was always everybody’s favorite, the golden child. I got sick of it, so I took care of him.”
“That’s sick, Toby. He was your brother…”
I should have listened to you Caleigh; he didn’t care about me… He didn’t care about anybody…
***
Dear Journal,
I’ve gotten really close to Sam since I found him almost dead. He suddenly became social, and I suddenly found history interesting. I’m actually spending time in the attic for fun now. It isn’t like I really have any life to go back to, now that I’m done working. Either way, now was not a good time for me to learn that Mr. McGregory’s first name is Samson, Sam for short. Sam was Toby’s brother’s name. The brother that Caleigh and I saw Toby kill out of jealousy. I haven’t told anybody. Not my mom, not the cops, not even Sam. The only person I ever talked about it with was Caleigh, and because of me she ended up dead. Dead, with a plot right next to Sam at the local church graveyard and a double memorial at the high school gym. She would have hated that; she was really selfish like that. She was my best friend…and I didn’t listen to her. If I had just listened she might still be alive, and Sam(son)’s house might not have been broken into. It was all because I connected the dots and—
Noises. I hear noises on the stairs. It can’t be Sam; his arthritis is too bad for him to get up the narrow attic stairs. He should also still be at his follow up doctor’s appointment. This can’t be good. I turn around just in time to see him walk through the door.
“Hey there, sweetheart. It’s been a while. I was starting to think that you forgot about me. Been spending too much time with that Caleigh b**** again?”
“You know da** well I haven’t been spending any time with her, Toby you killed her! You killed her like you killed your brother. You’re heartless. What are you doing here, anyway? Aren’t you supposed to be in Iraq?”
“That’s the thing honey, I never actually enlisted. You bought my cover story hook line and sinker though, everybody did. I realized I still had some loose ends to tie up, because even though I took care of one, there’s still another running around.”
Oh god…he’s talking about me. He thinks I’m going to spill! He’s going to kill me, just like he killed Caleigh!
“Toby, babe, what are you talking about? You don’t honestly think I’d tell anybody, do you?”
“Yes I do. I really do. After all, you were the only one to ever bring up telling the cops. I never trusted you anyway. You were just good for a laugh...just my entertainment. Did you really think I would keep you around after this went down? No way. Leaving witnesses is stupid and careless: a rookie mistake. I’m nothing if not meticulously careful.” He points his gun at me. This is it…I’m going to die. I can’t help but wonder if this is anything like what Sam and Caleigh felt when they saw the headlights coming. I’m so sorry Caleigh, you have no idea how sor—
“What the he** do you think you’re doing, boy?” Sam. I’ve never been so happy to see anybody in my entire life. Especially today: he has a slightly ancient looking rifle pointed right at the back of Toby’s head.
“Mind your own business, buddy. This is between me and that lady over there.”
“Actually, seeing as you have a gun pointed at her in my attic, you’re making it my business. Now drop it and don’t make the situation worse for yourself before the cops get here.”
***

The cops arrived fast enough that nobody shot anybody. Between you and I though, I wouldn’t have minded if Toby ended up dead. Everybody was taken to the police station; Sam and I to make statements for Toby’s trial, Toby because he was obviously arrested. Since I know the entire story—I was there for every dirty detail—I’m going to be very useful in the investigation. I’m the only witness. If it were up to me I’d just shoot Toby myself, but for Caleigh, I have to do this the right way. My statement went something like this, but I can’t give you all the details. That’s only for the police.
***
It was the night of Kelly’s annual end-of-school party. There was always lots of drinking so minds were blurred, nobody was thinking clearly, and…well, it is a high school party… I’d gone with Toby and Sam took Caleigh as his date when she had a nasty last minute breakup. At about 1:30 in the morning the party was just starting to wind down. The four of us headed out of the woods back to the road where we parked.
“That was some party, eh? Some party… Oh s***, that tree root was one huge—”
“SAM! Yes, that party was super-duper fun, but I think you enjoyed it a little bit too much.”
“Oh come on Caleigh, don’t be a party pooper. I only had four beers! Five max…or maybe six...I can’t remember…”
“That’s exactly my point! If you can’t remember how much you’ve been drinking, that’s probably a good sign that you should stop! I will never forgive you for setting me up with your loser brother, Toby.”
“Sorry Caleigh, I’ll owe you one, I just needed him to get out of the house before he turned into a regular hermit.”
“Babe, I’m flyin’ so high right now a da**ed freight train couldn’t stop me.”
“You are so irresponsible! I shouldn’t have agreed to this! I don’t give a rat’s a** if you become a hermit or not! You know what, this is my car, but you are not getting in. You can walk home.”
Toby pulled me in the other direction, quickly and hard.
“Toby? You’re hurting my arm, Toby, let go!”
“Now is not the time to be a prissy princess. We have to go right now!”
“Just stop pushing me, I can get in the car by myself thank you!”
“You move too slow! Can you not tell that I’m in a hurry?”
“Obviously, look how fast you’re driving!”
“I told you I’m in a hurry, now shut up!”
“Toby its Sam, watch out! TOBY!”
***
Dear Journal,
Sam and I are even now, I saved his life and he saved mine. He was almost back from the doctor’s office when he saw Toby use his stolen key to get in through the front door. Sam called the cops, then found an old rifle he had sitting around and headed up to the attic to help me. It took him a while, but I’m not complaining about that at all. Without him I’d be next to Caleigh and Sam. The police arrived and Toby went down without a fight. They assure me that I’m safe; that I’m never going to have to worry about Toby again, but I know him better than anybody. He wouldn’t go without a struggle if he didn’t have a backup plan. It’s a good thing I’ve mastered the art of sleeping with one eye open. Toby has a knack for getting out of things….



Join the Discussion

This article has 1 comment. Post your own now!

jetta.ckThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Feb. 11, 2013 at 10:46 pm
meant to put 5stars, but my kindle's being uncooperative... I LOVED THIS! You supplied us with a terrific story  with only a small amount of background information... great job. That's hard to do.
 
Site Feedback