Stranger

May 22, 2009
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Today was the day I had been dreading. My mom had told James and me that would be meeting her newest of boyfriends. She had told me his name, but I couldn’t remember it.
I can’t remember any of their names. They were all horrible. I was sure this one was too. I didn’t want him to be, but that’s how it seemed to turn out.
There was one, though, that wasn’t horrible and it wasn’t my dad. His name was Jim. He treated my mom and me with respect and made James feel good enough. She ruined that one.
James was my older brother. He was good-hearted and cared about my mom. He cared about me too. He did almost everything for me. I don’t think he would go to school or have fun or even talk if it wasn’t for me. If he didn’t know how much I needed him. He looked more like my mom than me, straight black hair and blue eyes. I had green eyes and light brown slightly curly hair with natural red-blond highlights. I straightened it a lot.
When my dad died my mom used to stare at me when she thought I wasn’t looking. She said I was exactly like him in every way possible. Her sanity died with him and that’s when she stared picking out the worst guys on the face of this earth.
I was thinking about that when he came in the room. His name was Rick. He had short brown hair and warm brown eyes. The only thing wrong with them; they were hiding something. Something that could, that would ruin him. Something he would never want me or James to find out. And that’s exactly what I was going to do.
My best friend, Tommy, came over for dinner. I didn’t speak the whole time. I had nothing to say. James and Tommy kept shooting looks in my direction every time I moved even an inch.
Tommy and James were so much alike. We were all different ages though, I was the youngest. James was seventeen, Tommy sixteen, I fifteen.
Tommy had light blond hair and brown eyes. It wasn’t long or short. He and James both skateboard and both had their hair like this. They said it fit with the helmet better.

The next day was Saturday so James, Tommy and I went to the skate park even though I didn’t skate.
My mom had text me saying to go to Rick’s restaurant. It was called Come. Eat. Leave. It wasn’t very good. I had been there with some fiends several months ago. It was a kind of run down and not very clean.
Rick gave us a tour and some “on the house” drinks. Since the restaurant was closed he said we could go play in the kitchen or basement. He sounded like he didn’t really want us in the basement, which was fine with me, but knowing Tommy and James that exactly were we ended up.
It wasn’t very different than any other basement. It was dark, warm and sticky. I was freaked out. Since I didn’t like basements or attics both of the guys held my hand.








When we got down there I didn’t let go of their hands, I couldn’t. I was so freaked. I saw a rat run across the floor and screamed. Tommy somehow got loose from my death grip and covered my mouth. James looked at me amused; he thought it was hilarious when I got scared over silly things. He didn’t care how silly they were, though, even now that I am fifteen, he would protect me. I think he would always though. I would always be his little sister that needed him.
When I was calmed enough that I could stop screaming and let go of their hands we started to look around. We were about to leave when I saw the little black box.
My heart nearly stopped when I thought of what it could be. Is that what Rick is hiding? He wants to marry my mom? No, I didn’t think so.
That’s when James noticed me staring at it. He shook me. “Blake! Blake!” he said. “W-what” I managed. Then both of them were staring at me like I had gone loopy. Did they not see it?!
I walked over to the box and picked it up. James finally understood. I struggled with getting it open. James took it from me and opened it. It wasn’t an engagement ring. I sighed with relief.
It was very old looking, like it belonged in a different time era. It had a big red stone in the middle that was oval shaped with diamonds all around it was on a gold band. It was very pretty. Tommy whistled when he saw it.
We put it back in the box and went back upstairs. The restaurant was open and people were eating lunch but there weren’t enough people for it to be busy.
The week went by in a blur. Summer was almost here so we weren’t doing much in school. When Friday came back around Rick was at home. It was the longest conversation we’ve ever had.
“Hey! Blake!” he said “Hi” I choked out. I wasn’t used to being noticed or greeted like this. “How was school?” he asked with genuine interest. “Good.” “Er, umm so……..” he didn’t finish, he then asked me about my interests. He knew James liked skating. I told him about how I dance and play guitar.
He looked like he truly cared. I just got more freaked out, though. I didn’t trust Rick, I know that’s not fair since I just met him but that was my point. I didn’t know him, he didn’t know me.
We went back to the basement and the box and ring were gone. I was looking in a corner we hadn’t looked in last time. We found a vault. It didn’t have dust or webs and it was one of the newer ones. Whatever was inside the vault was what Rick is hiding. Well, that’s what I thought.
That week was very weird. There had been reports of robberies almost every night. I started waking up in the middle of the night and walking around the house just in case.
School was out. Tommy was over everyday and almost every night. There hadn’t been anymore crimes since that week. Two weeks after school let out they started again.
It was just James and I that night. Mom was working late and Rick was asleep. We were watching a movie when Rick came down the stairs. He was fully dressed.
We were on the same couch because I was scared of the movie and it made me jump when Rick unlocked the door.
James didn’t like Rick going out so late especially with mom still at work. James wanted to follow him. We waited 5 minutes and then got into James’ car. We saw Tommy waiting outside. James must have text him. He got into the backseat without a word. We found Rick’s car at the restaurant.
We didn’t pull in, though. I didn’t know what James was doing and I didn’t like it. I asked Tommy to switch seats with me, but James, being the big brother he is, told Tommy to stay back there with me. Tommy agreed because he also thought it would be safest if someone was with me at all times. Rick got in to his car and we waited 3 minutes this time and followed.
It was 12:30 by the time we got to wherever Rick was going. It was about 40 minutes away and Tommy had fallen asleep on me. It was somewhere on a beach or shore. We heard three huge bangs that woke Tommy up. I had a drool spot on my shirt, where his head had been on my shoulder.
We saw three guys and Rick come out with boxes that I could fit in. James had said that he knew what was going on and called the police. He turned to me and apologized for bringing me out here and that he should’ve waited until I was with mom or Tommy somewhere else. When the police came they had there sirens off just as James had asked. I was crying out of fear and Tommy had his arms around me for comfort.
I couldn’t believe this is what Rick had been hiding. He was the reason for all these robberies and chaos.
Tommy and James had been doing their own investigating for the last couple weeks now. They had been sneaking out and following him every night since the robberies started happening.
I felt left out. Though I’m glad they didn’t bring me along but I wish they had told me. They could have gotten hurt or caught! The police knew exactly where to find us; they came as soon as they had put Rick and the rest of his friends in the police cars. James stepped outside to talk to them. I wanted to be out there and to be comforting him. He was upset, but he smiled before saying thank you to the cop.
James looked at me with big happy eyes. I loved him more than anything. He was the best brother any girl could ever ask for. He did everything for me. He would go to college and get a good job and set a good example for me.
It was 3:00 in the morning when we got home. My mother was beyond mad. She screamed and screamed at James for being out so late and taking me along and me for getting in that car.
“Blake Marie Smith!” she had ranted. “I love you, Mom.” was all I said. She stopped then, shocked, and ran to close the space between us. When she got to me she threw her arms around me. It had been so long since I had hugged her, it felt so good.
James was grinning. He had never looked so happy. She let go of me a little too soon and grabbed James. When I was out of my mother’s arms I was met by Tommy. He too, then hugged me.
It was like something had been lifted. Something I would never be able to find out. I stared at my little family, all three of their faces. It was like I was looking at them for the first time. I was seeing that my mom did what she thought was right and didn’t know how much it was hurting us. Tommy was my best friend and couldn’t be any better. He may not be family, but he was close enough. He would do anything for me. Then there was James. My amazing big brother who would always love me know matter what I did.
I was crying. I couldn’t help it. Tommy immediately ran to my side. I hugged him and then let go.
I ran to James and wrapped my arms around him. “Thank You.” I said he looked puzzled but shook it off. He said I love you and we sat just like that for immeasurable minute. I would never be able to tell him in words how much I loved him.





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