What You Don't Expect
Who is that yelling? Did I hear that right? The sound is swelling, rushing, pushing from the door. Screaming, kicking, slamming, dragging, and chilling to my core. Don’t open it! My gut repeats over and over, making me light-headed. But I must know, where is Kae?
I regret dealing with Kae since our parents died. She changed, truth is, every one around me did. I wish I didn’t have to be in charge of her. Kae is a nuisance, she has no respect for me, even though I am eighteen and she is only twelve. I clearly deserve her respect, considering I am putting food in her mouth and just last month she threw a party for her birthday that I paid for. That was what I was thinking earlier when she had the nerve to backtalk me when I was nice enough to take her to school instead of making her ride the bus. But now, I’m thinking I shouldn’t have been so mean….
Looking around the usually clean living room, I am shocked. All the lamps are smashed and on the floor, the curtains are ripped, almost all the furniture moved, and the television has a huge whole smack in the center of it. “Kae!” I am beyond mad. Why would she do this? Walking around the house I realize, every room has the same amount of damage done to it. Is she mad at me? Does she want to stay here with me or go to a foster home? Speaking of Kae, where is she? Running up the red stairs, I have to jump over all the random stuff thrown on them, as if someone were running from someone and did it on purpose. When I reach the second floor, it isn’t as messy as the down stairs. Our grandmother’s white antique table is the only piece of furniture that is still standing in its right position. Well after all, it is the only one with any value. So why is it still here if someone broke in? Crunch. Crunch? Looking down at the floor, I realize it is a picture of Kae and me smiling at the beach for my birthday. I just can’t believe mom and dad died the week after. I take the picture out the frame and put it in my pocket. Where is Kae? Hasn’t she heard me yelling at her? If she caused all this mess, she won’t want to come back here. I walk up the hall, careful to avoid more picture frames, and look in every room. Not in the bathroom… not in the guest room… not in my room. My room? My room is the only one with everything where it should be. Why? You would think that since I grounded her and took her phone, that if she ran away, she would raid my room for it. But what she doesn’t know is that I figured she would look for it so I have it with me. Last room, hers. Looking around, her room is the worst out of the whole dang house. What did she do, unleash a tornado? Clothes everywhere, the pink wallpaper ripped and scratched in some places, her closet door wide open, her mattress is propped up against the headboard, her mirror smashed in the spot where if she standing in front of it, she would have gotten hit flat in the forehead. Is she really this mad? I need to see if she left evidence for me to find her. Looking through the heaps of clothes, shoes, and random purses, I found a note written with her favorite orange gel pen from dad that says,
“Dear Matt, I know I haven’t been acting like I should. I am really sorry,” Great! She ran away! “I hope you forgive me. I realized I have been horrible, and if I were you, I wouldn’t put up with me. I would send me to a foster home. But you care too much to do that to me. You show how much love you have for me. I am going to try to treat you better, I promise.” And the bottom on the note in little parenthesis it read: “P.S. I didn’t actually write this for your birthday, I wrote it before, you know, when you took my phone. Well I forgive you and hopefully you have already seen me behaving differently.” Does she really mean this? Then in a bright light blue ink gel pen, the one I got her, there was an even smaller set if parenthesis and they said, “Btw, I do love you. Really I do. I hope now you are starting to see that.”
Why did I have to yell at her this morning and say what I did? I hate my big mouth….
“Why don’t you ever show me any respect?” I yelled in her face.
“Even if I did, you’re too blind to see it! Just like you were too blind to see that mom and dad couldn’t help leaving us alone!” Kae screamed back.
“Don’t use that tone with me! Just by you using that tone proves you have no respect for me! You don’t even care that I am busting my butt with work, college, and you and your ‘needs!’” I even put air-quotes on needs. Am I really that bad?
“You know what? I would work, too, and you know that, but I’m too young!”
“I don’t even think you would if you could! You are so lazy and you would always complain! It shows how much you even care about what’s left of this family!” Am I really that mean?
“That is not true! I love you, you’re the only person I have left! You know what, whatever! I don’t have to deal with you!” Kae screamed as she tried to get out of the car. But couldn’t because I kept locking it.
“Not so fast. Your phone?”
“What do you mean my phone? I need it in case I can’t catch the bus!”
“Well I guess you better not be slow and run to it before it leaves you. You hurry, or you will be late to class.”
“I hate you!” She threw her phone at me and unlocked the door and got out before I could grab her. Man, I can be such a donkey’s butt sometimes!
Not realizing I hadn’t put her note down, I put it in the pocket with the picture. I walked over to her dresser and put her hair bow on my wrist. I don’t want to forget her. But maybe she left something in my room. I just have to look. Going back to my room, I froze. What if someone was after her? Is that the reason why she isn’t here and nothing except her is gone? Nah, I’m sure she is fine. Coming back from my thought, I start walking down the hall. Nothing is wrong except all this mess. Walking in my room, I notice something I didn’t earlier. There is a note lying on the center of the bed. I knew she wouldn’t leave without telling me where she went.
Picking it up, I started reading the note. “Matt Burtson. In case you haven’t noticed, we paid you a visit. We picked something, or better yet, we picked up someone. We have your sister. You can go ahead and call the cops. We are probably long gone by the time you read this. There is no ransom, you can’t get her back. She might as well be dead anyways by now.” At the bottom it said, “By the way, you have a lot of cleaning to do. And you might as well start selling her things.” At the very end of the sentence, there is a bloody fingerprint. “That’s the last thing of hers you will have.” That was the last thing on the paper. Shaking, I dropped the paper. Something is definitely wrong! What am I going to do? The cops! The cops will know what to do! Getting my phone out of my pocket, I call the police.
“911, what’s your emergency?”
“My sister was kidnapped! The kidnappers trashed my house and left a note here. Please get someone over here to see if there are any other clues to where my sister is!”
“Okay sir, calm down. There is one police officer near you; I will send him over to you.”
“Okay. Thanks. Tell him to hurry.”
Or just hang up on me then! Oh well, I can wait until the cop comes. I will just look for any clues or secret hints she left. The clues would fit in better downstairs. Almost tripping over the mess at the bottom of the stairs, I look grab the windowsill and notice the cop pulling up. Man, she wasn’t kidding when she said there was one near me! Opening the door for the chubby, bald officer, I noticed he had someone in the back of his car. “So is this a busy day for you or what?” I asked.
“Like you wouldn’t believe!” the officer said while laughing.
“So aren’t you afraid that the person will get out of the car if you leave?”
“Nah. My pop is helping me. He is a retired cop.” He motions to the car and makes a roll-the-window-down motion with his finger. An older, full gray haired man who looks like a smoker smiled and waved.
“Come and see what clues you can find out where my sister is.” I try to hurry him into the house. While walking through the house, I turn around and the cop is going upstairs. “Why are you going upstairs? Most of the mess is down here.”
“I’d say it’s a mess alright! Most of the time when something like this happens, you check where there is less of a mess, that’s where most of the clues are anyway.” He responds. Curious if I could actually find clues, I start looking around downstairs. I walk into the kitchen and notice most of the plastic letters on the fridge are gone. I step closer to the fridge and notice the letters left: TT. Two t’s? And right beside the other? Why? Two t’s…two t’s…two t’s? Double T!
“Double T!” I gasped. That’s what Kae calls me! Is she trying to tell me something? Where are the other letters? I have to find them! Looking around the room, I see an orange M on the floor between a knocked over chair and the cabinet. M what can the M mean? I pick it up and put it in my pocket. I continue looking around the room on the floor. What is the point? I won’t be able to find all of them anyway. Wait! What’s that?! It looks like a purple R! Running over to the doorpost I pick it up and put it in my pocket. Ok. I’m getting better. Are they in the dining room? It would only make sense since there was a letter at the doorpost between the kitchen and the dining room. I have to find more! I frantically look everywhere. There is no way I am giving up now! There is something little and blue under the window! It is a G? Running over to it I pick it up and put it inn my pocket. I look around the wall and see it by the vent near the sliding door to the living room! A red R! I’m getting this much closer! Thank God! Ok, it must be a sign! Next room! Running into the living room, I trip over the knocked over coffee table. “Shiznizzle!” I yelled as I face planted into the carpet. “Well, perfect, I’m gonna have a dang carpet burn on my face!” I opened my eyes and saw it. A yellow A! Reaching for it, I hear the cop yelling down the stairs.
“Are you okay kid? Did you find anything?”
“Yeah, I’m fine! And no, I haven’t. What ‘bout you?” I yelled back. Why did I just lie? He could help me! Well, never mind now! Not paying attention to what he said, I hurriedly grab the A and put it in my pocket too. Getting up, I run to the other sliding door leading into hall. I looking on both sides of the wall on both sides of the door, I find nothing. Nothing?! How is there nothing?! I don’t know where to go now! And of course, her favorite color, shining like a lighthouse to the ones who need help. A green Y! It’s on the first step! Upstairs! Yes! I grab it and put it in my pocket. Running upstairs, I don’t see another letter until the top: a pink C. Ok. This is starting not to make sense again. I look into the bathroom and see the cop prowling around through everything in there.
“Find anything?” I asked. Wow! He scares easily! He jumped like four feet!
“The only thing I could find was a pile of letters in her room. That’s weird. There were forty-three, strange, huh? But oh well.” What’s that in his hand?
“What’s that in your hand?”
“Oh, these?” He held his hand open and he was holding two letters: a black P and a white O. Wtf man?! You have to be kidding me! How am I supposed to know now where to go now?!
“What’s so special about those? Why aren’t they with the others?” I asked him.
“Oh, well one was in her doorway and the other was under the fancy table. The only thing still standing, how strange. It might mean something, but it might not. I wanted to see if I could find any other ones. Now, excuse me, I am looking for clues and every time you stop me, the longer it is going to take.” He shoved past me and went into the guest room. Are you kidding me?! I guess I have to try to solve it anyway!
“Well I’m going to make me a sandwich. Want one, uh, what’s your name?”
“Bret. And no, I don’t need distractions.” He spit out.
“Suit yourself!” I was saying as I ran down the stairs. Ha! That’s hilarious! I think I fooled a cop! Ok, go to the kitchen! Leaping over the railing near the bottom I stuck the landing and started jogging to the fridge. Taking all the letters out of my pocket, I put them on the fridge. It only makes sense if they are in order. Ok, let’s see what we have here. A jumbled mess of: MRGRAYC and I can’t forget the P and the O. “What is this junk? M, R, G, R, A, Y, C, P, and O.” It looks like Mr. something. If I put them in order it says Mr. Graycpo? Who is that? Wait! Maybe it’s three words! Mr. Gray…COP! “The Cop!” What is his last name?! Running to the closet under the stairs, I grab the two pistols, and hide them in the back of my jeans. I run outside to the cop car and tap the front window. The window rolls down.
“What’s the matter son?” The old man asked.
“Your son has fallen and he needs help. He is upstairs!”
“Oh goodness! I can’t take him anywhere!” That’s when I notice the name on the dash board: Bret Gray. As the old man hurried in the house, I opened the back door of the car and Kae was tied up with cloth over her mouth. I get on the radio in the cop car.
“I need back up here now! The suspects have guns!” I wrap the hair bow I remember I have around the walkie-talkie thing and immediately get her out of the car and untie her and take the cloth off her mouth.
“Matt! I knew you would figure it out!”
“You pestering kids! I knew we should have killed you when we killed you parents!” Bret yelled. I spun around and pointed one gun on them and gave Kae the other.
“You two stay the heck away from us! We know how to use these and we will if we have to!”
They stayed away but kept talking.
“All because your mother broke my heart!” Bret yelled. Sirens! I hear sirens!
“Give up! They are coming now and you will be put in jail!” Kae yelled back. Three cop cars pulled up and they went and hand cuffed the Grays.
“Whose idea was it to keep the radio on? It was smart. We have evidence and believe me, they will pay for what they did.”
“Thanks officers. It wasn’t easy figuring it out, but I solved it. I couldn’t live alone. And I did what it takes to have my sister safe.” I told her as I put my arm around Kae. “Come on, lets go clean up your mess.” I smile at Kae who just laughs.