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A Living Miracle
Author's note: I have always wanted to be the main character in an adventure book, and I hope that Bethany's story brings adventure to your life, even briefly.
Two weeks ago my life was completely normal. It was December 5th, and outside my window it was minus twenty degrees Celsius. Just a normal day as far as anyone else was concerned. Little did I know that it was the day my life would change. For better or for worse has yet to be revealed. My parents were happy, my siblings were plotting my demise, and I thought my boyfriend was “the one”. He probably could have been if everything hadn’t changed. If my life were still normal I would be graduating early and receiving a full academic scholarship to Harvard. I know, I couldn’t believe it either but my dad knows people, and not to brag but it probably did help that I have made the honour roll every year since I was a freshman at NY Prep (New York Preparatory School).
I didn’t even see it coming! One day I just woke up early and saw my dad’s car pulling out of the driveway at like five in the morning! I figured he was just going to the supermarket so I went back to sleep. I walk downstairs for breakfast around eleven and he was still gone. I cautiously creep downstairs and when I saw her it was as if I had been looking at my mother for the first time. Of course she still has her long, curly red hair and her big brown eyes, but she looked older, like she had been through so much and barely survived. She was only thirty four, yes a young mother, but she looked experienced in a way that she never had before. I know that she didn’t look like that yesterday. Maybe she was up all night arguing with dad, and that’s why he left so suddenly. I asked my mom where he had gone, and she said “...an unexpected business trip, don’t worry about it Bethany.” She said it with that cool, relaxed smile that can always be found on her face up front and center, but the look in her eyes said something completely different.
Now, even though my mom is only five foot two, she doesn’t scare easily. That small woman could knock your lights out if she had a good enough reason, so don’t give her one. Those big brown eyes that were always filled with love, and always filled others with fear, were full of fear on this freezing December morning. I have never seen my mother look so scared in her life. There was no explanation, and absolutely no words to describe the look in her eyes.
It was that look that made me leave the kitchen without asking any questions. I could easily tell myself that my mother was in no state to talk to anyone right now, but the truth was I was afraid of the answers I would get if I asked the questions that were lingering on my lips as soon as I saw her that morning. Was she scared for dad? Was his life in danger? Was he coming back? I was worried that the answers would be yes, yes, and no. Somehow I know that my dad wasn’t on a business trip but the fear of hearing what I so desperately didn’t want to hear motivated me to pretend that I bought the whole thing and go out with my boyfriend that afternoon. Who knows, maybe I was being paranoid; maybe my dad was on a business trip and would be back in a couple of days. If only.
That day at around noon I meet my boyfriend Michael for coffee at a small shop on Main Street. The sight of him is still enough to take my breath away. We have been dating for three months now but I simply can’t help myself. Those blue eyes partially hidden by his long blonde hair and that mischievous smile are enough to make me weak in the knees. At five foot nine, he practically towers over me at five foot four. Every girl in school is after him. I know that seems kind of petty but hey what can you do?
“Hey gorgeous.” No matter what I do I still shiver at the sound of his voice. “How is the most beautiful girl in New York?” I definitely am not the most beautiful girl in New York, but he seems to think so which was perfectly fine with me. I finally find my voice and figure I’d better answer before he realizes something is very wrong. “I’m....fine.” Oh yeah, real convincing.
Miraculously he doesn’t notice. I just wasn’t ready to tell him. Not until I knew for sure that something was wrong, although I couldn’t seem to forget that look in my mom’s eyes. Something made me forget. Michael started stroking my red hair, and kissing my cheek. He looked straight into my blue eyes and then....Tania walks by.
I find myself wishing I had blonde hair instead of red and green eyes instead of blue. I wished I was thinner, and that I looked like his last girlfriend Tania with her blonde hair and her green eyes. She was tall, thin, drop dead gorgeous, was a straight A student, and was in practically every school club that ever existed. Not only did she look like a freaking super model, she was perfect, or the closest to perfect any human being could ever be! I hate that I’m so jealous of her but I can’t help it. I know Michael loves me, but what if he never stopped loving her? What if he is secretly seeing her behind my back? What if I’m just a pawn to help him get Tania back?
I am such an idiot. Honestly I have everything, an amazing boyfriend, and a scholarship to Harvard. The only thing that I have yet to receive is a Nobel Prize, and I’m making it seem like my life is some tragic romance novel. I need therapy.
Then, I remember Tania walking by with her wannabe “friends”, and for some reason I feel sick to my stomach. There is no reason why I should be so tense, but I am anyway. As soon as I see her, I see her gaze shift to Michael. I look up at him and see him smiling at her with his eyes widening like a lovesick puppy.
He has never looked at me like that. Nor do I believe he ever will. It’s true that Tania makes guys drop to their knees whenever she so much as breathes within ten miles of them. Every guy looks at her like they would follow her off a cliff, and back. No one has ever looked at me like that. Michael is looking at her like that, and I am freaking out about it. He still loves her. She still loves him. I am just a pawn in their stupid game.
Then she stops her strut long enough to walk up to Michael, grab is hand, and walk away. He follows her. I guess he forgot he was still holding my hand and jerks back before he takes more than a step. He would never love me as much as he loved, or regrettably, loves her.
I am blowing things way out of proportion today. There is no way Michael wants Tania back. I constantly keep reminding myself that he dumped her, and when I say dumped I mean dropped off on the side of the road, left to find her own way home after one of their stupid fights. Oh yeah, he told me all about it via cell phone. Ahh, the power of technology. And right then and there I am woken form my trance by a phone call, from my mother.
I pick up the phone and the first thing I hear is heavy breathing, panting, like a dog that has just finished playing fetch. Then, a crash. It sounds like a glass vase or something being dropped, no, being thrown at the wall with incredible force. The last thing I hear before the line goes dead is a scream, but not just a scream. This was a blood-curdling screech of terror and absolute agony.
Wherever my father was he isn’t on a business trip like she said. He is off somewhere risking his life, and now someone wanted him dead...so they came after us. Somehow I just know that that is what I am going to be told when I get back to my house. Although, I didn’t figure this out until much later because right now I had only one thought on my brain. What is waiting for me at home? My poor mother...!
The last thing I heard was Michael screaming my name, and swearing under his breath.
So I get back to the house and I see the most peculiar sight. Nothing. There is absolutely nothing wrong with my house, my street, or anything. I am completely and totally shocked! After that phone call I expected to see fires, floods, gunshots, CIA agents, aliens, and basically, the works. What I got in return was nothing compared to my wildest fears
So, me being clumsy as hell, I trip over one of my mom’s stupid garden gnomes. It’s a good thing too, because the swelling in my ankle will go down, but if I hadn’t tripped, what I found would have gone undiscovered. A wallet. Not just any wallet, either. No, this wallet was made of pure leather with gold embroidery. Whoever this belonged to didn’t live here. There was just no way that someone living on this grungy street in New York City, could ever be carrying something as flashy and “Hey look at me” as this wallet. I had never even owned something as nice as this.
I wonder if it is still considered an invasion of privacy if the wallet fell open right in front of me, and I just couldn’t help seeing the identity of the owner. Oops. The wallet falls straight to the ground, and I try to look genuinely concerned as I pick it up.
Well then, he definitely is not from around here. William. J. Werkshire. Hmm, swanky. He looks like the kind of guy that would own alligator boots and a diamond encrusted watch. Nope, he was definitely not from this part of NYC.
There was only one option; I had to find this guy. He had something to do with this, because he was clearly here today, and could tell me where my mother had gone. She and my dad are the only family I have left, if he had done something with them, so help me……!
Is there any way to get in contact with this guy? Maybe there’s a phone number in here or, or a business card, or something that could help me track him down. Just my luck, nothing except a huge wad of cash and a brochure for a car rental agency. Wait a minute, this agency specializes in sports cars; Corvette’s, Aston Martin’s, Ferrari’s, Lamborghini’s, Porsche’s, etc. I was getting warmer; he circled a Lamborghini Aventador. With a V-12 engine, 700 horse power, and 690 pounds of torque, this car is pretty much the top of the line. Will needs to get somewhere, and he needs to get there fast. Driving a car like that, he can pretty much go anywhere, anytime, and no one was going to know he had been there before he takes off again.
I have no idea what’s going on, but I am going to find out, and it has to be soon. The lives of my parents depend on it.
Just then, Michael calls. I had completely forgotten about him. I really should pick up and tell him I’m ok, but I have bigger fish to fry; I let it ring…and ring, and ring, and ring! I mean, come on; I am not picking up, so give up already! This car dealership, Rapid Roadster’s, was just on the outside of town. I’m not sure that the beat up old car that my dad got me for my sixteenth birthday would get me that far, on account of I have no money for gas, and no parents to ask for it, but I think I’ll go anyway. The more time I waste, the farther away my parents get.
Without thinking too much about it I quickly limped (if one can even limp quickly) over to my car and tried, without much success I might add, to climb into the seat behind the wheel. If that wasn’t bad enough, my gas was almost empty! I wanted to look up to the sky and scream “Really?” Unfortunately there was no time for a temper tantrum. The gas pedal below my feet felt like a ticking time bomb. So, as best I could without straining myself too badly, I pressed down, and backed out of the driveway.
Rapid Roadsters was much harder to find than I had originally anticipated. On the outside of town, more like pretty much off the side of a cliff. From the look of this guy’s licence he had short, ear length brown hair, wicked green eyes, and was about five ten. He shouldn’t be too hard to find unless he went on “Complete Celebrity Makeover” recently, and somehow I doubted it.
After three long hours of driving around, and asking around, I finally pulled up on the curve of this upscale-looking car dealership. It had a couple of Ferrari’s on display so I assumed that it was the right place. My tank was completely empty, and I honestly must have coasted about a third of the way here. Thank goodness it was mostly downhill.
I get out of the car, angry as hell, with no one to direct it at, and started wandering around aimlessly for William Werkshire, and spot him just as he was walking out the front, incredibly big, glass doors. Forgetting about my ankle, I clumsily began to sprint towards the front doors, and narrowly missed breaking both of them, and my leg. Noticing that I might be in dire need of an ambulance, I expected him to at the very least acknowledge the fact that I was hurt and ask if I was alright. It’s not like I was expecting him to drop to his knees in full first aid mode and attempt to rescue me.
All I got from him was a swift, easy, “Be a little more careful kid.” Nothing more! I guessed I was going to have to try the direct approach.
“Um....Sir, can you tell me why your wallet was on the lawn of 136 Blackstar Avenue this afternoon?” Considering the fact that my parents were gone when I got back, you had better start talking.”
The way he looked at me, you would have thought he just added me to his hit list. “I know nothing about anything that happened wherever you say it did.” I guess we know why this guy never took to acting. Funny, because although lying seems to play a valiant role in whatever he does, he wasn’t too good at it.
“Ok, that tactic might work on my little sister, but you are talking to someone that has recently received a full scholarship to Harvard University, so start talking.”
“Look kid, I want to help you, but I really can’t. So I suggest you go back home and plan your parents a really nice coming home party, you know just in case they ever do.”
Did this guy honestly think I was going to settle for that? What I did next, I don’t usually do, but I was desperate. -- -- I took my keys out of my pocket and ran them along the side of the car he just rented. The paint came right off.
“What the hell are you doing? Are you crazy? Do you know how much that car is costing me?!?!”
“Well maybe next time you need to get out of town fast because you kidnap someone’s parents you’ll rent an SUV or a beat up old Honda--maybe not. I don’t really know, but I do know that if you don’t tell me what you know now, your swanky car gets a new paint job, and by that I mean that when I’m done, the paint on this Aston Martin will be too.”