I walk up the river bank, and down to where my mom and I used to meet. Ever since she died, my dad quit his job, my brother commited suicide, and I've gone through grief. I haven't talked to anyone but my dad, and I haven't got any friends to talk to. I pick up a pebble, and throw it out in the water. I remember this was mom's favorite kind of day. The first day of summer, when it isn't too hot, or too cold. When the cherry blossoms are just beginning to fall off the trees, and the ripple of the river seemed so perfect. On this first day of summer it's pouring down the rain, and the rivers going wild. It could possibly flood, and that could take me away. I ignore the fact. I just walk up the riverside, soaked by the rain. I keep wishing it was a dream that I could wake up from.
"Lynnie, come over here." I hear my dad command me as I go through the door.
"What do you want, dad?" I ask him. He just gestures for me to come over to him.
"Lynnie, we have some bad news. It's about your aunt." He says, hearing him say bad news and aunt in the same sentence was like a stab to my stomach. When my mom died, her and my dad were the only one's as close to her as me. She had been raising me as her own for the past two years. If she would've died, no one could truthfully understand what I'm going through at all. Not even the river, or anyone at school. Not even my dad could get it. It would be too tragic.
"Dad, what happened?" I say, trying to hold back tears.
"Honey, Aunt Renee, well she, she was murdered." The word murdered runs through my head. Who would kill my aunt? She was as sweet as my mom, and like her in so many ways. I think to myself. Then I think about that again, my mom was murdered, too. That's how she died, and they never caught who it was. Never, and I was always so determined to find out, but I never did. If the same person murdered my aunt, they can guarentee the rest of their lives in jail.
"Who, who did this?" I ask him, staring him straight in the eye. I see a hint of guilt, guilt. Why would guilt be in the look of his eyes, unless. No, did my own dad do this, to my aunt, and possibly even my mom. He would have no reason, none at all. If he would've, forget jail. Forget all of that, he'd be sentenced to death. He drops my gaze, and stares at the floor. "You did, didn't you." I say, and he stares me in the eyes again, but this time there's an evil look. I know it for sure, he'll be put to death. I know it. "Mom, too, huh?" I ask him, he nods, and an evil smile grows on his lips.
"And if you say one word, to anyone, you'll be there, too. Just like Tommy." He says. Tommy was my older brother, had he had committed suicide. Or at least that's what I thought. Was he smart enough to realize dad did that to mom, and he threatened him like he is threatening me. Did he turn him in, and dad kill him, but told everyone else he committed suicide because of grief over mom.
"You killed him, too." I say, heading for the door. He grabs a gun sitting on a nearby table and points it at me. I run out the door, and run towards the police headquarters. Some of my sand-colored hair falls into my eyes. I run into the headquarters and scream as loud as I can, "I know who did it, who killed my aunt, my mom, and even my brother!" I scream as my dad rushes through the door. I stare at him, the gun still in his hands, his gray eyes staring straight into my hazel ones.
"Lynnie, do you really want to do this?" He asks me, and I know what he means, I point one finger at him, and I get a bullet to my heart. Then all of a sudden my dad drops the gun, and collapses on the floor. I turn around and see the head policeman holding a sleep-dart gun, pointed at my dad.
"My dad, he did it. He even killed my brother, and lied to everyone about it." I say and the chief wraps me in a hug. He was the same policeman that was put on my mother's case, as well as my brother's. He's one of the nicest people I know, and probably the closest I have to family. I never knew my grandparents, they died before I was born, my father doesn't have any siblings, and my aunt was never married.
"Oh sweetie, I'm so sorry. You know what we have to do to your father." I nod, and then ask a question, I know I shouldn't.
"Can I do it, Chief Goodwille?" I ask, but he shakes his head in reply. That's true, they have to do it publicly. They always have, like they did with a man named Greg Harrison. He was the father of a boy at school. I never knew him, but now I know what he must have felt like. Your own dad getting publicly killed. "Where am I going to stay, I don't-have a family anymore." I say, just now taking it in. I start to cry, I won't miss my dad, knowing what he's done, but I miss my mom, my brother, and my aunt.
"Do you have any friends you can stay with?" He asks me, and I shake my head no.
"Chief, you're the closest I have to family." I tell him, and he walks me back to his desk.
"Lynn, I don't know what to do. There are no local orphanages. You have no where to stay. I guess you would have to stay at the homeless shelter." He says to me.
"Okay, I'll go there." I say.
I walk to school a week later, afraid what I'll face again. After a week of kids laughing at me because I have no family, and they all got to see my father killed publicly. They all know I live at the homeless shelter. They all pick on me, and make me feel different. A couple of kids nick-named me 'Pathetic', and a few others called me 'Worthless'. The other boy who's father got publicly killed for murdering. The only 'friend' I have is Chief Goodwille. Him and the riverside.
"Hey, Worthless!" A boy calls out to me, I tuck a strand of hair behind my ear and try to ignore him, Then a girl jumps in front of me, and does the sign language symbol for murder. I go around her, trying to ignore what all the other kids are calling me. I see the boy who's father was like mine, and stare him straight in the eyes. He drops his gaze, and turns around to his locker. I bite my lip, and walk to my locker, trying to ignore what everybody else is saying.
At lunch I sit at the table I've been sitting at for the past week, as usual by myself. Today is different, though. The boy with his murderous father joins me at my table. We don't say anything, though. We both just sit there, he looks at me with his deep gray eyes, and his shaggy blonde hair. He doesn't smile, he doesn't frown, he just looks at me. Scanning me up and down. He does this for the next week. This makes me realize he's becoming my friend, too. I don't know his name, though.
"Hey," I tell him the next day at our table, "I'm-" I start, but he interrupts me.
"Lynn, I know. Your dad ended up being the one who killed your family. I'm Davis." He introduces himself. Then I notice something else, he doesn't have any friends, but me, either.
"Davis, did you get called names by people?" I ask him.
"I still do, actually. You know get called names. I just don't live in the homeless shelter." He admits. He had an aunt, and his father hadn't killed her. In fact his dad never meant to kill his mother, they were out hunting, and he accidentally shot her. The accidental part still remains undecided, that's just the story he used, but they were the only two out there, so nobody knows what really happened.
"Lucky you-" I start, but by the expression on his face is telling me I should just be quiet. All I was thinking about was him getting to live with his aunt, and not at the shelter. "S-sorry." I stammer, and I get up and run. I want to run home, just away from all this, but I know I can't. I just want to be twelve again, where I had my aunt, my brother, and my mom. I want all of this to go away.
I can't go to sleep, it's about three in the morning, and I haven't even closed one eye for more than a second. All I can think about is what I said to Davis at lunch. I probably shouldn't have said anything. I should've waited until he said something to me. I should have just stayed there in silence, maybe if I wouldn't have turned my dad in, none of this would've happened. But maybe this is for the better, because if I hadn't spoken, I wouldn't be his real friend.
The next day during lunch, I eat by myself, Davis doesn't come over. No one does. I don't eat, I just sit there waiting. I look around the cafeteria, and I don't see Davis. Did what I say to him yesterday make him hate me? I think to myself. I look in the lunch line, I don't see him there either. I give up on trying to find him, and go to dump my tray. I go back to my locker, I look over at Davis's locker, there he is! I think. I run over there and trap him with my arms.
"Why have you been ignoring me?" I ask him, furiously.
"Ignoring you, Lynn, what are you talking about?" Davis asks me, which only makes me even angrier. He's the first friend I've actually had in two years, and he chooses to ignore me, and then denies it.
"I said sorry, why are you mad at me?" I ask him, and I feel the anger in my voice start to disapear.
"Why are you sorry, for yesterday? Well, Lynn, I'm not lucky. I'm like you." He tells me.
"Davis, we are nothing alike, not anymore." I tell him, the anger in my voice growing back. I walk away from him, but I can hear him following me.
"Lynn, come back here." He commands me, but I just keep walking.
"Lynn, I'm sorry, okay. Maybe what you said yesterday hurt me a little. I just want you to know that you aren't alone, I'll help you. With all of this. I get it." He says, and I try to hold back the tears coming on. I think about what my mom used to tell me about friends. A true friend always gets it, she would tell me. A true friend would always get it. Davis is my friend, he does get it. I stop right in my tracks, and turn around to face him. His gray eyes look sad and guilty. "Meet me down at the river, tonight." He tells me, and then walks away.
That night I walk down to the river. It's raining again, so I stand under a big willow tree near the old barn. I wait for Davis to come. I wait, and wait, and wait. When I'm just about to leave my spot I see him coming. I don't know if he sees me, so I step out into the rain. I don't know what to do, I just feel like I'm ten again. My mom and I used to come out here and throw pebbles into the river.
"Hi." He says. I just wave shyly. I sit down on the muddy bank, and don't say a word. An hour goes by and neither of us has said anything, I pick up a pebble, and throw it out in the river.
"My mom and I, we used to come out here all the time. We used to throw the pebbles out on the river. I miss her." I say after a while. Davis looks at me sympathetically.
"Wow, this place brings back memories for the both of us. . ." He says, and I look at him, shocked. This river was a memory maker for the both of us.
"How?" I ask him.
"My mom, my dad, and I used to go fishing all the time out here. They left we with my aunt the day he killed her." He says, I swear I can see a tear forming in his eyes. I put my hand on his shoulder. He looks at me, and I take it away. This is all going downhill, I think.
"Wow, and I thought I was the only one who cared about this place." I say. Then I just stare out into the distance. I feel like someone's watching me, and I turn and look at Davis. He's just staring out into the distance like I was. I turn around and see a whole group of people about 200 feet back. I get up, and run. I hear footsteps chasing after me, it seems like only one person. I turn around and see Davis. He grabs onto my shoulders.
"Why did you run away?" He asks me.
"Kids from school, I think, were watching us." I tell him. I'm so scared. What if they think we're dating. They probably do. All of a sudden I hear voices. Run, I tell myself. The voices are getting louder and louder. I can make out something. One of the girls said something about us, but that's all I know. "Davis, Run. Now. Go!" I yell at him, but he won't go unless I do.
"C'mon, Lynn. Hurry!" He yells at me. I get some pebbles, and then put them in my back pocket.I grab my slingshot out of my backpack. I put the pebble in my slingshot, and aim for the mob. "Lynn, hurry up!" Davis yells to me. I feel a great pain in my back, Someone fired a gun at me.
"Lynn, Lynn, are you alright?" A voice asks me. I can't make out who it is because my vision is blurry.
"I feel better." I say, realizing some of the pain has gone away, "Where am I? Where's Davis?" I ask. I feel a hand on my shoulder.
"We're in the hospital," A boy tells me, I think it's Davis, "I'm right here, silly."
"Are you, okay? Did you get hurt? Why are we in a hospital?" I ask him. He sits down next to me, and cups his hand around my cheek, and he stares me straight in the eyes. He has a guilty look in his eyes. "Davis, what, what happened?" I ask him, growing impatient.
"When we were running from the kids at the riverbank, and one of them shot you." He admits. I reach for his hand, and he holds it. I look into his eyes, and see the same guilty expression. I wonder what happened. Was he a part of it?
"Davis, why are you acting guilty?" I ask him, and he hesitates to answer. I let go of his hand, and tuck it under the covers. "I want an answer." I tell him. He drops his gaze again, and stares at the floor. I feel anger coming on.If he doesn't answer you'll know what he did, I tell myself. I try to get him to look me in the eye, but he won't.
I'm sorry." He says. I know exactly what he means. That's what he's been doing for past couple weeks. Buttering me up so I'd go there with him, so they could shoot me, and try to kill me.
"I trusted you, I thought you were my friend!" I scream at him. He just stares at the floor. "How could you do this to me? Lure me there, after what you told me, about you still being made fun of! Well now I mean it, lucky you!" I yell at him.
"I told you the truth! Lynn, you can trust me." He says. I know I can't believe him. I try to get up, but the pain is to bad. "Lynn, I wasn't a part of what happened, but I had overheard them talking about shooting you. I should've told you. I didn't know when they were going to, though. I'm sorry for not telling you. If I would have you could've protected yourself." He says, and I can tell he's telling me the truth. I still feel angry with him, but I don't know why. I just want to know I can trust him to be my friend, my best friend.
"Davis, you're all I've got. You're my family." I tell him, still hiding my hand. "Did you hear them talking about why they wanted to shoot me?" I ask him, and he nods. I want to know why, but I'm scared to know.
"They said that you would be like your father, so they wanted to end a problem before it started. I know it's not true, though. I told them that. You're too nice, and too sweet. Besides, when I went to your aunt's bakery, I saw you working there the other day. I love how you always smile at the costumers." He says, bringing back more memories. I think about my aunt and my mother, how good of friends they were, and now they're both gone. My dad rid the world of the two sweetest people in it.
"I just wish I could ask my dad why he did it. Why he killed my mom, and my aunt. I don't see what reasons he had." I tell Davis, it's the first time I actually thought about it. Why did he do it to my family? He couldn't have had a good enough reason at all.
"I can tell you why." He says, and when he sees the confused look in my eyes, he laughs.
"Then, why?" I ask him, and I feel the confusion get stronger.
"He was a killer, Lynn. Think about it. Why do killers kill?" He asks me, and I know what he means. All killers have the same reason to kill someone. Unless it was Davis's father's case, he didn't mean to. My dad felt that he needed power, and the only way to get that power was to get rid of the rest of it.
"Why did he need to get rid of my mom, Davis?" I ask him. "I don't get it. It just doesn't make any sense. He wanted power, so why didn't he use the power he already had?" I ask him again.
I'm still in the hospital a week later. Davis has come to visit me each day. Today he'll probably come around noon like he always does on Saturday. I hear a knock on the door, and I know it's probably him. "Come in." I say weakly. Davis comes in and sits down on the side of my bed like he always does. I look up at him and smile. He smiles back down at me, and then takes my hand in his. I blush a little and look down to my feet.
"Hey, Lynn, can I tell you something?" He asks me and I look up at him again.
"Of course." I say and he smiles.
"I-I, I like you." He says and I blush.
"As a friend?" I ask, unsure.
"No, as more than a friend." He says and I smile. I pull him down with me, and rest my head on his chest. His hand strokes my hair, and our other hands are locked tight. He smiles down at me, and I smile up at him. He stops stroking my hair and caresses my cheek. He starts to lean in, but I put my hand on his chest to stop him.
"No, Davis." I say and he tilts his head to the side.
"Why not?" He asks.
"Because, I'm not ready. I've never had a boyfriend, I don't know how these things work." I say and he laughs.
"Really, because I don't either." He says.
"Fine." I say and he laughs. He leans again and presses his lips against mine. I feel a thousand fireworks explode in my chest at once. He pulls away and smiles at me. I smile back. He likes me as more than a friend? Why? What did I do to deserve his love? "Why?" I ask him as he caresses my cheek.
"What do you mean why?" He asks.
"Why do you like me? What did I do to deserve you liking me?" I ask him and he smiles sadly at me.
"You've been through everything I've been through, you know what I feel like, Lynnie. And I like you alot for it." He says and I smile.