Beatrice Miller leaned against the trunk of a tree, listening for the familiar hum of the oncoming train. All she heard was the echos of laughter and talking bouncing through the trees. In the distance, where the the forest floor broke into pothole-ridden concrete, a bonfire flickered. They were on the edge of the old Industrial District. The warehouses and business had been moved several years ago, leaving the East side of town to fall to pieces. The husks of abandoned buildings became a haven for minor crimes and teenage druggies.The town’s new Police Chief was preaching some magnificent plan to clean up the area and replace the old buildings with parks and- blah blah blah. Those types of people were all talk.
Drunken shouts carried all the way down to her from her huddle in the forest. Bea wasn’t drunk. Train surfing was dangerous enough when you weren’t under the influence of alcohol. In her experience death defying stunts and mind altering intoxicant never mixed well. No, she would need a clear head for this. The warmth of the bonfire (and the alcohol) called to her, but she would not be swayed. Not tonight. No rush could possibly compare the the gamble she was about to take. She knew it was only minutes off. She could hear it more than feel it. A vibration that started in the ground beneath her and then worked it’s way into her very bones. The train was coming.
She wasn’t the only one who felt it. The beam of a flashlight struck her face and she blinked against the bright haze of light. It tilted up towards the sky again and Mason Sharp appeared, his sister Rowan a few feet behind him. They both had the same ethnically ambiguous skin and ashy brown hair. Mason looked mischievous, slightly crooked jaw line pulled into an easy smile. Rowan…Rowan just looked wild. “It’s coming.” She shrieked, like she was bursting at the seams from the anticipation of it. Bea knew the feeling and shrieked back, a wordless expression of excitement. She could hear it now, hear the screech of metal on metal. The people around the bonfire stood, wanting to watch them board. Bea and the Sharps were tonight’s entertainment.
Bea stretched and saw the other two doing the same. Adrenaline would only get you so far. If your body cramped up on you, you were screwed. There was the flash of headlights in the distance. The voices from around the campfire grew louder. Bea crouched down in imitation of a runner before a sprint. She could see it all in her head. The familiar feeling of jumping onto the train as it thundered past, boots gripping for purchase against metal. Wind in her hair, stinging her face. The elated howls of the partiers as they rolled past on their way to the reservoir. Finally the jump, the twenty foot fall. The shock of cold water. It terrified her and she ached for the feeling.
Her daydream was cut short by the wail of sirens and the slamming of car doors. The train was getting closer. “Cops!” Someone screamed from the lot. There was the sound of shattering glass as beer bottles were abandoned. The shadowy figures of teens pulled abruptly away from the fire and made their escape in all directions. Bea even heard some of them stumbling though the trees. The voices of police officers rang out over the chaos, barking orders that nobody listened to.
“Bea! We need to go!” Yelled Mason. Rowan had already melted away into the shadows. She shook her head at him. The train was so close. It had been weeks since she’d last jumped it. Even longer since her last reservoir dive. She faltered, looking back at the panic in Mason’s green speckled eyes. “Bea!” He yelled again as flashlights bounced at the edge of the forest, headed in their direction. He reached for her arm but she yanked it away. She needed this. She needed this like she needed breathing.
The flashlights came closer, and so did the train. Mason hesitated, swore, and then took off after his sister. So she was alone, fine. She’d get to the train before the cops got to her. The first compartment rumbled deafeningly by. A few down she could see the ragged edge of a ladder against a compartment. She could grab it, if she timed it just right. Then she’d be home free. She readied herself. No fear, no hesitation. She waited as long as she could bear to, all too aware of the cops headed her way. When the moment came, she threw herself into motion.
Bea felt it. The cold touch of metal against her fingertips. Then it was ripped away and she was slammed into the ground. She groaned as the wind was knocked out of her. Agony spiked through her body. Eyes tearing with pain she watched the train continue to veer past. As the officer pulled her up and began to read Bea her Miranda rights, the last compartment went by and disappeared into the darkness. Without her. The next thing she knew, she was in the back of a police car. Shit.
Tyler was sitting at home finishing the last of his homework. It was late and he knew that if he got the last of this work done, he could go over to Stephen's house and play some videogames. But first he had to finish. That was when he got the call from his father. Tyler was half listening as his father told him to stay home that night. It was rather irritating, but Tyler knew that he couldn't bring himself to disobey his father. It was something that he decided not to do a long time ago, when his mother left. It was the only thing he could offer. To be honest, it did make things easier. Yes, Tyler didn't always get to do what he wanted, but it made things in the house run smoother. When he hung up the phone, Tyler went back to work.
Of course he'd left the English work for last. Although he was in Advanced Placement English, he still struggled a lot. It took him almost twice as long to read the passage than most people and the questions took even longer. The more he concentrated on the words the more jumbled they became. The only good part about this was that he could type the work. At least then it wasn't as difficult to say what he wanted to say. Typing was easier because the computer did most of the work. Tyler didn't have to worry about writing an 'A' backwards or mixing up letters. Once he got the information he needed, Tyler typed furiously to finish. He didn't even need to look at the keyboard to know what was being processed. It was awesome! After about 1 1/2 hours of working on the one long passage, Tyler threw his hands into the air and smiled. His homework had been completed.
Tyler looked at the clock and wondered when his father would get home. Usually, Tyler would wait for his father so they could eat together, but it looked like tonight would be a late shift and Tyler would be alone for dinner again. He didn't mind too much. It wasn't like this didn't happen often anyways. As Tyler fixed himself a bowl of mac and cheese, he heard his phone go off. It was his father confirming that it was a late shift. But also that they'd have a guest for the night. Tyler wondered if it was Uncle Ash. Too often, Uncle Ash would stay over because he was caught making a scene while drunk. Tyler forgot about those miserable nights and finished his mac and cheese. Then he went upstairs to fix the guest room.
The guest room was next to his own. It was simple with a twin bed and a wardrobe and a dresser. Nothing fancy. Since it was late, Tyler went into the bathroom. Taking out his contacts and starting the shower, Tyler relaxed and put on his ipod. Tonight was a solmn night...so it was Brahms. Classical music filled the small bathroom and effectively the rest of the small two story house. As he undressed, Tyler wondered what he was going to do after high school. He'd already sent in applications for different schools around the nation. It would be a few months before he would get any responses. Tyler stepped into the shower and allowed the hot water to wash away the dirt and grime of the day.
Tyler stepped out of the shower and dressed in his pajamas, which included an old sweatshirt and plaid pajama pants. Looking out at the night, Tyler saw the flash of headlights as his father's car pulled into the driveway. Tyler unlocked the door before fixing a plate of mac and cheese for his father and Uncle Ash. He heard the door open, so he yelled back, "Hi dad! I made you and Uncle Ash a plate of mac and cheese. I'm in the kitchen." With his big bulky glasses, Tyler turned and placed the dishes on the kitchen table. That's when he noticed her.
Bea sat slumped in the uncomfortable chair. With all the taxes the citizens of Minona were paying the police department, you would think they could at least buy some better frickin’ chairs. It wasn’t her first time at the station. It was, however, her first time in the Chief of Police’s office. A deputy sat across from her, flipping through her file. Every few seconds she’d whistle or quirk an eyebrow. It was starting to get on Bea’s nerves. To add insult to injury, the Sheriff’s chair (which the deputy was currently sitting in) looked ten times more comfortable than hers. It was leather. “You know that you have no reasonable cause to arrest me right? I wasn’t doing anything. Wrong place wrong time.”
The deputy was apparently done perusing her file, because she put it down and raised an eyebrow. The woman apparently did that a lot. “You’ve got quite a long file here. I’m almost impressed. Underage drinking, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct, arson-”
“I was acquitted of that.” Bea insisted. She crossed her arms and kicked her feet up on the table. “Not only do you have no cause to hold me but I was also treated with unreasonable force when your officer through me onto the ground and tackled me!”
“Listen kid, you’re looking at multiple charges of disturbing the peace, train hopping, underage drinking-” The deputy continued on. Bea rolled her eyes. She had taken a sobriety test. She may have been near a bunch of drinking kids, but she wasn’t drunk. All the other charges we’re bull, and they both knew it. The only thing they could try and get her on was train hopping. All they had to prove that was the officer’s account about what he thought he saw in the dark. It would never hold up in court. “Listen Beatrice we know your home situation probably isn’t the best-”
Bea jerked angrily forward in her chair. “You don’t know anything about me.” She hissed, enunciating each syllable. “And my name is Bea.” She stood up, ready to leave the room. They couldn’t stop her. It swung open. A man with the little golden badge proclaiming ‘Chief’ blinked at her.
“Miss Miller, sit please. I apologize for the long wait. White, go do something else. File something, have some juice. I don’t care. Just get out of my office.” The man said, crossing to his desk. ‘White’ narrowed her eyes, but clearly respected her Chief. She and Bea shared one last glare and then the deputy left the office. Good riddance. The Chief sat and slowly, so did Bea. “So Miss Miller- may I call you Beatrice?”
She regarded him with narrowed eyes for a long moment. “Bea. Just Bea. Like the bumble.” It earned her a small smile, and she relaxed almost unwillingly. She didn’t like him or anything, but he apparently wasn’t a complete d-bag.
“Alright Bea, I need to be frank with you. This doesn’t look good for you. You don’t need to give me that face, it’s not a threat. I want to help you.” Bea frowned at that. Help her? Since when did cops care about helping anyone but themselves? Maybe this guy had a complex. “As it stands now, your case won’t look good in front of a court. We might now have a substantial charge-” Bea grinned triumphantly “But if a lawyer tells the story of this party and then reads out your past records… You’ll be on the first bus to juvy. Unfortunately there is nothing I can do to stop that.”
Bea scowled down at her heavy soled boots. How was that fair? “So I’m going to juvy and there’s no way for me to get out of it. Thanks for the newsflash.” She should have been expecting it really. It was only a matter of time.
“Now I didn’t say there was nothing we could do. Listen Bea, you’re still just a teenager. You’re bright, as far as I can tell. None of your crimes are violent. You’re just a good kid that’s gone down a bad path.” She rolled her eyes at that but didn’t comment. “I’ve spoken to the judge that would be presiding over your case. She and I agreed that we should try and give you another shot. A second chance, if you will. All you have to do is turn your life around.”
Bea gave him an incredulous look. Turn her life around? What did that even mean? It couldn’t be that easy, surely. “I know that’s rather vague. We tried calling your mother but there was no response. I assume from your records that she… doesn’t have much sway in your life?” The Chief ventured carefully.” Understatement of the frickin’ year.
“She’s probably got drunk and passed out.” Bea said bluntly. The chief gave her a look that she thought might be sympathy so she shut it down quickly by scowling at him. He just continued to give her that dumb look.
“I see. Well, if you would agree I would like for you to eat dinner and stay the night with my family and I. We could discuss the terms of the agreement more and you could give me your answer in the morning?” The man said. Bea frowned, thinking it over. Was taking incarcerated teens home to your house standard police policy? Probably not. He had said his family would there, so they wouldn’t be alone. That meant he probably wasn’t some sexual predator trying to lure her home with him. Probably. The whole concept made her fight or flight- mainly flight- instincts kick in. If he really was being honest about wanting to help her, then exactly would this deal even entail? How could a judge measure whether or not someone had ‘turned their life around?’ It didn’t matter though. Because she didn’t really have a choice.
“Better than juvy.” She said, and shrugged.
They drove to his his house in awkward silence, Bea shooting down any attempt at conversation in the politest way she could manage. They pulled outside of his house in what couldn’t have been more than ten minutes, but felt like forever. “Nice place.” Bea muttered, following him inside. Immediately the smell of cheese hit her nose. Yum. She heard a male voice call something about making food for an ‘Uncle Ash.’ Then he turned around and saw her.
She’d seen him before at school but never knew he was the Chief’s kid. He had always just been ‘that one popular kid who she didn’t like’. He wasn’t wearing his usual holier than thou expression or wardrobe. He still looked irritatingly attractive though, and his hair was damp like he’d just gotten out of the shower. And his glasses. Jesus. Bea ignored him and inhaled the smell of mac & cheese. Striding past him she started digging through cabinets. “You have spoons right? Maybe even a fork or two?”
Tyler wasn't sure what to make of this. He stood almost frozen as he watched the girl huddle around the plate of mac and cheese. "Dad, what's going on?" he asked hesitantly as he moved closer to his father. Tyler recognized the girl as someone from his school, but other than that, he knew nothing about her. Feeling uncomfortable with the situation, Tyler debated just going to his room to sleep. If anything it would make the night go quicker. He wasn't really up for talking to this girl. Something about her made her unapproachable. Tyler ran his fingers through his hair as he exhaled deeply. "Spoons are on the counter. I just didn't have enough hands to bring them out," Tyler explained before looking at his father for an explanation.
Police Chief Sabot, more commonly known as Robert, smiled as he stated, "This is Bea. She's going to be staying for a while until I figure out her new living arrangements." As he said this, Robert moved to the other plate of mac and cheese. He took a seat and began to eat. "This is good, Bud. You make this yourself?" he asked innocently. Tyler nodded as he wondered what Robert was getting at. "Is is your mother's recipe?" Robert asked. This made Tyler stand straight as he remembered how he and his mother would stand by the stove and cook together. Robert noticed this and said, "It's good." This didn't exactly make his day, but Tyler didn't say anything. Instead Robert continued the conversation, "Did you prepare the guest bedroom?"
"Yeah," Tyler replied as he stood somewhat in shock. Part of him felt violated, as if his father had sabotaged him somehow by bringing Bea into his home, into his safe place. "I'm going to get to bed," Tyler stated before he turned to the stairwell. Just as Tyler was about to leave, Robert grabbed his hand. The look in his eyes said everything. "But it's late dad and I really want to sleep," Tyler protested. It didn't help because eventually Robert won the battle and Tyler took a seat at the table. "How's school. Did you do your homework? How's English going?"
Tyler looked at Bea before answering, "Everything's good. Yes, I finished my homework. English is good. Why is she here?" He asked somewhat irritated. Tyler didn't like her presence at all and he didn't like the way she was just gobbling down the mac and cheese. It was like she wasn't even tasting it. At least if it was Uncle Ash, he'd be praising the food. As he sat and watched the two eat, Tyler kept his eye on the girl. He felt a bit self conscious in his night ware and glasses. With the stereotypical geek adjustment of his glasses, Tyler spoke up, "Please dad," Robert sighed and nodded.
"Before you go can you show Bea to her room? Unless she'd like something else to eat?" Robert looked at Bea and waited for a response. He knew there wasn't that much in the fridge, but they'd find something if she was still hungry. Tyler also knew this, but wouldn't dare speak up against his father.
Bea wasn't eating. She was inhaling. God when was the last time she had eaten a home cooked meal? Never. She was going to go with never. Though, to be fair her mother always tried to make her something nice for Christmas. It usually ended up being more stress than it was worth. She remembered a huge argument her mother and father had after her mother they had burnt the turkey. The argument had led to a giant argument and her father's subsequent breakdown. They ate freezer pizza and cold mashed potatoes for dinner that night.
She listened to their familial exchange with two parts interest and one part resentment. She couldn't help the last bit, she really couldn't. She bet this boy had never been late to school because she stayed up until 2am the night before holding his mother's hair back while she puked. Bea was being unfairly hostile but her self restraint was notoriously crappy. Had Chief Sabot mentioned her new living arrangements? Hadn't he said she wasn't going to juvy? She finished her food and awkwardly stared at her empty plate. Was she supposed to wash it off or something?
The chief's words brought her attention back up and she dropped the spoon almost guiltily. It clattered shrilly against the plate. "Uh, no. I'm good. Didn't you say we could talk about this whole 'deal' thing tonight?" She pulled on the edge of her fleece jacket. The response was something vague about talking about it in the morning. Alright then, that was that. She supposed one night here wouldn't kill her. She ambled up to the boy. "Lead the way, Steve Urkel." She joked, talking about his glasses. She didn't think he got the joke. Or if he did, he didn't think it was funny. His loss. Beatrice Miller was comedy gold.
Tyler turned away from Bea as she insulted him. It wasn't the first time he's been called that and it wouldn't be the last. He didn't say a word as he led the way to the upstairs room. "Here's the guest room," Tyler stated, careful not to say 'your room'. "The bathroom's down the hall. My room's next door. Don't go into it. Dad's room is the one down the hall," Tyler continued, "don't bother me. I'm going to sleep. I have class tomorrow." Tyler left the door open as he went into his own room and shut the door.
Breathing heavily, Tyler slid down his door. He wasn't comfortable with what was happening. He didn't want Bea in the house and he didn't want her seeing him like that. He didn't want someone tormenting him while his father protected her. This wasn't fair! Tyler was really upset. The more he thought about it the worse it got. Tyler climbed into bed and closed his eyes and tried to go to sleep. Soon enough sleep came over him and he drifted off.
Tyler was laying down under the grand piano in grandma's house. His mother was playing the piano, Chopin's Etude No. 3 in E major. The sun was peeking through the window as he opened his eyes form his nap. Looking up Tyler saw his mother silhouetted by the early morning sun. It was soothing and warmed his soul. The sound resonated throughout the room and the vibrations traveled through the walls and to the floor. Tyler laid there listening to the sound. The world was perfect. Everything was perfect...
When Tyler opened his eyes he found dried tears on his cheeks. It was early morning, the sun was just peeking over the horizon sending a soft red-orange glow. The sight was very pretty and reminded Tyler of his dream. He put on headphones and laid back in bed just listening to music. it was Chopin, his mother's favorite composer. When ever he listened to Chopin memories surfaced and he asked the question, Why did you leave? This question hasn't been answered for years. Tyler dozed for another hour or so before officially waking up.
It was about 8:30 when Tyler finally exited his room. He had already put his contacts in and was heading to the bathroom to fix his hair. He was somewhat frustrated with the fact that he felt the need to look nice for Bea. Tyler exited the bathroom looking like he would for school; a prim prince. Tyler wondered what he was going to do now. He didn't have class for another hour and a half. Tyler went back into his room and grabbed his backpack. He placed it near the front door before he made pancakes.
The smell filled the house as Tyler cooked. He already knew that his father had left for work. On the table, Robert left a note for Bea and Tyler. The one for Tyler just said to be nice to Bea. It also said that he was to drop her off at the station on his way to class. Tyler sighed heavily before knocking on her door and calling, "Bea, breakfast. You don't have to eat if you don't want to, but you have to come with me to the station in about an hour." With that, Tyler went back to the kitchen and finished breakfast.
Bea woke to pounding on her door. She jerked a bit, wiping off a bit of drool that had gotten stuck to her cheek. Ew. She looked around the room for a second, disoriented. This didn't look like her room. It didn't smell like it either. She sniffed the sheets. Fabric softener? She yelled something unintelligible to the boy. God, what time even was it? 8:45. Much earlier than any decent human being would wake up on a summer. She dragged herself out of the bed and yanked on her tights. She then pulled of her shirt so she could put her bra back on under it.
Bea peeked her head out into the hallway. No sign of human inhabitants, but she could hear noise downstairs. She tried to remember which door was the bathroom. She made a guess that turned out to be a lucky one and then ducked inside. Her hair was... her hair. It looked clean and all but she usually needed a weed wacker and at least five hair products to keep it down. As soon as she could get home she would straighten it. The tips of her red hair were beginning to fade back to dusty blonde. She would have to redye eventually, but for now she liked the way it looked. Almost like it was intentional.
She washed off last night's makeup and brushed her teeth with a bit of toothpaste and her finger. There was no way she was showering in somebody else's house, so she grabbed a random bottle of cologne and sprayed a bit of it on her neck. Not bad. Kind of woodsy almost. Satisfied that she was as good as she was going to get without he usual morning routine, Bea headed downstairs. The boy looked like he usually did. Handsome and pristine. His glasses were gone. Too bad, she kind of liked him better with them. It made him look less like an Abercrombie and Fitch model and more like a normal human being. Not that Bea cared. Bad personalities always ruined cute faces. "What's your name anyways?" She blurted. Then looking at the pancakes, "Can I eat those?"
Tyler was already working on cleaning up when Bea had come downstairs. When he looked at her, he noticed that she was a bit less frazzled than before. "Tyler. If you wanted a toothbrush you should have asked..." he was going to say something else, but then he noticed the cologne. It was his. Now she was smelling like him as well. This didn't make him exactly happy. Despite this, he continued, "I made extra for you since you inhaled my mac and cheese last night. Try to breathe when you eat these. I don't need a pet to clean up after." Tyler then slid the note across the table to Bea. "Dad left that for you. I didn't open it so I have no idea what it says," he explained before taking a seat across from her.
He sat like a prince as he waited for her to finish. "I have class in about 20 minutes. I'll drop you off at the station on the way," Tyler explained as he looked at her scornfully. "Dad has a soft spot for kids, I'd take whatever he's deal he's making for you. But then again, you're probably going to end up in juvy or jail eventually," Tyler stated as he reclined in his chair. Tyler looked at his phone casually to check the time. He noticed that he had an e-mail from his professor. Sighing heavily, Tyler opened the e-mail and read it. His professor had canceled class for today. Tyler was really happy. Now smiling, Tyler thought about what he could do with his new found freedom. He thought about going over to Dillon's and playing video games. Then he looked at Bea.
"Well," he stated, "my class got canceled. I still got to stop by the station and I'll drop you off to my father." Tyler was excited to get rid of this girl and to get some stress relief at Dillon's house. Already, Tyler was planning the rest of the day without Bea. It was awesome. Tyler was now smiling like an idiot. It wasn't that he didn't like Bea, it was that he didn't...well like her.
"I'm not a kid. I'm seventeen. Practically legal. And it's summer, why do you even have class?" Bea snapped. His words about her ending up in juvy were probably right. She joked about it with her friends often enough. But her friends had the right to say things like that. Tyler didn't. He didn't know her. He certainly wasn't her friend.
She finished the pancakes, fuming at his words. After checking to make sure her hands were as syrup free as they were going to get, Bea read the note. 'Bea, I know I said we'd speak about this in the morning, but something came up at the station. I'll get my son to take you over. I'd like him to be present for this conversation as well.'
She folded it up and frowned. Why did it matter if his son was there or not? Wasn't there some police convict confidentiality rule or something? Maybe the chief just wanted to speak to his son as well, and hadn't known had to word it. Bea shoved the paper in her pocket and stood. "Your dad wants to talk to you. And no thanks, I'll walk." She threw her jacket over her shoulder. It was nice day out, too hot for grey fleece. The walk shouldn't take more than fifteen minutes. Maybe twenty if she took her time.
Tyler looked at her with anger. He wasn't really happy about this situation either. It wasn't like he asked to have her stay over. "Just get in car, you ungrateful..." Tyler had to shut his mouth before he said anything worse. Taking a deep breath, Tyler finished, "Please get in the car. It'll be faster and we'll be out of each other's hair sooner." Tyler wasn't in the mood to deal with her. He grabbed his keys and blocked the door before Bea could leave. "The quicker we get to the station the quicker this will end. Come on." Tyler wasn't sure what she'd do, but one way or another he'd get her in the car. It was frustrating to say the least.
Tyler went over to the grey ford and waited for her to get in. He wasn't sure what to make of the entire thing. His mind drifted to what his father wanted to talk to him about. Hopefully it was something quick. Tyler wanted to get on with his life and leave this girl behind. He was headed somewhere promising while she was digging herself a deeper pit to bury herself in. Tyler didn't want to be associated with Bea in fear that his hopes for a good job and future would be tarnished.
Looking out the window of his car, Tyler met eyes with Bea. He smirked and asked, "Do you always try to impress guys with that hair or am I just special?" Normally he wouldn't tease a girl, but this was payback for yesterday. He wasn't exactly happy with her to begin with, so why treat her like a respectable girl anyways.
She supposed he had a point. The sooner she got to the station the quicker she could find out the terms of this deal. And the less time she'd have to spend with his royal pain in the ass. After a long moment she gave an exaggerated groan and followed him into the garage.
He had a nice car, at least. It would be a shame if someone got it dirty. Grinning she slid into the passenger seat and propped her feet up on the dash. Oops. Impress him? What the hell was he talking about? She hadn't even done anything to it this morning? And if she had it wouldn't be to impress him. She decided just to ignore the question.
Bea gave him a slow once over and then smirked. "Clearly you're not trying to impress anyone." She was lying through her teeth, but he didn't know that. "You should let me drive. We'd get there faster." After a moment's thought she buckled up her seatbelt. She liked thrill but she wasn't an idiot.
She wondered if word about her arrest had gotten around. Her friends must be worried. Mason in particular would probably feel guilty for leaving her. Bea didn't want him to, of course. She had been acting stupid. She should have ran when she had the chance. But she hadn't, and now here she was.
Tyler rolled his eyes at her. When she propped her feet on the dash, he looked at her with disdain. "You have no manners," he stated turning away from her. He didn't care at the moment. As long as she didn't grab the wheel while he was driving. Tyler would just clean it later. He wasn't exactly happy, but if they started...it wouldn't end quickly. Tyler watched her buckle her seat belt before he shifted and began to back out of the driveway. It was a nice day so he rolled down the window and allowed the cool air to fill the car. His strawberry blonde hair was swept back away from his face as he drove. Since he was still in a pissy mood, Tyler put on the classical station. This always helped him stay calm. Playing was Beethoven's 7th Symphony. He knew this one by heart and began to hum along and tap his finger on the wheel.
The drive wasn't long and Tyler hoped Bea would keep her mouth shut the entire way. He knew this was probably not going to happen, but he could hope. They pulled up to a stop light and a few girls were walking on the sidewalk beside the car. They smiled and waved calling, "Hey, Tyler!" Happily, Tyler waved back and smiled to them. Immediately they began to whisper to each other and giggle. Tyler smiled as he drove by.
[[I know this is shorter, but I want to give you a chance to reply before we get to the station]]
She didn't have any manners. He had flat out told her that she was probably going to jail and she was rude? He put on some crap classical that he probably only listened to so people would think he was sophisticated. Tyler seemed into it in anycase. He was even tapping along. Not that Bea hated classical or anything, but it had a time or a place. Driving on the first day of summer with the windows rolled down was not one of them. She would have put on something you could dance to. Bea left his radio alone though. Putting her feet on a dash was one thing. Messing with someone's stereo was a whole other. Instead she chose to make a face at her feet.
They stopped at a light and he called out to a group of girls. They all giggled and coquettishly batted their eyelashes at him. Bea rolled hers. Pasting a cheery smile on her face Bea leaned out to yell to them. "Hey Ladies. Tyler and I were just going to pick up his rash ointment." The girls faces became confused, if not a little bit off-put. One girl was snickering behind the palm of her hand, clearly having caught on to Bea's bluff. When they merged back into traffic she slumped in her seat again and ignored her driving companion.
They pulled up outside of the station and she threw herself out of the vehicle. Bea had listen to enough Beethoven for one day, thank you very much. She didn't bother to wait for Tyler and she was pretty sure he didn't want her to in any case. She slipped inside and headed for the sheriff's office. She knocked lightly on the frame of the door and Chief Sabot looked up from his paperwork. "You summoned me from beyond the grave?" Bea joked.
Tyler rolled his eyes as Bea yelled out towards the girls. He ignored Bea as they drove to the station. It wasn't long and they soon arrived at the station. Tyler pulled into the closest parking spot and killed the engine. Bea was already out of the car and heading towards the station. Tyler heard the doors of the car lock before he headed towards the station as well. He listened the the soft sound of the breeze as he walked. It was a beautiful day, maybe he'd go skating with his friends today. Anything sounded good as long as Bea was out of his hair. Tyler walked through the doors of the station and arrived at his father's office along side Bea.
Robert smiled to both of them before putting down his pen. He motioned for Tyler to close the door before they began. Tyler did so as Robert welcomed them into his office. Tyler could tell something was off. Not often did Robert welcome him... He wondered what was going on. "As you two know, I've been working on a solution to keep Bea out of juvy. This is what we came up with," Robert explained, "she needs to turn her life around before the summer ends. To do this we, the judge and I, have decided that Bea will stay in my care where I can monitor her. Before either of you object, let me say this. It was either this or Bea be placed in a group home for the summer. At the moment, she'd have to go far away to live in a group home. I believe that Bea will do better if she stays here where she's familiar with things."
Tyler was about to scream or pull his hair out. He was not feeling this arrangement. He wanted to scream, but knew that it wouldn't do any good. His father had already made up his mind. Despite this, Tyler said angrily, "Why? Why does she have to stay with us? Why can't she go to a group home or with someone else!?"
Robert gave his son a stern look before saying, "This is the arrangement. I will not go back on my word to keep Bea." Then his expression softened, "Besides, wouldn't you like to have someone else in the house besides just me?" Robert's eyes were pleading with his son, but Tyler didn't care at the moment. He didn't agree to this and he wasn't happy.
"No, I never said that! I never said I wanted someone else in the house! I said I wanted mom back," Tyler was yelling by now. "Don't I have a say in who stays in the house? It's not just your home, it's mine as well. I don't want to live with her. She's...she's," Tyler said as he looked at Bea. "I won't welcome her into my house."
This outburst caught Robert off guard at first. With a stern look, Robert replied, "I pay the bills, I own the house, I get to say who lives in that house and who doesn't." Now his tone was harsh and authoritarian. "Don't look away from me young man," Robert continued, "you will treat Bea with the respect deserved of a guest. She's staying with us and there's nothing you can say to sway my mind." Tyler was a bit taken back before plastering on a deep frown.
Bea listened to them argue, stunned. She was supposed to stay with him? No way, not happening. She had only known Tyler for less than a day and already they were at each other's throats. If she had to live with him she'd be going to juvy for sure because she would actually kill the guy. Tyler himself seemed very adamant that he didn't want her staying there, but the Chief didn't look like he would be changing his mind. Well that was too bad for him, because this was not going to happen.
Bea chimed in before the argument could escalate even further. "Woah, listen sir. I appreciate that you want to keep your promise, but a group home is fine by me. Really, it is! I don't want to burden" She shot Tyler a look "anyone. Besides what about my mom?" The chief just sighed.
"Bea, I understand this is hard for you to adjust to but I need to know that you're staying out of trouble. I'm sticking my neck out for you because I think you're a good kid and that requires you being somewhere that I can monitor your progress. Not several hours away." The chief said. He sounded like he was tired of the conversation, but there wasn't any patronization in his tone, which Bea respected. "As far as your mother," Robert continued "I spoke to her this morning. She agreed that it would be best if you... had a change of scenery for the time being. I suppose she'll want to speak with you at some point. Perhaps when you go home to get your things."
A change of scenery? Bea felt the back of her throat start to burn with the tell tale sign of tears. She wasn't an idiot and she saw through his words easily enough. "She's kicking me out." Bea snarled. It wasn't a question. Chief Sabot opened his mouth to say something but she cut him off. "I need a minute." Without waiting for a response she stormed out of his office, and then the station all together. Bea leaned against the brick exterior, breathing hard. She allowed rage to swallow her hurt, because rage was easier.
She and her mother didn't have the best relationship, and Bea knew that she disappointed the woman. Well her mother disappointed her too. But Bea always figured that they would stick together no matter what, because they were family. And now her mother had dumped her off on some strangers? She roared in frustration, slamming her first into the brick. The pain grounded her. She pulled on her jacket and shoved her hands into the pockets to hide her bloody knuckles, then went back inside.
By the time Bea returned, Tyler had already left the station. Robert was on the phone doing more work. He knew that the only way Tyler would accept this change was to give him some time. When Bea walked back into his office, Robert smiled and replied, "That's good. Just think of us as friends. You can call me Mr. Sabot or Robet. Either is fine with me. Tyler went out to cool his head. He should be back in about ten minutes. Also, put my and Tyler's number into your cell phone." Robert handed Bea a piece of paper with the names and numbers. "If I call you, be sure to pick up. Just know that if you disobey any of my rules, you will be breaking our deal and be sent to juvy." His expression softened as he continued, "I truly believe that you can do good in this world. Please don't prove me wrong."
Tyler was in a nearby park sitting on a swing. He was not happy about this. He'd already kicked the metal pole supporting the swingset. Now, Tyler was thinking about how he could get his father to change his mind. Nothing came to mind. Frustrated and irritated, Tyler grunted loudly and threw his hands into the air. After yelling a few curses into the sky, Tyler finally took up residence on the swing. He rested his head on the metal chain and imagined his world being destroyed by Bea. Nothing good could come from this arrangement. Tyler was sure of this.
After looking at his cell phone, Tyler decided that he should return to the station. It didn't take him long to get back to Robert's office. Once there Tyler sighed and stated, "I'm still not happy about this." Robert raised his eye brow. They both knew where this was going...Tyler was going to let Bea stay. Robert smiled and began to say something, but Tyler cut him off, "But if she touches my stuff, I'll kick her out personally." Robert eyed his son before laughing out loud. At first Tyler was offended by this. Then he joined in and the two shared a hearty laugh.
(sorry work piled up and I couldn't find time to write a good reply.)
“I’ll follow the rules. Scouts honor.” Bea grumbled. She would just have to find another, legal, way to get her thrills. Or she could just not get caught. She shut down that train of thought with a frown. The chief was taking her into his own home, putting his reputation on the line. Bea couldn’t make any definite promises but that didn’t mean that she wouldn’t try her hardest. She certainly wouldn’t be cavalier. “You can tell me all the gory details at dinner tonight.” The concept of having a set and planned dinner with an actual home kicked meal was still throwing her for a loop. Her life was turning into the twilight zone right before her eyes.
“Listen, do you think that maybe I could go and see some of my friends? Let them know that I’m okay? I think my arrest was all over Twitter so they’re probably freaking out. They’re mundanes, no partying or law breaking or anything.” Bea lied, giving him a pleading look. She wasn’t meeting up with them to try and get into trouble. Bea truly did want to let the Sharps know that she was alright. They could pass it on to the rest. While she waited for his response she put both numbers in her phone, listing Tyler as something very colorful.
‘Mr. Sabot’ looked conflicted, thinking it over. Afraid he was about to say no be quickly interjected. “They’re only a few miles down the road. I can walk, I’ll be back at your house in an hour. Hour and a half tops. I’ll even text you when I get there and when I leave. Please? Fresh air and sunlight is good for teenagers. We share a surprising amount of our DNA with plants you know.” He sighed at that. Maybe she had gone a bit overboard with the plant thing.
“Fine, but a text when you get there and text when you get back to the house.” The chief agreed. Grinning, Bea nodded. “Are you going to see your mother as well? I can get Tyler to drive you.” Bea shook her head sharply at that.
“I’m not ready.” She answered truthfully. Bea wasn’t sure when she would be ready, but it wasn’t now. Talking to her dad when he found out would be even worse. Robert nodded, but didn’t comment. “See you later Mr. S!” Bea grabbed her jacket and hurried out of the station before Tyler could return. She didn’t need his bad attitude to ruin the fact that she was going to see her friends. Bea tied the jacket around her waist, making sure to zip her phone into the pocket. She had numerous unanswered texts from people at last night’s party. Let them wait, it would only build the suspense. Who knew what kind of crazy rumors would build up. Excitement put a spring in her step and she was running along the side of the road before she knew it. A passing car honked at her and she flipped the bird in response. The car honked again but didn’t stop. Too bad. It was a good morning for a fight.
She was out of breath by the time she got to the Sharp’s house and her lungs were burning. It was a good type of burn. Bea headed up the walk to the quaint yellow house. The garden out front was near bursting with colorful flowers and cute little lawn decorations were scattered across the front step. She rang the doorbell, almost certain that at least one of the siblings were home. Party late, sleep in late was the life motto that they lived by. Rowan in particular. After a moment a shaggy looking man opened the door. “Beatrice, hello. Awful early for you to be up isn’t it? I’m just about to head to work, so you’ll have to wake my children up if you want to talk to them.” Mr. Sharp asked.
“Sure is. Don’t worry, my phone has an air horn app.” Bea said, stepping inside and looking around the cozy decor. Mr. Sharp was a professor at the local college. He certainly looked the part. Nerdy, dishevelled and constantly exhausted. She texted th chief quickly.
“Air horn?” The man mused. “Not sure if even that’ll work but give it a shot. I’ve gotta run. Goodbye Beatrice.” The brunette wandered off down the hall. She heard the snap of a microwave door opening, the slosh of liquid and then the slamming of a door. Grinning to herself, Bea strolled to the threshold of Mason’s room and opened the door. Stepping over piles of clothes, Bea gazed down at the rumpled head of hair sticking out from under the duvet. “Oh my god fire!” She screamed. Instead of bolting up in bed, the teen just blinked open one eye. He shot up pretty quick when he saw it was her though.
“Bea, jesus!” Mason scrambled out of bed and gave her a bone crushing hug. He wasn’t wearing anything other than a pair of grey sweatpants and she allowed herself a brief, guilty admiration of his physique. Mason was a friend, and she wouldn’t jeopardize that. It didn’t mean she couldn’t appreciate his looks though. “Everyone was talking on group chat last night. We heard you got busted. Someone even said that you’d gotten shot.” His expression darkened. “I shouldn’t have left kid, I’m sorry.”
Bea rolled her eyes. “Don’t sweat it you dork. I was being stupid. And I didn’t get shot.” Behind them the door opened and a bleary eyed Rowan looked her up and down.
"Hey girl, good to see you in one piece. I'm guess that the rumor that you had been horribly disfigured wasn't true?" Rowan snarked, stumbling over to kiss her cheek. "Though you do look a little rough. Why do you smell like cologne?"
Bea launched into the story, watching the siblings become more and more incredulous. "Wait hold up. You're supposed to stay with him? In his house? Is that even legal?" Mason asked. Bea shrugged.
"I don't know but I don't want to end up trading tampons for drugs in some correctional facility. Besides my mom apparently doesn't want me at home anymore." Mason gave her a sympathetic glance and Rowan squeezed her elbow. "Let me tell you about his d-bag kid-" Bea laughed. By the time she left she was in a much better mood and new clothes she had borrow from Rowan.
Tyler didn't stay long. After grabbing a cup of coffee, black from the station, he headed back out; this time in his car. Tyler wasn't sure what to do with himself at that moment. He thought about going over to a friends, but decided that he didn't really care that much about video games. He drove around for another twenty minutes before he decided that he should probably go to the college to talk to one of his professors about his end of semester project. It was still early in the course, but the project was extremely involved. Already, Tyler had been brainstorming and wanted to get the professor's opinion.
It didn't take long for Tyler to reach the college; only about 15 minutes. He had to park rather far away since it was almost noon and the college was in full operation. Tyler waited for Dr. Sharp to finish lecture. This wasn't too long. After checking the time, Tyler took a seat on a bench near the lecture hall. As he waited, he opened his laptop and began to look up funny YouTube videos to occupy his time. At first they were stupid stuff like 'fails' and what not, but eventually he graduated to 'True Facts About..' Tyler tried not to laugh out loud.
Finally Dr. Sharp's lecture let out. Tyler waited until everyone was out. Most people left right after class, but there were always a few who stuck around. Tyler waited for them as well. Once they were done, Tyler approached the older man. He was a big crazed looking, but in a good way. Dr. Sharp was in every way a college philosophy professor. With a smile, Tyler approached the professor and said, "Good afternoon Professor." Dr. Sharp's face brightened a bit as he returned the greeting. "I was wondering if you'd help me with the term project."
Dr. Sharp smiled and said, "I'd be more than happy to." The two moved to a table at the small cafe on campus. They talked for about an hour before Dr. Sharp had to get ready for his next class. Talking about school helped take Tyler's mind off of Bea. But once Dr. Sharp left, Tyler began to think about Bea; living with her, cooking for her, seeing her every day... He wanted to scream at the thought. Nevertheless, he knew he had to get home. It was almost 5 and his father expected him home for diner.
Tyler got into his car and drove home in silence. He didn't feel like listening to anything, rather he wanted to hear his own thoughts as they floated around in his head. After 20 minutes, Tyler was pulling into his drive way. His father's car was already in the driveway meaning that Robert wanted to make things for Bea and Tyler 'easier'. Tyler rolled his eyes before exiting the car. He walked through the door and heard the TV on. "I'm home," he stated as he hung up his keys.
Bea had lost tracks of how many episodes of Undercover Boss she had watched when Tyler came home. She growing more and more impatient by the minute. She could smell whatever Mr. Sabot was cooking, bud couldn't actually eat it yet, a fact that drove her near insane. She hadn't done much when she'd gotten to the house other than crash on the couch and turn on the TV. Her own inactiveness plus hours of staring a television screen had given her a faint migraine right between the eyes. Bea ignored Tyler's arrival arrival and any subsequent conversation up until the magical words she had been waiting for. "Dinner's ready."
She was up off the couch as if she'd been shot. Mr. Sabot looked over in surprise at the violence of her movements but didn't comment. "Tyler, set the table. Bea turn of the TV, please." She did as she was bid and hovered anxiously in the kitchen. If there was one thing that Bea loved more than a good adrenaline high, it was a good plate of food. She helped the man carry over dishes and bowls to the table. After a confused moment Bea said "Oh, right. You eat at the table. Cool, alright." She plopped down in a random chair, leaning her elbows against the table. Wait, she wasn't supposed to do that either. Bea quickly put her elbows down and smiled awkwardly. She hoped this wouldn't be awkward.