2:16 A Nightmare On My Street

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newspaper12

04-24-18_10-32-57 PM

Zaiden got a very surprising phone call. It was from the asylum where Zander was being kept. Zander was asking to see him.

Zaiden was waiting in the visitor’s room when his brother came in.

04-24-18_10-33-39 PM

Zander looked terrible. He was still in his pajamas and slippers. His hair was a mess.

Zaiden hugged his brother.

“They called and said that you wanted to talk to me.”

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Zander nodded as they both sat down. “Dad is alive. I saw him.”

Zaiden frowned. “You are wrong, Zander. Dad died a long time ago.”

04-24-18_10-35-26 PM

Zander shook his head. “He is alive. I saw him. I saw him in the jungle.

Zaiden called for one of the nurses. Zander was getting upset and needed to be calmed down.

04-24-18_10-35-44 PM

“I swear, Zaiden. I saw him. He was at the bar.”

Zaiden knew it was impossible. He wishes his father was alive, but he couldn’t be.

Zaiden watched as Zander was taken back to his room.

2:15 Much Too Soon

04-24-18_3-04-05 PM

Rowana had waited until the girls were already asleep to talk to Zaiden.

She sat on the bed beside him. “What do you think about adding a baby to the family?”

04-24-18_3-25-10 PM

“You mean like adopting? I would be okay with that. I am sure the girls would be also.”

She shook her head. “I mean me having a baby. Your baby.”

04-24-18_3-25-31 PM

Zaiden shook his head. “No. I’m only 17 years old. I’m not even out of high school yet.”

“By the time the baby is born you will be 18 and have graduated. It will be great.”

04-24-18_3-26-21 PM

“I’m not ready for a baby.”

“Sure you are. You have done great taking care of your sisters. You will be an amazing father. I know you will be.”

04-24-18_3-27-07 PM

Zaiden could see that she wasn’t listening to him. He was going to have to do whatever he could to make sure she didn’t get pregnant. He thought of an old conversation he had with his father.

04-24-18_3-27-14 PM

“How about we discuss this tomorrow? We still have one condom left. There’s no sense wasting it.”

He didn’t understand her. First she wants a baby, then she wants to use a condom. He was still going to make the appointment.


04-24-18_4-35-45 PM

He sat across the desk from Dr. Goins. They had been talking about Zaiden’s options.

Zaiden definitely did not want a vasectomy. He wanted to leave his options open for future children.

“The Vasalgel is inserted by an injection. It acts as a dam and does not allow the sperm to get through.”

Zaiden liked that much better than a surgery, even a minor one.

“And future children?”

“When you are ready, you just come back to the office. Another injection will take care of things. It is a water solution that dissolves the gel.”

Zaiden thought about it then nodded. “Let’s do it.”

2:14 Dilemma

04-24-18_1-20-46 PM

Zaiden was fixing dinner when Emma came home. She had finally decided to learn to drive and was taking lessons at the local driving school.

04-24-18_1-21-55 PM

Hi, Squirt. How was class? Did they teach you how to use the blinker today?”

“We had a bit of a problem today.”

04-24-18_1-22-14 PM

Zaiden looked at his sister and saw that she looked a bit scared. He put the knife down and wiped off his hands.

04-24-18_1-23-58 PM

He sat down beside his sister. “What happened? Was there an accident? Is everybody alright?”

“Everybody is fine. There as no accident.

“What happened?”

04-24-18_1-24-25 PM

“We were followed today.”

Zaiden frowned as he listened to her.

04-24-18_12-27-41 PM

“I know I have seen the car before. I just can’t remember where.”

Zaiden listened to Emma describe the car and what happened.

04-24-18_12-18-21 PM

“The car was setting outside the school. It followed us when we left. Mr. Randall had me drive to the police station. He called them when we were on the way. The cops were waiting for us and followed the car when it drove off.”

He was glad she had a driving instructor that knew what to do.

He watched Emma head to her room to do her homework.

04-24-18_1-54-48 PM

Zaiden pulled out his phone and called Tony. It was time to end any searches and just let the cops handle it. It was getting too dangerous. The risks to his sisters were too high.

2:13 Double Trouble

04-22-18_11-31-42 AM

Zaiden wasn’t expecting the text message asking him to meet at the food cart. She must have gotten the number off Anne’s phone.

04-22-18_11-40-09 AM

He saw her waiting for him.

“Hello, Mrs. Jameson.”

“Hello, Zaiden. Please set down. I would like to talk to you.”

04-22-18_11-40-56 AM

Zaiden sat down with her. “Is this about Anne?”

Jolene shook her head. “Not directly. It is about something she overheard.”

04-22-18_11-43-43 AM

Zaiden wasn’t sure how much he wanted to hear a secondhand story, but he was going to indulge the woman only because she was Anne’s mother and had been kind to him.

“Someone knows about the search for your father’s killer. Threats have been made against you and your sisters.”

04-22-18_11-43-53 AM

Zaiden was confused. “I’m not search…”

 

Jolene stopped him. “I do not know or want to know anything more than what I just told you. If it is not you, then my suggestion would be to find out who it is and get them to stop searching. You are a good kid, Zaiden. I would hate to see anything happen to you.”

04-22-18_11-54-58 AM

Zaiden nodded. He watched Jolene walk away.

He pulled out his phone and called his uncle. He told him about the conversation with Jolene. He said that as much as he would love to know who killed Izaiah, he was leaving the detective work to the police department.

Zaiden hung up the phone trying to think of who it could be. He knew his aunt wasn’t doing it. She would have told him when he saw her at Callie’s funeral. Diana seemed to believe that Zander had killed their father. Zaiden had to admit that it was possible. He had killed his mother, so why couldn’t he have also killed his father?

Somebody didn’t seem to be settling on Zander being the one. Someone was still looking for the truth.

There was one other person that Zaiden thought it could be.

04-22-18_1-35-59 PM

2:12 Dangerous

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Zaiden read the article again just to make sure that he had read it right.

Callie was dead.

Zander was arrested for setting the house on fire. The police had already contacted Zaiden to let him know.

Zander had killed his own mother.

04-22-18_9-13-03 AM

Zaiden thought about his visit with Callie. She must have talked to Zander like she said she would.

“He killed her because she talked to him.”

“What’s that, Dear?”

04-22-18_9-14-59 AM

Zaiden handed Rowana the tablet so she could read the article. “They arrested Zander.”

“Oh no! That is terrible! Why would he kill his mother?”

04-22-18_9-15-12 AM

Zaiden had a good idea why. “He has been really angry since Dad died. He even yelled at Hope the other day for no reason. I went to talk to Callie about him yesterday. I guess that upset him.

04-22-18_9-15-21 AM

Rowana covered Zaiden’s hand with hers. “You shouldn’t blame yourself for what he did. You didn’t know that he would react this way.”

“If I hadn’t talked to her…”

04-22-18_9-16-51 AM

“He would have done it anyway. Zander is a very angry young man. The article said that he is in custody. Maybe they can get him the help he needs.”

Zaiden wanted to argue that his brother wasn’t crazy, but thought about the way he had acted a few days earlier.

2:11 The Devil Went Down To Georgia

After a night of not being able to sleep, Zaiden decided to go talk to Callie.

He smiled when he saw her and gave her a big hug. He had missed her a lot.

“Zaiden! It is so nice to see you. How are the girls?”

“They are doing good.” Zaiden told her about Emma’s party and about the problems Hope had at school.

04-19-18_12-55-58 PM

“Zander said that he saw you yesterday.”

Zaiden nodded and frowned a bit. He is why I am here.”

“He’s not home right now if you came to see him.”

04-19-18_12-57-18 PM

Zaiden shook his head. “I came to talk to you about him.”

“What did he do this time?”

“He brought Hope an old baby rattle for her birthday. After she thanked him for the gift, he got angry and started yelling curse words at her.”

“When I finally got him away from her, he sat by himself mumbling and talking to himself. Then he just got up and left without a word to any of us.”

Callie listened to everything Zaiden was saying. She had noticed the changes in her son also.

“He hasn’t been the same since your father died. He has been coming home from school and locking himself in his room. He only comes out to eat then locks himself back in his room.”

Zaiden hated what his brother was turning into. “I will try to talk to him tomorrow at school.”

Callie shook her head. “I’ll talk to him when he gets home. He should be home soon. He ran to the store to get things for a school project.”

Zaiden hugged Callie before leaving. He was trying to figure out what project Zander had to work on. None of the teachers at school had assigned any projects.

 

2:10 Dance Like There’s No Tomorrow

Zaiden sat by the pool watching his sisters swimming nearby. He smiled as he remembered Hope’s dance the night before. They both had enjoyed themselves. He was glad that he was able to step in to fill the role their father had left vacant.

They chatted while they swam. Rowana wasn’t home so it was just the three of them.

“How about a movie?”

The girls both agreed on the condition that they could pick the movie. He agreed as long as it was age appropriate.

Zaiden made popcorn in case the girls wanted it during the movie.


04-15-18_1-10-50 PM

Zaiden tucked Hope in and kissed her forehead. The girl had worn herself out.

It had been a day full of swimming, movies, games, makeovers, dancing, singing, and just hanging out together.

He heard Rowana come in as he was leaving the girls’ room.

04-15-18_1-14-18 PM

“I have a dinner plate saved for you. Do you want me to warm it for you?”

“No thank you. I had dinner already. I do appreciate the thought though. ” She kissed Zaiden’s cheek.” How as your day with the girls?”

“It was a good day. It was nice being able to hang out with them and talk.”

“I’m glad that you all had a good day.”

“Zander stopped by for a bit. He brought Hope a late birthday gift.”

04-15-18_1-16-16 PM

“He is such a nice boy. I am glad he came to see all of you.” Rowana looked at Zaiden and smiled. “He is welcome to visit any time. I would hate for your brother not to visit.”

Zaiden wasn’t really listening to Rowana. He was thinking about the strange visit from his brother.

2:9 Don’t Laugh At Me

04-14-18_2-09-48 PM

Zaiden was sitting on Hope’s bed trying to get her to talk to him. He hugged her until she stopped crying.

“What’s wrong, Hope?”

04-14-18_2-06-45 PM

She shook her head not wanting to talk about it. Zaiden had his suspicions. This wasn’t the first time she had come home from school crying.

He decided to just talk to her and see if that would get her to tell him what was wrong.

04-14-18_2-06-01 PM

“Did I ever tell you about the fight I got into at school when I was your age?” He waited until she shook her head before going on. “A boy in my class was saying bad things about my mom, so I punched him. I got in trouble at school, but Dad understood why I did it. He still grounded me though.”

Zaiden looked at his little sister. “You know you can talk to me about anything, right?”

04-14-18_2-11-10 PM

She nodded. “Why do kids have to be so mean to others?”

He wished he knew how to answer her question. “There are many reasons they are like that. Are they being mean to you?”

04-14-18_2-11-48 PM

He frowned when she nodded. “They picked on me because I have no parents. They always tell me that I can’t do any of the fun stuff since I don’t have a mommy or a daddy to sign the permission slips.”

04-14-18_2-11-55 PM

Zaiden shook his head. “They are wrong. Rowana can sign those for you. You can still participate in everything that the other kids can.”

Hope looked up at him. “Not everything Rowana can’t go to the Father and Daughter dance with me.”

04-14-18_2-12-14 PM

She had a point there. He smiled though. “Rowana can’t, but I can. I would be honored to go with you. All of those Daddy’s will be so jealous, because I will have the prettiest little girl as my date.”

04-14-18_2-12-18 PM

The smile she gave him made it all better.

2:8 A Different Party

04-07-18_12-06-36 PM

Zaiden looked at the cake that he had made for Emma. Things were so different from a few months earlier when he struggled to find a gift for Hope’s birthday.

Now they were living in San Myshuno again. He didn’t have to worry about money, and he still hadn’t touched his father’s account.

Rowana had a very nice apartment. She took care of all the bills. She also had enrolled all three of them back in school. Thankfully they hadn’t been out too long. Catching up wasn’t too hard.

04-07-18_12-08-03 PM

He heard Rowana come in. She has been out picking up Emma’s birthday gift. They had decided on a computer for her. It was something that she could use for school and afterwards.

Rowana had considered getting Emma a car, but Emma doesn’t like to drive. She preferred walking everywhere.

04-07-18_12-09-47 PM

He heard his sisters talking as they came in the door.

“Emma? What time are your friends coming over?”

“In a couple hours.” Emma hugged Rowana. “Thank you for letting me invite them over.”

“Every girl should have a party on her birthday.” Rowana smiled at the girl. “Your birthday gift is in your room. Zaiden will help you with it.”

Zaiden watched his sisters both run to the bedroom to see what the gift was. He smiled when he heard the happy squeals.


04-07-18_2-42-18 PM

Zaiden spent the evening keeping an eye on his sister and her friends.

He didn’t remember his friends being this noisey when they visited.

He thought about the days when they were all kids. That was before everything changed. His dad was still alive. Callie and Zander still lived with them. Liberty and Anne were still his friends.

School was weird now. Anne still wouldn’t talk to him. Liberty took Anne’s side and also wouldn’t talk to him. Zander was always coming up with excuses not to hang out with him. Since Nicholas was dating Liberty, they no longer hung out with Zaiden.

Zaiden couldn’t remember ever feeling so alone. He looked at Emma and her friends and smiled. He wasn’t alone.

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2:7 Bad

04-01-18_2-14-36 PM

Tony was looking at the information that a few of his men had brought to him. They had gotten some information from one of the fishermen at the docks.

04-01-18_2-17-31 PM

“Who doesn’t have a damn cell phone these days? We have a witness to what happened at the docks, and he doesn’t have a cell phone?”

Tony looked at his men. “Bring me the fishermen.”

04-01-18_2-23-07 PM

A few hours later, one of his men was back. “Boss, the fisherman is gone, sir.”

“What do you mean gone?”

04-01-18_2-23-16 PM

“Well, sir, his boat has gone out to sea. One of the other fishermen said they are usually out there months at a time.”

Tony didn’t want to wait months, but it seemed that he had no choice. “Find out when it is supposed to be back. I want someone at the docks in case it returns early.”

04-01-18_2-26-57 PM

“Yes, sir. I’ll put Tonny at the docks. His father was a fisherman. He should fit in with…”

04-01-18_2-27-02 PM

“Don’t set here talking about it. Go get it done.”

“Yes sir.”

Tony shook his head as the guy left. “I am surrounded by idiots.”

Tony called Zaiden. Normally he would have waited until he had more information but that could be months.

“Come to the house. We need to talk.”