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“Yeah, it’s me.”
“Where the hell are you? What are you thinking? Do you know how many people are looking for you?
“I fucked up.” Chad said simply.
“Chad you did a lot more than fuck up”
“David, you remember that time we had that fight and I punched you in the face?”
“Yeah but what does-”
“I’m really sorry about that. You’re my best friend Davy, I’d never wanna hurt you.”
It was only when Chad called him “Davy” that he knew something was wrong. It was an old nickname Chad had given him when they were 6. Chad didn’t sound like someone who was on the run from the law.
“Chad what’s going on? Where are you?”
“Nothings going on, I’m someplace safe, but I gotta go.”
But all David got in response was a dial tone.
“Damn.” He cursed flipping his phone shut. The conversation he just had reminded him of the kind you saw on TV. The kind that two characters had right before one-
David sat worrying for a few minutes debating whether or not to go looking for Chad. Something Chad said had given him a pretty good idea of where he was. Before he could reach a decision the two officers came down the hall followed by Tristan and Kelly. They entered Aiden’s room and David couldn’t help noticing that neither of them bothered to close the door. David couldn’t help himself and moved closer.
“W-w-w-hat does t-t-t-that m-mean. You c-c-can’t find him?”
“It means that as of right now we can’t make an arrest, but we are doing everything we can to find him.”
“W-w-w-what if he comes looking f-f-for m-m-me?”
Aiden sounded close to tears.
“There will be an officer outside your room at all times. You don’t need to worry.”
“D-d-d-on’t need to worry? You d-d-don’t k-k-now this guy.”
Finally David couldn’t take it anymore and stepped into the room, “I know where h, I mean Chad is.”
Everyone turned to look at him and Mike, the older of the two officers spoke, “Young man when we asked you about Mr. Bakers whereabouts you claimed you had no idea where he was.”
“ I uh, I didn’t know then. Chad called me on my cell after you left. I think I know where he is but um we have to hurry. I think he’s going to hurt himself.”
“Alright,” One of the officers said, “You ride with us.”
“I’m coming to” Tristan insisted
“Me too, I’ll ride with Tristan.” Kelly chimed in.
“I don’t think that’s such a good idea-” Hank, the other officer started but stopped when he saw the look of pure determination on Tristan’s face, “Fine let’s go then.”
Everyone turned to leave but was stopped by Aiden’s voice,
“Wait I w-w-want to c-c-ome to.”
There was a chorus of disaggreement.
“ N-No, I d-deserve to g-go!”
“ For God sake Aiden you were stabbed yesterday.” His mother snapped.
“I just w-w-want to s-s-ee him arrested I n-n-eed to.”
“Aiden you’ll hurt yourself even more if you go.” Tristan said tentatively.
Aiden just glared in response.
“F-fine page Mrs. D-d-aniels. S-she’ll let m-me g-g-go.”
“Fine.” Aiden’s mother agreed knowing it was highly unlikely.
Two minutes later Tristan’s mother appeared, “What’s going on here?”
“I w-w-want to l-leave.” Aiden said firmly.
“That’s impossible Aiden, you punctured a lung. Things like that need time to heal.”
“It’ll only b-b-e f-f-or an h-h-hour and I’ll b-be careful I s-s-wear.”
“With all due respect we really gotta hurry folks” Hank broke in.
Tristan’s mother paused and then turned to the officers. They spoke in whispers for a few moments.
“Fine Aiden you can go, but I’m coming w/ you and at the slightest hint of any trouble we come right back. Understood?”
Aiden just nodded eagerly.
All eight of the group piled into their respective cars with David and the officers leading. Soon they were off in search of Chad.
Thirty minutes later, when they pulled up to the cabin that Chad’s parents owned David felt like something was wrong. Like something bad was going to happen. Everyone got out of their cars and moved to approach the cabin but were stopped by the officers.
“Everybody just wait here.” They commanded then strolled away towards the cabin.
When the officers hadn’t returned ten minutes later David was starting to get worried, but it wasn’t until he heard the gunshot that he took off running towards the cabin. They were supposed to arrest Chad not shoot him!
“David! They said to wait!” Kelly yelled after him, but David didn’t stop. He didn’t even slow down.
He burst into the cabin and was met with dead silence. He walked cautiously through the house wanting to turn back but needing to know what was happening. He found Chad’s room and slowly stepped in. David froze. Blood. So much fucking blood. The two officers looked up when David entered the room. One was quick to grab him and drag him out.
“You shot him!” David screamed kicking to get out of the officers grip, “You bastards!”
“David! David stop it!”
“No! You killed him. You shot him!”
“David he shot himself.” Hank said firmly trying to get David to stop struggling.
David went limp in his arms, “No.”
“Oh my god..” was all he could say. Visions of all that blood flashed into his mind, “I’m gonna be sick.” He mumbled dashing outside, leaning into the bushes.
His legs went weak and he didn’t bother to get up, he just buried his face in the grass and sobbed. Sure Chad had fucked up, but he had also been David’s best friends since they were three years old. They did everything together. Chad was the brother David never had and now he was gone.
Someone tapped David on the shoulder,
“What?!” he snapped.
“Here.” Hank said handing him a folded piece of paper, “Normally we’d have to keep this for evidence but um, this is different.”
The paper had his name scrawled across the front in Chad’s handwriting.
“Thanks.” David sniffled.
Hank nodded and went to talk with everyone else, to tell them what happened David guessed. He opened the letter and began to read.
“What g-g-going o-on?” Aiden, who had been forced into a wheelchair asked, W-w-where’s Chad?”
“Well um, he um..”
“He’s dead.” David interrupted startling them all, “He shot himself.”
There was an audible gasp and kelly stepped forward, “Wow David I’m s-”
“Don’t. Sorry won’t bring my best friend back.”
There was absolute silence for a moment. No one really knew what to say.
“Here,” David said handing the letter to Aiden. Maybe this will help you understand.”
David walked away towards the car. Right now he just wanted to get home.
Aiden opened the letter with shaky hands. The first thing he noticed was the paper. It was badly crumpled and some of the writing was blotched by what could have been tear stains.
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