Running eagerly before my eyes were all the little shops, cars, and signs in the streets of Chicago. It just reminded me of the other building where the freshest tragedy of my life began. Today.
''So,'' began my Mother. ''What went on back there?''
''I don't want to talk about it!'' I snapped, feeling even worse.
''James, thats not a common reaction from you. Oh, what's wrong, sweetie? I just want to know you better... thats all,'' Mother said quietly, as I sighed in disgust of myself. I was closed to her, and that wasn't right.
I brushed a bit of gravel dust from my jacket as we rounded a corner onto Lincoln street.
''River streets coming up,'' Mother announced. ''I know you love seeing all the pretty houses. Do you want to go down it, honey?''
''N--'' I began, but before I could answer she turned down the dreaded street.
I watched anxiously for a glimpse of Danny and the rest of the gang, but they were no where to be seen. In relief, I looked out the other window and--
There they were. I saw Danny piling a ladder up the house to a certain window where there were a few sparkling things, but I couldn't tell what they were.
''Huh!'' exclaimed Mother, and I knew in an instant that she had spotted them. ''Look at that group of boys! Well I hope that they live there. Otherwise they'd be... stealing. A group of thieves, stealing from that pretty house. James, can you grab my phone from my purse and call 911? We can't be witnesses of a robbery and not alert the police. Now grab it, honey. 911.''
''But what if their not thieves, Mother? What if their just repainting that side of the house?'' I could feel the nervous quake starting from my toes. I couldn't report Danny and the gang, not when I would be there too, had it not been for the bullet and church.
''James Robert Gregor, you can't expect to fine nine people to repaint a small side of a house. Besides, it looks wonderful. It doesn't need a bit more paint. Now, call the police!''
I knew I couldn't win with 100 more tries. I reached into her purple bag and immediately felt the smooth, cool surface of her cell phone. ''911,'' I said the numbers out loud as if they were precious jewels.
''Hello. You have reached 911. If you wish to communicate with the fire department, press 1. If you wish to communicate with the police department, press 2. If you wish to--''
''2!'' I shouted and pressed the button hard. I hurriedly stated the information to the officer who answered and slammed the phone shut, feeling bad about the hypocritical phone call I just made.
''Thank-you, honey. Here we are,'' we pulled into the driveway of our small but cozy house. Mother took a moment but I hurried to the door and, unlocking it, into my room and locked the door, breathing loudly.
Turning around, I found a mess. Whiskey bottles lying everywhere, bed unmade, wrappers, potato chips, opened drawers, dirty clothes, ...
''James! Are we going to talk?'' called Mother.
''No! I want to rest for a while. Thanks for picking me up!''
I shoved the things off of my bed to the floor and collapsed onto it. Now to think.
I would have to visit the girl, bring her something. I would have to tell her sorry. I would have to tell Mother the truth, or maybe I could get away with it. I would have to apologize to her parents. I would have to get rid of my life with Danny and the crew. My life would completely change. My life would completely--
I dropped off to a sleep, and dreamed of all the things I must do.
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