Cal's truck was gone. It was not in the driveway where he had parked it before he rode his bike to the Sheriff's house to clean their pool. This alarmed him, though why someone would want his truck was beyond him. Maybe they were parting it out, or took it to burn a dead body in. Surely, it wasn't worth more than that.
His Mother's car was parked in its place, so she had to have noticed it missing. "Mom?" he called out.
"In here," her voice chimed happily from the kitchen. Why would she be happy? Shouldn't she be worried that her son's truck was missing? She knows he never takes it to clean the Sheriff's pool on Saturdays.
"Mom, where's my truck?"
"Isn't it in the garage?" she hinted, her voice giving away her excitement.
"What is going on?"
"Come on!" she practically dragged Cal to the door in the kitchen leading to the garage. She grabbed the doorknob and twisted, opening it with a, "ta-da!"
Inside sat a gorgeous hunter green Camaro. Cal sucked in a breath, to stunned to speak.
"Whatcha think? She's all yours, Son."
"Mom, how did you ever afford it?"
"I got a raise." she beamed, too proud of her surprise gift to see the pain in Cal's eyes.
"Really? That's great, Mom. Oh and thanks." He hugged her to avoid showing her the disgust in his eyes. She patted him, the signal that the hug was over, and said, "Well, go on! Take her for a spin." There were tears in her eyes.
It drove like a dream. Cal zoomed up main street, cut across Elm, and wandered down to Blue Oaks Lake. He drove past the huge houses, thinking how he wished he lived there, and how he and JoAnn used to pretend they did when they were younger. Thinking about JoAnn made him want to drive to her farm to show off his car, but with her parents still edgy about anyone coming over, he decided not to go unannounced. Thinking about JoAnn made him think about Mitch, the low life scum, and how he would fit in this neighborhood. If Mitch wanted to take care of the baby, JoAnn would get to live in one these houses, maybe, one day.
Thinking about Mitch made him think about Sheriff, who had asked him to blackmail and later meet Mitch in the dark alley and lead him to the tables in the back of the Pub. It was his fault that Sheriff knew anyway. He had been waiting for the chlorine test on the pool water and the Sheriff's wife, who was sweet on him, had brought him a glass of lemonade. "What is so troublign to a young handsome lad like yourself?" she had asked.
"Oh, teen stuff, you know, high school, girls, bullies, things like that." He'd tried to be polite, and brush her off, but it seemed the more he talked these days the closer she got. He should have kept his mouth shut.
"Any girl who doesn't fall for you at first sight is a bimbo."
"Well, we've been friends since, well forever, but she doesn't see me as anything other than a friend. I mean, she runs to me when things go bad, and I'm supposed to fix them. But sometimes I don't want to help her. I don't want her to get back out there and look for another guy. I want her to look for me."
"Well, have you told her?"
"I think she knows, but she's kind of dealing with a lot right now."
"You should just surprise her with a romantic, quiet evening, let her talk, then seduce her."
"Yeah, that wouldn't work."
"Oh, all girls love romance! And it's all those hormones ragin' otu of control." Mrs. Sheriff fanned herself.
"No, I mean, she's not looking for seduction."
"How do you know?"
"She's already pregnant."
"Oh my! And it wasn't yours! Does the father know? Is he taking care of her?"
"Yeah, he knows, but he's a loser."
"Well, there's laws for that! sh ecan take him to court."
"I don't think that's a good idea."
"Why not? She can take him for all he's got!"
"Because the father has money and influence."
"In this town, only the mayor has both!"
"You mean, the mayor's son..? Oh my.."
"Thank you for the lemonade, and please don't tell, it would hurt her more than anything."
But she did tell. The very next Saturday, Cal was approached by the Sheriff who said he'd investigate Violette's if he did not tell who the girl was. Cal had known for a long time that his mother worked there, and once he learned the birds and the bees, it didn't take but one R rated movie to figure out what she did. Sheriff was threatening his very existence in this town and he didn't want to leave JoAnn. So he had donned his hoodie.
But JoAnn didn't know about that.
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