“The man in the limo just looked at me for a minute before he started talking. That’s when I realized he wasn’t here from Gary. Gary’s guys always grill me: ‘Where were you last night? Did you have any girls over? How’s the English paper coming?” Stuff like that. Plus I know most of them. And the new guys tend to be young. This guy, he wasn’t young. More like Gary’s age, and I’d never seen him before.
“I didn’t say anything either. I didn’t know what it was about, and usually I end up better off keeping my mouth shut. You never know what people will do when they find out you have a lot of money. You never know what people know, until they open their mouth.”
This kid was smart. “So you thought it was about you at this point?” I asked, shifting up a gear and hitting the gas again.
“Yeah, I mean, what else was it going to be? I’m glad I didn’t say anything, because the first thing he said to me was, ‘So how’s your girlfriend?’ I remembered then what you had said yesterday, about anyone asking about you. I knew he must mean you. Not that I think of you as my girlfriend. I never said that to anyone. It’s just there really isn’t anyone else that could be my girlfriend, or ever was, not that I want it that way, I’d be fine with a girlfriend, if the right girl came along, you know, so–”
I interrupted his embarrassed rambling, “so someone must have seen us yesterday.”
“Yeah, I guess so. And it’s not like we would have been hard to follow, in a lamborghini and all. But after what you said yesterday, about someone asking about you, I wasn’t going to say something stupid, plus this guy was sort of creepy. I didn’t like the feeling I got from him, so I didn’t say anything. He waited for me to talk, but when I didn’t, he started, ‘You know, Jamie–that’s what you call her isn’t it? She’s not what you think.’ He said you were dangerous. He said there was a girl in a coma that they had found yesterday at school. He said you had done it.”
Randy stopped. He needed something from me now. He needed me to deny it, explain it, something. The speedometer crept higher. “That must be Crystal,” I said.
“So it’s true,” he said. It was not what he hoped to hear, but I could tell he was also relieved. At least I wasn’t lying. “That’s why you needed a ride yesterday, and why you were jumpy, not because you couldn’t find your brother’s car.”
“I don’t even have a brother. Listen, here’s what happened with Crystal. I was in the library, and she attacked me. I defended myself, and I almost didn’t make it, but I managed to hit her over the head and knock her out. I didn’t know I hit her that hard. When I found you, I was tired, hurt, and needed to get away in case she woke up and came after me again.”
He nodded, not happy, but satisfied. “Crystal, huh? I wouldn’t have thought she’d be capable of something like that. And wasn’t she your friend?”
“Everyone can be bought.”
“Seems justified given the circumstances,” I replied. I didn’t really believe it. Almost anyone could be bought. But we were getting side tracked. I needed to know what else the man said. “So what did you say when the man told you about Crystal?”
“Nothing,” Randy said matter of factly. “He waited for me to, but then he went on. He said that you were dangerous again, and would likely hurt other people. That he could take care of it, but he needed me to bring you to him. At this point I figured these were the people you had meant yesterday. When you said it, I figured it was probably some jerky boyfriend, or something.” He paused. “Hey, how fast are you going?”
I glanced at the speedometer, and was about to lie, but then I glanced at Randy and saw his wide eyes. He had looked for himself. “Haven’t you ever driven this fast?” I asked.
“Yeah, wearing a helmet on a controlled track,” he replied.
“I’ve done this before,” I said.
“Well, He was right about one thing, you aren’t what you seem to be,” Randy said. We had left the city behind now, and were making our way through the most distant suburbs. Interspersed with dusty washes and cattle ranches, were strip malls, and every few exits a Walmart, looking new and run down at the same time.
Previous Chapter: Chapter 3