Part II: Setting Me Up For The Fall
“I’m sorry, son,” the middle-aged cop with kind eyes said. “The video only caught their backsides as they ran away, then the light appeared and they were gone.
I sighed miserably, looking at the group of cops and campus security.
“No one, not even the students who chased them, saw where they went?” I asked, and the entire team shook their heads. How was it I was almost abducted, and my kidnappers got away scot-free?
“This doesn’t make any sense,” I said for the umpteenth time to the cops. “I’m a nobody. I was a foster child until last month when I turned eighteen. I don’t have money or anything to entice anyone.”
I knew they were at as much of a loss as I was. Luckily, as I was about to descend into a deeper state of despair, Mr. and Mrs. Beecham showed up to rescue me from the horror of the day.
I followed them to a more private area next to the circulation desk and snuggled into Mrs. Beecham. “I just don’t get it,” I repeated to them.
Both my foster parents exchanged furtive glances before Mr. Beecham said, “We think you should come home instead of going out tonight.”
I shrugged. “I still need to study, but I’m not really in the mood to hang out with Parker or his brother tonight. I just want to go home.”
My foster parents exchanged another odd look, which, if circumstances were different, I’d feel defensive about. They only seemed to do this silent communication when I’d done something really off, like destroying their new refrigerator. Besides, I wanted time to think about what, if anything, I could’ve done to cause the two would-be kidnappers to come after me. I tossed the bike into the trunk and climbed in.
As the adrenaline began to leave my system, I almost fell asleep riding back to our house. When we pulled into the driveway, I got out and was abouty to head upstairs to my room when Mr. Beecham asked me to hang out downstairs for a moment. “Your foster mother and I have some things we’d like to discuss with you,” he said.
Oh shit, what’ve I done now? I wondered. Please don’t be telling me it’s time to move out or something, not after today.
I schooled my facial expressions and shrugged, then went into the living room and plopped down in the large recliner Mr. Beecham usually used.
“Are you hungry?” Mrs. Beecham asked.
“Not really. My stomach is still tied up in knots.” That was especially true now as I was preparing for whatever they were about to tell me.
She nodded and sat across from me, next to her husband.
“Sweetheart, Godfrey and I have some things we need to discuss with you.”
When I looked at their faces, I felt my world drop. “You’re kicking me out, aren’t you?” I asked. I knew the state had stopped providing assistance when I turned eighteen, and even though it wasn’t much, it was something, and my clumsiness did cost them money. I didn’t think the Beechams would be able to afford to keep me here without some assistance, and as it was, I was flat broke.
“Oh Lord, honey, why would you ask a thing like that?” Mrs. Beecham asked.
“No, this has to do with who you are,” Mr. Beecham added.
I looked at the couple with confusion. “Who I am is a foster kid or former foster kid. I don’t have two nickels to rub together, and apparently, I have people who want to kidnap me."
“Well, that’s why we need to talk,” Mr. Beecham replied.
NEXT WEEK: Prepare to meet Claciticus or Clack, Elvin Guard to the King.