This is the beginning of Chapter 3 from Bettina. You can go up to the top tab to look at the other teasers if you like. Important things to know - Erik has just stolen 50$ from a local cafe. Jessica watched him do it. Setting is 1962. And um, that's about it. I kept it kind of short today and it's pretty rough. As for yesterday's post - I'll reveal what the science photo is tomorrow so if you want to take a guess at it, go here. Cheers!
It normally takes five minutes to drive to Jessica’s house from the diner. I get there in two. I pull straight up to her house, park curbside and let the engine idle. Across the street is her father’s church. I’m quite certain he’s there, can hear my radio from his office and is likely to peer outside any minute. I shake another smoke out of my pack, roll it across my tongue and light it. I’m not gonna make this easy for her.
She leans across the center divide and snaps the radio off.
“You better get inside before your dad sees you,” I say.
“He’s never in at this time of day.”
Damn. I lean my arm across the car door and flick ashes onto the street. I glance around her neighborhood – so much cleaner than mine. The sidewalks are swept, the grass is cut, even the damn mailboxes look like they’ve been scrubbed. I settle my eyes on Jessica’s house with its pretty red shutters and flowerboxes. Her mother is quite the gardener – and spy.
“Your mother’s looking out window.”
Jessica inhales and scoots half a foot away from me. I fight the urge to laugh and wave at Mrs. Hughes – with the hand that’s holding my cigarette.
“Stop that,” Jessica protests. I can’t help it. I’m laughing now. Jessica’s so damn cute when she’s embarrassed. “You’re impossible,” she concludes. There’s a smile on her face, and somehow I think she doesn’t even care that she’s going to get the third degree when she goes in the house.
But she doesn’t plan on doing that until she gets what she wants.
“Come on, Erik,” she says. “You know it was wrong to take that money. If you give it to me now, then I’ll hand it over to Mel and your name won’t even be mentioned.”
“And if I don’t?”
“Then…” She takes a deep breath. “Then I’ll have to tell him that you stole it.”
“If you could prove it, which you can’t. Besides, Mel likes me too much. He wouldn’t press charges.”
“He won’t like you once he knows you stole from him.”
“I never said he likes me for my honesty.”