Because I honestly don’t have any content other than writing. (previous)
I briefly flinched, then embarrassedly responded, ‘Yeah.’
‘Strange, huh? Why would his neighbor keep him awake? Unless…’ A grin formed on her face. She held her breath to increase the tension, then released in laughter, ‘His neighbor’s an alien!’
It caught me by surprise. I naturally leaned back a bit, but quickly corrected by leaning forward and laughing with her. Despite my best efforts I couldn’t get an honest laugh out. The people looking at us strangely weren’t helping, either.
‘You,’ she reduced her laughter to a soft snicker. ‘You don’t really think it was some spacecraft, right? Aliens aren’t real, dummy!’
‘O-of course not!’ I jumped. ‘That’s stupid!’ Phew, there, now she wouldn’t think I was some kind of idiot. ‘But I don’t know what it was…’ Great work Pip, nice recovery back into idiot town.
She smiled before continuing. It calmed me down a bit, like it was her way of saying it’s cool, don’t worry, I get it. ‘I’m not sure either, but I think it was a helicopter?’
‘Why would someone fly a helicopter at night, in bad weather?’ I asked. ‘And what about Ronald’s neighbor?’
‘You’re asking the right questions Pip! You’re a good sleuth!’ As if she knew anything about sleuthing. Of course I was a good one, it was basically all I cared for. ‘But how do we find out?’
‘Want to see if we can figure this out?’ She emphasized “we” in that sentence. My heart rate rose. ‘I’m free this afternoon.’
After some embarrassing stumbling on my words and pretending to have a busy schedule, we agreed to meet at her place later that day.
After finishing my after-school snack, Charlie and I wanted to head out and meet with Trisha as planned. My mother halted us. ‘Pip, sweetheart. Can you do mom a favor?’ She didn’t wait for my response and simply continued after a brief pause. ‘Don’t go playing by the lake today, or tomorrow, okay?’
I froze. What did she know? What was she trying to hide from me? ‘Okay mom.’ I said before the silence grew too long, too full of suspicion. ‘Bye!’ Before moving on, I made a quick mental note to add my own mother to the list of suspicious individuals.
On my way out, moving past the kitchen table, the local newspaper caught my eye. One headline in particular. “SAILBOAT CRASHES IN STORM. Rescue crew too late, sailor found dead.”
I didn’t go to Trisha’s that afternoon.
Now that it’s written down it seems like a really easy out, but please believe me when I say this kind of ending was intended from the start.