A Dark Truth-Perfectly Broken 2
Chapter Two-Perfectly Torn
I was standing outside my brothers hospital room, watching as his little chest moved up and down weakly. Tears streamed down my face that I didn't bother to keep in check. I was feeling torn apart by my guilt over Danny's condition. Every other sentence that wondered through my mind started with "If only". If only I had checked on everyone before leaving; If only I hadn't been so eager to meet with Wyette; If only I had grabbed my phone so when Danny called I would have gone back home with the inhaler I always kept in my car, so I wouldn't have ten panicked messages in my voice mail. But I knew no matter how many "if only's" I threw at myself nothing was going to change what really happened. I failed my family.
At least...I'd failed Danny but mom and dad? I sighed and bit my bottom lip, trying to control my crying. My heart hurt just thinking about them. I have no "if only's" for my parents. I'm more than sure there's nothing I could have done to help them. I didn't want to believe that they just disappeared without a trace. What I wanted to believe was that they took an impromptu trip and left a letter that got misplaced somehow. But memories of walking into their room, before I went to the hospital, told me different. Nothing was missing. Not a pair of shoes or even a bottle of perfume; only the night clothes they'd worn to bed the night before...on my perfect night.
The cops, mainly Mr. Sleaze, bombarded me with questions about my parents; grilling me as if I were the main suspect; as if I knew something; had done something that caused my mom and dad to vanish into thin air. I knew nothing, at least I couldn't give them anything that would help figure out why two of the most respected people in my town were missing. There was one thing though that I had chosen not to divulge to the cops; something that I knew was a clue...all of our windows were open, from top to bottom. I know, that doesn't really seem a cause for concern but in all my seventeen and a half years our windows were never open during the summer. You see, we had central air and from the very first scolding hot day of summer to the first cool day of fall it was always on. So if our air was on what need would we have to open one window let alone all of them? It just didn't make any sense.
Rage was slowly creeping it's way into my heart. I didn't understand. Someone had torn apart my perfect world and I had to know why. So from that point on I knew that my life would change; that I would change. Not only because my parents were gone but because something deeper was at play turning my life upside down and I refused to leave it that way. I was going to find out what happened to my family; why me and Danny were now orphaned; why none of my brother's inhalers could be found any where in the house; why all of our windows were open with no traces of forced entry and why someone wanted my brother to die. I was going to find out all the answers to my why's no matter what I had to do or who I had to confront, I would do it I'd even kill if I have to. But only if the police couldn't do it first.
I'd give them a year, I thought. Not because I had any sort of faith in the cops or believe that they could find my mom and dad but because it would give me time. Time to gather my own evidence and get ready for the fight that was sure to come.
A tap on my shoulder pulled me from my thoughts. I whirled around, swiping my tears away as I went. The cop that escorted me to the hospital was there, probably coming to see if I was hungry again, after the thousandth time I said no. Every since we arrived, he'd been hovering. Making sure that I was ok for what seemed like every ten minutes.
Officer Woods stood there with a sympathetic smile gracing his wrinkling, pale face. He was a kind old man though; one that probably should have retired years ago. But he stood strong, his back was straight and his arms and chest were solid like a man three times his jr. Only his face gave away his true age.
"Yes Officer Woods?" I asked, exasperated by his constant pestering.
"Sorry to bother you Miss Peck but there's a man in the waiting room demanding to see you. He says he's a friend of the family."
I frowned, "What friend?" I was somewhat confused to say the least. My parents didn't have friends they had associates. People they only called when they needed something and vice versa. Or people from my dad's company or from my mom's charity groups. Those are the only people I've ever heard or knew about.
Officer Woods started fidgeting like a kid getting lectured by his parents, scratching his bald head and messing with the brim of his cop hat. "Well I'm not sure. You'd have to ask yourself miss. If it helps he said that his name is Luke Walker."
That did help to a certain extent. It told me two things: One-unless his parents thought it would be funny to name him after the famed Star Wars character (which I doubted) Luke Walker wasn't his real name. And two-this man was my next clue to finding out just what happened to my parents.
I met him at the reception desk. He was leaning on the glossy surface like he didn't have a care in the world. He stood when he spotted me walking his way and plastered a wide smile on his face, showing off his pearly whites. The man was tall, six two maybe; three inches away from my dad's own six ft five. He had sandy brown hair, a goatee and beautiful green eyes with a sparkle to match. He had a nice muscular build and big hands. A good looking man in a grey tailored suit and shiny black shoes. His age was a tough one, he was definitely young; older than me but younger than forty. He had crows feet next to his eyes that I'm sure was more from laughing than aging. If I had to guess, and I did, I'd say he was in his late twenties to mid thirties. Which made me questions how he could possibly be a friend of my parents when he was probably young enough to be their son.
He stuck out his hand to me. "Hi, I'm Luke. An old friend of your farther's."
Old? Doubtful. Friend? Yet to be determined. I sneered at his offer of greeting and bluntly said, "Really? Dad has never mentioned a Luke Walker to me. If he had I'm sure I would've remembered."
He let his hand drop and made a pretense of fixing his suit jacket. "I'm sure you haven't. We had a falling out a few years after you were born."
I did a very un-ladylike snort. I hadn't meant to but I knew he was lying and it was very hard for me to pretend to believe him. I cleared my throat, in a way to cover up my snort, before saying, "Oh, how unfortunate. What did you do?"
Luke seemed to be taken aback by my question but he switched the surprise on his face, replacing it with a polite smile. "Oh just a stupid disagreement that seems...silly now. In light of everything."
So he was quick on his feet, I thought and I wanted to find out if I could be quicker. "You know now that I think about it, you do sound kind of familiar. What was the argument about? I think he might have told me about it."
He hesitated. I was sure then that he was no friend of my father. "Oh nothing you should worry your pretty little head about."
"I'm sure." I let it drop. He wasn't fooling anybody and I learned all I needed to know anyway. Before I could say much more a woman that I recognized as my dad's lawyer came up to us. "Hi Mrs. Sanders. What are you doing here?" I hoped she wasn't planning on giving me my father's will right then in the hospital while my grieving was still so fresh.
"Hello, Miss Peck. Don't tell me that Luke here still hasn't informed you of the situation."
My heart sped up at least ten times past its normal rhythm. I tried to calm myself before I spoke so the fright I felt wouldn't be apparent in my voice. "No, he hasn't. Do tell."
"Well, my dear, you know as well as I that in the next three weeks if you're parents aren't found everything he owns will go to you and Danny. But since you're underage-"
"I'll be eighteen in five months." I said, cutting her off.
"Yes but right now you're still too young to take care of yourself you need a guardian to watch you and your brother."
"No I don't. Five months isn't a long time. I'm pretty sure I can take care of us in the few months it'll take me to turn of age. And even if I wasn't, what does it have to do with this guy?" I asked jerking my head in his direction. My hands were shaking, I crossed them over my chest so they wouldn't see. They were the enemy and I couldn't let the enemy see me weak.
"Well, it took some time finding a relative that wasn't deceased or really old in so short of time so when I found Mr. Walkers number among your father's files, I gave him a call. Dana Mr. Walker is your godfather and legally he is your rightful guardian."