Authors: Franny Marie
So far, I have been spending the last few hours roaming the streets of Berkeley, California. There is no sign of Leanne anywhere and it's making me sick to my stomach.
Where the fuck could she be?
I think to myself. I decide to give up for the rest of the night and head on home with high hopes of her being there.
When I finally reach the house, I slam my car door and bolt inside.
“Leanne! You home?!” I call out for her as I toss my keys on the kitchen counter. “Leanne?!” I shout out once more, but there’s still no answer.
I walk around the living room briefly and then into the kitchen. I start to get more worried than ever as I quickly sprint up the stairs and run down the hallway into her room. She's not in here either. The bed the way she left it, neatly made in her perfect clean room. Her blinds and curtains are open with the moonlight shining through, bouncing off the pink walls. I walk over to her window and shut her curtains and head out of her room, closing the door behind me.
I grow more and more frustrated with each second that passes. I run my hands through my hair once more then I scream at the top of my lungs, throwing my head back as I do. I don't know what else to fucking do and this shit is making me lose my damn mind. I pace up and down the hallway a few times, trying to think where could she have gone to? Does it have something to do with the note? I pull out the note and read it over several times, trying to figure out whose handwriting it is, but I can't.
I walk slowly to my room and sit at the end of my bed as I continue to scan over the words.
We got what you want. Come and get it.
What do they have that I want?
I sigh and lie down on my bed and stare up to the ceiling. Shutting my eyes as I am reminded of what mom said to me on her deathbed. The hospital room she was in was cold and she couldn’t eat the food. At that moment, I can see her glowing blue eyes, pale skin, and her messy dark hair. I hate to remember her that way, but can't help it since that was the last time I saw her alive at least. I think back to what she said to me before she died, her voice so soft and so caring. Her love was warm and her words will stay with me forever.
I need you to take good care of Leanne for me, please. Also... Collin, I need you to please get out of that gang you're in. Please change your life for the better, Leanne is going to need you more than ever now, baby. Get a job, go to school, anything but being in that gang.
Her touch was still so soft even though she was slipping away. I take a deep breath as I open my eyes and tears runs down my cheek. I wipe it away with my finger and sniffle slightly.
Moments later, I feel my phone vibrate in my pants pocket, I sit up immediately and pull it out. The name on the screen lights up Leanne in white letters. My body overcomes with relief.
I answer it.
“Leanne!” I say as I sit back up feeling a little overwhelmed. “Where the fuck are you?!”
“Oh, this isn't Leanne, sweetheart,” a soft female voice plays over the phone.
“What? Who the fuck is this?” I say, confused.
“Awww. Are you not out looking for your beloved baby sister, Collin?” she says in the creepiest bitchy way possible.
“Who. The. Hell. Is. This?” I am way too annoyed for this as I clutch my phone, scared that I’m going to break it before I get answers.
“How soon we forget?” she says sarcastically and my eyes grow wide as I begin to figure out who it is.
“The fuck? Is this who I think it is?” I ask, hoping my mind is dead wrong.
“Yes, yes it is. Did you miss us, baby?” her fucking overly sarcastic voice and her bitchy tone makes my skin crawl.
“Please tell me you do not have Leanne.” I sit up straighter as I wait for an answer and I’m scared that my voice will crack, giving away how scared I am.
“As a matter of fact, we do.” I can sense the smile on her face right at that moment and I sigh.
“What do you want?”
“Oh, I think you already know the answer to that. And just to let you know, if you don't fucking come back, your so called “sweet, perfect life” you have now,
get twisted upside down and we'll have to make little miss Leanne your replacement.” I can picture it now. I can see her holding Leanne’s phone while having one hand on her hip, eyes gleaming and white teeth gleaming.
“No, no you can't do that, Kristen. She’s not me!” I yell out, hoping that no one will complain about the noise.
She chuckles softly. “Like I said, she will unless you come back. Keep. An. Eye. Out. And watch your back at all times, baby,” her words slow and stern.
She hangs up before I can get another word in. “Fuck! Fuck! Fuck!” I yell out in anger and immediately stand up, slamming my fist into the wall in front of me and leaving a gaping hole in it.
I huff and leave my room, heading back downstairs. I blot back to the kitchen and scramble through the drawers and cabinets.
Where the fuck is it? Where's my fucking gun?
I think to myself as I keep looking through the kitchen. My god, I don't even know when the last time I used it. I knew I should have brought it with me to the damn hospital the night I was shot, but I didn't. I really didn't think I needed to. Fuck. My. Life.
I march back upstairs and into my room again and I quickly search through my dresser and nightstand drawers, then in my closet. I stand there for a moment, trying to think back if this is where I put it or did I hide it so I would never see it again. Hell, maybe I threw it in the fucking lake somewhere. I put my hands on my face and take a few steps back as I think harder of where I might have put my gun and then it hits me. THE SAFE! I run out of my room, downstairs, and into the garage where I switch on the light and walk over to the safe sitting in the corner. I kneel down in front of it and type the password, watching the light beep red. Fuck, what is the password?
I think to myself for a few seconds and finally figure it out. I type in Leanne's birthday digits 12,25,1995 and the light goes green and it clicks. I open the door slowly and in there lays my I-Ten gun. I take it out looking it over and cock it open, seeing that it is fully loaded. I run my fingers through on the side of it and my mind races back on all the times I used this. I injured so many people and killed some too. My heart pounds as I think back even further to all the shit I did; breaking in houses, stealing cars, selling drugs, and beating the shit out of people who owed me money. I shake my head as I stare down at the weapon in my hand.
“I'm doing this for Leanne,” I say to myself over and over again. Will my mom approve? No, she won't, but she did tell me to protect Leanne and not let anything happen to her since I'm all she has, although I feel like I failed at keeping her safe. Now I really regret letting her go to that fucking party. I should have gone and stayed with her at least, but it's too late now.
I shake my head and sigh as I put the gun back in the safe and closed the door, locking it back up.
Do I really need to do this? Why would they take the only person I have left in my life?
I stand back up and walk back inside the house and up to my room to try to get some sleep.
I couldn't sleep at all last night, I was up thinking about what the I-Ten Crew could be doing with my sister. Out my bedroom window the morning light shines through, I look over to my clock and it reads seven.
Shit my windows!
I think of the worst possible scenario of what else could happen to it while it was out there all night and I sprint downstairs snatching the keys off the kitchen counter where I last left them and head out the door. Relieved that its still there, I get in the car starting up the engine and pull out of the driveway. I drive down the road looking for the nearest window replacement shop, and after a few moments of driving around, I pull up to Tony's Auto Glass Shop. It's in red letters on the tall black building, the whole front of the store filled with glass windows. A man dressed in a dark blue jumpsuit is standing out front, opening the gate lock. He looks like he's in his mid to late forties. I park in front of the building and quickly get out, leaving my car on and the door open.
“Can I help you?” the man asks me with his eyebrow raised.
“Yes, please. Are you open yet?” I ask.
“Just about. What do you need?” For a moment, I look back at my Mustang, thinking that it is rather obvious, but when he doesn’t get the hint, I speak up.
“Uhh, my car side windows are all busted up. Are you able to do it today or do I have to make an appointment?” I say, my voice cracked a bit.
He looks at my car and his eyes grow wide as he can see all the windows are completely shattered.
“Yeah, I can take care of it right away. Bring it on in,” he motions as he opens up the gate.
“Thank you so much.” I head back to my car, driving it through the opening and into the parking lot.
He leans down on the passenger side window and looks at the framing.
“What year is this?” He questions as he continues to look it over.
“A 2001 Ford Mustang.” I confirm, getting out of the car.
“Ahh, good. We have the model for your windows.” He says pleased.
I sigh loudly in relief that he does.
After a few hours of sitting in the small waiting room at the car shop, my Mustang is finally done. I look over my car and it looks brand new. The new windows are cut and clean, my interior has been vacuumed out and the smell on a pine tree fills the air inside. I love it and I'm very satisfied.
“Thank you so much again for taking me in early and having my windows done on the same day,” I say to Dave as I shake his hand.
“No problem if you have anymore issues just give me a call,” he says as he hands me his business card.
“Will do and thank you again.” I greet him with a smile and end up handing him a ten dollar tip.
I hop into my car and turn on my radio, turning the volume on the lowest level. I drive around for an hour or two, trying to see if I can find Leanne on the streets again. The note that was left in my car the other night drives me insane and the fucking phone call from Kristen makes it even worse. I don't want to believe this is happening to me. I hope I wake the fuck up soon and all this would be a fucking dream and I'd find Leanne sleeping soundly in her bed. I feel so damn empty inside without my sister. I need her here with me more than ever now since mom died. She's all I ever worry about. I know I failed at keeping her safe and I feel like rabid animals are eating away at my soul. For a minute, I wonder what my mom fucking thinks of me now and I debate on whether I should take a visit to her grave. After several minutes of it scrolling around my mind, I decide not to.
Suddenly my phone rings and buzzes on the passenger seat. I pick it up without looking to see who is calling keeping my eyes on the road ahead of me.
“Did you find her yet?” Jessie’s voice plays over softly and I can sense she's worried. Brandon must have told her what happened.
“No, not yet, I'm still out looking for her but-” I cut off, not wanting to tell her I know who has her. It will just worry her more and probably make her feel guiltier than she already is.
“I tried calling her phone, but it keeps going to voice mail. I'm sacred, Collin. Where is she?” her words quieter than before and her voice cracking. I can hear her quietly sniffling through the phone, meaning she must be crying.
“Don't worry, Jessie, I'm a find her, I promise you.” I try to comfort her, but I know that I don’t have much time. I pause, thinking to myself at how I hope that the conversation is short.
“Okay Collin, please call me when you do and I'm so sorry. I- I should have had her stay close to me.” Her voice is sincere and I know that she means it, but I don’t know if I can forgive her, or anyone for what happened just yet.
I sigh before replying. “It's okay.” I nod. “Get some rest, I'll call to check on you later,” I reply.
She hangs up and I toss my phone back to the passenger seat and grip the steering wheel as tight as I possibly can. My foot eases more and more on the gas until I'm almost going seventy-five miles per hour and my anger boils up more and more. I take a deep breath and exhale as I can hear my mom’s voice now.
“Don't drive to fast, Collin. I don't need to lose my only wonderful son.”
I chuckle and shake my head at the thought of it. I ease my foot off the gas pedal a little and drive back at the normal speed as I pass by my mom's favorite restaurant 'JACKAL'S'. She loved going there. I smile as I see the people in the window inside, enjoying breakfast and being around family and friends. I smirk and put my eyes back on the road, thinking about the memories that Leanne, mom, and I all created there. A little while later, I drive past a park slowly hoping to see if Leanne is there, even though I know damn well the I-Ten's have her, but I wonder where are they located?
Later on, I finally arrive back home and I notice some purple spray paint on the front windows and door. I get out of the car and shut my eyes, hoping that it is just my imagination, but when I open them back up, its still there.
“What the hell?” I whisper to myself as I slam my car door and run up the one of the windows to get a closer look. It reads I-Ten with the gang sign underneath it. OH SHIT! How the fuck did they know I lived here? They have never been to my house before.
I run to the gate to the backyard that has been busted open, the lock hanging off the wooden fence. The paint is on all of those windows too, even the upstairs windows are vandalized as well as the walls. I instantly try to think how the fuck did they get up there? And then it hits me.
Fuck! The house!
I run to the front and stand by the door I reach my hand out and push the door open slowly and it makes a squeaking noise as I do. I open it more and walk in, my eyes growing wide with shock and anger. They took it too damn far. My fucking house is destroyed, I realize as I walk in to the disaster.
Lamps are broken and scattered everywhere. Picture frames damaged, the walls tagged up, and the kitchen is a mess. Dishes are broken and spread all over the kitchen floor and blinds are torn down. The cabinet doors and drawers have been ripped off its hinges, the pipes busted and water spraying everywhere. I kneel down to turn off the water valve from under the sink to stop the water from spewing everywhere, but my anger is through the roof now. As I head up the stairs, I brace myself for what they might have done to mine and Leanne's room, let alone my mom's room. I walk slowly into my mom's room first, when I open the door I see the room has not been touched, just the outside windows have been sprayed. I tilt my head to one side in confusion and wonder why they didn't fuck up her room. I am thankful that they didn't, but what made them leave it alone?
I shake my head and walk into my room and see that it's been destroyed. Of course they would, I don't even care if my room is fucked up so I close the door and head to Leanne's room and her room has also been left alone.
Why the fuck would they mess up the downstairs area and my room only?
I run my hands up and down my face in frustration, but in slight relief.
I go back downstairs and try to pick up some of the mess they had made. Immediately, I know I'm going to need someone to fix all the cabinets and plumbing and shit, but that's the least of my worries, at least for now. As I'm cleaning up, I spot another yellow note on the counter. Again, I don't know why I didn't see this in the first damn place, but I sigh and open the note.
This is your SECOND warning.
My fucking second warning. I should have known by how many times I have fucked up someone’s house ‘cause we didn't get what we wanted? This is fucking me up bad. I take a deep breath and exhale as I refold the note up, putting it in my back pocket. I go back outside and take a seat on the front porch, my mind spins on what I need to do to get my sister back.
Why does this shit have to happen to me? Why now?
I better go see my mom about this.