Two weeks to Christmas, and I was starting to feel that life was…not stable, no, but at least enjoyable for now.
Mike was a pretty good older brother…that was how I’d decided to think of him. True, it was likely I was really the one who was older, but…
He knew things I didn’t. And was willing to teach them. Christmas shopping had to happen. I’d slated Saturday for it – if I could sneak away from Kanesha. She might be making the same plotting and calculations.
I couldn’t risk her finding out what I was going to get her. I already knew what it would be, and I knew she’d complain about the cost. But I had the money and I’d rather spend it on her than on myself.
Well, than on things I wanted rather than needed, anyway. I’d talked to Mike and now he had nominal control of the money I was squirrelling away, in an account labeled “Jane’s college fund.”
I wasn’t sure I’d make it to college, but I didn’t need the money right now. Friday evening, and I got home to an empty house.
I knew Kanesha had gone to the community center. And I wasn’t about to just follow her. But I’d expected Mike to be home by now. I prepared dinner…putting Kanesha’s in the fridge for when she came back. Then Mike’s, when he didn’t show.
If anything happened to him then I would slice and dice whoever or whatever was responsible. I knew if he’d planned on going out with Thruor he’d have said something.
Then Thruor showed up, looking a little disheveled. “Have you seen Mike?”
“No. Damn. I was hoping he was with you.”
“He called me, or tried to, then hung up mid word.”
“Was he working?”
“I don’t think so. Come on. I think we’d better go find him.”
I wolfed down part of my food, knowing better than to hunt on an empty stomach, then headed outside. “He was supposed to be home before me. I thought he’d got stuck at work – he was supposed to be off at 1pm, but you know what happens.”
Thruor nodded as she hopped onto the bike. “Well, let’s swing by the station first of all.”
I wasn’t sure about that. If he was missing I didn’t want anyone to know it. But then, if they already did, there was nothing I could do. Nothing except hope and pray, of course.
Hope and pray. Mike could look after himself, and I didn’t really pray, even if it had seemed to work. “At least he’s pretty tough.”
“He probably did get called back to work. But we’ll find out.”
I thought he would have called, but anyone forgets to charge their phone sometimes, and that would certainly have explained the mysterious hang up…