90 My Sweet n’ Printable You

Chapter 90 My Sweet

“Mrs. James? Martinelli, here. Yes, yes, I’m fine, thanks for asking. Turns out there’s a print on the bike that’s different from any we collected last night. Could you find out from Lee if she was aware of anyone else leaving a print on her bike? We never asked her directly. Would she confide in you?”

Mrs. James thought there was no point in extracting information from Lee without first telling her why she was asking. If there was anything else for Lee to tell, she’d simply say that the police quickly wanted to eliminate any of her friends from their inquiries before they questioned anyone else in the matter. She walked across the hall and inserted the unit key she’d been given so she could check in on Lee while Guy and Carrie were gone to work. It seemed prudent to leave the door locked in their absence. The TV was on. Lee sat, indifferently turning the pages of a celebrity studded magazine.

“Hi, Mrs. James. Glad you came. It is soooo boring, I could scream.”

“Well, perhaps that’s good, an incentive to get better soon. What can I get for you?” Lee was able to manage hobbling the few steps to a bathroom, at least, so she didn’t require a constant nursemaid. Mrs. James brought her a snack selection, and sat down opposite. “Mr. Martinelli has asked me to ask you again about your bike.”

“What about it?”

“Well, it seems that there’s a still unidentified print. Can you remember if there’s anyone else who handled it? If they can find a match, they could drop that person from their investigation, always assuming that person meant you no harm. What do you think? Anyone else come to mind?” Lee looked down. Mrs. James waited.

“I didn’t tell because my Dad would kill me, and Aunt Carrie would just give me the look. Do you have to tell them?”

“I’m asking so I can tell the police, Lee, and help your family. If it is so terrible, let’s figure out a way we can tell them.” Lee sighed.

“Do you remember I told you about the boy, at the dance?”

“Yes, the unfortunate Michael.”

“You have a good memory, don’t you?”

“I try to pay attention to important things.”

“The week I got my bike I went riding, down by the lake. I didn’t tell my Dad I was going to meet Michael there. We waded in this beautiful bay with a sandy beach, so much more private than Bradford. We hiked up into the woods, and walked and talked, and filled our pockets with cool looking stones and sat all alone way out into the water on this pier thingy. All you could hear was the lake splashing all around us. It was like being in a different world. I was so happy, then I remembered it was wrong somehow and I felt like a kid with a burst balloon.”

“And you think Michael touched your bike that day?”

“I know he did. He carried it down to the beach for me, across some steps, where we locked them together. But he’d never hurt me and even if he wanted to, he didn’t then, when he had a chance to, which he didn’t cause he knew we weren’t supposed to be alone together, and he couldn’t have come into the garage. What will happen? I really like him.” Mrs. James considered this whirlwind before answering.

“Do you happen to have anything else that definitely has his prints on it? A memento?”

“Don’t think so.” Mrs. James pondered what had become of girls these days.

“Then, when I give his name to Mr. Martinelli, they will likely take his prints, as they did yours yesterday. If they can account for the other prints and if the print is Michael’s, it means that whoever did this to your bike left no prints. The police will try and approach it another way. If it isn’t his, they will continue to try and identify whose it is.”

“Will he get into trouble? He’s so sad already, about his Dad and everything. I don’t want him to hate me.”

“I can’t think why he would hate you or get in trouble unless his mother, I assume now, has a rule that he can’t see girls on their own.”

“He told me his parents didn’t care.”

“Well I’m sure they do, perhaps just about different things.”

“Will you tell on me?”

“Give me a minute to think about that.” They sat quietly together. Finally, she said, “You say you like this boy and he likes you and you’d like to see him again?”

“Yes.”

“Well, then I’d suggest that you approach it like this. Ask them to listen because you want to explain something you did. Tell them what happened, exactly, just like you did me but be prepared to answer questions you don’t want to, and do try not to be a drama queen. They will not ruin your life. Tell them you realize you made a mistake, that you didn’t ask them because you thought they’d say no. They will tell you that it’s a big world out there and they want you to be safe. I’m sure you understand that a lot better now, yourself.”

“I know, I do. But what good will it do? They’ll just ground me.”

Something for everyone, at Bradford Beach, along thedowntown lakefront.

Something for everyone during the morning stampede at Bradford Beach, along the downtown lakefront.

“Maybe they will, for awhile.” Mrs. James grinned.”This would be an excellent week for that, though, wouldn’t it?” Lee giggled. “Point is, now that you want to be with a boy, you need to let them know that, so they can meet him, and know that you are learning to be responsible about your relationships, with other people but also with them.”

“I have to trust them to let us see each other? What if they say no again and say I’m too young?”

“Accept that you may have to do this in stages, prove you’re responsible, and on time, and where you’re supposed to be, that kind of thing. And Lee, you are very young, and you have a lot to learn.”

“It sounds so boring. We were having such a good time just by ourselves.”

“Then you’re very lucky in your choice of friends. In order to keep them, you’ll be better off playing by the rules first, and then watch how the rules ease up because your family knows that you don’t need their rules anymore. The rules you live by yourself will be good enough.”

“Do you think they might let him come over to visit me while I’m stuck here?”

“It’s worth asking. You may have to wait for an answer, give them some time to get used to the idea. Perhaps you have some other friends you could include, at first.”

“Trouble is everyone wants to go out and have fun, not sit around like this.”

“Even so, they are your friends. By the way, I was going to ask Gertie to come down to visit. Is that okay with you?”

“Sure.”

“Fair warning, though. We may gang up on you and ask for your help with sorting out pet pictures.”