“Every girl and boy in the mansion must be detained for further investigation. Ma’am, please sit there and wait for the call like the others.” The policewoman pointed to the sofa, the amazing same gesture, and facial expression that Caleb met earlier.
The woman did not move. “She returned home before you arrived at that boy’s party. She headed home. How could you drag her during the way? I don’t care which warrant you have but you have no right because she was not there.”
Caleb could swear that he saw the blonde police inhaled a very long breath encouraging herself to absorb all the shouting words and not to lose any temper. This woman was Mary Carter, the mother of Belinda Carter who was the president of the student council and one of the candidates. Her daughter got accepted to the same school as Alexis was.
And now, she missed the point. No matter when her daughter had been, the fact was she had jointed that party was still the reason for being detained. Well, everyone tries so hard to rescue their child. It was not surprised at all.
“We have to detain your daughter for further investigation. Mrs. Carter, your girl reported the unexpected performance that could possibly involve with the Risk’s qualification in accordance with the Act 2966.
We are glad she’s done the right thing as a good civilian should be. But according to the law, we had to interrogate her for more information and, of course, for the truth. Please understand and stay calm.”
Caleb and Jesse looked at each other. They accidentally acknowledged the cause of this trouble. Mary Carter might not expect that she would face many eyes of hatred. “So why you put her in the cell?”
All parents stood up, especially Mr. Miller, Wade’s father. “Enough! Now we know who’s behind this mess. Your daughter is the big liar who causes us all trouble.”
Mrs. Carter glared at him with her menacing look; her chocolate brown hair fell from the bun behind her back once she set her chin high, she countered. “Excuse me? My daughter did the right thing.”
Mr. Miller sneered at the woman. “And you should know that they were recording the video to surprise their friends. It’s a magic trick…a stupid trick. I’m watching them all the time. They’re not the risk, not even the suspect. Such a big mouth, A FOOL!” “How dare you!”
“Your daughter is the liar,” People around him shouted to this woman, the same way he saw in the Salem witches movie. They all were full of emotions. Seeing many supports, Mr. Miller could not stop his attack easily. He proposed an ugly idea, “I know. I know. Your daughter is a candidate too.
She wants to frame my son I know it!” The owner of a water business met Caleb’s eyes. “And your daughter too, Doctor!”
He wanted to be invisible at the exact time. Frustrated, yes, but he did not think that fighting against Mary Carter would help their children safe; in contrast, it might lead to the worse result. Mrs. Jessens, Oslo’s mother, raised her hand, “My son too! My dear son is arrested because of your daughter!”
Caleb looked at Jesse. In his surprise, the boy remained calm, showing no sign of any exasperation or the need to join Mr. Miller. Those hazel eyes scanned all people and just listened to the quarrel, concerning, with a thoughtful smile. “Jesse?”
“Don’t join them, Dad. Sit quietly,” he whispered to his father. Caleb should say that, actually. “This law offers the absolute authority to the police. Our good obedience will keep a good image in their eyes and benefit our Alex.” He explained.
“Now I know she’ll be alright. There’s nothing to worry, Dad. It’s clear that the girl told them lies. They will check Alex’s profile and medical history. And they’ll find nothing. This Belinda will confess and it’s her trouble, not our girl.”
Caleb averted his eyes from the son; that is the problem, checking those things. His mind thought of Mary Stephen, the nurse who recorded the false information of his daughter into the system. If their investigation came to this stage, it might be her doom and Alexis’s too. Being judged as the Suspect was no better than being judged as the Risk. He felt ill in his stomach.
The dark sea….May you have mercy. Please, God, protect my child. Don’t let her drown in that sea. “Just read the files?” He asked his son to make sure that the nightmare would never come true. They moved away from the cursing war between Mrs. Carter, Mr. Miller, and the others for the private discussion.
“I’m not sure but I don’t think the case is not bad as I thought before. If Belinda confesses the truth, we can take her home by tomorrow.” Caleb wrapped his arms around Jesse’s neck. The heat of the argument rose higher and higher but as they were called to visit the girl, it was a good chance to flee from the scene completely
They were taken into a small room decorated plainly with a desk and three chairs. Alexis was waiting for them with her sleepy face. When she saw them, the girl straightened up but as one of her arm was logged by the handcuff that tied her to the table so she fell back into the chair. His heart weakened immediately. His daughter still gave them a tired smile.
“Sorry I cause you trouble and wake you up.” “Don’t worry about us. How are you? Have you rest a little bit?” asked Jesse. The way he looked at her declared the love of the family.
Alexis shook her head to Jesse. “I can’t even I want to. They took us in the cells. A lot of people were talking and talking. We’re all afraid at first. Pepper and Greta cry all the time. We discussed what happened—how it happens…”
Alexis paused. She made the face as if something nailed on her head. “And the scholarship…I just heard that all the candidates in our district have been withdrawn from the list.” She seemed to concern on this topic rather than her situation. When she saw their question marks on their faces, the girl added,
“I heard it from Ryan. His father works at San Bosa Post and he is the first one who arrived at the station. Ryan said tomorrow no today news reported that we are charged with drug use. Some of the arrests are the candidates for the government’s scholarship and their names have been withdrawn from the list.”
Caleb already abandoned his hope for the scholarship but wished her freedom more than anything else. But when he saw her sad face, he knew Alexis was totally disappointed to be withdrawn from the false accusation. “I want it and I don’t mind if I don’t get but not because of this.”
“Belinda Carter reported you and your friends to the police,” Jesse revealed. “Hope it fixes your bad mood. If they find out—if everything is clear, your name will be enlisted again.” The girl got stunned, more confused rather than upset. “Carter? Really? Why she did that?”
“Well, I just heard they’re arguing. Your friend’s father guessed that she wants to eliminate the rivals. But I don’t know her intention, really.”
“So if they prove that she told lies, I could go home? Really? And I still have the chance for the scholarship? But in the morning, they will announce the winners. I think it’s too late to hope. And I can’t believe she’ll do that. She’s a very just person. As I know, she’s not that kind of person.”
Jesse moaned in disapproval, eyes narrowing on his sister. “I wish she did so they can release you. That’s the best thing I hope it will happen.” Alexis turned to her father. “Dad, you’re so quiet. Are you alright? Are you mad at me or disappointed in me?”
His mind could not focus on her presence but the girl in those nightmares. That angel face smiled sadly. She said goodbye and went away. Even though they thought she would be freed, his instinct still signaled the ungraceful feeling towards the incoming future. “Dad?” Jesse and Alexis called him.
“I just haven’t slept since you’re out,” he lied. “Where they put you in?” Caleb was not a good actor. His children exchanged the look because Alexis just told him about it.
\ “In the cell, dad, about ten people in the same cell, it’s very small but not that bad. I mean because there are a lot of people and everyone thinks it’s a joke though we thought it was scary at first. Anyway, it’s still hard to sleep on the cold solid floor.”
Caleb disagreed. “No, it's not a joke, my dear. And you should concern more about it.” Alexis lowered her head, “I’m sorry. I should think more when I speak. I mean there are too many people so we don’t take it seriously. I know the law, dad and…Jesse just told me Belinda reported the false accusation.”
“Yes, it’s not her fault, dad” the brother gave the excuse for his sister. He grabbed the girl’s hand and squeezed it gently. “You gonna be alright. Don’t cause any trouble. Obey them. Trust me. There’s nothing to worry.” She nodded obediently. “I sue you and her daughter. I sue you all!”
“That’s Mr. Miller, your friends’ father,” Jesse told his sister. “Wade’s father.” They heard the woman’s voice came after. She must be Mrs. Carter.
Jesse thought something then told his sister, “Another thing, tell your friend to warn his father. This trick won’t work but make it worse. Sometimes they may find none of the evidence but the accused is convicted of being what they aren’t. You know?
The bully in disguise of the authority, these officers holds the superior power and if they have no fair mind, hell. Don’t risk. We should be nice in their eyes. This kind of behavior disturbs their nerves. Tell your friends to warn his father.”
Alexis nodded, “Sure, if I can tell Wade in time. So I can get out tomorrow, right?” “If there is nothing more, yes,” Jesse confirmed. “Dad, don’t worry.” Alexis smiled at them. “You don’t mind if I sleep at noon?”
Caleb did not answer. Jesse confirms and I should trust him but why my heart is unrest? Caleb quietly watched the brother talking to the sister. It’s just a dream, Caleb. Only a dream. (End of Chapter)