NaNoWriMo Day 19- The Shoes of Baltimore

DeSean’s mother started to cry. She told Jamie that he hadn’t been home since yesterday. She said it wasn’t like him to just not come home.

Jamie’s mom hugged her.

Jamie didn’t know what to think of this. He didn’t know where DeSean would go if he hadn’t been home. Jamie tried to think what he could do to help. He wasn’t sure if there was anything. He couldn’t think of anything DeSean said when he stopped by that would have indicated where he was going or that he wouldn’t be home. He did remember about them talking about going to that open mic night at one of the coffee shops.

“He did mention that he wanted to go to one of the local coffee shops to the open mic night the day before.”

Jamie didn’t them why he wanted to, but that gave his mom new hope that maybe he went there and that could lead to finding him.

She thanked them and said she was going to visit the ones that had open mic nights and see if anyone saw him or if anyone knew anything.

The police took statements from Jamie and his mother and left. She hugged Jamie.

“Are you okay?” she asked.

Jamie was shaken up, but he wanted to look strong. “Yea,” Jamie said. “I just didn’t think much about it when he didn’t show up. I mean, he skips sometimes and we thought he may have just had detention or something. We would have checked in with his mom if we knew anything was wrong.”

“It’s okay,” she said. “There was no way for you guys to know anything was wrong. I really feel bad because we might have been the last people he saw before he disappeared. I’m not sure exactly what would have happened to him between him leaving here and him going back home or going wherever he was headed.”

Jamie felt bad as well. He thought maybe he should have made a push to try and have him over for dinner. Maybe he should have made up some other excuse as to why he couldn’t go out with them that night. Or maybe he just could have said that he just didn’t want to go. He was mad at himself now that his friend could be in trouble just because he made up a lie so they wouldn’t get suspicious.

But the lie was also to make sure no of them got caught up.

Jamie and his mom went inside to their house.

“You sure you’re okay?” she asked again. 
“Yea,” Jamie said. “I’m sure. I’m just going to get up to my room if that’s okay.”

“That’s fine. You just want to order out tonight for dinner?”

“Yea, wherever you want.”

Jamie walked up the steps and opened the door to his room. When he did, he saw a note sitting on his bed.

“We need to meet tonight. Same spot, same time. Come alone.”

Now Jamie was scared. He didn’t think they dropped the note off to his mother. She would have mentioned if somebody did, and he knew she would have read over it.

No. They wouldn’t have given her the note.

But what this meant was that at some point, somebody working for Trevor Gatz had broke in his home. It was a power move to show Jamie he could do whatever he wanted to do and he wand his mom weren’t safe. But he didn’t know why he was doing this because Jamie had shown up when he was supposed to. It was Trevor’s men who had not held up the meeting time, so Jamie shouldn’t wasn’t in the wrong here.

But maybe his men told Trevor that Jamie didn’t show up. That could be a possibility. Maybe they got caught up doing something else or just didn’t feel the need to have Jamie working. Maybe they had just told him that they had met up with Jamie. And maybe they said that Jamie was combative and wasn’t going to work for Trevor.

He had know way of knowing. But he knew that he was going to clear it up tonight. And he also knew that he was going to tell him that he wanted to just do one job and be done. He would apologize for stealing from him, do the job as a way to pay him back, and ask to be let out of Trevor’s service. He would tell him that this did teach him a lesson. He was also going to make sure that Trevor knew he didn’t tell anyone about their meeting.

Jamie felt more confident now then he did the night before. He just wanted to get this issue over and wanted it to be resolved. He didn’t want to work for Trevor, and he was going to be straight forward with it. After all, he could have a card up his sleeve and just rat out Trevor if he got caught with weapons or anything else. If he got caught, what incentive was there to protect Trevor? He knew with one job, he would be in an out if he talked Trevor into it.

He would tell Trevor that he wanted to focus on going to school. Trevor was known to give kids in the neighborhood $100 if they got all As on their report cards. He might support this move for Jamie to focus on his education. It was sad, but finding misguided youth would be easier than to find kids who really wanted to do well in school and cared about their future. Maybe Trevor could see that Jamie was sincere.

It seemed like it took forever to reach 11 p.m., but 10 minutes before, Trevor decided to walk down to the meeting spot. He wasn’t going to take any chances that they said he didn’t show up. He was going to get there early and would wait as long as it took for them to show up. He was going to end this tonight.

He stood at the spot, pacing around. Right at 11, he saw the black Cadillac Escalade pull up. One of the men from the other night on the driver’s side door got out and opened the door to the backseat.

“Get in,” he said gruffly.

Jamie did as he was told and saw Trevor with his eyes forward.

“We had a little problem,” Trevor said still looking forward. “We saw your friend DeSean at your house at dinner. When you thought he left, he snuck into the construction zone across the street and hid. He watched your house for most of the night. We knew this because we had our men here about 30 minutes earlier than our meeting was scheduled. We had one of our men pretend to be a construction crew leader and tell him to get out of there. But he became difficult. My men were in the car you robbed the other day and he recognized it. When he started questioning my men, things got physical…”

“What does that mean?”

“He struck one of men and was starting to make a commotion. We couldn’t have that. So they took care of it. He won’t be around to cause trouble anymore.”

Tears started to form in his eyes.

“You fucking killed him?”

“We did what what was necessary,” Trevor Gatz replied.

Trevor still hadn’t looked at Jamie at this point. But he did now.

“Obviously, I know you aren’t going to tell anyone about this. You know what we’re capable of. And I know you don’t want anymore trouble. But I’m going to be direct with you. If you tell anyone about this, we will kill Rodney and his entire family. We will kill your mom. We will kill anyone you have even talked to for more than five minutes in the past year. If you want to go ahead and talk to the cops, go ahead. I don’t think you will. But even if you did, are they going to believe you? And even if they did, what proof do you have? Are they going to think that someone they haven’t been able to pin anything on for over a decade is going to slip up by telling a 13-year old kid about his plans. You only know what I need you to know because I have the power. You are not going to talk and we each know that. So, I’m not worried.”

Jamie was sad. He was furious. He was scared. He was all of these things, but what made it worse was he knew Trevor was right. If Trevor even got a hint that Jamie was talking to someone about this, it would all be over. He at least knew that not telling his mom was the right choice.

After letting Jamie agonize over his speech, Trevor started talking again.

“Here is a pager and a burner. You will be contacted on the pager tomorrow and will then call the number from that phone. Do not use any other phone to call that number. Call that number within five minutes. After that, you will receive instructions. You will follow those instructions, and everything will be fine. Disobey, and you know what will happen. Got it.”

Jamie didn’t say anything.

“I’ll take that silence as you understand. Get out.”

“Gladly,” Jamie said definitely.

As he was getting out, he felt Trevor’s leg in his back, which sent him spiraling out of the car. He was able to protect his face from the concrete with his elbows, but they hit the concrete hard. He immediately started to bleed.

“Watch the attitude,” Trevor said as he closed the door.

As soon as the door was closed, the SUV reversed quickly back onto the street, and sped off when it was in the road.

Jamie didn’t move. He looked at his elbows gushing blood. He thought about his friend being killed. He thought about what job and what kind of danger Trevor was putting him in. He wondered how things got out of control so fast.

Jamie was wishing he never took that $20 bill from the car…