Hi guys! It’s been a while, hasn’t it! I won’t bore you here, but just a quick refresher for if you’re like me and waaaay too lazy to read previous chapters. 😛
The Mayfields got back to Sunset Valley, where Dr. Funke started stalking Donovan, then hired a burglar to “mess” with them. Chloe started building a security system, while Thomas dealt with the court system and getting Dr. Funke institutionalized for dementia. After one such court session, Thomas bumped into the love of his life, Darlene Bunch. She’s pretty pissed at him for dumping her in an email and vanishing for four years. And she wants an explanation.
“Okay, okay.” I scrubbed at my face, trying to figure out where to even begin. “But not here.” The barista was staring at us, eyes wide, one hand on her phone.
I rubbed a hand over my face and started towards the door. No footsteps. A glance over my shoulder confirmed it. Darleen wasn’t moving, still glaring at me. I sighed. “I need to get to work. You coming or not?”
Her nose scrunched up cutely for a moment as she thought, then she followed me out the door.
We stepped out onto the sidewalk. It was still drizzling lightly, the darker storm clouds still a ways off above the mountains.
“Well?” Darleen demanded after we’d started down the sidewalk. “What’s this grand tale?”
Ten minutes…How do you explain everything that’s happened to us in ten minutes? I shoved my hands in my pockets and took a shaky breath. “It started after Dad died. He was Dr. Bernard Mayfield and he worked with your mom up at the Labs on grafting robots onto plants or something. You know that. Well, that’s not all they worked on…”
‘Went well. Talked to Irene again, she agrees’ I sniffed at the poor punctuation usage, but I obtained Thomas’s point from the text. The most recent court session had gone in our favor, and Irene Funke had agreed that her mother should be institutionalized.
Before I had a chance to get back to my computer, my phone rang again, sounding the opening notes to Imperial March.
‘Gonna grab a bite and head to work see ya after 10’
I nodded and went back to debugging a piece of software for my security system.
Ever since his promotion, Thomas had been working most afternoons and evenings. He often didn’t get off until around 10pm most nights, but his mornings were always free to deal with bothersome issues such as the entire Funke fiasco.
I jumped, smashing my holographic keyboard at the same time. I muttered a few choice Sindarin phrases and glared over my shoulder at the perpetrator.
Medea was just pocketing her phone, the largest grin I’d ever seen on her face. “Oh. My. GOD!” she started laughing. “I’ve gotta get some nice clothes. Luce! Can I borrow some clothes?”
“What?” I queried, now utterly confused. To quote Donovan, Medea did not do giddy. But that was the only word to describe the emotion filling her face and every movement.
“I’ve got a date!” Medea shrieked, still laughing giddily. “With Humberto!”
“Ohmygod! We have to find you just the right outfit! C’mon!” Lucy dragged Medea up the stairs and out of my sight.
“What?” I repeated.
Donovan sighed from the couch. “Some guy at school’s been really…interested in Medea lately.” He shook his head but smiled. “She seems really happy about.”
“Do you not trust him?” I asked, beginning the arduous task of locating every errant character made from my key-mashing and deleting them.
“He’s a pretty cool guy, but his ex is Karri Sekemoto. She’s kinda snobby, but she’s Lucy’s friend. She and Bert’ve been off and on for a while now.” Donovan shrugged. “It might cause drama. I dunno.”
I hummed in response. I wasn’t quite sure how else to respond. I’ll have to speak to Thomas later.
Medea ran by a few minutes later, Lucy behind her trying to smooth out her twin’s short hair.
“Good luck!” Lucy called after Medea. “And don’t stain that blouse!”
“…so we left Egypt and just stayed on the road for a while.” I looked up at the theatre where I worked. “Welp, here we are.”
I scuffed my shoe on the pavement, then dared to look up.
Darleen was still glaring. “Is there more?”
I gave a hesitant nod.
She looked back over Central Park, then glanced back at me. “When do you get off?”
“Usually 10pm.” I held my breath
She nodded. “I’ll be here at 10 exactly. I expect to hear the rest of this!” Then she marched off into the rain.
“Whew!” I sighed. It didn’t look like she’d believe me. And who would! You’d have to be crazy to believe the stuff my family and I had been through.
But she sounded like she was willing to think about it…God, I hoped so.
Thanks for all your patience and, as ever, for reading! ^_^