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Sweet Caroline, chapter 13

Book By: Tomsgirl

Rick finds out what happened to Carrie's daddy.

Submitted:May 19, 2009    Reads: 116    Comments: 1    Likes: 1   


I let Rick in a little before six. We barely even greeted each other and just sat in the living room, waiting for Mr. Robbins to arrive.
"Can I get you anything to drink?" He shook his head. Well, he can't say I didn't try. Mr. Robbins showed up shortly after and immediately introduced himself to Rick, relieving some of the tension between the two of us.
"She's not failing is she?" asked Rick.
Wow. Way to sound like a caring parent. He shot me a "don't start" look.
"No. Carrie's doing quite well, actually," said Mr. Robbins. "She's doing better than most of my students."
Then what the hell is this about?
"Really? That's great! Do you think she should move up to a more challenging class?"
"Well, she could. It would be difficult, and if she'd like to, I could sign the papers. But that's not what I wanted to discuss this evening."
"I'm just a little concerned about how she's holding up."
"What do you mean?" asked Rick, leaning forward.
"Well, Carrie seems…lost during class. She doesn't smile, doesn't talk. She hasn't spent time with her friends since the accident. I haven't seen her eat lunch at all-if she even goes to the cafeteria."
"Wait," I said. They looked at me as if they forgot I was there. "So you're concerned because I'm sad? How do you expect me to act?"
"It just seems more than that. It happened a month ago. Most people would have moved on by now," Mr. Robbins answered.
"Who are you to say when I should move on? Most people aren't in my situation!" I yelled, standing up. "How would you like it if I took everything away from you and made you move a thousand miles from home? Then once you get settled and used to things, I take everything away again?"
"Carrie, I didn't mean to upset you. I just-"
"Get out," I grumbled. My knuckles were white from clenching my fists and my palms hurt from digging my nails into them.
"What? Carrie, we need to talk about this."
"No, we don't. This is none of your fucking business. Get out of my house!" I screamed.
Mr. Robbins nodded and walked out, silently closing the door behind him. I flopped back on the couch with my face in my hands.
"Guess you didn't really need me here after all, huh?" said Rick. I jumped at the sound of his voice, forgetting he was there.
"Yeah, sorry about that," I said quietly.
"I don't think I've ever seen you smile-when you were sober, I mean."
That makes me feel so much better!
"However," he said with glare, "I noticed something your math teacher didn't." I stared at him blankly. "You don't wear your crucifix anymore. And the crosses that were hanging up have been taken down."
Congratulations, Sherlock.
"What did I say about your thoughts?" he asked, inching closer. "Anyway, I thought your family was Catholic and faithful in God?"
"There is no god," I retorted angrily. "Why do you care anyway?"
"No reason." I left it at that, not in the mood to argue.
We sat in silence for a while. I was wondering when he'd go home. I don't get it. He always acts like he wants me dead, but now he's trying to get to know me. It's ridiculous!
"Mr. Campbell? That second time you came into my room, how'd you touch my crucifix without it hurting you?"
"You were already questioning your faith, so it had no effect on me."
"But why did you do…do…that to me?"
"I figured you were more afraid of being assaulted than bitten, yes?" I nodded. "But you don't have to worry. I wouldn't do that to you-ever."
"But," I paused. "What happened to the moving man? Where did he go?"
"You know, you're asking too many questions. I have one for you. What did you mean when you asked your teacher about taking everything away? Why did you say that?"
"Mind your business, that's why." He was instantly on top of me, gripping me by the shoulders.
"I have had enough of your smart-assed remarks. LOOK AT ME WHEN I'M TALKING YOU!" he screamed, grabbing my face so I was looking directly in his eyes. "Answer me."
I didn't want to tell him, but he made me. I told him about the alley way, my dad, and how the car accident happened with tears running down my face. I felt so guilty for everything. I was just as, if not more, responsible for their deaths as that man was. Rick let go of my shoulders and sat back on the couch.
"Is that man after you?"
"Yeah, probably. But he can come anytime he wants; I'm not stopping him."
"Don't say that," he said quietly.
"Why? Do you cherish these night visits? I don't have a family and you and I both know I won't be missed."
"What about your friends?"
"They'll forget about over time," I sighed, resting my chin on my knuckles. "And so will you."
"It's kind of hard to forget about the girl who called the cops on me," he chuckled.
But it's ok to threaten me and my friends? That makes a whole lot of sense.
"I am tired of your attitude. I'm only letting it go because I know you're mad at your teacher." He got up and headed for the door.
"You know what I did when they told me about my aunt and uncle? I laughed. I laughed right in their faces like it was a big joke."

He stood there, hand on the doorknob, looking back at me silently. "It's been a long day. You should get some sleep."


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