Chapter 2: Chapter 2

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Mystery and Crime  |  House: Booksie Classic

Reads: 98

Alex stood on the edge of the sidewalk and pathway that led to the small neighborhood park. The crisp autumn air lingered on the fringe of winter, but it still bustled with activity. It was filled with squeals of laughter and mothers gossiping over their morning lattes. Every swing was occupied and little bodies zoomed around the rubber covered play area. The scene was a blend of chaotic joy and Alex couldn’t help but be drawn into the gaiety. As she crossed the path she scanned the benches that bordered the edge of the play structure. When she caught sight of Kate, she studied her briefly. She sat more upright than her usual perfect posture and was watching her surroundings with great detail. It was apparent she had seen Alex but didn’t acknowledge her approach. 

“Three weeks and not even a how’s the leg?” Alex asked coolly as she drew closer.

“How’s the leg?” Kate responded, but kept her attention in the direction of her son, Tyler, playing tag with a group of other kids. 

“You’ve gotta give me more than that.” Alex slowly lowered herself onto the bench and fought her reaction to the stiffness of her healing injury and the cold metal beneath her.

“I’m sorry.” Kate’s head dipped down; her voice sincere, “If intentions counted for anything, but it’s not my call.”


“I thought you of all people would understand.”

“I do to an extent, but no contact?” Alex knew there would be a period they’d have to lay low, but for there to be no response or reaching out from Kate was something she never expected. She wasn’t going to wait it out any longer and needed to address what happened.

“There’s only one person who-” 

Kate threw her hand up to keep her from finishing her sentence. Alex was referring to Jeremy Miller, but she knew better than to mention his name out loud, and for Kate to react as if she would, began to stir the anger within her. Peter Sloane had died, but what was revealed to the public was that it was a heart attack while on vacation with his son in South America. It was a cover up and they were in the middle of it. She was genuinely worried. 

“Whose actions were concerning,” Kate kept her voice even as she addressed her concern, “We have to hang tight.”

“Hang tight?” Alex scoffed.

“We shouldn’t even be talking.” 

“That’s ridiculous!” Alex twisted her torso to face Kate. “We’ve been friends long before any of this.”

“You think I like it? We have to play it safe.”


“When have we ever played it safe?”

Kate side-eyed Alex but didn’t verbally respond. Instead, she shook her head and returned her focus to the playground.

 “Whatever.” Alex turned away and the two sat in a strained and uncertain silence while they watched Tyler swing successfully across the monkey bars. With a solid landing, he looked in their direction. When he caught sight of Alex, a brilliant smile crossed his face. She instantly felt her scowl wash away as he sprinted towards her.

“Auntie Lexi!” he called out as he enveloped her in a tight hug. “Where have you been?”

Alex welcomed the embrace and squeezed back. “Working hard little guy.”

He pushed back and smiled a response before he plopped next to Kate. “I’m hungry now.”

“Okay.” Kate ran her fingers through his shaggy blonde hair and leaned over to kiss the top of his head.“We can go.”

Tyler jumped up and grabbed Alex’s hand. “Want to come? Mom promised Chicken Stars.” 

“Chicken Stars?” she asked with an imitation of his lisp on his pronunciation of the st in stars.

Kate chuckled and clarified, “Mike’s Grill. They have those chicken nuggets shaped like stars.”

“Oh!” She looked from Kate back to Tyler. “That sounds amazing, but I have to get back to boring grown-up stuff.”

Tyler’s face fell briefly, but he recovered just as fast and took off in the direction of their car.

 “See you around, I guess,” Alex said but didn’t look at Kate as she rose to follow her son.

Kate nodded towards a magazine that had been sitting between them. “Page fifty-four has quite an interesting article on modern-day communication.”

Alex watched her take off in a jog to catch up to Tyler who was now waiting impatiently to go. She waited for them to drive away before she reached for the magazine. She skillfully pulled a cell phone from within its folds and slid it into her pocket.







Submitted: September 28, 2020

© Copyright 2021 Kathrynmp. All rights reserved.


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