Georgia shoved her hands deep in the pockets of her coat, warming them slightly as she awaited Robert's arrival at the bus station. He would certainly never show up early – that was just how he worked. Late for everything. He'd be late to his own funeral if it was necessary.
The sky had actually cleared and the sun was out, which she could admit was much better than the snowstorms they were meant to get. But just because the sun was out didn't mean it was warm. The temperature had dipped about twenty degrees below zero, which wasn't usually ideal in November. Georgia could already tell that the winter ahead of them was going to be a harsh one. Tyson would never survive out there on his own. Especially with the clothes he had left in.
She wondered where Tyson could really be. She wasn't at all worried about him – it wasn't her fault he was so damaged and had done the things he'd done. She understood it was hard to lose a parent – actually two parents – but that was why Georgia had adopted him. She was going to be a better parent than they'd ever been, but Tyson wasn't willing to accept that. And if running away was his solution, it would only be temporary. She was going after him, and once Robert arrived at the station, she would let him know about her plan, and together, they'd find him.
Georgia planned on calling the cops when Robert arrived. That way, they could catch him when he got off the bus. She knew that the next bus was to arrive in about three hours, and she was willing to wait. She'd go to visit her sick family friend, and would most definitely come back. Tyson could run, but he surely couldn't hide. She was going to get him sometime.
A familiar silver van pulled into the parking lot of the bus station, honking as it slid into a parking space next to where Georgia stood. Robert rolled down the icy window and shouted, “Quit daydreaming, I'm here.”
Georgia rolled her eyes. “You know I wasn't,” she said, but he could see it in her eyes that she was lying.
“Did you find the boy yet?” he asked.
Georgia shook her head. “He'll be here in a few –” She stopped as her head turned to the left and her eyes caught sight of the two boys running, the two boys she'd been talking to earlier. Her heart dropped and then began to pound hard against her chest as it suddenly hit her. Anger heated her face and it turned a new shade of red as she watched the smaller one throw off the jacket and quickly hand it to the boy next to him, the taller one. The familiar, tall, blonde boy she'd been looking for all along.
“Hey, what's going on in there?” Robert was suddenly next to her, knocking lightly on her forehead. “Revenge?”
“Oh yeah.” Georgia's eyebrows twitched. “Hold this.” She threw her jacket and gloves off and shoved them in Robert's arms, instantly taking off in a blur of feet.
“And the gloves are off!” said Robert, but quit joking once he realized she wasn't kidding.
He hopped back in the van, shoving the keys in the ignition and speeding off to follow her. He screeched to a halt once he caught up, and the van slid a few feet before finally coming to a stop. “Get in,” he demanded, rolling the icy window back up as Georgia climbed into the passenger side non-hesitantly.
“Get those little shits,” she roared, pointing in their direction. “Run them over if you can!”
Robert obediently stomped on the gas as they pulled out of the bus station parking lot and onto the busy road where the two boys were running like wild and laughing. Tyson turned his head at the sound of the engine, and Georgia watched as the smile fell away from his face and transformed into an expression of pure terror. He nudged Gabe, who looked back at the van, and he screamed something, but neither Robert or Georgia had heard him. They only watched the boys run faster, which inspired Robert to drive faster.
“I'll get the cops,” said Georgia, and she didn't hesitate to scoop up her old cell phone and prepare to dial the three numbers that could destroy Tyson's last hope of getting away.
“Georgia, what are you doing?” said Robert. “I hope you realize that you literally have no reason to call the cops. You didn't even report the guy missing. What are they gonna do about it?”
Georgia slammed the phone down in frustration, cracking the screen slightly. “Shit!” she yelled. “Thanks for the notice, idiot! Drive faster!”
Tyson and Gabe had nowhere else to run. Unlike the grocery store where Georgia had trapped him last, there was no forest around to hide in. All around him were parking lots and businesses, and he'd never make it inside a store in time. Robert pulled the van to a sudden stop, and Georgia hopped out and chased Tyson with the rest of the energy she had stored inside her. There was no way she was going to let him escape her grasp this time. She would lock him in the van if she really had to. The boy she needed to do her housework for her was going to come back whether he liked it or not, and she would even make him work extra hard for it.
“Get your ass over here, now!” Georgia hollered, her legs pumping faster than they ever had.
“I'm not here to be your damn slave!” Tyson retorted, and by now, he was running so fast he was on the verge of tripping.
Georgia had no comebacks, but still, that didn't stop her from running. With each second that passed, she found herself getting closer and closer to Tyson, and he was running out of breath quickly. Soon, he was within arms reach, and Georgia reached out and swiped at his red DC sweater with her fingertips. “Why do you care so much?” said Tyson.
Georgia gripped his shoulder tight and yanked him backwards, causing him to fall. “Because I said so,” she said smugly, attempting to yank him to his feet by his hood. He choked, and she laughed.
“Tyson!” Gabe yelled, rushing over to where he laid. “Are you alright?”
“He'll be fine,” said Georgia. “Now scram, you worthless piece of garbage.”
“No,” Gabe shot back. “Let go.”
Georgia laughed. “You think I'm gonna let go of him just because a teeny ten-year-old told me to? Think again.”
“Oh, you're twelve?” She spoke as if she were playing a role in the next horror movie. “Good for you. You're a little small, don't you think? Notice how big I am? Now try to take me down the best you can.”
Gabe couldn't say anything, he just stared, his eyebrows angled downwards in anger, his fists clenching at his sides. What was he going to do now? There was no way Tyson could fight her off this time, and there was certainly no way Gabe could do it on his own. All that was left was an argument that she would probably win. She was right – he couldn't stop her. Now he was going to go back to being homeless again, and to make matters worse, he was in the middle of the giant city of Calgary, with no knowledge of where the best shelters were, where to get the best food, and most importantly, the best place to make money. He usually made money off the streets by singing, but this was a whole new place, and he had no idea where he'd find the most people. What was he to do now?
“Get your ass up.” Georgia kicked Tyson's side, and he yelped.
“You're not my guardian,” he said. “I won't let you be.”
“Yeah, well, tough luck.” She delivered another kick to his side, and he cried out in pain again.
“You're a bitch,” he muttered. “Thinking you'll get away with this.”
“That's what I do.” She pulled him up by his underarms and dragged him to the van, despite his constant squirming.
Gabe chased after her, and kicked her in the shin, which apparently didn't cause her as much pain as he'd hoped. “I said, let him go!” he shouted.
Georgia laughed again. “Keep trying,” she said. “But you won't convince me.”
Gabe punched her in the arms and continued to kick at her legs, but she never even flinched. He then attempted to grab hold of Tyson's hands and pull him away from her, but her grip was tight. “God, what does it take for you to let go?”
“Nothing.” She smirked. “Now fuck off.”
“No!” Gabe tried his best to grab hold of Tyson, who was still kicking wildly and yelling at her, but there was nothing that could be done. He was eventually dragged over to the van, where Robert was instructed to get out of the van and help his wife. He shoved Gabe off his feet, and he fell into the deep snow, watching as he replaced Georgia in her position and pushed him into the back of the van with all his might. Tyson fell against the seat and knocked his head, which only made him struggle more to get away.
“Get the hell off of me!” He was screaming, and the expression that crossed his face worried Gabe. It was fright, with a mixture of pure terror. Georgia grabbed his legs and forced the rest of him into the van, and just before she slammed the door shut, he screamed, “Gabe, stay here! Don't go anywhere else! Stay here! Do you hear me?”
“I will!” Gabe called back. “Don't worry about me.”
Georgia proceeded to shut the van door, and Gabe could still hear the muffled screams. He instantly broke down, tears streaming down his red cheeks as he watched the van pull away, knowing that there was literally nothing he could do about it.
“What were you thinking?” said Georgia as the pulled into a narrow driveway in a nearby neighbourhood. “Did you really think you could get away?”
“Yeah,” Tyson said angrily. “Thanks for ruining my life.”
“No problem.” Georgia smirked evilly as she stepped out of the van and opened his door. “And there's no way you're leaving this time, 'cause I have a plan.” She undid his seatbelt and yanked him forcefully out of the van with the help of Robert, and the two dragged him into a small, one-story, brown-bricked home that smelled of cigarettes and alcohol. He could hear voices coming from the trashed kitchen, and they were rough and scratchy. He realized that the home belonged to someone else, and he attempted to get away once more, but failed to do so.
He never had the opportunity to catch a glimpse of the two people who sat at the kitchen table in a conversation about how the price of cigarettes was soaring too high. Georgia dragged him down a small hallway and took his backpack off his shoulders, tossing it into a dirty room before forcing him in there after it. He never even bothered to move – he knew he'd be locked in there, and he knew that she'd never let him by if he even tried to escape. The door locked from the outside, which was a little odd, but clever in a situation like this, and as he heard the click of the lock, he dug his cell phone out of his jeans pocket and dialed Tyler's number.
Tyler picked up right away. “You alright?” he asked.
“Does it sound like it?” Tyson's voice was filled with anger. “I'm locked in a fucking room with no way out. Gabe's gone, and I'm busted.”
Tyler gasped on the other end and gripped his hair. “What? You mean, she –”
“Yeah, Georgia caught me. And now I'm screwed, 'cause this damn door locks from the outside and the window is too small to crawl through!”
“Okay, calm down,” said Tyler. “You'll figure it out eventually. Where are you anyway?”
Tyson threw his hand down by his side in frustration. “I don't fucking know!” he said. “They basically just kidnapped me and now I'm in some house that doesn't even belong to them. What am I gonna do, man?” He ran his free hand over his face. “Gabe's out there all alone, and I don't even know how to find my way back to him if I get out of this hellhole.”
“Relax, there's gotta be some way to get out of there. Just wait till she comes in, kick her ass, and leave.”
“I doubt it,” said Tyson. “She'd kick my ass before I even lay a hand on her. And she's with her husband, too. He's her sidekick, I guess.”
Tyler sighed. “Stay the night, but be sure to leave in the morning. Maybe even leave during the night if you can.”
“Like I said before, you'll figure it out. It's probably not as hard as you think.”
Tyson drew in a shaky breath. “Fine, but I'll have to find out where I am before anything. I'll just use my phone for directions on how to get there.”
“Good.” Tyler smiled. “Well, I gotta go, battery's getting low. Be safe, okay?”
Tyson nodded. “Yeah,” he said. “Bye.”
The other end clicked, and he was alone again. He was seriously screwed. There were so many bus stations around, and he had no idea how far he was away from the station where they'd been dropped off. Where would Gabe sleep? The temperature was supposed to drop very low that night, and there was the chance he could freeze to death. God, what would he do? Tyson's head dropped into his hands as he sat on the lumpy mattress and thought about what he would do. There was nearly no way he could escape, especially so soon. He couldn't predict how long it would be before he found Gabe again, and how much time he had left before Gabe died out there. Maybe he should have stayed with Marianne for a little longer. He'd gotten himself into that mess, and once again, it was his fault.
Laying back on the bed, Tyson stared up at the ceiling. “Mom, Dad, help me,” he whispered. “Help me.”
Of course, he wouldn't receive an answer, but he hoped they would hear him. As he rose into a sitting position, the door opened, and Georgia stood there with a small plate of spaghetti. “You hungry?” she said too politely.
“Go away,” he told her.
“Well fine, if you starve to death in here, it's not my fault.” She closed the door behind her and heard the click of the lock once again.
In a moment of rage, he leaned back and gripped his hair tightly, wanting to scream so badly, but it would only draw more attention to him. He was mentally shouting as many swear words as he could think of, and he picked up a cup on the floor and chucked it at the wall. The banging sound erupted only through the little room, which only increased his anger. He picked up the cup off the dirty floor and threw it again, and this time, it hit the door. Surely they would hear that. His breathing became heavy, and his face turned bright red, and more than anything, he wanted to break something. He wanted Georgia to step into the room so he could break her face, or any other bone in her body. “Fuck!” he shouted.
Of course, everyone in the kitchen ignored him, but now he suddenly wished everyone would hear him and feel sympathy for him, and then let him out. They'd never do that, though.
After whipping the cup at the door a few more times, Tyson threw himself down on the bed, exhausted. God, I'll never make it out of here. Might as well die or something. It was then that his eyes fell onto a skipping rope in the closet, and an idea sparked in his head. They'd certainly feel bad if they saw him hanging dead in a closet. They'd go to jail, and he'd laugh at them up in Heaven for doing what they did. He'd see his parents, and he'd –
Tyler. Oh God, Tyler.
If he killed himself right then and there, what would Tyler do? He'd have no one left. What about Gabe? He'd wait for days and days, but would never see Tyson again. He held the red skipping rope in his hands and began to cry, his vision blurring and his head spinning. If he carried on with this, he'd be blamed for yet another death, but this time, it was his own. He had a serious decision to make, and he was suddenly unsure of what he would do anymore. He leaned against the wall, allowing the tears to cascade down his cheeks. He couldn't do this. He couldn't do this to Tyler. He couldn't do this to Gabe. He just couldn't do it. He couldn't take his own life just because of Georgia and her stupidity.
And that was when his next idea came.
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