Preppy: The Life & Death of Samuel Clearwater, Part Two

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“Prep, this girl came back after years out of nowhere, and then the wife thing,” Bear said like he was trying to prove a point. “We don’t know this chick. She could be involved in all this somehow. Part of the master plan that kept you locked up for Chop. Maybe if you tell us more. Tell us exactly what happened down there,” he pushed.
“No fucking way,” I said.
“Preppy, if you tell us then...” King started.
“Listen,” I cut him off. I pointed between the two of them. “I know you two are looking to find out what happened to me. To see who else was in on it or who helped Chop cover up the fact that I was still alive. I get that we need to figure out who else might have had their hands in this so we can wipe them from the face of the fucking planet, but put your fucking detective hats away for one second here. The girl, Dre, she isn’t trying to scam you or kill me or anything like that. She didn’t have a part in any of Chop’s crazy shit. I called her my wife when I was coming to because I was coming out of a motherfucking coma. I mean, I saw this video once on MeTube where the guy was waking up from dental surgery and thought his wife was Mother Teresa, started praying to her and everything.”
King leaned forward against his hands on the back of the sofa across from me. “Tell me something, this new look of yours got anything to do with this chick coming back around?”
“How the fuck do you know she was back around?”
King raised his eyebrows as if I should already know. I did.
“Ray,” I muttered.
King nodded.
Not being able to sit in one spot any longer I stood up and paced in front of the couch. “No, this ain’t got shit to do with her,” I answered, and it was the truth. How would I even go about telling my friends that I shaved my head and face bald because I hated looking at myself only to find that I hated the shaved version of me even more? They’d been through so much thinking I was dead. The last thing they needed was to bare my fucking burdens as well.
That’s why I was never going to tell them everything that happened with Chop.
They both eyed me skeptically. I was about to explain further that they didn’t need to worry about Dre when Bear’s eyes lit up. “Fuck, I remember her now. I remember talking to you about her. Her dad was looking for her or something like that...” his face lit up in a huge smile and I wanted to both smile back and punch him in the god damned face when I realized what memory he was recalling. “How the fuck did I almost forget that?”
“Forget what?” King asked.
Bear scrunched up his forehead as he tried to recall the memory. “I can’t remember all the details, but it was here. A party I think.”
“Yeah, sounds about right,” I said.
“You had” King asked.
“Why is that so strange? We had all sorts of bitches at our parties.”
Bear’s smile grew even brighter and I froze, knowing exactly what he was about to say because I saw the memories taking hold in that brain of his. “‘Cause this is the only bitch we both had our dicks in at the same time.”
I could have said a million things but instead I chose to change the subject. “So when are we having my homecoming party?” I asked.
“You ready for that?”
“I’m ready for anything,” I said, snorting another line and hoping the blow would help me believe my own lie.

DRE The house itself felt the same but looked a little different. The garage had either been remodeled or replaced because even in the dark it looked brand new. The main house had a new coat of paint for sure. The numerous windows are clean and appear to have new white window frames. The soffit that had been rusting and falling down were all new as well. The space under the house that used to be cluttered with random broken parts was completely clear of junk and was now being used as parking. The truck that Ray had driven when she came to see me at Mirna’s took up the space on the far wall. Several motorcycles took up the rest.
Torches with bright flames burned along the front walkway. All the lights were glowing from the bottom story, but only a single light was on upstairs, the window glowing yellow before whoever was in that room, that VERY familiar room, abruptly shut the blinds.
“This was a really bad idea,” I whispered to Brandon who wraps his arm around my shoulder. “I shouldn’t have come.” I turned back around but Brandon grabbed me by the wrist.
“You’re here now, Dre. You came to sell the house and get closure right? Well,” he said, gesturing to the house. Laughter, along with the light thump from the beat of the music playing echoed from the backyard. I knew where Brandon was about to say and he must have saw that I knew because he never finished his sentence. Instead, he took my hand and pulled me toward the house. I could’ve argued but there was no point. I hated it when he was right, which was often. I tried to relax my stiff shoulders by taking a deep calming breath and exhaling slowly.
Nope, didn’t work.
“Hey, over here” Ray shouted, spotting us from the porch, waving her arms around in the air. “I’m so glad you made it,” she said, approaching us. With Ray was the same beautiful girl with strawberry blonde hair who was there the day I discovered that Preppy was alive. “This is Thia,” Ray introduced.
“You can call me, Ti,” she offered with a sweet smile. My eyes dropped to the humungous baby belly between us. “Yeah, I know, I’m huge,” Ti said when she saw where I was looking. She patted her belly. “Any day now though and this little munchkin will finally stop stomping on my bladder. I swear to Christ I feel like the baby is using my pelvis as a trampoline. Up and down and up and down. I’m in shock I haven’t split in two yet.” I could feel how uncomfortable she was. Beads of sweat appeared on her pale skin, spotting over the bridge of her nose and cheeks. She fanned herself with her hand. “Is it hot out here? I feel like it’s really hot.”
It was the coolest night since I’d arrived in Logan’s Beach, although that meant it was in the seventies so to a pregnant woman that had to still be borderline surface of the sun temperature.
“I’m Brandon,” Brandon offered, shaking Ti’s hand.
“Shit, I’m sorry. I forgot to introduce you again,” I apologized.