In the Chair

    Tidbits of D.N.A. #SampleSunday

    Author: Ey Wade Genre: »
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    iii. You Can’t Always Get What You Want


    The banging on the door twenty minutes later destroyed the serenity of the inane conversation they were sharing about their experience. The nervous shouts accompanying the banging and announcing the presence of policemen downstairs caused them to jump out of the bed and grab clothing.
    "You go on down Gianté, and I’ll run into my room for something else to put on. Crap. What could your stupid friends have done in twenty minutes to make someone call the police?"
    Gianté hurriedly pulled open the door and tried to enter the hallway but was stalled by his chest running smack into the face of Roody.
    "Step back man and mind your business." Grabbing Roody by the collar of his t-shirt he tried to drag the boy away from the door and towards the stairs. "What were you guys doing to have the police called?"
    "We didn’t do anything. They came to see you, Debney….hell; I want to see you, Debney." His yell trailed behind him as the force of the pull on his shirt caused him to practically run behind Gianté.
    Shaking with nerves, Debney dragged the blanket from the bed, covered her body and ran down the hallway and short flight of stairs to her bedroom. Pulling on a pair of shorts and a t-shirt, she rushed down the last flight of stairs. She would have loved to have spent a few more minutes talking to Gianté, but the presence of the police in the house caused her a lot of fear. She’d seen enough television shows to know the unexpected arrival of police never meant the inhabitants of the house any good. If they were looking for her as Roody had shouted, then it would have to pertain to her parents.
    Half way down the stairs she slowed her steps.
    The serious gaze directed up at her from the two men at the bottom of the stairs caused her to falter. She caught the banister in a tight grip and slowed her steps even more. It was obvious this was definitely not going to be a good conversation.
    "Debney Nichole Armstrong?"
    "Can I lie and say it isn’t me?"
    "Would be nice for you if it was true, but life never works that way does it? I’m Detective Granger and this is Coroner D.E. Starr. We’ve come to share some news with you." He stopped, deliberately letting his gaze travel inquiringly over the crowd of teenagers gathered and whispering in the hallway. "Are you kids drinking?"
    "Oh, no sir, no drinking here," the kids hurriedly rushed to answer, hands lifted in solemn oath.
    "Then go play." Detective Granger enunciated each word slowly as if he were speaking to very small children.
    With snickers and smart aleck remarks the teens turned and followed his command. "Do you have a room we can use?"
    Coroner Starr placed his hand on Debney’s elbow and helped her down the remainder of the steps. Knowing for sure he could probably feel her body shaking uncontrollably, Debney shook off his hold, nodding and pointing to the door hiding her father’s office. The ability to utter a word deserting her with every step she took, she looked over her shoulder and tried to catch a glimpse of Gianté but he was nowhere to be seen.
    The walk to her father’s office, though only a few steps from the front door, felt like a mile. The small amount of oxygen she was able to suck into her lungs wasn’t reaching her brain and she felt like she was about to faint.  She knew in her heart this was a death walk and she dreaded the conclusion.
    When she opened the office door and stepped into the room, the lingering aroma of her father’s cologne wafted into her nostrils, touched all points of her emotions and made her want to cry. This was the wrong room to come for bad news; she admonished herself and rethought her decision. It probably would have been better if she had gone across the hall to her mother’s office. There, she knew she would have felt the loss less. Death’s arrow would more than likely have lost its sting if it were shot in there. But in here, where her father would spend most of his home-based hours, she knew the memories of happy times shared with him wouldn’t allow her to cloak her emotions in ice and she was afraid she would crack and not be able to be repaired.
    As the door to the office clicked shut behind them, Debney instantly felt a claustrophobic urge to get out. Why the hell had she chosen this room to receive bad news? The knowledge she was about to be told, something that would change her life forever, was an undeniable truth. It was evident in fidgeting movements and the reluctance of the two men to look her straight in the eyes. Easy to see they expected the news to devastate her and neither wanted to be the first to speak. She didn’t want to be devastated nor pitied. Whatever they were about to say, she already knew she had brought upon herself. The demise of her family had been the wish she’d uttered on waking that morning and miserably remembering that she was alone on her birthday. She had angrily watched herself brushing her teeth in the mirror of her parents’ bathroom and as she spit and rinsed, she'd made a birthday wish.
    Debney moved across the room to the large desk. Shuffling and straightening papers she tinkered with her father’s small, strictly positioned items. Falling back into her habit of talking to herself when nervous, she began muttering aloud, "Out of all the wasted wishes I have made in life, why would today be the day I figured out the combination to make wishes come true?"
    She looked across the room at the two silent men, their discomfort becoming more and more pathetic. "I hope you guys aren’t going to tell me anything that’s going to ruin my birthday."
    "Damn, today’s your birthday?" Detective Granger rocked on his heels. "How old are you?"
    "Eighteen. Old enough to handle whatever you have to tell me. Let’s get it over with."
    "You have any family living nearby? Adult friends or anyone you can call to be with you?"
    Debney searched their faces.
    "Listen, just tell me. I can handle anything. Better yet, I’ll tell you. Something has happened to my parents. Since you brought the coroner here with you, that can only mean they must be dead. What about my little brothers?" The regret in their eyes answered her question for them. "Don’t bother. I can tell by your faces they’re gone too." She rubbed her palms across her face, surprised to feel tears running down her cheeks. "I think I don’t want to know what happened to them. I don’t want to hear your voice tell me because I don’t want to hear your voice forever in my every thought or my dreams." She sucked in a deep breath. "Let’s just say you told me and you can leave."
    Detective Granger reached for Debney. "Sit down Ms. Armstrong; you look as if you're going to pass out."
    "No, seriously, I'm fine. I can handle this. I'm used to being alone. Can't you tell? I'm here celebrating my eighteenth birthday with a bunch of strangers instead of being with my family and laying dead in Europe."
    "Ms. Armstrong please, why don’t you take a seat? I can go across the street and get the mother from the house where the boy from upstairs ran to."
    "God no, don’t go get her. She hates me." Debney crossed the room to grab the detective before he walked out of the door. "I promise I’ll be okay. If I have any problems I’ll call my dad's lawyer. What happened to my friend? Did you tell him something? Why did he leave?"
    "I think his mom was calling him. Guess she saw the police car pull up. Are you sure you’re okay? You're taking this better than many adults I’ve contacted."
    "No sir. I'm not okay. Something is scratching so relentlessly from the inside, my flesh feels like its crawling and I have the deepest urge to scream. I have no idea what I should be thinking cuz my mind is a blank. What am I going to do without my family?
    "I'll miss my dad and my little brothers. Two nights ago, the night before they left, we had an awesome late night drive in my new car. It was a birthday gift from my dad. We had such a great time and now things have changed so fast. I can't believe this is real. What am I supposed to do? How am I supposed to know how to handle things? How will my family get home?"
    "I’m going to leave this for you." The coroner pulled an envelope from the clasp of the clipboard he’d been holding behind his back. "Everything is in this envelope. Arrangements to have their bodies picked up from the airport have already been taken care of, whom to call--"
    "Stop, please, I'm begging you. Don't talk anymore. Your voices will be forever embedded in my memory."
    "I’m sorry. I know this is hard, but I have to tell you. All indications show your parents were driving to their rented apartment in Tuscany--"
    "Tuscany?" Debney questioned in shocked despair. "That’s where they were? My Mom never said that’s where they were going. She knew I dreamed of visiting Italy all of my life. I should have known." Debney angrily wiped the tear that was threatening to fall, the disappointment she felt in her mom’s disloyalty overruling the sadness at her demise. "She always did things like that just to have something to throw in my face. She enjoyed doing anything to make me miserable." The hard puff of air blown from her nose could be heard throughout the room. She closed her eyes in despair.
    The detective studied Debney’s face. The child was doing her best to be calm and mature, but it was obvious her tenuous control of her emotions would not hold very much longer. She definitely needed the comfort of an adult.
    "Do you have any relatives we can call to be here with you?"
    "No. I’ll be fine. As I said before this is not the first time I have been left in charge of my own life."
    "But this is the first time you've been left alone to face something so dramatic."
    "True. I think I would rather be alone."
    "You and your parents didn’t get along?"
    "Parents….no, I wouldn’t say that, but my dad, yes. Doesn’t make a difference now, right? Seems as if you're determined to stay here until you get everything off your chest, so just tell me what happened to my family."
    "It isn’t that we’re dying to tell you something gory, but you’ll wish you knew when sometime in the future, after the shock wears off, the knowledge will help to give you a sense of closure."
    "I guess you would know." Debney sighed and rubbed her hand across her brow. 

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