Grand. - Episode 2
Cue To Leave?
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10th February 2017
Now you know i was not caught.
I have a feeling that even without destroying that evidence Lloyd would have still evaded expulsion. It must have been fates way of introducung Penelope Johnson to Lloyd Erickson. The youngest of the Ericksons.
"I need to go, its getting late." I repeat.
He looks at me as if considering to let me into something.
"Thanks Penelope . Am grateful you destroyed that...thing."
"You mean the booklet that you sneaked in to steal your exams?'
Don't be such a prude Penny. I look to see what is registering on his face. I can't read him.
"Look Penny _ am just grateful." My hearts speeds up at the way he calls my name.
"Janey did all the destroying, you should remember to thank her too."
We stand in an awkward silence. His height towering over mine. I adjust my glasses while trying to pull my thoughts together. I need to go..it really is getting late. He leaves the room and dissapear to the next then comes back holding a glass full of juice which he offers to me. I tell myself i could spare some time.
Settling in a couch opposite where he is seated i gulp down the contents of the glass. He has carelessly slumped his body on the couch
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. I can see something is bothering him. Maybe he is worried about what his parents would say after finding about the suspension. He sighs loudly then sink deeper into his couch.
"Are you okay?" I ask while placing the glass on the table.
"Uuum... yeah... why do you ask?"
I feel nervous all over sudden. His brown eyes gaze intensly at me.
"You don't look okay. I thought maybe you are worried about your parents discovering about the suspension."
"Oh that...they won't find out."
I squint my eyes at him. Am sure if i spend a whole week not going to school my parents would notice.
"Oh really, why?"
He looks at me like am a fly that just died on his coffee. It is not my bussiness to know.
"Am sorry..its really none of my bussiness." I stand from my seat . The feeling i had always felt since walking in lionsdale crawls in. I am just that peasant chick who happened to attend a high school meant for the rich. I was there for the education. Not for the friendship it could offer. It pinches me even harder when i realise he maybe just like any one of them. I wish he would behave differently towards me.
"Thanks for the drink." I say then head straight for the mahogany door.
"Penelope i need help." He shouts at my back freezing my steps.
The problem with this rich kids is that they have lots of problems. Am not giving one of them a chance to troll on me. I got a lot of skeletons in my closet to worry about. I yank the door open not minding how heavy it actually is. The breeze from outside hits my glasses making them to fog a bit. My eyes inturn water.
"Penelope please don't go." My steps falter. "I need help."
This does not sound like the football star i know from lionsdale. He sounds desperate like he actually needs help from me..Penelope. I turn to meet his brown eyes that hold a tender gaze.
"I need help Penelope, can you help me?"
"I don't really know how i can help Lloyd, what do you need?"
"My parents are not coming back home." He finally says to me.
I can see the confusion in his eyes. I feel pity. His shoulders droops painfully low.
"Not coming back. I don't understand what you mean... where are they?"
"They have fled the country."
My eyes enlarge in suprise.
They have fled the country? Left this big mansion. Left this handsome boy over here. Who does that?
"I don't know, they just left. Apparently they did something and the officers are yet to come looking for them." He sinks back in his couch throwing his arm on air a clear sign of defeat.
"I could not go with them, they are the fugitives. I know its only a matter of time before the cops come to interrogate me."
This sort of thing only happens in movies.
Most of my thoughts are numbed in unbelief. Lloyd Erickson, the football captain of Lionsdale high needs my help. Me Penelope Johnson. Help him with what anyway? I cannot not match up the connections he has.
One thing is certain. Whatever mess his parents are in, nobody will want to help him. Rich people are funny, always chatting the day away in spa houses, gyms and tea parties. Telling tales of how great their bussiness is doing, how their kids are progressing in school. They sort of choke the air around them with gloatings of how succesful they think they are. When trouble rolls in, their huge gates are closed. Their compounds you cannot enter. They cannot help. I know Lloyd is alone in this. Whatever this is. Nobody is going to be willing to associate with this mess. If word gets out that his parents fled, every single associate of their family will silently cut ties with them.
He says he needs help from me. What help would i possibly offer to him? Money? That would be ridiculous.
I still did not understand.
"How can i help?"
He gets up and takes the grand staircase. I watch as he mounts up. About five minutes later he reappears holding a blue bag. He look unsure as he descends the stairs.
"Do you have a bank account?"
"Yea," I respond not sure where the conversation is leading.
"I need a safe place to keep this money. Somewhere it can not be traced back to me."
"How much is it?" I ask curiously looking at the bag.
"Ten million." He says effortlessly.
"Ten million?! I repeat what he has just said like a demented fool. Like the bank wouldn't be curious why a fourteen year old was deposting ten million on a bank account which was still under parental care. My dad does the depositing. I withdraw. Transaction notifications go directly to him. Am not about to even think about thinking about it.
I have never handled such a huge sum of money before. Who am i kidding..let me rephrase. I have never seen such money. Who gives a seventeen year old ten million in a duffle bag?
"Everything okay?" Lloyd asks.
I adjust my glasses nervoursly. I feel uncormfortable that am standing in a room with ten million dollars in a bag. Hey Penny, you could get arrested for just standing near such.
"I cannot help you with that. Taking ten million dollars to a bank? Am sure the first person they will call is the police. We dont want that, do we?"
I virtually slap myself.
Did i just say we? We are not in this mess. He is.
"How did you get all that money anyway if your parents are on the run?"
This time round i really want to slap my mouth shut but my body is beginning to get exited. I want to help, if it means i will get to the end of this story.
He places the bag on the table and paces around it nervously increasing my tension too. With time my adrenaline rush builds up and the nervousness slowly fades away.
"Where did you get all the money?"
"My parents withdrew it for me before leaving. I didn't know about it till they fled. They said their accounts will be frozen so they had to live me something to survive on."
Seriously? Who needs ten million dollars to survive. I would survive for three years spending three million local currency extravagantly. Ten million dollars translates to approximately one billion local currency. Was he playing me.
"You need all that?"
"I don't know where they are, when they are coming back. I just need to survive. Just help me hide the money. If the cops finds it am dead."
I eye him curiously then holds the bag. He holds one side too.
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. We stand close with the bag closing the gap between us. I look up into his brown eyes. Am afraid and exited at the same time. I feel his scent like of lemon mixed with vanilla. Can i trust you? Is what i read in his eyes.
"I will help." I mutter softly pulling away from his gaze. "Now i need to really go. Its getting dark.
He lets go of the bag. I pick it up and leave. I walk away my steps echoing on the mahogany floor boards. I open the door and the breeze hits me. This time i do not clear my glasses.
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