A young man, Bryan Hilton, enters the grocery store at 10:12. The only cashier, Riley Linley, is busy with a different customer, ringing in the items before placing them in the waiting grocery bags.
He walks up one aisle, not glancing at the things on the racks as he walks to the very back of the small town grocery store. He looks around, before walking quietly into the back room of the grocery store. Riley Linley starts cleaning up, shutting down all the registers left on. She starts making her way to the back where she meets Landon, a grocery stocker and a fellow co-worker. They continue walking to the back room.
Nobody leaves the back room until 11:46. Landon alone, walking slowly. At 7:04 the next morning, Riley is reported dead, murdered.
Our scenario wasn’t very dramatic, but how it would play out in court would most likely be interesting. Frank was actually a great theatrical person it turns out. The way he had contributed to more than half of the list was entertaining. By the end of the night, we had a list of witnesses, the woman who Riley had been assisting when Bryan had entered the grocery store. Landon, the chief of police who was called on scene, and a specialist from the labs.
“I think this is a great start,” I smile.
“This is going to be awesome,” Frank smiles enthusiastically. We pack up and soon I lead them to the front door again. We talk as we go, while Alice asks me a million questions about the house.
“I can’t wait to start finding witnesses’,” Alice smiles. “This is going to be a cool project.”
I say goodbye promising that we will meet up during school tomorrow if we had any new ideas. I close the door when I see Alice move to a bike. “Alice, it’s too late to ride, I can get my driver to drive you home,” I suggest.
“Oh,” she says. “No, it’s no trouble.”
“I wouldn’t like the thought of you getting lost in the dark,” I say sincerely. She pauses and I smile, “I’ll come if you’d like.”
“No, I’m okay with riding,” she says.
“I’ll take you home,” Frank says. “Hop in.”
She hesitates but after she has no choice but to listen to us, she agrees. He puts her bike in the back of his pickup truck and opens the door for her on the way around to stand in front of me. “I forgot to mention… Alice is a Preston,” he smirks.
“What does that mean,” I ask.
“You’ll see soon enough,” he smirks.
He nods and walks around to his door and opens it, slipping in easily. They are on the way through the gate when I see the lights of Dad’s designated driver’s lights. I smile as I stand waiting until he walks up to me. I hug him tightly, “I missed you.”
He smiles, “I missed you too Ray. Was that the Hamilton’s boy and the Preston’s girl,” he asks confused.
“Yes,” I say. “Also I was meaning to talk to you about that.”
He chuckles, “Let’s go inside where it’s warm.”
He leads me into the den and we sit down on the very comfortable couches, talking. “The founding fathers of the town are… The Hamilton’s, the Bordeaux’s, the Wellesley’s, the Preston’s and us, the Bennett’s,” Dad informs me. I nod slowly. “The Bennett’s built buildings, constructors who mapped out the whole layout of the town, the Hamilton’s… Well actually they were the doctors of the town. The Bordeaux’s are the ones with the money. The Wellesley’s and the Preston’s are of old money too, but the Wellesley’s are the ones that owns the grocery stores and local businesses around here while the Preston’s is the law enforcement, lawyers, police officers, firefighters, paramedics, etc.”
“You mean all the lawyers and paramedics in town are Preston’s,” I ask shocked.
“They are the ones given the highest positions,” he says. I nod understanding.
“What about the Bordeaux’s,” I ask.
“Well… The Bordeaux family was appointed the mayor of the town,” he says.
“So all Bordeaux males have been mayor,” I ask. “From the beginning?”
Dad pauses, “Yes… From the beginning.”
“That seems hardly far,” I say quietly.
“Well… It was how our founding fathers of this town started out,” he shrugs. “And with small towns, traditions aren’t so easily broken.”
“So give me the rankings, who’s the highest on the ladder,” I ask.
He smirks, “Technically speaking it would be the ones with the most money, which is the Bordeaux’s but because of Preston’s beauty, they are more popular ranked.”
“Who’s second,” I ask.
He smiles, “Bordeaux, Wellesley, Bennett and then Hamilton.”
“So we’re fourth,” I ask.
“Well, that was the rankings on when I was a kid,” he shrugs. “Nowadays, it’s very different.”
“How come,” I ask, sort of confused.
“I’ve got more money than all of them,” he shrugs lightly. “But because I don’t care to be mayor, none of them are really worried.”
“Should they,” I ask slowly.
He laughs, “No. I don’t want to be the mayor of a small town I had abandoned.”
“But you came back,” I say.
“These town folks wouldn’t see it that way,” he smiles warmly at me.
Yvonne walks quietly into the room. “Supper is on the table,” she informs us.
“Thank you Yvonne,” Dad smiles standing to his feet. “Come along Ray, time for supper.”
We walk all together to the dining room table. Two small young maids serve us while we are seated. Dad sits at the head of the table, while I sit in the middle of the table to his right.
Francesca, my young maid, places my plate in front of me. I thank her and pick up my fork. “I have some good news,” Dad says slowly.
I lift my head up slowly and smile, “What is it?”
He chuckles, “I’ll tell you after we eat.”
“Dad, now I won’t be able to eat,” I accuse him.
He laughs and starts eating. I eat more than I expect and when he leads me to the movie theatre, I am excited.
“Wait, take a seat, I will tell you,” he chuckles.
I quickly grab a seat and he laughs as he sits down too. “What is it about,” I ask.
“Wait,” he smirks, starting up the movie. He comes back to sit next to me. “I hired someone a few weeks ago. I find that I can trust him, so… I have promoted him to my vice president of one of my major projects.”
“What… what does this mean,” I ask slowly.
He smiles, “I’ll be home more often. I did mean it when I said I was going to change.”
“Really Dad,” I ask, my eyes wide with shock.
“Yes,” he smiles, hugging me tightly. “I don’t want to miss anything anymore. I hate that I wasn’t there before.”
“That doesn’t matter anymore, I’m just happy you’re gonna be here now,” I smile.
He kisses my forehead and hugs me once more. Francesca and another maid carrying trays with double layered red velvet cake with cream cheese icing. I gasp while Dad gasps taking the two trays. He sets one on his lap. He smirks as he sets the other one on the chair beside me.
“You planned this all out,” I say accusing him.
He laughs, “Well yes I did. We are celebrating, and red velvet cake is the perfect way to celebrate.”
I take a fork and taste it. “Oh my gosh, this is better than how Sylvia made hers,” I say astonished.
He quickly tastes it too and nods, pressing his lips together. “You’re right actually,” he smiles. “I’m gonna have to keep Yvonne. Every Saturday we should have red velvet cake.”
I laugh, “What happened to red velvet being a celebration cake?”
“Well, I believe every Saturday there would be a reason to celebrate,” he smiles.
I nod, “That’s true. Ok therefore from here on out, Saturday is Red Velvet Day.”
He smiles laughing as we sit back watching the movie eating cake.
I sit at my vanity mirror listening to the quiet. My window is open, I can hear the crickets and the frogs too. Dad had gone to sleep. It was close to four in the morning, but I couldn’t go to sleep because of all my happiness, plus the sugar was still not out of my system.
I walk to my walk in closet, picking out an outfit for tomorrow. I set it out, on the iron board outside of my door so that early in the morning one of the maids can do it for me.
I walk to my bathroom and start filling the water up, good thing it was quiet. Dad might not hear me since he’s on the other side of the hallway, and he sleeps like the dead.
I smile as I undress before slipping into the beautiful Jacuzzi tub.
The lavender bubbles makes me relax, until I start to feel sleepy. I rest my head back on the cushioned area where my head goes. I smile as I slowly start to fall asleep, just before I stand up and let the water out. I grab my robe and walk to my bed slowly, pulling the curtains back before falling on top of the blankets falling fast asleep.