Read Finals Online

Authors: Alan Weisz

Finals (33 page)

BOOK: Finals
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God, look at him,” she said, ruffling my already horrid hairdo. “His hair is all over the place, his eyes are bloodshot, and he smells like cranberry. I can tell you he was out partying at The Village last night, he passed out, and you snatched him dazed and hung over.”

 

She finished by patting my arm lovingly, but I was mildly confused as to what on Earth she was talking about. Maybe I was too hung over, because I surely didn’t understand any of Vickie’s nonsense.

 

I don’t know if Vickie’s false testimony came across as credible, but Dunn was suddenly not in such a hurry to have her escorted out of the Buckley Center.

 

After receiving a vacant, “I don’t know what to do next” look from Matthews, Dunn leaned forward in his chair. “Did you see Father O’Connor last night?”

 


Yes,” I responded truthfully.

 


And you have no idea where he is?” Dunn asked.

 


I don’t.”

 


So what she’s saying is true?” he asked, nodding up at Vickie, who was still standing beside me.

 


Yes,” I said. I hadn’t actually been to a party but the part about me being at The Village and passing out was at least accurate.

 


If you need any more proof you can take a look at this,” Vickie said, handing her phone over to Dunn. I had no clue what Dunn was looking at but he glanced at the phone for a moment before passing it off to Captain Matthews who had walked over to join the party. He scanned the message or image or whatever it was leisurely before handing the phone back to Vickie.

 


Well?” Dunn asked, looking up decisively at Captain Matthews.

 

Matthews turned to face me and as if in slow motion, he gradually reached into the inner lining of his suit jacket. He was reaching for something. It had to be handcuffs. Whatever Vickie had shown them proofed I was guilty, and now the cuffs were coming out again. I knew it! This was my defining life moment, I was going to jail never to be heard from or seen again.

 

As my brow began pouring out sweat, Matthews removed his hand from his jacket. Instead of a pair of handcuffs, he held a business card.

 


I appreciate your help, if you have anything else you’d like to tell us, here’s my card.”

 


Thank you, sir,” Vickie said speaking for me, as if she could tell I was frozen in disbelief. I took the card and murmured a similar, “Thank you,” as Vickie gently tugged my arm, guiding me to the door.

 

 

 

Chapter Thirty-Three

 

P
ulling me through the tiny hallway, pass the countless troops standing at attention, Vickie led me straight to the elevator and pressed the down button to the basement as my mind continued to comprehend the event that just took place.

 

Once the doors closed, I turned to face Vickie, arms at her side with a Pulitzer Prize winning smile on her face.

 


Vic, I don’t know what just—”

 


I stashed a few Red Bulls in my desk in the photography room, and I’d say we need one,” she said, cutting me off. “Let’s wait until we get there.”

 

Once the doors opened, I followed her down the hallway into a small room I had never visited before. There was an old school chalkboard in the back of the room with a medium sized desk in front. Two classic Polaroid cameras, the kind where the photo pops out when you take a snapshot, were placed on the desk.

 

In the middle of the room sat ten desks that reminded me of the ones I had during my early elementary years. The top looked wooden but I’m sure it was stain and scratch resistant, and there was an open front area used for storage. It appeared as though film was the only item in most of the desks but as we walked closer to the chalkboard, I noticed one contained no film, two cans of Red Bull, a pack of Orbit gum and one tube of cherry lip gloss.

 

Vickie pulled out the two cans of Red Bulls and handed one over to me as she placed the gum and lip gloss in her cardigan pocket.

 


Vic, I don’t know what to say, but thank you,” I said, after taking a long drink.

 

Taking a seat at her desk the makeup-less Vickie looked earnestly up at me.

 


You know Wayne, I’ve had a lot of moronic guys plead with me, and say ‘Vic, I need you.’ Blah, blah, blah and all that shit, but when I heard you on the phone with that tone, and the urgency in your voice, I said to myself, ‘Fuck Vickie, he really needs your help.’”

 


But how did you get me to smell like cranberry and what did you show them on your phone?”

 

Vickie started to laugh, clearly amused with her brilliance as she began to explain.

 


The cranberry thing wasn’t really part of my plan, but last night this sophomore bitch I met at this party said she didn’t think I could chug a beer. You know I had to prove that slut wrong, so I pulled out a Mike’s Hard Cranberry Lemonade and started to down it. This drunk fucker ran into me when I was chugging so of course the rest of the beer spilled all over me. I should have taken a shower when I got back to my place but I was too drunk and lazy to wash off the disgusting stickiness. When I woke up there was so much shit going on with the nun’s email, then talking to Hayley and calling you, I didn’t have time to shower. I took a wild assumption that I still reeked of
cranberry, so I imagine when I rubbed your hair and patted your arm I might have transferred a little cranberry sauce over to you. It was either that or Dunn was smelling the cranberry scent emitting from my body.”

 


As for the phone ordeal,” Vickie said, pulling herself off the desk. “Come over here.”

 

Vickie steered me to the back of the room where a humongous poster board sat covered in pictures, the heading atop the poster read, “
Memories at St. Elizabeth.

 


Do you remember that night we were both really fucked up and we ran into those bitches who wouldn’t stop talking about how much they loved vampire shows and novels?”

 


Yeah.”

 


Do you remember how to make fun of them I jumped on your back and pretended like I was sucking your blood even though I was basically giving you a hickie?”

 


Yeah, I remember,” I said, letting a laugh escape.

 


That night one of my classmates caught us in the act,” she said, pointing to a hilarious picture of Vickie sprawled on my back about to sink her teeth into my neck as I, despite my drunken status, managed to carry out the scene with a wide-eyed terrified expression.

 


I uploaded this picture on my phone awhile ago, and when you said on the phone that you needed me, I rationalized that you didn’t need me, but you needed the one thing any suspect in deep shit needs, a good alibi. As a master of technology, I needed but to click on my mouse a few times and, presto! That picture was on my phone with a date and time reading 2:00 a.m. this morning.

 


As two intelligent gentlemen of the Portland Police Bureau, I presumed they deducted that if O’Connor had in fact informed you of his crimes or where he was going, you wouldn’t have been able to disregard that information and go get shit-faced with your friends, because who would be that much of an asshole? That’s what I would have thought anyways, and I bet Dunn was thinking that exact same thing after he saw my doctored photo.”

 

If I wasn’t physically and mentally spent I might have broken down in that moment. Vickie’s brilliance had saved my butt. Technically, it had already been saved, but without her barging in the room, the confession would have taken place and instead of drinking a Red Bull, I’d be awaiting my death sentence.

 

For the umpteenth time in the past few days, I had no words, which is probably the reason, I couldn’t help but stammer. “Vickie, uhm…why did you…I mean…what was it you…deciding to do that…”

 


Wayne, you’ve done a lot of stuff for me and never asked questions, and even though I’m a detailing-gobbling whore, this time I can live without knowing every tiny morsel of information. Everybody gets in trouble now and again. You might be an unstylish douche, but the truth is you’re a good guy and that’s enough for me.”

 


Thanks Vic,” I said, smiling for the first time that day. “You’re a flashy, big-mouthed bitch at times, but you’re one hell of a pal.”

 

Giving me a “Tell me something I don’t know” look as she took a sip from her Red Bull, I was thankful for such a wonderful friend.

 

I’m not sure how long I sat there sitting in a surreal state wondering when I’d wake up. This had to be a dream. This ordeal had played out too perfectly, as if I had punched in a cheat code. This wasn’t how it was all meant to end. In spite of my dark confidence, I had always assumed I’d wind up in an orange jumpsuit, yet here I was with my golden ticket.

 

I should have confessed but like a wishy-washy Charlie Brown, once Vickie entered the room I switched sides instantaneously. I suppose I really should be jumping for joy given my miraculous luck but I couldn’t. I couldn’t even sense an ounce of guilt, it was as if the last few minutes were a figment of my imagination. I was still in total disbelief.

 

Sipping our energy drinks, I glanced over at Vickie’s Beatles shirt
and began to recall one of their classic songs, “With a Little Help from My Friends.” I always had this misconstrued notion that the song was more about friendship than love, but what I’d failed to grasp is the association between the two meanings. In many instances, the person you fall in love with is your best friend, and many times your friends become as close as loved ones in your family. They help you in times of need and provide an unconditional love that at times is indescribable.

 

Thanks to three friendships I had developed over the past several years, I had managed to elude my infamous destiny. It was only through camaraderie and the self-sacrifice of Father O’Connor that I was able to keep my precious life. There was nothing I could do to repay such a kindness, but I sincerely wished wherever he was that he could somehow sense my immense gratitude. Thanks to his decision, our lives had been altered in one fell swoop, mine being for the better.

 

Despite not getting the chance to talk to Hayley, she had proven her love without uttering the seemingly necessary words. This was a love I surely didn’t deserve, but one I was grateful to have. Like the priest, the previously dreaded ex had saved me and because of that gift I knew I’d forever be devoted to the beautiful blonde.

 

I’m sure it sounds weird hearing that someone who murdered two people and assisted in killing two more had the ability to still believe in God, but I honestly did. I did believe in fate, karma, divine intervention or whatever you want to call it. I had been sitting apprehensively on the verge of spilling my guts, but someone or something had prevented me from self-sabotage, and it wasn’t by chance that Vickie walked into that room with a plan to save my ass. My three amigos could have revealed my secrets, but instead here I sat, a free man.

 

Over the previous two days, the one reason I had gotten by was due to having “a little help from my friends” and the only logical rationale I could come up with was that I must still have a few things left to accomplish. Thanks to fate’s good graces, my time wasn’t up just yet. This was my life changing moment, and I was going to make the most of it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
BOOK: Finals
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