Grams is sitting outside on the rocking chair when I make my way around the bend. She smiles as I approach and I reciprocate the kind gesture. No matter how bad my day was, she always manages to erase all the crap and cheer me right up. Gotta love grams!
"So I can tell by looking at you that you survived your first day at high school." I utter a small grunt. Of course, she continues: "Well, you still have all of your limbs as far as I can tell from up here."
I can't help but laugh as I walk up the creaking stairs that lead to the veranda. Grams is about to get up but I insist she remain seated; her limp has gotten worst and her doctor stated plainly and clearly that Grams was to remain as still as possible. A feat hard to accomplish when talking about Grams.
I took a seat on the matching chair beside her and we simply lingered in the moment as people walked by with their dogs and we guessed what colour car would next appear from El Taho street. Everything David had told me was running wildly inside my head. I just couldn't shake them away. Grams was quiet and happy, I didn't want to pester her with my questions and since we were most likely the only people left on the planet without a computer, I couldn't check out David's speculations.
So I did what I had to.
"I'm just going to go next door for a second" I let grams know and jump off my chair.
I pick up the pace and walk around the white picket fence that separates my house from the Holloway mansion that towers over the rest of the family homes. The walkway is stunning and it humbles me everytime I borrow its path.
I knock three times before the door opens to the one person I wished wasn't home: Annabelle Holloway. The eldest daughter and the biggest bully only second to Victoria Crow. Annabelle and her youngest sister Stephanie used to make my life a living hell. My mother always gushed about them and praised their efforts at school, their community involvment, and other puke-inducing crap. If I had been programmed to stand up for myself, I would smack her down right now.
But instead I smile and manage to utter a few words. " feeelix.hoo..hoome?"
"Loser. HEY FELIX, YOUR GIRLFRIEND'S HERE!"
Annabelle walks away and I let myself inside and close the door behind me. I see Felix in the kitchen and he tells his sister I'm not his girlfriend. I don't know even know why he says it, there's no possible way that Felix Holloway and I would ever be a couple. He's the school's pride and joy while I'm...well, I'm Charlotte Nobody.
He smiles when he finally enters the foyer to greet me. I wonder if it's genuine? Doesn't really matter anyway, I just need to borrow his computer for a few minutes.
"Hey, I know we haven't spoken in a while but I really need to use your computer for a few minutes"
Pretty straightforward. And I managed to say it all without chewing up my words. Felix has that effect on me usually. But since my last awkward declaration of love, I got the message that he would prefer dying over being seen with me in public.
"Yeah. Sure." Oh Felix. A one word kinda guy.
We walk up towards his bedroom and Annabelle shoots me an evil glare. I glare back and - don't ask me why - I stick my tongue out at her. That will be my torture tomorrow at school when Annabelle the sheep tells this to Victoria.
I shrug it off and follow Felix into his bedroom. He points to the computer and then tells me he'll be back in a few minutes. Awkward.
His laptop is pretty neat. I'm kind of a closeted gamer and for having the latest gear, his is massively impressive. I manage to open his account and immediately do a Google search of my parents. Couple from Texas expands in Japan. Terry Olsen and wife become majority shareholder in Pharmaceutical company. Olsen Pharmaceuticals under strict observation after meltdown in Tokyo plants.
Nothing of this strikes me as new. I was already aware of their experimental problems and the results that came from testing their products on animals. Two years ago, someone spray-painted my house and all that did was scare my grand-parents.
I try a new search and explicitly type down everything David told me. A few odd results come up on top but they are mainly from conspiracy websites run by twelve-year old geeks. I sigh. I go to shut off the computer when one search result grabs my attention. And it's from a british newspaper dated several weeks ago. Why hasn't this caused a scandal?
Drake Foods Inc. finalizes deal with Olsen Pharmaceuticals.
My eyes widen and scan the room to see where Felix is at. I don't waste another minute and click on the little icon representing a printer and soon i'm holding the article in my hands. I run down the stairs, thank Felix and fly out the door.
I have to show this to David.