"Claud, answer me, cause I've got to get back to Bailey's before he realizes I'm gone and flips on me." Jamie begs
"Jamie, I don't know what to say. I wish I had said something when I first found out."
"Don't forget you found out by accident, I was never planning on telling you." Jamie says slightly annoyed "I really wish you'd just drop it all."
"Don't you think I'd notice? Which I did in time, you couldn't have kept it a secret forever." Claudia exclaims
"No one else knows." Jamie tells her quietly
"That's because they think you don't like to be home because of the divorce and because I keep covering up for you."
"So stop, I never asked you to. I've managed fine on my own!" Jamie says standing up
"Jamie wait-" Claudia asks as Jamie starts to walk to the gate.
"Forget it Claudia." Jamie turns and leaves
Claudia flinches as the light in the backyard turns on. "Claud?" Charlie asks "What are you doing?"
"Who were you talking to?"
"No one." Claudia lies
"Was that Jamie?" Charlie walks closer to Claudia "What's going on? Are you two fighting?"
"I don't know." Claudia replies
"Is Jamie the friend you were talking about this afternoon?"
"Claudia, if Jamie needs help you have to tell me we can help her she's is like family after all." Charlie says firmly
"Charlie, really it's nothing she just wanted to talk."
"At one in the morning?" Charlie asks doubtfully
"Did she walk here? I thought she stayed at Bailey's tonight, he'll be worried sick."
"Charlie can you stop if something was wrong I'd tell you."
"Go inside." Charlie walks back to the house.
"What are you doing?" Claudia asks nervously
"Calling Bailey." Charlie answers picking up the phone.
Jamie walks into Bailey's apartment quietly, when the light turns on.
"Where the hell were you?" Bailey asks sitting on the couch with Sarah "What were you thinking going out at this time of night?"
"It's nothing I haven't done before." Jamie grumbles
"Yea well when you're staying at my house there are rules you have to follow." Bailey informs her
"Calm down Bailey, I went to go and see Claudia."
"I know you did, Charlie called."
"Thank you Charlie" Jamie mumbles
"Listen to me, I want you to sit down and tell me what's up with you. Cause I know when someone is hiding something I was a champion at it." Bailey says firmly
Jamie glances at Sarah who is sitting there quietly "Jamie, if something is wrong we can help you." She finally says
Jamie is quiet for a moment. "I got a call early this morning from my mom's boyfriend."
"I didn't know you heard from your mom, is she coming home?" Bailey asks
"No and I'm glad she's not. She ruined my life enough as it is." Jamie sits down on an armchair.
"Jamie what did your mom's boyfriend tell you?" Sarah asks gently
"That my mom died, so I started calling all my brother's friends to find John and I finally got a hold of him and told him. Then he came and picked me up and brought me to school." Jamie replies
"What did your father say?" Sarah asks
"I didn't tell him." Jamie answers "I don't think I am going to, I'll let him find out on his own. It's better that way."
"How can that be better-" Bailey starts but Sarah cuts him off
"Are you all right?"
Jamie looks at Sarah "Of course I'm all right, I don't give a damn about my mom or my dad or any of my family for that matter." Jamie replies sharply
"Bailey" Sarah whispers quietly "Come inside with me a second."
"What is it?" Bailey asks when they are out of earshot
"Bailey, a kid doesn't just not care about that fact that her mother was killed."
"Thanks Sarah I didn't know that." Bailey snaps
"Don't get mad at me, something is wrong for her not to even tell her father about it." Sarah replies
"What do you think it is?"
"I don't know, she's obviously not in the mood to talk about it. All we know about her family is that her mother ran out and Jamie tries to stay out of her house as much as possible. Doesn't that seem odd to you?"
"I never really even think about it, it seems normal now to see her on holidays and for her to always be here." Bailey replies rubbing his head "What should we do?"
"You used to be friends with her brother right?" Sarah asks
"Do you think you can find him and talk to him about it? I'll try to talk to Jamie."
"When?" Bailey asks
"Tomorrow, I'll keep her home from school so there wont be any interruptions." Sarah replies
"You think that's a good idea?"
"All right." Bailey agrees.
Bailey walks into an apartment building, goes up to the fifth floor and finds room 516.
"Yea?" A guy answers the door "Bay?"
"Hey Tony." Bailey smiles thankful Tony remembers him "You still friends with John?"
"Course, he's here now if you want to talk to him." Tony opens the door to let Bailey in. "John! Bay is here to see you."
John walks out of the kitchen, he is about 6 feet dark brown hair and eyes. Bailey cringes the place reeked of beer and smoke. "Long time no see man." John greets Bailey "What's up?"
"I wanted to talk to you about something." Bailey replies feeling out of place.
"About my sister? She's staying with you right? Or with Claudia I forget." John sits on the arm of the couch thinking out it.
"It depends, last night she stayed with me and Sarah." Bailey replies
"Listen you know I'd give you some money for watching her, but that's something I do not have." John laughs
"No, it's not that."
"Then you found out our mom is dead." John tells him. "Yea big loss right?" He smirks "Jamie doesn't even care right?"
"No, that's what she says at least. I don't know if I believe her though."
"If anything she's mad that she didn't get to have a word with our mom first. Jamie does not like her at all. I don't either really, but Jamie's got more issues about it."
"What do you mean?" Bailey asks
"Ever since mom ran out, my dad blamed everyone but himself. So Jamie and I both lost our house to say the least. I can't let Jamie hang around my friends though, I can't be keeping an eye on her twenty four seven. I'm trying to get through school as it is and keep a job." John replies "That's why it's a good thing her staying with you guys."
"She's always stayed with us though" Bailey says confused
"Yea well when our mom did live at home it was hell. Our mom left when Jamie was about 10 or 11. That's when she started running away so I told her if she was going to leave to at least go to Claudia's so I knew she was safe. I have to watch out for her somewhat you know? She is my little sister."
"Why didn't she want to stay home?" Bailey asks "I don't ever remember her saying anything about hating her mom until she got a little older after my parents died."
"She keeps things to herself, doesn't talk about it, doesn't complain. All Jamie wants is to get out of here." John replies
John shrugs "It's complicated and I'm sure she doesn't want me saying anything, she doesn't like me much either. I don't know why." John jokes
"She said she never told your father your mom is dead"
"Probably for the best." John shrugs
"I should get going." Bailey hesitates then turns to leave.
"Bay, who did she spend the weekend with?" John asks sounding concerned
"She stayed home, you picked her up Monday from home she said."
"I picked her up in front of school…." John trails off "Never mind, tell Jamie to give me a call later I want to talk to her, make sure she's all right."
"I will" Bailey says as he shuts the door behind him.
"Did you find him?" Sarah asks when Bailey comes inside.
"It took me almost all day but yea I found him" Bailey takes off his jacket
"John justified her hating her parents, saying she had every right to. He's happy she doesn't stay at home, and thinks that it's better that she didn't tell their dad." Bailey sits down "Am I the only one who thinks that a little off?"
"It is, but Jamie doesn't even want to talk, all she did was say it was for the best, then called up her mother's boyfriend or whoever he is to find out what happened." Sarah shrugs "She just left to go see Claudia. Don't look so worried Bailey, I'm sure it's not as bad as it seems."
"I think it might be worse than it seems." Bailey replies "I think Claudia knows too, and she's not saying anything."
"Maybe we should just trust them, they're getting to be adults now they can handle it." Sarah reasons soothingly
"They're 17, that's hardly adults." Bailey replies
"So talk to her tonight when she comes back. I told her to stay here tonight, she's going to pick up some clothes on the way back from Claudia's." Sarah replies
"All right, I'm sorry I've been so preoccupied today." Bailey apologizes giving Sarah a kiss.
"It's all right, I'm worried too." Sarah smiles returning the kiss.
To be continued…. Please R&R