SE Hinton owns it.
Sister Golden Hair- Ten
I walked across the yard, up the steps to the porch and in through the front door. I know must've done it because I found myself standing there in front of Two-Bit. I don't remember it, though- moving from one place to another.
He mouthed the word what? at me.
I took the phone from him with one hand. I slid the other around his waist and laid my forehead on his chest.
I swallowed hard and spoke into the receiver:
"Hey, Kit-Kat. Guess where I'm at?" My father collected the most ridiculous names for towns in his head: Downer, Minnesota; Correctionville, Iowa; Hell, Michigan. He had been so delighted to tell me once that he was calling from Hell; said he'd beat Calvin there. Downer, he promised, truly was one.
I didn't have it in me to guess this time.
"Daddy," I whispered. "Cal's dead."
I felt Two-Bit twitch. He took a step back and tipped my head up to look to look at him. I nodded.
When my father didn't speak, I continued, "A marshal just came by. They found him in his cell. They said it looked like a suicide…"
"Well, that's just bullshit," My father stuttered.
"Yeah, they were thinking that too. They didn't tell me anything else…" And this is where I finally broke. I turned away from Two-Bit as I started to cry. "I don't know what to do, Daddy. I don't know what to do if they bring his body…or if they don't…I don't know what to do…will you please come home?"
I felt Two-Bit's hand on my hip. He pulled me back to him again and set his chin on my shoulder.
My father said, "Yeah. Yes, baby, I'll come home. It'll take a bit. I'm back in Minnesota…I'm in Nimrod, Minnesota…speaking of your brother."
I sniffled, but I forced a smile. I could tell my dad was trying to on his end too.
I finally had to ask Two-Bit to leave for a bit. I kept crying and he kept following me around. It would've been alright if he was an old hound dog or something. I could cry to a hound dog and it wouldn't keep saying stupid things to try and make me feel better. Two-Bit couldn't help it. He knew there wasn't anything he could do but talk, so he just kept talking.
I asked him if he maybe ought to check in on his mom and his sister.
"You want me to leave?" He asked.
"I won't go nowhere," I promised him. "I just need some quiet. And I'm probably going to get real mad after a bit."
He was hurt. I could see it. He didn't kiss me goodbye. He stuffed his hands in his pockets and told me to call him otherwise he'd be back after dark to spend the night.
I nodded and told him that was cool. I locked the door behind him and slid down against the door frame to sit on the floor. Next to me, the pile of mail lay where I'd dropped it. I picked up the envelope from Cal and turned it over in my hands.
He had terrible handwriting. It was a sign of something- I remembered a social worker telling my dad once when they'd picked Cal up as a juvenile. His handwriting was a symptom of why he had so much trouble in school.
"Because he can't goddamned write so's anyone can read it," my father had said. "That's why he has so much damned trouble in school."
Calvin typically wrote in tiny script and all in capital letters. My birthday letter was an exception. The letters were huge. It looked like a seven-year old had written it.
I tore open the envelope and hoped for something legible. What I got was a map.
It took me a second looking at it. Calvin couldn't draw pictures, but he was good reading drafting and blueprints. He'd done some construction work and plenty of mechanical work on the outside. In prison, he said an older inmate was teaching him about electrical work. He was learning to read blueprints.
He had learned quite a bit, it would seem, because he'd drawn me one. It took me a minute of looking at it, but I finally recognized the position of the window and the door. It was Cal's own bedroom, drawn looking up from the floor. The furniture wasn't completely drawn; just the feet where they touched the floorboards. There was his bed, nightstand, and the desk where he'd never in his life sat to do homework across the room. Next to the closet door was his dresser.
My heart caught in my throat. Within the boundaries of the dresser, he'd drawn something else: an animal with four legs, a round tail, and long ears.
I jumped up and ran down the hall towards Cal's room. The door was locked, but the doors in our house weren't too secure. I had to throw myself against it once to get it to open. I shoved the map in my pocket and yanked open the top dresser drawer.
A pain in my ass to the end of his days, what Cal left for me he left in the last drawer I opened. I had to go through all his boxers and grubby t-shirts first. At the very bottom of the bottom drawer, there it lay- a rabbit: a little plastic Trix Bunny on a gold chain.
Katrina Lloyd had been in that car, and Calvin had found her necklace when he was cleaning it out.
I was afraid to touch it at first. Did it mean she was dead for certain or had she just struggled and lost it in the car? I didn't want to touch it if it belonged to a dead person. I remembered, then, that Calvin was dead too and I'd just dug through his entire dresser.
I didn't get time to think on it more. There was a knock on the front door. I picked up the necklace with one of my brother's t-shirts and then shoved it in between the mattress and box spring. I shouted alright to whoever was knocking and darted back out into the hall. I shut the door behind me.
I was too shaken up to even consider who might be at the door. When I opened it, it was just Curly Shepard, hands in his pockets, looking at his feet.
"What do you want?" I asked.
He shrugged. "Nothing. Nothing, I guess."
I changed my tone then. He could hardly bear to sneak a look up at me.
"What do you need, Curly? What's the matter?"
"Nothing, I just…I was just bumming around. I can't stand it at home when Tim ain't there. All's they do is yell. You got anything to eat?"
I stepped out of the doorway and let him come in. He headed straight for the kitchen.
"My brother's dead," I said to him.
"I know. I was at the hospital when that Marshal came. He shooed me out, but I heard him tell Tim."
"I guess he will be. That Marshal wanted to move him to jail or someplace safe, but the docs said he couldn't yet. I guess they're going to post a guard there. Don't want to hang out with him around either."
I nodded. Curly sat down at the kitchen table and I got out the bread and butter and eggs. My brother loved fried egg sandwiches. Suddenly, I missed the smell of them, and I figured Curly would eat anything.
"So, Janine's hid, too," I said. I picked up the coffee pot and he nodded. "Did you know that Katrina girl, Curly?"
He folded his arms on the table in front of him and put his head down.
"Christ on a cracker, Kathy, your brother's belly up and my brother's shot. Ain't that about all you need to know? I knew as much as she was a sweet piece of ass to look at. Not that she was ever going to give me a look in return. Story of my life. And now she's dead, too. Can you just leave the dead lay already?"
"You sure she's dead?"
"I feel pretty confident saying so. If she ain't, she's smart enough to never come back here."
I cracked an egg.
"Did anyone ever ask Janine?"
"I was never around to hear and my brother doesn't exactly relay all those kinds of conversations to me. You going to put pepper on that?"
He handed me the pepper shaker from the table. I took it and peppered his egg until he said whoa.
"What about Eileen Morris?"
Curly muttered fuck under his breath, and that told me he knew Eileen too. At least to look at her.
"I can put Carter away, Curly," I told him. "I have something. I can prove that he did in Katrina…if he did in Katrina. If she's dead, I have him. If she's alive somewhere, though, all's I have is her lost-and-found and Carter still gets to walk around a free man. I don't want to put the Marshals on to him unless I'm sure."
Curly rolled his eyes. "Yeah, because you wouldn't want to piss him off any more than you already have. I suppose you think I'm going to work with you for food?"
"Room and board," I said. "You can sleep on the couch until Tim gets out."
"What about Two-Bit?"
"It's my house, not his. He doesn't have any say in it."
"Ain't your dad coming home? You're going to have a funeral, ain't you?"
He said it like we might be just heathen enough not to.
I sat Curly's egg sandwich down in front of him and folded my arms across my chest.
"He won't care. You're a little young for me. He'll know there ain't anything going on."
Curly rolled his eyes again. If he was at all wounded by my insistence that nothing was ever going to happen between us, he was happy enough to be eating not to show it.
The phone rang at eleven o'clock. Curly and I had both fallen asleep watching TV. The station ID was playing the Sooner fight song. Curly was stretched out asleep on the couch. I was sitting on the floor in front of him. I got up, turned the TV off, and went for the phone.
I figured maybe it was Two-Bit either hung up at his mom's or hung up partying. It was Tim.
His voice was low and soft. I couldn't tell if it was because he was drugged or because he was trying not to be heard by the cop outside his door.
"Hey, kid," he said. "My little brother there?"
"Yeah, sleeping like a baby."
"He's almost cute like that, huh? When he's quiet. He's damned tolerable, ain't he?"
I nodded. Curly was tolerable to me anyway. I asked, "How are you?"
"High as a fuckin' kite. Any idea why there's a uniform outside my door? I'm sure someone explained it, but I've been in and out of it all day. What'd I do this time?"
"Nothing. Cal got himself killed. They figured you might be in some danger."
That struck Tim as funny. He cackled and then asked, "So I got an armed guard and you got Curly? I'd be pretty pissed right now if I was you."
"I get Two-Bit, too," I told him. "He ought to be back here pretty soon."
"He ain't there now? That little son of a bitch."
"I'm okay, Tim. We're okay. Why'd you tell me he was with a girl the other night- when y'all went out drinking?"
Tim mmm'd to himself, trying to remember.
"'Cause I'm kind of an asshole, I guess. Got a bit of a jealous streak."
"What the hell are you jealous of?"
He clicked his tongue and I could tell he was grinning again.
"Ah, come on, baby…" he said.
I wasn't in the mood to hear it. After all this time, years in fact, of thinking I wanted to hear it- tonight, I just couldn't handle it.
"It was an asshole thing to do, Tim," I told him.
"Yeah," he said. "And as soon as I'm out of here, I'm going to start doing my damnedest to make it up to you."
I didn't know if he was serious or bullshitting me or just doped up. Whatever the case, I said, "Yeah, you are, and I know exactly where you're going to start."
He started to say okay, but I hung up the phone. I went and tossed a quilt on Curly. I locked the front door and then checked the back. Two-Bit didn't have a key to either, but- late as it was getting- I didn't really want to see him again tonight anyway.
Before I went to bed, I went into Cal's room and retrieved Katrina Lloyd's Trix Bunny from between the mattresses. I took it to my room, still wrapped in my brother's t-shirt, and stuck it beneath my pillow.
It gave me crazy dreams.
a/n: So that's your Season Two. As soon as I come up with a decent song title, I'll start the third one. Thank you all who took the time to read and review.