C H A P T E R     T W E N T Y - T H R E E
SEARCHING FOR THAT SOMETHING*

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      Isaac quickly drove Cassandra’s car over to ‘Mart Hill’ and into the drive way of the Stone residence. He causally looked around him as he steeped out of the car. He didn’t see anyone in sight so he quickly walked to the back of the house. He made his way to the back door and tried the door knob. It was locked. Next he went around to all the windows until he came to one that was unlocked. He pried the screen off and forcefully slid the small window open. He lifted himself up and into the house.

      Falling onto his palms and crawling the rest of the way in. He stood up and brushed off his abdomen of the dirt he had picked up from the window sill. Ending up in a spare room he looked around. It was a quest bedroom furnished with a queen sized bed against the wall, two night stands, a dresser and a large walk-in closet with mirrored doors. Pulling his shirt into place he walked out of the room.

      He didn’t quite know what he was looking for. Perhaps a sign that Dale was going to off himself and Cassandra. Isaac decided to start front to back so he went to the entrance way first.

      The foyer was normal. A coat rack hanging with jackets and a couple of umbrellas and a long table decorated with a lamp and brass figures. Next was the living room which he inspected. Nothing different. He walked passed the dinning room which held a dinning table and chairs. On the table was a vase with weeping flowers and two candle sticks.

      Entering the kitchen he noticed it looked the same as the day he left it when he helped Cassandra clean up her dinner off the ground, when Dale had gone bezerk. But something on the counter caught he attention. There by the sink was a liquor bottle. It was opened and half full. Isaac walked over to it picking it up and examining the label and contents. He tipped the open end to his nose and breathed in the sour fumes. Immediately he pulled the bottle away and slammed it back down to the counter. His nose turned up and his face distorted in distaste.

      He made his way around the first story of the house. His last stop Dales office. He peered around at all the book cases and numerous books filling them. Isaac wasn’t an avid reader. All the information in each sentence, each paragraph, each chapter, of each binding and on each wall scared him. He entered the room none the less, paranoid. He knew he would not read one of those books, know none of their intelligence. He could take his eyes off of them as he walked further into the room. Each one having a different title and different color. He pried his eyes from the last shelf as he bumped into Dales desk.

      Isaac’s fingers moved over the wood of the desk as he scanned the disks contents. Computer to the right, phone left, tear out calendar and pen holder at the top and in the dead center scattered papers.

      Isaac’s hand went to the calendar. It was on a few days back so he flipped the pages one by one stopping on the day of the accident. He read through the little notes jotted down and turned the page again. Scanning through the notes he found in red *Donna’s ninth Anniversary.

      “Donna?” Isaac questioned himself. “Oh yeah, Donna. Donna was her mother.” Isaac recognized the name to be Cassandra’s late mothers. “Almost made it to the day, buddy.” Isaac poked the paper for emphasis.

      “Where to next?” Isaac said in a sing song voice. “Floor two’s turn.” Isaac tramped out of the office and up the spiral stair case taking two steps at a time. He went straight into Cassandra’s room. He opened her door and stood at the entry way. Her smell was invading. Isaac breathed it in deeply not wanting to let it go. He knew he lost her. He did the stupidest thing in the world.

      Isaac pushed himself into her room. He looked past her bed and onto her desk. Her journal was lying face down on the top. She had no reason to hide it since she didn’t have any siblings and her father never came into her room. Isaac walked over to it. He felt the leather binding and picked it up. He turned it around and opened the cover. He fiddled with the frayed papers not reading one word. She trusted him, scratch that, she used to trust him. He wasn’t going to mess anything else up. He laid the book back down face up and eyed the rest of the room.

      He peered at the bed. Placed on the top of the comfortable was a dress he had never seen before. It was neatly laid out, smooth. Isaac squinted at it trying to remember it. He walked to it touching its sleeve. A folded up piece of paper settling at the neck line. Isaac picked it up and uncrossed it. He looked at the dress one more time and read the short letter.

       To whom it may concern,
       This is Cassandra’s burial dress. It was her mothers. Please make sure that Cassandra wears it for her eternal life.
      Thank you and good bye,
      Dale Stone

       “What the heck?” Isaac gasped as he looked down at the short lace dress again. “This can’t be what I think it is.” Isaac denied. “My mother was right. That sun of a gun!” Isaac folded the letter back up and held it tightly in his hand. He ran out of the door down the stairs and out the window he came in. He had to show Cassandra. Isaac sped to the hospital.

*****

       Isaac came running onto the fourth floor of the hospital. He ran straight to Cassandra’s room. Isaac stopped dead in his tracks when he saw a stranger laying in Cassandra’s bed. His shoulders fell and he gasped. The man in the bed looked over at him looking drowsy. Isaac quickly left the room and scrambled to look for Marge.

       “Isaac, what are you doing here?” Marge asked.

       “I came to talk to Cassandra but she’s not in her room. Where is she?” Isaac panicked.

       “Whooa wait a second. Get a hold of yourself. “Marge tried to calm him down.

       “Where is she?” Isaac ignored her.

       “Honey, don’t get so excited.”

       “I need to see her.”

       “A lady from the county took her to her foster home earlier today.” Marge answered.

       “Oh no. Do you know where that would be?”

       “I’m sorry, I don’t.” Marge informed.

       “I need to talk to her.”

       “Sweetie, have you eaten anything today?” Marge interrupted him.

       “No.”

       “Just what I thought. I get off in an hour why don’t you go down to the cafeteria and get some dinner and I’ll met you there when I get off.”

       “I don’t have any money with me.”

       “You just tell them to put it on Marge’s tab.”

       Isaac nodded his head.

       “We’ll see what we can do to find her.” Marge patted his shoulder.

       “Thanks.” Isaac grind at Marge and headed to the elevator where he road to the bottom floor and walked to the large cafeteria. He got he food and sat an empty table. He hadn’t eaten much when he pulled the letter from Dale out of his pocket and read it over and over. He memorized it and scrutinized the hand writing.

       “Have any trouble telling the workers to put it on my tab?” Marge interrupted his thoughts.

       Isaac looked up from his paper folding it up quickly and shoving it back into his pocket. “No not really.”

       “That’s good.” Marge placed her food tray in front of her and analyzed her dinner. “You didn’t eat much.” Marge pointed to Isaac’s plate.

       “Don’t feel like it.” Isaac pushed his tray further away from him.

       “Not because it’s cafeteria food?”

       “No.” Isaac shook his head. “Anyway, can you help me find Cassandra?”

       “I don’t know if I can help you much. All I know is the social workers name is Linda. And even if you found her she’s probably not allowed to tell you where she is.”

       Isaac sighed. “I hate this.” He sunk in his seat putting his elbows on the table.

       “You said you had something to tell her?” Marge questioned.

       “Yeah, something really important.”

       “Do you mind if I ask what?” Marge twirled her spaghetti on her fork.

       Isaac looked at Marge for a moment. “You seem to be the only person I can trust, since Cassandra hates me now.” Isaac took the letter out of his pocket and handed it to her.

       “What’s this?”

       “Just read it.” Isaac breathed. He didn’t know what else to do so he thought he would try to get some help from Marge.

       “What’s this supposed to mean?” Marge knew what it meant but was making sure.

       “I think Cassandra’s father was going to kill them both.” Isaac looked intently at Marge.

       “Where did you find this?”

       “On Cassandra’s bed at her house just before I came here.”

       “You broke in?”

       “Yeah.” Isaac shrugged.

       “Why would he want to kill Cassandra and himself?” Marge asked.

       “Well, there’s kind of alot to explain so I’ll just sum it all up. Dale, her father was a recovering alcoholic when I started going out with Cassandra. His wife died and he went off the deep end. Dale didn’t want Cassandra to see me but we did anyway. for some reason he started drinking again, I don’t know why. When he got drunk he yelled and hit Cassandra.”

       “He hit her?” Marge interrupted.

       “Yeah, bad. And then my mom said that he was mumbling something at the bar.”

       “Your mom, bar?”

       “Yeah, my mother works at the bar Dale went to. She waited on him.”

       “Oh.”

       “That’s a whole other story.”

       Marge nodded.

       “She said that he mumbled something like, “I’ll kill us both before he can have her.” I think he was talking about me and Cassandra. And then the day of the accident Dale apologized to Cassandra and told her he quit drinking and was going to take her to Oklahoma City to make up for it.”

       “So before they left he put out the note. He had it all planned out.” The wheels in Marges mind were turning.

       “Yeah, exactly. When I went to Cassandra’s house today there was an open booze bottle in the kitchen and in his office I found his calendar. It said that the day after the accident was Cassandra’s mothers ninth anniversary.”

       “You think he was planing the suicide on that day?”

       Isaac nodded his head. “I need to find her and tell her.”

       “Why does Cassandra all of a sudden dislike you?” Marge inquired.

       “She thinks it’s all my fault. See I ...”

       Marge cut him off. “It’s not your fault. Your a lovely young man.” Marge comforted. “So what about the detectives that Cassandra talked to yesterday? Wouldn’t they have figured something out?”

       “Well, apparently they didn’t. They didn’t even go to her house or they would have found the dress and letter.”

       “Why don’t we call them up?” Marge suggested.

       “Do you know who they were? You know, I really don’t want to get into this detective police stuff.”

       “It might be your only hope.” Marge warned.

       “I guess so.” Isaac agreed.

       “How about tomorrow? I’m off, I can help you.”

       “Thank you Marge. I would really appreciate it.”

       “No problem boy.”

       Isaac smiled at her. She didn’t have to do this for him. “So what are the guys names?” Isaac asked as he watched Marge finish eating.

       “What guys?”

       “The detectives.”

       “Oh, who said they were men?” Marge joked lifting her eyebrow.

       “Well, then what were the detectives names?” Isaac followed her politically correct humor.

       “You were right anyway it’s Brooks and um, Wallace.” Marge answered.

       “Wallace? I know Wallace from somewhere. Huh? Where do I know that name from?” Isaac badgered himself. Marge watched Isaac beat himself up for the answer. “Ahh, I know. He was Dales detective friend.”

       “Really? He knows him?”

       “If its the same guy. Dale had him check my background.”

       “Gee, Dale must have really had problem with you if he did a check on you.”

       “Tell me about it.”

       “Was there anything to find?” Marge put it as smoothly as she could.

       Isaac chuckled. “What are you trying to say? Am I a criminal?”

       “I didn’t mean to sound rude or anything.” Marge apologized.

       “Its okay. No I’m not a criminal. Well, I wouldn’t be if my stupid ex-employer didn’t say that I stole from him, which I didn’t. Now that’s on my permanent record.” Isaac showed he irritation.

       “Where was that?” Marge asked.

       “A hardware store, True Value. Shawn my boss got on my nerves constantly and finally I just blew up at him. So I guess to get back at me he filed some complaint.”

       “Well that’s sad.”

       “Anyway, where do you want me to meet you tomorrow?” Isaac inquired.

       “Well, do you want to just go straight there or call first?”

       “I guess just go there. There isn’t any need to call.”

       “Okay, we can meet at the police station then when you get out of school.”

       “I can skip.” Isaac suggested.

       “No way, your going no matter what.” Marge protested.

       “All right, forget I even mentioned it. But I won’t get here until around four, four thirty.”

       “I’ll be there.” Marge remarked.

       “Where is the station?” Isaac queried.

       “Its on Highland. Do you know where that is?”

       “Can’t say that I do.”

       Marge grabbed her purse beside her and pulled out a pen. “Here I’ll write you instructions.” She reached for an un-used napkin and wrote down explicit directions.

       “So can I walk you to your car?” Isaac proposed. “Its not safe for a lady to be walking alone at night.”

       “Sure.”

       They both stood up and Isaac walked Marge to her car and drove home in Cassandra’s car.

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[Chapter 24] [Index] [My Stories]
[Green Eggs And Hanson]


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© 1999 Alana Gustafson