“Kayla, where the fuck are you?” He burst into her bedroom without knocking. Kayla was bending over something, her body hiding whatever it was. “Fuck it, Kayla!” Matt strode over to her and knocked her gear to the ground.
“Matt, what the fuck? You’re wasting some good shit! I spent three hundred dollars on that!” Kayla scrambled to the ground, frantic to salvage her powder. Matt grabbed her by the arm and hauled her into a standing position with her spitting invectives at him the whole way. “I need it, Matt! My fucking son is missing, and my nerves are all shot to hell! Just a little snort, come on.” Good. She hadn’t had an opportunity to fry her brains some more—maybe we could get some sense out of her. Matt dragged her into the living room and shoved her onto the couch. He towered over her, terrible in his rage. She looked at him wide-eyed, but without fear.
“How the fuck could you, Kayla?” Matt screamed, his hands clenched in fists. I stood right behind him, ready to tackle him if need be. “How the fuck could you not tell me?”
“I need it, Matt,” Kayla bleated before Matt’s words sunk in to her brain. “How could I not tell you what?” She looked befuddled as well she should. She probably thought her secret was safe as she was the only one who knew. Even Bobby thought he was the father, that Danny had been born premature. Thankfully for Kayla, Danny had been born on the small side which made it easier for Bobby to accept that he was a preemie. Bobby still saw Danny on the weekends and supported him generously, even though he and Kayla split soon after Danny was born.
“That Danny is my fucking son.” Matt’s face was inches away from Kayla’s so she could watch and listen as he enunciated every word. “How could you not fucking tell me?”
“What are you talking about, Matt?” Kayla whimpered, her eyes filling with fear. She tried to keep a smile on her face, but she couldn’t quite do it. “Bobby is Danny’s father. You know that.” She looked away at the last second, unable to hold Matt’s gaze.
“That’s what you told me,” Matt agreed grimly. “But we both know it’s not true, don’t we? You just wanted it that way because Bobby is a fucking millionaire, and I’m not.” Matt raised his hand, and I grabbed it before he could bring it down. He could have easily shaken me off, but he didn’t. “Scar saw, Kayla. She saw the two of us having unprotected sex after we broke up; she saw you taking the EPT; she saw you fucking Bobby for the first time after you found out you were pregnant. You fucking bitch!” He lunged for Kayla who was curled up in a ball and whimpering.
“Matt, no, don’t do it!” I knew that he’d regret hitting her even if it was well-justified. “Think about Danny!” The magic words. Matt backed away from Kayla, though he was still looking at her angrily. She was mewling as she rocked, and I could barely make out the words.
“I had to, Matty. I had to. I’m sorry, Matty. I wanted to tell you—I did! I’m sorry, Matty; I’m so, so sorry.”
“Kayla, shut up,” Matt sighed, slumping in my hard-backed chair. If I wanted to sit down, I’d have to sit next to Kayla, which would happen when hell froze over. “Scar is right. We have to focus on Danny, which means you tell us every fucking thing you’ve been hiding from us.” It was good to know that Matt was right on target with Kayla as was I. Between the two of us, we should be able to get her to tell some semblance of the truth.
“I told you everything,” Kayla said sullenly, sitting up. She looked like hell with her makeup melting down her face, but she didn’t seem to care. “Honestly, I—”
“Don’t you fucking lie any more,” Matt said, his voice weary. “You asked me to bring Scar here to help you, but you refuse to tell us everything. Either you come clean, or Scar and I are leaving this minute.” It wasn’t an idle threat, and Kayla had the good sense to stop blustering.
“I, I’m in a little trouble,” Kayla began, her voice small. For the first time that night, she looked scared. “Um, you know I like to gamble a little, don’t you, Matt?” Matt nodded but didn’t say anything. That was another reason Matt broke up with Kayla—she ran through money like it was nothing. I once made the mistake of saying to him while they were still dating what could you expect from a would-be whore. It was the one and only time in our friendship that I had been afraid of him. “Well, um, I’m a little short and, uh, I borrowed some money from a friend. Well, not really a friend, more of an acquaintance. I was supposed to pay him back last week, but I couldn’t quite make it.”
“Come on, Matt,” I said, standing up. “Let’s go. She’s wasting our time.” I didn’t even bother saying good-bye as I marched towards the front door. I wanted to help find Danny, but I couldn’t handle this bitch and her lies.
“Wait, what about Danny? Don’t you have a heart at all?” Kayla mewled, following us as we left. I turned to face her, my face set. Matt ran into me because he was very close on my heels, which didn’t improve my temper. I pushed him to the side so I could look Kayla in the eyes.
“Kayla, you’ve been fucking bullshitting us since we got here. Now, if you give a damn about your son at all, you’d tell us the truth. The fact that you continue to refuse to do so makes me think that you really don’t give a damn. Call Matt when you decide to act like a fucking grown-up.” I turned again and left, blocking out Kayla’s whiny voice as I chugged to Matt’s car. I was steaming that she was trying to play me when I was doing her a fucking favor. That’s what I get for trying to help a junkie.
“You sure about this?” Matt asked as he unlocked his Saturn. I slid into the passenger seat, nodding my head.
“She does like to gamble, but that’s not her problem. I don’t know why she insists on lying.” I buckled my seatbelt, then folded my arms across my chest.
“My son,” Matt whispered, returning to the previous subject. I knew that he’d go back to it as soon as we were away from Kayla. I wished there was something I could do to ease the pain, but I knew there was nothing I could say that would mitigate missing out on the first two years of his son’s life. Sure, he spent time with Danny now and then, but nothing like he would have had he known it was his own child. No wonder I liked Danny so much and he was drawn to me—he had Matt’s blood in him. “Oh, God. My son’s out there, going through God knows what. Scar, you have to find him.” Matt turned to look at me, his eyes filled with anguish.
“Watch the road, Matt,” I said sharply, glad there weren’t many people out tonight. “I’ll do what I can—you know that. Anything for you.”
“We have to go back there soon,” Matt said, glancing at me again. He turned back immediately to the road which allowed me to let go of the breath I was holding. I wished he’d wait until we got back home before having this conversation, but I knew better than to suggest it. I also wished I’d thought of insisting to drive, but too late for that. “I know it’ll be a pain in the ass, but we have to make Kayla talk. And you have to see Danny’s room.”
“Tomorrow,” I said firmly, repressing a sigh at giving up my entire weekend for the bitch. “Kayla will see reason by then, and she’ll call you. In the meantime, I can try to see something when we get back home. I might not need the surroundings to find something out.”
Matt didn’t say anything, but he reached over and grabbed my hand. He squeezed it so hard, I knew I’d have a bruise later on. I didn’t mind, though, if it gave him any solace at all. I remained silent because I knew he needed time to process what I’d told him. I pressed my head against the window, welcoming the cold against my heated brain. I asked myself again why I was doing this, but I knew the answer. I was doing it for Matt, but I was also doing it for Danny. I didn’t like too many people when I first met them, but I had taken a shine to Danny the minute I set eyes on his angelic smile and laughing green eyes. To be honest, I wasn’t a kid lover so it caught me by surprise when I warmed up to this one. Even if Matt hadn’t asked me, I’d have wanted to do whatever I could to find the boy. Neither Matt nor I said anything the rest of the way home.
“Let’s get to it,” Matt said the second we walked into the apartment.
It was almost midnight, and I was wiped. I knew I’d do what he wanted, however, but I needed a snack and a drink first. Matt waited patiently as I made a peanut butter—creamy, not chunky—and jelly sandwich which was one of my favorite comfort foods. It used to drive my mom crazy because she’d fix all this great Chinese food, and I’d refused to eat anything but a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I wasn’t picky about what kind of jelly, but it was almost all I ate for six whole months. Fortunately, I came to my senses and expanded my horizons well before Asian cuisine became all the rage. My mom still made the best damn Chinese food I’d ever eaten. Any time I hankered for my favorites, I called her up and went over. It was a hell of a lot tastier than the food in most Chinese restaurants, and I got it for free as well. Oh, I had to do the dishes afterwards, but it was a small price to pay for such a feast.
“You ready?” Matt asked as I carried my sandwich and a glass of two-percent milk into the living room. I knew I should drink skim, but two-percent was as low as I would go. I nodded and set down my booty on the coffee table. I had also brought out a rum truffle for after the sandwich. Hey, having visions was hard work! It depleted the sugar levels, everybody knew that. The truffle was just insurance that I wouldn’t faint.
“Ok, just give me a sec.” I sat on the futon and ate three bites of the sandwich, followed by half the glass of milk. Once I was done with that, I closed my eyes. Taking some deep breaths, I cleared my mind of the clutter that always crowded it. If I had a thought, I let it flit through my brain without focusing on it. After five minutes of this, I was ready to proceed. I knew Matt was watching me, but I let that float through my head without comment. If I concentrated on anything other than the job at hand, it would mess up the flow.
I thought about Danny, the little boy who had touched so many hearts. I thought about him liking all kinds of vehicles, and I hoped whoever took him at least had a toy or two to pacify the little boy’s terror. And he was feeling terror, of that I was sure. I could sense the fear Danny was feeling, and it was almost too much for me to contain. I could hear him whimpering as he rocked himself back and forth. I couldn’t see him, and I realized that he was in a room without light or windows. No, it was smaller than a room; it was a closet. I recoiled at the thought of anyone, much less a two-year old boy, having to spend hours alone in a foreign place with nothing to keep him company. The pungent smell of urine and feces permeated my vision, and I realized that Danny couldn’t always hold it until someone came to take him to the bathroom.
He had his thumb in his mouth and was sucking as hard as he could. I could barely make out something in his other hand—a little pig. He must have had it in his hand when he was taken, and his captor either hadn’t seen it or let Danny keep it out of the goodness of his heart. As I didn’t sense he had the latter, it must have been the former. Whatever the reason, I was glad Danny had it because it was the only thing keeping him from completely losing his mind. He was wearing the same clothes he’d been wearing when he was taken which led me to believe that this kidnapping hadn’t been planned very well or not at all. I had the feeling that it was more an opportunistic crime than anything else. The person who took Danny wasn’t sure what to do now that he had him. I stopped for a minute. Was I sure it was a he that kidnapped Danny? I was pretty sure, but I wouldn’t bet the bank on it.