Around six o’clock pm, there is a knock at his door. He lays Maggie down on the bed and walks over to the window to see who was at his door. He notices a man in a business suit holding a pizza and a Wal-mart bag in his hand. The man spots him, looking at him from the window. Jessie walks over to the door.
“Who is it?” He had his hand on the door handle.
“It’s CB Jessie. I’m a friend of your Aunt and Uncle.” Charlie had spotted a young girl looking at him from the bedroom window. He had been told it was supposed to be a young teenage boy. He listens as the locks on the door are unlocked and the door opens slightly. He watches as a teenage girl looks up at him. She had bruises around her neck and a split lip. He could see she had a fading black-eye as well.
“What does CB stand for?” Jessie still had the chain on the door.
“It stands for Charlie Bond.” He liked the fact that the girl was being careful.
Jessie looks at him and then shuts the door.
Charlie could hear the chain being removed. He watches as the door is open and a young teenage girl with long auburn color wavy hair and green eyes stood before him.
“Your nothing like your aunt describe kiddo. I was expecting a teenage boy, not a teenage girl.” He had to admit that Mary’s niece was cute.
“I get that a lot. I am a boy, but for some reason. I look like a girl.” He steps aside to let Charlie in “Won’t you please come in?”
Charlie walks in and notices a baby in a baby blue jump suit looking at him. He sets the pizza box and the Wal-Mart bag on the table.
‘That must be your baby sister Maggie.” He stands near the bed and looks down at her. He had to admit she was adorable.
“Yes sir.” Jessie shuts and locks the door, like he has been doing.
“Jessie, would you mind if I took a few pictures of you and your sister, to send to your Aunt and Uncle please? Because they don’t know what you currently look like.” He pulls his cell phone out of his pocket.
“I don’t mind.” He walks over and stands near the bed.
Charlie takes a picture of Maggie first. He then takes a picture of Jessie as he is dress now.
“Now Jessie, would you hold your sister in your lap, so I can send her a picture of both of you together?” He steps back to get a better shot.
Jessie sits down on the bed and picks up his sister and holds her, so Charlie can get a good picture.
Charlie takes three pictures and sends everything he has taken to Mary and Joe.
“Your Aunt told me to buy something special for dinner tonight, but she didn’t say what I should get for you. I was going to get Chinese food, but I didn’t know what you like or if you even liked Chinese food. So, I got a large supreme pizza instead. I figure most people love pizza.
“Oh! I love pizza and Chinese food. I haven’t had pizza since my mother brought one home with her.” Jessie could smell the delicious aroma coming from the pizza.
“That’s good. I wasn’t sure if you had any drinks, so I brought a case of Pepsi as well. If you hand me the ice bucket, I’ll go and get us some ice.” Charlie could tell Jessie was interested in the pizza. He could see the sparkle in Jessie’s green eyes.
“Here you go.” Jessie gets the bucket for the ice and hands it to him. “The ice machine is at the end of the building on the left-hand side, in a room with the soda and snack machines.”
“Thanks.” Charlie accepts the ice bucket and heads back out the door.
Jessie looks at Maggie “well little sister, it looks like you’re going to miss out on some pizza tonight.”
He smiles and carries her around the room.
Charlie’s phone starts beeping as he is heading back to the room with the bucket filled with ice. He notices it was Mary.
“Hi Mary, I take it you looked at the pictures?” Charlie knew she did.
“Yes. I can’t believe how much of a girl Jessie looks. He looks just like his mother did, when she was a teenager. The same hair, eyes and body build. How does he look to you?”
“Like he’s been abused Mary, the poor kid has bruises around his neck and his lip is split. There was light bruising around his eye, where it looked like he had a black-eye. If you take a closer look at the photos, you’ll notice he has bruising all up and down his arms and hands. Your brother in-law is a real piece of work, abusing a sweet kid like that.” Charlie wouldn’t mind getting his hands on him and teaching him a lesson.
“I agree with you Charlie. I was hoping things weren’t as bad as I thought they were, but when Jessie said that his father never told him his mother was dead. I knew something was up. My sister loved her children. They were her world. She would have made sure they were taken care of. The only reason she stayed with her husband was because he had threatened to kill Jessie if she left him. Her husband knew how much Jessie meant to her.” Mary had spoken to her sister about a month ago and knew how things were around her household.
“Well, I’ll tell you this. If I didn’t know your nephew was a boy. I would mistake him for a girl. His voice, hair style, the way his body is and even the clothes he is wearing, makes him look like a teenage girl.” Charlie had to admit he looked cute as a girl.
“I’ll have to see if he prefers to be treated like a girl or if he would rather be a boy. If you could Charlie, just stay with them till tomorrow night. I’ll pay you for doing this for me.” Mary was sure Charlie wouldn’t accept the money; she still felt obligated to offer.
“Keep your money Mary. I don’t mind spending time with your nephew and niece. I’ll watch after them, till you and Joe get here. I got my laptop with me. I can work on my work here at the motel room and we’ll watch a few movies tomorrow or go for a walk or something. Charlie didn’t mind watching the kids. He could access his Netflix account and let them watch a movie or something.
“Thanks again Charlie. Bye.” Mary hangs up.
“Bye.” Charlie puts his cell phone away and knocks on the door.
He watches as the curtain is moved as Jessie looks at him. The door opens for him.
He walks in and notice Jessie had set-up the paper plates he had asked for and got some plastic cups out to use with the soda’s He saw two of them sitting on the table and figured Jessie must had put the rest in the little refrigerator he saw earlier.
“You were busy while I was gone.” A pleasing smile appears on his face as he looks at Jessie.
“I figure the soda could get cold in the frig. So, I put the bottles in the refrigerator over there.” Jessie had picked Maggie up and was feeding her, her bottle.
Maggie was watching the strange man, while she sucked on her bottle.
Charlie walks over and puts ice in the plastic cups and pours soda from the cans into each cup.
Jessie watches him as he feeds his sister.
“CB, do you have any pictures of my Aunt and Uncle with you, because I don’t remember what they look like?” Jessie figures if he was their friend, he would have some.
“I sure do kiddo. I vacationed with them last year. We went fishing, hunting and horseback riding.” Charlie pulls his cell phone out and locates the pictures he took of his friends.
He hands the phone to Jessie “just use your finger to slide the pictures.”
Jessie looks at the pictures. The first one was just of the three of them. He then moves on to the next one and it was of his Aunt and Uncle standing together. Jessie looked closely at his aunt. She was a little taller than his mother, but had his hair. She was also dress in cowboy clothes and looked a little like him. Jessie knew he took after his mother in looks, but he could easily pass as being his aunt’s child. His Uncle was a tall muscular man and looked to be Native American.
Jessie looks at Charlie “Is my Uncle Native American?”
“Actually, your Uncle is only part Native American. He’s part Irish and part Apache. He also is a famous bull rider. Your Uncle is an old fashion cowboy Jessie. Your aunt, she used to ride in the rodeo circuit as well. That’s where they meet. She was a rising star barrel racer and met your Uncle and me at an event. Both of us had just gotten out of the military and were looking for some excitement and joined the Rodeo circuit. We both saw your Aunt and fought for her. Your Uncle won, of course. They are both my best friends and we have kept in touch with each other. I travel the country as a cyber-security consultant and your Aunt and Uncle run a ranch along with some relatives of his. You look a lot like your aunt. Your shorter then she is, but you and your sister share some of her features. You’re more like your mother. I met her once, when you were just this high.” He holds his hand about three feet off the floor.
“You were very shy and clung to your mother. The only other person you let pick you up was your Aunt. “Charlie remembers that day, as if it was just yesterday.
“So, you met my father?” Jessie shifts Maggie some on his hip as she drunk her bottle.
“No, your father wasn’t with your mother that day. He never bothered to show-up for your grandmother’s funeral. It was just you and your mother. I think there was some bad blood between your grandmother and him. I know your Aunt didn’t like him very much, but she held her tongue, because she loved her little sister. Enough of the past for now, I’ll tell you more about your Aunt and Uncle tonight. We have a pizza here to devour and I don’t know about you, but I’m hungry.” He flips open the pizza box and takes out a few slices for him.
Jessie walks up and picks up a few slices for himself as well and closes the pizza box back up.
“So, why don’t you tell me about yourself and your sister?” Charlie sits down in the chair near the bed and watches Jessie.
Jessie starts telling Charlie about himself and Maggie. He tells him everything about his life, what he likes and doesn’t like. What his favorite school subjects are and that he wants to work with computers like his mother did, before she was forced to quit her job and pawn her computer to pay the rent. His dad had forced her to quit when he was working and after he had quit his job and they had no money coming in, his mother had taken a job as a cashier at a local convince store to pay the bills, where his father drunk all the time and worked on his motorcycle and hung out with his biker buddies.
He tells Charlie about the time when his mother was five months pregnant with Maggie and she had come home and found out that his father had been making out with another woman in their bed. His mother had tossed the girl out and started throwing things at his father and the next thing he heard was his mother hitting the wall and his father yelling at her, telling her he’ll do whatever he wants, whenever he wants and that if she didn’t go along with the program, he’ll kill him.
“Hmmm, that would explain why your Aunt was madder than a rattlesnake last September. She had gotten a phone call from your mother. I know that after she had gotten off the phone with her, she was madder than a rattlesnake and went outside to the barn and took it out on your Uncle’s punching bag.” Charlie grabs another two slices of pizza.
Jessie grabs another one. It has been awhile since he has had fresh hot pizza.
“After that night, mom started sleeping with me. She would always lock the bedroom door to keep dad out. She said she wasn’t going to allow anything to happen to me. Unfortunately, he just waited till she went to work and then start abusing me. When mom came home and found the bruises, she threatened him with calling the police on his motorcycle clubs and their illegal activities.” Jessie takes a bite of his pizza.
“What type of illegal activities did your mother know about?” Charlie was thinking he might be able to use it as leverage to get Jessie and Maggie assign into Mary’s custody. The abuse on Jessie was enough to warrant it, but if they could prove he was responsible for Rachel’s death, then they could put him and the whole gang in jail.
“Mom knew the location of their meth labs, the prostitution and the chop shops the gang operated. She took pictures of the location and people involve and stored them on a micro-sd card and asked me to keep it secret.” Jessie reaches for his soda.
“Do you still have the micro-sd card?” Charlie looks at Jessie.
“Yes sir. I keep it hidden nearby. In a place, no one would ever look.” Jessie knew where it was. He had stash it in an inside pocket in Maggie’s diaper bag.
“When your Aunt arrives give her that card because she can use it as leverage to get permanent custody of you and Maggie. Also, she can prove that your mother’s death was the work of your father’s motorcycle club.” Charlie was sure they were related.
“But Dave said that a robber was responsible for the death of my mother.” Jessie was wondering what was going on.
“Jessie, it all sounds too suspicious. Normally robbers don’t shoot their victims. It’s not their way. Most of the time robbers just want the money and then they’re on their way. In this case, why would a robber stay and shoot everyone, when he has the money already? I’m betting that your father informed his gang leader about your mother’s treat and wanted to take her out of the picture. I had a chance to see the police report from that night and the officer who responded to the 911 call showed me his notes.” Charlie had examined the notes carefully. He was a security specialist consultant and knew what to look for and everything listed pointed the investigation in a different direction.
“So, you’re saying my father might be responsible for my mother’s death?” Jessie could almost believe it. After the fight his mother and father had that night. She had stopped sleeping with him. His mother even burned the sheets he had slept on with the other woman she had tossed out of the house.
“Yes.” Charlie could see Jessie thinking about what he just said. He had to admit that the boy was bright.
“So? Would you and Maggie like to watch a movie tonight?” Charlie figures the kids deserve a treat.
“Yes sir. They’re showing Pirates of the Caribbean part two tonight.” Jessie hadn’t had a chance to see any of the Pirates movies, except the first one.
“You haven’t seen Pirates of the Caribbean, Dead man’s Chest?” Charlie couldn’t believe it. Most people have already seen it and the third one and the fourth one.
“No sir. Dad broke the DVD player. He threw it at me while he was drunk and it was destroyed when it hit the wall.” Jessie remembered the night it happened. He was watching one of his favorite movies, when his dad came in and asked him to do something and he was looking for the remote to pause the movie, when his dad accused him of not moving fast enough. He had picked the DVD player up and yanked it out of the wall and threw it at him. If he hadn’t been sitting down on the sofa, it would have hit him. The DVD player exploded from the impact.
“Alright” Charlie picks the phone up and calls the front office and orders a showing of Pirates and the next movie after it.
He turns his chair so he can watch the movie with Jessie and Maggie. Jessie places Maggie on the bed and cleans up their dinner mess.
Charlie turns the television to the proper channel for the movie and turns off the lights to watch the movie with Jessie. Jessie sits on the bed with his back against the head broad and with Maggie on his lap. The movie starts and Jessie sits and enjoys it.
About midway through the movie “thank you Charlie.” Jessie turns to look at Charlie.
“You’re welcome kiddo.” Charlie just smiles at Jessie. He props his feet up on the other chair for support and make himself comfortable.
By the time the second movie had started, Maggie had fallen asleep in Jessie’s arms. He carefully gets up and puts her in the crib and covers her up with her blanket.
Charlie watches as Jessie lays his baby sister down in the crib. He couldn’t believe how mature this child was. Everything he did was just like what most girls did and move. The way he brushed his hair out of his eyes and the way he sat and walked. He moved just like a girl, maybe not as graceful, but he had their movements down. He’ll have to talk to Mary tomorrow evening when she arrives.
After putting his little sister in her crib and covering her with a blanket. Jessie crawls back in bed and settles before the second movie started. He couldn’t remember the last time he has ever had this much fun or enjoyment. His father had never done any of this with him. Jessie never knew why his father did like him. Why did his father hate him so much?
Charlie looks over towards Jesse and could see he was thinking about something instead of watching the movie. He had seen the same type of faraway look on Mary’s face before. Jessie reminded him so much of his aunt.
“Enjoying the movie so far?”
“Yes, sir. I’ve been wanting to see this movie for a while. I like Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow.”
Jessie loved his quirkiness and goofiness.
“He’s alright. I prefer John Wayne or Clint Eastwood myself.”
Jessie looks at Charlie with a questionable look on his face “Who’s John Wayne and Clint Eastwood?”
Charlie looks shock “you don’t know who John Wayne or Clint Eastwood are?”
“No sir. Dad destroyed our television when he went after mom.”
“I’m sorry to hear this. Why don’t you go ahead and lay down and go to sleep?”
Charlie gets up and tucks Jessie in.
“But, where are you going to sleep?”
“I’ll be okay. You get some sleep and tomorrow we’ll go out and get some breakfast.”
"Okay and Charlie, thank you." Jessie hugs Charlie as tears fill his eyes.
"You're welcome kiddo."
Charlie returns the hug.
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