Chris's meeting with his mom and dad. Set after his phonecall with Lou in the previous chapter.
Be prepared to totally hate Lou's parents.
*Fixed up after posted in the wrong order.
When Chris pulled into the café parking lot, he saw his parents' car, a sign that they were already inside. He parked the rental and walked inside, feeling the cool blast of air conditioner on his face. Glancing around, he spotted his parents quietly conversing at a table in a corner. Threading his way between other tables, he saw Mom look up and give him a smile. They exchanged a greeting of hugs and kisses, Chris’ stomach churning. What had they done to Lou?
“Your sister was so looking forward to seeing you again,” his mother said brightly. The smile faded from her face slightly as she continued. “It’s a real shame she couldn’t come – she’s back at the hotel with Yankee. I think she’s coming down with something.”
Chris shook his head, glaring angrily at his parents. He couldn’t believe they were just going to sit there and lie through their teeth. His father frowned.
“What’s wrong, son?” Dad asked.
“Where is she really?” Chris’ voice shook as he remembered the conversation that had gone on between himself and his younger sister and how upset she’d been. “What did you do to her?”
A shadow flitted over Mom and Dad’s faces as they shared a glance. “What are you-” they began.
“Don’t lie to me!” he hissed. “So tell me, when you said that you were planning a holiday, did your plans include going off and leaving your blind daughter in a hotel room to starve?”
Mom turned pale while Dad opened and closed his mouth like a fish. “What?” he finally choked out. “We told you. She was feeling sick, so-”
Chris slammed his hand down on the table. “I told you not to lie to me, dammit!” The noise in the café dropped slightly as customers turned to stare at the table in the corner, their curiosity piqued by his sudden outburst. When the volume rose again, Chris ran his hand through his short dark hair. “I know she’s not sick. I spoke to her on the phone; she called me and told me that you left her and Yankee for dead.”
“Phone?” his father asked. Chris sighed inwardly, his hands curling into fists under the table. They were trying to do anything to not answer and tell him where Lou was. “What phone? She can’t see, how’s she going to dial a phone number, for crying out loud? She may as well be an invalid-”
“Don’t you dare talk about my sister that way,” Chris dropped his voice in his anger. “Lou is just as much a human being as you or me!”
“What phone?” Dad repeated, his blue eyes becoming hard and steely.
His son glared at him. “Not that it’s any of your business, but I gave Lou a cell phone,” he said curtly. “I programmed my own cell number into it and put it on speed dial. I glued a sticker on the button to help her locate it.”
“And you didn’t tell us?” Mom exclaimed.
“Lou didn’t want me too. She said you already treat her like a child as it is.” Chris started as his mother broke down in tears. Her husband comforted her, placing an arm around her shoulders.
“That girl is one of the most ungrateful people I know,” Dad retorted furiously. “All the kindness we show her is thrown back in our faces. She deserved to be left there.
Chris blinked. Ungrateful? That didn’t sound like Lou at all…
His mom nodded. “You have no idea how hard it is to be continually nice to someone who hates you for no reason. Especially your own daughter,” She added softly.
“And the violent mood swings,” Dad continued. “She would frequently lash out at us after we try to help her.”
Chris’ head was spinning. Were his parents telling the truth?
Mom sniffed. “Now you understand why we had to do it, don’t you Chris? There’s only so much you can take…” her voice trailed off as she looked up at him with desperation in her green eyes. Green eyes that Lou would have, if not for the milky cataracts of blindness. Chris hesitated. He didn’t know what to make of the situation.
“Just tell me where she is,” he said quietly. His mother wiped her eyes and nodded. She pulled a chunky key-ring with the number ‘20’ attached to it out of her handbag, writing an address on a napkin before handing both to her son. He took the items, standing up and turning to walk away. A hand grabbed his wrist, pulling him back.
“Stay for a while son,” his father said. Chris shook his head, wrenching his hand free. His parents stared after him as he exited the café and got into his car.
Why would he stay? He had made a promise to Lou, and now that he had her location, he intended to keep it.
Looking down at the napkin, he studied the address of the hotel. It was located on the other side of the city, and he figured that he could stop at a grocery store on the way and buy some food for Lou.
Pulling out of the lot, he knew that he wouldn’t just find his sister and her faithful guide dog at the hotel. He’d also find the answers to the questions reverberating around the inside of his skull. And as he drove away, there was no way he would have seen the grim smile that painted itself onto his father’s face or the way his mother erased all the concern from her features.
Chris sat on the floor, stunned, as Lou ran out the apartment door and into the rain. He knew he should go after his sister, but he just needed time to process the information she’d given him.
He didn’t know how long he sat there in thought, but eventually Chris became aware of Yankee’s whining and tugging. He sighed. “Come on boy,” he said, scratching the dog’s head. “Let’s go and find her.”
He packed up the room, unplugging Lou’s phone and charger and zipping up her suitcase, placing it in the trunk of the car. He did the same with Yankee’s dog food and bowl. Chris opened the passenger door, letting the dog jump in before closing it and getting in the driver’s side.
Driving slowly, Chris prowled the nearby streets for any sign of his sister. Pulling over, he muttered a soft, “Fuck,” as he fished out his cell phone. He scrolled through the contacts, selecting who he wanted and held the ringing phone up to his ear.
“Hey, it’s Chris,” he said as a male voice answered. “Listen, Spence, I have a favour to ask of you and the guys…”
Notice how Lou's parents don't mention her by name when they talk about her?
Ch 8 will be up either next week or week after. Don't forget to rate and review, please!!!
*I apologise profusely if I confused anyone. I accidentally posted this before the other chapter, when it should have been after. Neverless, my mistake has been rectified. I apologise again, and I promise that it won't happen in the future.