I paced the backyard for more than an hour with my phone in my hand. Coming up with excuse after excuse to keep delaying calling my parents. I dialed up my dad’s cell phone number five times only to delete it again and tell myself I would call at the next 15-minute mark on the clock.
The trauma of what had just happened and what I knew was still resting back in the house with the cops – the cooling dead bodies of Brandon and my mystery assailant were pushing out any other clear thoughts in my head. How in the hell could I explain this to my dad while he sat in the Bahamas, probably poolside, his morning ice coffee rapidly melting?
I held off calling one more time and was quickly given a true distraction this time. A “psst” sound drew my gaze over to the thick bushes at the back of the yard.
Tucked between two bushy emerald greens was Percy. He looked at me with wide eyes and a twitching head.
“Come here. Come here,” he said frantically with a voice that sounded like it belonged to a four-year-old with the shredded vocal cords of a burnt out rock star.
I fought my initial apprehension. This man had just saved my life.
I shot a quick look back up at the house. Didn’t see any officers or officials within sight. I slipped over to the edge of the woods where Percy’s head was still ripping up and down like a tweaker’s.
“Thank you so much,” I whispered when I reached him.
That head just kept shaking. He put a silencing finger to his lip and pulled out a raggedy piece of paper from his jacket pocket. He pointed to the smudged, sloppy penmanship on the paper over and over again then made a chopping hand motion that seemed to suggest our interaction was over.
He handed me the paper and took off as fast as he could into the deeper, darker woods which eventually led out to the ocean.
I watched him go until he was out of sight and turned my attention to his letter of sorts.