21: Franny

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21. Franny

The side of Tyler's truck cools my back even though the evening air is warm and wet. This season the temperatures are going up and down, ranging from cold to hot in the course of a single day. Today it's warm—not hot, but just plain, basic warm—and I hate it.

It's the weather that confuses everyone. No one knows whether to wear a coat, put on boots or go straight out into the morning wearing shorts. Around halfway through the day is when everyone realizes what they've worn isn't appropriate for the weather—some go home cold and some go home sweating out their hairlines.

Right now, it's somewhere in the middle. The truck is pressing up against the thin material of my sweater, the sleeves pushed up to my elbows. Tyler has been inside for a good fifteen minutes and I can't help but fidget and start worrying.

I still only partially know what's going on. The basics are enough but even so, I want to know everything. I'm still out of the loop when it comes to Tyler. I still don't understand everything. To be honest, the more I think about it, the more I realize that I barely know him at all. We only started talking a few weeks ago. Before that he was just another boy at school.

I know nothing about him, compared to the things I've told him about me. Things I told him when I hardly knew him. Stupid things I told a virtual stranger. A part of me wonders why I opened up to him after only knowing him for a few days. But another part of me shrugs it off and thinks of it as inevitable.

I had to tell someone eventually.

I just didn't expect it to be him.

I look up quickly when the doors to the bar open and my shoulder slump in relief when Tyler walks out, head low. He walks towards me slowly, not in any way hasty and I guess that he's doing it to avoid arousing suspicion. When he stops in front of me, he lets out a shaky breath.

"Let's go," he says, and I hand him the keys to the truck.

He heads over to the driver's seat and I slip into the passenger side. His hands are shaking as he puts the key in the ignition. I try not to mention anything, but when he begins to fumble so much that the key won't go in, I reach over and place my hand over his. He flinches. I keep my hand there, watching him carefully. Tyler finally sighs and his entire body sags. I move his hand away and he drops the keys onto the space beside us. His fingers immediately run through his black hair and another long sigh escapes his lips.

"Tyler . . .?" I ask quietly.

"It's never that easy," he whispers to himself.

"What's never . . . Ty, what happened?"

He moves his hands away from his face and places them on the steering wheel, shaking his head back and forth. "It's too easy. Too simple."

"Did you get your files?" I ask.

He nods. "I got all of them."

I snap my head over to look at him, eyes wide. "All of them?"

"Everyone's," he says. "There were too many and it was taking too long to just find mine."

"Well . . . that's not a bad thing, right?" I ask. "I mean, now you have all evidence of you being there. Every fight you had with other people is in the files too, right?"

"But it was so simple." Tyler looks at me. "I just walked right in there and then walked right out. Why was Carl so off guard? So careless over security?"

I open my mouth but I have no answer to give him so I close it. I look out the windows to make sure no one is watching, and that no one has come out of the bar after Tyler. But when I look at the main doors, people are already standing there.

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