27: Franny

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27: Franny

The detective gestures to the seat beside my dad's unconscious body but I just shake my head. With a sigh, he brings out a little pad of paper from his inner coat pocket. Detective Franks clicks the top of his pen and looks at me.

"Okay, so," he says, "first I just need general stuff. Your dad was attacked in his own home. Doctors said he took a harsh beating to the eye, with a weapon, most likely a bat. He has two cracked ribs, multiple bruises and a broken ankle. The bruising around his injured ankle had looked like the outline of a shoe, as if someone had continuously placed pressure on the bone until it snap—"

"Can we get to the questions?" I ask bluntly.

He nods. "Of course. What was the state of your house when you walked in? Door open or shut? Things misplaced . . . taken, stuff like that."

"The door was wide open," I say. "I came back from school with my friend and saw my dad's body through the open door. Um . . . nothing seemed out of place, but I can't be certain. I wasn't paying much attention to anything but him."

Franks scribbles something down on his paper. "Anything else? Signs of a struggle, such as broken objects, marks or anything on the interior of the house?"

"Isn't that your job to find out?" I scowl.

"I'm just trying to help," Franks says calmly.

"I'm not a forensic scientist, Detective Franks," I say. "I don't know. All I was really focusing on was the fact that my dad was lying on the floor bleeding to death."

Franks stares at me for a moment too long and I try to soften the expression on my face.

"Of course," he says again. "My apologies. I know this must be hard. I'll make this quick. I just need to know one last thing."

I nod my head for him to continue.

"Do you know of anyone that would do this? Someone who wants to inflict harm on your dad? Any enemies? People you saw him fall out with?"

Carl stares back at me in my mind. His smug smile and beady eyes. He just stands there, laughing. I want to hurt him. Maybe it's the first time that I've felt anger like this to such a high level, but I want to hurt him so bad. I want to kill him. I want to kill him. Hurt him like he hurt my—

"No," I say. "I don't know of anyone."

Franks looks at me for a moment too long again before writing on his paper. "Okay. Thanks for your time. I hope he gets better. I'll stay in touch if anything comes up."

I nod silently and Franks slips his pad of paper back into his pocket, clicking his pen off and turning around. I bite my lip and chew on it in thought before cursing inwardly and lurching forward, grabbing the back of Frank's coat.

"Wait," I say, and he turns to look at me, brows furrowed. "He gambles. A lot. I don't . . . I don't know if that helps."

Franks narrows his eyes and tilts his head forward. "Yes, yes it does. Thank you, Francesca."

His coat slips through my fingers as he walks away. I clench my eyes shut just as the door clicks closed. I only begin to calm down when my mind registers the pain of my nails digging into my palms.

Ten minutes later, Tyler comes walking in. He looks pale and I immediately straighten in my chair. "You okay?" I ask.

He nods. "You?"

I nod. "Ethan?"

"He'll live." He tries for a smile. "Your dad?"

"I'm just hoping he'll wake up soon," I say and stand up, walking over to him.

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