The Writers Voice
An Interesting Idea - Chapter Three
All day Jake could only think about one thing, if Will was alive or not. He had hardly gotten any sleep last night. Had he even gotten any sleep last night? The police officer had taken Jake down to the station to ask him some questions. Jake kept having this nagging feeling the detective thought Jake was connected to both of the crimes. Just because he’d known it had happened before didn’t mean it was Jake’s fault Will got hurt. Was it? No, he wouldn’t blame himself for what happened. IF anyone was to blame it was the psychopath that had tried to hurt Will.
Who would do such a thing? The only way it could be worse was if it turned out to be someone they knew. But who did they know that would do something like that? ‘I only wish I knew,’ Jake thought bitterly.
“Jake, are you okay?” Mark asked, concerned.
“Yeah, I”m fine,” Jake replied quickly.
lying,” his boss said shaking his head, “Did you
get any sleep last night?”
“Jake what are you doing here?” Mark asked angrily, “You could get hurt you know.”
“By cleaning stalls?”
“Don’t get smart with me, you know what I mean.”
“Yeah I know,” Jake replied quietly, “Sorry.”
“Don’t worry about it,” Mark replied absent-mindedly. “But seriously, you should go home.”
“Why?” Jake asked, “It won’t do any good; all I can think about is whether Will is alive or not.”
“I know, but you have to at least to get some sleep, it’s not good for you to be worrying like this.”
“I know that, Mark,” Jake said, “But you don’t understand, this happened before.”
“I know, but you can’t keep doing this, sooner or later it will catch up to you, trust me.”
“Then tell what I’m supposed to do,” Jake replied quietly. “How am I supposed to live with myself?”
“What do you mean?”
“I should’ve been there, if I had Will wouldn’t have gotten hurt.”
“Jake, you can’t blame yourself for what happened,” Mark said quietly, “Besides Will can take care of himself.”
“I know, but who would do something like this?”
“I don’t know, if I did I’d kill him for you,” Mark said slowly, “You haven’t seen Justin around have you?”
“He was supposed to be visiting his parents, but I haven’t seen him.”
“Hmm, sorry I can’t help you there.”
“Well, thanks anyway.”
“No problem,” Jake said as he went back to work.
Justin is almost always down at the barn when he’s
here,’ Jake thought to himself. Jake assumed maybe
he was sick or something. Little did he know that
Justin was connected to him in a way he could have
“No, is he okay?” Jenna asked in concern.
“Unfortunately no, he got stabbed last night,” Jeff replied worriedly.
“How awful,” Jenna replied sadly, “Will he be okay?”
“I sure hope so,” Jeff said, “I’d hate for things to end like this.”
“That’s for sure,” Derek said quietly. “Have you guys seen Justin anywhere?”
“No, can’t say I have,” Jeff replied, “Why?”
“Well it’s not much of a family visit if you don’t see your parents, now is it?” Derek said sarcastically.
“Derek, I’m sure he just forgot,” Jenna said reassuringly.
“But Justin never forgets, it’s not like him,” Derek said, puzzled.
“There’s a first time for everything,” Jeff said tactfully.
“I guess you’re right,” Derek said with a sigh, “I’m sure he’ll turn up later.”
“I’ll let you know if I see him,” Jeff said as he headed inside the barn.
Derek said absent-mindedly. Where could Justin be?
This just wasn’t like him. Besides Justin usually
hung around, and they had to bug him to go away.
What would make him not want to be around his own
parents? ‘Unless, no that’s not right, unless he
was lying to me,” Derek thought darkly. Then there
was no telling what kind of trouble he was in.
It was too
much, he started to cry. ‘Stop it,’ he told
himself, ‘Guys don’t cry, they’re supposed to be
strong.’ But despite that he could feel his face
becoming wet with tears. It wasn’t fair, what kind
of person wanted to kill someone else? ‘A crazy
person that’s who,’ he thought to himself, ‘It’s
official, I’m crazy and
“What, what do you want?” Jake asked groggily as he opened his eyes, “Oh, it’s you.”
“You really should go home,” Jenna said, “You look terrible.”
“I know, that’s what Mark said,” Jake replied irritably.
“You don’t think you got any sleep at all?” Jenna asked worriedly.
“No, I’m too worried about Will.”
“Well, if you feel like you have to work at least promise me you won’t ride any horses.”
“Don’t worry, I know I could fall off and get hurt.”
“Fine, I won’t ride any horses, now leave me alone.”
“Okay, hey, have you seen Justin?”
“No, why does everybody keep asking me if I’ve seen him, I’m barely awake, how would I know if he’s here or not?”
“Sorry, it’s just he hasn’t been around and he promised Derek and I he’d be here.”
“Well, I haven’t seen him all day, sorry I snapped, maybe I should get some sleep.”
“That’s the best idea you’ve had all day.”
“Hey, don’t push it.”
“Sorry; let me know if you see him.”
“Don’t worry I will.”
thought. Even if he was barely awake, he knew
Justin well enough to know he wouldn’t blow off
something like this. ‘Something very strange is
going on here,’ Jake thought, ‘I can feel it.’
‘How did I get here?’ Will wondered. Then he remembered. Everything came flooding back - the man, the knife, the pain, the fear of getting killed. ‘I just wish I knew who it was,’ Will thought quickly, ‘If I did, I would kill them if I wasn’t lying here.’
Dr. James walked into the room, “Ah good, you’re awake.”
“Yeah... am I going to die?” Will asked worriedly
“No, no of course not,” Dr. James said hurriedly. “That’s the good news.”
“What’s the bad news?”
“The bad news is they still haven’t caught who did this to you.”
“Oh, that’s too bad,” Will said quietly
“Yes, well, as long as you’re here I think you’ll be safe.”
“Does my dad know I’m alive?”
“No, but I was just going to call Jake and let him know.”
“Good, maybe that will convince Jake to go home and get some sleep.”
“Yes, I’m sure it will,” Dr. James said with a
as he left.
“Hi, is this Jake?” a shaky voice asked.
“Yes,” Jake said slowly, “Who wants to know?”
“Oh, sorry, it’s Justin.”
“Justin, where the heck are you?” Jake asked, trying to stay calm, “Your parents have been asking about you all day.”
“I was afraid of that,” Justin replied nervously.
“That still doesn’t answer my question.”
“I know; I had some car trouble,” Justin replied nervously. “But everything’s fine now, I’m on my way there now.”
“Why are you calling me then?” Jake asked suspiciously.
“Is Will okay?” Justin asked quickly.
“Yes, he’s fine, at least I think so,” Jake said, “How do you know what happened?”
“I heard about it from someone.”
“Who?” Jake asked. Now he was getting really suspicious, if Justin really had car trouble why didn’t he just call his parents?
“Just someone, I don’t remember what their name was.”
“Justin, something tells me you’re not telling me everything.”
“Look, I just don’t remember, okay? I just wanted to know if Will was okay,” Justin said. Now he was starting to get upset.
“Hey, calm down,” Jake said quickly, “I didn’t mean to upset you or anything.”
“That’s okay, I was just worried that’s all.”
“Justin, if you had car trouble why didn’t you just call your parents?”
“Um, I don’t know, didn’t think to I guess.”
“Hmm, well if you say so, I’ve got to get back to work,” Jake said. “I’ll tell your parents you called.”
“Yeah, sure, thanks,” Justin replied hurriedly. “Bye.”
“Bye,” Jake heard the phone click before he could even get the words out of his mouth. ‘This is getting stranger by the minute,’ he thought, ‘Why would Justin, of all people care about how Will was?’ Why didn’t he just call his parents? Something was definitely wrong, if only he could figure out what it was. Not only that, but Justin had sounded so worried, practically frantic when Jake had asked how he’d known about what happened. Had Justin been there that night? And if he had, why wouldn’t he tell Jake he had been there? ‘Great, just what I need, another mystery to solve,’ Jake thought glumly.
At least he knew his parents were worried. If only he figure out what was going on. Maybe Derek or Jenna could help him. Of course there was always the possibility that it would get him nowhere, but it was worth a try.
“Hey Jenna, you won’t believe who just called me,” Jake said as Jenna came into the office.
“Who?” Jenna asked.
“Justin, he said he had some car trouble.”
“Car trouble?” Jenna asked, “Why didn’t he just call us?”
“I don’t know,” Jake replied, “When I asked him he said he just didn’t think to call you guys.”
“He figured he’d call you instead?” Jenna asked, baffled. “But why?”
“I don’t know,” Jake replied, “I’m as miffed as you are.”
“Did he say if he was coming?”
“Yeah, he said he was on his way.”
“On his way?” Derek asked, “Who would he possibly get a ride from?”
“I don’t know, that’s the weird thing,” Jake said. “But something else bugs me too.”
“What?” Derek asked.
“Did you guys tell him what happened to Will?”
“No, we didn’t even know until Jeff told us,” Jenna replied. “Why?”
“Because Justin seemed really insistent on knowing if he was okay.”
“I know Justin and Will are friends, but they’ve never really struck me as being all that close,” Derek said, puzzled.
“Yeah, I know,” Jake said ”When I asked him how he knew about Will, Justin got really upset.”
“That’s strange, he usually handles things pretty well,” Jenna said.
“I hate to say it, but I think something weird is going on here,” Jake said. “I just don’t know what it is.”
“I’d have to agree with you there,” Derek said, “I’ll ask him about it when he comes in.”
“Thanks,” Jake said, “Don’t worry too much, I’d bet it’s nothing but I can’t be sure.”
“Hey better to be safe then sorry, right?” Jenna said quickly.
“I guess,” Jake replied thoughtfully, “It’s just not like him though...”
“I know,” Jenna said, “I can’t figure out what would cause him to act like this.”
“Well, we’re about to find out,” Derek said, pointing towards the driveway. They all heard the screech of car brakes as Justin pulled into the driveway. Justin slammed the car door and ran inside.
“Sorry I’m late,” he said as he walked into the tack room.
“Justin,” Derek said slowly, “Isn’t that your car?”
“Um, yes,” Justin said his eyes shifting uneasily from one person to the other.
“I thought you said you had car trouble?” Jake asked suspiciously.
“I, um, I guess I lied.”
“You have some explaining to do,” Jenna said sternly her dark eyes flashing in anger. “And it better be good!”
“Don’t worry, it is,” Justin said uneasily, “Trust me.”
“I’m not so sure we can,” Derek said quietly. “Tell us what happened.”
“I was out late the other night, I guess I just slept late and forgot I had plans today,” Justin replied lamely, “I’m sorry.”
“Justin, that’s a really poor excuse,” Derek said with a heavy sigh. “Not only that but you felt like you had to lie to us.”
“I said I was sorry,” Justin replied.
“I know that,” Jenna said quickly, “But your dad and I felt like something was wrong when you didn’t show up today.”
“I know, I’m sorry,” Justin replied quietly, “I didn’t mean to worry you guys.”
“Sorry’s not good enough Justin,” Derek said. “Not this time.”
“What do you guys want me to do?” Justin asked angrily, “You guys are lucky I even come to visit at all, people think I’m crazy for growing up here.”
“Calm down, you're just angry,” Jake said quickly.
“You guys just don’t get it do you?!” Justin shouted angrily, “You always said I was lucky to get out of here, now I finally understand why.”
“Justin what are you talking about?” Jenna asked worriedly.
“I tried to apologize, and I just get it thrown in my face,” Justin replied glaring at Derek.
“The only reason I said that was because your story doesn’t match up with what actually happened,” Derek replied, “Which means you lied to us.”
“I lied, big deal; you guys do it all the time.”
“Justin, stop it,” Derek said sternly, “This is different.”
“How?” Justin asked. “How is this different?”
“You had us worried sick,” Derek said, “We thought something had happened to you, that maybe you got hurt.”
“Well I’m fine; you don’t need to worry anymore!”
“What the hell is the matter with you?!” Derek cried angrily, “Like it or not we’re the only parents you’ve got, and you have to deal with it!”
“No I don’t,” Justin replied quietly, “Not if I end it all.”
“What are you talking about?” Derek asked suspiciously.
“You wouldn’t understand!” Justin cried angrily. “Just leave me alone!” And with that, he stormed out of the office.
“Justin wait,” Jenna pleaded, “Don’t leave.”
“Let him go,” Jake said quickly, “It won’t do anyone any good if you guys start fighting again.”
“I guess not,” Jenna said, “What was he talking about?”
“I don’t know, it’s beyond me,” Jake replied. “I thought you guys knew.”
“Not me,” Derek replied, “If I did then maybe I could figure out why he’s been acting so weird,”
“Wait a minute,” Jake said, “What do you mean, are you saying he’s been like this?”
“Yes, he won’t let me talk to him about anything without screaming about it,” Derek said wearily.
“Me either,” Jenna said, “He keeps going off and disappearing for long periods of time too.”
“Hmm, I think you guys might be on to something.”
“What do you mean?” Derek asked in surprise.
“Derek, the night Will got hurt, where was Justin?”
“I don’t know, he went out somewhere, wouldn’t tell us where he was going.”
“What time did he leave?”
“Probably around eight o’ clock,” Derek said, “Where are you going with this?”
“Oh my god, he was there,” Jake said quietly.
“Where, what are you talking about?” Jenna asked.
“Justin, he was there when Will got hurt, I know it,” Jake said firmly.
“What makes you so sure?” Derek asked suspiciously.
“IF Justin has been acting moody and he went out that night and didn’t come home, and he wanted to know if Will was okay, that means he was there.”
“You think that’s why he’s been acting so strange lately?”
“I’d say that’s exactly why Justin’s been acting strange.”
“Now what do we do?” Jenna asked worriedly.
“I don’t know, I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what happens next.”
“That’s probably going to be the hardest part,” Derek said wearily.
“No kidding,” Jake replied, “But that’s all we can
The night he went crazy. What made him do it? Something snapped that’s what happened, but what snapped? Suddenly he remembered. It was what had been bugging him all along. He couldn’t take the pain anymore, but instead of blaming himself he let Will be the victim of his anger - no, his hatred. But why Will? It was then he remembered something else; Will wasn’t the only one who had been the victim of his anger. If only he’d been smart enough to hold his tongue, to calm himself down, but no it was too late now. What happened that night remained etched in his memory, even more so then the night Will got hurt. The night he had shot his own father. The night Derek nearly died, all because of what he did. All because he’d been stupid enough to carry a gun. Then he had used it, on his own dad. What kind of idiot does that? I do, I’m not worth caring about, what the hell would it matter if he was gone? No one would miss him anyway, his best friend was dead because he hadn’t been able to stop him, his dad hated him, and now he could get turned in by Jake because he knew what had happened.
He knew where he’d put the gun. He knew that all took was one pull of the trigger. That was all it took to end all this pain. Then it would be over, and no one would have to worry about him anymore. He wouldn’t have to be in so much pain. But even though he knew that was all it took, something made him stop.
‘What’s wrong with me?’ he thought, ‘Why can’t I just do it, what’s stopping me?’ He couldn’t put his finger on it, but something was keeping him from ending it all. But what was it? If he could just get rid of that nagging feeling. That feeling that this was wrong. That someone would care, that someone would miss him, if he could just make it go away, then he could end everything. And no one would care, no one would miss him, he wouldn’t have to live with himself anymore. He was sure of it.
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