Runaway Mother chapter 4 part 2
I picked up the phone and pressed *66. The same gruff voice answered the call.
‘Hi,’ I said changing my voice slightly, ‘this is Carolyn Fisher, you spoke to my daughter a minute ago!’
‘Hi Carolyn,’ the voice said back but I could hear it in his tone that he knew it was me, ‘how can I help you?’
‘My bank account got hacked a few days ago and I was wondering if you could put my checks into my new bank account from now on!’ I tremble as the voice at the other end of the phone fishes around for some paper.
‘Ok Carolyn, shoot!’
I rattle off my own bank details, my eyes squeezed shut.
‘Right, I have the new details and will update the system so that your pay checks will go into the new account from now on!’
‘Thank you sir!’ I say, shaking my head as soon as the words escape my lips.
‘The deadline is midnight or I will terminate the column!’ he says sternly before hanging up.
I jump around the room, Ethan putting down his little sandwich, following my lead.
Zach comes through the door with a face that could stop a million clocks.
‘We’re jumping Zach!’ Ethan says in his little voice which changes Zach’s demeanour straight away and he jumps along with us.
‘What exactly are we jumping for?’ he asks quizzically.
‘I just got a job!’ I tell him. A real smile crosses his face and he picks Ethan up and the three of us jump until the doorbell rings. Zach looks at me and I smile…the groceries.
The delivery men couldn’t have been nicer! They came in with three crates of food and unpacked them before bringing them back to the van. I thank them sincerely and as I return to the kitchen, Ethan is finishing his snack as Zach is filling up the bare presses. I give him a hand and after it was all away, I spread some Nutella on a cracker for all three of us. Nutella is a delicacy in this house so the three of us ‘cheers’ with our crackers.
‘How was your day?’ I ask Zach.
‘Well, apart from having to redo my algebra test in detention causing me to be late to practice, it was peachy!’ I see Zach’s eyes open wide when he mentions being late to practice.
‘Were you penalised for being late?’ I ask him.
He buries his face in his hands.
‘Ethan sweety, why don’t you bring ducky in to watch Paw Patrol!’ Ethans eyes widen and he says ‘yes!’ under his breath. He jumps down from the chair and grabs ducky by the foot, bringing him into the sitting room.
Once I hear the tv turned on and the music for Ethans favourite tv program start, I reach out and put one hand on Zach’s. His body is convulsing like he was crying, but when he takes his hands away from his face he is actually laughing.
I give him a playful dig in his upper arm which of course he nurses.
‘What’s so funny?’ I ask him smiling. It’s nice to see my brother happy.
‘Well,’ he begins, ‘firstly, that tool of a teacher looked down on me as I dropped Ethan off. I just handed her a very sticky boy with a lollypop in his mouth.’
‘Oh you didn’t!’ I begin to smile.
‘Then Mr Murphy made me do the algebra test from yesterday again!’
‘The one we worked on last night?’
‘How was it?’
‘Well I didn’t get to finish it because I ran out of time!’
‘Never a bad sign!’
‘Then I rushed over to the gym and coach Hux ripped me a new one and gave the whole team suicide drills.’
‘Oh!’ I say trying to sound supportive.
‘But best of all…’ he pauses for dramatic effect.
‘Go on,’ I nudge him again.
‘There is a scout definitely coming to the first game of the season!’
I put up my hand and his palm slaps against mine.
‘But best of all, there’s going to be more than one!’
‘What?’ I say in a high octave, proud of my brother.
‘It might mean I have a choice of colleges Mare!’
We high five again and I see his eyes begin to drift in the direction of the little bit of sandwich left over on Ethans plate.
My heart goes out to him. In front of me sat a man who was trying to pick a trade as he was certain he wouldn’t get into college at all. And now he has multiple scouts coming to see him play. The chance he gets at least one offer is highly likely, but if my mother doesn’t come back, and soon, he might just end up doing a menial job for the rest of his life to support Ethan. He looks at me doe eyed. I try to look encouraging, but I’m also trying to think realistically. He hangs his head.
‘Do you think she’s coming back?’ he asks.
All I can do is shrug my shoulders.
Silence fills the room for a minute before his brow furrows.
‘Why were we jumping earlier?’ he asks.
‘Moms boss no less rang.’
‘Yeah. Apparently, she does an advice column in the paper every week and he basically said he doesn’t care who does it as long as it gets done by midnight tonight!’
‘Yea. So I rang him back and basically told him it would be done if he diverted her wage to my account!’
Zach looks at me for a minute, ‘I’m amazed at your ingenuity sometimes, do you know that?’
‘I’m just going to have to hack into her email account to do it!’ I say smiling an evil smile.
‘Let me guess…you know her password!’
‘Nope, but I have a book that does!’ I of course am referring to the book we found along with the check book yesterday. ‘Oh!’ I say, holding out my hands and spreading my fingers apart.
‘What?’ Zach asks getting excited.
‘I withdrew $4,000 from her account today!’
‘They gave you $4,000?’
‘And why wouldn’t they?’
‘Why indeed!’ Zach laughs.
Our watches ping indicating it to be 6pm
‘Fancy a Chinese?’ I ask him, ‘you know, to celebrate our wealth and all!’
‘Sure!’ Zach goes in search of the menu but stops and asks, ‘what does $4,000 look like?’
I walk out to the hall and retrieve the money from my back pack putting it in front of him on the island.
‘Wowzah!’ he says feeling the money and seeing how much it weighs.
‘I was thinking that we should each put $1,500 into our accounts for online shopping, like the groceries, and put the rest in the empty rice krispies box. What do you think to that?’
‘Count me in!’ we high five again and for the time being put it all in the empty rice krispies box.
Just as the money is out of sight, Ethan comes in.
‘What are you doing?’ he asks in his sweet voice.
‘Were getting ready for some Chinese tonight bud, that ok with you?’
‘Is mommy getting some too?’
‘Mommy is still at work buddy!’ Zach says and goes down to Ethans level. ‘It’s just going to be the three of us for a while!’
‘And ducky?’ my heart melts.
‘And ducky!’ Zach says picking ducky up and asking him what he wants to eat. Ducky answers him in a whisper.
‘What did he say?’ Ethan asks inquisitively.
‘He said a surprise!’ Ethans face lights up.
‘Can you see if I can watch more cartoons?’ he asks innocently.
‘Well,’ Zach starts, ‘the thing about that is that Miss Megan wants you to do some homework every night, and last night we forgot so we have to do it extra well tonight, ok?’
‘Ok!’ the little man answers sounding deflated.
‘So why don’t you go and get your bag from the hall and we see what Miss Megan wants you to do.’
Ethan runs into the hall and retrieves his school bag and Zach does his homework with him while I ring in the Chinese order. It’s the same order every time so I’m sure Zach will be ok with that.
In the meantime I log into the computer and notice that moms email hasn’t been answered. I log out of my email account and even though it feels like fraud, I hack into hers. I don’t look at anything other than the emails she’s received since the day she left. There is one there from ‘Oscar’ with the headline, ‘deadline!’ I notice it hasn’t even been opened yet. That gets me thinking…did she open my email. I look for it and its been marked as read, ‘yea, and no reply!’ I mumble.
I call Zach over when I notice there is a message from ‘The Mint Leaf’. He leaves Ethan for a second and takes out a matchbook from his pocket. Its from ‘The Mint Leaf’ also. ‘Curiouser and curiouser!’ I say before copying all the information Oscar sent and pasting it onto a word document. I also copy down his email address and begin to read letters from bleeding heart looking for advice. I know I can do this no problem, but first we eat!