Teenage Rebellion

“Where have you been, Hannah?” Mark said in a tone more anxious than intended, folding the newspaper he pretended to read and adjusting his glasses. “I’ve been worried sick.” This was the third night in a row that Hannah was out with her shady friends. He’d talked about this a thousand times, but it never sunk in that Mark was looking out for her best interests. She thought Mark was trying to destroy her life. And after her Mom died, Mark softened a little, but now he felt it might have been too much. What scared Mark most was Hannah going out with her friends and not seeing the world as dangerous of a place as he does. “It’s not safe out there for young ladies.”

“Out, Dad,” Hannah said and looked down and away. “I’ve been out.”

“How many times have we gone over this?” Mark stood to his feet and rested his fist on his hips. “Out with who?”

“Friends.” Hannah shrugged. “What does it matter?”

“Do we know these friends?”

Hannah stretched her arms and yawned. “Look, can we do this in the morning?”

Mark threw his hands in the air. “I want answers!”

“Dad, relax—”

“Tell me.”

Hannah leaned forward and threw her hands in the air. “What difference does it make?”

“It was Jason, wasn’t it?” Mark raised a brow.

Hannah gave a one-shoulder shrug. “Could have been.”

“Stop acting like—”

“Like what?”

“Your mother.” Mark motioned.

Hannah crinkled her eyes. “Oh, you would bring Mom into this. You’re a lonely old man. Going to die one, too,” Hannah said, climbing the stairs with glassy eyes.

“Young lady, we’re not finished here.”

“Oh, yeah, Dad? Well, I am done.”

“Give me the keys to your car.”

Hannah folded her arms across her chest. “You wouldn’t!”

“Oh, but I will, and I am,” Mark said, opening and closing his hand.

“I got something in there I need to get rid of,” Hannah said, raising a brow.

“Like?”

“A dead body.”

“A dead body?” Mark shouted.

“Dad.” Hannah placed her finger to her lips and tilted her head in the general direction of the nosey neighbor’s house.

Mark brought his voice to a whisper. “Say what you said again. But say it slower.”

“Dad. There’s. A. Dead. Body. In. My. Car.”

Mark threw his hands heavenward. “Lord, what did I do to deserve this?”

“Help me get rid of it, and you can take the keys.”

“What makes you think I won’t pick up that phone and call the police?”

“Mom would help me?” Hannah said, scratching the back of her neck.

Hannah always threw her mother, being the better parent, into Mark’s face. And Mark knew Hannah had a point: Hannah’s mother was always there; Mark worked himself to death. “Fine,” Mark said. “But you’re going to tell me what the hell is going on.”

“I just want to get this over with,” Hannah said.

Mark threw a sweater over his shoulders. “Well, don’t just stand there,” Mark said. “Let’s go.”

“Now?”

“No tomorrow. Of course now, silly.”

Hannah yawned. “I’m tired.”

“Get your ass in the car.”

Mark didn’t curse often, but Hannah knew he meant it when he did. She flipped her boots on, and they slid into the car, passing stoplights and street signs to back roads near the Yakima River.

“Dad, why are you going so fast?”

“What happened? Why do you have a dead body in the car?”

“So, I’ll be honest, Jessica, my friend, was a little drunk, and she hit this guy walking across the street, and—”

“What the hell does that have to do with you?”

“Dad, I couldn’t let her parents find out. Besides, I knew you wouldn’t go to the police.”

“What makes you think I won’t turn this car around and head straight for the police station?”

“Dad, you don’t have it in you.” Hannah gave him a confident smile and a cocky wink. “I miss Mom.”

“I know you do, but it’s not like it was your fault.”

“But Dad—”

“No, stop blaming yourself for her death.”

“But—”

“Nope. We’re not even going down that road right now.”

Hannah waved her hands. “Would you let me speak?”

Mark glanced at her, then returned his eyes to the road. “What is it?”

“Mom’s death was no accident, was it?”

“She died falling off a cliff.”

“But you were last to see her—”

“What are you trying to imply?” Mark shouted. “Just spit it out!”

“You killed Mom, didn’t you?”

“I knew that’s what this was about,” Mark said, shaking his head. “It’s tragic, but she died. There’s nothing more to it.”

“You pushed her over the cliff, Dad.”

“So what if I did?”

Hannah’s eyes widened.

“It’s not like we didn’t need the insurance money. We’re drowning in debt, and all Hannah wanted to do was spend, spend, spend. Spend money we didn’t have.”

“So it’s true?” Hannah said.

“I may or may not have assisted her fall.”

“So, you pushed her?”

“You make it sound worse than it was,” Mark said with his hand’s death gripping the steering wheel.

“Pull over there,” Hannah said. “We’ll bury the body there.”

As they pulled into an unevenly lit parking lot, Mark noticed a car approach, and then another car approached, and then cherry lights flash.

“There was nobody, was there?”

Hannah pulled down her shirt to show the microphone. “I hope you burn in hell, Dad.”

Hannah exited the car, and the cops took Mark into custody. He struggled in the handcuffs, calling out for Hannah, but she cried in her boyfriend’s arms. “I didn’t mean for it to come to this,” Mark said. “We used to be close, you and I,” Mark said.

“Not close enough to let you get away with murder,” Hannah said. As the police lights faded down the curvy hillside, Hannah’s boyfriend asked: “Hey, weren’t you with your dad the day your mom died?”

“I thought it’d come to this,” Hannah said.

“Come to what?”

“This. You ask too many questions.” Hannah lifted her pistol and stood in a firing position. “Couldn’t keep your mouth shut, could you?”

“Wait, your dad must have known you were recording his confession. Your father is taking the fall for you?”

“Not as stupid as you look,” Hannah said, pulling the trigger to an echo in the night.

(© 2022 AC)

(WattpadAmazon Kindle.)

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