Georgia Marlow was a compassionate woman, and she had raised three boys on her own. A single mother back in these times was not unheard of, but it just was not a topic that people talked about at their own dinner tables. They did love to gossip about how she got into that dilemma, but she never let it knock her down. Finn’s father left as soon as the twins were born. It was too much on him, and the rumors were that he had been seeing someone else for years. He was a womanizer, and he was not a good person. She had done her best at being strong and setting an example for her children.
Finn was the oldest of the three boys and had the strongest spirit. He was a little rebellious and gave his mother a few migraines growing up, but he was still a good human in society. His younger brothers, James and Anthony, were twins, and he was very protective over them…and Brooke, the Deville family’s oldest girl. They all had made friends with the kids next door, the Deville Family.
Finn remembered the last conversation that they had, and it was right before he left for college. He wished that he had never left. He was only gone a few days when he got the call from Detective West.
“Finn, are you all set? You got your toothbrush and a change of underwear, right?” She giggled.
“Yes, Mom…I have all my underwear. The toothbrush is questionable though. I need to stop and get a new one on the way.” He returned a playful laugh to his mother with a wink.
“Good. Priorities are important! Just be careful. Don’t do drugs and stay away from bad people.” She patted him on the shoulder as she walked into the next room to grab a gift from the counter.
Finn opened the neatly tied red bow from a small box. It was a locket. He opened it to see a picture of him and his mother on one side and his twin brothers on the other side. “I love it. Thank you, Mom.”
“I wanted you to have us close to your heart while you were away. I am not sure what I will do without you. Just go be great!”
He noticed a sadness in her voice but wrote it off as her worrying since she was a person that was known to be anxious about certain things. “It’s okay, Mom. I’ll be home at Thanksgiving and Christmas to hang out with you guys. Don’t worry. If you need anything, I am just a few hours away.”
“Of course, my son…I just hope I won’t have to call. Things have been a little volatile next door, and I am not sure what is going on over there most of the time.”
He knew exactly what she meant. There had been some different groups of people showing up over at the neighbor’s house, and they were all driving expensive cars. Brooke had told Finn that she did not like all the traffic in and out of the house, but that Megan and Corbin said, “it was necessary for business purposes”. Whatever that meant, he remembered thinking.
“Yeah…I’m not sure what is happening there either. I just know Brooke is not a fan of her parents right now. Things are bad, and I feel bad leaving.” Finn tucked the locket into his leather satchel and looked up at his mother with a hesitating grin. “Are you sure you are going to be alright?”
Georgia lifted her eyes to his, braced his soft cheeks with her hands, and said, “Go be somebody my sweet boy…I’ll be here when you get back.”
Finn winced as that memory flooded his mind. He remembered that she was scared and did not want him to realize that she was. He remembered the grave look on her face as he pulled away. He remembered everything, and it pissed him off. He would actually never see her again, and it killed him inside.
When he made it back to Roland to collect her personal belongings, his heart was broken, and his anger was fueled. No one was telling him what happened to Georgia, and his brothers were devastated. They stood there with him while getting all of the things that Georgia had on her.
“Can you look through these before you leave? Maybe you will see something in her stuff that we did not know to look for.”, Detective West asked.
Finn and the other two boys nodded to her as they sifted through the only things that were found on their mother. There was a cherry Chapstick container, and it was half used, along with some peppermint-flavored Tic-Tacs. She had little under a dollar in change, probably from a trip to the grocery store, and a matchbook from a place he had never seen before…The Arlington Hotel.
“Detective, this matchbook is weird to me. I am not familiar with this place, and it seems weird that Mom has matches in her possession. She stopped smoking when I was still in high school.” Finn fumbled with the matchbook with a confused look on his face.
“We’ll check it out. Is there anything else that looks like it doesn’t belong?”
Finn rummaged through the cardboard box filled with his mother’s things. “No, just that matchbook. Do you guys see anything you don’t recognize or that seems weird?” He turned it over to James and Anthony.
They shook their heads from side to side in sadness as they fumbled through the box. Finn patted Anthony on the shoulder and then onto James. “Let’s go home.”
“I’ll keep working, Mr. Marlow. Keep your heads up, okay? I’ll let you know what I find out about that hotel.”
Finn nodded, collected the box, and lead him and his brothers out of the police station. Brooke was waiting outside for him when he came out. She ran up to him and hugged him tightly.
“I’m so sorry, Finn. It’s all my fault.” Brooke cried out to him.
James and Anthony kept walking, and Finn held onto Brook curious what she meant when she claimed responsibility. “There’s nothing you could do…she was carjacked and robbed.”
“No. Finn…she was in trouble.”
For my new readers, this is an ongoing story. Here are the previous posts:
© E.M. Kingston