Ricky had spent the majority of the first week trying to tell himself all of it was worth it; that the time spent wasn’t just pointless. He did this so he didn’t skip during the first week, but that didn’t work because not even two days in, Ricky was basically absent from school from second period -- his free period for those who didn’t know -- and this eventually caught up to him. He knew he was fucked for several reasons. These reasons were irrelevant only because when he came in front of his house and saw his aunt’s department-issued car still parked in front of their house on Franklin Avenue at a time when he knew she was supposed to be out patrolling or doing some police work.
As soon as he opened the door and closed it behind him, a Dr. Pepper can in his hand and casually sipping it, right off the bat he saw a certain someone sitting in the recliner chair in the front room as if she was waiting for him. He sipped the soda once more and sighed. He belched as only one could when they have just consumed half of a can of Dr. Pepper and he took a seat.“Oh hey, Mona. What are you doing home? Aren’t you supposed to be protecting us from killers and rapists?“
He casually joked, chuckling at his own wit.
The older redheaded woman sighed. She was still in her officer uniform and she did not look happy. “Yes, I would love
to be out there doing my job, but hard to protect and serve the people out there when my nephew is already causing me trouble in here.”
Ricky didn’t look up at her. “Oh no. Do I have a cousin somewhere my useless parents forgot to tell me about?”
Ricky, again, joked, making light of a potentially dire situation for him.
Suddenly, he heard her hand slam on the table next to the recliner she was sitting in, causing the lamp on it to fall over. “This isn’t a game, Patrick!” Her voice echoed loudly within the thin, white walls that barely had anything on them. “Henderson called me, saying you failed to show up for any of your classes today.”“Oh no, not Henderson. Anyone but Mr.Henderson!”
Ricky feigned a distressed tone and then returned to his unphased state a moment later. “He doesn’t scare me,”
he stated, sipping his soda.
“Patrick Hunter Quinn!” She shouted, causing him to perk up and look at her with slanted eyes. “You can’t be doing this. I’m not sure if you ever realized this but skipping school causes people to look our way and when certain people pay attention to us, this living situation you and I have might be compromised. So I need
you to meet me halfway.”
Truth be told, Ricky wasn’t sure what a few partial days skipped would do. It’s not like social services were going to come knocking on his door because he skipped some classes and, of all times, during the first week. Even if he had missed some important lessons, he didn’t think much of it because, again, it was only the first week. Nothing important happens during the first week.
“And another thing--” Ramona noticed Ricky wasn’t paying attention to her, so she slammed her hand on the arm of the couch he was sitting on. “Ricky!” She shouted, again forcing him to glance her way.“Aunt Ramona!”
he said her name in a cheeky tone and greeted her with a cheeky grin.
“We have to be on the same--”
As she spoke, Ramona was about to repeat herself, but then she heard her radio go off.
“We’ve got shots fired on the corner of Redwood and Langley,” Dispatch said.
A smile came to his face as he realized where this call would place her. Redwood and Langley were about seven miles south of where they lived, but more importantly, it would place her in a busy situation and save him from her nagging. “You better get that, Auntie.”
Ricky teased her (much to her annoyance).
She sighed. “Copy that, Dispatch. 23 en route to location, over.”
“Roger that, 23.”
Though he was happy to be free of her consistent whining, watching Ramona get ready to leave, Ricky couldn’t help but feel worried. It wasn’t like him to show emotion, but no matter how big of a pain in his ass she was, she was the closest thing he had to a parent. It was clear that as he stood when she did, there was a show of respect and compassion for the older woman.“Say, Aunt Mona..”
Ricky spoke up just as she had one foot out the door.
She paused and glanced back at him. “Don’t worry, I’ll be back before long. Just,” she paused, smiling at him. “Just don’t get too wild at that party, all right?”
As Ricky nodded, Ramona was soon out the door, sirens going off as they became less and less close by.
About an hour later when Ricky’s uber arrived, he got a ride to the lakefront, which took a good while and allowed him the time to think. While he had a lot on his mind, the one thing -- well, a person more like -- that came to mind was, in fact, his aunt. She had practically raised him since he was a little boy. She stepped up where nobody else would. She got a job she probably hated but did it to support him. And how did he thank her? By being a burden.
From the time he was an edgy preteen to, well now, Ricky gave her nothing but grief and trouble. Sometimes he wondered why she put up with him and didn’t toss him back into the foster system. It sure as hell would be a lot easier on her and maybe she could get her life back and enjoy what little remained of her young life. Maybe she could finally get married or do something other than worry about him.“Yeah, like I’m not worried about her right now,”
Ricky murmured, seeing the party come into view.
He said his farewells to his Uber driver and found himself at the party, though he stood a good distance away.
Ricky wasn’t exactly dressed for a lakefront party. Honestly? He wore the same thing that he usually wore. He had his leather jacket, a dark-colored tank, a pair of denim jean shorts that came to his mid-shin, and dirty shoes. He might be one for the party scene but Ricky never dressed to impress nor was he someone who would sacrifice his ideals just to look fashionable.
After a few moments of remaining away, Ricky decided to join the party, regardless of how reluctant he was about it. His legs carried him to the lakeside and closer to where the vertical bonfire and music was more ‘in your face’. He glanced around, trying to see if anyone
was around but there wasn’t much to choose from. Henderson’s little bitch photographer, Alex was chit-chatting away with another little bitch and, well that was pretty much it.“Man this is lame,”
He considered what to do. He could just as easily stay where he was at, enjoy the music, and stay away from bitch center, or he could have some fun with the paparazzi to entertain himself until Jenna or someone else caught his attention. And he considered other options that weren’t even directly tied to that.
Soon, as his legs started carrying him in a specific direction, his decision was made clear.
Ricky smiled at Alex and ignored Jordan. “So, Alex, how does it feel to have a direct line to Henderson’s vapid asshole?”
He asked the photographer, again ignoring Jordan, which was easy for him to do because he couldn’t stand the little gossip queen.