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The Unfortunate Occurence at Shenandoah High 2020 - 24. Chapter 24

Houston, we have a problem. Well ... imagine that!

"We have a problem."

Tristan had been pouring a liberal amount of bleu cheese over his homemade wedge salad when he heard the heavy footsteps approaching the top section of the bleachers where he and Keisha were sitting. Keisha was too busy trying to complete the French assignment she’d neglected the night before to notice someone had crashed their intimate party of two.

Jon-Jon looked sweaty and exhausted as he finally reached the row they were sitting on. An expensive-looking periwinkle V-neck, a few sizes too small, was stretched tight over his muscular upper body. His thighs, made thick and muscular from years of cross country were barely contained by the wrinkle-free khakis he was wearing. Jon-Jon ran his thick fingers through her wavy dark hair. For years, Tristan had sort of written Jon-Jon Yang off as the class clown but standing right in front of him, blocking the mid-morning sun, he looked hot and not because he was profusely perspiring.

Tristan managed to pry his gaze away from the gorgeous body in front of him to finally acknowledge the face attached to it. He noted the look of distress on the other man's face and frowned. Tristan had managed to have not one, not two but three amazing days since that unfortunate occurrence on Monday and Jon-Jon was here to ruin all of it, he just knew it.

Tristan sighed and sat the Tupperware container containing his salad down beside him in order to give Jon-Jon his undivided attention.

"Who has a problem?" he asked

"We - as in you, me, Keisha ... all of us."

"I didn't do anything," Keisha said, not bothering to look up from her notebook.

"I really fucked up," Jon-Jon said.

"Told you I didn't do anything," Keisha said.

Tristan tried and failed to suppress and eye roll before calmly asking Jon-Jon, "What did you do?"

Jon-Jon let out an extremely long and heavy sigh before reaching into the pocket of his pants and removing a phone.

"I keep getting text messages."

"From who?" Tristan asked.

"Nick's brother."

These seemed to be the magical words to draw Keisha away from her work and into the conversation.

"Why is Nick's brother texting you?" Keisha asked, brow furrowed and mouth twisted in genuine confusion.

"Nick's brother isn't texting me," Jon-Jon said.

"I'm beyond confused," Tristan says reaching for his salad.

Jon-Jon holds up the phone he'd just taken from his pocket so that Tristan and Keisha could get a better look at it. It was a late-modeled iPhone contained in a black Otterbox phone case. Jon-Jon ran his thumb across the front of the phone and a picture of Nick and Andy appeared on the smudged screen.

"This is Nick' phone," Jon-Jon said. "I kept it."

"And why exactly did you keep Nick's phone?" Keisha asked.

Jon-Jon shrugged his shoulders which was hard to do with his sweater being so tight.

"I figured one of us needed to keep it, just in case anyone tried to call or text message Nick."

"How many text messages are there?" Tristan asked.

Jon-Jon bit his lip and lowered his eyes to the concrete he was standing on.

"Fourteen," he said.

"Fourteen," Tristan and Keisha blurted at the same time.

"From the same person?" Tristan asked.

"Thirteen from Nathan and one from someone I think is his mom."

"Oh my god," Tristan says shaking his head. He paused to quickly put the lid back on salad. He no longer had an appetite.

"I feel like I should text something back but I don't know what to say. Figured you two knew Nick better than I did. Maybe you could respond?"

"First of all, there is absolutely no way in hell I'm touching that phone," Keisha said. "You do know they can track phones. When Nick's brother or his parents do find him - and they most certainly will find him - the first thing they're going to do is call the cops. When the cops come to investigate, the first thing they're going to look for is Nick's phone and when they don't find Nick's phone they're going to track it and next thing you know those same cops will be knocking on your door looking for it."

"Not if we leave it with Nick," Jon-Jon said.

"Leave it with Nick?" Keisha asked. "How do you propose you do that?"

"I figured maybe once we respond to all these texts, one or both of you could ride back over to Nick's place with me so I can put it in his room or something. As long as it's in the house, they're not going to suspect any of us."

"Oh my god, oh my god." Keisha gripped the side of her head like she was having the mother of all migraines. "I do believe it was me on that Monday we vowed to never talk about this ever again who said, "Hey you guys, this is not going to work". Actually I know for a fact it was me who uttered those exact words but hey, since I was outvoted, I sat back and watched a bunch of crazy people stuff an actual human inside a trunk. Look - I take full responsibility for my part in all of this but believe me when I say, I want nothing to do with anything involving this."

"What about you, Tristan?" Jon-Jon asked.

"I'm with Keisha," Tristan spoke up. "I, too, take full responsibility for the role I've played in all of this but the more we get involved the deeper this hole gets."

Jon-Jon groaned and ran his fingers through his hair again. His face was the color of cooked beets and Tristan noticed the sweat stains developing underneath his arms.

"Please," Jon-Jon said after several moments passed between the three of them. "I don't have anyone in my corner. Both Leah and Andy seem convinced I'm the one who pushed Nick."

"But you did push Nick," Keisha said.

"Yeah - but so did Finn," Tristan spoke.

Keisha looked over at Tristan and glared at him. "You told me your eyes were closed when it happened."

"Tristan's right, though," Jon-Jon said. "We both pushed Nick at the same time. We didn't mean to push him off the stage. I don't think either of us realized we were that close to the edge. It was an accident."

"Which is why we should've called the police," Keisha said.

"You really think it would've been that simple?" Jon-Jon asked leveling his own glare on Keisha this time.

Keisha folded her arms across her chest and stared back at Jon-Jon with such an intensity, Tristan half-expected the other man to disintegrate into ashes.

"Yes, I do."

"You and I both know if the police came out, this whole thing would've been pinned on me. I'd be the one sitting in a cell right now."

"How can you possibly know that?" Tristan asked.

"Do I really have to spell it out for you?" Jon-Jon asked, throwing his hands up He looks back and forth between Tristan and Keisha.

"Finn's the golden boy," he continued. "The one who everyone likes The one who can do no wrong. I'm the clown. The eternal fuck-up. If it came down to me and Finn, Finn wins every time."

"Jon-Jon we wouldn't have thrown you under the bus for the sake of protecting Finn," Tristan said.

"You sure about that?"

"What’s that supposed to mean?"

"Tristan - I'm not dumb. I know you guys may think I am but I'm not. Far from it actually. Look, I see the way you look at Finn when you think no one is watching. You're in love with him."

Tristan scoffed and turned to look at Keisha who had conveniently gone back to working on her homework assignment. Instead, Tristan drew his attention back to Jon-Jon who for once in his life looked serious.

"I am not in love with Finn," Tristan spoke through gritted teeth.

"Hmm." Jon-Jon rested his chin on his fist and looked down at the ground again. "Perhaps I misread the situation

"Yes," Tristan said. "You most definitely misread the situation."

"Noted," Jon-Jon said. "So are you coming with me or not?"

"To Nick's house? Most certainly not."

"Tristan - please. Leah said - and I quote - Hell no, I'd rather have Satan poke me in the asshole with his pitchfork for all eternity than go back in that house again."

"Yeah," Tristan said. "That definitely sounds like Leah."

"Sheldon said no and of course Finn's not willing to get anymore dirt on his hands even though he's just as much to blame as I am."

"What about Andy?" Tristan asked. "Does Andy know you have Nick's cell phone."

"I tried to talk to him about it this morning but I just couldn't. I do not want to be the source of anymore pain in regards to that kid. He's been through enough."

"I guess that leaves just me and Keisha," Tristan said.

"Not involved, remember?" Keisha asked.

"Fine - guess that leaves just me."

"I promise all you'd be doing is just riding along with me. I'd take care of making sure the phone's back in Nick's possession."

"What about the keys?" Tristan asked. "Didn't they leave Nick's keys inside the house after moving his car?"

"There's a statue of a frog right next to the front door," Jon-Jon said. "Noticed it on my way out. There's a spare key in this hollowed out part underneath the frog."

"So, on top of involuntary manslaughter, you're willing to add on breaking and entering?"

"Either way you look at it, I'm pretty much screwed. Just spinning my wheels at this point. You game or not?"

Tristan gnawed on his bottom lip. partly out of contemplation. Mostly out of hunger. While his hands weren't exactly clean in all of this, there were others in their group whose hands were much filthier. This was a supremely bad idea but what Jon-Jon had said had really tugged at something inside of him. If anyone who could walk away from this situation squeaky clean it would be Finn Montgomery and that was not fair at all. Finn was not the super nice All-American guy everyone at Shenandoah thought he was. So far the only thing he'd proven, at least to Tristan, was that he was a heartless bastard who had zero concern for how his actions affected others. At least Jon-Jon didn't go around intentionally hurting people. He could be an asshole at times but he at least meant well.

"And I wouldn't have to get out of the car?" Tristan asked.

Jon-Jon shook his head and said, "No. I'd take care of anything."

"And I could wear a disguise?"

"Sure - why not."

"And most importantly, no one would ever find out I went with you?"

"Not unless your friend over there decided to spill the beans."

Tristan looked over at Keisha to look for some sort of indication that he was about to make the right decision but at the moment Keisha was intent on not getting involved and she could be very, very stubborn when she wanted to. Not that he blamed her. He didn't blame anyone for how they felt right about now.

He usually depended on Keisha to keep him honest, so to speak, but this time he was going to have to be his own moral guide.

"Okay," he said. "But I have to be home before eight."

As always, thank you for reading! Please feel free to comment below!

Copyright © 2020 imperfect _pisces; All Rights Reserved.
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Chapter Comments

This just went from dumb to dumber. I wouldn't be surprised if Nick's parents had already looked at the tracking themselves. Since the phone has been moving around, it's likely the only reason to delay a welfare check. Either way once they figure out Nick was moved and placed in bed by someone else, they will look at the tracking info on the phone. It's an indelible roadmap to the entire affair. They will also immediately suspect more sinister motives than an accident.

Edited by drpaladin
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Roh-roh. Tristan is allowing his justifiable disgust with Finnishia, and his understandable admiration for Jon-Jon’s “attributes”, to cloud his judgment. How frustrating when the cover-up has become the crime.

Edited by tesao
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I'm hoping the author brings this story to a closure, and not leave it dangling!  It wasn't a planned murder, but after the accident, it was pretty stupid to try and cover it up.

Somehow I have a feeling that Triston and Finn will never get together.

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