Part 17 – Scare Tactics
When I woke the next morning, Megan and I were so intertwined that the only way I could’ve climbed out of bed would have involved moving her limbs and waking her. Content to watch her sleep, I was struck by how peaceful she looked as I watched her chest rise and fall. She looked almost angelic. Light illuminated her face, shining through the slats in the blinds and a cheerful bird song heralded in the new day.
“Hey,” Megan side her eyes cracking open as she let out a yawn.
“Morning sleepyhead,” I replied a smile touching my lips.
She smiled and reached out to caress my cheek. “It’s weird, a few days ago I never would’ve imagined that we would end up in bed together. It’s weird thinking you used to be a boy.”
“Seems like a lifetime ago, but at least if I’m stuck like this I get to have the hottest girlfriend ever.”
“Girlfriend?” Megan’s eyebrows shot up, and my stomach twisted into knots as I recognized the stubborn look that formed on her face. “I never said I was anyone’s girlfriend.”
I could shoot myself. Things had been going so well and I’d had to screw everything up. A smile cracked on Megan’s face, and as she giggled, I realized she’d been yanking my chain. “Don’t fret Calista. Your girlfriend’s cute, but mine’s hotter.”
“Oh, yeah?” I asked glancing down at my breasts. “You might be right. I’m one delectable little morsel.”
Megan laughed and pecked me on the lips, before pulling away and untangling her limbs from mine. “As much as I hate to say this, we better get out of bed before someone finds us in it together. If Dad sees us like this, he’ll have a shit fit.”
I agreed, with no small amount of reluctance and together we made our way downstairs. Much to our relief, neither Allison nor Mr. Hails had found their way downstairs. Megan popped something into the microwave and then we sat down at the breakfast table together. We talked a little, but mostly just held hands and grinned at each other like idiots.
“You two are up early,” Mr. Hails said stepping into the kitchen and grabbing a mug from the cupboard.
Megan winked at me then cleared her throat and turned to her Dad. “We had a good night.”
Mr. Hails pursed his lips and eyed Megan as if he wanted to say something. For a moment I thought we were busted, but then he shook his head and turned away. “Next time you’re up this early put on a pot of coffee, would you?”
“Sure dad,” Megan nodded.
Mr. Hails got the coffee maker brewing then disappeared into the front room. The door creaked open, and I heard the screen door creak shut as Mr. Hails stepped outside. A few minutes passed, and he didn’t return. I didn’t think much about it, but Megan furrowed her brows and craned her neck probably trying to get a better view into the front room. “What’s taking him so long?”
She hopped out of her seat and I was only a second behind. By the time we found our way back into the front room, Mr. Hails was back inside and I didn’t like what I saw on his face. He slammed the door behind him and quivered with rage as he went tearing into the kitchen.
“Goddamned son of a bitch!”
I was pretty surprised to hear him curse, he’d always been so polite and well spoken that I’d almost convinced myself that those sorts of words weren’t even in his vocabulary. Something must have gotten to him for him to swear like that. His face was beat red, and he kept twisting his hands as wringing some imaginary neck.
“Dad,” Megan stared at her father with wide eyes. “What’s wrong?”
“Vandals,” he said between gritted teeth.
Megan and I glanced at each other and sprang for the door in almost perfect unison. I stopped dead in my tracks and felt my voice catch in my throat as I saw what was on the other side. Sure, I’d seen vandalism enough times in my lifetime, and I admit I’d even participated in a TP-ing or two, but this wasn’t just vandalism. Sure there was TP everywhere and a whole hell of a lot of graffiti, but it was what had been written that was so telling.
There were nasty things written on the wall and lawn. “Die twisted freak” and “get out freak lovers” were among the more mellow messages and the rest of them I didn’t care to repeat. Someone had smashed the mailbox, and every lawn ornament on the yard looked like it had been put through a giant blender. If that wasn’t bad enough someone had put good sized dents in both cars and smashed all the windows.
It was no childish prank of teenage vandalism. It had been an act of hatred, and all of it was because of me. My mere presence was putting Megan and her family in danger. The realization didn’t settle well with me and I shook my head as Mr. Hails pulled us away and closed the door behind us.
“I think it’s time I put a call in to the underground. Things will not get any better and truth be told I’ve seen things like this escalate to some scary extremes. It’s probably best if we leave before anyone gets any ideas.”
“Underground?” I asked. “What underground?”
“You know about the underground railroad, right? Well, some twisted people and some sympathetic normals created a similar network for twisted looking to escape persecution. I’m not part of the underground, but I have helped them with a few of the more difficult cases and I know a few people who can help us.”
I shook my head and looked into his eyes. I didn’t say any more, but I knew what I needed to do. They shouldn’t have to flee town because of me. I threw my arms around Mr. Hails. “Thank you for everything.”
He smiled and glanced over his shoulder. “Why don’t you two go grab something to eat? I want to be ready to leave town at a moment’s notice.”
Megan slipped away and disappeared into the kitchen. I hesitated, glancing at Mr. Hails and ran up the stairs breakfast all but forgotten.