Alright, Nancy Drews, let’s get down to business. Last week, you were able to examine Kayla’s phone, where you discovered some very inappropriate texts from Daddy Long Legs, aka your drama teacher, Mr. Crane, aka G to the ROSS. You also found and copied some folders on Silas’ computer named after you, Kayla and your families. Just as the files finished transferring, Silas walked back into his room with some news about Mr. Crane and discovered you in front of his laptop.
Y’all voted to: Jokingly explain about your iTunes stalking and then ask what he found about Mr. Crane. Let’s find out what a good liar you are! And let us pray to be spared from any further Crane sexts because NASTY.
Chapter 07: This Is How You Remind Me
As Silas’ gaze lands on his lit-up laptop, you let out what you hope is a realistic giggle of embarrassment. “Um… I’m sorry, but I just had to make sure that we could be friends.”
His eyes slide from the screen to you, and you can see a flicker of suspicion in his glance as he asks, “What do you mean?”
“Well,” you reply, tilting your head to the side in the way you’ve seen Kayla do a zillion times, to great flirtacious effect. “I can’t be friends with anyone who likes Nickelback. So, while you were gone, I performed a thorough investigation of your iTunes, and I’m relieved to report that your music collection is Nickelback-free.”
Silas breathes a dramatic sigh of relief. “Thank God!”
“I know, right?” This is going even better than you thought. Who knew you could flirt as well as Kayla? “Because otherwise, I would have to vacate these premises immediately.”
Silas widens his eyes with mock seriousness. “No, I meant, thank God you didn’t check my Spotify, because I’ve got a whole playlist of ‘Photograph’ remixes in there.”
“I guess that means we can’t be friends!” you say, your mouth twitching at the side with laughter.
Silas’ smile spreads slowly across his face. “Oh, I wasn’t planning on us being friends.”
A flame erupts in the center of your body and sends a rush of heat all the way to your face, which you’re sure is turning bright red. Could Silas actually like you? It seems impossible. Look at this guy, he’s gorgeous. And you’re just… you. Plain, boring, totally vanilla you. Except, now that Kayla is gone, you’re beginning to realize that maybe you’re not as lame as you thought.
You are, however, way too awkward to take this conversation any further, so you quickly head back to safe territory– your pervy drama teacher. On second thought, maybe “safe” isn’t the right word.
“So, um, what did you find out about Mr. Crane?”
The grin on Silas’ face disappears as he sits down across from you on his bed. There is obviously something wrong with you, because now you’re just thinking about that bed, and how Silas sleeps there, and if he wears pajamas or… God, Caitlin, keep it together!
“So,” Silas starts slowly, “I looked up Mr. Crane and got his date of birth, which I then plugged into my dad’s database. And get this: He’s wanted in Arizona. For having sex with a student.”
You throw up a little in your mouth. “So… Kayla isn’t… his first…” You can’t even bring yourself to form the words.
“Apparently not. He went by a different alias there, but his photo and date of birth match up.”
“Wait, how did you find him so quickly if he had a different name?” Wasn’t Silas gone for only a few minutes? Is he some kind of computer genius?
He looks down at the floor sheepishly. “Let’s just say my dad has taught me a few tricks of the trade.”
You shrug, deciding to focus more on the fact that your teacher is a twisted freak. Well, maybe you don’t want to focus on that. “So, what do we do now?” You look at Silas and feel a sudden sense of relief that you’re not doing this on your own. “I mean, should we call the police? Do you think he ki–, ” you decided to go for the other, less terrifying k-word, “kidnapped Kayla?”
“We can’t call the police,” Silas says, his voice firm with a confidence you wish you had. “All we have for proof is Kayla’s phone, and there’s that whole breaking and entering thing, plus Mr. Crane could just say that someone stole his phone and sent those texts. We need to confront him.”
“What?” you squeak, fear making your skin prickle. “We can’t do that. What if he… I mean, he’s crazy. And if he is responsible for… what happened to Kayla, he might do the same thing to us!”
Silas gets up and kneels down in front of you while placing his hands on your knees. Repeat, his hands are on your knees. And boy, do they feel good. “Caitlin, listen. We’ll figure out a way to confront him so that neither of us is in danger. All we have to do is get him to say something that proves he’s guilty and make sure one of our phones is recording the whole thing. Then we’ll have the evidence we need, and he’ll have no choice but to tell us what happened to Kayla. Look, we’ll approach him together, ok? I won’t let anything happen to you, I promise.”
With his dark eyes boring into yours, you lose all sense of reason, which is the only explanation for why you agree to meet him early before school to confront Mr. Crane. And you’re still thinking about those beautiful eyes the next day, which is insane, because what you should really be thinking about is the fact that you’re about to tell your drama teacher that you know all about his illicit past. And maybe, just maybe, you’ll be that much closer to finding Kayla.
You take a deep breath as you open the auditorium door and wish Silas had met you outside, where there’s light and at least one custodian who could bear witness to your potential murder. Instead, Silas had insisted on meeting you inside the theater so that you could hide until Mr. Crane appeared. Now you’re wondering why the hell you trusted him so much, especially since all of those files you copied were password protected and therefore completely inaccessible. You make a mental note to avoid direct eye contact with him in order to preserve your remaining rationality.
“Silas?” You whisper, groping around in the dark for the last row of seats. No answer. “Silas!” you hiss, a bit more loudly. Still nothing.
You suddenly see a faint glimmer of light shoot out over the auditorium. Mr. Crane’s office is backstage, so it must be coming from… the light booth? You wonder if Silas is up there, and then, with a sickening drop in your stomach, you wonder if Mr. Crane is up there. With someone.
Summoning up your courage, you feel your way to the back stairwell and slowly creep up the stairs to the booth. You’ve made this journey hundreds of times, but everything around you suddenly feels foreign and strange. As you approach the door, you stop, your body tensed, your ears straining for any kind of sound. You hear vague movements and a muffled voice, definitely male. But is it Mr. Crane?
You take a deep breath, pull out your phone and hit record. You know you should wait for Silas, but what if Crane leaves before he arrives? And what if this is your chance to stop him from harming whoever else might be in the room? And what if that other person is Kayla?
Just the thought of her infuses you with a sudden rush of adrenaline, and without further hesitation, you turn the doorknob and throw open the door.
You’re greeted by a gasp and a very loud exclamation of profanity. Neither voice sounds like Mr. Crane, but the f-bomber seems familiar. Very familiar. You flick on the lights and see Dylan scrambling to pull on his jeans. You knew it! He’s been cheating on Kayla this whole time! With… Steven Pruett?!!
Cursing, Steven tugs up his pants and roughly pushes past you through the doorway. Even under these circumstances, that guy never misses a chance to shove you.
While you’re still collecting your jaw off the floor, Dylan grabs his shirt then turns to you with a look you’ve never seen before, a look of wild desperation. And anger.
“What the HELL are you doing here, Caitlin?” he asks, in a deadly whisper.
A. Ask Dylan, “Does Kayla know you’re gay?”
B. Tell Dylan you’ll talk about this later, and hightail it downstairs to find Silas and Mr. Crane