Since You've Been Gone - Part 2

“Yo-Yo … if Mom is arrested they can’t let you go home to an empty house, knowingly at least.” Jellybean spelled out while pacing the room. “What about the woman … you know the super old one with like 15 cats? She might help us out! Plus she wouldn’t even know if we were there half the time.” She said thoughtfully gnawing on a lower lip.

“We sometimes stay with our neighbor.” Jocasta lied, knowing by the description who Jellybean was talking about. “Mrs. Martin. We can stay with her.”

“We’ll see what can be arranged, but for now, we’re going to bring you over to the department of youth and family services, to see what--”

“What? No, they’ll put us in juvie, and we didn’t even do anything, and they’ll split us up!”

“Like HELL!” Jellybean bristled.

“They’re just going to help find you someplace to stay where --”

Jellybean grabbed a random item off the table and threw it at the wall between the principal and the police officers. It was enough of a shock to stun them momentarily into silence while their poor walnut brain tried to figure out what just happened. “GO, RUN!” Jelly bean yelled swinging open the door. Like hell, they would send Yo-Yo anywhere!

Jocasta didn’t need to be told twice. She slipped out of her backpack to make herself faster and bolted out of the door. “Jellybean! Come ON!” She hollered over her shoulder making a dash for the front doors.

“She’s a User?” One of the officers asked while the other took off after the pale-skinned girl.

Jellybean slammed the door shut as soon as Jocasta came through right in the officer's face shattering the frosted glass window and tossing chair down in her way to buy Jocasta more time. Jellybean could always catch up but her twin was not nearly as ignorable. “Go! Go! Go!” She urged hoofing it after her twin.

Jelly grinned hitting the first fire alarm she saw. Nothing like a bunch of kids to cover her sister’s escape. “Eat it pigs!” She giggled and went to catch up to Jocasta who by now had a substantial lead.

Jocasta took the stairs in front of the school two at a time as one of the officers finally escaped Mr. Rooney’s office.

The kids streamed out of the school as the cops fought to get to their squad car … that had a screwdriver in one of the wheels. The girl by now could have gone anywhere and the most they could do was call it in and get the cop with the bloody nose to the hospital.

Jellybean had a shit-eating grin as she elbowed her way through the crowd of kids waiting to go back in and sauntering across the schoolyard. “I shot the sheriff but I didn't shoot the deputy …” Jellybean sang as she skipped along.

Despite the warm weather, Jocasta flipped the hood of her sweatshirt over her near-white hair as she ducked through the sea of her classmates. Though not an albino like Jellybean, she still stuck out like a sore thumb in a crowd, and she needed to blend. She cut across the schoolyard and making sure the cops hadn’t followed, she turned down a side street and ran til she got to the convenience store where she and Jellybean had gotten slush puppies.

Ducking behind the building, she slid down to the pavement trying to catch her breath and wrap her head around what happened. Now what? She couldn’t let them split up her and Jellybean. No one knew Jellybean as well as her. Hell, no one really knew Jellybean existed except for her. She leaned her head back against the plaster of the building. Where were they supposed to go? Jellybean was always so bitter about their mom, but she was right about her, as much as that hurt to admit. And now? They were screwed.

Jellybean skipped heading the store they had gotten slushies from the day before. Still chipper after sticking it to the man and helping her sister escape she all but jumped around the corner. “Hey!” Jellybean shouted. “Why so glum! You got away! WE got away!” She said plopping down next to Jocasta and shoulder bumping her.

“Away to where, Jellybean? What about our home and school and stuff? They’re gonna split us up or worse. If mom goes to jail - I get it, she doesn’t take care of us now, but that leaves us with no one.”

“We have EACH OTHER and we let’s be honest we’ve taken better care of each other anyway right?” Jellybean scoffed. “We don’t need anyone. Once the heat dies down we can do whatever you want. We can pack up and go anywhere! Hit every corny roadside attraction? Sure! You wana go to Cali-Forny-Way? Let’s go! Wanna a bite of the Big Apple? Let’s take the whole thing!” She said standing up. “And what can’t you learn on the internet than you can’t in school?” She pointed out.

Jocasta shrugged, placated while she considered Jellybean’s words, and put on a smile for her twin’s benefit. “I always wanted to see New York and California. Maybe… maybe you’re right. It’ll all work out. Everything is going to be okay. Everything will be just fine. Right?”

“It will you’ll see. No disappointments. No more waiting for someone else that might come. This time the lights will stay on.” Jellybean assured. No one would hurt Jocasta ever again.

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