The Call For Help
"Who is this? Nessa?"
Kim rolled away from her boyfriend bolting upright fully disturbed by the tears and panic coming through the phone line from her baby sister. Okay, so she wasn't really a baby. But, she was the youngest of the three siblings and a sixteen year old junior in high school, who by every test given was classified as more than just a little bit brilliant.
"Ness, you really have to calm down. Honey I can hardly understand you. Daddy. What? Prison. Mrs. Sculdini. A convent. Fails. Auditors? Vanessa, stop! Dad's sending Mrs. Sculdini to prison for failing a convent audit? What the hell are you talking about? Have you and your little friends been hittin' the wacky-tabacky as Bubba would say?"
Dale was watching his petite girlfriend go from passionate to frustrated right before his eyes. He couldn't make out a lot of the other side of the call, but he sensed, from her body language, that it wasn't good news. When he heard her stories or witnessed her dealing with either of her siblings Dale became infinitely grateful that he was an only child.
Kim finally hung up the phone looking anything but relieved. Hopping off the bed she started looking for her shoes, keys and other stuff strewn around her boyfriend's apartment. Suddenly she couldn't think clearly. She wanted, no she needed fresh air because she needed a solution fast. From what she gathered from the sob filled conversation with her sister odds were there was a road trip in her very near future.
"Kimberly you're making me very nervous. What is going on?"
"Babe, I'm really sorry, but my sister needs me. She got herself into some trouble that she's going to have a hard time getting out of, on her own. I gotta go!"
"Well, at least let me drive you. You look too upset to be behind the wheel of a car."
"That's sweet, but then you'll need a ride back and it's just…" Kim leaned over to kiss him before darting to the door.
"I'll call when I get in I promise."
The door closed behind her and he'd barely gotten his shirt buttoned or his shoes on. Clearly something was amiss in the Wright family.
Replaying her sister's end of the conversation in her mind gave Kim something to do while she waited for Xan to call her back. She didn't know anyone who'd been in more trouble than him in her entire life. Logic dictated that he couldn't have gotten in that much trouble without figuring out at least a couple of ways to get out of it.
Vanessa Louise Wright had really dug a ditch she couldn't get out of this time. Apparently she was a few days away from expulsion from Hilton Prep. She was flunking out not because she couldn't do the work, but because she-for reasons Kim did not understand-didn't go to class. The spiral effect had taken hold of the situation with a vice grip and was out of control. She knew passing the class wasn't going to happen, so instead she intercepted the notices that had gone home to their parents. The little brat set up a P.O. box and had all of the school mail diverted to it. She'd been forging signatures for over a month. Basically all she did was put off the inevitable thought Kim. Christmas break was coming and their dad always picked them up. Someone was bound to intercept and tell him.
When she did finally go back to class she couldn't do enough work to pull the grade out of the toilet. Vanessa's solution was to hack into the school grading system and give herself the grades she wanted. The nefarious little computer wiz didn't stop there though, she also gave unearned and far more acceptable passing grades to nearly half the girls in her house. Finally, the icing on the cake was that the principal called for an audit of the teacher's grade books strangely enough for reasons having nothing to do with the little genius' shenanigans. There was a rumor of an illicit affair between one of the male teachers and an honor roll senior student and now the ugly truth was about to come out in torrents.
Kim stopped folding her clothes, for the third time, picked up the phone and got ready to relay the tale from hell.
"Hey Xan. It took you long enough to call back. If I left that many messages it must be important. No. No. No. Not that either. It has nothing to do with me actually. So, please stop guessing. Right like he'd call me first if something was going on. It’s Nessa, Sherlock. This time plenty. She's gonna get kicked out of school if we don't come up with a way to fix this. Didn't you listen to the messages. Yes, they had to be. I wanted you to call with the solution not asking me what happened! Can you just drive down here? Xan, you know I wouldn't ask, but we need you. Okay, I'll see you in the morning."
These were the times that having an older brother didn't completely suck. Alexander was calm in a crisis. He wouldn't think up every horrible scenario. More importantly he would do everything in his power to see no one got into any unnecessary trouble.
Nothing else could be done until the morning, so Kim got ready for bed then settled down to call Dale. She was going to make an attempt at telling the tale for the second time that night more coherently then she had the first time around.