The Intern Vol. 2

By: Brooke Cumberland



“I know so.” He leaned in and kissed my forehead. I smiled. He always knew what to say to make me feel better. “So what was the word?” He leaned back and asked.

I sighed. “Honesty.”



Thoughts of my dad surface randomly since his passing. A smell, a shirt, a color—all types of things will bring the memories back.

As I stand in the doorway of my closet, I think about the words my dad said to me that day.

Don’t let one mistake keep you from taking on the world.

It’s the most powerful thing I’ve ever heard and up until now, I hadn’t realized just how powerful. He’s right. Absolutely right. I shouldn’t let one incident keep me from doing what I plan on doing—finding justice for my dad.

I walk to my mom’s bedroom, peeking in before I plow right in. She should be working, but just in case, I double check.

She must have something in here. Some files, information, documentation on my dad. She always told me she got rid of everything, got rid of the memories, but something inside me knows she has to have something. There has to be a reason she wanted to get rid of everything so fast.

I dig around her vanity, dresser, and closet.

Nothing.

I look under her bed, moving around all the old shoes and water bottles that must’ve slipped under there.

Again, nothing.

I sit on the floor and think for a moment as I slowly take a look around.

Nathan barrels through with no consideration that I’m sitting in the middle of the floor, almost knocking me over.

“Whatcha doing?” he asks, spontaneously jumping on top of the bed.

“None of your damn business,” I snap, irritated that he’s made me lose my concentration.

“Mom said you can’t say that to me. She said you had to be nice to me!” he taunts.

“Mom’s not here. So deal with it.”

He’s laughing, jumping up and down on the bed trying to touch the ceiling. “You’re going to break your damn neck. Get down,” I scowl.

“Make me.”

“One punch to your shin and you’re going down. You really want to test me?” I stand up showing how serious I am.

“Na-na-na-na-na,” he sings. God. I can’t stand him sometimes. I know he’s begging for attention, but right now, I can’t deal with his shenanigans.

I watch as he jumps, arm straight up as he aims for the ceiling. He almost touches it. I watch annoyed as he jumps deeper into the bed making one last attempt to touch it.

It’s like slow motion—his knees bend, his lips curve up into a smile as his arm slowly reaches up until his body can’t go any higher. And then finally, his hand touches the pale-colored ceiling.

It’s not until he lands back down shouting out in victory that it hits me.

It’s not under the bed.

If my mom were hiding something significant about my dad, she would hide it somewhere people wouldn’t think to look.

“Nathan, off,” I demand. I snap my fingers at him to get off the bed, and he finally listens. “Go tell Casey to start dinner. I’ll be right down.”

He skips happily out of our mom’s room, finally, and I begin ripping the sheet off. I feel around the mattress for a slit or opening. I round the corner and still don’t feel anything. Frustrated, I finally lift the mattress up as high as I can. Adrenaline and determination feed my strength to flip the entire thing over, and then I see it—a white envelope taped to the bottom of the mattress.

I run over and grab it, ripping the tape off with it. It’s sealed shut with nothing written on the outside. I rub my fingers over it, wondering if it’ll give me any information that I’ve been craving.

I rip the envelope open and spot a small piece of folded paper. I pull it out and hold it firmly in between two fingers.

My breathing quickens as I unfold it, delicately as if it’ll break. I unfold it once more before it’s completely open, exposed.

Samuel Anderson.

42-19-36

No. 6

I stare at it and realize it’s some kind of lock box code. Number 6 and this was the lock combination. But for what? And where? And who the hell is Samuel Anderson?

“Cecilia!” I hear my sister shout up the stairs. “Get your ass down here!”

“Hold on, I’ll be right there!” I shout back unhappily.

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