Six months later:
Behind closed blinds, Chad had his weekly meeting with the officer. "This is your new assignment, and it will likely be permanent." The probation officer slid a folder across the table towards Chad. "We may ask you to do other jobs along the way, for which you will be heavily rewarded, as usual."
Chad opened the folder to find pictures of a girl his age who looked vaguely familiar. "What is this?" Chad questioned, as he was usually given pictures of targeted luxury cars.
"A different kind of job." The man began. "Your assignment is to follow her. Keep track of what she does and where she goes. We need you to be able to know where she is at a moment's notice.
"You want me to be someone's babysitter?" Chad scoffed. "Look man, cars are my thing. Why don't we just stick to that?"
"You will still be expected to reach your car quotas and you're a valuable asset, but we need your work to be worth more of our time and money." The man explained.
"Why her?" Chad inquired as he flipped through the pictures. "Who is she?"
"She's a string."
The very sentence made pain zing through Chad's stomach. "You want me to be responsible for monitoring a string? No. No." He shook his head rapidly. His mind raced as he thought back on all his sleepless nights in fear of whoever was monitoring his little sister and what they might do to her if he ever messed up. He could not, would not, allow himself to cause that kind of anguish for someone else.
"You will, and you will get rid of her if her dad ever screws up."
"This has gone too far. I won't kill someone." Chad stood up, with his nose in the man's face. "I'm done. I want out."
"You don't just get to be done whenever you say you want to be done." His probation officer shoved Chad backward into his seat. "That's not how this works!" The man whipped out a picture of Chad's little sister and flashed it in his face.
"You have no right…" Chad yelled again.
"You gave up your rights when you said yes! You gave up your rights when you threw all your principles out the window for some cash!"
"But that was just for stealing cars!" Chad argued. "Not for something like this. I never agreed to this!"
"I don't care what you agreed to," the probation officer continued. "We own you and you'll do it. Need I remind you that when you were released early on probation, you waived your rights? Legally, I can give you a curfew, ask for a drug screening, and track your every move." The man pointed to Chad's tracking anklet.
"I'll go to the police." Chad threatened. "I don't care if they send me back for the crimes I've committed for you. This is asking too much!"
"The police?" The man all but chuckled. "Chad, this is a small town. I am the police! Who's going to believe you?"
"Someone will." Chad tightened his jaw.
"And by then it will be too late. She will be dead." The officer flicked a picture of Chad's smiling little sister. "You know that this is out of my control and if you go to the police, I can promise you, your sister will be dead."
The man pressed a button on his phone to page security. In a matter of seconds, two officers stepped through the door, tasers in hand.
"Chad," the man spoke condescendingly. "Are we going to have a problem?"
Chad stared at the men who now had their tasers drawn.
"No," Chad's body tightened. "There's no problem."