*Audrey Ordway's painfully, ordinary experiences through the typical stages of being a teenager.*

By Dani Navy

Chapter 4: New Place, New Case

I knew the boy's name was Drake because that's what the man on the bottom of the stairs was yelling.

"Drake, you fucking prick, come on!"

And I assumed his last name wasn't 'you fucking prick' because that would be a terrible last name. Could you imagine? I couldn't.

The boy had dark hair, sky eyes, and was young. I'm not sure how young, but he was young enough to know that the cursing he was hearing from downstairs was bad, yet old enough to know that it was only bad when he himself was saying it.

That gave him age thirteen. I knew this not only because I am good at guessing these sorts of things, but because his calendar on the wall had very messy writing on today's date that read 'is a teenager today'. I guess writing 'my birthday' is lame nowadays, I'm not sure.

I blinked when I noticed the commonality of the date to my last case. A state away, Audrey Ordway would be celebrating her birthday today as well. Hopefully this would be the first and last thing these two had in common.

I noticed Drake was tall for his age, and bigger than other thirteen-year-olds I had seen lately. He didn't look thirteen. His face wasn't child-like. It was too hard, and the anger around his eyes gave him a sharp edge. He looked like he had never been a kid before- like he had come out of the womb with silent lips, a sarcastic smirk, and a glare that said 'don't fuck with me'.

And just by looking at his room, I could tell Drake wasn't a typical kid. Maybe not even a kid at all. I didn't find one toy that he might have found interesting; there was a TV in the corner, but there were no video games beneath it, and his clothes were all folded neatly on vertical shelves in his organized closet.

I was stunned. I felt like I couldn't move, or else I might disrupt his well kept room.

The only way I knew he was somewhat normal was he liked football. His walls were covered with jersey numbers and flags, all for teams he was still too young to play for. But he obviously played the game too because his shelves were full of trophies, which concluded for me that he must be pretty good.

I gritted my teeth at this fact.

He was headed in the direction I didn't want to go; the typical small town boy, making it big with collage football. I had already seen so many boys like this, and that's why I was disappointed that I had picked the wrong house.

It was time for me to leave, and this made me angry. I was wasting time- time I had too much of. Within three days I had already been in two states, with two different cases, and now I had plans to try the next state over again. Maybe I was going about this all wrong; America was playing too many reruns lately.

I turned to leave, still frustrated, and I would have left immediately, but when I looked up to gaze around one last time, my eyes caught a shelf with a few team pictures.

I stopped to stare.

The pictures were of his football victories through the years. In every one, his team mates smiled hugely, showing off their medals. But as for Drake, he chose to stare into the camera blankly, his light eyes looking dark, like they had seen things they shouldn't.

This startled me awake. He had the same look in those photos as he did now, going about his morning routine.

What was going on with him? I had to know.

Drake was interesting to me all the sudden, and since I was done with Audrey and her typical boring life, he was it. For sure this time.

I watched him gather his belongings into his black book bag, and I couldn't help but marvel at how slow a pace he could muster while a very angry individual cursed and cursed from the first floor of his home.

"Drake I swear to God!" This man was clearly angry with Drake's slow motion speed, and if he didn't hurry up, I would bet the ten dollars I didn't have that this man wasn't above coming up the stairs, and kicking the shit out of Drake.

The boy didn't even respond to him though. He wasn't worried. He continued to slowly fill his bag with a binder, a pencil, a calculator, and a ratty novel, and when he zipped it all up, he threw on a maroon hoodie, along with an old looking, navy ball cap.

His reflection in the mirror came next, and while I stared at him from behind, watching him take in what he saw standing in front of him, I noticed his eyes, and the pain that couldn't be hidden in them. It was like he had a permanent scowl, even if he was only staring blankly. His anger showed though his mask, and there was no hiding it…well, maybe not from me anyway.

"DRAKE!" I flinched when the man's voice from below had sounded like it had come from just outside his bedroom door. But it hadn't; the window was open, and this man wasn't above yelling at the top of his lungs, outside in the nice neighbourhood at nine in the morning.

"Fuck you, Brian." The boy only whispered this to himself, thinking no one was around, and that's why I heard it.

He referred to this angry man by his first name, and that told me he must not be his father. But by the way he accentuated the name- it was made to sound like a spit in the face. That left one possible option. He qwas Drake's enemy, aka, the step dad.

Maybe Drake was going to be an interesting case after all.